The reason I even bothered with the show was because my old concert partner, Ashley, returned to Japan. I went to forty-four shows the year I studied abroad, and Ashley was probably with me for at least forty of those. I originally didn't plan on going to this Sunday event show, but I knew Ashley was going, and there was a lot of nostalgia there for the two of us (ALSDEAD, Para:noir, Shou from UnsraW, yo-ka and Kei of DIAURA who used to be in Valluna...). The show was being hosted by PS Company, so I thought maybe I could make the gamble, because I don't stay for headlining PSC bands, except for BORN. Except then I noticed that not a single band listed for the show is a PSC band. What the fuck is up with that?! So the way I convinced myself I could make it work was that the band DuelJewel was playing, and they've been around since freaking 1997. Seniority should've put them at the end, at the very least. I thought maybe this one time, I could get away with a Sunday event show, even if it was a bit of a gamble.
Well, let's just get on with it. MelJay and Ashley and I spent most of the day at Gusto, where I proceeded to see how caffeinated I could get without exploding. The answer is: very. Then we went off to Takadanobaba, where MelJay and I decided to blow 300 yen and put everything except a few key items into the lockers because, damnit, having my shit with me at shows has been seriously annoying lately.
Anyways, we went to the venue and joined the line. The show was sold out, so it was pretty crowded once we got inside. We took a spot near the back, partly because we didn't know who was gonna play first, and partly because it was crowded. Uuuum, yeah.
First band up is ALSDEAD:
Though we were never huge fans, ALSDEAD was certainly nostalgic for Ashley and I. They were at the first indies show I ever went to, which I was invited to by Ashley in the first place. We saw ALSDEAD tons of times together, back when the band was still visual-kei. As I've mentioned before, the band has taken a more serious turn, opting for regular clothes, and more "serious business" music. And, as I've mentioned before, I always feel bad about how much the audience doesn't seem to give a shit about this. I feel like ALSDEAD is really reaching out and trying hard to be a "real" band, but I don't think the indies girls care all that much. Sure, their saizen loves them, and people in the audience nod along, but most of the girls don't seem to get into it. While ALSDEAD isn't particularly my cup of tea, it still makes me sad that their attempts at being taken seriously result in indifference, for the most part. I felt like they had a pretty good setlist, however, with a couple songs I recognized from the old days, and some interesting songs I didn't recognize that are probably newer. The band's new bassist (I say "new", but I don't think he's really even that new, just not the guy I was used to before), seemed to be in an extremely cheerful mood, and bounced around with a big, dorky grin, trying to get the audience into it. In general, the band seemed to be in a good mood, despite the audience's indifference. Even MAKI smiled a few times.
Next up... Velbet:
Another band that seemed to be in an unusually good mood. What, did they spike the water in the dressing room or something...? The band was all smiley and energetic and shit. Although I've never been the biggest fan of Velbet and their GazettE-ing ways, they're always enjoyable enough on stage, so I participated at least a bit. Vocalist Riuki was definitely smiley, and had a very strange MC in which he asked the audience to raise their hands if they hated him. Obviously, no one raised their hand, because that would make you an asshole.
Next up is Para:noir:
Aaaaaand another one bites the dust. I used to see Para:noir a few years ago when I studied abroad, and they were always enjoyable enough. They became even more fun this last year and started getting really serious about their band. Just when I was thinking Para:noir was getting kinda awesome, they adopted Shou from UnsraW as their support drummer, which was like the frosting on the cake. But, unfortunately, it's over just as soon as things got good. Turns out, guitarist Yuuya has decided he wants to not just leave Para:noir, but to retire from the music scene entirely. Normally, a band would just plow on after the loss of a band member, but Para:noir doesn't even have their own drummer right now, so they've decided the band can't handle another member change. They've decided it's best to just end the band entirely.
So, obviously, Para:noir was a little depressing, since most of us already knew about the impending dissolution before the band took the stage. Despite the announcement, the band continued on like everything is normal. In fact, if not for the vocalist talking about the dissolution during the MC, anyone who didn't know about it never would've realized something was amiss. They played fine, and seemed to enjoy themselves well enough, so I participated and just pretended it was a normal show. I also had to pretend I hadn't had a completely repulsive dream about the vocalist the night before. Seriously, don't talk about a band right before going to bed. You might just have a dream you want desperately to forget, and continually have flashbacks about it while watching the guy perform. Oh, and Shou was adorable. He might be the most adorable drummer ever. I hope he finds another band soon.
Unfortunately, here's where the show takes a turn for the worst. Any mild enjoyment I may have gotten out of the show up until that point was about to do a complete 180.
See, I needed either MEIJBRAY or DIAURA to play next, if this shit was gonna work. I had a feeling I could stay up until the last band, so I needed that last band to not be MEJIBRAY or DIAURA. But then MelJay pointed out that, during the warm up and sound check, there were two distinct guitars playing.
Neither MEJIBRAY nor DIAURA has a second guitarist. God............ damnit. My mood completely crashed as I realized my grip on the show's success was slipping.
The next band up is DuelJewel:
Sans their vocalist, who's out with throat problems. As you can imagine, this was really strange looking. DuelJewel kept the two guitarists on the right and left, and put the bassist in the middle in front of the microphone stand where the vocalist would've been. The guitarist on stage left was also wearing a large, cardboard cutout image of the vocalist taped to his coat, and he gave it an affectionate pat occasionally. Which was... odd, though I understand that it probably feels really creepy to be onstage without your vocalist. Then the band had pre-recorded tracks of the vocalist singing all the songs, and even had some pre-recorded tracks of him yelling specifically for Takadanobaba AREA. The stage-right guitarist provided some of the extra screaming himself. Anyways, the band itself was fine. The music was enjoyable enough (after 15+ years, it damn well should be, lol), and the performance was enjoyable. Unfortunately, I was thoroughly miserable as I began to realize things might not work out. I was really counting on DuelJewel to go at the end. I wish I'd known ahead of time that the vocalist is out sick (according to the internet, it was announced the vocalist would be out of activities a few weeks ago, but I think this was the first show he didn't actually attend). Had I known something was wrong with DuelJewel, I never would've attempted the show. Bands with missing members always get demoted to an earlier segment of the show, even if the band is over fifteen years old.
But wait! There's hope! If the next band was MEJIBRAY or DIAURA, there would still be a chance! I had one more shot at this before everything went to hell!
Except everything did go to hell. In ways I never could've imagined.
Today, this blog meets DACCO:
If you're a Dacco fan, I apologize for all the things I'm about to say. Or maybe I don't.
No, I really don't.
For those of you blissfully unaware of Dacco's existence, it's the new project of Yura-sama and Lida of the popular cosplay band Psycho le Cému. Now, if you think I hated Dacco because they effectively fucked me over by not playing at the end like a couple of guys from a band formed in 1999 should, you'd be wrong. I hated Dacco because they fucking suck. And I apologize if I sound grouchy. Actually, no, I still don't.
Near as I can tell, Dacco consists of two idiots singing on stage in stupid outfits while some other idiots in track suits dance around like *NSYNC backup dancers high on pixie sticks. Rather than talking about the qualities Dacco has, let's talk about the qualities Dacco doesn't have:
I mean, did I seriously pay 3000 fucking yen to see a children's television show performance of American Idol? Did I pay 3000 yen to see dancing?
I paid 3000 yen to see fucking bands playing fucking music on stage with fucking instruments. Since Dacco had none of those things, I instead paid 3000 yen to sit on the floor with my face buried in my knees.
The audience's reaction was shockingly mixed, considering. Usually, it seems like even the most hardened of hard-rock loving indies audiences will suddenly start vomiting rainbows and dancing happily the moment something like Dacco takes the stage. That wasn't the case this time. About half the audience loved it and went along with it, and the other half just stood there, looking completely unimpressed. One particularly gothic-looking girl sat down for about thirty seconds before suddenly getting up and storming out of the venue. My hero. I think even for some of the indies fans who enjoy oshare-kei music, Dacco was simply too much.
Look, if shit like Dacco wants to go play with shit like Awake over at some oshare-shit concert, fucking go for it. Some people love that kind of music, and that's their right, and I have no problem with that. To each his own, live and let live, etc. But shoving something like Dacco in the middle of a show with things like Velbet and MEJIBRAY is borderline insulting. Only two bands have ever pissed me off so much that I wanted to undo seeing them, and that was PIECElang, and Smoky Flavor, who I hated so much, I wouldn't even put their picture on the blog. But Dacco wins. Dacco was actually worse than PIECElang and Smoky Flavor. So congratulations, Dacco, you now take the top spot in Worst Acts Kita Has Ever Seen. To congratulate them (and at Ashley's request), I present to you an improved picture of Dacco:
|Yes, I consider a mullet fit punishment.|
Next band up is MEJIBRAY:
|Now with 50% more Star of Satan, and just as few articles of clothing.|
Next band up is DIAURA:
|Now with 50% more red filters.|
Hahaha, just kidding, I fucking left.
If you were excited to read about DIAURA and felt very disappointed that you couldn't, welcome to my Sunday night. I probably could've stayed for a song or two, but that would've been soooo much more painful, so I just bailed after MEJIBRAY. It was already 8:45, and raining.
I said goodbye to Ashley, and MelJay wound up coming with me, since she was worried she'd have to leave during DIAURA too.
Of course, I was so unhappy at that point, I couldn't even listen to music on the way home because it was too frustrating. I mean, I'm seeing DIAURA this weekend, so it's not like the world's ending here, but the realization of my limitations was rather upsetting. I tried something new on a Sunday, and it completely failed. And that sucks. Reality's a bitch. I paid 3000 yen, the main reason being to see DIAURA, and instead I saw Dacco. If that experience was put on a loop, it would be one of Dante's stages of Hell. The real funny part is that I said "DIAURA" when the ticket collector asked what band I came to see, which means DIAURA got an extra portion of my ticket money, and I didn't even get to see them. Maybe my wasted ticket money can help Kei pay for cat food.
The other thing I'm worried about: why did DIAURA headline at a "PS Company presents" event...? Is PSC scouting DIAURA........? Because I don't want that. I really, really don't want that. Things... things happen to bands that join PSC. But let's just assume it's a coincidence, and hopefully the whole thing will just blow over.
Anyways, according to Ashley, DIAURA also seemed to be in a good mood (pixie sticks, I'm tellin' ya) and put on a very good show, although the audience wasn't nearly as responsive as usual. She also said yo-ka tried to strangle Shoya at one point, hahaha. Those two need a referee, I swear. Oh, and I guess yo-ka has wavy hair right now. And they played that weird, poppy song with the weird furi that I mentioned last time. Damnit, I wanted to see that again.
Well, whatever. I tried. I failed. I learned my lesson. Between the ticket money, and the extra $20 I pay for the taxi ride home after Sunday concerts, it was an expensive lesson too. But at least I learned to never trust DIAURA not to headline, and that Dacco is the worst thing ever and needs to be avoided at all costs, but can be improved with mullets and mustaches.
Anyways, the show I'm seeing on Saturday looks pretty good, so hopefully that'll be a much more positive experience. See you then!