Tour Finale in Tokyo

The Vancouver show had the best attendance of the tour edging out the Rivoli @ 234 people on a Tuesday night. They also had the most fun crowd with a considerably large group jumping and moshing to チーナ of all bands.The SSRIs were tremendously tight and played the perfect setlist to almost outshine the Japanese bands. New drummer Kevin is FIERCE with no drop-off in speed/power/talent vs the amazing Tony Dallas. "You & I" "Clay Face, Meat Boots" and the new song were highlights for me but the entire set was outstanding. An air craft carrier load of thanks to Elliot, Joe, Aaron and Kevin for performing with us and showing such great hospitality. Vote SSRIs for PM!!

I saw the bands off at Vancouver Int'l Airport this morning. The bands were pretty emotional about having to leave Canada. For me this is old hat (3rd tour) and I go to Japan so often I wasn't hit too hard by the "sabishii" bug since I know I'll see them again (and again). But I felt bad knowing how much the bands will miss Canada.

However, there's still the tour finale (tentatively) scheduled for Jan 28, 2012 at Shinjuku Red Cloth. And it'll give the bands an opportunity to play together again and reminisce over the fun they had touring across Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Recap/highlights of tour:

Best show: Oct 15 @ the Rivoli. 210 people in a room that holds 170. Every band completely slayed. The sound was great and the tall stage made for clear sightlines from anywhere in the room. The crowd was insanely boisterous and Merpeoples really showed their charm. Thanks to all my beautiful friends and co-workers for their awesome support. This was my favorite show out of all 3 tours.

Most memorable performance: Hyacca's set @ Club Lambi. Listening to "Riot" "Stress" and "Telephone Number" back to back to back is EXHAUSTING because your body is compelled to start dancing vigorously and uncontrollably. Finish that off with the best rendtion of Hanazono I've ever seen in front of an absolutely great, enthusiastic and energetic Montreal crowd and you have an unequivocally LEGENDARY performance. Hiromi handing her guitar to the crowd and seeing it crowdsurf around the room effortlessly as Hiromi screamed her way all the way to the bar was just priceless. "Hanazono" was f*cking awesome at the Rivoli and Biltmore as well but the version at Lambi was still the most memorable.

Favorite set: Akai Ko-en at Biltmore Cabaret. There are a few songs that I really like that they never play live so before Akai Ko-en came to Canada I requested that they play the songs "coward" and "くい". They waited until the last set of the tour and dedicated these 2 songs to me. "coward" is one of their oldest songs and one that they seem to have retired. They hadn't played it in a quite a while... and it showed but it was super sweet of them to play it and I was incredibly happy that they did. "くい" is an unreleased song that may or may not make it onto their major debut album next year. It has great vocals, cute handclaps and absolutely ferocious drumming by the diminutive Nao. They ended their set with "くい" but I got the crowd to scream for an encore. Since Hikari (ba) and Chiaki (vo) are only 18 they had to leave the Biltmore immediately after their performance and wouldn't be let back in. So I asked the crowd to yell and clap as loud as they could for an encore so Akai Ko-en could play another song and Hikari and Chiaki could stay inside a little longer. I got them to play my favorite song: "Number Six." Perfect ending to the set which would become my favorite all tour. Thanks girls!

Best Crowd Reaction: チーナ @ Biltmore Cabaret. I introduced チーナ to the Vancouver crowd after they had just gone bonkers watching Hyacca & SSRIs. I told them that I didn't expect to see a mosh pit as had happened for the 3 previous bands. Maybe チーナ took that as a challenge or maybe Vancouver music fans know how to appreciate good music but the craziest jumping, crowd surfing and moshing during the entire tour actually took place during チーナ 's set. Unf*ckingbelievable. チーナ got a massive ovation at the end and both the band and the audience were on cloud nine.

Most fun band to hang out with: NATSUMEN. I was really worried these guys might be too much of a handful to control on tour but they were fantastic to work with and they were incredibly appreciative of the hard work I put into this tour. These guys love to drink and have fun but they're mature enough to control themselves without causing (too m)any headaches. With 8 musicians, 1 manager and their own PA person they are by far the most expensive band I've brought to Canada but they were worth every penny.

Thanks to all the bands who participated, the fans who came to the show and all my friends who helped out with the tour. It's been a blast!