NMFT5: May 15 &16 Airport, Joons, Niagara Falls and House Party
May 15: チーナ (Chi-na), きのこ帝国 (Kinoko Teikoku), and ハラフロムヘル (harafromhell) arrive at Toronto's Pearson International airport this day. Separate from mouse on the keys who arrive the following day. The plan is to rent a cargo van (driven by Hiro and Bryan) and stuff all the bands' luggage and instruments into it while Midori and I escort the bands from the airport to downtown Toronto using public transit (the TTC!).
But first we need to pick up this guy: Dan!! Dan is a friend I initially made trading Japanese music over the internet at sites like JMR, last.fm etc. We went to watch shows together in Japan a few years back and he helped out big time during the NMFT3 tour. Dan lives in California and is a bit of a baller since he quit a high paying job at Google with no regrets and plans to carry on as an entrepreneur. Single girls interested in Dan can contact me for his email. hahaha.
Dan brought me omiyage (souvenirs):
I'm not a big chocolate person but the coconut curry chocolate kicked major tastebud hitting you with a smooth not too sweet dark chocolate flavour with subtle hint of green curry followed by the slow amusing burn of chilli peppers. There were other strange gourmet chocolates but Theo's Coconut Curry was the best. Thanks Dan!
The bands arrived at around 5pm and it didn't take them too long to clear customs/security and obtain their luggage.
Of course, after a 13 hour non-stop flight half the group immediately head outside craving a hit of tobacco. Even the members of チーナ are chain-smokers. sigh.
We quickly load up the cargo van and while Bryan and Hiro drive the van, Midori, Dan and I take the bus (Red Rocket) from Pearson Airport to Kipling station where we'll take a subway train to downtown Toronto.
Here we are boarding and riding the subway:
I love how Kinoko Teikoku's A-chan is wearing a Praha Depart T-shirt!! For those that don't know, Praha Depart is an awesome band that I brought to Canada last year (NMFT4).
From Joons we decide to burn off calories by walking to the hotel. I tell the bands it should only take 15-20min to walk to the hotel. It ended up being closer to 45min. hahaha. But that's because we made a lengthy stop at a convenience store on the way. Anyhow, after this incident and the walk from the bus terminal in Montreal to the hotel, the bands began to severely doubt my estimates on walking times. The coined the phrase "スティーブンタイム" (Steven Time). Meaning whatever length of time I say it will take to get from point A to Point B... multiply that number by at least three. hahaha!
Even though combini's (convenience stores) in Japan are infinitely better they got a kick out of the random conveninece store we hit on the way to the hotel. By the time we reached the hotel almost the entire group had bursting bladders and had to run to the restroom asap. hahaha. They couldn't wait to check in and had to use the restroom in the lobby where there was only one working toilet and you needed a key. It was a long flight and everyone was exhausted so we called it an early night so we could wake up early for the bus ride to Niagara falls the next day.
May 16: Niagara Falls & the House Party
Dan and the bands stayed at a hotel in Downtown Toronto while チーナ, Hiro, Midori and eventually Bryan and チーナ's manager Takeo Hori crashed at my loft condo. Apparently a fan in Japan who likes both チーナ and チャラン・ポ・ランタン (Charan Po Rantan) and NMFT asked チーナ to give me a souvenir:
It's a limited edition merchandise from Charan Po Rantan called "Momo no Hanakuso" which means "Momo's snot" Mmmmmmm.... hurl. It's a type of sweets consisting of sugar-coated black beans but the mental image of eating Momo's nosecandy is unavoidable and I can't finish it.
The issue of Now Magazine featuring NMFT 5 came out this morning and the bands are stoked to see themselves in Toronto's most popular entertainment weekly:
Hiro, Midori and Bryan stay behind to pick up mouse on the keys from the airport while Dan and I take the bands on a day trip to Niagara Falls.
I love the next photo of Kinoko Teikoku's Sato wearing sunglasses she bought at the convenience store the other night and holding up a NMFT5 flyer:
And I ripped the following pic from Niagara Falls off Sato's twitter:
This is a photo of the photo we took before boarding the Maid on the Mist:
When we got back from Niagara Falls it was time for a house party at my condo. Last year I held an after-party after the first Toronto concert and about fifty people came over to my place and there were a ton of people I didn't even know. So this time I only invited the bands, good friends and the people who helped out with the tour and I held it the night before the first show.
Tomorrow will be the photos you guys have been waiting for. Pics from the concerts. So check back soon!!!