Summery Summary pt1
The tour was an absolute blast and I will never forget the fun and crazy times we had on this hectic trip.It was only 10 days but it felt like 10 weeks. Not because of ennui or stress although there were definitely some tense moments (eg Ryogo getting electrocuted. wtf?! more on that later) but each day was so densely packed with excitement that it seemed much longer than a week and a half.
I met the bands at the Vancouver airport and we took the Skytrain to the Holiday Inn on Broadway where the majority of the band members stayed at. The train ride itself was rather fun and looking out the window towards the Georgia Straight and mountains the bands instantly sensed they were in a foreign country. I took the bands for lunch at the Cactus Club nearby. Those of you who live in or have frequented Vancouver are likely aware that restaurants such as Cactus Club and Earls shamelessly hire hostesses and waitresses based on their looks. I told the guys in andymori and OWARIKARA beforehand that the waitresses at Cactus are "超美人" and they replied, "Hell yeah! Let's eat there!" hahaha. The guys were impressed with the "talent" but even more surprised at how massive the hamburgers are in North America. Souhei could only finish 1/4 of his burger which was aptly and emphatically named on the menu: "The Burger" He took the rest home with him and I think it took the whole 10 days on tour for him to finish it. hahaha. One of my friends, a fellow Chatmonchy fan, came all the way from France to join us for the entire tour. His name is Nicolas and he is one of many fans whose picture is collaged on andymori's "Fanfare" CD. While living in Japan last year he managed to see andymori 21 times. That must be a freaking record as far as andymori fans go. I don't think I've seen any band more than 20 times but I'm getting close to there for グーミ and *cough* Chatmonchy *cough*. I definitely have to thank Nicolas a TON for all the help he gave me with the tour by translating, looking after the bands, being a roadie, co-promoter and tourguide etc etc. Nicolas, グーミ and andymori ended up staying with me at my parents' place. We have this large collection of Japanese History books in manga format that Hiroshi (andymori Ba) kept reading. I don't think I ever cracked open a single one of those books EVER while growing up since I can't read kanji well so I'm glad they were finally put to good use. After a short siesta for the travellers to catch up on much needed sleep, we all went downtown to sightsee and have dinner. I don't know what happened. Maybe because it was a long weekend and most of the locals were out of town but the downtown area was increadibly DEAD for a Friday night. We started by the Waterfront and made our way down Robson Ave. We didn't even make to the famed izakaya/ramen section of Robson before the bands started getting antsy on finding a decent but CHEAP place to eat. Actually, it was more because Giga (mothercoat) had been needing to take a piss for the longest time that we quickly decided on a rather empty Mexican restaurant on Robson. We had low expectations and the beer was cheap so we decided to stay even though there was only one other group of patrons inside and the waiters had to re-organize a shitload of tables and chairs to accomodate our large group. Talk about serendipity !! We are SOOOOOO lucky we stumbled upon this restaurant. The only other customers in the restaurant was a group of about a dozen girls and 2 (lucky) guys. It was a birthday celebration for a girl who was about to turn 19 (legal age in Vancity) at midnight. This group of party people we met were absolutely AWESOME (note: bday girl was the only minor, everyone else was well in their 20's). They were having the time of their lives and their festiveness spilled over onto our table. The waiters were also party animals that spurred everyone to sing and dance. Downtown Vancouver seemed speciously dry and boring and we end up having such a great time on our first night on the town. Here is some video footage I took, although the night was actually much more fun than what I managed to capture on film: (also, the youtube conversions have abnormally dark lighting compared to the original videos)
LMAO at Souhei's awesome dancing throughout the night.
Hyouri's moonwalk is supposedly pretty badass! Unfortunately I never got a clear view. If you ever see him bartending at Shinjuku Motion, tell him to bust it out. lol.
We need to create a Japanese version of "So You Think You Can Dance" and have Souhei audition RIGHT NOW. =)
Happy 19th birthday.
So our 1st night in Vancouver was a lot of fun. The bands enjoyed the local microbrewery ale... alot. Even though downtown Vancouver was kinda dead we picked the right spot to have dinner and spend the night before the bands would perform the following day at Biltmore Cabaret.
to be continued