Friday, June 1, 2012

Indies, Ikebukuro EDGE, 5/26


Time for an event show post.  One of the only ones I’m expecting for awhile, so if you like scattered stories about lots of bands, this one’s for you.  Also, MEJIBRAY and LuLu fans, I have a couple stories at the end of this, unrelated to the show.

Also, this might be one of my more angry posts.  I’ve been told some people aren’t fond of the more positive vibes that come from my posts lately because they prefer it when I’m bitchy.  Well, I’m about to bitch it all up in this hizzle, so enjoy both positive vibes, and seething venom.  Be prepared for sudden bursts of ALL-CAPS ANGER.

The show was at Ikebukuro EDGE, which means I already went into it thinking, “fuuuuuuuck.”  It seems ridiculous that a venue can affect the enjoyment-level of a show (since it really shouldn’t affect how good the bands are), but the venue really does start to cause psychosis after awhile.  And now, whenever I think about EDGE, I think about wanting to punch a lot of things.

Anyways, we started the day in Ikebukuro and got pizza and went shopping.  I always wear combat boots to shows because they can’t possibly fall off, they’re flat, and they look cool.  Unfortunately, the pair I’ve been wearing all year was starting to fall apart.  The right boot was losing the entire bottom of itself, especially the heel, and I was concerned it wouldn’t make it through the show.  I didn’t want to think what would happen if I literally lost the bottom of my shoe in the middle of a jumping crowd.  So I was looking for new combat boots in Sunshine City and eventually found a pair I liked (and only 3000 yen, too).  When I went to take off my own boots to try on the new ones, the heel peeled back so suddenly, it audibly cracked.  After I tried on the new boots and determined that they would make fine new concert-wear, the saleswoman knowingly said, “you won’t be needing the box, right?”  Noooooope.  So I threw out the old boots and got ready for the show in a nice, shiny new pair of floor-stompers.  I’m thinking about finding some ridiculously sparkly shoelaces or something for them.  I also bought a gyaru-style skirt because… I don’t fucking know why.  Oh, and I’m looking for some pimpin’ high tops for concerts.  Something ridiculous and leopard-print would be best.  With obnoxious colors or something.  I don’t have enough pimp shoes.

Well, enough about clothes.  We had to get to the venue earlier than what the tickets told us.  The show was originally supposed to open doors at 5:00 and start at 5:30, and I remember thinking that was kinda late for an event show with seven bands.  But then the bands that were listed on the ticket posted on their official sites saying the show was bumped back to doors at 4:00 with a start time of 4:30, which is much more reasonable for tackling seven bands before 9:30.  I hope everyone got the message and didn’t miss anything they wanted to see. 

So Peachy and MelJay and I went off to Ikebukuro EDGE and joined the crowd stuck behind the restaurant sandwich boards.  It’s so weird how EDGE corrals us back there like cattle.  I mean, I guess the point is to try and keep us off the sidewalk and stop us from blocking pedestrian traffic, but the sidewalk’s huge, and EDGE is small, so it really shouldn’t be a problem.  Anyways, we had fairly decent ticket numbers considering the show was sold out, and that’s good, cuz I suspected the two bands I mainly came to see were gonna play first.  So we went inside when it was our turn and went right up to around the third row for what I suspected would be DEZERT.

Actually, the saizen had a journal open and it looked like they listed the band order, so Peachy went up and asked them what was playing.  They said DEZERT was first, followed by Signal, which was exactly what I expected.  The only other possibility was that Signal might go first because Korey’s sick, but it looked like DEZERT’s n00b status still won out over Korey’s week-long fever (how that thing hasn’t broken in a week, even he can’t seem to figure out).

Anyways, we prepared ourselves for DEZERT, whom I haven’t seen in a really long time.  It looks like they’re still pulling in a fairly small crowd, since not too many people were gathering up front, and some people were gathering up there who didn’t seem to know the band.

So I’m going to pull out my snark right now and have some old-fashioned Twisted in Tokyo ranting:

IF YOU DON’T KNOW A BAND, AND YOU ARE NOT A FAN OF THAT BAND, DO NOT TAKE THE SECOND FUCKING ROW.  YOU BECOME A TRAFFIC HAZARD, A ROAD-BLOCK, AND AN OBSTACLE FOR THE BAND’S ACTUAL FANS.  YOU ALSO EFFECTIVELY PISS OFF EVERYONE AROUND YOU.  JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE GOOD TICKET NUMBERS, DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD USE THEM.  IF YOU LIKE A BAND, YOU CAN ALWAYS COME FORWARD.  OTHERWISE, GET THE FUCK OUT.

Seriously, the first couple rows are not so different from saizen.  You don’t have to sign up for them or ask for them, but there’s an expectation that you will participate as much as the saizen.  It’s where fans (like the girl right in front of me) go when saizen turns them down (the saizen said there wasn’t room, although I call bullshit).  And, if you don’t participate in the second row, you’re going to anger the people around you very, very badly.  Or get yourself hurt if the band’s fans are rough.  I’ve actually seen saizen turn around and tell certain people to leave the second row, so I’m not just pulling this out of my ass.  You can even just go to the fucking middle.  Fuck, for DEZERT, even fourth row would’ve been fine.  And if you’re going to jam the second row, you’d better fucking participate.

Also, this ranting is directed at just a few people.  Most indies fans are fine, but every now and then there are pockets of people that bring out the rage in me.  Consider this a mostly isolated incident.

Oh, right, picture.  Our first band up is DEZERT:


Anyhoo, DEZERT opened with an intro I didn’t recognize because I haven’t seen the band in months and I’ve fallen behind (haven’t seen them since the seventeen band New Years show, in fact).  They have a new drummer now, and new costumes, so there’s been some definite changes.  They even, gasp, released some music.  The new intro sounds, well… desert-like.  Like gothic snake-charming music.  It sounded pretty cool.  Then the band came on stage in their new costumes, which are somehow blacker and more goth than the old costumes.  I didn’t think that was possible.  Bassist SaZ is now covered almost head-to-toe in black fabric, including most of his face.  Just his shoulders are showing, and his eyes.  Well, if DEZERT wants to gawth it up, I ain’t gonna stop ‘em.

So the band's first couple songs were a bit lighter than what I’d expect from them, so I was a little surprised, but most indies bands have some lighter songs, regardless of bat-shitting gawth levels.  But then they returned to their usual, darker fare.  They even had the fans drop to their knees and headbang on the floor.  Damn, now dat shit be old-school indies right there.  The second half is also when the fans started doing side-to-side slam-dancing and guitarist Kira started spitting a lot of water at the crowd.  Some people who SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN UP FRONT were getting upset because their hair was getting wet.  Oh, poor babies!  I’m so sowwy the band you took second row for was spitting water at you!  I guess they just assumed you took second row because you like them.  I, for one, really enjoyed stampeding around, and EDGE, as usual, was too hot, so Kira’s nasty-water felt good.

Let’s see, the band had a really weird MC.  They played childish carnival music while a pre-recorded voice that I’m assuming was Chiaki but hamster-fied said a bunch of random, high-pitched shit.  Usually, Chiaki has pretty amusing MCs, but this one was just odd.  He shouldn’t pre-record them, he should just do them.  He’s a good comedian when he wants to be.  It did give him time to go drink a lot of water, though.

The second half of their performance was darker than the first half, with Chiaki joining us for a lot of the headbanging.  I noticed the band’s Garnet rip-off song never made an appearance, which is good.  It’s a sign of progress when an indies band doesn’t have to rely on imitation music anymore.  They ended their performance with a gyaku-dive repeater song (the same one they’ve been using since I saw them back when they were called Acid Cherry King).  Of course, there were plenty of people invading the second and third row who weren’t actually fans and were totally in everyone’s way because they didn’t want to gyaku-dive, but I made sure to bolt past them and get in as many jumps as I could.  Especially because the SaZ Monster is always lurking, and I didn’t want to incite his wrath and get pushed around like some of the other times I’ve seen DEZERT.  In fact, every time I did gyaku-dive, I made sure I was just close enough to SaZ to prove I was participating, but not so close that he might punch me out or something.  I mean, after all, the only member of DEZERT you have to worry about is –

OH GOD, CHIAKI’S TRYING TO KILL ME, LET GOOOOO!!!

When I jumped on a girl in front of Chiaki, I suddenly found myself in a strangle-hold in midair, and I completely panicked.  The neck is the one place I call “no touchies!”  That’s a danger-zone right there.  So when Chiaki decided it would be funny to wrap his arm around my neck in mid-jump and drag me backwards over the girl on the barrier, I pretty much flapped like an angry chicken.  Of course, Chiaki didn’t let go, despite the flailing.  Nah, that would’ve been too nice of him.  Instead, he held me against the bar by my neck for several seconds until I finally stopped struggling and dangled there like a worm on a hook, staring dismally at the rest of the audience thinking, “well, this is quite the pickle I’ve gotten myself into.”  My flailing must’ve been oh-so-hilarious, because some of the girls in the fourth row were laughing behind their hands.  Yes, being strangled is hilarious.  When Chiaki finally let go of me, I slithered back into the crowd and stood there with my shoulders hunched in embarrassment.  That didn’t stop me from continuing to gyaku-dive, though.  SaZ was starting to get up in the crowd’s face, and he eventually jumped off the stage and tried to intimidate the first few rows, although he didn’t push anyone around this time.  I decided Chiaki wouldn’t try to strangle me again, so I continued to dive the same girls in front of the crate.  Kira came by at one point and grabbed me by the arm when I jumped and pulled me against the saizen girl.  At first I thought, “ah, well, that’s normal for gyaku-dive.  Kira isn’t scary.”  Except Kira wouldn’t let go.  The grip on my arm was like a fucking vice.  And then he held me there against the saizen girl until someone else gyaku-dove on me.  I think Kira wanted a dog-pile to form (despite the small number of DEZERT fans) and he was using me as an example.  He didn’t let me flee until the gyaku-dive round was over, and then he finally let go.  So okay, now I was thinking all of DEZERT’s pretty frightening.

Little did I know... Chiaki was planning on putting me in a headlock one more time before the show was over.  I guess my spaz of horror was just really funny to him or something.  Except now that I knew it might happen, I didn’t freak so badly when he did it.  I just let him drag me forward against the saizen without protest.  That time I just stayed right where I was and waited for someone to gyaku-dive me, because it was obvious the band was trying to make that happen, and they were going to drag people around until they got what they wanted.  Peachy and MelJay found themselves getting dragged around by the band too.  A dog-pile never really formed (not enough people), but the band at least managed to get across what they wanted (and probably scared away half the audience.  Some of the girls in the fourth row were going, “Kowai!  Kowai!” meaning “Scary!”).

After DEZERT, my friends and I held our spots since we also wanted to be up front for Signal.  However, there were some people who were not interested in Signal who were also up there.  GO TO THE BACK.  YOU’RE PISSING OFF EVERYONE AND YOU SUCK.  God, I just want to punch some people in the face so bad.

Anyways, our next band up is Signal:


Haven’t seen these guys in a few months.  Thankfully, I managed to get a hold of their first mini-album, CHAIN, before the show, so I knew some of the songs that were previously a mystery to me (seriously, half their setlist used to be unreleased music).  Now that I know their music better, I can fairly confidently say their setlist was Roots, Lovers:Psycho, Last Judgment, and Animosity (which has now become their repeater song).

Despite being sick, Korey seemed perfectly fine to me.  Which is good, because he plays particularly intense drums, so it would suck if he was feeling crappy.  He was even smiling sometimes.  For the most part, the band seemed to be in a good mood, although ShinyA seemed kinda down to me.  I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but he seemed kinda distant.  Shion couldn’t take his eyes off the audience, which was pretty funny.  For me, it felt like a game of “How Many Times Can I Catch Shion’s Eyes and Make Things Awkward.”  Rua was his usual goofy self, and Yuri was particularly energetic.

I was finding myself a little frustrated by Signal’s saizen, however, and the people taking up second row with no interest in Signal (JUST GO AWAY!  JUST GO AWAY!!!).  The saizen was trying to turn Signal’s performance into something more soft-core, when it really isn’t.  They were using gentler versions of certain furi and they seemed reluctant to do anything particularly fierce.  Plus, they were in complete disagreement about some of it.  There were two girls in particular who decided to just invent an entire chorus’s worth of ridiculously complicated, Sign Language-level furi, all while the rest of the saizen gaped at them like, “what the fuck?”  Seriously, the fuck was that?  Can’t we all just enjoy the show without all that bullshit?  I’m sorry, but I want to enjoy a hard rock show, not focus on hand gestures and fandom drama.  Besides, really complicated furi like that drives away new fans, who see that as a sign that Signal’s fandom is for “exclusive club members” only.  And when Yuri’s screaming and Korey’s playing speed-metal drums, I don’t want to just stand there.  They’re not that kind of band.  I dunno, maybe EDGE’s evil dark powers were making me mad at everything, but I was finding myself really annoyed.

Nonetheless, I was really glad I finally knew some of the new songs.  Lovers:Psycho, for example, is a lot of fun, and it always was, but it’s even more fun knowing how it goes.  It’s essentially a dance song, or as dance-song-ish as a Signal song can get while still screaming “MOTHERFUCKER!” during the chorus.  It’s also the song where Yuri does the ridiculous chicken dance.  I’ve never seen anyone look so happy about jumping side to side like a kid on a pogo stick.  What I can’t figure out, though, is if Yuri wants us to do the dance too or not.  The saizen had us simply jumping up and down, which didn’t feel right to me at all, so I compromised and flipped my hair side to side in the directions Yuri was jumping.  But seriously, if Yuri wants us to do that stupid dance, I’ll do it.  It’s pretty funny.  The saizen does jump up and down shaking their fists in a temper tantrum when Yuri whines “Yaritai!  Yaritai!” (slang for, “I wanna fuck!  I wanna fuck!”).  So that, at least, is kinda creative and funny.

Since Animosity is a repeater song, it’s now the band’s gyaku-dive song.  Of course, I found myself having to push past second row spot-savers, which was obnoxious.  The two girls in front of me at least had the decency to step back into the third row every time I wanted to gyaku-dive.  Can’t say the same for some of the other spot-savers, though.  I'd need a cattle prod to get some of them out of the fucking way.  Anyways, I remember during Animosity, Shion was trying to pull ShinyA out of his bubble, so he got ShinyA to rock side to side with him while they played.  Yuri also blasted some damn impressive little-girl screams.  Overall, Signal put on a great show, and it was a lot of fun.  I wish I’d been in a better mood for it, but I enjoyed it.  Also, Last Judgment won’t get out of my head, aaaaaaagh.  Soooooo catchyyyyy…

So after Signal, we decided to go to the back since we didn’t know the next band.  You know, like polite people.  Unfortunately, trying to do anything at EDGE is like trying to open your mouth as wide as possible and turn your face inside-out.  We had to crawl through the crowds of people and edge our way towards the hallway, where the merch booth was set up.  We needed to get our Signal stamp cards stamped by the merch lady (we get some kinda prize at the one-man depending on how many stamps we got).

Going back to the merch booth was the biggest mistake we made during the entire show.  Allow me to bring you into the mind of someone dealing with Ikebukuro EDGE.  I’m going to put this in the perspective of my own brain as I attempted to deal with this bullshit, so you can see what it really feels like.  Okay, opening my brain now:

Wow, fuck, the whole doorway is blocked by people standing in front of it.  Wait, is that the bar?  Is the drink bar next to the door?  With the crowd pushed up against it?!  How am I supposed to get a drink?  I’m dying here.  Oh, shit, I just stepped on that girl’s purse.  Sorry!  I can’t… I  can’t get past… is that a suitcase?!  Who brought a suitcase in here?!  Okay, we can do this, the door’s just a few feet away…  Just squeeze past these people… almost there…  Oh shit, how do we open the door?!  The corridor’s filled with people, the door will open right into them!  I guess I’ll just… slowly… push it open… squeeze this person against the wall…  God, I’m so sorry, people!  Okay, out in the hall, now to get past these twenty people and get to the other door.  Oh fuck, same problem.  Okay, open slowly… slowly… try not to hurt that girl leaning against the door… fucking hell, who leans against the only exit door in the venue?!  Okay, Signal merch booth.  Awesome.  Ah, the whole saizen is at the booth.  Well, I’ll just wait somewh – ow, fuck!  Don’t throw the door open, there’s people out here!  Fucking hell!  Okay, if I stand up against this wall, I won’t block the door.  Now to wait for the Signal fans to finish purchasing so I can get my stamp taken care of and Peachy can buy the new album.  Boy, this is taking awhile…  Why is this taking so long…?  How many cheki pictures does one person need?!  Why is the saizen just talking to the merch lady, shouldn’t they be buying stuff?  Wait, is she… are they making the merch lady open every single envelope until they find a picture of Korey?!  Is this… is this for real?!  No, don’t do this, the next band’s already setting up!  It’s been ten minutes already and there are at least a hundred envelopes!  Stop it!  Stop staring at me!  You’re looking at me like I’m garbage!  I’m just waiting here – waiting for you!

Signal Fangirl: [In English] Are you going to buy something, or are you just standing here?

Me: ………………

I could punch this girl.  I could do it.  But the Signal merch lady’s so nice… I don’t want to traumatize her.  Instead, I’m going to wait until no one’s looking and put my fingers in the shape of a gun and point them at my head.

Boy leaning against the wall: [smirks knowingly at my hand gesture, turns to the merch lady] I think some people out here want to buy merch.

Wow, this guy’s helping out?  He’s not even a Signal fan.  At least someone out here’s cool.  God, boys are so much better than girls.  Fuck girls.  Although his girlfriend looks pretty cool too.  Phew, Peachy’s getting her album.  Finally.  Oh crap, the band outside is already playing.  Quinstet, was it?  Shit, I hope I’m not missing anything good.  I can’t believe it’s been, like, fifteen minutes already.  Yes, take my stamp card please, thank you.  That girl’s Korey cheki can wait, she doesn’t even care about seeing the next band.

Signal Saizen Girl 1: [to MelJay, in Japanese] Hey, who’s your favorite member of Signal?

MelJay: Korey.

Signal Saizen Girl 1: [snorts] Yappari ne… (“Of course…”)

I could punch this girl too.

Other Signal Saizen Girl: [In Japanese] Are you going to the one-man?

Me: Ikimasu (“We’re going”).

Other Signal Saizen Girl: [nods and abruptly turns away]

Me: ………………

MelJay: [gives me an extraordinarily annoyed look]

Yet Another Signal Saizen Girl: Crazy how Signal has overseas fans.

Other Signal Saizen Girl: [in English] “No English, no life.”

[They both crack up]

Me: …………………….

[Girls glance at our annoyed faces]

Signal Saizen Girl: Oneesan okoru yo (“That girl’s pissed”) (Note: “Oneesan” isn’t a very nice way to refer to an “older” girl when used in that voice).

I could punch them all.  Every last one of them.  But I need to keep things civil for the Signal one-man.  Now’s not the time to make enemies.  God, I just want to leave this venue.  I could, you know.  I didn’t come here for anyone else, really.  I could just leave… go get some food… a drink… sit down and chill out...  But the band outside doesn't sound all that bad.  Maybe we should go watch...?

But that means…

Going back through the corridor… and the crowd… and that horror…

Again…

DAMN YOU, EDGE!!!  DAMN YOU STRAIGHT TO THE BOWELS OF HELL!!!

That was a very therapeutic rant.  I feel much better now.  Anyways…

Somehow, we did manage to get back into the venue, although it took a whole five minutes to get through the hallway, squeeze through the crowd, and slither through a row of people in the back to find a spot where we could actually see.  It was horrible, and the current band’s set was already half-over.

Even though I missed half their set (definitely one of the biggest mistakes I made at the show), our next act is Quinstet:

This picture makes me think: "bitches and hoes."
They look fairly innocent, I would imagine, but they’re actually very interesting.  I’ll confess I know absolutely nothing about them.  I did some research after the show like I usually do, and came up almost completely dry.  VKDB has no information, there aren’t any band bios on any Japanese or English websites, and the Western JRock fans don’t seem to know the name at all.  Quinstet’s been around since 2009, although their MySpace claims they were a “JPop” band at first, and changed into an “emo screamo” band some time later.  Which is pretty odd, as I’m sure you can imagine.  And yes, their MySpace “bio” was in English.  Also, that change from JPop to “emo screamo” is going to seem even weirder in a moment.

Standing in the back watching the band, I was nodding my head to the music because it was heavier music, which I’m obviously into, or else I wouldn’t have come to see bands like DEZERT and Signal.  So, for someone like me, the music was hitting the ears right.  I also couldn’t believe how many male fans were rocking out to Quinstet.  I mean, the audience was seriously 15% male at this show, which is crazy for a visual-kei show, but I figured the boys were all there for NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST, who used to be non-visual-kei and still play really heavy music.  Or maybe they were there for TRIGGAH.  I never for a moment suspected it was because of Quinstet.  They had a couple boys in that audience who were jumping up and down so high, they looked like flying fish flinging themselves out of the audience ocean.

But then shit started to get serious.  Circle pits were starting to form.  Like, for real.  Boys and girls were having pushing-and-shoving matches inside circle rings, intentionally slamming each other around while laughing maniacally.  My friends and I looked at each other like O___O  I mean, I would expect a circle pit at certain kinds of shows, but not at a visual-kei show.  So you can imagine my amazement when the entire crowd suddenly backed out into a giant ring… literally all sixty-or-so of the Quinstet fans… and then they all went charging like horses on a circular race-track, pushing at each other and slamming into each other until the whole thing devolved into a giant circle pit.  I was in complete shock.

But guess what – it gets crazier!  At some point during the song, the vocalist started yelling at people to clear the front.  Suddenly, the Quinstet crowd broke into two halves, and each half backed off to one side of the floor.  The vocalist was shouting at people to get out of the way, yelling, “Abunai!  Abunai yo!” (“This is gonna be dangerous!”).  He was even pointing at luggage, and shouting at people to move it.  As people backed away, the two sides of the Quinstet audience started screaming, flashing the middle finger, and taunting each other like opposing armies on a battlefield.  I was like, holy shiiiiiiiiiiit.  And then, suddenly, the two sides charged.  I seriously wish someone in the crowd had screamed “FOR SPARTAAAAAAAAA!!!”, because that’s what it looked like.  When the two sides smashed against each other, it turned into an all-out brawl, with everyone pushing and shoving and flinging each other around.  It was literal chaos down there, and Quinstet somehow caused it.

I was damn impressed.  Quinstet looked so innocent in pictures, yet the result of their performance was anything but innocent.  Suddenly, I was very curious what kind of band managed to get all those boys to show up, to get circle pits to form in a VK crowd…  But, like I said, my research has wielded very little information, and what I did turn up only made me more confused than ever.  For example, the band only plays at small-scale indies events (what I call "shit-shows"), yet they’re having a second one-man…

At Shibuya O-WEST.

No, I’m not joking.  They’re somehow having a one-man at O-WEST, one of the biggest indie one-man venues.  How the fuck is that possible?!  Furthermore, as I mentioned, they were a JPop band who went hardcore.  And they speak English.  The lyrics to their songs are about 90% English, and written by various Quinstet members.  I also found a video of the band’s bassist giving a New Year’s message entirely in English, with great English pronunciation and good use of slang.

So what’s going on here?  I have no idea.  I can’t tell you if these guys were in a band prior to Quinstet, how they formed, or what bands they're related to.  I know they’re under Deathtrap Records (which is part of SPEED-DISK, I think).  I don’t know where they learned English, how they got popular among boys, or why their existence is so secretive yet they can play at O-WEST.

Hey, Quinstet!  My blog shows up on Google really easily, so if you find this... hello!  You guys seem cool!  I hope I learn more about you soon!

Also, if anyone reading this knows anything about Quinstet or has any helpful information, let me know!

Also, before the next band started, the vocalist of Quinstet, still with his big hair and make-up, came to the back of the crowd and stood right behind me.  I turned and glanced at him, and he had this really freaky smirk on his face, so I turned away.  He was there for the rest of the show, and it felt like I had the Grim Reaper closing in on me after what I saw of their performance.  Now that I know he might speak English, I’m a little worried I might have said something stupid at some point (something like, “dear God, he’s right behind us”), lol.

And the next band up is TRIGGAH:


They magnet with Signal, so I saw these guys last time I saw Signal, too.  They’re a lot of fun, and also attract a lot of boys because they’re more hard-core.  Unfortunately, I was still in the back, so I couldn’t see that well, but I did furi when possible and enjoyed what I could see.  Some of the girls against the back wall were wearing NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST t-shirts and stuff, but they were rocking out like crazy to TRIGGAH nonetheless, although I don’t think they were really familiar with the band.  A couple people in front of me started getting really drunk and swaying around during TRIGGAH, but they weren’t causing too many problems.  Sorry, wish I had more to say about TRIGGAH.  Next time I’ll try to stand a little closer.

Next band up is GALEYD:


I’d never heard of these guys before, but they played pretty late in the set and they were the first band to have a banner behind the drum set, so I guess they aren’t nobodies.  Like TRIGGAH, they played more "hard-core" music, and they were enjoyable enough for me to do furi in the back, although I couldn’t see well enough to say much about them.  But my impression of them wasn’t bad, although I was constantly aware of Quinstet’s vocalist’s eyes right behind me.  Overall, I was really happy that most of the bands playing at the show were more hard-core.  Helped pass the time faster.

Well, except for…

ALSDEAD:


ALSDEAD was kinda the odd-man-out at this show.  It’s funny because, at any other VK show, ALSDEAD would be considered a slightly more "hard-core" band.  I mean, not really, really hard, but they’re not oshare-kei or anything.  Still, at this show, it was almost laughable how “light” ALSDEAD seemed compared to everything else.  The result was a lot of people in the back getting really restless, and a huge patch of people in front of me just sat down.  Sorry, ALSDEAD, just not your kinda show, I guess. 

I was kinda surprised to see ALSDEAD wearing more “costume”-like things again (sorry, I don't have a picture of it).  Then again, even though ALSDEAD was wearing “normal” clothes and no make-up before, they always wore the exact same clothes to every show.  So isn’t that technically still a “costume”?  I guess you could say they were dressed in the “costume of normalcy.”  People sometimes insult visual-kei, saying it’s more about the way a band's dressed than the music.  But a band that dresses “normal” is still trying to say something about itself by being dressed in ripped jeans and t-shirts.  All clothing, normal or not, has ulterior motives.  But now ALSDEAD’s wearing sparkly stuff, so I guess the “normalcy” costume wasn’t working.

Um… ALSDEAD was the usual.  The saizen was a mess.  Word of advice: if you don’t know the furi, don’t take saizen.  There’s a reason you have to sign up for it.  It’s to keep n00bs from fucking it all up.  Fucking hell, I knew the furi better than certain people on the saizen, and I’m not even an ALSDEAD fan.  I mean, some of those songs they’ve been playing since I first saw them three years ago.  Kinda hard to forget when you keep seeing the same songs over and over.

Um… let’s see… during the MC, MAKI kept calling the audience “baby-chan.”  Ugh, kill me.  I guess some people must’ve been making disgusted faces, cuz MAKI started asking us, “baby-chan iya?  Baby-chan iya?” (“you guy’s don’t like ‘baby-chan?’”).  Um, no.  Don’t call us that.  Uh, oh yeah, I always forget to mention this, but Shin has a very pretty guitar.  It’s all silver and reflective, like it has a big shiny coin in its face.

Gah, sorry, Shark, I’m trying to think of more to say, lol.  I know you requested more ALSDEAD.  Damn, I was so far back in the crowd, I couldn’t see much.  So many tall guys in front of me!  I think IOU yet again, lol.

And the last band up is our hosting band, NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST:


Kind of an interesting thing about NB: they used to a regular rock band, but then they decided to go visual-kei.  Usually, it’s the opposite, with visual-kei bands dropping the VK look in favor of “normal” clothes later in their careers.  Becoming a visual-kei band is more rare (another example is THE SOUND BEE HD).  Although, I must say, the definition of visual-kei is extremely loose these days.  When I look at pictures of NB prior to becoming visual-kei, and pictures of them now, I’d say the only thing that changed is they all plucked their eyebrows, put on a dash of eyeliner, and stuck the vocalist in a sparkly coat.  That’s about it.  It’s actually kind of sad that visual-kei has so little meaning these days.  I mean, I don’t really care all that much – I’ve never given a shit if a band is visual-kei or not – but there was a time when VK actually implied a really elaborate look, and not just a shiny shirt.  Like I’ve said before, if visual-kei these days just means nice pants and some eye-shadow, then I guess Green Day is visual-kei.

My guess is the band decided to go visual-kei to enter a different market scene.  Prior to becoming visual-kei, they played at small-scale shows with a lot of boys and circle pits.  But that market isn’t all that broad, so a switch to “visual-kei” (as vague as that is) allows them to play at bigger event shows that draw in a more obsessive crowd (bangyaru, and their cheki-loving ways).  That’s how much meaning visual-kei has right now.  You dress visual-kei to sell cheki and shiny hand mirrors to obsessive females with disposable incomes.

Wow, that’s a really depressing thing I just said.  Wow, um, okay, let’s just move on to NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST’S performance, shall we?

So they were pretty good, I think.  My friends and I moved down to the front area (escape from the Grim Reaper!) in case things got interesting (since there were a lot of people in NB t-shirts and shit).  Of course, we still stayed at the back of the floor, since we don’t know the band.  That put us among a particularly high concentration of dudes, and there were also a lot of people advertising more "hard-core" VK bands.  I saw a few people in DEATHGAZE hoodies, and a couple people with Awoi scrunchies.  Anyways, the show was fun, but I don’t remember much because NB’s set is almost entirely headbanging, and I joined in on that, so that's about all I remember.  It actually got a little excessive, and I started thinking, “um… can we do something other than headbanging, please?”  I do remember their guitarist, though (the guy with the silver hair) was a complete whack-job.  He was flailing all over the place, spinning around, seizing, jerking this way and that... he kinda looked like a drunk Jack Skellington strung up on puppet strings.  He always had this weirdly maniacal look on his face, too.  It was weird as hell, but pretty entertaining to watch.  Also, the vocalist sarcastically called the audience "baby-chan" during the MC.  Hahaha, +10 points!

Anyways, NB sounded fine, just like all the other bands of the night, so I’d say the show was an overall success, despite some extreme anger on my part.  It's rare for me to think, "hmm... no bad bands at this show..."   In fact, this might be a first.  So, uh...

~*~ Congratulations, 5/26 Ikebukuro EDGE ~*~  You guys managed to make Kita not hate anything.  You've done the impossible.  I guess since the name of the show was actually「Burn the Freaks」, you guys lived up to your name.

Aaaaaand then it was time to attempt the hell-crawl out of EDGE.  FUUUUUUUUU.

And now for some stories.

MEJIBRAY story: Once we escaped from the black Hell-pits of EDGE, we went to the Jonathan’s on the other side of town.  After we were done and standing at the counter paying for dinner, a guy came down the stairs behind us.  He had long, bright-pink hair pulled up into a ponytail, and he had a scarf wrapped around his head and baggy hippie-clothes.  He also had a chin piercing and a lot of ear piercings.  I looked up at him and immediately thought, “uh……. Koichi…….?”  I mean, how could it not be Koichi?  Who else has that long, pink hair, always up in a ponytail, and a chin piercing?  The guy was tall, too, and had the same heart-shaped face.  The supposed Koichi looked around – he seemed to be looking for someone – and didn’t see what he wanted, so he went back up the stairs and left.  My friends and I were also staring at him, which was probably bad.  But then I thought, “but does Koichi wear hippie clothes…?  Nah, I’m jumping the gun.  It probably wasn’t him.  What would he be doing in Ikebukuro anyways?”  But, the next day, MelJay checked Koichi’s blog on her phone, and we just about died laughing.  There was a picture of Koichi that he took right before leaving to go to an instore event in Ikebukuro.  And what was he wearing in the picture?  A pink ponytail with a head-scarf and hippie-clothes.  When we showed the picture to Peachy later, we didn’t even have to say what it was.  She took one look at the photo and burst out laughing.  I just hope our staring didn’t drive Koichi away.  Sorry you didn’t get any food, Koichi!  But I think he was just looking for someone.

LuLu story: The next day, my friends and I were clothes shopping at O1O1 One because we’re stereotypical bangyaru.  While we were shopping around SEX POT REVENGE, we could hear clapping coming from the ZEAL LINK, since there was an instore event going on in there.  Someone was talking with a really deep voice into a microphone, but I didn’t think much of it until a bunch of girls in nurse costumes walked out of there.  My friends and I immediately guessed it was LuLu in ZEAL LINK.  Sure enough, a guy with silver hair and a bloody lab coat suddenly walked right past us while we were staring at skirts.  Oh, hi, Taa.  I just gotta say: holy shiiiit, Taa’s tall!  I had no idea!  On stage he doesn't look particularly tall or anything, but in person he’s a giant!  Anyways, while shopping, we could see the band taking pictures with fans inside the ZEAL LINK.  The band seemed rather perky, but Taa looked miserable.  But maybe it was just his flat hair that made him look sad, I dunno.

Aaaaaaand that’s all I’ve got.  Sorry, that went on for awhile.  This post was way too wordy.  I guess this really was an old-school Twisted in Tokyo post, huh?  Pissed off and way too long, lol.

The next show up is THE GALLO.  Just a warning: it’s Lulu’s last show, so this might not be the happiest thing ever.

Catch ya next time!

19 comments:

  1. lol I'm pretty sure the Jpop part was just a random classification, since all the vk bands on iTunes are also classified as Jpop

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    1. Quinstet themselves said they were JPop on their MySpace O___O I was like say wuuuuuut, lol. But yeah, I lol pretty hard when some of the more "hardcore" band are call JPop on iTunes XD

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    2. This is their bio on their MySpace: "Kuze, Yukky, and DeDe was playing together in a J pop and soft Visual rock band. But after JOL and ZёL become a member, Quinstet changed the sound to Emo, Screamo, Metal Core, and something close to that."

      Their English is pretty good! I'm impressed!

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    3. haha at least it wasn't j pop boyband...

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    4. Blaaaaaah, noooooo, lol XD

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  2. snotty signal fans urghhh sounds horrible.

    Quintset sound really interesting! I should check them out.

    And about the Nocturnal Bloodlust turning v-kei thing.. that is sad to think that visual kei has such little meaning, besides squeezing all the money they can from desperate fan girls. Whenever I go to concerts with visual-kei and non v-kei bands, there is almost always a lot more fangirls who line up for the v-kei bands and buy their pictures and stuff.. I actually really love visual kei (even tho my fav band, heidi. isn't so v-kei) so it makes me sad that it comes down to that.

    This is completely unrelated, but have you seen Yuuki's (Lycaon) new outfit???? O.O He looks like such a STRIPPER!! LOL And when I saw the live the other day he was molesting front and second row people even more than usual!!!

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    1. I'm hoping the Signal fans will have cooled down in time for the one-man >___>

      And yeah, it's really sad how little meaning VK has right now. I remember an interview where DIR EN GREY said they didn't leave the visual-kei scene because they didn't like it, but because the visual-kei scene no longer had any meaning. There was a time when the "look" added something to the band's atmosphere, but now it's just sorta there... being sparkly, lol.

      And yeah, I've seen Yuuki's new outfit. Looks like he's trying to go back to his gawth roots or something, lol. He's all raaaaaar in the darkness XD But I think, deep down, he's just a natural-born stripper, lol.

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  3. :D good or not, an Alsdead review is still fun to read for me either way...haha.....thanks! bad ones are the best to read actually :)

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    1. Really?! Lol, that's so surprising to me XD Normally I would think someone would want to hear as many positive things as possible about a band they like, lol! Well, if you enjoy the bad ones, then I guess there isn't a problem, hahaha ^__^

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    2. LOL! well good things are always the same "They did a great MC. He smiled. Crowd loved it"....those are boring~ :3

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    3. Ah, true, true. I hate reading boring concert reports where everything's happy and positive no matter what happened. It's not realistic. It's more fun to hear the good and the bad of a show :-)

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    4. Maybe one day I will bump into you at concert where they perform haha

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    5. Hahaha, just let me know some time you're going XD

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  4. I wanna punch those signal girls for you. Gosh they are rude.

    It feels like V-kei has become this specturm where the minimum is a sparkly coat and eye-liner and the maximum is the whole she-bang. It's sad how it feels more money related nowadays.

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    1. I'm going to the Signal one-man tomorrow, and I'm praying the saizen and I can find common ground. I'm willing to be friendly with them if they're willing to be friendly with me. But ONLY if they're willing >__>

      And I agree, it's sad how money-hungry VK is these days. I'm tired of multiple-release albums, bands with "required" merch (like needing a certain towel for a certain song), and fucking cheki. It's ridiculous. I know the bands need to make money, and that's fine, but the problem is that a lot of fans are losing sight of what's important, and they're only in it for the "collection" value, instead of the music >__<

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  5. Nice review (: and I'm sorry for those Signal fan girls >___> Wait, they didn't believe that Signal had overseas fans? lol. Anyway, hope to see those girls behave better the next time. Are you going to review their one-man? That'd be great (;
    About Galyed, you should give them a try. They've got a pretty nice sound. Besides, they're practically new, so they need fans lol. Well, i'm looking forward to your next review. Take care.

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    1. Lol, yeah, the saizen was being ridiculous. Especially considering one of the girls obviously spoke English and was foreign (the first rude girl) and Korey himself inexplicably knows really good English (maybe because he's from Okinawa). Actually, after the girl commented about how it was crazy that Signal has overseas fans, I heard one of them say "well, Korey..." She didn't finish her thought, but at least they acknowledged that of all the VK bands out there, it's not THAT unusual for foreigners to like Signal. And yes, I'm going to their one-man tomorrow ^___^ I'm a little concerned that I might have to leave the show early due to some difficult circumstances, but I should be able to see the bulk of it (I'd probably just miss an encore or something), so I should have plenty to say on the blog! And I'll definitely give GALEYD a try, they seemed cool ^____^

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  6. lol I misspelled GALEYD >___< haha I always do that... Stupid me :P. So Korey does know English... hmmm that's nice. That'll help them to get more overseas fans I think (:. About how Signal has overseas fans, I know... it's weird haha. Actually, I can't remember how the hell I found them lol. Well, I hope they get more attention and go major (but without that excessive merchandise shit). About NB, it's sad how people just say is visual just because they have some basic shinny shirt and fake eyelashes. Oh well... Yeah! I can't wait to see your review. Thank you btw (:. I know you're busy doing your other stuff. Thank you AGAIN for sharing your thoughts! See'ya.

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    1. Well, I THINK Korey might speak English, lol. Like, on his blog he uses phrases like, "see you in the mosh pit", and he was telling a story about talking to the vocalist of In This Moment. All those things seem impossible without having a pretty good grasp of English. But so far, I can't prove his fluency, lol. And it's no problem sharing my thoughts! I'm more than happy to share my stories with everyone ^____^

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