A few months ago, I wrote a post about the three concerts I went to here in Japan in the first half of 2015. Those concerts were all fantastic, but the acts were all international artists; Incubus, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, and Taylor Swift. So today, I'd like to share my experience of seeing a Japanese band, DaizyStripper, live here in Japan, and how different and awesome it was!
|DaizyStripper in "Uso to Kagerou"/嘘と陽炎, one of my favourite singles!|
|Don't worry Freddie, you're still my #1.|
|DaizyStripper in Heaven's Rock, Utsunomiya. Photo by T's Project.|
|Not headbanging isn't even an option, because then you get whipped in the face by ten other girl's hair. It hurts! Photo by T's Project.|
|Post-concert, slightly drenched, SUPER HAPPY.|
Five unique points of Visual Kei concerts:
- Of course, furitsuke. There is nothing really like this for western bands. It's super fun to join in on furitsuke, but I've seen some foreign fans comment that it's annoying. When you see the crowd doing cutesy hand movements, I guess it's easy to think "is this really in the spirit of rock"? But even though it's different, I really enjoyed it. It makes a nice atmosphere amongst the fans, I think.
- Slow songs. Like most rock bands, DaizyStripper still has some slow songs (Sweet Dream is one of my absolute favourite songs by them!). As an example, even when Incubus plays Drive, fans will still dance slowly or move in time to the music. But when DaizyStripper played something slow, fans stood almost completely still. This is apparently typical at Visual Kei concerts, to show appreciation for the song. I still feel a little conflicted about it, to be honest. When I'm feeling energetic or hyped up at a concert, it's natural for me to keep moving, even during a slow song. Should I adjust to the normal behaviour of the crowd, or be the annoying foreign fan who can't stand still? I don't know!
- Name-calling. There are many ways of "appealing" to your favourite band member, but the most different one was the name-calling. One version, called sakigoe (咲き声) was the most different. After each song, girls were calling out to their favourite members in extremely high-pitched, childish voices. I most often heard "Nao-chaaaaannnn!". Some fans went the other way, and called names in low death-metal kind of growls. I don't really mind this, and I joined in, although I just called in my normal voice. I read somewhere that you should only call to one member...but I love all the members! I can't just choose one person to call to!
- Crowd structure. When we first entered the venue, Virginia and I wondered why people weren't really standing very close to each other, and why they weren't trying to get closer to the front. At other concerts, it's normal to end up completely pressed against a stranger, and to try to fight your way closer to the front as you mosh. Instead, at VK concerts, fans stand roughly in horizontal lines with more space between each other. Once the furitsuke starts, it's obvious why. You often have to join hands and jump or dance from side to side in rhythm, or do arm movements which could hit other people if you're too close. Although we headbanged a lot, the crowd movement was pretty different from traditional moshing.
- Finally, I'm sure there are very few western bands who get as touchy-feely with each other as DaizyStripper do. There was one hilarious moment where during a super rocking guitar solo, Mayu hit Nao in the head with the neck of his guitar. Virginia is convinced he only did this so he could hug him to make him feel better. As for the rest of the concert...I'll just leave this here:
|Um...and this (from a different DS concert, but still).|
|We bought so many CDs...|
|...like the slightly obsessive fangirls we are.|
|Virginia and I in Harajuku! ♡|