continued from here.

I spent the evening in a hotel on on Dougenzaka hill with my cat and the next day she joined me at the festival. It was raining out so we hit up the Shibuya Don Quijote to get some clothes and got on the train to Tokyo, then Chiba. I got a rain coat from a guy selling them on the walk to the venue but I only used it to walk there. 
Once we got in I realised that whether I sweat under the plastic or get rained on I was going to be soaked anyway so I gave the coat to the cat and went Woodstock. The weather however DID mean that I didn't have my phone on me and so no guerrilla photography was done.

report after the jump ;)


We arrived a bit late and Kishidan was already on stage. I didn't get to see them from the block but I did see them on the big screen. Yeah. At first I wondered about them being on the lineup, but They were really cool. The music was as it always has been… interesting. Their showmanship however was top class. It takes a lot to do what they do so they get my respect. They finished by the time we had sorted our bags out however so they didn't make that huge an impact on my festival.


I don't dislike them but I don't love them either. They were a good band that made some pretty damn interesting music. They got us jumping though. Maybe it was the cold, maybe the rain or maybe it was just that everyone needed to get their blood pumping but we even got some bounce pits going. The rain did however mean that the grass that was trampled by our rampaging hoard soon gave way to dirt which combined with the rain to make a dark, sticky mud. Traction was lost and it was a the start  of what would become the muddiest fun I have had in my life. Pumped up by polysics… I was ready to take on the next band.

N'shukugawa Boys:

I don't know what to expect. I had never even heard of them before this fest, but I was pumped so I went to the front and gave them a squizz. They sucked. Majorly. Seriously. They couldn't really play. They couldn't really sing. The chick looked good enough but the rain killed any benefits that she brought. It was not a long set but in that weather it took for ever for them to vacate the stage… so I went and got a munch.

Pay Money To My Pain:

The reason I forked out for  2 day ticket instead of just the first day. Japan's very own Avenged Sevenfold. After the last disaster of a band, they had a lot of work to salvage things for me. And how they did. They are a tight and professional screamo band. With a sound that should warrant much more fame than they currently possess. That said the trends in hard rock music these days in Japan is heading down a slightly different path but they have a skill that should transcend that. They picked up the slack and wound it up tight.

"Wet, muddy and partying out to great music 
like a pig in shit."
Needless to say of course, we got a pit going. It was bigger than I expected it would be but there were many more keen fans due to them not being VK. types. Yeah they were a bit emo, but they wanted to go. The mud grew and before long I went down. I loved it. Wet, muddy and partying out to great music like a pig in shit. Hell even the cat was stomping about. She even took a turn in the pit.


AA= stands for All Animals are Equal. Formed by Takeshi from the Mad Capsule Markets, They were bound to be unique but I had no Idea if they were any good. I figured Wagdug Futuristic Unity was epic so the chances were high that AA= would be too. They were pretty damn good. Not epic but they took the crowd from where Pay Money to my Pain left off and kept us going. I had hit my adrenaline peak and needed to keep the flow high and they gave me what i needed. Their mix of hard and electronic with good old fashioned rock music was refreshing and energetic enough to keep the blood flowing. I am still not sure if I really like them enough to get any of their music though. Who cares. I had a memorable time in the mud pit thanks to them and thats all that matters really.


One of the stalwarts of J-Rock was out on stage before the headlining act and they brought with them something that had been lacking so far on the Sunday. Experience. With a classic sound that was reminiscent of bands like Luna Sea and of course Buck Tick their stage presence was in a word, confident. 
This was a band that has toured the globe and played in massive venues. They didn't work the crowd. They dictated it's every move. That said, They were not buck tick or Luna Sea. I was content to just watch and see what they sounded like to say I had seen them. That was until they announced 'Die' from Dir en grey was going to be joining them on stage for their last 3 songs. That got my attention. And it brought their level up. No jokes. You could hear the difference that 1 new guitarist (albeit a particularly good one) made. I enjoyed them a lot more after that.


One of the biggest successes in Japanese rock history and from Gunma to boot. They started in high school back before I was born and worked up from zero to be one of the most famous names to ever come from these islands. Yes. They were good. They have been playing for 25 years. Thats a good deal of experience right there. 

But we know this. I have been listening to their singles since before I came to Japan and generally liked their stuff. Sure I probably would not have gone out of my way to see them at one of their one man shows but since they organised this amazing festival with some of my favourite bands I was very keen to see some real live legends. Come to think about it, While I have seen Dir en grey, I had never seen any of the classic greats of the 80s and 90s before.
How were they? In a word; Great. In a few more; tight, professional, skilled and powerful.  They had a retrospective video with clips from their big hits and music videos. They played a selection from their catalogue that spanned their 25 years and they got called back to play a few more in the encore. The band ended both nights with fireworks displays (which I appreciated more because of their name than anything else). 

"How were they? 
In a word; Great."

There is not much more to say really. I was stoked to be witnessing a band of their calibre live. You can really see the difference between them and some of the newer acts that have faster rises to fame. These guys formed, and stuck with it for years and are still going. Their experience shines through on every note and hits home on every beat. The best bit is. they are only getting better. 

I may not have gone specifically to see them. But in 5 years time when the next parade is announced. They will be the primary reason I visit the loppi machine. 

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