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Nano-Mugen Festival

(July 20 2008) Written by: Joe Conley in Study Abroad

Today is the day we have tickets for the Nano-Mugen Festival presented by the Japanese band Asian Kung-Fu Generation. It's also my birthday, but only if you go by Japan time. We got up early and headed to Yokohama Arena for the day long festival.


It was a pretty huge venue. We got in line, and then by the time the line finished, we had made an entire rotation around the building.


Bit of a line...


When we went inside around noon, they asked me if I had a camera, and like an idiot I said yes. They told me I had to leave it behind, and we walked towards the area to leave cameras, but then just walked in with it anyway. Then we waited in another line that was perhaps as long to buy concert t-shirts and such. We noticed when some of us went to a concert in Kanazawa that people wear towels over their shoulders to concerts to wipe the sweat off their face. A lot of people usually carry around something like a handkerchief for the same reason in daily life also, so it makes sense they'd do it at concerts. I forgot to bring one, so I bought one at the concert that was expensive, but a neat souvenir I guess.

We watched from the standing area the first band, called Analog Fish, a Japanese band, they weren't bad. Then we sat down for the next Japanese band, 9mm Parabellum Bullet, because Xander's knees were still hurting from Fuji. The 9mm band wasn't too bad, but a little more metal than me and Xander cared for. But I snuck a few pictures from here, one of them came out pretty good.


Inside the Arena


Then we went to the front and centermost area around 2:40 to watch the next band, a US band called Phantom Planet. They were pretty good, I recognized their hit song from somewhere. The singer tried to talk in Japanese as much as he could, which was nice of him.

After Phantom Planet, the first B-stage act performed, which was a band named after the guitarist/singer. I think his name was Tokumalu Shuugo, but I'll have to double check. He was quite talented with the guitar, and the woman in his group played the accordion, an instrument that sounded like a harmonica but looked like a weird flute, and a bunch of percussion instruments including one that had a ball on a string hanging out the bottom that, when rotated in circles, made the above wooden chickens peck at the wooden platform they were standing on. I kid you not. It really didn't even make any noise.

The next band was called Ash, and they were from Ireland, which was pretty neat. They were pretty talented, but by now, enough people had cleared out that we had moved up to an area that was kind of rough, but we weren't quite close enough to have a good view either. I stuck it out though through Ash and through the Japanese band Straightener that I liked. But during that band, someone stripped the glasses off my face, and they almost fell to the ground to get destroyed under people's feet, but I caught them.

After Ash, another B-stage band played called The Young Punx, who were from the UK. It was kind of a DJ band, but they also played instruments every now and then, and also had a chunky blonde lady sing a few songs. They also had her wear a big clown mask, and other people wore bear, deer masks, rabbit ears, and someone came out in a superman costume. They also rained down confetti on us for about 5 min. Next.

By this band, I had made it up to the front of the closest area to the stage, only 1 or 2 people back from the barrier. I could finally see the people on the stage. The next A-stage band was Stereophonics, which was also from the UK. They were pretty cool. The front man was definitely a cool guy, with his sunglasses and attitude.

After them, Asian Kung-Fu Generation played (now it was about 8:30 at night), which was the only band I had heard more than 1 song by before. They were pretty good live, a little tamer than the other bands, but that's just their style I guess. Everyone was super excited for them to play, and when they finished their set, people asked for an encore so they came back and played 3 more songs.

Then, since I had been standing in the audience from 2:40 til about 10PM, I ran to the bathroom, and then bought another water. I found Xander and Trevor again before I left, and went to Mos Burger with them after we took the train back. It was interesting, they had good fries, and rice burgers, in which the bun is made out of fried rice.

Then, we called it a night. I think climbing a mountain and an all day concert back to back was enough for now.

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