Mar 13, 2010

They are back

March 10th, 2010
Kichijoji Star Pine's Cafe, Tokyo

It is the first performance for them this year. Since there was no opening act, the group threw quite a long show - nearly 2 1/2 hours. And it was splendid, too.

First Mita appeared on stage, raised a hand to the audience and abruptly started solo improvisation on his guitar. Next Sakaide came along, and made some backing - just sporadically battered the music stand with some sticks. Then Sato started providing some rim shots. A collective improvisation followed and it gradually segued into "Skirt" from the "Mizu Ni Nagashite" album. That's how the band embarked on the main set of the day.

After the first song, all the members started speaking simultaneously. It was not just a voice performance - each members spined meaningful sentences. But by doing it together it had an interesting effect. The simult speaking was used to be regular act for the band's performance but this was for the first time in a few years.

Three composition from the "Ten Ten Ten" album were played: "Nikoseron," "Utorius" and "State of Doors". Nikoseron was played different than the last time - the performance on December 2009 at Shibuya Quattro was so fast and fierce throughout. This time it started in slightly slower tempo and more reserved. It was interesting alteration.

As always, "Ikirukoto" became an extended performance. The band usually play it about 15 minutes, and this time, in the middle of the song, Makigami himself joked that he was often remarked they played it too long. And this one has interesting progressions. After the second verse, Sakaide suddenly started a repetition of a strong, single note. It gradually worked like a drone, and Sato responded it by playing a slow, simple pattern, then the band went into a collective improvisation.

For live concert, Hikashu frequently picks up some lesser-known tunes every time. This time, the biggest surprise for me was "Sun Ra wa Pianist". It was also the last song of the main set. The unreleased composition is rarely played these days, and the arrangement was very different as I listened it last time. As an intro they played a long improvisation loosely based on the rhythm pattern of the song. Shimizu used a loungey, organ like sound so it was more like Sun Ra. In coda, the members chanted the main theme of the composition. It was like, they led us to the spaceway - then they left the stage. It was a nice way of closing the long concert.

Next performance of the group is on May 28th, at Star Pine's Cafe.

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