Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

Jack in the Box 2010

On the 27th, I went to one of the greatest J-Rock lives in the world (at least that’s my opinion). JACK IN THE BOX is an annual concert held by the Maverick DC Group, and features bands that are members of the group. Some of the bands in the group include L’Arc~en~Ciel, girugamesh, SID, and MUCC.

2010 is the second time that I’ve attended; my first was in 2008 while I was studying abroad. (If you’d like to read my report on that live, go here.)

I got ready in my tiny little room at Aizuya Inn (where I was staying from the 23rd until checking out this morning on the 29th). I had a punk outfit planned, but after some shopping in Harajuku I put together an all black, gothic lolita-like outfit (pictures will be up later).

I got to the Nippon Budokan by train in about 30 minutes, arriving at around 11:30 am. The doors didn’t open until 1:00 and the live didn’t start until 2:00, but the goods line started at 11:00, and I remember when I got there around noon or so in 2008, I had to wait a really long time. This time the line went pretty smoothly, so it only took about 30 minutes to get in and out. I bought a JITB 2010 T-shirt, some JITB stickers, and muffler towels from the SID and girugamesh booths. I was a little disappointed that it seemed tetsuya (the bassist and leader of L’Arc~en~Ciel, formerly known as tetsu), wasn’t going to be performing this year.

Getting into the venue as soon as the doors opened, I looked for my seat in the NW section of the venue. Having been there before, I knew my seat probably wasn’t a very good one, as I was sitting in a section behind the stage. I was complaining to myself about it before, but once I found the row I was supposed to be in (Row D, seat 21), I found out that it was actually a LOT closer to where I had been in 2008, which was all the way at the top in the stands. I figured that, no matter where I was sitting, as long as I was there, and could see and hear something, I would be happy.

What usually happened at JITB is an alternation between bands and ‘sessions,’ which are mixed groups of band members from different bands. At the end would be the Maverick DC ALL STARS, where just about everyone would be on stage and perform.

I was surprised to see that this year, they had four sessions in a row, and then went on to the bands, with two more sessions in between.

The sessions, as always, were awesome. My favorite ones were Session B and Session D. During the MC for Session B, girugamesh drummer Яyo said that the theme for attire was for everyone to shine (minna wa kirakira). Satochi from MUCC certainly did shine. Even though he’s the drummer of MUCC, he came out singing with Ken of L’Arc~en~Ciel, and was rather…well, let’s just say that Session B was like a drunken night of karaoke, which made it absolutely hilarious. One of the funny parts was when Yukke (bassist of MUCC) sang the opening part of L’Arc’s “Lies and Truth,” but since he couldn’t hit the high notes at the end he switched to the lower octave, prompting an applause from the audience. Satochi really owned the stage though, dancing around in his short shorts and thrusting his hips like a fool. At the end of “winter fall” he got on one knee next to Shinji (SID guitarist) and started caressing him, while Shinji just continued playing like nothing was going on.

Session D was truly great. The report speaks for itself: Ken sang a remixed version of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and “Telephone,” which was completely unexpected for me. I loved hearing Miya (MUCC guitarist) and Aki (SID bassist) sing the backup parts. By the end of that session I was probably the happiest music fan in the world. Hearing hyde (vocalist of L’Arc~en~Ciel) sing “Electric Eye” by Judas Priest during Session F was also very awesome.

I have to say that, if I had any complaints, it’s that I didn’t agree with the order of performances. They put the really great sessions at the beginning, and by the time MUCC came out it was pretty great, but then the last band to play was 44 Magnum, a veteran band of J-Rock. Seeing that they’re the oldest band, it kind of makes sense to make them the last band, but judging from the crowd, most of the people were younger and therefore fans of the newer bands. When it was announced that the All Stars session was the last act after 44 Magnum, EVERYONE went “Ehhhhhh?!” in surprise, because we all thought it was too early. We tried to demand and encore, but to no avail. I was disappointed that, despite all members of SID being there, they didn’t even perform together as a group (much like L’Arc~en~Ciel in 2008). Hopefully they’ll go back to the regular order next year.

That being said, I’m still very happy I was there. I’ll put up some pictures later; right now I’m in between checking in and out of hostels, and sitting in an internet cafe where my time is almost up. I also have pictures of some things I bought on my shopping spree, so those will be up as well!


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