Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rogue Wave

This past Tuesday evening, I was signed up as staff for Rogue Wave, a one-time live music event held at Shindaita Fever. The show was organized by Tokyo music bigwigs Daniel Robson and Keith Cahoon. Four excellent bands were on the roster; veteran rockers GO!GO!7188, rock singer songwriter Natccu, hard rock band Molice, and the retro outfit Kinoco Hotel.

Starting the night off right was none other than GO!GO!7188. At this point, I've seen the group five times. Usually, GO!GO! can pack large concert halls and 1000-seat venues, but this time, it was awesome to see them fill a smaller, more intimate space. I was able to get right up to the stage and snap a few close photos, but the fervor of the audience forced me to retreat.

Right now, GO!GO!7188 is on fire promoting their latest album, Go!!GO!GO!Go!!, which is scheduled for release next week on June 2nd. Their new songs are energic and spunky as usual, but with an injection of thicker guitars, their sound has even more bite. I received a promo copy of the album after the show and I'll be sure to post a review sooner rather than later.

Next up was Natccu, playing her first show since returning from her recent tour of England. Her set at Rogue Wave was one of the best I've seen her do all year. It must be that she is still buzzing from her experience abroad. To my ears, her new songs sounded a bit more "English". The new tracks use some interesting synth riffs, complimenting her poppy indy rock feel. She too is prepping up for her new album which should be released soon.

Molice was up next. I had last seen them at Ruby Room's Bad Noise event back in late February. While I love Ruby Room to death, the band was much more in their element at Fever, a genuine rock club with a professional sound system. The full size stage and top notch gear gave them the chance to show their intensity. Too much intensity perhaps; I think the soundman could have turned them down one notch.

Finally, last on the roster was relatively new group, Kinoco Hotel, a band who is all about kitsch. Kinoco Hotel is a throwback to the era of Group Sounds, the time in Japanese pop music history when every rock band was a knock off of the Beatles. They marched on stage in matching Sgt. Pepper's uniforms and mop-top wigs, playing 60's surf riffs and hard psychedelic rock. I was standing next to Akko and Yuu from GO!GO! who were both rocking out, enthralled by the performance. It seemed like the seal of approval to me.

In order of appearance, GO!GO!, Natccu, Molice, and Kinoco Hotel:

Congratulations to Daniel and Keith for an excellent and successful event! The Werewolf is earnestly looking forward to the next one...

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