What could possibly be more exciting than photos of a concert taken on a cellphone? I don’t think I know! Here’s Opeth:
The horns being thrown to the right are genuinely Swedish
They did put on a damn good show; you can tell by all the abject worship
Notice how “photos” is plural, which is dual. Perhaps Slovenian might be a better choice for a language (en volk, dva volkova, trije volkovi). In truth, I could only snap two photos because I didn’t actually remember to do so until the last five minutes. I was too busy being totally entranced/yelling at the stage.
This is my extremely roundabout way of saying that it was an awesome show and I enjoyed every minute of it. I would go back right now, but no one would be playing.
In the end, I only spent about 10 hours in Tokyo, which is less time than it took to get there. Gotta love living in the sticks. Still, it was absolutely worth it. I also got to catch up with a friend (Hey Yasmin), who seems to be doing so much better now that she is not in Toyama.
All in all, I feel/felt refreshed. I am going to try to hold onto that feeling for the next few days as I finish up classes, and perhaps the whole burnout thing will be a thing of the past. But enough rambling about me, I actually have some interesting observations of things that happened outside of my own skull.
Despite having lived in Japan for over two years, I’ve never been to a proper concert here. It just sort of hadn’t occurred to me until I heard about this tour back in November. I’ve seen little local events and bands play… a few times. And I’ve certainly never been to a metal show, so this was pretty damn surprising in a few ways.
The first thing that struck me was that concerts here start insanely early. To my shock, when they said the show started at 6, it actually started at the proper time. It might actually have started five minutes early. This is certainly not a complaint, because I remember the last concert I went to at the Roseland Ballroom started an hour and a half late (and only then because the crowd was seconds from just out and out rioting). In addition to being on time, there was no opener. Originally, we had planned on getting the best train out of the Shin-kiba area and kicking around Tokyo until morning to wait for our bus, but the concert ended at 8pm. Finding ourselves with over 11 hours left in Tokyo, we decided trying to switch buses to go home early, leaving at 11pm the same night instead. Wimps! I hear you thinking. Well, it was below freezing and neither of us had more than a few hours worth of yen on us. The night had already gone really really well, so rather than try to test our ability to not die in the cold or drink until 7:30 the next day, we left and I found myself home an hour before I would have left. It doesn’t sound great, no, but I look at it like the concert filled the entire trip.
The other thing I noticed was how unwaveringly polite the Japanese are. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I already knew this. But, goddamn, this was a metal show, and people were still quiet and unassuming. If you are wearing a shirt that says “carcass” in giant red letters, it’s OK to not display perfect manners! Åkerfeldt, who is charming for a man whose profession involves growling, jokingly rebuked the audience for being too tame and demanded immediate head-banging. They played two tracks from Watershed to spur it on, which was pretty nice. At one point someone elbowed me in the spine, and thinking that some guy decided he wanted to start moshing (not a past time of mine) by hitting me, I whirled on him, only to have someone a full foot shorter that I was apologize and calmly step around me. I have complicated feelings about this. I am aware how ridiculous this sounds, but there it is.
The last thing I noticed that the metal fans here came in all ages and sizes, as they ought. And I do means all ages, as there was one woman very close to the stage who must have been over 60, bespectacled and complete with the medical mask to prevent illness. She seemed to be on her own, which earns her even more credit in my book. Cheers to you, unexpected senior citizen, cheers to you.
All in all, a success. Now, to survive one more week, and I can begin cracking out the words en masse again. After finals, I should finish editing the short story I wrote last week (in one sitting, never done that before), and I hope to put it on here shortly thereafter.