SCHIZO-ALIAS

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

JACK IN THE BOX 2011

This year was my third JACK IN THE BOX concert, my previous ones being in 2010 and 2008. I was pretty optimistic about the turnout of this concert, and while I can’t say it was the “perfect” show, it was enjoyable nonetheless.

In previous years, the pattern has been to open with either a session or a newcoming band, with an alternating pattern between band and mixed session. This year was different though. On the website, the timetable lists “MUCC or SID” as the first band, performing for an hour, and then “MUCC or SID” as the last band before the last few mixed sessions. in between, there would be bands playing, with a cluster of short “History” sessions, featuring songs from older bands throughout the history of Maverick DC.

MUCC came in first with an explosion of pyrotechnics, wowing the crowd and getting them all worked up. They played a set of 10 songs, complete with MCs from Tatsuro in between. I wasn’t sure if it was just the initial excitement from the start of the concert, or if MUCC was the most anticipated band of the day, but the crowd was pretty wild the entire time through. And of course, there was no way they’d do an hour-long session without playing “FUZZ,” which is probably their most well-known song.

Right after MUCC was girugamesh, which is my other favorite band besides L’Arc~en~Ciel. Of course I was excited to see them, but I was hoping that the newcoming band, BeepSpree, would play next, just to–for lack of better words–get it over with. Honestly, that’s why we have “opening bands” play before the more popular bands, right?

girugamesh probably had the best and most interesting introduction. The screens showed the message, “Hello Budokan.” and then the band’s name, before going blank again. A female announcer’s voice came on, saying something along the lines of, “In a moment, girugamesh will perform. But first, they wanted to give you their entire setlist in advance.” In response, the crowd went, “Ehhhhhh?!?!” Then the announcer continued:

“The first song: A new song.” The crowd cheered in response.
“The second song: ……A new song.” More cheering!
“The third song: ……A new song.” Cheers and laughter.
“The fourth song: ……A new song.” Cheers, laughter, and applause from the crowd.

Before coming out on stage, the announcer introduced them as a “sadistic” rock band, probably giving a hint to the kinds of songs they were going to do. From what I can remember, all four songs were pretty heavy, and some them even included Satoshi’s screaming that he had refrained from doing in their latest album from early last year. It sounded to me like the girugamesh that I’ve loved most was making its return; Their “NOW” album from 2010 is my absolute favorite, but “GO” sounded like they were going for an even softer sound, which I wasn’t all that fond of. So to hear their new songs made me optimistic for their upcoming releases.

Before the last song, Satochi talked about Tatsurou, MUCC’s vocalist, and so he made us chant “TA-TA-TA-TATSUROU!” at the end of every chorus in the 4th song. I’ll probably forever remember that chant whenever I hear that song again.

Next up was BUG. I don’t listen to them, and the crowd seemed like they were interested, but I didn’t see much excitement in the audience. I don’t remember them too well since I was busy wondering when they’d start up the MDC sessions.

But after BUG, they introduced the newcomer, BeepSpree. I was really concerned for them, because NO ONE knew who they were, and this was the first time I had ever heard of them. I had listened to some of their songs on YouTube and they weren’t bad at all, but I was curious as to why MDC would bring this band to such a big event like JACK and not even have them open for the bigger bands like MUCC and girugamesh.

BeepSpree started out with a series of solos from the drummer, the bassist, and who I assumed was the lead guitarist. I guess it was to prove to the audience that they were indeed skilled musicians. They were pretty plain-clothed, not visual kei; I knew this when I had looked them up, and in fact they looked more like a K-Pop boy band than a J-Rock band.

While they were good, I think most people were anxious for them to just finish. It was a bad decision on MDC’s part in regards to the order of performers. The crowd was most excited for MUCC, and that excitement just waned as less and less popular bands followed. Nonetheless, I’m cheering for BeepSpree to become more popular and continue to make good music; it wasn’t that long ago that girugamesh was in a similar situation; they weren’t THAT big in 2008, but as they made more music and continued playing at JITB year after year, they slowly gained popularity.

I’ll post Part 2 of my report once I get around to writing it. For now, check out BeepSpree and let me know what you think:

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