Now is the time to salvage this rather unrecognized thread I started a few months ago.
I am posting gig reviews I procrastinated after my initial posts, somewhat disappointed by a rather sparse reaction to the thread.
Will anyone post your firsthand account of a gig you attend and make this place a bit more interesting? I’d appreciate your contribution no matter what.
I returned to Japan for about six weeks, from mid-March to late-April, the first time in more than three years. Prior to that, various restrictions regarding the safety measures introduced with the rise of Covid had made it quite tricky for me to go back. While I was in my home country, I felt as if I was a stranger in a strange land…
Over there, I saw seven concerts of which three were Bob Dylan and two were Eric Clapton. I posted my short comments on them on each artist’s thread. The following comments are the rest of the gigs I attended in the U.K. and Japan otherwise.
Lizzo (OVO Arena, Glasgow, March 8)
She is one to watch in the public eye for some time. I remember the sensation she caused at Glastonbury 2019, the last pre-pandemic one. Curiosity pushed me on my back to pick one of the last few remaining tickets, a cheap nosebleed seat in the rafters. As I took my seat, it turned out that the lighting rig hanging from the ceiling obstructed some of my view, which was frustrating. Well, you get what you pay.
With my stage sight being as such, I’m not sure I fully enjoyed the show. Perhaps not. While Lizzo was garnering the adulation from the audience that consisted of 80% women with her body positive message (“My Body My Choice” projected on the screen to a rapturous scream from all around), I wondered if there was some sort of freak show nature in this modern showbiz extravaganza. Have to say she is a good rapper/singer and a dab hand at flute, though.
The local press gave glowing reviews.
KT Tunstall (Usher Hall, Edinburgh, March 15)
KT’s show is always fun and uplifting. Her onstage banter reminds me of a stand-up comedian, making people smile and then laugh, even this non-native tongue of English like me. A very likable, unpretentious character she is. Good voice. Spot on guitar play. Tight band performance. Two guitars, bass, drums and no keyboard this time. One of the show highlights was Hold On segued into Whole Lotta Love (yes, that one). I really like her. Left the venue, feeling happy. That was the night before my U.K. departure.
Black Country, New Road (Club Quattro Umeda, Osaka, April 5)
One of the most talked-about outfits from the U.K. contemporary music scene. This is their first proper tour after their Japanese debut at the Fuji Rock Festival, July, last year. I had seen them three times before, two in Edinburgh, 2020 and 2021, another at the Green Man festival in Brecon Beacons, Wales, 2022. Between the first two and the third, there was a drastic change — lead vocalist and guitarist Isaac Wood left the band just a few days prior to the release of the second album, and they made a brave decision to discard all of the repertoire up to that point, presenting an all new material show for the live performance. BCNR Mk I and II are completely different animals. Gone are the idiosyncratic, bizarre tunes tinged with twisted sense of humor a la Captain Beefheart (so to speak), and in came instead a group of melodic, sweet-sounding songs that still retain some abrasiveness here and there. I like both versions of the band. The all-standing, 700-capacity venue was sold out, and this tour is the first occasion they tried out a few more new songs added to the setlist, which resulted in an hour and 15 minute performance, considerably longer than the previous shows. FYI keyboardist and singer May Kershaw’s mother is Japanese and she was born in Japan, speaking fluent Japanese — a fact their home turf crowd doesn’t know of.
The Doobie Brothers (Festival Hall, Osaka, April 24)
Their so-called 50th Anniversary tour (they were formed in 1970 and released the debut album in 1971). The epitome of the great American rock music, 2 hours and 10 minutes of pure rockin’ entertainment and I enjoyed every minute of it. The beaming smiles on the audience members’ faces tell it all — they looked like they didn’t want to leave the venue when the show was over.
The Wedding Present (Liquid Room, Edinburgh, May 16)
The first gig after my return to the U.K. Energy, passion, adrenaline and intelligence. The Weddoes have never disappointed me and this time is no exception. One of the best inheritors of the punk-rock ethos, the spirit of another ‘76, combined with the post-punk introspection — even if they are traditionally classified in and grouped together with the so-called ‘C86’.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2023-05-18 16:05 by RisingStone.