I went to the Luna show at the Harajuku Astro Hall, but what I was really interested in was one of the opening bands, Primrose. I'd seen the Japanese rock band Primrose only once before, about a year ago, and was impressed. Unfortunately, at that time I also had to tend to my partner, not the biggest indies rock fan, who was suffering because of: 1. the loudness of the music; 2. the cigarette smoke; 3. the bright lights; 4. the strobe lights; 5. hunger due to watching show at what would usually be dinner time.
Tonight I was alone, and Primrose blew me away. Guitarist Keiji Matsui began the show solo, playing trance-inducing repetitive parts that gradually built up in intensity. By the time the other band members joined him and started to rock, the music, combined with the trippy stage lights, had transported me to another level of consciousness, like I was on drugs. Matsui used two microphones, one of which I guess was connected to some sort of special effect, and a whole pile of effect pedals for his guitar. My only wish was that the show be longer -- it was only about half an hour, but they were the opening band, so c'est la vie.
On their web page Primrose says that both their bassist and drummer had decided to quit the band, leaving only Matsui, the guitarist. Sounds like a disaster, but Matsui says he will continue with the band with the others helping out when needed. I hope he keeps at it, because Primrose is creating very exciting music.
I was interested in Luna of the U.S. because one of its members was formerly of Galaxie 500, a band I listened to over and over and over in my college days. But their show didn't really do it for me. Like an old car, it seemed they took a long time to get warmed up but they didn't drive that fast even when they did. To be fair, I'm not the biggest fan of breezy rock like theirs, and the fans certainly seemed ecstatic to see the band.