Live Review: Art-School @ Shin-Kiba Studio Coast (2011.12.09)

This is Vish' 3rd live show review.Art-School is Vish' favorite band (but I won't hold it against him) and he attended their recent one-man at Studio Coast on Dec 9. Apparently Art-School will be breaking up at the end of the year so this was an important concert for Vish since it could be the first and last time he sees them perform. Without further adieu, here is Vish' live report: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What attracted me to Art-School was their name. It's the coolest band name ever and I went to an art high school so the name really stood out. During college I had a busy reading week drawing story boards so I thought it was a fitting time to give Art-School a listen. Immediately, I was drawn in and I've never felt so in sync with a band's music before. To this day, six years later, the music still holds the same power.

As a whole, the vocals and music of the songs emit melancholic emotions. Their songs tend to have mellow verses and heavy choruses. The chord progressions and riffs often sound simple but the music's put together well and the guitars often have effects but they're used modestly. Riki Kinoshita's singing doesn't have the refinement most would expect but that's where lies the charm. It's a bit rough around the edges. And there's something about the timbre of his voice that really hooks me in. Riki writes downright depressing lyrics (I've found translations) and he also writes phrases in English. "Hold me, touch me, kiss me, kill me," and, "Isolation, hello my name is Monster," are just a couple of examples. The English is a bit broken but it's poetically brilliant and keeps the feeling of the music instead of just sounding inserted. The music puts me in a daze and makes me want to do nothing but listen and brood.

I've only seen Art-School's live performances on DVD and on the internet until last weekend. And was it ever an awesome show. Their performance had lot of energy making the audience in front go mad. You won't see any crazy antics that you usually get with a lot of the indie bands here in Tokyo, but Art-School rocks hard. Their performances are all about the music and it was one of the greatest experiences to hear my favourite songs in their raw form. The lighting was great and a perfect compliment to their sound. During their track 'Miss World' it was flashed so strongly that it was enough to induce an epiliptic fit. Just awesome. But I hope everyone in the audience was okay! Riki also dove into the crowd after their first set, before the encore, which was unexpected. I've never seen him do that before in any of the footage on DVD. I am biased but this was one of the best concerts I've ever seen.

Art-School's gone through a line up change in the past. Each member, except for Riki, has changed once and now the current drummer and bassist are leaving. The show I saw was the last one man show with this lineup and they have one more performance at Countdown Japan at the end of the month. A DVD of their last one man will be released in the spring and I think it'll turn out better than their previous concert DVDs. I'm not exactly sure what will happen with the band due to my poor Japanese but I heard that they may just continue with session musicians. Art-School was able to get through it before and I'm sure they'll be able to get through it again.

All in all, there's no extravagance or gimmicks; they just make everything sound so good. It's rock in it's finest form. This is my favourite band and the day my brothers burn my body and send me to the afterlife, Art-School's music will be playing in the background. Give them a try.


1.ガラスの墓標 2.Boy meets Girl 3.水の中のナイフ 4.BLACK SUNSHINE 5.DIVA 6.OUTSIDER 7.欲望の翼 8.ウィノライダーアンドロイド 9.左ききのキキ 10.羽根 11.乾いた花 12.サッドマシーン 13.LOST IN THE AIR 14.クロエ 15.アパシーズ・ラスト・ナイト 16.LILY 17.僕が君だったら 18.フリージア 19.MISS WORLD 20.ロリータキルズミー 21.あと10秒で 22.スカーレット 23.FADE TO BLACK —————————— 24.SWAN DIVE 25.シャーロット 26.foolish 27.UNDER MY SKIN 28.ニーナの為に —————————— 29.斜陽

Boy Meets Girl (live)

Sharin no Shita (live)