Monday, May 05, 2008

Live Report 5/1/08, Urawa Narciss: LAVERITE, Ren, MICA-TYPE, Rubic


I'm hoping the live in April established a pattern or something, because the free live on the first of May was awesome in every way.

For free lives, we do rock-paper-scissors to determine the order of drawing straws, and then we draw them, and that determines the performance order. One thing that makes this annoying is that I had a lot of people who wanted to come, but their presence would be entirely dependent on what time we went on. Which of course I couldn't provide before that day. And every person who comes counts. At the end of the night. With the money thing.


It was my turn among the Laverite members. I was nervous; I didn't want us to have to go first or last. The other representatives from the other bands and I rock-paper-scissored our way down to a drawing order, and then we were off. I went second, and drew the number 2, which was actually pretty great. I'd much rather go a little earlier in the night rather than later: it gives you more time down in the lobby with fans and with your merchandise and your staff, who bust their butts for you and rarely get any thanks.

We shouldn't have laughed, but the guy who won rock-paper-scissors drew the number 1. That's gotta suck.

Pre-concert stuff went incredibly swimmingly. I wonder if I've just gotten used to the amount of downtime and waiting you have to do amidst scrambling to make photocopies of your questionnaires and handing in remaining tickets and fliers for the day. You also learn to establish proper time management, stop worrying, and just sort of ambling into your costume and makeup instead of freaking out about it. And this time, I was really proud of how I'd fixed myself up. I clean up nicely, or something.


I was uncommonly nervous as LAVERITE prepared to go on stage; this never bodes well for hands, which tend to get clumsy with nerves, and if I'm going to aim to be one of the better bassists in VK I need to learn to quell that. Still, once the curtain opened, and I saw the huge amount of people crammed toward the front for us, I got an injection of confidence.


There were five of my housemates there, as well as Inertia (AGAIN, because she is seriously way cooler than you), and... FAITH! Yeah, one of you dear readers came out to see me! And they were all enjoying themselves. They weren't too cool to be down in front getting crazy, even if for a lot of my housemates it was their first live concert experience.

And there were girls on MY side, too! Lots of 'em! And when I went over to Ryota's side during "Criticism", the girls saku'ed, AND did the little "heart" gesture to me! They fed off my energy, and that just reflected back to me, and it just kept reverberating back and forth and growing stronger. I could not help but smile nearly the whole set. Maybe an image-breaker, but I don't mind playing the clueless one. And the nerves had dissipated, and I was playing just fine.
It is so fun to look into the face of someone thoroughly enjoying what you do.


Ren is back! With all new members except the vocalist. Looking back over my live reports, I'd seen them about 5 times or so. They started off so terrible but now with new members who actually want to be in the band (and the maturity and drive that comes with that), I do not feel any contradiction whatsoever in saying that I think Ren is great. They have a couple of songs from before the big shakeup that I recognized but now sounded fantastic; the vocalist is a total pro, using his unique body type effectively, and the other guys were grinning and flashy. Very fun set. (My landlord loved 'em.)


MICA-TYPE's vocalist Kohaku is a good friend of Ryota's, so we were happy to play with them. She talked to us backstage just before they went on and she was just darling. When she was announcing an event they were playing at, she said, "they made a mistake; there's this great event with all these cool bands and then we're on the bill too." It was too cute, and I think Faith was in love. Musically it was pretty gawfy.


Rubic was last. They look vaguely NoGoD-ish in costume but sound more serious. Faith and I were too busy discussing Japan's gas tax and the upcoming renewal vote to pay close attention, though.


Strangest part of the night: when two high school girls in uniform approached me apprehensively and said, "...James-sensei?" and I freaked out because no one's supposed to know my real name. (In the west we think it's obvious that James = Jimmy {or variants like Jimi}, but for the Japanese it's not so obvious.) It turns out that they were my students when I taught junior high school! Of course now they look completely different; in jr. high they are all told to look the same but in (some) high school(s) they can dye their hair, wear makeup, and their uniforms are more flattering than the boxes of fabric the poor boys and girls are forced to wear in jr. high. I recognized them once they said that, though.

They had come to see Rubic, and briefly entertained the thought that that Jimi guy on the Laverite flier might be their old English teacher, and sure enough it was true.


Then some final chattin' and advice from Faith and Inertia, and that was that! Demachi was fun, but it's so strange having every little movement, every little tick, everything you do scrutinized and told is 'cute' or 'cool', from the way you scratch your nose to the way you adjust your weight when sitting even to the things you do to deliberately try not to be cute or cool.

Here are some kind words from Faith about the show:
"Dude, I had a whole lot of fun at your live, it's really too bad I can't come out to see you guys regularly (so, you know, get touring and all). For one it had all of the stuff I like about small lives: a lot of cool bands I didn't know about, band members that are rad and hang out and a nearby bar.

And I wish more bands sounded like you. I admit I like the whole jumpy-spinny routine, but it was just so refreshing to hear something that different, more involved, more elaborate, like back before these kids got on my damn lawn. :) It seems like so many bands nowadays are either colorful and jumpy or gawth and headbangy and it's great to see some more middle ground. Plus, everyone was really cool, from your housemates to Yue to the cute self-deprecating girl in that other band.

*happy tears*

Some news: "Sephirot" is now SOLD OUT, and by that I mean all copies have now been distributed. :-P

Other news: Here are our next live dates, all at Narciss:
5/31, 6/15, 7/1, 7/26, 8/8, 8/24, and 8/31.

And I should probably start putting up setlists, so here they are, starting with this most recent live:

2.宮廷の道化師 (Kyuutei no Doukeshi)
3.仮面舞踏会 (Kamen Butoukai)
5.天空の彼方へ (Tenkuu no Kanata e)

1.Avis de trag`edie(SE)
5.仮面舞踏会 (Kamen Butoukai)

3.Sexy dance
4.仮面舞踏会 (Kamen Butoukai)

1.Avis de trag`edie(SE)
3.天空の彼方へ (Tenkuu no Kanata e)
4.Rose mary
5.Sexy dance
6.仮面舞踏会 (Kamen Butoukai)

1.Avis de trag`edie(SE)
3.仮面舞踏会 (Kamen Butoukai)
4.Rose mary
5.深海~Those who pass away~ (Shinkai)
6.宮廷の道化師 (Kyuutei no Doukeshi)

See y'all at the end of the month with mah boiz Vagu Project!


Ruka said...

Sounds like fun. You looked really good, so you SHOULD be proud!

It must've been weird for them, seeing their old teacher all made up and the cool foreign bassist of one of the cooler bands 8D

Ryota's hair'd look cute if he straightened it XD (but I'd say that about anyone)

Anonymous said...

You look absolutely GORGEOUS! No wonder you have so many fans!

Ezra_is_a_SKETCH said...

Hey. This is fucking cool Jimi.
Great Job. I liked Sephirot, and Criticism alot, so keep up the awesome work in Laverite.

haru said...

Haha, you met your ex-students? That had to be awesome wasn't it? What exactly were their reactions?
So glad to hear that you now have plenty of fans!! XD Congrats!!

Anyway, i checked Visunavi and it seemed that Laverite doesn't have any lives during 12th to 18th of July. That's when i'm in Tokyo, so i guess i won't be able to go to your lives then. Would've loved to go to small VK lives, coz i really like the atmosphere (most of the bands i like have all become pretty big in recent years, so yes, it's all One Man lives..:(), but...some other time i guess...^^;;

fuzzurin said...

I'll be there on 7/26, man. (2 days after my birthday!)

positivespace said...

Awesome... congratulations! It's awesome to hear that you guys are doing great.

Lisa said...

Congrats on a good live!
I've been reading your blog for a while and I'll try to make your show the 31st when I'm in Tokyo ^_^

Go said...

you DO clean up nice, with sophistication, like Sugizo or someone :)

lol at "we shouldn't have laughed, but..."

marius said...

Man I wish I could go to the 5/31 show (would be SO cool to see you guys AND VaguProject), but we have to be in Kyoto then...

Elec said...

Thanks, all y'all!

Ruka: If he did that, they wouldn't call him "The Curly Prince" anymore. :(

Haru: yeah, I was much more shocked about it than my students seemed! XD
And sorry you can't come see us! >_<

Fuzzurin & LISA: AWESOME :D

Marius: DAMN; coulda killed 2 birds with one stone. :(

Once again, thanks all! And Go, a comparison to Sugizo? Really? Your kuchi is amai!

Xelyna said...

Gambatte ne!
I'm gonna be in Tokyo in the next couple of months, so I hope I can make it to one of your shows! I'll yoyaku through your website when I know!

Ito said...

You are an inspiration for us all...

I wanna hear your stuff so sure you can't leak a copy online of us? XD

Reading your live reports is awesome and I always look forward to reading the next one. If I had any plans to go to Japan, I would so go to one of your concerts, but sadly I am a poor college student, lol...

So instead, just keep up that hard work and know that there's fans at home (assuming you are from the US) cheering you on. I think you're leaving the dream for a few of us. Even if it doesn't seem like what you are doing is that extraordinary, it is to me.

::feels like a stalker now::

What is it about blogs that makes you feel like someone's friend even though you don't even know them? lol

Miss Thrillz said...

*keyboard smash*

I'm totally coming to your next live.

Just help me find a box big enough to ship myself in, and try to sign for the package.

Anonymous said...

:) Randomly dropped in during a search for some japan address. :) your journey so far seems to be paying off and tht you are finally doing what you like. Yay for that :)

Too bad the live dates are a lil.. haha ill timing else I would wanna go catch it to hear how you all sound like. the 8/24 happen to be the day Im flying home ^^; anyway do your best~

Anonymous said...

7/1, I'll be there. I've been curious to see if you guys would be playing a live while I was in town, and lo and behold. That's pretty cool. Any ideas who you're playing with yet, or is that decided later on?