A few Sundays ago I went to my first real concert in Japan, the KISHIDAN Gig at the Budokan. Bryan found out about the show a few weeks ago and we decided might as well check it out. Kishidan had kind of disappeared for about 2 years, and their last album was a lot of “solo” projects that just wasn’t the same. But they’re back now, and have new songs in the works and a Japan-wide concert tour this summer. 夜露死苦！
Headed out to the Budokan pretty early, but it was obvious that there was a Kishidan concert going down. There were tons of street stalls selling bootleg Kishidan stuff, mostly by old guys in wifebeaters with sweat towels tied around their heads. I’m sure they don’t even know about the band, but they Google image searched it and printed out what they found on a variety of t-shirts, posters, buttons, and towels. Even more ridiculous though was the audience/groupies for this show, since at least a fourth of the people seemed to be in hardcore costumes. I guess this counts as cosplay, although there is a possibility there were some actual bikers who dress like the stereotypes that are Kishidan. Among this crowd I also saw quite possibly the biggest pompadour ever:
Pretty amazing hair.
Budokan definitely seemed smaller than I expected, since it’s so famous. I have no idea the actual sizes, but it seemed almost smaller than Assembly Hall at IU. The stage was in the middle of a round arena, with 4 jumbotrons and a rotating platform on the stage.
There was a lot of machine-made fog in the arena so the picture above isn’t so good. Also you’re not supposed to take pictures inside Budokan, so immediately after I took this picture a staff workers popped out of nowhere and told me to not take pictures. Oops!
The show was awesome, pretty straightforward music and some talking, without skits or other stuff in the middle. Out seats were pretty high up, but since the venue’s not that big I thought we still had a great view. Also we were originally set up behind the drum kit, but since the stage rotated a lot during the show it wasn’t a problem at all. The creepiest thing about the concert was the audience though, in a kind of “cool if you’re in a cult” way, since everyone seemed to know all of Dragon Voice’s dance movies, and they did them the entire time. You know how the wave is cool at a baseball game because you have so many people in a somewhat synchronized move? Imagine that for a 4 hour concert, only with intricate arm movements and a lot of “whoooo!”s. It seriously felt like we should have spent a good three months before this concert rehearsing the dance moves.
It was sweet when Kishidan debuted a new song though. Not only was it a good song, but it was funny to see the audience looking around confused and screaming to themselves “I don’t know the dance moves!!!!”
Too fast to live, too young to die.