The Japanese Concert Experience Or BIG ANNOUNCEMENT WHOA

September 23, 2009

In one of my more daring moments, I decided this past Sunday to go into Osaka and see a random concert. Never heard of the bands, had no idea what they sounded like (I skipped over MySpaces for a more “surprising” experience), barely knew how to get there. But it has been a long time since I’ve been to a club for a concert and might as well have an adventure. Here are some observations from the show:

– The venue, 2nd Line Osaka, was one of the coolest music venues I’ve ever been to. Picture Chicago’s Empty Bottle, but even smaller and located in a side alley in what appeared to be a former storage space. One drawback – the venue existed directly below a train line…an active train line. Trains passed over every few minutes and this got to be annoying over the course of three hours.

– After you buy your ticket at the front desk, the people working there give you a big stack of advertisements for upcoming shows and promotional materials from the bands playing as well. I felt like I was going to a business orientation not a concert at this point.

– I got a drink ticket along with my sea of papers, but the only beverages I could redeem with it were Schmirnoff Ice, some sort of schnapps-like drink and the alarmingly ever-present Zima. I opted for the Schmirnoff. Don’t judge me too much.

– Japan apparently didn’t get the memo telling them how lame it is to wear the t-shirt of the band performing. This sin paled in comparison, however, to a member of one of the band’s playing sporting his own outfit’s shirt.

– I don’t know if this is common-place in Japan, but each of the three bands playing Sunday came on stage to little introductions. Sort of like in wrestling how they walk out to some terrible modern rock track as fireworks blow up all around them – except they came out to various old rock songs and no pyrotechnics.

– I was the only non-Japanese person at this concert. Good times.

I bet you want to know how the actual show was (right? Right???). Well…time for that big announcement I promised ya!

(Prepare to be let-down)

I’ve started yet another blog, this one devoted to a subject I know people love hearing me talk about – music!. Say hello to Make Believe Melodies, where you can watch me spout off about the music scene in Japan. I’m still setting everything up (like, that “About” page needs some major work) but feel free to read my takes on this Sunday’s concert and my ramblings about J-Pop techno-poppers Perfume. Or, more likely don’t.

(Japanese Fun Fact #17 – The Japanese charge wayyyyyyy to much for merch at a show.)

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