(Okay, since I don’t have time to put together one huge post about Japan Nite, and since there are too many pictures I want to post, I’m breaking this up into smaller parts, one for each band.)
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before, the Japan Nite 2008 tour came to Los Angeles for its final show last weekend. After an amazing show last year, I definitely didn’t want to miss out this year, and this time I got to stay for the whole event!
The show was at the Knitting Factory again, but on a different stage. The turnout seemed to be smaller this year (perhaps last year was the exception because of GO!GO!7188?), but I guess it’s a pretty reasonable size for this type of concert. It’s just disappointing that more people don’t show up, especially when tickets are so cheap.
But whatever. First ones to take the stage are SCANDAL, a band composed of 4 high school girls from Osaka.
From left: Tomomi (bass), Haruna (vocals, guitar), Mami (guitar)
In back (sorry you can’t really see her): Rina (drums)
These girls play a really energetic brand of pop-rock, though I have to say they’re going to need to work a bit on their stage presence. They’re still young, though, so they’ve got plenty of time to improve. They’ve already got talent, so I can only see them getting better over time.
They did try to interact with the crowd, and they were partly successful, getting a good number of people clapping and raising their hands up in the air. They also did a short “Japanese language time” with phrases from Osaka-ben (”maido” and “ookini”), but after seeing the same thing from Oreskaband before (and I really like Oreskaband), I guess it fell flat on me.
My favorite song from their set was “S.L Magic,” though “Space Ranger” and “Koi Moyou”(”Love Pattern” as it’s titled in English) were also good. I was looking forward to “Playboy,” since it was my favorite from the songs on their MySpace page, but in the end I think I like the sound of the recorded version better (that one always gets me energized).
The bassist Tomomi is my favorite from the group, as I felt like she was having the most fun up there on stage. She just kept rocking out with a big smile on her face, occasionally sticking her tongue out for kicks. I mean, they all seemed like they were having fun, but Tomomi left the strongest impression. And in every picture I’ve seen of the group, she just looks the happiest. =)
I definitely enjoyed their performance, but it’s much closer to cute pop than something I could really rock out to (like detroit7, but I’ll get to them later). And I couldn’t help but feel that a lot of the guys in the crowd were into them largely because they’re cute high school girls jumping around on stage in skirts. Sure, that’s part of the appeal, but for me, the music always comes first.
They were selling a CD+DVD of “Space Ranger” for $5, but I waited too long to get it and it was sold out before I could pick one up… sad =(
Overall, SCANDAL is a band I’m hoping to hear more of in the future, even if their live performance was personally a little disappointing. They have a chance to be a really fun and powerful band, and I think this tour was a great opportunity for them, in terms of both exposure and experience.
(By the way, credits for all pictures in these posts go to my brother.)