Stylish Wave Generation – Akasaka BLITZ

Akasaka BLITZ – Stylish Wave Generation Vol.2

As strange as it might seem, this was my first ever visit to Akasaka BLITZ!
The focus for me, as you might know, is more to go to LIVE houses and see unknown, or lesser known, bands.
Sometimes however I DO go to concerts like these, because I really LOVE the music and there is always a certain guarantee that it will be GOOD..even Awesome!

It’s hard to not have expectations set too high though, and on my way there I was even thinking…
-“why did I choose to go here instead of attending Vagu*Projects LIVE at 浦和ナルシス (Urawa Narciss)?”
After all I miss Narciss… it has given me soo many nice LIVEs and I have hardly been there at all since I got back to Japan April 8th.
This is at least partially due to the fact that Vagu*Project have been playing elsewhere. According to Vagu*Project’s schedule it doesn’t look like they will be playing there again before I leave for Europe end of June either…. (T.T)

So back to BLITZ and Stylish Wave Generation Vol.2

Akasaka Blitz is a venue similar to ‘Zepp’ in terms of capacity. They both take about 1500 people.
http://www.tbs.co.jp/blitz/
It’s really easy to get to BLITZ from Akasaka Station, which is on the Chiyoda Line.
A station often referred to as TBS-mae  (TBS= Tokyo Broadcasting Systems )

As always with venues like these, there is no photography allowed… which I have by now wined enough about. It prevents me from really giving you an accurate sense of the atmosphere, and to share a glimpse of the awesome music.
BUT I will give you plenty of links in this blog, so you all can go and check these bands out on Youtube, Facebook and their official homepages online.

First band up was Penicillin.
It is always tough to be first on stage. The audience is not yet ‘warmed up’ and it is pretty much your job to do it. I guess that in itself can be rewarding, as you can sense the excitement develop.
Penicillin is a band I like. Maybe not on my top 10 list, but they are good. The singer, HAKUEI, has a vocal style a tad reminiscent of Kiyoharu’s (Kuroyume). At Blitz, he was also sporting a red hat, which I could clearly see Kiyoharu wearing as well. Well, he is pleasing to the eyes LOL the Visual part is important you know LOL
I really liked his hairstyle too.  Which is similar to the way he has it in the “Dragon Hearts” Video (see below) minus the braids. Instead the “long hair side” of his head (right side) had a lot of white in it.
Bottom line: he looked rather cool! And I think LOOKS, the visual impact, SHOULD be an important part of Visual Kei, else it’s just [Rock] Music.

Here is the video with them:
http://youtu.be/9EXhkFp1xVU

which I think illustrates that Kiyoharu resemblance well.

More on Penicillin: 

http://www.penicillin.jp/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Penicillin/50556763580?ref=ts 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penicillin_(band)

DNR:
First off a note: Photo of DNR above is NOT mine, but from their Official FB page. Link below.

Next up on stage at BLITZ: DNR, and if it is tough to be the first band up, it must also be very tough to be a foreign band on an event like this.
First of all I’m amazed at especially Axia’s (Vo.) ways of dealing with this. He commanded that stage as if he has always been a member of a Japanese band, knowing how to get a Japanese audience, like this one, going. He directed with his hands, had a stage presence and worked the stage in very similar manners, as any other [Japanese] VK vocalist would have done. Well done you!
Also the daring activity of pulling an X Japan cover in Japan went very well! He did an outstanding vocal effort with  ‘Tears’ , which isn’t easy either.
The band was enhanced this night with Yu Phoenix from Germany on guitar.  Former guitarist of the band  “Cinema Bizarre“ 
Over all the band did great, and I think many in the audience were intrigued and want to know more about them. Kira’s flirting with the audience (he literally kneeled down from stage and ‘met’ them).
I felt a certain European connection, and was happy to inform the audience around me about DNR and who is who in the band. I understand enough Japanese to over hear them talk and speculate and discuss the band, so I took the opportunity to tell the little I know about DNR: Hopefully soon I will know more. Don’t think this was the last time I saw them.
I think their success would have gone even further, had they been later in the program, because the audience feed back is soo important for how the whole experience is for everyone. When Alice Nine was up on stage (last band up), the crowd was already fired up and it sure makes a huge difference. Anyway I’m sure DNR made a good enough impression this evening to be more than welcome back to Japan.

One more to applause goes to Seba!
and his skills of handling the MC
AWESOME Seba!
Not just for speaking Japanese and having the audience smile and laugh but for doing it so well!!
And actually I also want to admit after seeing hundreds of images of Seba, everywhere online I must say that he looks and seems, much more charming IRL,
and that doesn’t mean that the photos of Seba are bad… on the contrary, he is a true model BUT IRL …smiling and acting on stage he also comes across as very charming.

DNR info and links:

http://www.dnrofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dnrofficialpage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNR_(Dreams_Not_Reality)

https://www.facebook.com/YuPhoenixOfficial

then Royz:

I have seen Royz before but now I cannot for the love of my life find any files on my computer.. Need to take a big long vacation at some time, when the time can just FREEZE, so I can use a week to rename some files on my computer… ha ha ha

Anyway, I really like these guys.
Why?
Because for me they are truly VISUAL in the Visual Kei part. They are Visual Kei anno 2012
They sparkle both literally and emotionally. Making me smile from the floor!
and Here they are on stage with vocalist Subaru (Vo.) having a broken tibia.
The tibia or shinbone,is the larger and stronger of the two bones in the leg below the knee in vertebrates and connects the knee with the ankle bones.
The results of the test tibia fracture right leg. He wrote about it in his blog here:

http://ameblo.jp/royz—subaru/page-6.html#main 

Shin, HeavensDust, with a broken collar bone, YuI, Vagu*Project, with severe neck and back pain, and now here Subaru, Royz...
These guys certainly don’t stop going on stage, they have this passion and determination to GIVE YOU their all, their everything, their passion, their music…
no matter what!
And did Subaru show any sign of lesser performance ability?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!

He and Royz rocked that stage! 

And as I wrote above when Alice Nine later entered the stage, the audience was already fired up and very excited. Personally I think it was when Royz did their part of the show, that the audience really woke up!
And yes Royz should definitely receive the appreciation for doing that!

Part of the whole night’s excitement, joy and good feelings over all, is that sense of being part of something exciting and passionate as ONE UNITY
both from the stage perspective and from the audience point of view. It is ONE thing going on, and it is that magic interplay between Musicians and Audience;
and when it peaks it is
pure AUDIORGASMIC FUN!

More about Royz:

http://royz.pya.jp/pc/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/Rooyz
葵 & 涼平 Aoi and Ryohei

It is always difficult balancing act to write about several bands performing at one big event. Recalling the long blog about my feelings after VRock at Saitama, I received some negative feed-back for not writing positively about ALL bands at the VRock Festival.
OK so music appreciation is truly subjective… and yes I, like everyone else, have preferences and yes, it does happen that I go to a concert and not necessarily like everything I hear. Often I choose not to even write anything about such bands,  but to avoid doing so here would look kind of awkward. One band left out… why?
so… that said…

Next band up, 葵 & 涼平 , was obviously appreciated by many in the audience, but not  necessarily by me personally. I cannot say that they did bad, were off key or anything specific like that… just not my bag…They didn’t manage to hit a vibe in me…
I felt as if they merely were happy about being on stage .. which of course is a good thing in itself., but musically I felt as if something was lacking. A depth, something of their own, just something wasn’t there for me.

They did however manage to maintain the audience upbeat spirit, and even amplify it. Actually I felt as if this was something they were really good at, more than really having something to contribute with musically. It didn’t really help that some of their fans that we had around us in the crowd, acted like real bitches. Excuse my language, but yeah they were….Rude, long hair and looong nails is a very bad combo for jumping like crazy and even up on the railing that compartmentalizes the floor in different sections.
I was on the verge on calling security on them, and I noticed I was NOT alone in thinking it… hmmm..
Maybe this made me sound like a boring party pooper, but no I am really tolerant to jumping, dancing and head banging and what not, but I am not tolerant when it comes to hurting people around you on purpose, and then not stopping after several people have both told you to please constrain yourself a lot because you are in fact hurting people. We shouldn’t judge the band by their fans at all, but maybe maybe it did affect my feelings just a tad….
OK I suggest you all go and listen for yourself if you want to figure them out and give them a fair chance without my idea about them.

Here is their Website:

http://www.avexnet.or.jp/ar/index.html

and a fan made FB page mostly in Spanish…
https://www.facebook.com/AoiyRyohei

Now the last two bands are already very well known and probably not new to anyone of you…. Girugamesh and Alice Nine...
That however doesn’t make it any less difficult for me to write about them.
I really like both of them, and I think both of these bands are bands that truly are best LIVE , even thought they are great on my iPod as well… they are AWESOME Live.

ギルガメッシュ- Girugamesh/Girugämesh

named after King Gilgamesh (5th king of Uruk abt 2500 BC, modern day Iraq) I really don’t know why they have a named their band after a Mesopotamian mythological demigod… so please if anyone of you know more about this, please enlighten me…

I really like Japanese Music, but don’t know enough about anime, manga, or Japanese popculture so maybe there’s a connection there that I have missed?!
Anyway  Girugamesh always ROCK the stage. So also tonight. m/

Everyone was jumping up and down and YES it was wild (but no more bitches ha ha ha)…
and Satoshi and the others sure worked the stage but well I and Phoe-Lo agreed:
-This was not their over all best performance we have seen. They didn’t look tired or anything, and they were really working it but they weren’t as ‘radiatingly’, charismatically transmitting as I like to see them. There was a certain transmitting energy missing…
Musically though I like them A LOT!!

..and only Alice Nine beat them musically, when it comes to my personal preferences from  the selection we were served this ‘Stylish Visual Kei Wave Night….’
Probably because in my opinion Alice Nine totally NAILED their performance!
Sounded heavier than I expected them to, and just gave me that WOW feeling I expected to get already by Girugamesh.

http://www.girugamesh.jp/jp/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Girugamesh/109438395740650

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girugamesh

 and Alice NIne links…

http://www.pscompany.co.jp/alicenine/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Nine

This was one long blog about bands performing at Akasaka BLITZ, an evening that went way too fast! (T.T)

What came out from it from me was:
YES, I want to see Alice Nine again soon and hope they will keep this somewhat heavier sound. They nailed it!
YES, I was very happy to see DNR live and happy to see a European band on a Japanese stage do so well.
YES, Girugamesh is good, even when not doing their very BEST, they are professional and  awesome musically.
YES, I really wish Royz the best in the near future and want to see them again

Coming up this week is another night at Urga, this time WITH CAMERA !!! and a band called  熊のジョン and

Friday I will be at  池袋手刀 Ikebukuro Chop for
grace period
and beside the cool guys in grace period following bands:
Rabbit of Labyrinth
Endroit
E.T 
DAZZLE

All for now (^.-)