NINJAMAN JAPAN ONE MAN LIVE Matsuri Lida Wasshoi!? at Takadanobaba club PHASE

Live Report

by Laura Cooper, chi.yow, posted July 28, 2013

This live was NINJAMAN JAPAN’s first oneman with a new drummer who was found after Pinky’s sudden departure and so there was a noticeable tension and nervousness in the audience as to how the new drummer would perform and fit in with the rest of the band. However, Dewey, as well as Sarino, Lida, Daishi, and Metal, did not disappoint that night and put on an amazing show to the delight of everyone.

The show began with a skit opened by the band’s rivals, the Black Satan Devils who greeted the crowd with “Good evening!” and expected more energetic responses back with each repeat. After some wordplay involving the show’s dynamic title, “Matsuri Lida Wasshoi!?” they declared, as would any villainous troop, that they would finally be victorious in taking down NINJAMAN JAPAN. This was, of course, followed by the band leaping onto the stage in order to defend it from the minions of darkness! After impressing the crowd with their fighting choreography, NINJAMAN JAPAN launched into their theme song, “NINJAMAN JAPAN no Theme,” with spirits running high.

Following the very catchy “NINJAMAN JAPAN no Theme” was the introduction of the support drummer which involved more gags born by completely mishearing his name. “Dewey!” “Jui?” “No! Dewey!” “Ah! Jui!” and so forth. This was followed by the Black Satan Devils’ attempt to get the support drummer to be their support as well in order to later ambush the band. However, Dewey was able to prove that despite the initial misunderstanding of who the Black Satan Devils truly were, he would rather fight for the side of good and continue the legacy of shinobi rock that Pinky had left behind and defend the world against darkness. He even challenged Lida to a solo battle in order to prove his worth alongside his fighting skills. With a new costume revealed for him at the end of the sketch, NINJAMAN JAPAN officially welcomed Dewey into their band.

After Dewey’s induction into the ninja clan, NINJAMAN JAPAN started off their show anew with “SHINOBI,” a high-energy song that got the crowd dancing and jumping as Sarino beckoned them to raise the excitement even higher. If “SHINOBI” wasn’t enough, the band followed up with “Raijin” and “Fly Away” with hair flying everywhere during the latter number as the fans headbanged in time to the guitars. Sarino then took the time to welcome everyone to the first one-man with their new drummer, Dewey.  “Minna de WASSHOI!” and “Please have fun at this live!” he implored.

During “Senkou” and “Hi no tori,” not only did Sarino call for the crowd to scream more as the multi-colored stage lights flashed but Daishi ran and danced around the small stage, encouraging fans to at least dance along with the music while Lida led rounds of intense headbanging. This was followed by “Hanamuke” during which Sarino called for even more energy from the audience, mainly by encouraging them to jump as high as they could and by pointing playfully at Daishi during his guitar solo at center stage. It wouldn’t be surprising if fans came away from the show with sore necks as Lida and Daishi’s guitar intro to “Romance Tome” once again cued the audience to go wild. During the number, it became a little difficult to hear the vocals as the guitars would overpower Sarino’s voice in some parts but that didn’t stop him from giving the audience all he had.

“Thank you! Is everyone having fun?” Sarino asked, his answer received in enthusiastic yells and cheers. “I’m happy to hear that! Thank you again, everyone, for being here tonight. I hope to keep these feelings in everyone’s hearts forever. Please listen to ‘RAMBLING SKY.’” After the continuous high energy songs, “RAMBLING SKY” provided a calming break for fans to catch their breath and get lost in the music. However, this interlude did not last for long, as NINJAMAN then ripped into “Shinobi Soldier” during which audience members would jump as high as they could when the lyric “NINJAMAN!” sounded. “Ninja Netsu Girari!” was next, Sarino holding out his hands as if to gather the energy given by fans as they yelled and growled with Lida, Daishi, and Metal.

“Everyone, thank you! Let’s continue to have fun!” Sarino shouted before leading into another bout of headbanging for the guitar intro to “KAGE.” As this song also served to provide “member showtime,” Dewey proudly showed off his skills as he threw himself into his drum solo, his time to shine. Metal’s fingers then flew across the strings of his bass while Daishi and Lida ripped through a multitude of guitar riffs for each of their respective solos. Sarino made a point of fixing his hair before beckoning the audience to call out his name. Next up, Daishi signaled the crowd to keep jumping for “BATTLE FORCE, Metal alternating between pulling a variety of faces and interacting with Dewey as he played.

“Last song! Let’s go!” NINJAMAN JAPAN finished the main section of the show with the song “Dreamer.” At this point, the Black Satan Devils reappeared onstage. However, there was no need to fear their presence this time as they really were there as support members for NINJAMAN JAPAN, wearing the band’s T-shirts and coordinating the number’s choreography for the crowd to join in with. “We are NINJAMAN JAPAN! Thank you!” Sarino called in completion.

As the lights came back on and the curtain closed, the crowd immediately started calling for an encore; a boon which was happily granted. Sarino thanked everyone for making it to the show and especially for continuing to support them after Pinky’s departure. Thanks to the swift addition of Dewey, they would be able to proceed and so, after promoting the release of their new one-man live DVD and the events attached to its release, they announced that their next one-man show title and location would be “Onmitsu Shirei! Daishikyou Rock Seyo!” at Ikebukuro EDGE in September, saying, “Please look forward to it!”

With those announcements made, Sarino asked the crowd if they were ready for more and to “Never give up!” As fans jumped and danced, Daishi and Lida switched sides of the stage, alternating between gazing over the crowd and playing. The band finished their set with “Onmitsu Dancer,” clearly a crowd favorite, especially with the choreography once more shown by the Black Satan Devils who appeared once again during the chorus before dashing away like the sneaky devils they are.

Before closing the show, the members prompted the audience to join hands for the customary unified finishing jump and turned to Lida to decide what phrase should be shouted. Obviously, Lida had not expected this to happen, although after a surprised “Ehh?” he suggested that everyone shout out a key part of the show’s title, “Wasshoi!” This was done a ritualistic three times before everyone jumped in unison and sent the band offstage with a round of applause and thankful cheers.

With the quick discovery and joining of the young and talented drummer, Dewey, NINJAMAN JAPAN is all ready to continue defending the world from darkness with the power of shinobi rock! Having now saved the people of both London and Paris, who knows where their strength will be needed next?

Set List

  1. SHINOBI
  2. Raijin
  3. Fly away
  4. Senkou
  5. Hi no tori
  6. Hanamuke
  7. Romance Tome
  8. RAMBLING SKY
  9. Shinobi Soldier
  10. Ninja Netsu Girari!
  11. KAGE
  12. BATTLE FORCE
  13. Dreamer

Encore

  • Never Give Up!
  • Onmitsu Dancer

VK Exclusive

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Laura Cooper started photographing rock and jazz bands at university. While completing a degree in English Literature, she was literary co-editor of the York University arts magazine and held poetry soirees with comedy jazz bands. Laura wrote for the now defunct UK Goth magazine Meltdown, as well as edited for an occult/spiritual website while she lived in York and London. She disappeared into the mountainous depths of Japan in 2006 and is now based in Tokyo, capturing rock bands in action.

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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