Orochi Rocks Crowd at Holiday Shinjuku
It’s never easy for the opening act. I’ve seen my fair share of bumbling performances by nervous, fledgling bands, so when Orochi took the stage with complete confidence, charisma, and professionalism, I was stunned. Despite a completely new line-up of members (aside from vocalist Ushiwaka), and despite the fact that this is only their second live together, Orochi owned the show.
The current line-up consists of four members (sans bassist): Ushiwaka on vocals, Yukimura and Ranmaru on guitar, and Genjibotaru on drums. The way these four interacted on stage could have fooled me into thinking they were childhood friends. They were comfortable with getting into each other’s space and seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves as they moved about the stage, smiling freely at each other and the crowd. Amazingly, there was no stepping on toes, blocking paths, or awkward “what are you doing” moments at any point during the performance.
The set itself consisted of five powerful songs with a traditional Japanese influence. The opening song “Ame” was the perfect introduction to Orochi’s unique style, his haunting vocals, signature wicked drums, and overall swinging beat easing the crowd into sway with the music.
I thought “Kiyo-Hime” had a great dance beat, but it was the booming, venue-shaking bridge in the song that made me want to toss my notebook over my shoulder and dive into the head-banging crowd. This was followed by “Hannya” and “Hyakka-Ryouran,” two more amazing tracks that were punchy as all hell without turning into complete noise. During these two songs, Ushiwaka overcame the crowd’s shyness and got them screaming along, waving fans around to the beat.
The final song, “Sakura,” was my favorite, which stuck in my head for days. The guitar solo completely went off with beautiful staging (that was appropriately smoky pink). For the finale, the band grabbed hands and did a big jump together. Cute. I’ll be remembering their performance for a long time to come.
MySpace does Orochi’s music and their fashion sense no justice—if you ever get the chance, you have to see them for yourself. English information and ticket reservations (for next time you happen to be in Japan) can be found on their MySpace page.
There are 20 photos in this visual kei exclusive.