J-ROCK A GO!GO! Vol. 3: cocklobin & 12012

Live Report

by Chika Yoshizawa, Mio Nagasaki, chi.yow, posted October 31, 2013

For the third round of J-Rock-a-GO!GO!, the program invited cocklobin and 12012 to introduce themselves to interested international viewers via internet broadcasts as well as the gathered audience in Shinjuku LOFT. The ever-energetic CUTT reintroduced the concept of J-rock-a-GO!GO! in case there were any newcomers to the show before cocklobin appeared for the talk corner as the first band of the night.

As customary at J-ROCK A GO! GO!, special food and drink were offered by cocklobin, consisting of Komadori-kun (Mr. Cockrobin)  and  Nangoku Komadori (Southern Cockrobin), both related to the band’s name, of course.  CUTT led the talk about the derivation of the band name and their music and then sparked conversation based on questionnaires submitted by the audience, focusing in on vocalist nigu’s acrophobia and the drummer sora’s hobbies.

Following that chat, cocklobin then hit the stage, sinking LOFT into the darkness.

cocklobin

As dark, ominous music played and the chatter of excitement from the audience subsided, the screen rose to reveal the bands’ silhouettes looming on the stage. cocklobin began their set with “Iris,” nigu crooning the first verses during the piano-laced intro before the rest of the band was illuminated by blue lights as they began playing. Continuing into here,” guitarists yuya and Iori led the crowd in a series of rolling headbangs as they tore through the guitar-heavy intro. HISAKI also came forward from his position to gesture for the crowd to jump higher. fall on one’s knees was a high-energy song that had the band jumping all over the stage, HISAKI showing off his bass-playing skills and nigu occasionally crying out “Atama!” to signal those who knew to carry out the visual kei diving choreography called “gyakudai.”

The lights went down as the background music “enigma” played while the crowd screamed out their favorite members’ names. “From the bottom of our hearts. Always. Thank you,” nigu said before the band began “KAGEUTSUSHI,” a ballad that created a melancholy atmosphere with its relatively calm composition—at least in comparison to the previous songs. On the right side of the stage, Iori joined the crowd in headbanging while yuya and HISAKI swayed and danced to the beat on the left. Meanwhile, nigu directed hand movements to follow along with his slightly nasal voice as it rose and fell between different notes. Next up was “schnee” as lights flashed to the electronic intro. Bass set the pace for this song as HISAKI highlighted his performance by flourishing his hands while playing. Nigu continued to raise his fist to ask the audience to follow along before ending the song with a strong scream.

The tick-tock of various clocks sounding through the speakers led to “TERRE” which had nigu making robotic hand gestures at his stand while HISAKI signaled for the crowd to jump to the rhythm, even coming toward the front of the stage to join in during the latter part of the song. Rounding off the set was “chloe” which had yuya prompting the audience to clap along to the intro. One of the highlights of this song was that nigu seemed to be recite parts of the lyrics to the crowd while spotlighted mid-song before the pace picked back up. When they were finished, nigu thanked the audience for their energy and love before exiting the stage as the lights dimmed and the screen once again dropped.

Set List

 

  1. Iris
  2. here
  3. fall on one’s knees
  4. KAGEUTSUSHI
  5. schnee
  6. TERRE
  7. chloe

Talk time with 12012 came next and CUTT introduced the special food named Hard Rice and the drink named DOOR TO THE SKY. He teased members about the food name because what “hard rice” sounds quite awful, after all. After discussing their band name and music, the members then shared some private information with the crowd, such as their characters and how they derive them from blood types.

12012

Dark clockwork carnival music filled the venue as the curtain parted for 12012’s set, the band emerging from theright side of the stage and pumping their fists into the air as the fans screamed. 12012 opened their set with “michigiri no tsubomi, kushikumo koukotsu no sakura,” letting Wataru’s haunting voice weave its way through the crowd with interludes of death-growling and screaming. Tooru’s powerful drums in combination with Tomoyuki’s bass shook the floor until the song faded back into piano, leaving a moment of calm right before Hiroaki tore right into the intro of “CHABOO-CHABOO.”  The next five minutes was an absolute festival of growling, screaming, and headbanging for both the band and the audience as everyone let loose between the mini chants of “chaboo-chaboo.”

Next up, was “DEICIDA OF SILENCE” that once again had the audience thrashing about as Wataru continued to display his ability to transition between falsetto tones, melodic singing, and all out screaming and growling. Meanwhile, Shinichirou joined Hiroki in raising his fist to the crowd between chords as Tooru continued to pound away at his drums. For “Shinshoku,” the other members would growl and yell into their mics during the chorus between verses and Tomoyuki would occasionally strut around the stage behind Wataru as Hiroki’s and Shinichirou’s guitars blasted through the speakers.

Once again, as the lights dimmed, the crowd started screaming the band members’ names before Wataru’s voice emerged from the darkness. “Is everyone okay? You ready for more? You can do better than that!” he told the audience before screaming out “[6] party!” It was easy to get swept up in the danceable beat, especially as the band proved themselves to be quite the party hosts, able to draw out the song with continuous choruses from their fans. Hiroaki held his guitar almost completely vertical as he played, grinning smugly, while Tomoyuki decided to pay visits to all parts of the stage. Shinichirou also joined Wataru in growling at different intervals with Hiroaki, adding to the aggressive atmosphere. “Give us more!” Wataru yelled out, before continuing the chain of growling and headbanging in “SUICIDE.” Hiroaki nodded his head in approval of the mass audience participation of flying hair during the intervals when he wasn’t madly playing his guitar. As “SUICIDE” drew to a close, Tooru stood up from behind his drum set to look over the crowd, Wataru following suit shortly after on his own stage-front platform.

After an energy-filled night, 12012 ended their set with another of their live favorites, “WANA.” Between dancing and jumping as the lyrics asked the listeners to perform, Wataru would direct the audience in a series of choreographic movements and hold his hands to his ears to signal that he wanted to hear more yells; both actions which fans happily complied with throughout the song.

As the outro music played, Hiroaki screamed, “LOFT, thank you!” before leaving the stage to the others. 12012’s powerful set contrasted well with cocklobin’s more moody performance, giving the show a unique blend.

Set List

  1. michigiri no tsubomi, kushikumo koukotsu no sakura
  2. CHABOO-CHABOO
  3. DEICIDA OF SILENCE
  4. Shinshoku
  5. [6] party
  6. SUICIDE
  7. Wana

After the performances, both bands reappeared to talk with CUTT and picked out numbers for the usual lottery. The artists made a toast to open the conversation and then CUTT asked both bands about their impressions of each other. cocklobin went so far as to say that they felt lethal weaponry from 12012. The conversation heated up with the funny questionnaires from fans and a final photo was taken as the button for the event.

Wrapping up the night, CUTT announced that the next event will be held on September 12 with LIPHLICH and Sel’m. With more fun foods on the menu and another unique pairing of compliment and contrast, September 12 will continue to meet expectations set by the event’s short but impressive history.

VK Exclusive

There are 56 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Chika has been interested in visual kei music since VK bands first began holding free lives the Hokoten area in Harajuku. She was too young to go watch them back then in the early 90s, but the scenes on TV caught her eye. Since then, she has loved the passion of VK music and, of course, music in general. She majored in English literature in Japan and learned to speak English in the UK. After graduating from university, she has worked for both American and Japanese companies in IT and as a translator and continues various translations today.

Mio Nagasaki is a freelance photographer lending her time, skills, and love for the genre to ROKKYUU Magazine.

Chi’s interest in visual kei stems from her love of art. The unique aesthetics in combination with the wide range of musical styles within the genre have been what has kept her interest in the visual kei scene for over a decade. The main image her friends and classmates have of her is with a camera in hand, face behind the viewfinder or screen. This image is also occasionally combined with memories of running around her to avoid getting into her panorama shots.

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