Friday, September 23, 2011

Punk Rock Show

Yesterday night, I was able to enjoy some fine music. Do you know any Punk? The Ramones, Sex Pistols? Or how about Rockabilly? What about Garage Rock, with bands like The Kingsmen from Portland, Oregon? Okay, well, what about Japanese Punk? It looks a little something like this:

Last night, I drove to Koriyama and met up with another English teacher. We went to Club #9, a small theater near the train station, to see some Japanese musicians. My friend, a big Punk aficionado, was able to introduce me to all of the musicians and score me some free swag (above). One thing I noticed about the concert was that they used a lot of English. All of their band names were English, both spoken and written. Some of their lyrics were also English.

A Rockabilly group named Lost Soul Revolt opened, followed by my friend's band, a group named Scrap. The lead singer reminded me of the lead singer from the band Guitar Wolf. Every member of Scrap came from the irradiated area of Fukushima, so many of their songs were about the crisis here. Even though my Japanese comprehension is sub par, I was able to feel the emotion in their voices as they sang about being unable to return home with their friends and families. At the end of their set, the audience joined in for a rousing chorus of the song "F*** Tepco."

Tepco is the Tokyo Electric Power Company, seen by most Japanese citizens as responsible for the evacuation of thousands after the instability of the nuclear plant in Fukushima caused the region to become radioactive. I suppose I should address this crisis in more detail sometime in the future.

The headlining band was The Street Beats. You can hear some of their music on Youtube. They had a very powerful stage presence, and performed two encores, even though the venue I attended was quite small (less than a hundred people). They're accustomed to playing for thousands of people, but it's nice to see they stop for all of their fans, no matter the amount. After the concert, I was invited by my friend to attend the after-party, where I had a chance to chat with the performers and thank them for all of the work they put into their stage shows. It was a pleasant experience, and I hope to attend further Punk shows in the future.

I just wish my ears would stop ringing.

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