Sunday, July 27, 2008

Live Report 7/26/08, Urawa Narciss: LAVERITE, Byakura, Oshare Dorobou, Murasaki, Cinema Strip, Cheeky, Jackall, Cloche

8 bands is a little much, but apparently not by VK show standards. Normally the first band of the night is supposed to go down to the stage-level green room to do their hair/makeup and stuff but since the first band ignored that we were left with no table space in the upstairs green room, which meant we got to sit on the floor.

Cloche I think we've played with before; they sounded pretty good from backstage.

We were next, and for the first three songs, something was just. not. clicking. And Yue forgot the words during "My Love Remains", and even though I tuned just before we started, maybe I didn't stretch my new strings enough because I kept going sliiiiightly out of tune (it doesn't take that much to bother me, though) and of course I can just reach out and bam tune the thing back up but I'm up there thinking when exactly do I have a space in the song to do that, because I'm too busy rocking too hard...

Finally, "Solidarity" got us pumped up, and the crowd, sweet things who had been pretty decently energetic the whole time, got even more into it. It really made up for the other three songs. "Criticism" took us out on a bang, much like the big Sumida River Fireworks show that we were all missing out on that night.

A band called Jackall went after us, and they were heavy and metally and kinda punky and they had a chick singer with a killer death voice and a guitarist that looked a bit too much like LM.C's Maya, stylistically, and did well in the face of guitar strap problems. (Buy strap locks if you even briefly entertain the thought of playing live!)

Cheeky is on Narciss's label, and they're pretty fun. Lots of personality. Some of it a bit gimmicky, but they're solid.

Byakura are awesome and nice and stuff and shhhh don't tell anyone but I think Ryota is diggin' on their bassist but that's okay because if Miko didn't exist I'd probably be eyeing their singer, and Omi always talks some time out to have a chat with me and I'm really glad they're on a label now, because they've worked for a very, very long time to get where they are. They played a lot of songs I hadn't heard before, three of which I assume are their two final 'amateur' singles and then their first Sequence Records release.

If Cinema Strip isn't the next big VK band, then I will eat my hat. The vocalist, Leo, is formerly of Genshoku Atom, a band I raved about ages ago here, and I also spoke highly of Cinema Strip when I saw them before. Leo's movements are meticulously performed with tons of energy, twirling his wireless mic coolly, and a killer voice that I would honestly put up on my top vocalist list for plain ol' talent. And the rest of the band just has such tight riffs and backup singing. They are beyond solid; they drive the music right into the pocket. It is sick.
Seriously, guys. Cinema Strip.

Oshare Dorobou's vocalist Miyuu, my buddy, is so fun to watch. And very funny.

Finally at nearly 9:00 (half an our behind schedule, thanks to compounding of tiny problems over the night), Murasaki took the stage. I actually dig them; like I said before they're sorta Sid-ish. When they finished just past 9:30 they got an encore, and then the show ended, at nearly ten. Yer killin' me!

M was there, as were Holly and fuzzurin, who are all seriously ridiculously cooler than me, and chatting with them is easy breezy. Holly gave us presents and drawings because she's cool like that; seriously fanart is awesome because they make me look 100x better.

Earlier this week, I had a freelance job in Harajuku, and we went to Yoyogi park to scout locations. While there I ran into some coworkers, and we made plans to go out for drinks later in the evening. We headed over to Ueno park and found this nifty outdoor beer garden kind of place and had a good time. The bartenders took an interest in me, we got to chatting, and one of them said he knew a girl he wanted to introduce me to; could I be back here at 4 the next afternoon? Why not? I thought; I could use a break and to meet new people.


I went back at 4, met the girl, had a nice little time, then she went home. I stayed to finish my drink and pay, and then someone sat down next to me. I recognized him as Masaki, from the session band Kanabun who we played with a couple of months ago, and also former singer of Sulfuric Acid. We finally got to talk one-on-one, and we hit it off immediately. He started call various friends of his in high VK places and telling them "Dude! I'm here with Jimi!!" and they'd say, rightly, "who the hell is Jimi" because there's no reason those guys would know me, and then he'd explain, and hand the phone off to me. One person remembered me, which unexpectedly made me very pleased and marked the beginning of a change of heart.


Anyway, from there Masaki and I skip to a little restaurant, then to another bar to play darts (I beat him both times), then to karaoke, and then finally to an awesome ramen shop to wash away the pains of drinking, and finally off home.

This guy is hellbent on making sure his new friend meets all the right people and gets himself out there, so he invited me to a party that happened on Friday night. In addition to the just plain ol' really good people you meet at random places like that, there was also Ryo of Rentrer, Ryohei of Megamasso, Zero from Ghost, Sora from Kazoku, three guys from Ruvie, the guy that took our band photos back in January, and a couple of other guys from a couple of other bands whose names I have either forgotten or can't find evidence of their existence so I'll refrain from embarrassing myself. There were also tons of really sweet hair/makeup staff people. Miyuu was also there, and we both offered each other condolences that we'd basically be getting no sleep for the live we both had the next day.

I have learned a lot this week, and so much of it has really changed my outlook on everything from my approach with other people to band stuff to life in general. It's not that I'm throwing my old philosophy out the window, just that the shape is changing, maturing, and with that comes a determination to be contagious--to allow the positive spirits I may have to infect those I want to help, or do something for, or be with.


SO, there was a problem with the magazine, and since they couldn't coordinate with Luna Sea's schedule for the cover story it went to Alice Nine and it will be on sale on the 29th. Also, don't forget the Summer Sampler, and please send all your queries about it to Closet Child's English site because I know nothing! Also don't forget our lives at Narciss on 8/8, 8/24, and 8/31; the 8/31 one is 1000yen for all-you-can-drink soft drinks and then no ticket charge!

Then 9/24 at Takadanobaba AREA, and back to Narciss for 10/5 and 10/19. Tell your friends, of which you have a zillion because you're all beautiful, charming rapscallions.


Go said...

1) Cinema Strip, eh?

2) The problem with Byakura is that, like most photos of Japanese girls less than 21 or so, you can't tell if they're 18 or 16 or frickin' TWELVE Their website could be an add for a day care facility for all i can tell!

3) Jeez even stranger/bartenders are hookin' you up now?! Bastard.

4) that last photo of you is way better than any photo i've seen of you in stage makeup!

5) as always, cool report!

Lemon said...

That's awesome that you're starting to get connections. Very important to have, after all. Sounds like you're having fun in any case! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

New Reader here! XD

You meet Ryohei O.O sweetness XD It's kind of sad that I didn't get into Ayabie before he left *but* now I have another band to get into.

I don't think Closet Child has an English Site as much as an "For OverSeas Customers" mailing page.

Anyway, it's nice to read your blog for a view more from the inside out vs. the outside in. ^^;; Sorry if I'm too hyper in the post.

e said...

"that last photo of you is way better than any photo i've seen of you in stage makeup!"

Agreed, but I'm a sucker for photos where the eyes are pointed a different direction than the face. Even on guys, apparently!

MaD_StalyN said...

man tell us more about that girl!

When you say Ryo of rentrer, do u mean Ryo of rentrer en soi?

RyuKen said...

reporting the venezuelan fan ^^

Great Report, I love how you show us that VK point of view, that not everyone can see..
I search some Cinema Strip songs, and they are really good.
By the way, congratulations, you are making your way to the top of the VK hill, keep improving, one day, maybe, ill be able to watch you in a concert.