V-ROCK Festival 2011: Most Unexpected Performance
All photographs coutesy of V-ROCK FESTIVAL '11.
Most Unexpected Performance: Girugamesh
Girugamesh appeared in nice black jackets, black vests, and black-themed shirts of Western bands like Linkin Park & Green Day to a stage set with a black flag, accompanied by orchestral music. When Satoshi announced that this cool-looking band had prepared a special them song just for V-ROCK FESTIVAL, who knew it would be that song. It was, in fact, none other than “Heavy Rotation” by AKB 48! Well, it wasn’t exactly the same song… Girugamesh played with the lyrics and put their own spin on it, making it into a theme song for V-ROCK by replacing the lyrics “heavy rotation” with “Sawaaaaaageeeeee V-roooock!” Still, hearing AKB 48 from girugamesh? THAT was unexpected.
Other than this fun gag, their music was full of awesome guitar, rhythm to make you dance and Satoshi’s satisfying vocals combined with that now rare and thus precious growl that made girugamesh a household name in VK. Satoshi bounced endlessly and never stopped shouting while Ryo’s drums drove the crowd wild. As soon as Nii shouted “Let’s rock!” the audience responded by heating up even further. Shu was quiet by contrast, but it seemed like he was melting into the music, heart and soul. So much energy poured from the audience that it seemed like the whole venue was in sync and the final meltdown came with the hard-hitting “volcano.”
Ali Project sounded great as I hurried through the corridors to the main arena, but I couldn’t understand why they were on so early. I knew it was them, though–those high, feminine tones certainly couldn’t belong to any male-fronted band, and Kari Pamyu Pamyu was slated for the sub-stages. Imagine my shock when I burst in through the big double doors to find Piko’s set in full-swing. Even his speaking voice was feminine as he asked who of the crowd had attended the prior two days at Super Arena for SIAM SHADE and LUNA SEA along with him.
However, it wasn’t just the timbre of his voice that merited surprise: Piko’s music could hardly be considered among the VK spectrum, pure pop as it was–we suspect he made the list for V-ROCK FEST purely because of VK fan roots–but his music was far better than expected. Well written, his songs could have passed for anime themes or top-of-the-chart pops. His final number, “Yume no Hana,” was seasonally flavored with a touching, bitter-sweet lilt. Oh, and he was cute, too, in that adorable Pekingese-pup kind of way.