Review and photos by Aki Fujita Taguchi
Proofreading by Yosuke Taguchi
Glaswegian metal band Bleed From Within brought their tour to Tokyo last weekend. They played at Cyclone on Saturday and then at Garret on Sunday. I was fortunate enough to experience their wild gigs for 2 days.
Both venues are located in Shibuya area, the most popular town for young people in Tokyo. You can find many cool music venues there. Cyclone opened in 1997 with 300 capacity and it is well known for relatively heavy and loud music. Garret opened in 2013 as a sister venue of Cyclone with the same capacity. You can enjoy various types of music here.
Bleed From Within are a heavy metal band formed in 2005, in Glasgow, Scotland.
I felt the influence of deathcore from their earlier works, but their musical style has sifted to a mix of metalcore, melodic death metal and groove metal. Especially, if you listen to Scott Kennedy’s vocal style, it’s obvious.
On the Japan tour, Bleed From Within were supported by Italian metalcore band Despite Exile. They are a 5-piece band from Udine, Italy. I really enjoyed their shredding riffs and epic melodies. I believe it won’t take so long until Despite Exile are headlining Japan tour.
Now finally Bleed From Within appeared on the stage just after 9.
They started with ‘Clarity’, the first track from the latest record ‘Era’, which was released in 2018 as their 4th studio album.
When they moved on to ‘Crown of Misery’, one young Japanese guy climbed up on the stage. (Basically that kind of activity is banned at this venue.) At that moment, they shot a happy look at that. They seemed to be satisfied with the fact that Japanese audience were wilder than they had thought.
Their set mainly consisted of their last two albums, ‘Era’ (Century Media, 2018) and ‘Uprising’ (Century Media, 2013).
They thrashed around the stage, and Kennedy’s growling voice was full of energy, passion and anger. That’s exactly what we want from a metalcore show! The crowd was completely controlled by his voice and made a circle pit consistently throughout the show. The whole floor went chaotic by young metalheads.
I was surprised to see that they were genuine showmen. They interacted with the crowd as much as they could and also made cool poses for me. How professional they are!
We were very lucky to see one of the biggest Scottish metal bands at these intimate venues.
I must mention that the band finished with an encore of ‘Servants of Divinity’ from their 1st album ‘Humanity’ only on Sunday. It’s very rare they play this tune in the recent shows. But they accommodated a request from their dedicated fans and played it with Jacopo, the vocalist of Despite Exile. The audience really appreciated this surprising gift with enthusiasm.
It was the absolutely fabulous and inspiring weekend for those who joined these shows. I guess they were too wired to get to sleep.
I believe without a doubt that next time Bleed From Within come to Japan, they will perform at much bigger venue.
They will go on tour China until 13th March. Make sure to check out a date on their website.
Bleed From Within official website: https://bleedfromwithin.com
Scott Kennedy - Vocals
Ali Richardson - Drums
Craig ‘Goonzi’ Gowans - Guitars
Davie Provan - Bass
Steven Jones - Guitars / Vocals
Setlist: (3rd March)
Crown of Misery
III / Colony
I Am Oblivion
Last of Our Kind
It Lives In Me
Alone in the Sun
Servants of Divinity
Despite Exile official website: http://www.despiteexile.com
Jacopo Durisotti - Vocals
Giacomo Santini - Guitar
Carlo Andrea Ferraro - Guitar
Giovanni Minozzi - Bass
Simone Cestari - Drums
Words and photos by Aki Fujita Taguchi
Proofreading by Yosuke Taguchi
Toto performed a sold out show at Budokan in Tokyo on Wednesday night and I had the extreme pleasure of photographing the rock legends.
Toto is an American rock band formed in 1977 in Los Angeles. They came to Japan as a part ’40 Trips Around The Sun Tour’ for showcasing their best album with the same title, which was released in 2018.
The historical venue Budokan is located in the center of Tokyo, near the Imperial Palace. It was originally built for the judo competition in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. It is the indoor arena with a capacity of 13,000 people and the most famous concert venue in Japan. The Beatles were the first rock band to played at Budokan in 1966. Since then, many famous rock music acts have played there. Further more, several live albums were recorded at Budokan, including releases by Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Cheap Trick, to name a few.
Most Japanese indie bands dream of playing at Budokan, because it’s the proof of big success. I have always been dreaming of photographing concerts here too. I have seen countless concerts at Budokan since I was a child. As you can imagine, working as a photographer here means a lot to me.
The band opened with the new song ‘Devil’s Tower’ from their latest greatest hits album ’40 Trips Around The Sun’. They originally recorded this track with Jeff and Mike Porcaro back in 1981. (Drummer Jeff Porcaro is one of the founding members of Toto, passed away in 1992. Bass player Mike Porcaro passed away in 2015.) It is the perfect choice for opening the show to celebrate 40 years of their history and showing respect to their former members. They continued with ‘Hold the Line’ from their self-titled debut album. This song brought a lot of excitement to the audience.
Toto’s set was the great combination of their new and old tracks including some covers, and it satisfied their fans of all ages. Especially, the crowd welcomed their favorite party song ‘Rosanna’, singing along loudly. Then, they brought some chairs on stage and played some fantastic acoustic tunes, sitting on them. In this beautiful set, Steve Lukather looked back their 40 years of musical history and told brief story on each song in a relaxed way.
Needless to say, Toto are the musicians with amazing skills and their stage presence were impressive throughout the show. The voice of lead singer Joseph Williams was rich and strong. To my surprise, most of their members have amazing voices. They constantly added beautiful chorus and sometimes took lead vocal. That is absolutely their advantageous point and creates their unique sound.
I have to mention that the new keyboard player Dominique “Zavier” Taplin completely knocked out the audience. He joined this tour to make up with the absence of founding member David Paich. Dominique played with Prince before and his creative and passionate performance was totally fantastic.
Without a doubt, the climax of this night was an extended version of ‘Africa’. The audience put on their cellphone lights and waved them slowly, singing along it. The Budokan was filled with crowd and also filled with numerous white lights. That beautiful scenery evoked the image of the Milky Way. It really touched my heart and I was almost crying.
They have been classified as rock, AOR, fusion, pop, and so many others. But there is no point categorizing them. All you need is just listening to their masterpieces and enjoying them!
Toto official website: http://totoofficial.com
Warren Ham（Sax, Cho）
Shem von Schroeck（B, Cho）
Dominique “Zavier” Taplin（Kb）
1. Devil’s Tower
2. Hold the Line
3. Lovers in the Night
5. I Will Remember
6. English Eyes
7. Jake to the Bone
9. Georgy Porgy
10. Human Nature (Michael Jackson cover)
11. I’ll Be Over You
12. No Love
13. Stop Loving You
14. Girl Goodbye
16. Dune (Desert Theme)
17. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles cover)
18. Make Believe
20. Home of the Brave
Finally I got to see While She Sleeps live on Tuesday night and they put on a furious show in Tokyo.
While She Sleeps are an English metalcore band from Sheffield, formed in 2006.
They came to Tokyo as a part of ‘So What? Asia Tour’. This was their first headline show in Japan. I was lucky enough to get a chance to photograph their performance, because it was only one night show this time.
The venue ‘Unit’ with a capacity of 600 people is located in Daikanyama, which is next to Shibuya area. This place has many hip clothing shops and is packed with stylish atmosphere.
Japanese metalcore band Paledusk kicked off the night as an opening act. They are an up-and-coming band based in Fukuoka in western japan. Their raw energy was perfect to make the cold room excited.
Then the supporting act Annalynn, from Thailand, took to the stage. They also play metalcore and have a loyal fan base in their country. They were loud as hell! The screamed vocals of frontman Nathaphon grasped the crowd’s attention and made them going crazy.
Now, the time has come. While She Sleeps finally appeared on the stage.
We were excited to witness one of the UK’s most vital metal bands.
They made the decision to cut ties with a major record label and ran a crowdfunding campaign for releasing their third album. ‘You Are We’ was released in 2017 as their first independent album and it achieved a great success. So I was able to see the band’s amazing attitude of valuing their fans.
One of the highlights of the show came from the first song.
They started the show with ‘Anti-Social’ from their upcoming album ‘So What?’ which will be released in March. It immediately brought about chaos and insanity to the venue. Countless number of people started crowd surfing and moshing, I didn’t know that young Japanese audiences were so brutal!
I actually got kicked in the face 2 times, but it was absolutely fun!
Frontman Lawrence bounded around the stage and dived into the crowd many times. His energy was insane and it lasted till the end. The crowd’s excitement and enthusiasm were amazing as well. They sang along loudly and perfectly throughout the show.
The furious intensity of the band seemed to incite the crowd to sedition.
The band were called backed for an encore and played the ‘Silence Speaks’. Originally, Oliver Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon sings the second vocal part. But it was different tonight. Koie from Japanese metal band Crossfaith came storming into the stage, dived into the crowd, and kept on screaming Oliver’s part. I’ve never seen such chaotic state of disorder. Japan is often said to be a peaceful country. But tonight it was totally wrong. People might be thirsty for violence.
They start European tour in February and head to The United States in May. Some of the shows have already been sold out. Get your tickets before it’s too late!
While She Sleeps website: https://www.whileshesleeps.com
Lawrence Taylor - Vocals
Sean Long - Guitar
Mat Welsh- Guitar / Vocals
Aaran Mckenzie - Bass
Adam Savage - Drums
You Are We
Empire of Silence
Steal the Sun
Silence Speaks (with Kenta Koie from Crossfaith)
Our Courage, Our Cancer
Words and photos by Aki Fujita Taguchi
Proofreading by Yosuke Taguchi