Per usual concert protocol, doors opened late even for VIP and press members. Inside the Main Hall, the impressive long line outside did not even fill a third of the pit. Hundreds of chairs sat neglected including empty seats in the first row. A lone glow stick shone like a distant star in the vast space. I had expected many more fans. Then we waited some more before Roger, the promoter, dressed like a goth rock star, serving as MC, told us a story.
In 2005, Roger was an attendee of Katsucon when he saw Psycho le Cému play. He even pointed to a member of the audience to indicate where he stood that night. At the time, he wondered what it would be like to be on stage. He shared the story with hopes that it would inspire at least one person in the hall. It was an unique way to build rapport with the crowd before he asked them to scream for the band to appear.
Quality over quantity always. Despite the lackluster turnout, those in the pit delivered a scream loud enough to disguise their size as each member walked onto the stage.
I was very disappointed upon first impression. Visual Kei bands are supposed to emphasize fashion yes? While I don’t expect anyone else to rival the outfits from Mix Speaker’s Inc., I have seen high school punks dressed more stylishly than The Sound Bee HD.
The music is good. Then again all music is good. I have to confess that I didn’t pay as close attention as I typically do due to Shizuka letting me play with her extra DSLR. It was my second time using one with the first earlier that day at WCS. Judging by those dancing, cheering, waving, pumping and jumping, the band couldn’t have played poorly. I did find it odd that there were no pedals on stage. The sound was sharp and balanced with the guitar and bass taking turns.
Each band member displayed tremendous energy throughout. Daisuke, vocals, loved to stand on his monitor with upraised arms and eyes towards heaven. Kazuha, guitar, made a habit of raising his instrument up with one arm like a battle axe. Hiro, drummer, played relentlessly. You, bass, danced about the most and waved to the cameraman often. Near the end Daisuke or Kazuha threw a water bottle into the audience and I believe the latter tossed his pick as well. In fact, throughout the concert, they generously made contact with everyone, reaching down to slap hands on multiple occasions.
The best part was when the band spoke. Their English was decent. You proved most endearing. From the band biographies on the website, we get the joking impression that she drinks a lot. Except it might not be a joke. She explained the meaning of kanpai to the audience and her speech encouraged us to drink. The highlight was when she instructed the audience to give their number to Daisuke or to call Kazuha. The crowd roared approvingly in reply.
It was close to midnight when we stepped out. Time flies when one’s having fun!
More photos via flickr.