Before I came to Japan I had a list of concerts that I wanted to see when I came here, in no particular order:
- Bump of Chicken
- Orange Range
- Anna Tsuchiya
- the brilliant green
- Psycho le Cemu
I’ve actually listened to all of those bands, more or less, except Gackt. Gackt just seems to have really cool concerts.
The first one to cross off my list was when Beth and I caught the brilliant green in Chiba. It was awesome to see them, and I want to see them again, albeit at a much better venue.
About a month ago I stated that I was going to be heading to both Orange Range and Bump of Chicken concerts within the near future. Unfortunately, both concerts sold out extremely quickly, with Orange Range selling out within a few hours. Well then, damn. What to do?
To begin with, the sold out Bump of Chicken concert was going to take place on March 22nd. As I had my heart set on a concert that weekend, I went about seeing what other bands would also be playing in Sendai on the 22nd. Lo and behold, Mix Speaker’s Inc. was playing that weekend.
To explain, because that list was bands I want to see, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’d be able to see them. Take the big example of that when I first arrived here, the brilliant green. They had been inactive for five years, but when I show up in this country they happen to get back together.
So then, when Psycho le Cemu broke up, two of the former members (Seek and Aya) found themselves as members of another visual kei band: Mix Speaker’s Inc. Figuring that this is about as close to seeing a Psycho le Cemu concert as I was going to get, I bought the tickets.
I was going to see a band on my pseudolist on March 22nd after all. Word.
Mix Speaker’s Inc. Concert
I showed up to the venue and immediately noticed two things that continued to be of note for the whole night: (1) everyone looked to be in their mid-teens and (2) everyone seemed to be a girl. I say seemed because some weren’t very discernible.
In short, it was a room full of about 400 teenage girls and about six guys. Luckily I was with Beth, so it didn’t feel quite so awkward, though there was one guy by himself who was older than I and looked quite out of place and uncomfortable. Outside of the unconfortableness, I one-upped him by Beth and I both being the only foreigners there, and me being at least a head taller than everyone else in the room.
Gogogo short Japanese girls.
Even though Beth and I were near the back (small venue, though), I still had a clear shot of the band and the tops of all the fans’ heads. Win for the tall foreigner.
This also came into play during the concert itself when I happened to glance over at Aya only to find that he was already looking straight at me. We locked eyes, the tall foreigner guy and one of guitarists competing in a staring contest. It eventually broke, but this happened to reoccur multiple times through the night. I’d glance at him, realized he was already looking directly at him, we’d lock eyes, the concert would continue. It was… different.
Outside of that, once I stopped feeling weird from standing out so damn much, both Beth and I really got into it. Psycho le Cemu, and with it Mix Speaker’s Inc., use a ton of parapara in their concerts, so audience participation plays just a big as roll as do their costumes and music. We didn’t really know the moves, but they were simple enough so that Beth and I were joining along with everyone else by the middle (or earlier) of each song. It was pretty damn fun.
We realized that the audience had upped the ante, though, once everyone started breaking out specific props for specific songs. At one point everyone suddenly whipped out fans, later there were handkerchiefs and glow sticks and tamberines. It most certainly increases their merchandise sales (all props available for purchase outside!), but it evenso, it was a fun added dimension to the participation.
Eventually all things came to an end, and of course the concert was no exception. Beth and I left the venue, Junk Box, with our previously purchased merchandise (a DVD, CD, and some arm warmers), and headed back to Sendai station. We went the wrong way.
That is, luckily, we went the wrong way. You see, we happened to come across none other than a Domino’s store. Hell yes! REAL DOMINO’S PIZZA! I’ve been wanting Domino’s pizza for quite some time now, and this was an excellent dinner to finish off the day.
After me lovingly eating the wonderful pepperoni pizza, we headed the correct way back to the station, hopped on the bus, and a bit over an hour later arrived back in Fukushima and went home.
It was a good day.