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The Mike Toole Show - Live at Budo-Con


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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 799

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:48 pm Reply with quote
I'm surprised you made no mention of the misleading cover for the L'Arc-En-Ciel concert DVD. I never knew what to make of it since it reflected nothing on the disc itself--but it's still a rocking concert to watch even on DVD (although I do wish they included a translation subtitle track).

I don't know why although I do love J-Rock and some J-Pop, but concerts are not something I go out of my way to check out--I end up choosing some panels and screenings instead. Yet I really wish I saw Aya Hirano at Otakon this year. I ended up choosing other places to check out, but it's still my only regret.

The only concert I ever witnessed at Otakon was Indigo, I don't remember what year that was but it was quite a time ago. It was an in the open ballroom area, and the sound was fine. I haven't seen any of the shows their music was used for (Ai Yori Aoshi), but I really liked the sound of their music--it just has a nice, springday-dancy tune to it. I remember being in line, getting their CD, and having the singer autograph it. The guy before me in line asked for a hug from her, which she nicely gave, and I guess she had been giving it to people in line from earlier. Once she signed my CD, she leaned up, and I jumped back, not quite having expected it (I was never really a hugger). But then I figured why not, which confused her, and the language barrier didn't help, although we did get to it. One mere embarrassing moment with an otherwise great experience at my first ever Otakon convention, and I still keep and treasure my Indigo CD.
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tuxedocat
He started itHe started it


Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 2182

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:37 pm Reply with quote
Mike Toole wrote:
I used to kvetch that kids begging conventions for musical acts should just do what I did at their age and head down the street to the all-ages punk rock shows, but those shows aren't as common as they used to be. Nowadays, cons are big, broad, all-in-one experiences, and for thousands of young fans, a fairly small-time, hopeful and enthusiastic group from Japan is their very first rock concert. It doesn't matter if the sound is lousy, or the band is on a rickety riser in front of ugly purple drape-- everyone's first rock concert is special. Even if they're seeing cool and the Gang.


I don't get why these conventions don't just charge a ticket price to musical venues. They could also do advance ticket sales independent of the Con. That way they could attract premium bands/musicians, and have the money to fund a decent venue for the band's appearance. From what you describe, I would think twice about performing at further cons if I were one of these performers. No one likes jet lag and crappy venues.

If funded correctly and given decent performance venues, cons could attract more top-tier performers. The Con organizers could also look into partnering with existing venues/clubs who routinely book all-ages shows. These clubs are experienced in minding the door keeping track of who is or isn't old enough to be served alcohol.

From what you describe, it seems that cons are still doing it the old way, draining away their operating capital while booking the talent into sub-par venues. instead of exploring options that might actually turn a profit and be more attractive to performers.

Sheesh, if you can attract 30,000 people to a Con, I'm sure you can sell enough tickets to a show that would fill a decent venue. maybe twice.
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 698

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:46 pm Reply with quote
I attend cons to get sketches from the Japanese artist guests, so I can't say that I've ever attended a convention solely for a musical act. If my convention schedule allows, though, I do try to attend the concerts to show my support. Granted, the convention guests of honor all get free trips and probably some sort of appearance fee, but I figure if they're willing to travel the 8000 or so miles to arrive in my area that I should be there.

Some of the concerts I've attended have been absolutely amazing, and if I had to pony up an additional fee to attend the concert, the fee was more than worth it. I really enjoyed the FictionJunction concert at AX 2012, and it was more than worth the fee I paid to attend. I also loved FLOW's concert at FanimeCon 2010, and that most attendees were armed with glowsticks. In the event that I didn't care for the music or the acoustics weren't up to snuff, I remind myself how much I paid for the concert (usually free with paid convention admission), and that I'm still able to enjoy other aspects of the convention as well. By not going to conventions for musical guests, I can safely set my standards low, and if the group fails to impress, it won't affect my view of the convention much.

I actually enjoy it when groups perform in small, crummy convention panel rooms. Granted, the sound usually isn't so good, but there's usually a good crowd of people that are there for the group because they want to be there. There's a lot of positive energy from the attendees, and that usually brings out the best in the performers. It's kinda like an intimate club - just with crummier sound and no alcohol.

Usually Smile
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phoenix7240



Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:16 pm Reply with quote
the kalafina act at anime boston 2009 was my first concert and i must admit it was a magical experience
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Nocturne123
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Joined: 12 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:43 pm Reply with quote
I want to clear up a couple wrong things in the article and also add some by the questions at the end.

First, L'arc was probably the biggest (and as someone mentioned earlier but could remember the year, I believe The Indigo was there the same year as L'arc). But the year prior, TM Revolution performed. That's a pretty big name there also. Otakon also has had MUCC perform as well.

Girugamesh and MUCC actually already have toured the US on the Taste of Chaos a good while back and both bands are phenomenal if you take into account their entire discography. What I find with alot of Japanese bands, is that when they first start out, their music usually isnt the greatest, but they start to get better with each release.

In regards to Psycho le Cemo, they really are dead. The reason being that their vocalist was charged with possession of drugs (which really screws you up in Japan, and rightfully so, it should be this way in the US) and the band ended. Since then, which was a long time ago, they only had a reunion show/tour and then stopped again. They wont be coming back.

Also on the topic of Visual Kei, they definitely arent all glam. Some are, but that's a really bad misconception mainly due to the popularity and association of X Japan with visual kei. X Japan was one of the bands that pushed visual kei, but compared to visual kei now, they are very tame, and even were at the time. They were more of a, as mentioned, glam metal band than anything. The more ambitious visual kei bands incorporate actual theatrical performance into their music, thus tying their image and music into the performance, usually following a story. It's very easy for people to misconstrue visual kei as being a "lets dress up real pretty" label. Sure, there are bands that do that, but some don't as well. Malice Mizer, as mentioned, for example was not a metal band. They dabbled in so many different styles from punk to rock to metal to techno/industrial to european styled french music to waltz and classical. They really couldnt be labeled by being a "rock" band. They did something completely unique.

For the last part of the article. Girgamesh is really good. They started out as more of a metal band but then went more to a hard rock sound with electronic influences where they REALLY started to shine. They have some weak stuff but they have really good music too. Most of their stuff has a really positive message as well even though it may not sound like it would be positive music. Try the songs Alive, Border, Break Down, Crying Rain, COLOR, and go from there. Good stuff.
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DavidShallcross



Joined: 19 Feb 2008
Posts: 988

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:50 pm Reply with quote
I went to the New York Anime Festival a few years back, when they had a troupe from AKB48, and also Yui Makino. Makino was perhaps most famous at the time for playing Sakura in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, but I knew of her for singing the OP in all three seasons of Aria. Alas, they didn't do a lengthy sound check with her, or maybe she was nervous, and her voice didn't come through very well above the backing track, or her solo piano. Otherwise I enjoyed her performance. On the other hand, AKB48 was well presented, but just wasn't my thing.
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Flame-X



Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:51 pm Reply with quote
Yes, girugamesh is worth the listen for the most part. A lot of their songs center on the dark and gloomy metal style while it's still melodic and catchy. Nowadays, their recent stuff is more pop rock causing a split fanbase. Puzzle is my personal favorite from them.

The only band I'm eager to see live is Luna Sea. I consider them more legendary than X Japan since their music can appeal to anyone and can actually release stuff without delay (that's right I'm pointing at you Yoshiki). They've only performed a couple locations in CA sadly. As each day passes, chances for them coming back to the states is unlikely as Ryuichi's vocals is slowly deteriorating.

Out of all the Japanese music concerts I've been to, D'espairsRay was the best one I attended. This wasn't at an anime con but a live house in Chicago called Bottom Lounge. I was very grateful seeing them live at least once because several months later, they had to disband due to vocalist's health. If I remember correctly, it was around 2010.
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Joe Mello



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 1850
Location: Tekkoshocon

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:03 pm Reply with quote
tuxedocat wrote:
I don't get why these conventions don't just charge a ticket price to musical venues. They could also do advance ticket sales independent of the Con. That way they could attract premium bands/musicians, and have the money to fund a decent venue for the band's appearance. From what you describe, I would think twice about performing at further cons if I were one of these performers. No one likes jet lag and crappy venues.

If funded correctly and given decent performance venues, cons could attract more top-tier performers. The Con organizers could also look into partnering with existing venues/clubs who routinely book all-ages shows. These clubs are experienced in minding the door keeping track of who is or isn't old enough to be served alcohol.


This is a great idea in theory, but just to have the ability to think about things like this takes a very long time, and as I sit here, there are very few conventions that can pull true A-list talent. Most of the time, you're going to get someone who hasn't been in the States more than once or twice if at all, and their requirements are much lower than the L'arcs and AKBs of the world. Sometimes, just a 1,000-person venue can be a life-changing experience
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Joe Carpenter



Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Posts: 327

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:00 am Reply with quote
GALOOGAMESH!
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Nocturne123
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Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 225

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:12 am Reply with quote
Flame-X wrote:
Yes, girugamesh is worth the listen for the most part. A lot of their songs center on the dark and gloomy metal style while it's still melodic and catchy. Nowadays, their recent stuff is more pop rock causing a split fanbase. Puzzle is my personal favorite from them.

The only band I'm eager to see live is Luna Sea. I consider them more legendary than X Japan since their music can appeal to anyone and can actually release stuff without delay (that's right I'm pointing at you Yoshiki). They've only performed a couple locations in CA sadly. As each day passes, chances for them coming back to the states is unlikely as Ryuichi's vocals is slowly deteriorating.

Out of all the Japanese music concerts I've been to, D'espairsRay was the best one I attended. This wasn't at an anime con but a live house in Chicago called Bottom Lounge. I was very grateful seeing them live at least once because several months later, they had to disband due to vocalist's health. If I remember correctly, it was around 2010.


Puzzle is actually my favorite song of theirs also
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khaos1019



Joined: 28 Nov 2007
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:16 am Reply with quote
I was at that L'Arc en Ciel performance in '04. It was pretty great. I still remember Hyde asking if we all liked crabs. That was a long-running inside joke between my friends and I for quite a while. Good times.
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ssgOverlord



Joined: 02 Sep 2010
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:22 am Reply with quote
First off, I just want to say I loved the Jam Project concert in Baltimore! It was worth the trip! When I saw that they were performing, I simply had to go. I live in CT, and the 7 hours of bus rides were also nice in showing that I can make it to Otakon myself without too much worry in the future.

But mainly, I also want to say that I did go all out for one certain performer this year: Haruko Momoi. She was honestly the number one person I wanted to see, so much I even had given a post on Anime Boston's "Guest of Honor recommendation" thread sometime in late 2011, with only slight hopes seeing her would come true. Though perhaps I would of gone to Anime Boston anyhow, seeing her on the front page which I checked every morning was the one factor that turned "I'd like to go" into "I'm going no matter what." I spent a majority of the con dedicated to her and Itou Kanako (a nice bonus!), and had a fantastic time. Even without a live band, Momoi's energy during the performance made it all worth it!
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Hunter Sopko



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 237

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:30 am Reply with quote
Man. This article takes me back. Remember going to both of The Pillows' NYC shows when they came in for ACen. That was their first American tour. That Knitting Factory show was still the best of all the Pillows concerts I've been to, and I've been to all the NYC ones.

More than a little cramped, mike quality a little iffy, but goddamn was it amazing. Almost a religious experience. Beginning with I Think I Can pumped up the room, One Life slowed it down, Sawao crowdsurfing while playing his part of the bridge of Crazy Sunshine was hilarious, Swanky Street was an unprecedented (for the tour) and unexpected non-FLCL track, and above all, that performance of Hybrid Rainbow brought the house down and was transcendent. They really know how to put on a show.
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larinon
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Posts: 992
Location: Midland, TX

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:19 am Reply with quote
Thank goodness the ballroom performances I've seen at a couple of A-Kon's weren't my first concerts.
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Kougeru



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 2556

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:25 am Reply with quote
Despite any of the issues listed on this article, I'm still jealous of all you people who get to even hear them , of any quality. Outside of Chicago, there's no where in the Midwest that gets anything even really related to video game/anime music. I'd die if anyone big came to this part of the country. Always remember, something is better than nothing. (Usually )
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