I had heard of this show maybe 2 months ago when Montreal’s Parasytes announced their Japanese Total Infestation tour on facebook. I immediately began salivating at the opportunity to see this great band from my hometown play in Tokyo! This special evening was a celebration of LIFE‘s quarter of a century of ear shredding crust punk in Japan. Also and perhaps more importantly, this date coincided with the anniversary of the devastating atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Much of the imagery used in LIFE‘s promotional tools, flyers or merchandise refers to war and it’s atrocities, making this concert’s date no coincidence. Their message was clear and written on a sticker given to every one of the evening’s ticket holders: ”no peaceful purpose for nuclear weapons.”
A typical Tokyo punk show, it began early which is great. Japan is the only place I’ve personally been to where a headlining punk band will be done by midnight or 1am. I don’t see any particular reason or logic to justify why shows have to go on until 3am. It only forces you to take a night bus or invest a hefty sum of money in a taxi ride. Or stay out the entire night.
Parasytes consists of singer Janick Varning, guitarists Luke Nukem and Nick Mccracken, bassist Tom and last but not least, Sticker on drums. On a side note, I’ve always found the nicknames punks give themselves to be hilarious and wonderful; DJs aside, I think hip hop and punk have at least that much in common: colorful and inventive alter ego nicknames. Maybe some good Tokyo punk ones would be Yumiko Ya
aark or AmurØcoholik or maybe ÅnarcΚeikØVomit. Or maybe not.
This was the first stop on a 5 gig Japanese tour for PARASYTES and what can I say: they brought that Montreal A-game to the stage and played an amazing set! Vocalist Janick Varning was on fire and clearly honoured to be sharing the evening’s bill with Tokyo scene veterans LIFE. I would have liked to see more movement in the crowd but on the other hand I can’t complain too much: no pit equals better photos for me. As far as I’m concerned, all songs were tightly knit and woven into a fast paced set that tore through the crowd like lightning; this set will be engraved in my mind for years to come!
Next up: LIFE. I had missed their appearance at one of Montreal’s annual punk festivals A Varning from Montréal in 2014, so I was very hyped to see them play tonight. It’s a special thing to travel across the globe and witness a band play in their hometown on their 25th anniversary. As soon as the first riff was played, a connection formed between the band and the crowd. This connection was tangible, almost visible. Within moments, it was crowd surfing and people cheering, energy exploding across the auditive spectrum and a wall of sound that sliced it’s way across the venue, sparing none. Happy 25th anniversary LIFE!
Moonstep Nakano is a fine venue for Tokyo punk shows though I have a few critical opinions about the night’s sound which I’ll keep to myself. The bands killed it and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to see either of these bands and it goes without saying that if you have the chance, you too should jump on the opportunity to support them!
Also: cheers to all the nice people I met from Tokyo, the UK and Australia!