Monday, November 3, 2008

Party Till Dawn

Americans look at the Japanese as docile workaholics who are too shy and repressed for their own good. Au contraire! You have absolutely no idea how rowdy these people can get. Give them a few drinks and they will party straight till dawn.

This past week's Halloween festivities are case and point. By the way, the irony of partying Halloween style in Japan wasn't lost on me.

On Thursday evening, I was invited by a Yale friend to the Glitter Ball, a party hosted by Metropolis, the English language magazine she edits for. The event was held at a Shibuya club called "Womb," a fitting name considering the place was packed way beyond capacity. You could barely move between rooms for most of the night. The place was absolutely seething with unbelievably beautiful young women from all parts of the world, all the more sexy in their different costumes and outfits. Of course, it wouldn't be a dance club without a plethora of black lights, strobing colors, and an inundation of amazing, bass heavy, booty dropping music. I think the photo says all:

We stayed for a few hours, had a few drinks, chatted, and shmoozed. Overall, the place was a bit of a Gaijin love-fest, so we bounced around midnight. An excellent and exciting night by anyone's standards.

On Friday evening, per Yugo's request, I returned to Diglight for their Halloween bash. Yugo and his wife opened the night with a set of classic blues and rock tunes. They were followed by two local blues groups that were just totally sick for bar-room cover bands. The lead singer of the first band was actually the bartender and most of the players were regular Diglight patrons.

The guy with the blonde wig was definitely a shredder. He had quick and nimble fingers and when he turned it up a notch, he could really play. You can't see it in the photo, but I think he has a striking resemblance to James Iha from the Smashing Pumpkins. Maybe they are distant cousins, both endowed with the same Samurai Guitar genes.

The guy to his right was hands down the best guitarist I've seen since I've arrived in Tokyo. He had truly soulful fingers like BB King and an electric sound like Andy Summers of The Police. I learned that he was also a guitar teacher. We traded information after his set and he invited me to a jam session later this week.

The bands fed a lot of energy into the small crowd, but things didn't really start to get rowdy till after they were finished. The bartender cued up the mixtape and people started dancing. There was a mock stripper's pole in the middle of the bar that some of the more obnoxious people were taking turns pole dancing on, upside down swinging and all.

Through the course of the night, I talked with the different musicians, Yugo, his wife, and I even tried my luck flirting with some of the young Japanese girls that came for the party. I have to say, it's a total game killer when you stop mid-sentence and can't remember the simplest of words.

By that point, everyone but myself had had a few too many drinks. Alcohol can be the great social equalizer. Young babes out with their friends, middle aged women chatting up handsomely dressed men at the bar, drunk salarymen hungry for a good time outside the office, students, musicians, everyone out together drinking and smoking from 9 PM till the sun rose. I didn't leave till 4:30 in the morning.

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