Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Three-Man, Ikebukuro EDGE, 3/16 (LIPHLICH and MEJIBRAY)


I really enjoyed the show, but I'm about to biiiiiiiiiitch.  This post is enough of a rant, that I added the "rant" tag to it.

Other than the ranting, this post should be nice and simple.  Just a couple bands to talk about.  I think I have a lot to say though, so I guess it balances out.  And I'm feeling chatty, which is never good.

So, this whole thing started out with a bout of lousy luck.  Normally, I don't go to shows on Fridays.  But my friend Peachy was planning on going to this show, and she was trying to talk me into it.  It was a three-man with Scarlett, LIPHLICH, and MEJIBRAY (who were hosting).  To be honest, MEJIBRAY itself wasn't enough of a draw to get me to take some time off on a Friday.  I was, however, very interested in seeing LIPHLICH again, and MEJIBRAY was enough to tip the scales in the show's favor.

So on Fridays I normally teach class up until at least 2:30.  Which isn't the end of the world, because I can take off an hour or two after that and still make it to a show on time (in the case of this show, I'd miss doors, but I'd still get there before the show).  But then I found out that a high school friend of mine was coming to Tokyo, and he was interested in going to an indies show.  So now I had to factor in some extra stuff, like the fact that my friend wouldn't have a cell phone, would need to find me in the massive labyrinth of Ikebukuro Station, and the fact that, frankly, I had no idea where Ikebukuro EDGE is.  I went to the teacher who usually drags me into class on Fridays and asked her when I had class.  She said all my classes were cancelled.  Well, fuck yeah, then.  That's when I decided to buy tickets for the show, and that's when I told my friend that it would be a good show to take him to.  Then I made another trip to get his ticket.

Then I went to the head English teacher to ask for time off on Friday, hopefully leaving myself enough hours to get everything accomplished before the show.  That was when she told me she had another idea: if the one first-year English teacher cancelled my classes, then she - the other first-year English teacher - would take me instead.  Basically, they cancelled my classes with the first years to put me... in class with the first years.


It's times like that, I just want to walk out on my job.  The lack of logic behind some of the things that go on around here is staggering.  So often I hear the teachers complaining about things not working out or going well, and it's always because of some bullshit slip in logic that could've easily been avoided.  Annoyed (and perhaps a little murderous), I gave into the situation with a sigh and just set myself up for the incoming panic that would ensue when I had to round up everyone after doors in a massive train station and get to an unfamiliar venue, all in about ten minutes.

Come Friday, I was absolutely fuming.  The class I had from 1:45-2:35... that was the only fucking class the teacher put me in.  So, knowing full well that I asked for time off a week in advance, and knowing full well that I had a friend from America coming to visit, the teacher reinstated me into one, single cancelled class.  Well isn't that just fucking wonderful?  I nearly stormed out of the school on Friday.  Sometimes I'm so sick of being the school's aesthetically-pleasing, talking parrot.  Sometimes Polly wants a fucking cracker.

Anyways, I made it to Ikebukuro at around 6:10, and the show was going to start at 6:30.  While Peachy went on ahead to the venue, MelJay stuck around in the Starbucks near the Sunshine City Exit (with sakura doughnuts from Krispy Kreme that she and Peachy had found earlier!).  MelJay and Peachy found EDGE ahead of time, and MelJay was willing to take me there once we found my friend Evan.  Unfortunately, Ikebukuro is laid out like an M. C. Escher painting so, despite the fact that I did my best to describe the Sunshine City Exit to my friend ahead of time, it took about forty minutes for Evan and I to find each other.  In fact, it was MelJay who found him, while I was off wandering the exits, looking around.  All I could do was pray Scarlett was playing first, but I had a bad feeling LIPHLICH was first, and I was missing all of it.  I didn't want to think I'd come all that way on a Friday and I would only see one of the bands I came for.

Thankfully, Ikebukuro EDGE is about a minute from the station, so we found it easily enough.  We went in, opened the door, and were met with a massive wall of human.  There was literally no way for us to get into the venue with all the people standing at the door.  I was able to take a quick glance on stage and see that, to my extreme relief, it was Scarlett on the stage.  Feeling a million times better, I backed out into the hallway, shut the door, and waited with the other people who couldn't get through the roadblock.  Ah, here's a picture of Scarlett:

What Japan looks like when you take too much LSD.
I only caught the last two or three songs of Scarlett's act (which was a long act, since it was a three-man event).  I dunno... sounded pretty boring and generic.  They had a really unenthusiastic repeater song, and one song sounded downright annoying.  Just not my kinda thing, I guess.  I'm soooooooooo glad they went first.

Let's move on.  When Scarlett was over, I waited until enough people bailed into the hallway, then barged into the venue.  What I saw inside really pissed me off.  It wasn't even crowded in there!  We couldn't get in because so many dumbasses were standing in front of the fucking door, when there was tons of space up near the stage!  For fuck's sake, people, get out of the way.  Or, at the very least, let people through if they want to come in!  Whatever, I'll stop being so grumpy.  Actually, no I won't, cuz I hated EDGE as a venue.

As I moved closer to the front of the stage for LIPHLICH, I immediately began to detect the many flaws with EDGE.  The venue just opened this month, so I'm sure they're still working out the kinks, but there are some serious problems so far.  Some of these I noticed before LIPHLICH took the stage, and some I noticed while the bands were performing, but I'll list them all here so I can get the bitching out of the way before getting back to talking about bands.

Problems with EDGE:

1) The barrier only comes up to the saizen's waist, so they can't actually vault it.

2) The stage lights are as hot as the surface of a fucking blue hypergiant star in space.

3) Random, uneven flooring.


5) The stage-lights flash so bright, you can see them through your eyelids when your eyes are closed, and it hurts.  And the lights are all positioned to be perfectly at eye-level with the audience, too.

6) Probably since EDGE is owned by the same people that own Takadanobaba AREA, EDGE has the fun habit of closing the bar the second the show is over, meaning you have to use your drink ticket during the show itself, or get fucked.

I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised about EDGE.  Before going to the venue, I saw some Japanese people write some fairly negative stuff about EDGE online, and Peachy (who saw all of Scarlett) was bitching to us about the venue the moment we moved up behind her.  I mean, I know the place is new, so it probably just needs some time to smooth out the wrinkles.  But, for now, I'm very unhappy with how many future tickets I have in my possession for shows at EDGE.

Anyways, enough complaining.  The next band up is LIPHLICH:

I let them borrow my new apartment for this picture.  No biggie.
So I saw LIPHLICH the first time, coincidentally, at another MEJIBRAY show.  The first time I saw LIPHLICH, in fact, I moved up for them, thinking it was MEJIBRAY, only to have it be LIPHLICH.  So I guess the two bands are "magnet bands" as I call them.  The first time I saw LIPHLICH, I was really intrigued.  In the midst of so many half-baked, half-assed, and half-witted indies bands, LIPHLICH took the stage and suddenly burst into music.  Like, the real kind.  They felt like some kind of wild, dark carnival ride.  After seeing a few songs by them, I was interested enough to want to see them again, and I bought their single at a store later.  But I soon discovered that buying LIPHLICH's album was a whole other adventure.  As in, you can't.  It's not in any stores I've been to, and I've been to a lot of stores.  I figured they would sell the album at their shows, however, and that was part of the reason I wanted to see them again.  That, and they're just really cool.  And a three-man is the chance to see them play a lot of songs.

So, as I mentioned last time, LIPHLICH is all about atmosphere.  Their music is some kind of weird mix of sounds and styles.  It's circus-y, Bohemian-y, carnival-y, gothic-y rock music.  They rely heavily on background music, such as organs, accordions, bagpipes, flutes, violins, and just about anything else they can slip in there.  Normally, I don't like it when a band relies on every instrument except the ones they play, except LIPHLICH doesn't really do that.  On top of all the extra, pre-recorded music, they play their own instruments really well, and in a way that blends with the background sound without getting drowned out by it.  One of my big gripes with oshare-kei bands is that so many of them use pre-recorded music and electronics to disguise the fact that they just really suck at playing their instruments.  They think if they overlap the music with a catchy synthesizer track, no one will notice that their guitarists are both repeating the same power chords over and over (I know, I know, not all oshare-kei bands do this, and plenty of other genres do it too, I'm just generalizing to make a point).  I mean, when the one thing you get stuck in your head from a song isn't something being created by the 4-5 guys on stage, that doesn't really say much for the band.

No, what LIPHLICH does is take advantage of the atmospherics of a lot of pre-recorded music to enhance the music they play themselves.  The result is music that really fills up the venue with sound.  We got to spend around ten songs with them, which was awesome, and gave us a taste of what LIPHLICH can really do.

On top of their music sounding really cool, they put on a really good show.  Guitarist Akito, who was wearing a corset over his clothing, is really adorable but plays some mean guitar when he needs to.  And drummer Eiki is also adorable (I feel bad calling grown men adorable, but sometimes you have to).  He's so smiley on the drums, it's just the cutest thing ever.  Bassist Wataru is a whole other animal.  At this particular show, he gathered his extremely long, wavy hair, and flipped it all over to one side of his head, then drew designs on the other side of his face.  His shirt was unbuttoned a bit, and he'd drawn an intricate tree-design across his chest.  He's such a seriously weird dude.  He's off in his own little bubble, constantly playing bass like he's going to pounce on something, but then he'll suddenly jump up and run around and start making the audience throw their fists with him.  Kinda bipolar.  And vocalist Kuga is also an interesting creature (and has an awesome fucking name).  Other than the fact that he's incredibly on-key and sings some of the smoothest high notes I've ever heard, he's definitely into the "sexy stripper in a jazzy nightclub" thing.  He slinks around up there, running his hands up and down the microphone stand and playing with the chord.  Generally, he's half-eating the microphone while he's singing.  Every now and then, he'll sidle up to Akito or Wataru and rub himself seductively on them.

In stark contrast to that, Kuga has a habit of going "whoo!" between songs, lol.  He also likes to thank the audience in English.  The last time I saw LIPHLICH, I noted that none of the band members ever seemed to look at the crowd.  This time, it seemed they were still avoiding it a bit, but not 100%, so the few times Kuga looked at the audience, it felt really fucking weird.  Wataru, on the other hand, was much more feisty at this show, and frequently tried to get the audience to participate.  Meanwhile, Eiki, from all the way in the back, looked at the crowd a lot with a big smile.

Overall, LIPHLICH put on a great show.  It was like being in some kinda shady night club, with Kuga crooning on stage, moving in slow-motion, while Wataru lurked on stage left in the shadows and Akito and Eiki shined in their sassy Black Peace Now clothing.  The only bad thing was, thanks to EDGE having the lights set at a cool three-trillion degrees on stage, the band looked like it was about to die half the time.  Wataru had it bad because of all his hair, but Kuga was the fool in a velvet coat for the entire performance (why didn't you take it off, Kuga?!).  By the end of the performance, every millimeter of Kuga's hair was plastered to his head and face with sweat.  It was so hot up there, his sweat melted the glue holding a bunch of decorative feathers to the side of Kuga's face.  He tried to pry some sweaty hair out of his eyes, and the tiniest tap to the feathers peeled them off and left them hanging the rest of the show like he was a molting peacock.  That is not fucking normal.  It should never be that hot up there.  It was so hot, you could actually see Kuga panting in the smoke-screen, because his breath was causing a plume of smoke to billow in front of his face like he was a fire-breathing dragon.  I was starting to worry that someone in MEJIBRAY - who was expected to play an even longer setlist - would have a bloody heatstroke up there.

LIPHLICH had a really funny exit, I must say.  They each took the crate one at a time and did a big, dramatic bow, or whatever they desired.  Kuga did a sweeping bow, of course, as did Akito.  Wataru got on the crate and held up his bass and made wild faces at us and tried to make us scream.  It worked fairly well, considering about 2% of the audience was interested in LIPHLICH at the beginning, but about 40% was into it by the end.  Eiki got up on the crate and waved and smiled, and I think the audience instantaneously got diabetes from how cute he is. 

Then LIPHLICH left, and my friends and I stood there complaining about how bad the lights hurt our eyes, and the sound hurt our ears, and how Kuga was probably in a fetal position backstage being blow-dried back to a normal body temperature.

Anyways, I've posted this before, but here's a sampler-platter of LIPHLICH's music and live performances.  If you're even the slightest bit intrigued after watching this, I assure you their album and performances are even better.

Next band up is MEJIBRAY:

I'm too sexy for my pants..........?
Okay, so MEJIBRAY... our headliner.  They played a long freakin' set.  Fourteen songs.  I think they played for over an hour and a half.

Hmmmm..... I have a lot I could say about MEJIBRAY at this show, but I'm not sure how to organize everything.  Seriously, the farther away I get from event reports, the more befuddled I get.

Well, the band came onstage and, like many times before, the audience's reaction was about as warm as leftover soup.  Excuse me, MEJIBRAY fans...?  Why do you stay if you don't care?  If the best reaction you can give is to just sorta lift your fist and blink, then why even stay for the final act?  Go get drunk or something more productive for a Friday night.  Those four guys just spent hours in a dressing room getting ready to be seen by your judgmental eyes.  The least you can do is throw the horns for them.  Fucking hell, I'm not even a huge MEJIBRAY fan, and I still made sure to give them an excited welcome.  It really makes me mad, honestly.  One or two times, I can pass it off as a grouchy audience, but this has gotten ridiculous.  If you don't want to see them, save your 3000 yen and stay home.  You just make the band sad, otherwise.

Man, I wish I had a setlist to use as a road map for this post, but none of the members posted one.  Tsuzuku didn't even post about the show at all, not that I blame him.

Now don't get me wrong, the show was actually really fucking good.  My relationship with MEJIBRAY dances on the blade of a knife most of the time, but this show was awesome and left me super pleased with the band.  It was the audience who brought everything to a standstill.  What I wouldn't give to transfer the excitement levels of, say... a BORN audience, and stick it in a MEJIBRAY audience.  It would be amazing.  But it'll never happen, because MEJI-fans suck.

For me, at least, the show was great.  Rather than trying to rope in a crowd with a few dopey songs, MEJIBRAY played the kinds of songs they seem to like.  Songs like KILLING ME, or Hakuraku, or APOCALYPSE.  But I think the problem is that the audience isn't into that stuff.  There's a huge disconnect between what the band's into, and what the audience is into.  Which is fucking stupid.  I mean, the band has a drummer with fucking gauges in his cheeks, and the audience wants the band to play cute music?!  What do you people expect?!  I'm sorry I'm ranting about this, but it's like every... fucking... show...  Every time, the audience is a fucking buzzkill.  I mean, if the audience is showing up to see a band, when they themselves are not into that band's music, all I can assume is that the audience is there to drool over the scantily-clad men onstage.  You know what, then?  Get a boyfriend and undress him all you want, or watch porn.  But stay away from the live houses.  MEJIBRAY's a band, not a bunch of models.  Yes, they look good.  They also play drums, guitar, bass, and sing.  REMEMBER?!!

Sorry, I'll chill out now.  Let's get back to MEJIBRAY.  So the band was all up in the hardcore songs this time, which was pretty awesome.  Since, you know... they're a pierced up band posing in front of a Satan Star singing songs about death and shit.  But you know, fuck that, they should just be cute, right?  NO.  It was so nice to have them play the kinds of songs that made me even notice them in the first place.

Let me just get this one out of the way: AKERCOCK.  They played it.  I know there have been some mixed opinions on what some have described as Tsuzuku singing like "Donald Duck" during that song.  Personally, I barely noticed the hilarious vocals of AKERCOCK at first, although I laughed once I really stopped to think about it.  But live... well... Tsuzuku should at least get a pat on the back for doing AKERCOCK live.  I'm pretty sure most vocalists couldn't make the sounds Tsuzuku made up there without their lungs and esophagus ejecting out of their face and into the audience.  So... say what you want about the vocals in AKERCOCK, but at least give Tsuzuku a thumbs up for being able to accurately make the sound of a thousand frogs being slaughtered simultaneously without so much as breaking a sweat (well, he probably wouldn't have broken a sweat if the fucking lights hadn't been so hot).  

There was this amazing section of the show where the band went from KILLING ME, to a freaky between-song thing, to Hakuraku, to BABY CROSSING.  It was like being back at that first show all over again.  The between-song thing was really weird.  I'm not entirely sure what the heck we were hearing.  Tsuzuku faced away from the audience and a spotlight came down on him, putting the rest of the band into the shadows.  Then this bizarre sound started up.  It was a layering of moaning and dissonant singing, along with this horrible squealing, like the guitars had their feedback turn up to the max.  I tried really hard to figure out if Koichi or MiA was causing the squealing, but it was too hard to see.  It was deafening, though, like angry violins being played frantically by rusty nails.  Meanwhile, Tsuzuku's vocals were pre-recorded, so Tsuzuku just swayed side to side, shaking his head and twitching.  It was... very peculiar... but kinda cool.  These days, every band that wants to be "deep" tries to rip off the eerie "inward screams" of Kyo from Dir en grey.  Even bands that I love, like Awoi, have ripped it off at some point.  So it was nice to see MEJIBRAY trying to have a "deep" transition moment without doing exactly what Kyo would do.  Similar, yeah, but at least they tried to make it a little different.  Even at the cost of our eardrums.

Hakuraku was fantastic, of course.  It was different from last time.  Rather than doing a marionette routine, Tsuzuku just did a "spaz the fuck out" routine.  But this is when it becomes most obvious how much the MEJIBRAY fans don't respect what the band would actually like to be doing.  Like, Tsuzuku puts 75% of the show's entire cumulative energy into Hakuraku, and the fans just stand there looking weirded out, or even talking to each other.  Yes, it's scary-looking, but it's obviously Tsuzuku's favorite part of the show, so shut the fuck up and deal with it.  Like the last time I wrote about Hakuraku, Tsuzuku basically turned himself into a human crash dummy.  He threw himself one way, and then another way, and then he headbanged this way, and then that way, and then he threw himself over here, and over there...  He did that headbanging that always reminds me of Kyo from Obscure, where he kicks up his back legs while he does it.  Which is really hard to do without making an ass of yourself, so good job, Tsuzuku.  The only time I got a little concerned was when Tsuzuku did this thing with the crate.  Okay, this is hard to describe...  He was like... kinda crouched behind the crate, I think?  But he had his hands on it?  I'm not sure, it was hard to tell what exactly he was doing.  Anyways, he kept throwing his whole body from side to side as hard and fast as he could, and his head kept coming within a millimeter of the top of the crate.  I was cringing, just waiting for the tell-tale crack of Tsuzuku breaking his skull on that thing.  How he never hit his head on the crate at that rapid velocity, I will never know.

The other thing is, when MEJIBRAY performs Hakuraku, they tend to add a blending and echo to Tsuzuku's voice, to make the whole thing sound dreamy and trippy.  This brings me to another slight problem I have with MEJIBRAY, which is that the difference between MEJIBRAY recorded, and MEJIBRAY live is disgustingly huge.  Now, that's not always a bad thing.  Dir en grey sounds completely different live than they do on their albums.  But the difference is, Dir en grey sounds good both ways.  MEJIBRAY, on the other hand, sounds like cardboard when recorded.  A song like Hakuraku sounds really deep and epic live, but sounds flat and dull on the album (although I do still like it on the album, so maybe that's a bad example).  In general, the little flourishes that make MEJIBRAY songs interesting in concert just... aren't there when recorded.  A lot of MEJIBRAY songs fall prey to horrible, horrible, horrible auto-tuning when recorded.  But why?!  In concert, it's obvious Tsuzuku can sing without a problem, so why the horrible auto-tuning?!  Every time I hear that electronic voice going, "Ka-ru-ma!  Ka-ru-ma!", I just want to vomit my soul all over myself.  Their recorded songs have no depth whatsoever, so MEJIBRAY seems like a completely different band in person.

Maybe that's why the fans suddenly stop giving a shit when they're actually at a show.  Apparently MEJIBRAY's fans like the taste of cardboard.  Agh, I'm ranting again.  Back to the show.

I was so excited when Hakuraku blended right into BABY CROSSING.  That song is sweeeeet.  But I just... damnit, I can't stop ranting!  I'm sorry!  Forgive me!  Just let me have this one ranty post, then I swear I'll go back to normal in the next one!!!  So, like I said, the MEJIBRAY fans are about as responsive as a pack of sea slugs at these shows.  Every time MiA had a guitar solo, the 1/4 of the audience standing in front of him lifted their arms in a "v" (which is the "I appreciate your guitar solo" gesture at these shows).  But that was it.  Just that 1/4.  And that 1/4 just did it methodically, without any of the usual flourishes.  The rest of the audience just stared at MiA like he was a palm tree.  Now, I could forgive this a few times, but acting like that during the BABY CROSSING solo is a crime.  That solo's fuckin' ballin'.  That solo is so intense and perfect, and no one appreciated it.  MiA later wrote on his blog that he actually burst a blood vessel in his hand playing that solo at the show.  Holy shit on a chopstick, Batman, that's intense.  But does anyone care?  Naaaaaaaah.  Who the fuck cares about the band they payed 3000 yen to see?  Psh, "not us" says the "fans."

Speaking of BABY CROSSING, shit got a bit intense for Tsuzuku too, it seems.  He just sorta freaked the fuck out for most of the song and switched a lot of singing to screaming.  Which is fine and all, and added some good passion to the song, until I realized Tsuzuku was about to start crying like a bitch.  Gawd, I'm just no good at handling sad JRockers anymore.  After seeing at least a dozen performers cry on a dozen different occasions the year I studied abroad (that was a hard year for JRock), I really can't take it anymore.  The moment I realized Tsuzuku's eyes were all glassy and swimmy like little jellyfishes, and his face was all red, I had to fight the urge to just look away.  But I didn't.  Because Tsuzuku was putting his all into it, and I owed him at least my gaze.  At the end of BABY CROSSING, Tsuzuku actually did that horrible "cow screaming backwards in the middle of an inhale" sound over and over again.  Once again, say what you want about Tsuzuku, but I'd like to see another vocalist make that noise.  To be honest, this one actually looked hard for Tsuzuku, and he was straining pretty bad, but it's still quite a sound...

Now, if you're wondering how things were going for MEJIBRAY as far as stage-lighting was concerned (after Kuga lost 10 lbs. of water on stage during LIPHLICH), the answer is: not good.  Tsuzuku was drenched in sweat, and his hair was completely soaked.  Did he take off his jacket?  Psh, naw.  That would make too much sense.  Like Kuga, Tsuzuku turned into a fire-breathing dragon from panting so much in the smoke screen, but he seemed to notice it, and took advantage of it.  A few times, Tsuzuku actually tilted his head back and puffed smoke up into the air, lol.  Koichi and MiA seemed alright, but Meto.......... omigawd, Meto.  It was painful to look at.  Between his thick hair and thick extensions and about 30 lbs. of make up on his face, Meto started to look like The Scream painting.  His face literally looked like it was melting off.  Every time I looked back there, I just cringed.  Meto looked like he'd been dunked in a vat of melted foundation.  Those poor sons o' bitches.  How could EDGE do that to them?!

Uuuuum, eventually MEJIBRAY left, and I honest-to-god wondered if they'd give us an encore.  We sure as hell didn't deserve one.  The audience barely called for encore, except for some girls in the back who started to throw in some annoyed growling to drown out the disinterest of the audience.  MelJay didn't think they'd come back, and agreed that we didn't deserve it.  Buuuuut the band came back, because they're troopers.  They didn't look any less sweaty, though.

Um... let's see... they played APOCALYPSE twice in a row, which was kinda funny.  And then they played that damn side-to-side song.  Ya know, the reason the side-to-side is so much more annoying with MEJIBRAY than with other bands is because the side-to-side is done on a four count, rather than an eight count the way other bands do it.  The rebound is too soon.  It's just exhausting.  The whole show, I was thinking about how lucky we were that the side-to-side wasn't happening, but... I spoke too soon.  Right there, at the very end, it finally had to happen.  I turned and gave Evan the most exasperated look I could muster before hopping away with the rest of the audience.  So we did it, and it was hot and gross, but whatever... just gotta deal with it.


Last rant... lemme have one more...  The mother-fucking saizen.  I've always hated MEJIBRAY's saizen.  Those girls sign up every time to take the front row, where they proceed to do absolutely nothing.  They barely move, barely participate, and leave us hanging when it's time for new furi.  And you know what, I could forgive all that - all that - if they would suffer through the ten-minute side-to-side stampede with us.  But they don't.  Every time the stampede starts up, the saizen girls take a step back and walk - no, I'm not kidding, they walk - back and forth a few feet with about as much enthusiasm as a funeral dirge.  The rest of us are fucking dying hopping this way and that, and those dumb bitches who consider themselves the "biggest fans" are taking a goddamn cake-walk.  No wonder Koichi practically insulted them on his blog that one time!  They are the Worst.  Saizen.  Ever.  They don't deserve those spots.  Plenty of other people in the audience would take those spots and actually use them if they could.  Like, who the hell is the saizen anyways?  Leftover Vanessa fans who don't like MEJIBRAY?!  When I saw them walking back and forth, I almost lost it.  The saizen is almost as important as the band at these shows.  They're the fucking cheerleaders!  They're supposed to bring up the crazy!  We rely on them to show us the moves with as much enthusiasm as possible!  Some of the most fun I've ever had at indies shows has been because of a rockin' saizen.  The kinds of saizens who leap away from the barrier and torpedo through the unsuspecting audience during the side-to-side, causing the most damage of anyone while laughing hysterically.  That's a saizen.  A good saizen will vault that barrier until it breaks (yes, I've seen that happen).  A good saizen will scream for the band like banshees being murdered.  A good saizen gets the audience up to their own excitement level, turning everyone into the band's "biggest fan".  MEJIBRAY's saizen is not only not a good saizen, they're fucking depressing.  And I'm sick of them.  They make me not enjoy something I paid to enjoy.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY GETS ME?!!  It's when Japanese MEJIBRAY fans on YouTube make comments like this:


For those of you who can't read Japanese, that translates to, "Goddamn foreigners all over the place.  Foreigners, stop just looking to Japan and listen to your own country's music.  You're all intruding and in the way."

WELL, FUCKING EXCUSE ME, MEJIBRAY FANS.  If you have such a fucking problem with foreigners staring at your precious MEJIBRAY, then get the fuck up there and participate!  I paid just as much money to see the band as you did, and I didn't make the band depressed like you fucking whores.  You MEJIBRAY fans are shallow little bitches and half of you are just there to stare at Tsuzuku's abs.  If not for my country, you wouldn't even have bands like MEJIBRAY right now!  So why don't you get out of the way, and stop intruding on the harmony of the world.

Fuck all of you.  I hope you choke on a tongue ring.

Anyways, our side-to-side was rewarded with a rare moment where one of the members - I think it was Koichi - went up to Meto's drum set and played facing him, and Meto accidentally broke character and gave Koichi a huge smile.  D'aaaaaaaaaaaaw.

When the show ended, the band left the stage pretty fast, without much of a second look.  We didn't deserve a second look.  Meto didn't even do his usual melodramatics.  He stumbled to the front of the stage, and then just collapsed to the floor, and that was that.  Whether he skipped the melodramatics because we all sucked, or because it was too bloody hot, I have no idea.

Curious to see if any of the members were gonna be bitchy about the show like Koichi was that one time, MelJay checked their blogs later.  Koichi just said "thanks" and then talked about something else.  MiA pretty much did the same thing, and then talked about his guitar, and his strap, and his burst blood vessel.  Tsuzuku just didn't say anything at all.  Sigh.

After the show, I quickly went to LIPHLICH's merch booth to finally buy their album SOMETHING WICKED COMES HERE.  I also made sure to apologize to Evan for the overall lameness of our audience.  But I think he had a good time nonetheless, and he bought LIPHLICH's CD too!  Honestly, having listened to the album, I gotta say, the band's awesome.  The CD is sooooo cool.  Some of the songs are so fuckin' sweet and epic and fun.  I've listened to it like ten times now, and it never gets old or any less awesome.  Seriously, if you're looking for something new and unique and interesting, give LIPHLICH a try.  You won't be disappointed!

Aaaand then we went Lotteria for food and ate our sakura doughnuts, which were amazing.  They have sakura sugar and frosting on top, with sakura cream on the inside.  I highly recommend them!

Anyways, that was my ranty-ass post!  I promise the next one will be calmer, lol.  But maybe just because MEJIBRAY won't be there.....................


  1. Gawd, MEJIBRAY fans are like the worst people I've ever encountered. Not only are they hateful and racist, they're insanely disrespectful to the band who puts their everything on display for us to enjoy. I can't count how many times I noticed poor Koichi looking miserable or just plain angry on stage because the audience was a bunch of losers. It breaks my heart that they know their fans see them as sexy hunks of meat. That can't feel good to them. It just sucks that MEJIBRAY can't even play the type of music they obviously enjoy playing because it will scare their rabid little fangirls. I find it amazing that they still manage to gather themselves up and go on stage to play to fans like that. They're such troopers T_____T

  2. Brrr I get pissed off just to read about their fans. I wanna go to a mejibray concert with you and own them all! D: geez.
    I hope it changes as their fanbase grows bigger, otherwise they won't be able to keep it up. Unless they are inhumanly strong human beings. Argh I don't want to loose Tsuzuku again. D:

    Anyway..Thank you for introducing me to liplich! O: they seem awesome. In a weird mesmerizing way. xD

  3. I was interested in Liplich before, and now I am even more! Hmm.. maybe I should add them to my concert list. I could go see them on the 30th... I want to see Moran too anyways.

    I have so many albums I want to buy too when I get to Tokyo. I can see my money trickling away...

    I can't believe those fans. I've acted more excited than that for bands I didn't even know! It's just more fun if you're dancing around and stuff.

  4. What ugly people...the fans of course.
    If you're a true fan you don't give a damn about where other fans come from. Get over yourselves, honestly.
    I really hope MEJIBRAY finds better fans like you guys. They're total troopers right now but that won't last forever :(
    Losing a good band over this bullshit would suck big time.

  5. Wow, I just listened to a few Liphlich songs and they're awesome. And those MEJIBRAY fans sound like total shit, they can do better than that! Doesn't even make sense O.o And I've been reading your blog for a long time and just wanna say thanks! I've actually learned a ton, and was hoping I could PM you and ask you a few questions about your job? Thanks!

    1. Yeah, you can PM me if you'd like! Do you have a preferred PM-ing method?

    2. I can do email, yahoo or livejournal if that works for you? I looked for one on your blog but couldn't find one lol I'm kind of blogspot incompetent. But I'm perfectly happy to create something if it would make things easier for you! And thank you again :)

    3. I don't think I have an email address listed publicly on this blog. Hmm... I should probably do that, lol. A lot of times people have personal questions, and no way to ask me personally. I'll have to fix that, lol. Anyways, I can PM your LJ if you'd like ^__^

  6. Oh my god, I'm so with you on the lame saizen. It's not just MEJIBRAY; I've seen it so many times and I can't friggin stand it. Seriously! UGHHH. Somehow, I managed to become saizen for my favorite indies band, right, (who hasn't played a show since Dec =_= But I bus to Tokyo in a heartbeat to see them) and there's only like 6 of us (maybe about 12 total counting the second row, who stand anywhere near the front at all haha)... But we rock that shit. There's so much energy in the front, and the other saizen are all so nice; leaving shows, we get thanked and it's really gratifying. I don't understand what those bitches who just stand there get out of it. No one likes you. Go away. XD;
    I sooo understand your feelings..!

    LIPHLICH is a name I've heard but never checked into, and I really think I will now. XD Just from reading the few reports of yours I have, I feel like we have reaaaally similar musical tastes, so it feels kinda worth it to check out.
    I'd like to see MEJIBRAY someday, haha, but I might start punching the backs of heads if their fans start bothering me too much. Only in Japan. ONLY in Japan do the band's biggest fans' STAND THERE AND DO NOTHING. Why...

    1. Oh wow, you do saizen for one of those small-scale bands! I used to go to a lot of those little shows, and they always had the best saizens! A few girls would have to create the energy levels of a barrier full of girls, so they would be extra crazy! I did saizen for one band one time, but it was against my will, lol. I just don't know how to say "no" XD Saizen just seems like a big responsibility to me. I'm damn good at second row, though, lol XD I'm curious, though, which band do you do saizen for? My friends and I have been talking about checking out some of those small-scale shows occasionally, but we don't know where to start. We used to have a handful of unpopular bands to pick from, but most of them are gone now, or evolved into things like, um... DIAURA, lol. The thing is, I've noticed some changes in the indies scene since I studied abroad, but I don't know if it's because the scene changed, or if it's just that the kinds of shows I go to has changed. So I'm kinda curious to go see what I somewhat-affectionately refer to as a "shit-show."

  7. Phew, I finally have the time to sit and catch up on your concert adventures today, it's been a while since I've had the time.

    I feel so bad for MEJIBRAY having such a shitty saizen, like you said, why spend your money and get up to the front for a band you're not going to show appreciation for?! Hell, if I was there, there'd be no standing still at all, no matter where I was in the audience! Poor guys.

    I've also heard of LIPHLICH before now but I hadn't really heard anything by them. Going on how much you seem to like them though I think I'll give them a go (we seem to have quite similar taste when it comes to VK), that video clip you posted of them has definitely caught my interest now!

    1. I seem to be spreading the LIPHLICH love, lol! I'm glad ^__^ They have a new single coming out, too! It's called Miss Luminosity, and I think it might have a PV :-O

  8. oh god MEJIBRAY fans are idiots x.x It's a real shame since they're FUCKING AWESOME band...
    What's the worst about them is that some of the "fan" girls even send hate messages on ameblo/mixi/GREE to foreign fans. I fucking hate them. Your reports are awesome btw ^^ Keep up the good work :)

    1. THEY DO?!! O___O Seriously?! Holy crap, is that just a couple MEJIBRAY fans picking on a particular foreign fan, or is that a widespread problem?! What the heeeeell?! What do MEJIBRAY fans have against foreign fans?! I don't understand it, because I've never encountered that kind of behavior from other fandoms in Japan. Usually the Japanese fans don't seem to care one way or another... What the HELL is wrong with those freaking MEJIBRAY fans?!!

      Glad you like my blog, btw ^__^ Thank you!

  9. I just discovered your blog by pervertedly looking for MEJIBRAY pictures.. >_> No, it served a purpose; I was just looking for a good pick to try and draw Tsuzuku someday so yeah…

    Anyways, I’m hooked to reading your blog! There are just so many interesting bands that I either know, or know little about or don’t know about at all and get to discover. ^^ Also, every time I go “Hmmm, I’ll just read the first paragraph” but then end up having to read the whole thing. You make it damn interesting (especially for someone who desperately wishes to attend these lovely lives someday since you dive into details)!

    I couldn’t contain my anger on how MEJIBRAY fans behave. I’m shocked, really. This band has been striking my fancy recently and for now I am getting a real kick out of listening to them but reading the fans reactions on this post and previous posts has me picking up my jaw from the floor. D: Breaks my heart to read about such a negative reaction. A band freaking gives their all to deliver a memorable performance and show you a good time and this is what they get in return? Seriously, how disappointing… And then they have the nerve to badmouth foreigners so unjustly. If they feel so pissy about it and have so much passion for this band (that they would go to such extremes as to result in dishing out insults) then why don’t they show their love more at lives? Makes me wanna strangle them ungrateful “fans”.

    I'm sorry that my first comment had to be a rant. XD

    1. Oho, I'd like to see this fanart ^_~

      And I'm glad you like my blog! It makes me very happy when people enjoy my writing and learn about new music, or finally get the chance to learn more in-depth details about JRock! Thanks for reading ^____^

      And please, I don't mind the rant. The MEJIBRAY fans deserve all the ranting they get. They piss me off so much. I find myself avoiding shows because I don't want to deal with them. Like, it's one thing to ignore a band you don't like, but when it's the last band playing and you're obviously a fan... to behave in such a way... it's gross. And shame on their saizen, especially. It turns away new fans, that's the worst part. And the band isn't oblivious. I don't know the details, but MiA stormed off stage at a show not too long ago and had to apologize on his blog, and the band's admitted to last month being "a bad month for MEJIBRAY." If I could, I'd glove-slap all the so-called "fans" in the face >__>

      Anyways, my rant is over, lol. Nice to see you around the blog! Feel free to comment whenever :-)

    2. I’ll be sure to show you once it is completed. ^^

      Although, if I may say, I think you deserve more followers!

      I completely agree with you; the logical thing to do is spazz and go nuts when a band you like is playing, no become an unemotional zombie. And it pains me so that MEJIBRAY has been having such a difficult time but they have their right to be frustrated about this. I do hope things start looking up for them though, they deserve better.

  10. I accidentally stumbled across your entry, but I had a MOST interesting read. Because guess what, I attended this live as well with two friends of mine!

    It's really funny reading this almost one year later from a different perspective. I remember being irritated about the non-active Mejibray fans as well!! We let some girls stand in front of us, since it was the first time for us to actually see them live, and we didn't want to ruin their experience with our height (lol) but it turned out these shitty fans didn't DO ANYTHING at all! DD:

    So instead we decided to have our own epic headbang party in the back.

    It's great remembering everything again. Even though the crowd/venue sucked, it was a live I'll never forget. (And it'll probably remain the best live of Mejibray I've ever attended since I think their recent music sucks)

    Thanks for writing this report ^^

  11. I have just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.