Summer music festivals in Japan 2015: Shiina Ringo, 10-Feet, Dragon Ash

kishidanIt never ceases to astound me how the Japanese stay seated during indoor concerts. It does not happen every time, but it’s a fairly common thing. However, music shows which take place in the open-air venues is a completely different story – the crowds go utterly crazy and that sheer intensity still emanates from the video footage of those events. Some big music festivals occur in summer – Rock in Japan, Fuji Rock or Rising Sun Rock Festival to name a few. They are usually covered by Japanese TV to a degree, so it’s always a good source for finding new artists to listen to, or enjoy those I already like.

Shiina Ringo, whom I mention frequently on this blog, in addition to an overseas concert in Taiwan (hopefully it will result in a live DVD/BD release!) played both on RiJ and Fuji Rock Fest. Just a handful of songs emerged, but I like the vibe of them a lot.

ph04 ph08 ph13Taiwan show pictures. More HERE

Although the recent single leaves much to be desired, I will be probably the last person to ever complain about live performances of the singers I like. Each show’s different one way or another, and I’m thankful for the digital/viral age we’re living in so I can watch at least some of them when it’s impossible for me to be on the other side of the globe.

Tsumi to Batsu

Mittei Monogatari, The Assassin’s Assassin

Ringo is accompanied by a jazzy ensemble of musicians. And Uki. Someone commented elsewhere that she’s going Ayumi, and she’s not that good at it. Firstly, I don’t think Ayumi Hamasaki is such a definite example of an artist who does the outrageously produced shows. Secondly, Ringo’s concerts are not that overblown just yet. Lastly, when I watch her I continue to sense the fire and the sparks which initially have drawn me to her. She definitely enjoys at least some aspects of her career and I certainly dig it as well.

Mission Impossible Kyoto is a concert I didn’t hear about before, but it came to my attention this year. Among the artists that participated were Kishidan, Acidman, Dragon Ash, Brahman and 10-Feet. Kishidan is a cool band I remember for their bōsōzoku image, One Night Carnival and the cameo in a drama Kisarazu Cat’s Eye. They’re just too cool for their own good.
Dragon Ash is a name I’ve seen from time to time but I’ve never really bothered to get into them. Turns out they consider themselves a hip-hop band but in order to break through they had to juggle with different other genres. Theoretically speaking, I’d liken their music to nu-metal, but it might be an unfair comparison. Based on what I’ve seen, badass is the genre they excel in.

DAshAll in all, Kenji, the lead singer, seems like a very charismatic individual. He joins 10-Feet for an insanely awesome rendition of the song River. Back to the point I made in the beginning, I love how the audience joins in and sings along – this sort of stuff always makes me wish I was a rock star capable of bringing fans to such vocal response. Not happenin’, but it was a good watch.

That chorus sounds so neat, but with my knowledge of Japanese language I’d be able to sing it if it was 10 times slower.

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