超べりーAWESOME "tour finale"
The uhnellys album release/unofficial NMFT V2 tour finale was off the f*cking meter. I had a blast. Tons of people came to party. Narui Mikiko (sgt) stage dove into my arms. =) We drank tons. The bands absolutely killed it with amazing sh*t your pants level performances.I`ll post some clips and give more details later but for now I have a plane to catch.
Also, there is some BIG news on possible bands for NMFT vol 3 in October. 1st of all Natsumen have confimed that they want to participate. MOTFD talked to a band they know I like and they are very interested. For that band to come, MOTFD will want to come with them. I won`t say the name for now since it`s nowhere near set in stone, but that band`s name rhymes with "cat monkey." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- addendum:
April 8, 2011 Finishing off this post... over a month later. This show was definitely the highlight of my trip in February. It had only been 4 mos since the NMFT tours but it reminded me how amazing each of these bands are, especially playing together. The event was held at 2 live houses in a basement across the hall from each other: Shibuya LUSH and HOME. The main reason for the show was to celebrate the release of uhnellys new album "to, too, two" but it also posed as the NMFT vol 2 tour finale with uhnellys, susquatch, Natsuko and Yoshino (MOTFD) and sgt playing on the same night together again.
The turnout was excellent. I don't know if it was officially sold out on both sides but it was pretty damn crowded @ both LUSH, HOME and even the hallway in-between. There were definitely people who came just for the NMFT association and that was great since it wasn't advertised in that way. I'm happy the vol 1 tour finale made such a strong impression and I hope they had as much fun watching the vol 2 bands. One girl named Haruna came by bus all the way from Osaka to watch the show. She loooves sgt. We actually met at the uchiage after sgt's show in Osaka in December. Haruna had never heard any of uhnellys or susquatch's music before and wasn't familiar with MOTFD all that much either. She mainly finds out about bands by going to shows in Osaka and knows a ton of great local bands in the Kansai area. Anyhow, she had faith that this was going to be a "must see" killer event and at the very least sgt would be performing so she took a 9 hour bus ride from Osaka to Tokyo to watch the show! (note: shinkansen's much faster but would have cost ~$400 return). Oh and it was Hiroshi (Half-Life) 's birthday hat night so I was constantly buying him drinks. Actually I was buying drinks for practically everyone. And speaking of alcohol.. Ian came to the show too. Aside from the NMFT bands あなたどうして, cumulonimbus and Naomi from bucolic also performed. Anata, doushite is Kim's (uhnellys) other band and they will blow your mind. I don't want to say they're better than uhnellys but it's how uhnellys would sound with a full blown jazz/funk orchestra. I couldn't get good footage of あなたどうして because HOME was completely RAMPED with people and I was at the back (too busy talking with friends to stake out a prime spot before they got on). Cumulonimbus put on a smooth, funk filled set. Their drummer, Kenji, is the booking agent for Shibuya LUSH. He gave me the bad news in that cumulonimbus are breaking up (?this month) but at least he'll continue on with his other band, Bucolic. I didn't get to see much of Naomi Kusaka's solo performance but the little of it I did catch was sublime. She is the singer/keyboard player for Bucolic and she is gorgeous. Wish i could have seen more of her set and I'll have to check out Bucolic some time although I'm going to be honest in that their demo songs didn't grab my attention much. But if there's one truism it's that Japanese bands are often much better live than how they sound on CD.
Kim tried to stagger the perfomances between LUSH and HOME as best he could but there was significant overlap so watching one band meant you were missing someone else's performance next door. I made sure I was right up in front for susquatch. Haruna was beside me. As mentioned, she had never heard susquatch's music before but by the end of their set she was a HUGE fan. I could have swore I already uploaded footage to my youtube account but I guess I hadn't. One of them is over 7 min long which will take > 8hrs to upload.
While busy drinking and partying with everyone in the hallway I totally lost track of time and missed half of Natsukon's solo acoustic set. She's actually really good at guitar and it's her primary instrument even though she plays bass in MOTFD. Performing solo also emphasized her beautiful singing voice. For the last song Natsuko called bandmate Yoshino Isao on-stage and they played a brand new (unreleased) MOTFD song. I have video footage of the new song but Natsuko would probably kill me if I put it up. =P
sgt tore it up plain and simple. There's a fine line that separates instrumental/post-rock from being awe-inspiring as opposed to yawn-inducing. I'm going to be brutally honest and say that when I first came across sgt's music via youtube and cursory Myspace listens their songs didn't instantly hook me. But everyone, including Nathan from Hear Japan, kept telling me how shit-your-pants-awesome they are live that I went with a hunch when I invited them to NMFT vol2. This was the first time I had invited a band to take part in NMFT without having seen them play live myself. I had their live DVD so I knew what to expect to some degree but watching them in person for the 1st time in Vancouver was a f*cking revelation. Their music is so unbelieveably lush, soulful and INTENSE and watching a clip on youtube almost completely lacks the potency of the real thing. Fast forwarding back to 2/22, I was so glad to see the vast majority of the crowd getting riled up for sgt's performance. They f*cking KILLED IT and the crowd loved it. Unfortunately I barely got any footage. There was a good chunk of their set where I thought I was recording but actually wasn't (c'mon! don't tell me it's never happened to you before!) I did get this short clip: during one of theie quieter moments and this AWESOME (hilarious!) introduction by Narui Mikiko before she invited me on stage:
I ended up giving a short impromptu speech and then Mikiko asked all the guys near the front to get closer so they could catch me as I stagedove !! hahaha. And at the end of sgt's set Mikiko stagedove herself right into my arms. She didn't bother crowd surfing. She was content having me embrace her with her titties smack dab in my face. hahaha. No complaints from me either. And yes if this show was the highlight of my trip, Mikiko's stagedive was the highlight to top them all. =)
uhnellys came on last and brought the house down. It was Haruna's first exposure to uhnellys and she went ape-shit cheering them on. And so did I:
I went mental during Kim's awesome breakdown on the baritone guitar that starts at the 1:37 mark. I lent out some crazy growls/screams and if you listen closely enough you can hear my screams looped into the mix that Kim recorded.
I love how Haruna dancing in front of me does her hair up into a bun... then it's "nah.. f*ck it... it'll be sexier to have it hang loose." And how badass is Midi on drums! It was just as fun watching Haruna dance in front of me as to watch uhnellys wreck shop.
It reminds me of the black dude going nuts in front of me when adebisi shank came to Toronto last March.
BTW, one of these days I plan to include adebisi shank in a Next Music from Tokyo tour... yeah, even though they're from Ireland! On another note, Maps and Atlases are touring Japan with haisuinonasa next month. How f*cking cool is that?! Way to go haisui!!
After the show was their an uchiage?!! Damn skippy there was! We just went to a nearby izakaya and ate and drank until 4am or so. Mikiko, Natsuko, Maki and Midi sat a table with me and Ian. I couldn't have picked better seating arrangements.. well maybe one less English bloke would have made it even more heavenly. haha. j/k! I said I wanted to take a photo with everyone at our table but somehow it ended up being just me and Mikiko. Ian's good at reading minds. hahaha.
It's safe to say that Mikiko couldn't look any sexier holding a cigarette in her hand and I couldn't look like a bigger dork. I wasn't even paying attention in the 2nd photo while Mikiko is smoking (hot).
It's funny how I kept criticizing the vol 2 bands for being so lackadaisical in helping me organize the tour. To the point that I actually cancelled the tour for a while. But these guys were so incredibly fun to work with and they really appreciated the effort I put in to make the tour happen. I'll definitely be inviting these bands back to Canada next year.