Note: BIG CONCERT SCHEDULE LIST AT THE END. Also, a paragraph about a DIAURA instore event.
Anyways, I've got a short one-man for the blog today. Today’s band is THE GALLO:
The name of the show was 『NEO JAPANESQUE BEAUTY OR DIRTY』. It was THE GALLO’s 3rd year anniversary concert so, to celebrate, the band made the show free. I like THE GALLO, and I also like the word “free”, so how could I resist? MelJay and I picked up a ticket for Peachy right at the counter at the Zeal Link indies shop in O1O1 One, and we picked up our own free tickets right from the venue, which is the extremely nostalgic Shinjuku RUIDO K4 (and they were having a party down there when we showed up, so it was really weird, lol). I don’t know what happened to the RUIDO venues. Those who’ve read the study abroad posts on my blog are well aware of the fact that a very large chunk of the shows I used to go to took place at the RUIDO venues (Shinjuku RUIDO K4, Shibuya RUIDO K2, and Ikebukuro RUIDO K3). But these days, the venues aren’t playing a whole lot of indies visual-kei, so I haven’t had a reason to go. The new venue, Shibuya REX, is actually owned by RUIDO and is considered a part of the RUIDO cluster, so it seems the kinds of shows I used to see at the K# venues have all been shoved over to REX instead.
Anyways, enough about venues. Um… So my friends and I kinda had a weird start to the day. While MelJay and I were heading out, Peachy was at a DIAURA instore event at Jishuban Club. During a time period when DIAURA was doing a lot of promotion, Peachy and MelJay and I each bought a release from a different store so we’d have different comment DVDs and photos and stuff like that. But Peachy’s included a Saturday instore event (ours included events on days we couldn’t go), so she had to go herself, although she wound up being joined by lovetoday, one of my blog readers. So we all met up at Ducky Duck for pasta and cake, and talked about the instore event. I guess yo-ka “sponsored” this one and, being yo-ka, forced his band mates to sing and embarrass themselves in front of everyone, just like that Christmas show I went to. Damnit, yo-ka. You’re a sadistic bastard. I guess, unlike the Christmas show, Shoya pretty much refused to sing if yo-ka didn’t sing along with him, but I guess yo-ka was nice for once and agreed to it. I guess fans also asked really awkward questions at the Q&A, such as, “what’s your mother like?” Aaaaawkwaaaard. Think, people! What if they never even knew their mothers or something?! What a dumb question. Although I guess yo-ka thinks his mother is exactly like him, except female. Man, she must be fucking Medusa, then.
Okay, anyways, I’m getting major off-topic here. So blah blah blah seafood pasta and raspberry cake at Ducky Duck, and we talked way too much and almost made lovetoday late to an event show at another venue (hey, tell me how LIPHLICH was!!!). Still with empty time on our hands, we went shopping at Closet Child and stopped off in a café briefly before making our way to Ruido K4.
It’s a small venue, so we only had about two-hundred people in attendance, if even that. In fact, due to the show being free, the small amount of people, and the generally casual atmosphere that envelopes THE GALLO, the venue didn’t even seem to be checking ticket numbers. Everyone just sorta lined up, and the staff guy let everyone in in large clumps without even checking the tickets. I mean, whatever, I guess. My number wasn’t particularly good anyways, lol.
Inside, it was like a nostalgia-plosion. I haven’t been to K4 in years now. I was like, “ooh, there’s that window I stood behind the first time I saw Elm, and there’s that door I sat behind the first time I saw Velbet, and there’s that funny sign that they used to write the order of the bands on, back when venues actually did us that small courtesy…” I forgot how K4 has metal ram heads all over the left wall, lol. It also has raised flooring on the sides of the venue, so a lot of people were standing on those. We took a spot sorta in the middle, on Hikaru’s side. I also happened to have tall shoes on for once in my life, and it made me feel kinda bad, and made me think jumping might be tedious, so I just flat-out kicked ‘em off and did the show in socks. I wasn’t the only one, though. I saw a lot of people around me with only socks, and some of them were wearing slippers (not uncommon at indies shows).
The band started about twenty minutes late, for some reason. During that time, what was very obviously a band joined the back of the crowd, which caused a lot of whispering and staring from the audience. I couldn’t figure out who they were, though. There was a blond, and a guy with one red streak through his hair, and another guy too… I dunno, they could’ve been anyone.
Anyways, setlist… Oh man, I don’t wanna do this… Andy posted the setlist, but he only took a picture of it, so I’m gonna have to hand-draw all the kanji I don’t know into a dictionary to Romanize it. Ugh, what an effort, but I feel obligated when there’s an available setlist. Alright, here goes…
3. Yokohama Akasenchitai Renzoku Ryouki Satsujinjiken
5. Danshou Ballerina
6. Akai Piano-sen
7. Maou -Doukoku-
8. Kurokakeron -Hakaihen-
10. Dai Nihon Kurokake Shugisha Renmei Koushinkyoku Hotanchou
11. Tokyo Cinderella
ALICE IN DEAD END
Note: Gyaro titles are very difficult with lots of kanji. If anyone ever has any questions about which songs are which, what the original kanji is, what the titles mean, etc. etc., feel free to ask. Some of them are awesome. For example, Danshou Ballerina means "a male prostitute ballerina."
So as you can see, it’s a fairly short setlist. The show only ran for an hour and a half. But THE GALLO packed a lot into that time.
So, as usual, the band came on stage to Liberi Fatali. They got particularly excited screams for once, since this was their own show, and an anniversary at that. People were screaming the members' names like crazy. Of course, it cracks me up when Jojo comes on stage, cuz people scream like, “Jojojojojojojojojojo!” lol. Although, it always makes me think of Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls, lol.
Um, shit. This is that same wall I always reach when I write up one-man reports, where I suddenly become dazed and confused in a sea of random, loosely-connected memories. So, um…
RANDOM LOOSELY-CONNECTED TIDBITS, HIGHLIGHTS, AND STORIES IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
The band seemed to be in a particularly good mood. They were very smiley and hyperactive. Jojo had a devilish smirk plastered to his face a lot, and Hikaru was constantly up near the front of the stage, sticking his tongue out and being creepy. Even Andy, who often strikes me as very serious, was smiling occasionally. Lulu, who’s kinda frail-looking, was actually headbanging more than anyone, which was pretty awesome. He and Hikaru played switchies a lot, so I got to enjoy Lulu plenty, even though I wasn’t on his side. And Kaede was awesome as usual, and definitely smiling more than I’ve ever seen him smile. I guess making it to three years is pretty good, so it make sense that a three-year anniversary concert would make them pretty happy. I mean, I kinda thought it would be awkward with Lulu, since he’s leaving the band next month after having been in the band for all three years, but he seemed happier than ever, and the audience cheered him on without judgment. I guess no one’s mad at him, which is good. After all, we can’t know what’s going on in his life that made him decide he had to leave a band he obviously really enjoys.
THE GALLO stuck to mostly fast-paced songs at first, so there was a lot of jumping. Sometimes the band even jumped along with us (especially Hikaru). I’m always kinda impressed, cuz I see the band playing fairly difficult music and still rocking out all over the place without messing up. The one that always blows my mind is Kaede, who often plays drums while simultaneously doing backup singing. It looks freakin’ hard, but he never screws anything up, and he’s even smiling while doing it. Gyaro are mad multitaskers.
Ah, what else, what else… Um, when Jojo did his ventriloquism MC (I think it was the second MC), he didn’t talk about it being the band’s 3rd anniversary. Instead, he talked about it being Vivi-chan’s third birthday. He brought out the doll and told us that, on this special birthday occasion, we all had to address her as Vivi-sama instead of Vivi-chan (putting –chan on the end of a name lowers its status and makes it childish, while –sama raises the name to an exalted, lord-like level. It’s not often used, other than extreme situations. It’s like changing the doll’s name from Little Vivi to Lord Vivi, lol). Then he made us all sing Happy Birthday to Vivi-sama, while Jojo sang along with us in the most obnoxious voice he could come up with. He sounded like some kind of growly thug, lol. After that, he initiated a ventriloquism conversation with the doll. What followed was pretty damn funny. I can’t quote or translate anything exactly, cuz I don’t remember very well, but it kinda went like this:
Jojo: Vivi-sama, what would you like for your birthday?
Vivi: A better life and a good man.
[Audience cracks up]
Jojo: Oh, is there any particular man you have in mind?
Vivi: Certainly not you.
[Audience goes into hysterics, girl behind me is practically crying]
There was more to it than that, but that’s the gist of the conversation. It was really funny. And Jojo’s so good at the ventriloquism, it’s like you forget he’s technically talking to (and insulting) himself. As usual, I looked around for some sign that someone else was doing the voice, but there was nothing. The only one near a mic was Kaede, and he was laughing his ass off and obviously not talking. At one point, Jojo was such a ham about his ventriloquism, not only did he pull the microphone away from his face while Vivi was talking, he actually looped the microphone chord all the way around his head before bringing it back to his face, yet the volume of the voice didn’t change, and his lips didn’t move. What a show off, lol. I don’t know how the fuck he’s doing it. Jojo… you are very special.
Um, they played some slower songs, which we don’t usually get to hear at event shows. One of them is pretty screamy, which you wouldn’t really expect as much from Jojo as you would from other vocalists, but he does a damn good job. They also played some of the new songs that I heard for the first time at the Shibuya REX show. Apparently, making us do the wave is not a one-time incident. Jojo wants that every time that song happens. Although you’d think the Gyaro fans would be ready for it since they’ve probably had more chances to see the song live than I have, we still completely botched the wave on the first run, and Jojo looked like, “psh, you idiots.” The second time around, however, the wave went much better, and Jojo seemed a bit more satisfied. He also does this thing where he runs back and forth across the front of the stage hailing us over and over, and we’re supposed to salute him in a wave. The first time, the audience seemed to forget, but the second round of saluting went much smoother. Sorry, Jojo, we’re too dumb to figure this shit out, lol. In fact, during the song where we’re supposed to run in place, the girl next to me didn’t realize until the end of the song that we’re supposed to run, not just hop up and down. C’mon, Gyaro fans, get your shit together!
Um, let’s see… They did one of those things that’s kinda like a repeater song, where they repeat this line of music, and every time they pause, the audience is supposed to yell out the name of a certain band member in an obnoxiously squeaky voice. I’ve seen other bands do it occasionally, but with Gyaro it’s just hilarious because of their freakin’ names. I mean, seriously, it’s like, “music music music music… ANDYYYYY!!! Music music music music… ANDYYYYY!!!” Still, it’s nice when all the members of a band are popular and acknowledged, not just the vocalist.
They also did an MC where all the members got to talk. Kaede gave a nice, thoughtful, reflective MC. In contrast to that, Andy was like, “Um… hi, I’m Andy. Um… you guys look like you’re having fun, so, um… I’m having fun too. Um… that’s all…” Then he giggled nervously. When it was Lulu’s turn to talk, he couldn’t get a word out because the audience wouldn’t stop screaming his name. So not only is the audience not mad at him for leaving, they’re treating him like freaking royalty. The thing is, Lulu’s really freaking adorable. I know I, for one, have a hard time being mad at him. It’s like trying to stay mad at a fluffy puppy. Anyways, once the audience had stopped repeatedly calling Lulu’s name, he had his turn to speak. He didn’t really say anything about leaving, though. I guess it’s kind of an awkward topic when you’re celebrating your band’s 3rd anniversary. When it was Hikaru’s turn to speak, however, he kinda just made noise, instead of actually saying anything. There was a lot of, like… “whoa!” coming out of him, and other peculiar sounds that were only just sort of words. It kinda sounded like he was meowing for awhile. I don’t really understand Hikaru, lol.
Oh, but later on, he actually successfully managed a wall jump. Remember how I mentioned last time that Hikaru attempted to run at the wall, jump, kick off of it, and land? And that he failed and fell right on his back? Well, this time he actually landed it. So I guess he’s officially a video game character. Given that tongue of his, I’d say he’s a Yoshi, lol.
What else, what else… Why do one-man shows give me such a bad case of brain freeze?!
Ah, well, it wasn’t a particularly long show, so there’s probably not much else to say about the show itself. The encore was ALICE IN DEAD end. Before the song, Jojo was walking around with a chocolate bar, making jokes about it and melting it in his hand. As expected, during the song, the chocolate wound up on his face. I’ve seen the band, like… five times now, and I still don’t understand this chocolate thing, lol.
When the show ended, a line that was pretty much the entire audience formed for merch. Not wanting to deal with that right away, my friends and I just kinda sat around, waiting for the crowds to disperse. During that time, we wound up in a conversation with the extremely friendly older woman that I mentioned at the Kisaki birthday show. She’s the one who turned around and started being all like “whoa!” at how many coins I collected from Kaiki!! Doubutsu Agitator. MelJay asked her a question about merchandise, and the two of them started talking. Listening in, I realized the old lady didn’t realize she’d spoken to us before, so I suddenly butted in and was like, “hey, do you remember us?! From Kisaki-san’s birthday event!” Realization suddenly dawned on her and she was like, “ooooooh! You guys!” Then we got into a big conversation about what bands we like, and when we can go (sounds like she can only make weekend shows too, but there’s been an increase in them, so she’s happy). When we told her we like bands like Signal and BORN, she was like, “hageshii bando ga suki desu ne!” (“you guys like hard-core bands, don’t you!”). I just nodded and smiled, but in my head I was like, “no shit” lol. We often see her at DIAURA shows, and she definitely mentioned thinking yo-ka’s hot. L. O. L. I also made a joke about how I studied abroad during the “era of Valluna” and that made her laugh.
Later, as we got into the still impossibly-long merch line, we realized the entire band was at the booth, selling stuff. Crap. That’s the third time I’ve had to buy my merch directly from THE GALLO, and it’s always awkward. While in line, MelJay wound up asking another girl a question, and we got into a conversation with her that went on for quite awhile. We got on a first-name basis with her, but we’ll just call her S-san for now. Anyways, we talked about all kinds of stuff with S-san, and eventually we just started goofing off. The farther up the line we got, the more ridiculous we started acting. I mean, it was so boring in line, and we had nothing better to do. Suddenly, we were karate-chopping each other, shooting fake lasers at each other, making each other jump for a high-five, and generally making S-san think we were insane, lol. At least she found us funny. And it was good Japanese practice.
MelJay said she was nervous about having to talk to the band, and S-san thought that was very cute. Just as I was rolling my eyes at MelJay being nervous about meeting THE GALLO for, like, the third time, I was suddenly face-to-face with Jojo’s back. I almost hit the ceiling in surprise, lol. I wouldn’t say it was about being nervous, just that I didn’t expect a Jojo in my face alluva sudden! Peachy was in front of me, but she moved aside really quickly, so I wasn’t ready. I kinda sidled up beside her with the hope that THE GALLO would be less awkward talking to a couple of foreigners than trying to deal with them one at a time. Jojo, with chocolate still smeared all over his face, started being all like, “yo!” at us, and Peachy quickly said we could speak Japanese. While Hikaru stood there grinning at us like a psychopath, Jojo was like, “so, is this your first time?” I’m pretty sure he was talking to Peachy, who only saw Gyaro once before this. Still, without thinking, I was like, “I don’t think… it’s her first time…?” Jojo was all like, “oooh, I see,” and then I felt really bad for contradicting him. He asked what we were interested in buying, and I said I wanted the new single. While Hikaru was dealing with Peachy, Jojo fished out a copy of the new single for me, all while saying really weird shit like, “yeah, yeah, yo.” Yyyyyyeah, that’s how we talk, lol. Hikaru started mimicking him. Then Jojo told me how much money it is, and tried to hand me the CD with his right hand, and an envelope with his left, all while I was trying to hand him the money. We both stared down at our hands, neither of which could give nor receive items simultaneously. There was a moment of confusion, and then I gave Jojo a look like, “You can’t be serious… We went through this last time…” Jojo was like, “ah, sorry,” and put down the CD while I handed him the money. Then he gave me my CD and the mysterious envelope. After thanking Jojo and Hikaru and moving down the table, I passed Kaede and Lulu and gave them a smile and an otsukaresama-desu (“good job today”). They nodded and smiled back. They were selling stuff like towels and chekki, and I didn’t need any of that. At the end of the line was Andy and – MOTHER OF GOD, RUN AWAY! I noticed this while waiting in line, but it became even more apparent when I was right in front of him. Andy’s freakin’ huge! Like, tall, and muscular, with a body build that says, “If I squeeze you tightly, your head will pop off like a cork.” I dunno how I never noticed it on stage before. I gave him an “otsukaresama desu” and then squeaked past him. With those ice-blue contacts he likes to wear, he looks like some kind of frost-beast. Man, I hope he’s a nice person in real life, cuz I wouldn’t want to get on the bad side of someone that big. For some reason, MelJay decided she wanted a handshake from Andy. She said her hand was completely enveloped, and she couldn’t believe how big his hands were. Um, yeah… I’m not surprised, lol.
After all that stupidity was over, we waited for S-san to say goodbye. During that time, I opened my envelope. Huzzah, it was a picture, signed by all the band members!
|Sorry, I was lazy and took the picture with my shitty phone camera, lol. And I'm thumbing Jojo's crotch.|
Once S-san caught up with us, we thanked her for talking to us, and tried to figure out when we’d both be at a Gyaro show again. Unfortunately, it looks like it might be awhile. Hopefully she’ll remember us next time! And hopefully the older lady will remember us next time we go see DIAURA! I’m glad the fans are finally starting to warm up to us. I’ve never experienced any particular problems with the other indies fans because of my race, but there’s always a wall there that’s difficult to get past. Many of them are very friendly when it comes to apologizing for stepping on us, or knocking us around when everyone’s slam-dancing, but they don’t usually go out of their way to really talk to us (with the exception of BORN fans, who are just really nice for some reason). So it’s great that the girls are starting to warm up to us. I mean, we’re not going anywhere, so we might as well all get along!
Anyways, when the show was over, we did our usual run at Saizeriya, and called it a day. Sorry this post was kinda all over the place. I suck at one-man reports, which is a problem, because almost all of my upcoming shows are one-man shows. Here’s my upcoming schedule (I’ll post this again later when I have more shows solidified). If a show is listed here, it means I already have tickets to it (meaning this is not a tentative schedule):
5/13: BORN One-Man, 『bug screamo” CRAZY” section. 2』
(Note: Part of a series of themed shows, the show is specifically called DEAD THEORY MARKET and it’s loosely themed after three three mini-albums: BLACK DEAD MUZIC, BLACK THEORY MANIA, AND BLACK BORN MARKET)
5/19: Awoi One-Man
(Note: tour final)
5/20: BORN One-Man, 『bug screamo” CRAZY” section. 3』
(Note: Specifically called –Agitate to the DOGMANISM–, this show is loosely themed after BORN’s DOGMA mini-album. And yes, this is happening the day after the Awoi show)
5/26: Indies event. Bands of interest: Signal, TRIGGAH, ALSDEAD, DEZERT
6/2: THE GALLO One-Man, 『NEO JAPANESQUE BEAUTY AND DESTROY』
6/7: Signal One-Man, Night of Judgment
Shinjuku Ruido K4
(Note: This is the band’s first one-man, and also on a Thursday)
6/9: DIAURA One-Man, 「Reason for Treason」
6/23: UnsraW One-Man, Gate of Birth
(Note: This is UnsraW’s last show ever. I know I haven’t made an official announcement about this yet, but I am going to this show, and I do have tickets for it. I’ll make a post about it later. Also, whether or not I’m going to the 6/22 show is undecided)
8/12: BORN One-Man
(Note: This show’s a huge deal. It’s the tour final for BORN’s first one-man tour ever. It’s at a huge venue, and also on my birthday. I got these tickets through lottery, so… happy birthday to me, I guess, lol)
8/28: DIAURA One-Man, 「Judgement Day」
Anyways, as you can see, that’s ten shows, and only one of them isn’t a one-man. So be prepared for a lot of that on this blog! I’ll try to get better at writing one-mans so this blog doesn’t go to hell, and I’ll try to find more event shows to go to too! See you next time!