METROPOLIS | CLASSIFIEDS | PERSONALS | JOBS

Issue Index

Features
  Mini Features
  Cultural Features
  Life in Japan
  Big in Japan
  Rant & Rave
  Cars & Bikes
  Health & Beauty
  Interiors
  Jobfinder
  Money Talks
  Tokyo Tech
Web Watch
   
  Food & Drink
  Restaurant Reviews
  Bar Reviews
Word of Mouth
  Travel Features
  Japan Travel
  International Travel
  Travelogue
  Art
  Artifacts
  Fashion
  Tokyo Talk
  In Store
  Buyline
  Japan Beat
  CD Reviews
  In Person
  Concerts
  Clubbing
RANT 'N' RAVE
Rock harder, Japan

Illustration by Marie
Email spacetako@hotmail.com

After years of rock concerts in Japan, the last one I saw left me so disgusted that I made a solemn promise to never see another one in this country again. I'm not talking about clubs, I've got no problem with them - at least not yet. I'm talking about big arena venues.

All the little annoying things finally got to me, like the disco dances the fans do in their seats. With all the flailing arms you can't even see the band. The "fans" jump around doing Jackson Five maneuvers in their seats no matter how much of a hard rock band it may be. Watching 20,000 people do a Soul Train dance, in unison, in the middle of a rock concert, doesn't really appeal to me.

Who schedules the times for these things? They generally start between 4 and 6pm and finish precisely 2 hours later. Now, I don't know about you, but I like my concerts to start at a reasonable hour. Don't you think that it should at least be dark outside when the band comes on? If the thing starts in the early afternoon you don't even have enough time to grab a beer or two before the first act. They finish so early you could go home to your mommy and daddy for dinner and still have time to finish your homework... which is probably what most of the audience does.

Every time I've been to a major concert here, I knew that something desperately vital to the atmosphere of the show was missing. I just couldn't figure out what it was. That is, until I took a whiff. Nothing! You know what I'm talking about and don't pretend you don't. Although I don't indulge in anything combustible myself (including cigarettes), a concert without a certain odor is like buying a nice bottle of wine and then chugging it on a street corner. Somehow the experience gets cheapened.

This may or may not be a good thing but have you noticed that nobody ever gets forcibly ejected? Even when there are mosh pits there are no real fights. Unbelievably, the fans actually seem to respect the bouncers and their fellow patrons. A big rock concert in Japan is sort of like a Dick Clark TV special, sanitized and harmless. Wasn't a rock concert supposed to include a little rebellion? I thought it was!

Worst of all, and I hate to say it, but when big Western acts come to Japan, don't you get the feeling they are working and not performing? They start on time, do the bare minimum and are out the door as soon as humanly possible. Did anyone see a concert like that in Yokohama in the not too distant past? (I don't want to name the band but think of red spicy vegetables.) All you bands out there listen up! Compared to the rest of the world, I'm paying double the price for the show - so how about giving me twice the performance?

Many thanks to reader Andrew Nau for this Rant.

Metropolis Online
RANTS AND RAVES:
349: Life in the cycle lane
Playing chicken with a ladybike
348: Daisuki na Tokyo
Tokyo's my favorite!
347: Nihongo dake!
Why am I not fluent in Japanese yet?
346: People make the city
The beauty of Tokyo's people
345: Cross Training
Commuting by train in Tokyo
344: Yellow Line Fever
A guide for the blind... and a pain in the neck
343: Welcome to Tokyo
What did you bring me?
342: Positive thinking
Three reasons why we love Japan
341: I'm a rounder...
Veterans of Japan vs. Japan rookies
340: Discard your bank cards
The labour of replacing lost bank cards
339: Shoganai...
It can't be helped
338: Respect your environment
Poluution problem in Tokyo
337: Strike Three - You're Enlightened
How omiyage ruins a vacation
336: Missing manners
No manners outside of Japan
335: Goodbye jitensha
Is stealing bikes a popular pastime in Japan?
334: War of the Words
English borrows from other languages too!
333: ENGLISH ONLY, please
Don't bother writing your name in Japanese
332: A menu carved in stone
No special requests for lunch!
331: The Zen of Looking Busy
The art behind faking work
330: Lyrical Phlegm
Japan's spitting dilemma
329: Rock harder, Japan
Big, bad and ugly concerts
328: Noise Deficiency
The unrelenting quiet that is not Japan
327: Chopstick Diplomat
Constant questioning = constant answering
326: Game over
Cutting off the game for regular scheduled program
325: Grown pains
The hooligan behavior of middle-aged salarymen
324: The Price of Fame
Young teen actors light up on-screen
323: A Customary Affair
The universal language of consumerism
322: Robber barons
JR steals from the rich.. and the poor
321: Tegami Or Not Tegami
Deny the letter to save money
320: The Garbage Men
Variations of the "salaryman"
319: Holidaze
Japan - Home of the lamest holidays in the world
318: Box your ears
Be the karaoke star you've always dreamed of
317: The winter of my discontent
No oden if it's spring please!
316: The Bells
Going insane from bells and voices
315: The Big Tokyo Trash Mystery
No garbage cans + too much garbage= a clean city?
314: The Kamikaze Spirit
The war may be over but the spirit lives on
313: Movie Mania
Laughing alone in the corner
312: Geek parade
What's going on with gaijin men?
311: Gleaming gomi
Rinse it out before you throw it out
310: Lower Mathematics
Teaching practical mathematical equations
309: Escalator clots
Blocking the flow of escalator traffic
308: Sky's the limit
Favorite channel on the hit list
307: Bring on the studmuffins
Thanks to the "Men looking for women"
306: Burning Rubber
Narrowly averting bicycle collisions
305: Fishy Business
The sushi wasn't dead
304: The Invisible Gaijin
When gaijins collide
303: Talk work only
The Japanese perception of idleness
302: From kotatsu, with love
A blanket covered electric coffee table
300: Why 2K?
The millennium bug ain't no big deal

ISSUES 350-381
ISSUES 250-299

ISSUES 233-249