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Gigs in Japan

From the first time I was sent the insanely impressive music video of the radical ska band, Oreskaband, to the pop, metal fusion of Maximum the Hormone, to the various anime soundtracks in between, Japan just offers some of the most insanely genius musical fusions the world has ever known. But their live shows gave me somewhat mixed impressions.

It was a cold, winter’s evening and I had just bought an exceedingly pricey, last minute ticket to see one of my favourite bands at the time, One Ok Rock.

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And it was bizarre for a few reasons. First of all, everyone seemed to move in unison, whether that be putting your hand up at the correct time, swaying or head bopping. Clearly, I had not received the memo. Secondly, people decided to shriek “TAKA!” at the top of their lungs, which was mainly just a little annoying. He can’t hear you.

My second gig was possibly one of the best experiences I have had in Japan so far. This is a band that I first heard about six years ago, and have been listening to, on and off, until the very day I saw them live. I had been planning this gig for a long time, and I didn’t care that I had no one to go with or that my Japanese is considerably below par. I needed to see them and it was an experience I’ll never forget.

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This gig was SpaceTrain Festival in Shibuya. It’s an annual event with three indoor stages, connected by elevators and a market style cafe at the top, with ambient acoustic music. Not only were almost every band I listened to absolutely, creatively amazing, but the atmosphere was electric.

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People were dancing, jumping and generally going crazy in whichever way they chose and, to top it off, I got to hang out with members of the band that I had loved for six years.

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If you want to see a band, I would recommend a local gig. It’s far more intimate and you get to experience the wealth of talent below the scenes of the large commercial groups that plaster the walls of Japan.

Information

Oreskaband: www.oreskaband.com
Studio Coast: www.studio-coast.com
Telephone: 03-5534-2525
Address: 2-2-10 Shinkiba, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Access: 5 minutes walk from Shinkiba Station
SpaceTrain Festival: www.spacetrainfestival.jp
Times: Annual Event (in February), 2017 location and dates to be confirmed
Check out Club Asia for their gig listings.
Club Asia: www.clubasia.co.jp
Tokyo Gig Guide:
www.tokyogigguide.com

Article by Hazel Taylor

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