Tickets: Accessed through http://t.pia.jp/; 2800円
Performance rating: 5/5 (excellent stage presence)
Audience: 4/5 (highly interactive)
Venue: 4/5 (small, but comfortable. They had an open bar and accessible merch booths)
Let me start by saying that the artist I went to see was SHANK, a punk band reminiscent of the “Basketcase” days of Green Day. In respect to the headlining band, I did do some light research on their music, but I didn’t expect to walk out of the venue such a big fan.
When I first arrived at Club Quattro, which I passed about three times before realizing it was inside PARCO department store, it was about thirty minutes before the doors opened. A few fans were hanging around the merch booth, but I thought it was fairly empty considering I’d arrived later than planned. However, the closer it got to the start time, the number didn’t increase by much. This partly excited me, and partly disappointed me. Mostly on the group’s behalf. But in spite of these low numbers, the minute SHANK came onto the stage, the crowd lobbed together in the front and began stage diving and crowd surfing! Their most energetic song performed was “Two Sweet Coffees a Day“, the audience basically matching the one in the video.
Honestly, what made this concert experience memorable was the energy of the audience. The audience knew their cues and made it one of the most interactive experiences I’d ever had. We had a role in every song, whether it be “strolling” or throwing our fists into the air. This interaction was strongest during NUBO, perhaps because most of the attendees were there for them.
NUBO can be more easily defined as ska-punk. They have no sax or trumpet, but their guitar riffs give off a Goldfinger vibe. I bought their album “Warmth”, which has a mix of headbangers and hip-hop, all while maintaining this sort of ska-like identity. We were strolling for the majority of their performance, but towards the end, when they played their song “Circle” the audience (appropriately) began to dance in a circle. I was particularly touched when one of the girls nearby suddenly put her arm around me to loop me into it, too. Soon, both people wearing NUBO and SHANK shirts were dancing together. Even the lonesome foreigner.
Since it was a small concert, it was easy to feel a sense of community, and I was happy I could feel part of that for a few hours. Unfortunately, about part way through NUBO’s concert, one of the vocalists began to give a speech. I couldn’t quite follow it, but I began to get the feeling it might’ve been their final tour, as I noticed fans wiping their eyes.
SHANK and NUBO were definitely worth the 40 dollars spent (tax included), and I hope you’ll have a chance to see them one day soon (at least SHANK). They put on heart-racing performances with excellent use of lighting–particularly during NUBO’s song, “Bonfire“. Given that it’s my favorite song, I was especially pumped by the yellow and green light show they put on during the breakdown.
All in all, this was one of the most memorable concerts I’ve attended yet.