I honestly did not really planned on coming for the fourth installment of the annual gathering of jrock fans and performers, but a brief trip down the memory lane had me thinking, 'man, I'd really like to experience the excitement again!'
So this marked my third time to the gig, after the one last year and the year before that. And as before, I was certainly not disappointed with the performance.
A bit of confession: throughout all these gig, I've never actually looked closely at the lineup before going. I guess in that way, it instill a sense of surprise when I go for the performance?
This year venue is a bit interesting: Club 99, which I felt like a small venue than before (but having the advantage of being appropriate). Prior to the performances, everyone was glued to their seats of course - even though it being a rock concert and everything, without a rock star to take the stage, everyone else... remain as unmoving as a rock.
Of course the man, Shaun, was not going to let the crowd become restless throughout the gig, man!
'Make some noiseeeeeeeeeeeeee'
Please excuse the rather low quality of the pictures. I blame it on the lighting and my old camera - a lot of the pictures make the bands appear as if they were some sort of psychadelia bands, but rest assured it's all pure rock n roll!
First performance of the show is usually living up quite an expectation, and tend to be somewhat not so memorable.
They were only able to mildly warm up the crowd, but I thought their female vocal that function both for clean and scream part was pretty good. Alas, perhaps being the first act, the vocals and guitar sounds rather overshadowed by the loudness of the drums...
5 Minute Heroes
The drummer was killing it, that I noticed on one occasion the snare drum has been whacked off.
These guys were defnitely able to really get the crowd to start moving. I'd say they were a crowd pleaser.
My Royal Segway
Can't really say much about the rest of the performance, but the vocalist was crazy, mixing the energy off hard rocking songs and silly stage antics. Now, give an actual segway... and I'm sold.
Another crowd pleaser. They were covering mostly Luna-sea songs if I recalled correctly.
The double guitar action is great, and the vocalist is just having fun up there. 's great.
Hailing from Singapore, they were performing mostly X-Japan songs. I view them as perhaps the most technical out of the rest of the acts.
The bassist was sick, and so is the drummer - watching those two in action was certainly exciting, although I think not many would remember the ferocity shown by the drummer.
Speaking of the drummer this appears to be their last gig with him before he further his study overseas. All the best for him and the rest of the band to carry on from this point onward then!
If you're familiar with this regular act, you know what their stuff! However, I must say that I felt that they have improved after all this while, and at the same time still keeping the identity that made them unique.
They might not have such strong impression among the rest, but I know their long time fans are always going to be there whenever they take the stage.
Being an act from Japan, the vocalist command of the English language is pretty good. I must say it certainly feels weird when the front of the stage is filled mostly by girls, with the odd Japanese aunties (it's true!)
Their performance is... heavy as hell, untoppable by any other acts (or even with the rest combined, I'd say). These guys are serious heavy metalist, with them getting the crowd to headbanging and moshpitting. I'd defnitely have to give these guys more listening in the future.
The bassist was just really grooving it.
This was their first performance after 2 years of hiatus (they were present during the 2011 Jrock no Tamashii), and in both case it was the bassist that really did it for me (although they had a different bassist back then I think). Don't let the traditional Japanese wear make you think they can't go heavy - they had their moments of heaviness, which is always cool.
And wrapping up the gig, and being the main event, is the duo of Vaniru, with a backing drummer... and a laptop.
To sum up them in one word, I would say... odd. Their appearance suggest some classical rock (preferably with some face melting solo), but what I find from them is more towards dance-able tracks, with the backing of other instruments through the laptop.
They are apparently a new act, not having any major performance prior. I don't have much to comment on the vocalist, but the guitarist unconventional way of playing his guitar was interesting to watch (with him utilizing feedback and at one point bringing out a screwdriver). Also, ever having the eye for brands, I noticed he was using the rarely-seen-among-other-guitarists Schecter guitar (specifically, the Hellraiser model) - effing awesome!
I'm sure it's not a coincidence they chose contrasting colour for their outfits haha.
And surprise, they returned with an encore!
Lucky draw grand prize. Man, that Les Paul...
For some reason, I've felt an overall sense of excitement that I was getting from the first concert that I went back in 2011. Partly it might be because of the venue - last one didn't really felt like a proper rock n roll stage, if you get my drift - but it might just be the overall spirit of the performances? I'm not sure how to really say it, but I've certainly enjoyed this years gig more than the earlier ones.
I hope they can keep this going on in the future. I don't really have any wishlist for specific acts: as long as the platform for these like-minded musicians and audience are there, then I'll be there! It's been an awesome night, guys - thanks!
Also, it's been a while since I've had my ears ringing the whole day afterward, man.