Okay, more indies. Sorry, it's been a shit-storm of indies (see the post below for the report on heretic sound music's last event). Since I'm seeing more indies today, I figured I'd post this report real quick before then. I really only came to see UnsraW, so I'm going to shoot through the other bands fairly quickly for the most part.
Anyhoo, the live was held at Takadanobaba AREA. Ashley and I sat down in a Beck's coffee shop near a window and watched people go by. We could see some of the indies guys go past the window as they headed over to the venue. It was hard to recognize who was who without the make-up, but it was still amusing. At one point, a guy with shoulder-length, brown hair walked by the window, saw us, stopped, and stared. Then he suddenly remembered himself and rushed away. Hahahaha, that was Jey, the vocalist of ReivieЯ. Wow, way to be stealthy, Jey. Yeah, I recognize you too. Ashley and I also stopped off for some cheese-bread and cinnamon doughnuts before the show.
Anyways, the staff at Takadanobaba AREA has actually grown even meaner since the last time we were there. In fact, when they didn't like where some girl left her stuff, they just picked it up and started walking off with it. God, what a bunch of assholes. Anyways, I went with Ashley, and our friend Niki was there as well. This was her first indies live in five months and she'd only just returned from Australia, so she was pretty excited.
Anyways, first band up is a band I mentioned in a previous blog as a band who was supposed to be at our live and wasn't due to some pretty tragic circumstances. First band up is Gakido:
Well, up until recently, Gakido was a six-man band that had two vocalists. Unfortunately, a few months ago, the band was driving their tour van when a couple tires blew out. They lost control of the vehicle and crashed. All of the members wound up wounded and required stitches, and the drummer and a staff member had serious injuries and had to remain in the hospital for awhile. Unfortunately, vocalist Piyo was thrown from the van, received massive head trauma, and died instantly. He was only twenty-eight years old. Amazingly enough, the band was able to pick itself back up almost immediately. They had a memorial concert for Piyo and, when the drummer felt well enough, they began doing lives again. I never got to see Gakido when Piyo was alive (he died only a week before a concert I saw that the band was supposed to play in) but it sounded interesting to see how the band was doing now that they'd started up activities again.
Well, actually, they weren't what I expected. Despite their pretty-boy photo, they were more "hard-core" than I anticipated. I mean, I don't think I would necessarily listen to Gakido on my own time, but they weren't cutesy and stupid like I thought they would be. Also, they still had two vocals playing. At first, I thought they had Piyo's voice pre-recorded (I don't know what his voice sounded like), and that creeped me out because it was like having the venue being haunted by the voice of a dead person. Then I noticed that their left guitarist had a mic-piece attached to his ear. So then I thought maybe Piyo's voice was pre-recorded and the guitarist was lip-synching (playing that kind of guitar and singing at the same time seemed too difficult, in my opinion). I watched very carefully, and I started to realize that, no, that really was the guitarist singing. But his face moved so weirdly when he sang, like he kept trying to move his lips towards the mic-piece. I wanted to tell him, "dude, we can hear you through that thing no matter how you move your lips." But as I watched, I started to realize that the guitarist couldn't not do that. Then I started to realize... oh shit, man, the right side of his face is partially paralyzed (if you notice in the picture above, he's covering that side of his face with his hand)! Then I felt like a serious asshole for having even noticed. I mean, it seems cruel to make the guy with paralysis from a car accident do vocals, but he was probably the only one who could sing. His face will probably recover eventually (he seems to have some movement on that side of his face), but damn, that sucks. Props to Gakido for continuing on like nothing even happened. You guys have some serious balls and stamina. They all played with smiles on their faces and with full intensity. Even the drummer seemed 100% and the guitarist seemed ridiculously happy to be playing/singing despite the difficulty with his face. Props to you guys.
Next up we have ReivieЯ:
This band has appeared on the blog a few times. I always give them props for the fact that vocalist Jey seems to be one of the only vocalists in indies who can truly sing. And their music is actually really good. They are one of indies' few "solid" acts right now, and they seem to be doing well because of it. They announced their first one-man coming up soon. Good job, you guys!
I find them pretty good. Ashley and I went down and did furi for them. They grow on me a little more every time we see them. It's nice to see some legitimate music in indies. My only beef with them is that, once again, they had their skinny little bassist do an MC. I hate when they do that. That poor little dude just shakes the whole time. Don't make the stage-fright guy do MC! But yeah, I really like them. Good, solid music.
Next up is SCAPEGOAT, whom we also encountered recently:
As always, I have a very neutral opinion on them. Don't really love or hate. They sound fine. This is really more Niki's band. She took saizen for them.
Moving on... next band up was Hi :BRID:
I... didn't care for them. Too cute and fru-fru for my tastes. Also, is it just me or does that guy second from the right have an outfit that is a total rip-off of Miyabi's outfit back when he was in Due le Quartz? Black, shiny overalls with a white plastic patch with little red prints in it? It's like, practically the same thing.
Well, whatever, next up is V-last:
I... absolutely cannot stand this band. No, really, when I saw them on the list I was like "oh god no, not V-last." The vocalist's voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me.
Next up is BORN:
If you can even see them in that photo, lol. I've heard their name come up a lot but this was my first time seeing them. They were pretty good. They actually opened their set by playing Marilyn Manson's song The Bright Young Things. The band itself was pretty hard; lots of slam-dancing, headbanging, etc. The vocalist was really strange. He also did what is potentially the dumbest thing I've ever seen in indies, yet according to this German girl, this is a frequent occurrence with him. While everyone was slam-dancing - meaning that the entirety of the crowd is moving across the front of the stage - the vocalist, suddenly and without warning, dove off the stage super-man style into the unassuming audience. Well, here's a simple equation for you: unstable audience + stage-diving = falling on your fucking face. No really, that dude hit the floor like a flipped pancake missing the skillet. Most girls tumbled out of his way before he landed on them (actually, maybe they should've tried catching him...) but a few girls got knocked down. The vocalist was unfazed and jumped right back up and got back on the stage like nothing even happened. According to the German girl, he did the same thing one time and took the entire audience down to the floor with him. Another thing he did was... a hoedown. No, really, a full-fledged hoedown. After he did it, he looked around the audience. When he looked at me, I gave him this cocked eyebrow look like "dude, really? Really?" So what did he do? Smirked and did another hoedown. Alright, man, you win, you win, geez.
Next band up was the band we came to see, and I'm sooooo glad they got to go on last and do encore. Welcome back to the blog, UnsraW!
Because I know UnsraW well enough, I can also write up their brief setlist for other UnsraW fans. They played:
SALIVA OF GOD
Dust to Dust
The band opened with the intro to WITHERING BLOOD rather than an outside intro. The crowd had thinned out a lot (ironically, the band that goes last tends to have the least amount of audience members because people crap out and leave) so Ashley and Niki and I were able to sneak into second row before they started. Unfortunately, the saizen girls in front of us didn't seem to know what the fuck they were doing. These two girls... I have no idea why they took barrier. Also, UnsraW tours Europe and attracts a lot of foreigners. We must have had at least fifteen foreigners in that audience.
Well, anyways, the band appeared when WITHERING BLOOD picked up. They're still wearing those stupid Nazi uniforms and whoa, everyone changed their hair. Madoka's hair is now canary-yellow (and he was wearing a ripped net on his face like Kyo from Obscure), Tetsu added a huge blond chunk to his hair, Shou is now also blond (darker blond), and Yuuki definitely cut some of his super-seiyan hair. Jin's hair was the same, but I'm glad because his hair is fucking beautiful. I've never seen Shou blond before, so that was a shocker. Actually, it was nice to see Shou at all, since the last time we saw UnsraW there was no drum-platform and I really couldn't see him. Also, goddamn I forgot how huge Yuuki is. He's built like a fucking football player. Geez. Monster-man.
Anyways, their performance was totally awesome because UnsraW is totally awesome. Yuuki was wearing the silver grills and drooling all over himself within thirty seconds of the curtain opening. He was having a "clumsy" day I'd say. I remember Caroline telling us Yuuki always seems "baked" and yeah, well... he does. He tripped all over himself and fell down at least three times, seemingly for no reason. Also, we got a full look at Madoka's pelvis tattoo. It's a somewhat cartoon-ish eagle with its wingspan spread all the way across his hips. Oddly enough, the following day we watched an old video in my history class. It was an old newscast of Japan's surrender during World War II and, of all things, that exact same cartoon eagle appeared. It's the symbol of some old American news company from the 40's. What the hell? Strange man, Madoka.
We totally rocked out and it was awesome. At the end of SALIVA OF GOD, though, Yuuki somehow tripped over himself again and fell down on the crate. Ow, that really looked like it hurt. I actually heard him hit the crate. When it was time for the MC, he was still down on the floor from his fall, and he got up and walked around before talking like he was trying to walk off the pain. Ouch, man. During the MC, Yuuki was still being weird and not always making much sense. He was being so nonsensical that, at one point, Jin ran over and whispered something in his ear. I think he was telling him to say something important that he'd forgotten to say amidst his rambling. When Yuuki was done making some live announcement, he started clapping, prompting the audience to start clapping. Then he leaped onto the crate, clapped this fast, crazy rhythm, and, incredibly enough, the audience was able to clap the rhythm with him exactly on the spot. Holy shit man, I can't believe how closely we pay attention to him. Yuuki smirked like "I thought so" and jumped back down. Madoka was cracking up and slapped Yuuki on the ass.
As always, Warai Oni was when shit got crazy. This is when the band roamed around causing trouble. Yuuki looooves to get the audience wet, so he had about four bottles of water ready for this. The first bottle he held down at his crotch and sprayed the audience with it. After that, he was throwing water, dumping water on people, and soaking all of us from head to toe. He's such a perv. Madoka was ready to start dragging people. He really freaks me out. He's really awesome, and I'm glad they selected him as Rai's replacement, but he is a seriously scary dude. I can't believe he used to be in an oshare band. Anyways, yeah, he kept reaching into the crowd, grabbing girls by their arms, and pulling them forward. On two separate occasions he reached out and grabbed my arm and then, when I jumped for saizen, he slammed me down on those girls as hard as he could. I wound up with a bruise on my wrist from him. Tetsu also roamed over to our side. He wanted Madoka to trade spots with him, so he nudged Madoka, who turned around and responded by poking Tetsu in the stomach, lol. Anyways, Tetsu also grabbed my arm and pulled me forward and squished me into the barrier girls. Tetsu's really strong for a little guy and he has long nails, ouch. Oh, and both of Yuuki's fake eyelashes fell off and were hanging on his face like he was crying caterpillars. That was creepy looking.
Then the band left and we started calling for encore. Interestingly, I noticed that most fans were trying to call UnsraW's name instead of "encore" ("an-su-ro" instead of "an-ko-re"). D'espairsRay is the only other band I know of that does that. Anyways, they came back so fast I don't even know why they bothered to leave. For whatever reason, Yuuki hadn't taken the fake eyelashes off his face. Um... okay. But then they went into one of my favorite UnsraW songs that I had yet to hear live: Social Faker. Oh fuck yeah! This is the song where Yuuki barks like a dog. Ashley and I find this hilarious, especially because we think Yuuki looks like an Akita dog. We couldn't help it, when the barking part came up, we both started yelling "bark!" with the music. I think he's probably saying "fuck" or something, but it really sounds like "bark" to us. Actually, as I suspected, the "bark"s were pre-recorded, but Yuuki threw some of them in himself and it was totally awesome. That song in general is awesome. I was soooo glad they got to do encore and play it.
When the song was over, Yuuki stumbled towards the back of the stage and dropped to his knees. Then, in an act of incredible flexibility for a man of his size, he sat down between his calves like girls sometimes do, then bent all the way backwards until his head was completely against the floor. Then he rolled out of that position and writhed around on the floor for awhile. Madoka gave him a look like "hey, get out of my area." Shou came out from behind the drum set, saw Yuuki on the floor, and burst out laughing. Yuuki did get up eventually. Then the band left the stage after throwing picks and drumsticks.
Oh UnsraW, I heart you guys. Well, I guess that was the show. AREA continued to be total assholes and shut down drink bar as soon as the show was over, so I didn't even get to use my ticket. Then they kicked everyone out. This one woman kept yelling at us so much that I just looked at her and said "I heard you the first time" even though she probably doesn't speak English. God, AREA, I hate you guys.
Anyways, that was that. Heading off to another show today. See you guys next time!