Sunday, November 20, 2011

Indies, 11/19, Ikebukuro Black Hole

Today's post is a story of fail and win, stupid and awesome, frustration and triumph.  But, as usual, it was a wild ride.  Wouldn't expect any less of one of my adventures, lol.

Well, the adventure begins with MelJay and I deciding we wanted to go to a show that featured a bunch of bands we were interested in.  But only the first 100 tickets could be bought online, and the rest had to be done by pre-order through a band.  Well, DIAURA was hosting the event, and they were the biggest draw for me, so I went to their website and sent them an email asking for two tickets.  Weeks went by, and I waited and waited, but I never got a confirmation email.  Now, that doesn't necessarily mean anything sinister.  The staff isn't required to respond to the email.  Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't, but it was making me nervous that they hadn't said anything.  Being paranoid, I became convinced that they blew me off, and was worried we wouldn't be able to get into the show.  And, sure enough, the day of the show arrived and DIAURA's staff hadn't said a word.

Ooooookay.  Well, no choice but to plunge into it anyways and hope for the best!  So MelJay and I met up in Asakusa and went to our hostel, where we had Fail #1.  I won't get into details, but there was a screw up with our reservation and it wound up costing us some extra cash that I was not happy about.  I'll be honest, I'm a fucking cheapskate.  And I'm a hypocrite because cheapskates drive me crazy, even though I am one.  But some are worse then me and they suck and and and shut up.  Anyways, that made me super grouchy, but the silver lining was that we always go to the same hostel, and the staff really likes us and is always happy to see us and stuff, so they apologized by giving us keys even though it was too early for check-in, and they gave us keys to a room that would normally cost more than what we actually paid for the night.  So we paid for a crappy dorm but got a nice one for the same price.  I think the hostel was worried about losing us as regular customers, even though it wasn't actually their fault, lol.  Oh well, shit happens I guess.

Then MelJay and I went off to Ikebukuro.  Fail #2: by then, it was absolutely pouring outside.  Even my umbrella was failing to keep me dry.  Now, I was still a little worried about us getting into the show, and MelJay brought up the idea of going to the venue early and asking them about it.  I'd thought of the same thing, to be honest.  We figured if something went wrong, we might as well make our stupidity obvious early, and increase our chances of getting in.  But MelJay was worried because we were having bad luck, and bad luck might lead to more bad luck.  She thought maybe we should start doing the opposite of our instincts.  But I decided that was crazy - one piece of bad luck doesn't cause another, right?  So we went to the venue, despite the rain, to check up on the situation.

When we got there, there was a van outside, and some guy who seemed to be a performer heading down the stairs.  He had badly faded pink hair, but I didn't recognize him.  MelJay and I stood there awkwardly shaking water off our umbrellas and glancing down into the venue, but I was wary of going in.  I'm not sure if you're supposed to or not...  In all these years, I've never been sure of reception desk protocol for indies concerts.  Luckily, there was a staff member who must've been waiting outside for just such a thing, because she came up to us and asked if she could help us with anything.  I quickly explained to her that I'd pre-ordered tickets through DIAURA and never received a confirmation email, and was wondering if it was okay.  Admittedly, she did look surprised that I never got an email back, and told me she'd go inside and ask at the front desk for me.  While she did that, some guy came around the back of the venue and started rummaging through the back of the van parked there.  I glanced up and realized he was another indies performer.  Feeling horribly awkward, I tried to glance away.  But, as my eyes moved away, they accidentally fell upon another performer coming up the stairs.  Nose piercing, lip piercing, massive gauge in ear, lemon-yellow hair......  Oh fuck, it's Jojo from The Gallo.  Fail #3.  Okay, normally this would've been okay, but there's a twist to this one.  After the indies event where I saw The Gallo for the first time, I became interested in them and passed my interest onto MelJay, who friended them on Ameba.  They friended her back (as these performers usually do), but then some strange stuff started happening.  The strangest being that Jojo kept peta-ing MelJay (peta is like the Ameba equivalent of "poking" on Facebook).  So that was weird.  So Jojo was perfectly aware of the fact that he had a foreign fan who was in a peta war with him.  When Jojo appeared, we made eye contact for a moment, and then he quickly turned towards the van, just as the rest of the The Gallo came up the stairs.  Feeling bad that we were seeing the band without their make up on, MelJay and I politely turned away.  Embarrassed, I stared at my feet, hoping I could make it as clear as possible to The Gallo that I wasn't some asshole fan who was standing around the venue just to sneak a look at indies bands.  Luckily, the staff lady came back while The Gallo was still unloading their van, so hopefully the band could easily see that we were there with a legitimate question, and weren't being creepy stalkers.

Thankfully, the staff lady had good news.  She was pretty sure they took down the names of every single person who sent in a pre-order email, regardless of whether or not a confirmation email was sent, and that saying my name to the front desk would be enough for me to get my tickets.  She also said that, if it turned out my order didn't go through, I could go up to the reception desk where they would be willing to give me tickets.  So at least we got the venue on our side early in case of disaster.  I asked her a couple more questions, blah blah blah, and then MelJay and I thanked her and left, meanwhile we could feel the oppressive eyes of The Gallo on our backs.

Run away!  As good as that news was, MelJay and I felt like the bad luck truly had followed us all morning.  Why did it have to be The Gallo out there?!!  Why couldn't it have been any other band with significantly less awkwardness?!!  Even DIAURA would've been less awkward!  We fretted the whole way back to the station, weighing the possible reactions The Gallo had to the incident.  Is this paranoid?  Yes.  But the thing is... we were planning on going to The Gallo's one-man.  The last thing we needed was to look like some weirdo foreign stalkers.  All of this only made worse by MelJay's peta war with Jojo.  We fretted all the way through the station, and all the way to Sunshine City, where we went back to El Torito because tacos.   Yeeeeeesssssss......... tacooooooooooos.  Despite our tacos, we were feeling pretty gloomy.  Our day just wasn't going well so far...

After tacos and some gloomy cake in the mall, we went back to Black Hole.  The staff lady mentioned that the band pre-order was first-come-first-serve, so we wanted to get there early.  We joined the line and stood there in the pouring rain, waiting to get in.  It was soooooo weeeeeeet.  The sidewalks were flooded and everything.  Yuck.  Eventually we got in, and the lady did have my name on a list (yay!  But she laughed when I said it.  Were the staff members gossiping, hmm?).  Then we put our stuff down, picked some spots kinda in the middle, blah blah blah.  Oddly enough, the floors weren't wet.  I think because we had to stand on the stairs for awhile before getting in, everyone's shoes dried, lol.  Also, we had more guys than I swear I've ever seen at an indies show, but I had no idea who they were there for.  In total we probably had around fifteen boys at the show, and they weren't all necessarily dragged by girlfriends.  Some were alone or in small groups.

Well, let's get right down to business.  Our first band up was a total n00b band: Devine.  Unfortunately, they're so new I couldn't find a picture of them.  First of all, their name renders them utterly unsearchable, but I also think they just don't have any pictures.  There wasn't even a picture of them among the pamphlets the venue gave us when we walked in.  Sorry.  But you know what?  It wouldn't even matter.  I didn't get to see them as they probably really are anyways.  First of all, for reasons I didn't quite catch, the hair and make up person didn't help them that day, and they all had flat hair, no make up, and no costumes.  Which is fine, but they looked pretty miserable.  Turned out the faded-pink-haired guy I saw outside earlier was one of them.  But no spiky hair and make up isn't a fail.  That wasn't the problem.  The problem was Fail #4, which I think will win the prize for second biggest fail we'll encounter during this post.

The vocalist.  Due to him, I withhold all judgment of this band.  It simply wouldn't be fair.  He wasn't just sick.  He was sick sick.  Like, he never should've been on stage, and shame on anyone who let him up there.  I've seen sick vocalists occasionally, where they've got a cold and sound kinda nasal, or look really tired, and then they apologize during the MC, but it's not a big deal.  But this guy... this just crossed the line.  I noticed it within the first minute of him being on stage.  His eyes were bright red and swollen and glassy and watery, and he looked really out of it, although he was trying his damndest to smile through the whole thing.  But then the coughing started.  He kept pulling his shirt over his mouth and coughing, and he couldn't hit a single note.  Occasionally, he tried to headbang or throw his fist, but he looked weak and miserable, and his smiles were more forced every second.  The audience members were all glancing at each other and whispering, and MelJay and I were shooting each other looks like, "omigawd, this is pathetic..."  Eventually, the vocalist started to lose the battle and would occasionally go crouch over by the sound equipment in the middle of a song to gather himself.  And his occasional coughs were turning into coughing fits.  And he was forced to skip whole parts of songs, because he was losing his voice.  By the last song, he couldn't sing at all anymore.  Even sadder, his throat must've hurt, because he kept clutching at it as he sang.  I felt so sorry for this guy!!!  I wanted nothing more than to rush up there, drag him off stage, and throw him into a bed.  And his stupid band mates did nothing to help him.  You know, usually, if there's a weak member at a show, the band members are supposed to upstage him a bit and take some of the burden off.  But the rest of the band just stood there, looking bored and miserable, and forcing this poor little vocalist (he was really tiny!) to bear the burden of the whole performance himself.

During the MC, the vocalist apologized for being sick, and said he felt extra bad because it's their first time at Black Hole and there were a lot of people who'd never seen them before.  Aaaaaaaw!  He coughed a little and said it was hard to talk and asked his band mates if one of them could take over the MC for him.  And those fucking assholes did nothing!  The string section just kinda glanced at him like, "whatever" and made no effort to take the mic.  Finally, the drummer - who was the only member actually into it during the show - agreed to take over and let the vocalist crouch by the equipment and drink some water and take a break.  Thank you.  How can you put that poor little guy on the spot in that condition?!!  Kinda random but, as he passed off the mic, the vocalist mentioned that, despite being sick, he made an effort to gel up his hair and make it look nice for the show.  Now that's dedication!  That's more than you can say for the flat-haired string section who looked like a bunch of corpses up there.  During the second half of Devine's performance, the poor vocalist was looking even worse, and smiling less, and even put a hand to his forehead and swayed like he was going to faint at one point.  I think he had a fever...  But he made it all the way through, I'll give him that.  He stayed up there the whole time and did his best, and that's pretty amazing.  He shouldn't have performed at all, but he sure was a trooper about it.  When the band was done, his band mates pretty much just stormed off (assholes), but the vocalist hovered on stage waving, and the audience burst into applause for the poor guy.  Man, he earned that applause, lol.  I hope he went straight to bed after that!!!

Now, I'm not positive, but I think DEZERT was next:

I guess this is Part 2 of my last blog post, lol.  At this show, Chiaki was looking a lot like a Hizumi cosplayer.  As I've said, this band is definitely doin' the D'espairsRay thing.  But they're a lot of fun, although I think they only have, like... three songs, one of which is just Garnet in another key (I mentioned this to MelJay who rolled her eyes, but then a few minutes later she was like, "yeah, it totally is"), lol.  It even has the "Days! [yell]  I wanna die! [yell]" part.  Oh well, whatever.  The rules are more flexible before bands go major I guess.  Anyways, as mentioned in my last post, MelJay and I had a bit of an encounter with bassist SaZ, who didn't like our lack of gyaku-diving and decided to push us forward and intimidate us until we did it.  After that, MelJay and I sent a message to him online saying we'd do it next time.  Which meant we couldn't back out on our promise at this show, since this was "next time", of course.  Furthermore, SaZ said some really weird stuff on his blog after the pushing incident, basically implying that he'd discovered his new "self" at that show, and wanted his fans to "read the air" from then on and try to understand him.  Did MelJay and I manage to do gyaku-dive?  We shall see!

But first, someone asked in the comments of my last post what gyaku-dive is.  My apologies for not re-explaining it more often.  I used to explain it a lot in the early days (like... three years ago, lol), and then I got lazy, so let's have a refresher course!  Gyaku-dive (which I'd previously been writing as gyaku-daibu, before getting even more lazy with katakana), is a very strange little routine that happens at indies concerts during more "hard core" acts (or in similar but not-quite-the-same degrees at major concerts for bands that spent a long time playing live houses, like MERRY).  But the pure indies version goes as follows: when a certain part of a song comes up that's designated as a gyaku-dive part (and if you've been to as many shows as I have, you know when it's coming just from a change in drum rhythm), it's time for gyaku-dive.  When that rhythm starts up, the girls standing along saizen (meaning the first row of girls standing along the barrier in front of the stage), pull themselves up onto the bar, and fold themselves over it like strips of meat hanging out to dry.  They literally just hang there over the bar, with their butts facing the audience.  Then the few rows behind them begin alternating running up to the saizen and leaping backwards through the air and slamming their backs against the saizen's butts, while throwing their fist into the air.  And they can only do it on the correct beat of the song.  That probably sounds confusing right?  Simplified: the girls in the front row hang themselves over the barrier, and the girls behind them run up and slam their bodies backwards against them in time to the music.  Pretty weird, I know, but it's pretty common, at least among the harder bands.  I mean, oshare bands and cute bands and light rock bands don't really do it, but a band like DEZERT that's all about thrashing drums and heavy guitar riffing are all about the gyaku-dive.  In fact, bands like DEZERT often have a song that's written simply for gyaku-dive, and those songs are sometimes extended well past the length they last on a CD.  As in, a four-minute song written for gyaku-dive can go on for well over ten minutes at a show.  Gyaku-dive can also turn into what I call a "dog pile", but only a small handful of bands let it get that chaotic (like DIAURA).

If you'd like to kinda see what gyaku-dive looks like, I did find one video.  It's usually really hard to find videos of indies bands performing, and even harder to find ones that show much of the audience, and it's almost impossible to find ones with gyaku-dive because it doesn't happen that often (only some bands do it, and those bands usually only have one or two songs where it happens).  I wasn't sure how to find one, so I typed in the name of a song I knew had gyaku-dive on YouTube, and then kept clicking bands and songs that showed up on the "You Might Also Like..." section until I hit something that worked, lol.  I wound up with a NEGA performance, lol.  Now, this video is crap quality and it's hard to see (because the venue is really big - usually gyaku-dive breaks down when the venue gets so large, but I guess NEGA fans know how to keep it pure, lol).  But you can see the human wall forming up front, with people flinging themselves into it.  You have to squint and look carefully but....... gyaku-dive goes on at least four times in this video whenever they start doing that "Yell!  Yell!  Yell!  Yell!" thing that sounds like a dog barking: Anyways, continuing on, Chiaki had a hilarious MC.  Every now and then, a vocalist does an MC that wins over an entire audience.  It reminded me of this band I saw when I studied abroad where the vocalist did a hilarious MC involving Fire Coffee, and it was so funny that the previously uninterested audience was suddenly all over the band.  So Chiaki's MC was about how much he wanted the audience to move forward.  At first he was like, "you all have to move up."  So of course no one budged.  But then Chiaki started pointing at specific sections of people and demanding they move forward.  Everyone started glancing at each other, and a few shuffled forward tentatively, but everyone suddenly seemed unsure of themselves.  Then Chiaki started being like, "c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon!" and he kept going until everyone started moving forward, giggling.  Then he started getting real specific.  Like, pointing at people and being like, "You, with the pigtails!  Move up!  You, in the black dress, move up!"  At one point he stared at a girl with crazy blond hair was like, "You there, blondie, move up!"  It was kinda funny though, cuz then he glanced at MelJay and I as if making sure we didn't think he meant us.  Pffft, that girl was waaaay blonder than me, lol.  As we shuffled forward, he yelled out, "You have to move up cuz the stupid ticket number system means some people who want to have fun can't get up here!"  That seemed to get people moving, as they all suddenly realized they might be blocking DEZERT fans behind them.  As we moved, Chiaki yelled, "I know we're not DIAURA, but seriously, move up!"  Everyone burst out laughing.  Then he yelled, "If you don't move up, you won't get to see DIAURA!"  Hahahahahaha.  The audience was cracking up.  By then, he had the whole crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.  Everyone was moving up and stirring excitedly.  Good job, Chiaki.  That's how a n00blet wins over a tough crowd.

Anyways, in our last episode with DEZERT, MelJay and I ran into a bit of trouble with bassist SaZ because we didn't do gyaku-dive.  But what about this time?

Long story short: we managed to do it.  I wasn't going to let the first few rows cut me off this time, mostly because SaZ is kinda scary, lol.  When it was time for gyaku-dive, I slowly nudged my way through each round until I could finally get a jump in, before moving politely back to where I started.  In total, I managed to dive about six times, as did MelJay.  Was the SaZ Monster satisfied?


Somewhere in the middle of gyaku-dive, Chiaki went over to SaZ, whispered something in his ear, and then it looked like he kissed him on the back of the head?  I dunno, it was weird.  At that point, SaZ suddenly jumped off the stage, into the crowd, and we discovered what this new "self" is that he's discovered.  His new self likes to push people, lol.  He started running around the audience, shoving everyone up into the front and trying to make them dive.  Chiaki was pulling people forward to help him.  But I figured I was safe, right?  Because I was diving, right?  Nope.  SaZ actually pushed me a few times, and at one point yelled something at me when I didn't run away fast enough, but I couldn't hear what he said over the music.  I wanted to whip around and scream, "FOR THE LOVE OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!!  I can't read the air like you want me to!!!"  MelJay's theory is that SaZ wanted us to step it up beyond gyaku-dive and actually form a dog pile, but he didn't manage to make it happen.  I saw a couple girls jump and then stay up at the front pressed against the saizen girls, but I didn't realize SaZ wanted everyone to do that.  Sorry, SaZ.  Next time you push me repeatedly, I'll go up and stay up, lol.

And that's about all I've got about DEZERT today.  Next up was a band with an unusual name.  This band is called JokArt au Legal:

Shit......... I don't remember much.  Um...... yeah, I don't think much went on here.  I just stood and politely did some furi so it wouldn't look like I was being a spot-saving asshole.  If I hadn't been at Black Hole to see literally half the bands playing, I would've moved back occasionally, but I wanted to be up there for four bands, so I did polite furi for the stuff I wasn't there for and held my ground in the fifth-ish row.

Yeah, I've got nothin'.  Let's move on.  Next band up is The Gallo.  Or THE GALLO.  Or Gyaro.  Or Gallo.  Or 9allo.  Whatever you want.  Take your pick, lol.

If their myriad names tell you anything, it's that this band delights in making absolutely no sense, and watching the audience's baffled reactions to them.  Basically, they troll.  As I mentioned, I developed an odd fascination with this band after seeing them at another show last month.  Well, actually, I had no plans to pursue them after seeing them.  I was extremely amused, yeah, but I don't generally listen to "funny" bands (except maybe Rammstein, and they're only 50% funny, and the other 50% is pretty serious.  Also, where does D fit on this scale?  No, fuck it, that hurts my head, lol).  In fact, I'm not sure how my fascination began.  When I blogged about them last time, I did post a video of them performing because I thought vocalist Jojo's rather, um...... unique behavior with chocolate was funny.  But hearing their music in the video didn't make me go, "hey, I should check these guys out."  If I recall, what happened was MelJay complained to me on Facebook that she was annoyed with some recent major JRock releases sucking.  Half-jokingly, I sent her a page I found with links to download some of The Gallo's music.  I'm not condoning downloading!!!  I found the page while looking up stuff for the other blog post, and I was just sorta joking around.  But then I was like, "ah, what the hell" and downloaded the links myself while I was at it.  I dunno, I'm not sure what happened.  MelJay was looking at their blogs and became very amused, I noticed that their music had a lot of hidden hilarity I never noticed before, and then I started to realize that The Gallo's music was actually... not bad.  Like, what initially made me not pay attention to it wasn't the music itself, it was the recording quality.  The fact that it sounds like it was recorded fifty feet below sea level (credit goes to Yahtzee from Zero Punctuation, lol) made it sound like something typical when it really wasn't.  Now that my ears were at attention and I was tuning out the band's painfully obvious poverty, I began to realize I really liked some of their songs... and even loved some.

Soooooooooo I was definitely interested in seeing them again, and looking forward to this performance.  And, surprise, surprise, The Gallo/THE GALLO/Gyaro/9allo didn't fail to amuse.

Their performance began the same way it did last time: by blasting the opening music to Final Fantasy VIII through the venue.  Somehow, I'd forgotten that the band comes on stage to Liberi Fatali, and I burst out laughing as it all came rushing back to me.  One thing I didn't forget, however, was that the saizen holds up white bowls (actually, they're more like rounded plates for sauce) and white spoons, and bang them loudly together in time to the music.  One girl (who actually wasn't on saizen) decorated the inside of her bowl, lol.  Then the band (minus Jojo) slowly marched onstage holding lanterns.  The fuck, hahaha.  Somehow I'd forgotten about that too.  Then, while the band members stood there holding lanterns, Jojo came on stage with his own plate and spoon, and started banging them together along with the audience.  I just... don't even...

But they were quick to set down the funny props and pick up their instruments and do real music.  And they started off with my favorite song: ALICE IN DEAD END!  I actually really love that song, so I was jumping up and down the whole time and being super happy.

I also didn't recognize some songs, which made me sad.  I knew I would have to prepare if I was going to tackle their one-man later.

Uh...... highlights!  This is my new way of handling posts when my memory's failing, lol.

Lesse... Jojo did his ventriloquism act during the MC again.  They have this creepy goth girl doll they call Vivi (seriously, why don't these guys just wear shirts that say "I <3 FINAL FANTASY"?) and Jojo uses her to help him with his MCs.  And he does a damn good job.  He can make his voice really high-pitched and throw it to the doll without moving his lips.  I don't know where the hell he learned how to do it, but it's pretty impressive.  A lot of people in the audience had obviously never see The Gallo before, so some people were being all like, "whooooa!" and clapping a lot, lol.  What really made me laugh was that Jojo actually factored a mistake into his performance.  I don't remember it exactly but he made the doll say something like, "And don't forget we have a show on November 28th!"  And Jojo was like, "No, Vivi, you made a mistake!  We have a show on the 29th!"  So yeah........ Vivi is apparently bad at scheduling, lol.

Uuum........ Hikaru exists.  That's a highlight all on its own, I think.  I know I mentioned the last time that Hikaru looks like a psychopath and sticks his tongue out all the time, but I don't think I've shown it on the blog (in the video I posted, he hadn't switched over to crazy make up and stuff yet).  Folks, I present to you... Hikaru:

Actually, Hikaru had slightly different make up at this show.  He was, like... coated in sparkles, lol.

Um......... other stuff.  Jojo didn't bring out the chocolate at this show, but he did do this one really amusing thing......... I'm not positive, but I think it was during their Tokyo Harenchi Dai Circus -Shin Sekai- song where he started doing these, like.......... poses.  Like, really effing weird poses.  He would frame his face with his arms, or strike what looked like some kind of pirate stance (which makes sense, because over half of The Gallo was in a pirate-themed band before forming The Gallo).  Anyways, it looked really weird, and the audience was just staring at first.  But then, slowly, they started doing it too.  And the more the crowd mimicked Jojo, the weirder he made the poses.  I'm tellin' you......... trollin'.

Anyways, that's all I've got to say about The Gallo for now.  We'll come back to them at the end of post, actually.

Next band up is THE SOUND BEE HD:

They lost their guitarist recently, so they're down to four members.  Anyways, I saw these guys a few years ago when I was studying abroad, and enjoyed them for the sheer fact that they don't sound like all the other bands.  Anyways, the band's been around forever.  And their guitarist is also the guitarist of Calmando Qual.  Also, their bassist (all the way on the left) is a chick.  No, really, she's actually a girl, lol.

Anyways, they were enjoyable as always.  Kind of an odd mix of industrial music with traditional Japanese sounds and rock music.  I enjoy them but, just like a few years ago, the audience was less than enthused.  The problem is that THE SOUND BEE HD's sound doesn't really fit in with the "scene" in which they're playing.  Little girls in pigtails aren't interested in industrial music, and DIAURA fans who like yo-ka's more "visual-kei"-sounding voice (even writing that I'm not sure what the hell I mean by that) aren't going to like vocalist DAISUKE's rough, grinding, alternative-sounding voice.  They have a loyal saizen, but the rest of the audience is more likely to just stand and watch politely.  They actually have a strong following on their own, it's just when they play during events that it gets awkward.  It was only made worse by the fact that spot-saving for DIAURA was getting intense, with people literally pushing their way through between bands as everyone tried to ensure a close spot for DIAURA at the end of the show (MelJay and I just kept holding our ground around the fifth row).  In fact, as soon as THE SOUND BEE HD was over, the scrambling through the crowd resumed, with DIAURA fans from the back starting to seem more and more like flies banging against a window behind us.

Anyways, the next band up is Thomas:

An odd name, lol.  It's katakana-tized at Toomasu, so I was really confused at first until I figured out what they meant.

Anyways, Thomas was actually pretty fun.  They had a good rock sound, a good beat, and the choruses were catchy without being crappy (MelJay was complaining the whole next day that she had one of Thomas's songs stuck in her head).  I don't really know what else to say about them, other than the fact that they were a really good time.  Definitely made me nod my head and join in on the furi.  Kinda made me want to dance a little too, lol.  I think the next time we run across them, I'm going to pay more attention.  Also, the vocalist commented on the crazy number of boys in the audience during his MC and made them all raise their hands so he could see how many there were, lol.

Anyhoo, the next band up is phase faith:

What's weird is, I've seen these guys before, but couldn't remember it for the life of me.  I think I have a mental block against these guys.  The last time we saw them, MelJay and I left the show before the last band.  Then, when I was trying to write the blog post, I kept asking her if we saw phase faith, and she couldn't remember.  And neither could I.  They left no impression on me at all.  But then we decided we did see them.  This time, I looked at their outfits (particularly this really ugly scarf their guitarist was wearing with pioneer wagon wheels all over it) and realized, yeah, I saw these guys, let's try to remember them.  But then the show ended, and they fled my mind completely.  They're gone.  I remember nothing.  Sorry.

When they were over, it was time for DIAURA, and we could feel the squirming of the impatient fans behind us.  As people started running forward, I turned to MelJay and said, "brace yourselves, Winter is coming" hahaha.  Sorry, I've been reading/watching Game of Thrones lately, lol.  Anyways, yeah, people were getting pushy, but we just stayed where we were.  Whatever.  It's not like yo-ka gets hotter the closer you get or something.  Actually, we noticed that none of the boys at the venue had left.  As in... maybe all the males were there for DIAURA...?  There was a boy in front of us the whole show who MelJay was in an apology battle with because they both kept accidentally hitting each other or stepping on each other's feet or something, and finally he just started turning to us and smiling or making little jokes.  Anyways, at one point I whispered to MelJay, "that boy is still here.  Do you think he's here for DIAURA?"  And MelJay was like, "he wants yo-ka's sexy body."  I rolled my eyes and didn't respond but then, a few minutes later, I noticed the boy was wearing yo-ka's self-designed necklace... the one that costs a hundred freaking dollars (literally 10,000 yen).  Oh.  Em.  Gee.  Hahaha.  Then we noticed the group of girls he was talking to were all wearing the necklace too!  And he was practicing that impossible furi with them!  Holy crap!  I mean, when I got the flyer about the necklace, I thought it looked really cool (it's a crucified skeleton on a cross with DIAURA's logo on the back) but hell naw I ain't spending 10,000 yen on that!  But apparently some people - boys included - are willing to, lol.

MelJay and I then got into a discussion about this.  See, I remember back when yo-ka was in Valluna, I went to a free Valluna live where there were large groups of boys in attendance (some boys were just on their own, too, and some were in large packs).  And now, even in DIAURA, yo-ka is reeling in boys (it must be him, since Kei is the only other constant factor here, and he's not the frontman).  So what does that mean?  The thing is, I don't think all these guys are, um....... in it for yo-ka's sexy body.  I think a lot of them are, um..... heterosexual?  I'm treading thin ice here I know but... eventually I came up with a name for what I think is going on here.  I've decided to call it Sephiroth Syndrome.  It's sort of like... even though Sephiroth has many "girlie" qualities (like the absurdly long hair and the pretty face), the fact of the matter is, he's a fucking bad-ass with a giant sword who murders a lead female character with a big grin on his face and probably eats babies for breakfast.  So guys think he's awesome, even though all the girls are fawning over him.  I think something like that is going on with yo-ka.  Even though yo-ka is a visual-kei performer wearing make-up, and a lot of girls probably like him for all the wrong reasons, the fact of the matter is that he's a total bad-ass with an awesome screaming voice who isn't afraid to put a girl in a headlock if he damn well feels like it.  Sephiroth Syndrome.

So yeah, let's get on with it.  Once again, we have DIAURA:

Well, they're back again, lol.  No escape from DIAURA on this blog.  I've probably DIAURA-ed this place to death, so I'll try to keep it brief.

Um, it was great as always, big surprise.  They started off with Beautiful Creature so it was obviously meant to be an "intense" show.  Actually, other than yo-ka appearing in a session band recently, DIAURA hasn't played in weeks due to being in the recording studio, so I think they were pent up.  It was lots of fun, and yo-ka got so wild he started stomping his foot on the crate repeatedly.  We had a dog-pile, though the audience was kinda hesitant to pile at this show.  I kept trying to back out to give other people a chance, but apparently the girls behind me just wanted a damn pile (or a squishy American body to jump on) so they started pushing me forward every time I moved back, until I finally just gave up and threw myself straight into the pile and let those girls bludgeon me.  But man, they were hitting me hard.  Either the DIAURA fans were also really pent up, or they forgot that the fat on my body still contains nerves, because I was getting mauled.  A girl came down on my shoulder funny and caused me to pull a muscle (ugh, that hurt the whole rest of the performance), and another one landed on me so hard I face-planted into the girl in front of me and briefly thought I broke my nose.  I've never had my nose slammed into anything before and man, that shit hurts!  I actually pulled back a little and pinched my nose and wiggled it to make sure it was okay.  It hurt like hell, but nothing seemed to be broken, thank goodness.

Yo-ka got a little goofy during the dog pile.  He kept looming into the crowd and, at one point, for no reason whatsoever, he leaned down and bit MelJay's finger, lol.  He also climbed up onto some sound equipment, grabbed one of the lights up near the ceiling and, um... started licking it.  Um.... eew?  Yo-ka, you don't know where that's been!!!  It's probably all dusty!!!  It was also probably really hot, because yo-ka was more, like... tapping it with his tongue, lol.

Also, I accidentally wound up grabbing yo-ka's armpit when he stuck himself in the crowd again.  Fucking eew.  That is the last damn place I want to be, and yet it keeps happening.  And yo-ka was extra sweaty at this show, so it was extra gross.  I think he knew he was particularly sweaty because he actually took his soaking wet shirt and started whacking audience members with it.  I wound up getting swatted on the back of the hand with it, and it had the consistency of a dish towel.  Eeeeeeeeeew.

Then the band left, and it looked like there'd be no encore.  The house lights went up, but people were like "WTF?!" and started calling for encore anyways.  A very long time passed, and I started to think it really wouldn't happen, but they actually did come back and played one more song.  Yaaaaay!

And that was that.  But I have one more story.

MelJay and I wanted very much to buy some stuff from The Gallo.  For one thing, I felt bad about downloading, and the other thing was that only a small chunk of their music is even available for download, so I wanted to buy a CD or two and get some more of it.  So we tried to find their merch table, which wasn't in the normal spot.  Eventually we found it out by the bar... where it was being run by Jojo and Lulu themselves.  Uuuuuuuuuuuuh............. awkward...............

MelJay was actually prepared to just say screw it and leave, but changed her mind once we were out the door and we wound up going back in to try again.

We got in line behind a Japanese girl currently dealing with Jojo trying to get her to buy tickets to their one-man.  She didn't want to, and the whole thing looked awkward.  Here's the thing about that one-man: I think The Gallo thought they were real smart picking a Saturday for the show but, unfortunately, there happens to be an event that day with both BORN and DIAURA.  Which means The Gallo is screwed.  I mean, I'm going to the one-man, but that's because one-mans are much more rare than BORN or DIAURA events, but I don't think many other people will see it that way.  Anyways, while Jojo tried to guilt the girl into buying a ticket, I was stuck dealing with DEZERT's merch lady, who seemed to speak some English and was trying to see if I wanted to buy anything.  I thought I politely declined, but she looked like I'd threatened to kill her family and apologized.  What the...... what did I do?

Anyways, soon we were standing in front of Jojo and Lulu, faced with the decision of what to buy.  MelJay turned to me and asked how to ask what the latest single is.  I misheard and thought she was asking me what the latest single was, so I told her what I thought the name was based on glancing at the kanji one day, and she said that to The Gallo, and it was probably gibberish, and they definitely didn't understand.  Oops.  Meanwhile I was trying hard not to really look at them, after the make up-less awkwardness we had before the show.  Jojo tried to recommend something to MelJay, and it appeared to be the latest single (that or he finally just figured out what she wanted), so MelJay agreed to buy it and started rummaging through her wallet.  But she was taking forever, so I started poking her repeatedly going, "hayaku, hayaku, hayaku" ("faster, faster, faster").  That at least made Jojo and Lulu laugh, but I'm not sure it helped the situation, lol.  When MelJay finally managed to purchase the single, I said I wanted the same one.  I don't know why, but somehow me wanting to purchase something broke a piece of The Gallo's fragile brains.  While Jojo fished around in a box for the single I wanted, I held out a 5000 yen bill, and Lulu - who was the one who told me the cost of the single (only 1500 yen, so not bad) - looked at it like it was made of unicorn sparkles.  Then he started looking around for something.  Confused, I sorta hovered my hand there.  When Lulu looked back at me, I held out my money again.  Still apparently confused, Lulu started doing something else again.  O.....kay......  Then Jojo handed me the single, which I took, and then I held out the money again.  At that point, Lulu was finally like, "do you... want to pay with that bill?"  I was like, "yyyyyeah."  So he was like, "oh, okay," and started rummaging around for change.  In that moment, Jojo apparently realized that he handed me the CD without the whole payment process being completed, and was like, "oh, could you wait a moment?"  Baffled by the lack of social skills going on here, I was like "suuuuure..." and put the single back down on the table.  Seriously, what the hell?  Finally Jojo gave me my change, and I picked up the single and put it in my purse.  Then Jojo was like, "want to buy tickets to our one-man?"  To which I responded: "I already did."  Jojo didn't appear to believe me.  I got a raised eyebrow in response.  I think Jojo forgot that you can buy the tickets through Lawson, not just at the shows, so he thought I was lying or something, since he never saw me buy the tickets in person.  Well, I'll prove him wrong at the one-man!

Long story short: The Gallo are socially inept, hahaha.  MelJay and I thanked Jojo and Lulu a few times and then pretty much ran away from the weirdness.  Either those guys were trolling us right there at the merch booth, or they are seriously weird in person, lol.  Oh, and that one single didn't feel like enough, so I picked up one of The Gallo's mini-albums over at the Tower Records in Shibuya.  Man, that store has everything.

Now, remember how I said there was a Fail #5 that was greater in failness level than the sick vocalist of Devine?  You might be wondering, what could be a bigger fail than that?  Let's just say, this whole post has a punchline.  Ready for this?

The next day, MelJay and I were riding on a train towards Hamamatsucho because we wanted to go to the Pokemon Center.  So this should've been a happy train ride, since we were journeying towards a magical land of adorable stuffed animals, toys, and video games that allow us to orchestrate glorified cock fights (kidding, kidding...).  But on the way, MelJay started rummaging through her wallet.  Suddenly, she froze.  Very slowly, she turned towards me and said, "Kita...... I just found something really upsetting in my wallet..."  I don't even think I said anything.  I just turned and looked at her, waiting.  Then, slowly, MelJay pulled something out of her wallet and handed it to me.

It was a ticket to the show we'd just seen.  An A Ticket.  A non-band-pre-order ticket.  A ticket purchased online and picked up at a convenience store.  A ticket apparently bought months earlier and then forgotten about.


At that point................ I just................. jbhuyghdj9w[3ty0[qhier bdh90aqyhbjos..................   

Sooooooo, that's pretty much all.  Spent the next day in Harajuku, where I tried to buy earrings to replace the ones that crowd surfer at MERRY kicked out of my ear, lol.  Of course, I also wound up buying a sparkly silver scarf, but this was probably also the fault of the MERRY concert, because Yuu's awesome scarf put the idea in my head, lol.

Anyways, I'm not going to Tokyo this weekend, so there may not be much on here for a bit, unless I wind up doing something completely awesome in Gunmaland, but that's unlikely, lol.  Truth is, I have no concerts planned for two weekends from now either!  But I'm sure I'll find something lolzy to do.  Stay tuned!


  1. Thanx for explaining! :D No I know...not even a SaZ monster could make me do that. O_ö°°

  2. Hahaha, that's alright, SaZ is the only performer I've run into who will actually try to force the fans to do it XD I've had performers try to encourage me and then smile and move on if I refuse, so it's usually no big deal, lol. If you're not in the second or third row, you really have no obligation to do it at all. But I'll let you in on a fun little secret: Japanese girls have the bounciest butts! If you do ever decide to do it, it's actually quite fun, because it feels like flinging yourself off a giant marshmallow XP

  3. I should really be sleeping, but I just had to check your blog first :P
    Reading about the Gyaku dive was interesting. I can't help but feel concerned for the girls on the rails. And now I have a to-do list that includes finding some diaura songs and listening to them. Totally losing sleep but soooooo~ worth it :P

  4. The girls on the rail are usually fine ^__^ In fact, they WANT to get pummeled. Sometimes, at smaller shows with really unknown bands, the saizen girls will get impatient if no one does gyaku-dive and they, like, slap their asses and stuff to try and coax people to do it, lol. I've only ever seen one or two people get hurt on the railing during gyaku-dive, and I've been to a LOT of shows, lol. On the occasion that a girl wants to be on saizen but doesn't want to get dived on, they'll actually duck out and run out of the way during that part, lol.

    And YouTube has lots of DIAURA stuff up for sampling :-)

  5. You forgot to mention that god-awful bad scarf on the Phase Faith dude and the fact that one of the guitarists of... JokArt au Legal... I think... had christmas decorations/garlic to ward off vampires strung across his chest. Yeah...

    Jojo's bowl banging is the most hardcore bowl banging ever btw. He gets his whole body into it. And he wears this giant insanely furry cookie-monster blue coat while doing it. It's pretty much awesome. Also, your "Hikaru exists" comment made me burst out laughing. It's so true.

    Also, I was mostly joking when I said that guy was there for "yo-ka's sexy body", lol. But yeah, pretty much Sephiroth Syndrome. Makes sense to me :-)

    Oh, and to anyone wondering about gyaku-dive, I was really hesitant to do it the first time, but honestly it's a blast. The first time I tried it for real (like I took a running leap at the girl) she was WAY bouncier than expected and I bounced off of her and landed on my ass XD Totally embarrassing, but it makes a lolzy story.

  6. Crap, I mentioned the scarf, but accidentally wrote "sweater." Time to hit ze edit button. The fuck was I talking about, lol? That thing was so ugly it deserves an honorable mention, hahaha.

    And Hikaru is..... his own creature, lol.

  7. I can't help but think of human-shaped bouncy balls now... XD

  8. May I know which hostel you always stay at? For reference's sake; I'm not going to stalk you XD I used to stay at Khaosan Annex:

    but on my last trip, I found a cheaper alternative at Asakusa Smile:

    Both are serviceable for me since I don't stay in the hostel much anyway.

  9. I tend to stay at Annex, lol XD I can't remember if I've tried Smile or not. But we have such a good friendship relationship with the staff at Annex that I'd feel bad not going to them, lol. We, like... give them presents and they always say "okaeri" when we come and stuff, lol XP

  10. But thank you for the recommendation, btw! I'll have to ask MelJay if we've checked out Smile or not ^___^