Saturday, October 01, 2005

Luminous Orange At The Zher The Zoo

Luminous Orange is a band I’ve wanted to see for a while but haven’t been able to because they rarely play live. The musical unit of a very talented Japanese woman named Rie Takeuchi, Luminous has released several great albums, including drop your vivid colours. I finally got my chance to catch them live, at the Zher The Zoo in Yoyogi.

Musically they most resemble groups like My Bloody Valentine and Ride, and on stage, like those bands, Luminous Orange seemed very much in the 'gaze at your shoes while playing' school. Actually, in Takeuchi’s case, she didn’t stare at the ground but her feet stayed immobile for much of the set, like those of a statue. She also didn’t say much. Just a ‘long time no see, we’re Luminous Orange’, and she noted that the club was packed and that the sound should be most balanced in front of the stage (I was standing to the side of the stage, in the unbalanced sound section…). Luminous wasn’t a band that went out of its way to draw in the audience to the show; it was more, here’s our music, take it or leave it.

Judging by how crowded the Zher The Zoo was, many people were happy to be takers. The law of supply and demand was at work here. Luminous hasn’t played live as a band for more than a year as far as I know, so the supply of live shows is low. And the band is popular, meaning demand to see them live is high. Ergo, a full house.

They played mainly songs from drop your vivid colours, and as a big fan of that album I was happy to hear the live renditions of the songs. Like the surface of the sea, Luminous songs come in waves, the crescendo and decrescendo of the drums, guitars and Takeuchi’s voice giving the songs their distinct emotional quality. If you’ve familiar with their style from listening to their albums, it’s exciting to hear this recreated on stage. If you’re going to a Luminous Orange show uninitiated, however, I’m not sure if you'd necessarily be that impressed with this band (though you never know).

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