Thursday, July 22, 2004
House Lights/Plan at Shinjuku Loft 2
Afterpilot at the Shinjuku Loft.
House Plan (of Japan) played around the mid-point of the event, and the House Lights were up last. Some of the other groups that played were mediocre. Listening to them felt like walking through a desert. Or a trail with thorny bushes.
For example, there was an all-girl noise rock trio, who weren't bad, but had zero stage presence. Throughout the show, two foreigner girls danced like crazy to the tunes. I thought the two must either have a few screws loose or be on drugs, because it wasn't that type of music that pushed people to shake their body. They must have been pals with the band. I ended up being more amused by the dancers than the trio on stage.
I suppose you always judge your favorite bands much more favorably than some band you never heard of before, but even given that, tonight's show made me feel that House Plan is a superior band live. Their music mixes together hard rock and grunge with a tea spoon of punk and a pinch of heavy metal, but for all that, there's a lot of clarity to their sound. I remember being struck with their aggressive but clean sound when I saw them in the 90's.
The singer, Gender, is fun to watch on stage. As he finishes one singing part with his high-pitched voice, and as the music becomes more frenzied and loud, Gender gets a look on his face like you'd see on a teen-ager as he skateboards down a slope and hits top speed.
I didn't get any good photos of House Plan. Next time. They are releasing a new album in September, which is something for me to be excited about.
If some of the standing through mediocre bands' sets was no fun, it ended up being worth it because I found a local band that plays enjoyably straightforward hard rock: afterpilot. Their drummer plays drums for the Bank$, while House Plan's bassist is the bass for Bank$. So, two out of the Bank$'s three support musicians were at the Loft tonight.
Speaking of which, the Bank$ just released their first album. It's a nice one. More on it some other time.