BAND-MAID Serve up Thrills and Excitement at Akasaka BLITZ
BAND-MAID kicked off 2017 with “1st Full Album『Just Bring It』Pre-Release One-man ~Shin’nen Hatsu no Okyuuji Hajimemasu”, their historic sold-out first “serving” (live performance) at Akasaka BLITZ on January 9th!
The rain clouds from the morning cleared as the “masters” and “princesses” (fans) made their way into Akasaka BLITZ, welcomed by the eerie sounds of World’s End Girlfriend, the disorienting notes of “Der Spiegel im Spiegel im Spiegel” setting a tense mood as the clock ticked down to the start of the serving. Thick fog rolled across the stage as BAND MAID made their entrance under the cover of blood red lights, Akane being met by a wave of cheers as she held up her drumsticks. With a shout from Saiki, BAND-MAID began their serving with “REAL EXISTENCE”, the crowd surging forward, throwing their hands in the air and moshing. Kanami put her foot on one of the monitors at the front of the stage as she accelerated through her first solo of the evening.
The onslaught continued as BAND-MAID moved right into “Thrill”, Miku’s twintails whipping from side to side as she strummed away at her guitar and combined her voice with Saiki’s. A spotlight descended upon Misa as she slapped the strings of her bass, her solo transitioning right into Kanami’s. “Unfair game” opened with a two-handed guitar riff creeping its way through Akane’s thundering drums and Misa’s serpentine bass lines.
Saiki called out to the audience, asking them if they were still excited, the overwhelming response coming as the floor shook with hundreds of feet jumping up and down as the music changed gears to the steady groove of “FREEZER”. The energy spilled over into “Shake That!!”, Akane beating out aggressive rhythms on her drums as the audience turned into a sea of bodies crashing into each other.
BAND-MAID took a pause and Miku welcomed the fans with a flurry of words accented by her trademark “-ppo” pidgeon-like way of speaking, gathering up the energy of the audience with a rousing “kuruppo!” with her fist in the air.
Jumping back into the music, BAND-MAID revved up the mood with the new song “secret My lips”, Saiki’s cool rock vocals slicing through the air. Kanami rocked her wah pedal as the live marched on with “LOOK AT ME”, her guitar acting like a third voice intertwined with Miku and Saiki’s vocals, even seeming to laugh as she played her solo. Driven forward by Misa’s bassline and Akane’s drums, the dual vocal attack continued as BAND-MAID flashed forward through “Before Yesterday”, bright lights shining from the stage. Picking up speed once again with “the non-fiction days”, Saiki called out for the audience to match BAND-MAID’s energy, the masters and princesses once again surging forward and writhing like a stormy sea in front of the stage. Floating on the thick layers of drums, bass, and guitars of “matchless GUM”, the band kept sailing forward steadily, a flurry of razor sharp notes erupting from Kanami’s fingers during her solos.
Shifting into yet another gear, BAND MAID locked into the commanding arena rock groove of “ORDER”, the masters and princesses thrusting their fists in the air aggressively. Misa and Kanami traded solos as the pressure kept rising, eventually releasing with the wide-open riffing off “Brand-New Road”, the flashing red and blue lights giving off the image of a high-speed car chase. Appropriately, the stage lights switched to all green as BAND MAID floored the accelerator for “Don’t apply the brake”, Saiki and Miku’s vocals keeping pace with each other as the band raced along.
Taking a short break to let the masters and princesses catch their breath, Miku riled them up again as BAND MAID jumped back on the expressway with “Take me higher!!”, Kanami’s acidic guitar lines battling with Misa’s bass and Akane’s drums as Saiki and Miku cut loose. BAND MAID took a quick detour to the wild side with “FREEDOM” a freewheeling glam rock tune before sliding firmly into the futuristic industrial funk groove of “Arcadia girl”. Switching on the superchargers, they roared through “Don’t let me down”, leaving a path of destruction in their wake for what might have been the most electrifying song of the evening.
Miku’s pigeon-talk returned as she thanked the masters and princesses for making their biggest serving a sell-out. She reminded them that “Just Bring It” would be going on sale on January 11th and that BAND-MAID had their Gekirock collaboration goods on sale at Village Vanguard. Mentioning that there were a lot of cameras set up in Akasaka BLITZ, Miku asked that the masters and princesses showed their best faces if they were filmed, coyly not explaining what would become of the footage. She then lead them in a series of “moe moe kyun kyun” call and responses in order to bless BAND MAID with good luck for 2017, climaxing with a “kuruppo!
The floodgates opened again as BAND-MAID raged through “Don’t you tell ME”, Misa’s taut bass lines and Akane’s drums thundered through the air as Miku and Saiki’s vocals exerting their power over the masters and princesses. Kanami threw her head back as she unleashed another solo. A rainbow of flashing lights washed across the stage as BAND-MAID simmered through “Alone”, the audience bubbling and spilling over as they moshed along enthusiastically. The final song of the evening “YOLO” brought with it an explosion of metallic gold streamers, some of them even reaching the second-floor balcony of Akasaka BLITZ as BAND-MAID put the finishing touches on their first serving of 2017. Thanking the masters and princesses one last time, BAND-MAID left the stage as a screen was lowered and revealed the MV for “Don’t you tell ME” and the dates of their upcoming first one-man tour.
BAND-MAID’s global breakthrough and first world tour in 2016 was well deserved and long overdue. Based on the performance they gave at Akasaka BLITZ, expect them to keep breaking through new gates and step up to bigger stages in 2017 and beyond.
Photos by Shingo Tamai
01 REAL EXISTENCE
03 Unfair game
05 Shake That!!
06 secret My lips
07 LOOK AT ME
08 Before Yesterday
09 the non-fiction days
10 matchless GUM
12 Brand-New Road
13 Don’t apply the brake
14 Take me higher!!
16 Arcadia girl
17 Don’t let me down
18 Don’t you tell ME
First One-Man Okyuushi Tour 2017
May 10, 2017 : Tokyo, Tokyo Kinema Club
May 19, 2017 : Aichi, Nagoya CLUB QUATTRO
May 21, 2017 : Osaka, Umeda CLUB QUATTRO
May 26, 2017 : Fukuoka BEST STATION
June 4, 2017 : Hokkaido, Sound Lab mole
June 15, 2017 : Tokyo, Ebisu LIQUIDROOM
BAND-MAID Official site: http://bandmaid.tokyo/
BAND-MAID Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/bandmaid
BAND-MAID Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bandmaid
BAND-MAID YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/BANDMAID
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