Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Indies, 4/29, Takadanobaba AREA

Today’s post is about the first concert I’ve been to in three weeks.  What the eff is up with that?!  I guess it’s been a bit of a dry spell.  But the weird thing about going to a lot of shows is that, no matter how long it’s been since your last one, the moment you get back in line at a familiar venue, it feels like no time has passed at all.  It’s really weird.

Sooo… let’s see…  Started the day in Shinjuku’s Lumine department store.  We went to Wolfgang Puck’s for lunch.  I tried their new clam chowder pasta.  It was really good (and surprisingly cheap).  Peachy had a craving for ice cream after that, so we left Lumine and went to Baskin Robbin’s.  Unfortunately, there was a line of at least fifty people snaking around inside the shop, and the line was starting to go out the door.  Damn, Japan… the moment it gets even a little bit warm, you guys are all up in that ice cream.  We weren’t in the mood to deal with such a long line, so we went to Mister Donuts instead.  They still have sakura doughnuts right now.  Score!

Uuuuum… after that, I think we finally went off to Takadanobaba.  We chilled in a café for awhile, watching stray cats and having staring contests with the weird guys sitting in the sukiyaki restaurant next door.  To the man with the hideous bowl haircut: a purple sweatshirt, yellow pants, and a bike with purple wheels, purple handles, and a green frame might be a little excessive.  Also, sakura white chocolate lattes are awesome.

Finally, we made our way to AREA.  It was definitely a “long time, no see” feeling.  There were a lot of people standing around outside, but everyone seemed kinda bleagh.  The usual chatter seemed almost nonexistent.  What gives, indies fans?  Tired?  Feeling dead inside before Golden Week?  I feel ya.  Oh, yeah, I should add that this show was on a Sunday.  I know I usually don’t do Sunday shows, and I especially never do Sunday event shows, but Golden Week handed me a day off on Monday.  It’s also handing me a Thursday and a Friday, so whoooooo four day weekend!  Obviously, I’ll be in Tokyo for all that.

Also, as we moved from the back line to the line on the hill, my friends and I couldn’t help but admire that wonderful spot on the hill where Ryouga from BORN fell off his bike and wiped out like a boss in BORN’S Stupid Life video.  Seriously, look that shit up on YouTube, it’s freaking hilarious.

After I handed my ticket to the lady at the counter and told her I was at the show for DIAURA, I overheard the transaction she had with the tall, goth-looking guy behind me.  I really thought a guy like that would say he was at the show for –OZ–, but instead he said he came for DIAURA.  I had to stop myself from laughing, lol.

Once we got inside the venue, it felt a bit tight, but still very unenthusiastic.  Everyone needs to WAKE UP.  I kinda wanted to blow an airhorn in there or something.

Anyways, our first band up is ZUCK:

Boy did they ZUCK.  Naaah, I’m just kidding.  Actually, for an oshare-ish band, they weren’t that bad.  I was concerned about them before the show because I picked up a CD of theirs in a store and their picture made me taste the rainbow.  But actually, they were simultaneously exactly what I was expecting, and not what I was expecting at all.  Their first song was obviously meant to be a dance song.  The strangely serious vocalist (don't let the picture fool you) didn’t do a whole lot of singing, since most of the vocals were just pre-recorded autotune about “dancing” and stuff.  But, like… the band intended for a dance song, and that’s exactly what it was, and it served its purpose.  I jokingly danced around just for the hell of it a few times, but I suppose if I was an actual ZUCK fan, the urge to dance would be pretty overwhelming.  The rest of their songs weren’t quite as dance-y, and the vocalist finally got to do some singing, but the band continued to strike a balance between music to goof off to, and music that’s srs bzns.  The ZUCK fans seemed to be having a good time, and the band was enjoying itself, and the vocalist danced around a lot, despite having a lot of tattoos and a complete inability to smile (seriously, what did they have to do to make him smile for that photo?!  Was there a naked super model behind the camera?!).  Somehow, it all just kinda worked.  The music wasn’t my cup of tea, but if you’re into that kinda thing, ZUCK’s definitely not bad.

The next band up is –OZ–:

Boy, we haven’t run across –OZ– in awhile.  I’ve been quite pleased with them lately.  I’ve been trying to learn more songs in preparation for seeing them live, and I think I was fairly prepared for once.  The band came onstage to their Birthday intro from ROUGE.  That’s a badass intro.  I was like, “damn, I’m so ready for dis shit.  Too bad we’re kinda far back.”  Not long after I thought that, a Japanese girl was suddenly standing in front of me, grinning ear-to-ear and ushering me forward.  I must’ve looked confused by her suddenly trying to drag me in front, because she was like, “you’re an –OZ– fan, right?”  I was like, “uh… yeah…!”  Her and her friends not only gave my friends and I their spots, they practically handed us the second row behind the second barrier in front of them.  I couldn’t believe it.  I often feel a lot of resentment towards the indies fans at these shows because so many of them are entitled, competitive, spoiled brats.  But the ones who are nice are always so unbelievably nice.  I often have to remind myself that, for all the crappy experiences I’ve had with indies fans (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, MEJIBRAY FANS), I’ve also encountered a lot of incredibly kind people.  While some people (translation: MEJIBRAY fans) tend to act coldly or even rudely towards foreign fans that follow Foreigner Magnet Bands (like –OZ–), some indies fans actually embrace the foreign fans and allow them to join in as equal members of the crowd (something I’ve noticed with BORN fans).  So thank you, awesome girls during –OZ–, for reminding me that many of you are still good people.

Anyways, back to the band.  Now that I was second row behind the second barrier (which is a raised platform), I had a damn good view of –OZ–.  They seemed to be in a really good mood.  Like BORN, they were in a temporary funk, but now it seems to have lifted, and I couldn’t be happier.  They all seemed really happy and into it, and Natsuki seemed excited enough for me to give him an NCS (Natsuki Coherency Scale) rating of 9/10 at first.

The first song –OZ– played was their new song, STIGMA.  That song’s pretty awesome.  I guess my friends and I looked like we were having a really good time, because the girls who gave us their spots were making comments like, “aaah, that looks like fun!”  Well, it was.  –OZ–’s music is actually pretty intense, so you can really rock out to it.  It’d been such a long time since I’d headbanged and stuff, and I just wanted to jump around and shit.  Natsuki was screaming like crazy and rocking out with us, until the end of the song when he suddenly froze, rested his arm on top of the mic stand, and stared blankly at the audience for at least thirty seconds without blinking.  He was a literal interpretation of the Japanese sound effect jiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.

Goddamnit, Natsuki.  Okay, I had to adjust the scale after that.  Although that moment was the only time Natsuki hit the power down button for the entire show, I had to lower the Natsuki Coherency Scale down to a 7.5.  Sorry, man.  My friends and I have started making a “hand resting on top of mic stand” gesture as our new symbol for “duuuuuuuur.”  It’s actually a very useful gesture. 

I didn’t recognize the second song –OZ– played (I’m a n00b), but it was also really intense and awesome.  Now I have to try and find it, which really sucks when a band has about seven years worth of music.  The third song was Blast, one of the “extra” songs off the STIGMA release.  I absolutely love that song, but I honestly never expected to hear it live at an event show.  The second I realized what it was, I was like, “no waaaay.”  So, –OZ– fans, have any of you ever noticed that Natsuki’s singing in Blast makes him sound like M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold?  I was kinda curious if Natsuki would sing that way live, but he didn’t.  He just sounded like Natsuki, lol.  And the weird voice he uses during the “FEEL MY STRIKE!” part is pre-recorded, but that makes sense cuz he has to scream over it.  Actually, I never expected this, but the “FEEL MY STRIKE” part of the song turned out to be side-to-side jumping.  Alluva sudden, the girl to Peachy’s left was violently hopping us to the right, so I was like, “ah, shit, shit, okay, I’m going, crap, I’m going.”  Just to be funny, as I was hopping into MelJay, I karate-chopped her on the shoulder when the song went, “FEEL MY STRIKE” lol.

Aaaah, what was the fourth song…?  I can’t remember.  They ended with Reverse, though, which is pretty much the best possible song to end a performance with in the history of songs.  Every band should end with that song, even if they aren’t –OZ–, hahaha.  That song makes me want to break some shiiiiiit.  If you haven't heard this song yet, you should:

By that point, Natsuki was sweating all over the damn place, but he wouldn’t take off his fucking coat.  Any time the lights went dark, he would pull the coat down off his shoulders to air out, then pull it right back on the second the lights went up.  The hell is that?!  Is he embarrassed about something?!  I wish I could seriously enforce a rule on all indies vocalists: the moment your body temperature reaches Dante’s fourth level of Hell, you have to take off your fucking coat.  One of these days, someone’s gonna heat-stroke right on the floor and traumatize all of us.

Okay, I think that’s about all I have to say about –OZ–. 

The next band up is one I’d never heard of, Nil admirari:

 Um………  wow.  This band reached a level of boring and generic that I haven’t run across in a damn long time.  It was like they didn’t even want to be there or something.  I started calling the vocalist Lieutenant LimpWrist because he kept doing the furi with so little enthusiasm that it seemed like he didn’t have any active joints in his arms or fingers.  His band mates were in a permanent state of jiiiiiiiiiiiiiii (I turned to my friends and quickly rested my arm on an invisible mic stand), and the vocalist was practically propped up on puppet strings.  The music was also extremely boring.  They had this one song that sounded unbelievably fluffy and sappy.  Remembering a story my dad recently told me about a neighborhood dog, I turned to Peachy and whispered, “I dedicate the following song to my dog, Sparkles.”  For some reason, this put Peachy into a fit of laughing hysteria that pretty much lasted for the rest of Nil admirari.  I have no idea why that comment was so funny, but I think I seriously killed Peachy, lol.  Also, the vocalist kept trying to sing in a really high falsetto.  He hit the notes just fine, but the way he was singing made me think exclusively of The Darkness, and it was making me laugh uncontrollably.  Every time the vocalist hit those notes, all I could hear in my head was, “Touching yooooooou!  Touching meeeeeeeee!”  And just as I was thinking, “well, at least Nil admirari is the last of the bands I don't really care about tonight,” I suddenly remembered there was one more. 


The next band up is Ouran High School Host Club.  Er, wait, sorry, I mean L&DS.     

I think this is the third time I’ve seen these guys.  They’re…… too peppy for me, personally, although they’re good at whatever they’re trying to be (which might actually be Ouran High School Host Club).  I mean, after Nil admirari, things could only improve, but the contrast was rather extreme.  While Nil admirari seemed borderline unconscious, L&DS looked like they wanted to partay.  The vocalist is a spaz who can’t seem to stop dancing, and the bassist with the glasses smiles so much that I think you could poke him in the cheek and his face would shatter.  But at least they’re into it.  I mean, you can’t expect an audience to care about what a band’s doing on stage if the band itself doesn’t care.  So L&DS is good at being exactly what they’re supposed to be: a colorful, hyperactive, super happy fun time band, except they’re at least good musicians and have good stage presence.  So, like ZUCK, I’ll never like it, but I can at least respect it onstage.

Our next band up is Lycaon:

Except for Satoshi, they’ve all changed their hair!  I was like, “bwuh?!”  I can’t remember what they all did with it very well, but I remember Hiyuu’s previously Super Saiyan hair was darker and almost completely flat, and Rito had done something to his hair, although it’s slipped my mind now.  Yuuki’s hair was the most startling.  He always had super light blond hair when I studied abroad, and he’s had blindingly bright orange hair since I returned to Japan.  Now, suddenly, he has hair so dark it’s almost black.  Like a very dark, burnt-toast brown.  And it was also very flat.  I couldn’t believe it!  I mean, it doesn’t look bad or anything, it was just a huge change from what I’m used to.

Uuummm… they played their usual five songs.  When they announced they were playing Aventure, the audience gasped in delight, and I’m still baffled as to why.  I’ve never seen Lycaon not play that song.  Things went on almost exactly the same as it always does, up until Yuuki had to MC.  For whatever reason, he absolutely could not catch his breath.  I’m not exaggerating when I say he was reduced to only one word between gasps.  Trying to detract attention from the situation, Yuuki tried to make his gasping sound seductive, and kept pulling his pants down so low, I was starting to wonder if the support drummer was getting mooned.  At that point, the entire audience was cracking up.  Some people were giggling in embarrassment as Yuuki’s pants spiraled lower and lower down his hips, while others were laughing hysterically at Yuuki’s inability to breathe.  The girls around me kept going, “aw, tsukareta!” (“aw, he’s tired!”).  I’m not entirely sure that’s true.  Allow me to quote my own blog.  This is from the first entry I ever wrote about Lycaon, dated all the way back to February of 2010 (so, like... 2 1/2 years ago... holy shit...).  At the time, I wrote: "Yuuki...choked his MC. I mean... literally choked. The song ended, and he was so out of breath that he lost his voice and couldn't get a word out... He strangled a few words before gasping and wheezing the word "gomenasai!" ("sorry!") at us."  Isn’t it odd that this kind of thing has happened before?  The only conclusion I can reach is that Yuuki has something like asthma.  Which is really more sad than funny, although the audience laughed anyways.

Luckily, Yuuki has a pretty good sense of humor about what might be an unfortunate case of asthma (probably one of the worst things that can happen to a vocalist).  Not only did he make the whole thing sound as seductive as possible by making it sound like he’d just finished a carnival ride in bed (if you know what I mean), but his MC was pretty funny.  He started rambling about really strange stuff.  He was like, “Have… you…  guys… heard… about… Mets… Cola…?  I… want… to drink… cola…  It looks… so… good…  Mets… Cola…”  Satoshi was cracking up.  He probably should’ve grabbed the mic and taken over so Yuuki could catch his breath, but I suppose it would’ve looked more worrisome if Yuuki had given up on his MC.  So instead, Satoshi just laughed at Yuuki while he gasped on and on about Mets Cola.  I really hope someone gave that poor fucker a goddamn cola after the show.

Anyways, after Yuuki wasted several minutes wheezing about cola so he’d have time to re-oxygenate, the band went right back to music, and Yuuki seemed fine.  In fact, he suddenly pulled a fedora out of nowhere as if by magic and spent the rest of the show wearing a pimp hat.  Where the hell did the pimp hat come from?!

When the performance was over and the band was gone, Satoshi suddenly grabbed the mic near stage left and, 100% in English, yelled, “Yeah baby!  Yeah baby!  Thank you!  We go to Osaka right now!  Yeah!”  And that was the last we saw of him.  Um… wow.  Have fun in Osaka right the fuck now, Satoshi.  

The next band up is DIAURA:

Apparently, DIAURA got jealous of Lycaon’s change in hair, because they decided to surprise us too.  First of all, remember how the last time I blogged about DIAURA, I said they changed costumes?  Even though they’d only worn their “Hell Feather” costumes for a brief time, they switched to these sparkly, ruffle-y costumes (which involved poor Yuu wearing something that was essentially a dress).  Well, I guess the band didn’t like the costumes very much, because they’re already back in the Hell Feather costumes (the ones in the picture).  However, Shoya was wearing the sparkly top from the Sparkle costume, but everything else was from Hell Feather.  And yo-ka was completely wearing the Hell Feather costume, except he was wearing the black pants with the sparkly leopard spots  from his Sparkle costume.  So I guess they’re just picking and choosing pieces for their costumes now.

But the hair was the surprising part.  Let’s see…  Well, Kei cut his hair for sure, and it was styled different.  And Shoya’s hair was a darker brown than I remember.  Yuu has a huge patch of solid white hair on each side of his head now (probably extensions), and yo-ka… yo-ka really went to town.  I followed Valluna for a year and only ever saw yo-ka with shock blond or lemon-yellow hair, and a brief bout of silver.  Then I followed DIAURA for a year and only ever saw yo-ka with shock blond, lemon-yellow, or silver-and-black-combo hair.  Those were the only acceptable colors on him.  But at this show, yo-ka came on stage with – are you ready?

Orange hair.   

It’s a dark, burnt orange, with a very red tinge.  It has black underneath, too.  It’s cut shorter, as well, and styled to frame his face, instead of stick up.  The style is more “flat” than usual.  I guess what really surprised me is that yo-ka’s hair, well… basically looks like Yuuki’s old hair now.  Like he was waiting for Yuuki to change his hair so yo-ka could claim it.  Well, I think it looks pretty good, once I got over the initial surprise.  It has a definite Halloween look to it, since yo-ka combined it with red-black lipstick, crazy uneven eyes, and red make-up to look like he was crying blood.  Here's a picture of the new hair color:

A nose, a nose, my kingdom for a nose...
 Anyways, the band opened with their new GENESIS intro and then went straight into TERRORS.  I haven’t actually seen DIAURA since GENESIS came out last month, but I’ve certainly seen TERRORS a ton of times.  It’s still a lot of fun, although I was kinda hoping to see DEAR RULER instead.  But DIAURA managed to get TERRORS onto some karaoke systems, so I guess they have to promote it.  After TERRORS, they played a new song that I don’t think any of us knew.  Yo-ka says it’s called “Naraku to Ame”, which means “Hell and Rain” or “Abyss and Rain” or “That Creepy Villain from Inuyasha and Rain” depending on how you want to translate “naraku”.  Anyways, that song was a lot of fun.  It seemed like it was on the “hardcore” side of things.  There was a lot of screaming from yo-ka, and we did a lot of side-to-side.  Unfortunately, there were a bunch of SCREW spot-savers up there who were so unbelievably stupid, some of them actually left their purses and shit right there on the floor.  So of course their shit got trampled, and they got moshed around, and the SCREW fans looked super pissed off (this wasn’t just one or two, this was at least ten different spot-savers I saw get all pissed off at the DIAURA fans like a bunch of whiney bitches).  Damnit, SCREW fans, that was DIAURA’s time!  Participate or gtfo!  Anyways, yeah, the new song was a lot of fun, although everyone was taking yo-ka’s furi explanations a little too literally.  A lot of times, yo-ka would run through the furi a couple times and then go do something else, the expectation obviously being that we’d continue the move until that part of the song was over (cuz that’s just how furi works).  But everyone would get all hesitant and stop doing it when yo-ka did, which meant there were a lot of times that we all just stood there going jiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.  Sigh.  I’m surprised yo-ka didn’t get really frustrated with us, but I suppose it was the first time, so he was uncharacteristically forgiving.

After Naraku to Ame, yo-ka announced they were playing Kinshiroku (the “caution, a virus has been detected” song).  I was so surprised both by the fact that they played Kinshiroku and the fact that I’d actually Romanized the name of the song correctly when I translated it, that I blurted out “oh!” really loudly in the silence.  I gotta stop doing that…  Anyways, I really, really like Kinshiroku.  It’s one of those songs that I bet a lot of people overlook on the CD, even though I think it’s actually one of the best ones.  In fact, right before the show, I made a comment to my friends about how I wanted the band to play Kinshiroku, but didn't think it was the kind of song they'd play at an event, where their setlists are so limited.  Make a liar out of me, DIAURA, damn you.  Like last time, yo-ka led us through the furi, which is rather specific, but also surprisingly simple.  When I listen to the song, I can't un-see the furi even if I want to.  Right hand up, left hand up over right hand, zig-zag one-two-three down your body, and then punch the air twice like shaking goth maracas (that's what Peachy calls it).  I think what I like about the song is that it's a bit more serious business than some of DIAURA's other work.  It's not that I think a band should only write serious songs, it's just that DIAURA tends to pander to the lowest common denominator.  TERRORS had a great thing going, but they threw in a chorus that barely fit because they needed a "safety zone" in the song.  It's especially jarring in the music video, where they couldn't afford to compensate for that sudden break in mood.  But in Kinshiroku, they wrote a song with a lot of real feeling, but it's still fun and DIAURA-esque, without falling into those same fluffy bear traps that DIAURA (and Valluna) often fell into.  Kinshiroku doesn't make me feel like the band is intentionally lowering the song's quality just to lay out safety nets for a fandom afraid to fall off a short platform.

Hmm... what did they play after Kinshiroku...?  Ah, well, there was an MC.  It was kinda funny cuz yo-ka had a sudden personality shift when the song was over.  He was yelling at the audience with this furious face, and then he suddenly had a big, happy smile and was all like, "so anyways, yaaaay, concert!"  Yo-ka started going on about something...  I don't fuckin' know what...  He was saying how "jinsei" ("life") is "nishokume" (I think he means "two colors" ).  I thought my lack of understanding yo-ka's rambling had to do with me failing at Japanese, but the audience looked really confused too.  It was actually pretty awkward, cuz yo-ka was up there talking and getting a lot of blank stares, like a stand-up comedian delivering jokes to the wrong crowd.  Tired of dying up there, yo-ka was suddenly like, "Kei-san!  Do you think jinsei is nishokume?!"  I'm not making this up.  Kei actually physically jumped in surprise, lol.  Poor Kei.  Kei grabbed his microphone and told yo-ka he thought life is "sanshokume" ("three colors").  But I didn't know what the hell Kei was trying to say either, and he only spoke briefly before stepping away from the microphone.  So yo-ka started talking again, and when he did, Kei actually pushed his own microphone so that it swung away from him.  Yo-ka has hawk-eyes for that sort of thing, so he noticed immediately and was like, "Hey!  Who said you were done talking?!"  The audience laughed as poor Kei pulled the microphone back towards himself.  Then yo-ka tried to make Shoya talk, but Shoya flat-out refused.  He wouldn't even go near the microphone.  He kept waving his hand in front of his face and shaking his head as yo-ka tried to get Shoya to join the MC.  Some people starting yelling that Shoya's cute, to which Shoya not only waved his hand in front of his face, he also scrunched up his face like he'd just bitten a lemon.  Amazingly enough, yo-ka never managed to get Shoya to go up to the microphone or say a word.  Eight months ago, when I first saw pictures of Shoya and saw him on stage or in comment videos for the first time, I never thought that scrawny, flippy-haired thing would turn out to be one of the only people in the world with the balls to stand up to yo-ka.  And yet, he is.  One of these days, those two are gonna have an epic cat-fight.  Make sure to bring the popcorn when it happens.  Since yo-ka couldn't get Shoya to obey, he suddenly barked at Yuu to stand up.  Typical Yuu calmly stood up without a word of protest, and yo-ka made him show off the white patches in his hair (Yuu didn't say anything, just patted the extensions).  Yo-ka said the band got their hair done together.  Hehe... gay.

Anyways, that was about all for MC.  Then yo-ka started demanding to know who our master is.


Time for MASTER.  Time to headbang for two minutes straight until our brains spill out of our ears.  You're a cruel bitch, yo-ka.  Even after releasing GENESIS, you still like to torture us with MASTER.  Well, I guess I don't mind.  The song's actually really fun, and it's definitely an awesome closer.  The show ended with MASTER, so that's all the DIAURA I've got for you today.  Just one last thing...

Important note to anyone seeing DIAURA in the next few weeks: Don't be alarmed if Yuu is missing.  The band announced yesterday that Yuu is being treated for tendonitis, so he can't play drums.  They don't know when he'll be able to return, but he's definitely going to be gone for the 5/5 show, and it sounds like he'll be gone for at least a few more shows after that.  They're going to get a support drummer in the meantime.  Also, according to Shoya, Yuu is prone to worrying, so make sure to look happy at the next few DIAURA shows, because Yuu will worry if he finds out that people looked sad about his tendonitis and him being gone.  So, uh... smile!

After DIAURA, my friends and I went out to the bar to use our drink tickets, then stood at the back of the venue to see what SCREW was up to.  And when I say the back of the venue, I mean the exit hallway near the door.  Like... not even technically the audience area.  So yeah, the next band up is the PSC band SCREW:

I've never been able to get into SCREW.  I've tried, but it just doesn't do it for me for some reason.  I saw them when I studied abroad, and I didn't find the performance particularly intriguing, and I didn't think this would be much better.  From what I saw, it wasn't.  There's something "tired" about SCREW when they perform.  I noticed it last time too.  It doesn't make me want to keep watching.  And Byou's voice drones really badly live.  After a few songs, I sat down and leaned against the wall.  That's when I realized all of L&DS and some of Nil admirari were standing there without make-up or costumes.  It was kinda awkward, cuz one guy (I think he was from Nil admirari) wouldn't stop staring at me.  Every time I looked up, he was looking right at me.  Look, I'm sorry I was sitting down for your sempai band.  I was tired.  I was still listening, I just wasn't watching.  After awhile, I got creeped out, so I put my head on my knees and closed my eyes.  Only problem was that I think I fell asleep for at least half a song, lol.  Yeah, I can't say much about SCREW.  I missed most of it.

After the show, my friends and I, including lovetoday - one of my blog readers - went to Saizeriya for food.  Always nice to get a chance to hang out with new people!

Now I'm in Gunma, but I'm heading back to Tokyo tomorrow for four days.  Included in that four days is THE GALLO's 3rd anniversary one-man!  Stay tuned!


  1. Aaah, I was half planning to go to that show, but it was sold out last minute so I didn't. /cry

    It sounds like alot of fun ^^

    I still haven't seen DIAURA!! Wtf is up with me never being able to catch them?! D:

    Oh, and speaking of annoying fans.. VelBet's Riuki told them off a few weeks ago, and I really wish more bands would actually say something because I think that's the only thing that would help.

    "04/15 @ 高田馬場エリア
    “You guys look a little stiff over there, on the sides, at the back… You’re looking at me almost as if you hated me. ‘Who the hell is that guy?’ Yeah. I understand you didn’t come here to see us. But we’re here, on this stage, now, giving it all we got… You’d think badly of us if we were only doing things half-assedly, right? So please make a little effort and try to enjoy yourselves, too. Let’s be as one. Alright. Now raise your hand if you agree with what I said.”
    -リウキ, during today’s MC"

    1. Ah I keep writing their name the old way XD VelBet instead of Velbet.. it's just something that's stuck in my fingers and won't go away.

    2. Lol, it's funny when bands get angry with audiences XD I suppose people on the sides and in the back probably aren't Velbet fans, or even into that kinda music. I'm sure it sucks for Riuki when those audience members look bored and hateful, although it's good that the non-Velbet fans were at least staying in the back or to the sides, rather than spot-saving around the crowd like assholes (although, the ones on the sides actually get on my nerves sometimes... JUST GO TO THE BACK!!!). It's hard to get into a band you don't like, though, so it's a tough situation for people who don't know Velbet, and for Riuki. People probably shouldn't be looking at him like they hate him personally, though. That's a bit much (I reserve that look for bands who have completely offended me on stage... like DACCO, lol). Poor Riuki... I'm guessing someone in the audience just really got to him that day, lol. But he probably won over some new fans by saying that too.

  2. OZ! haha. I am...always looking forward to ALSDEAD appearing in one of your posts....even have such a whatever feeling about them *_* *waits for alsdead posts*

    1. Lol, sorry I couldn't bring ALSDEAD to the show for you XD They tend to magnet with bands that I see, so hopefully they'll show up soon and I'll try to write a lot about them, lol.

    2. haha!!! Thank you!! I enjoy reading your blog so much!

    3. Glad to hear it ^____^

  3. ColouringNeedleMay 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Wow, yo-ka looks so different with his new hair.
    I've heard ZUCK and they've been hit and miss for me. Nil admirai I heard once I think, but they weren't that interesting at all.

    Poor Yuuki, it sounds like he was being a real trooper for the performance.

  4. Hello, o(^▽^)o.
    I apologize for being anonymous but I do not have an account.
    I stumbled across your blog and love all the great and detialed accounts you give into your life in Japan.
    I was just wondering if you could give me some advice please.
    As I am going to Japan next week and have been a fan of the J-Rock/Visual-Kei scene for years and have always wanted to see more Japanese bands than I have, it's difficult in England as Japanese artists don't venture here often and if they do it's in the major cities that are too far away, anyway sorry for rambling what I wanted to know was about going to Takadanobaba's AREA venue. It seems you have been there a lot and I really have no clue as to what I am doing or how to approach attending a show in Japan.
    I would be really grateful if you could give me some advice on things as getting tickets in Japan and what to do etc.
    I really do enjoy the long and enthusiastic details you provide within your entries and would really value some guidance.
    Thank you.
    Many thanks and Best regards,
    Bee, (^_^).

    1. Sorry for the late response! I'd be more than happy to help you get to a show! If the shows you're looking to go to have popular bands, it's probably best to try and get the tickets at a convenience store ahead of time, rather than showing up to the venue to buy a ticket (although that works too if the show isn't sold out, although they charge 500 yen extra the day of). How long will you be in Japan and which shows do you want to go to? I can probably find the information online that you need to either use a Loppi Machine at a convenience store, or use the e+ website. If you know what shows you want to go to, I can definitely get you started and help you through the process! Or, if you'd rather just go to AREA and see whatever's playing, I can give you directions on how to get to the venue too! Hope I can help!

    2. Hello.
      Thank you very much for your reply. Sorry this reply is so late, I just arrived in Japan this Friday, (⌒▽⌒).
      Thank you so much for your detailed answer. I have already been to a convience store, Lawsons and I think I saw the Loppi machines you mentioned, but I have no idea how to use them. Haha. I don't really have a band that I really want to see I will be in Japan until the 25th of May and the only show that seems easy for me to attend before then is the one on the 19th with MEJIBRAY. However I read in one of your blogs that their shows can be quite hostile for foreign fans. Really I need to go to some shows in the second week of my stay. But yeah sorry this information isn't very helpful. I had a look on the e+ website as well.
      I would need to get there from Shinjuku. Thank you so much for replying, your comments were very helpful.

      Sorry for my late reply and my vague answers.

      Many thanks and Best regards,
      Bee, (^_^).

    3. Glad you made it to Japan! If you find yourself stuck at a Loppi machine, you can ask the staff at the convenience store to help you. That's what I did the first time! I was so confused, so I pulled a cashier over and had him walk me through it, lol. Once I'd seen it once, I could keep doing it no problem! Just ask: "Loppi no tsukaikata wo oshiete kuremasu ka?" or something like that. And don't let the MEJIBRAY fans intimidate you! If we run away from them, they win! If you wanna go to that show, you totally should ^___^

      Honestly, if you need any help with anything, please let me know! I have no problem lending a helping hand if you get stuck trying to figure out how to get to a show! You can ask me anything!

    4. Hi.
      Thank you. It's been a bit crazy, still haven't quite processed the fact that it's real, haha.
      Ah okay. Thanks for the advice and the Japanese help. Do you have to pay with card only at the Loppi machines though? Yeah. I am just a bit anxious about it, like I don't want to step out of line or anything. Haha. I mean I am a complete novice here and I think it shows.

      Okay thanks a lot. Thank you for being so helpful, (⌒▽⌒).

      Many thanks.
      Best regards,
      Bee, (^_^).

    5. I don't think there's any reason to use a card at a Loppi Machine. You input the necessary information, like the show's L Code, your phone number, etc., and then the machine prints out a receipt. You take the receipt up to the cashier, and they print out the tickets and you pay them. Once you've got the steps down, it's actually quite easy!

      Let me know if you manage to get tickets for a show! And if not, I'll try to help you!

      I think you'll be fine ^____^

    6. Ah, it's really embaressing, but I didn't manage to get any tickets for the MEJIBRAY shows but there are some Lycaon shows their three day special that their doing at IKEBUKURO EDGE on 22-24 May. I couldn't go to the MEJIBRAY ones in the end because of some health issues with the other people with me.

      I did try and use the Loppi machine but it didn't go quite as planned, there was a very sweet man who worked at the store who tried to help but we couldn't find the Lycaon shows at all, I guess you need to have a code with you? I couldn't find anything like that though and I did look on e+ and a few other tickets sites. So I am putting it down to my own stupidity, haha. I must be doing something wrong. Also I was wondering whether there were any age restrictions for certain venues?

      Sorry to keep bothering you, (。-_-。).

      Thanks for all your help.
      Many thanks.
      Best regards,
      Bee, (^_^).

    7. Sorry about the MEJIBRAY shows :-( But hopefully you'll get into the Lycaon ones! If you tell me which shows you want to go to, I can probably figure out what you need to get tickets. You need to look up the show's L Code to use a Loppi Machine (the band's website should list it, actually). If a show doesn't have an L Code, it usually means you HAVE to go through e+ instead. So just tell me which shows you're interested in, and I'll see what I can find.

      As for age restrictions, in very fine print, venues say you have to be 18 and over. However, it's 100% not enforced, and I've seen girls in middle school uniforms and girls who have admitted out loud to being 13 years old in the venues. So don't worry about anyone's age at all!

      Hope that helps!

    8. Hi.
      Thank you, it's fine, (^_^). It couldn't be helped, (^_^;).
      Uh, well their called COSPLAY DAY and HARD DAY. Their the only ones I can get to. The COSPLAY DAY is on 23/05/2012 and the HARD DAY is the day after: 24/05/2012. On the website it just references e+. So I guess you can only go through that avenue to get tickets? Their at IKEBUKURO EDGE as well, (^_^).

      Ah, that's okay then. It's always the same with any show though, I suppose. I've seen loads of underage people at shows, but just wondered whether it would be any different in Japan.

      Really thank you for your help.

      Many thanks.
      Best regards,
      Bee, (^_^).

    9. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, according to the e+ website, COSPLAY DAY isn't selling tickets anymore. It's either sold out, or the purchase period is over. It looks like HARD DAY is still selling, though. You have to go through e+ to buy the tickets. The site's completely in Japanese, though, and you have to have an account. After you order the tickets on the site, you get a number that you take to a convenience store, and they print the tickets. If you don't think you can handle e+ yourself, let me know, and I can probably order the tickets for you and email you the number.

      This is the page you need, but you need an account to go through with it:

      If you want me to get you the number, it's really okay. Nothing happens to my account if I do it, even if you don't pay for the tickets. There will be a time-limit on when you can pick them up, however, so you have to be ready to go to a convenience store after they're ordered.

      Just let me know if you need help!

    10. Hi. Thank you for your reply. Sorry for my late one but I recently just got back from Japan. Still getting used to being back at home... Which is weird, )^o^(.
      Another embarrassing confession, but unfortunately I didn't make it to the Lycaon concerts either. When I checked them the first time they were in stock but by the time I worked out how to use the site when we got back from the Hospital it was too late and they were not on sale anymore. Plus the person I was with wasn't feeling well enough to go to a concert like that and there was no way I could leave them
      Ike that. So yeah, it just didn't happen. However, I do now sort of know how to use the e+ website, thanks to you. So that is a positive. Plus I did get to meet CRAZY SHAMPOO at their fan event and sort of bumped into Vistlip coming out of theirs, haha, (⌒▽⌒). So it's cool.

      Hopefully next time I will be able to go to a show, now I feel a little more confident and more informed through your advice.
      Thank you so much for really going out of your way to try and help me, even though I'm a bit useless, hehe. I really appreciate your comments though. So thank you. Also I hope you don't mind but I'll probably be lurking around your blog from now on because I love reading your show reviews, o(^▽^)o.

      Many thanks.
      Best regards,
      Bee, (^_^).

    11. Gah, sorry everything went haywire while you were in Japan! But at least you got to go to an event ^___^ And now you're ready to tackle concerts next time you're in Japan! I bet next time you'll get to see a show! :-D It was no problem trying to help you out - if my blog can help people have fun, then I'm happy!

      And please, lurk on the blog as much as you want, lol!

  5. That was really weird with Yuuki wheezing all over the place. Maybe he really does have asthma?? cause that was... pretty strange. I was like, is he faking it.. no i don't think so... but then what's up??

    lol Yo-ka totally looks like he stole Yuuki's style, especially with the red lipstick.

    I agree, Screw were effing boring for me (sorry if there's any Screw fans here), but I wasn't impressed by them.

    Oh no, I hope Yuu is ok:((

    ANd lastly! lol I met so many nice people recently at indies lives! Not just you guys:) but also Japanese fans! And so many people were nice to me, like those girls at the DIAURA in-store, and a girl who asked me if I wanted to join a saizen (granted there were like no people there, but still), and a girl who just chatted me up out of the blue! I've met some really nice people at one-mans too, in Shikoku. Concerts bring people together^^ tehe

    And 3 weeks is too long! Don't you have withdrawals??? lol

    1. Honestly, if I hadn't seen Yuuki go through a wheezing spell like that before, I might've thought he was faking it too. But the first time I saw it, a few years ago, he seemed kinda panicked, so I knew he wasn't faking. This time he knew how to roll with it, so it looked almost intentional, but I still felt bad for him :-( At least he knows how to kinda sexy-tise it now, lol.

      And seriously, I've met some really nice people lately too!!! I haven't posted about THE GALLO show yet, but so many people were willing to talk to us and be friendly and share stories and gush about bands with us foreigners. We even got on a first-name basis with a girl. I feel like the indies fans are starting to warm up to us, and it makes things soooooo much nicer.

      And yes, three weeks is too long T____T I get horrible withdrawals @____@

      Ne, how was the LIPHLICH show?!

    2. It was good! Except... Well, LIPLICH was awesome, but the other bands were just so-so for me. Most of the bands were oshare-kei-ish, which is fine cause I like oshare-kei, but I was actually kind of in the mood for some head-banging *sigh* since it was my last concert in Tokyo for a little while. Oh, and you know how their guitarist left? They had the guitarist from DISH filling in for him.

      That was the concert where the random girl struck up a convo with me! We even exchanged #'s! So that was fun. And there was one band called "black pig" and I was like.. hmm.. that guy doesn't look Japanese. Turns out he's from, Singapore? I think. So during the MC he talked almost entirely in English. And my new-found friend said his Japanese was a bit weird. So that was interesting^^

    3. I'm glad LIPHLICH was awesome! I heart them, and they're really interesting live! Aw, sorry to hear the other bands were "meh", though. Lol, I know the feeling of being like, "aaaagh, no more oshare-kei bands" lol XD And I'm sorry it's your last concert in Tokyo for awhile! But I bet you'll come back out soon (and so will I)! Maybe we'll wind up at a show together again! Are you going to any upcoming DIAURA stuff, for example?

    4. I will come to Tokyo June 2nd (Sat) and then leave June 4th (Mon), cause the heidi. birthday event is on the Sunday. But on the Saturday I'm going to a live too.. Actually I was gonna ask u if u know what this means, it says Lycaon and Black Gene will be at the live (not too many other bands i'm super interested in, but I wanna see Black Gene again so bad), but it says 友情出演 wtf does that mean? Friendship performance?

      I probably won't get to see DIAURA again until.. The end of August possibly. They have a one-man then that I wanted to go to. I will just have come back from the USA, so I'll possibly take some days off work to stay in Tokyo, since it's not like I'll have classes... *sigh*

    5. Ah, yes, yuujou shutsuen. It means that band is appearing at the show because they were invited as friends of the hosting band. For example, I once went to a show that NEGA was hosting, and -OZ- was listed as yuujou shutsuen, meaning they were appearing as friends of NEGA. To further emphasize that point, -OZ- came on stage wearing NEGA's costumes, lol. Natsuki looked absolutely fab in Jin's clothing!

      The DIAURA show you're talking about... is that the LIQUIDROOM show on, like... August 28th or something? I'll totally be at that one!!!