At the Que on Sunday night, after a show by a mellifluous male singer Takamori Yuuki and the joke-loving power pop quartet Stainless, advantage Lucy came on, the third and final act of the evening, and, at the risk of sounding a bit mad, I was totally swept into the performance from the first few acoustic guitar chords by Ishizaka-san. The song was 'Chikyu', earth, the first song I ever heard by this guitar pop group many years ago, in a compilation album called Killermont Street 2001. I remember being drawn into the song because of the bittersweet chords, played on an acoustic guitar with a sparkling sound, the interesting background noise of children at a playground, but mostly, the singing—a clear female voice, not that of an exceptionally skilled vocalist, but it had a free feel, seeming to be guided solely by the overflowing emotions of the singer, Aiko. A few more CD purchases, and I was smitten—the birth of a Lucy maniac. So, because it was my first, but also just because it's a classic, I've always gotten a thrill listening to 'Chikyu' played live.
Tonight's rendition, though, was something else. The five-person ensemble—vocalist Aiko, guitarist Ishizaka, plus another guitar, bass and drums—has seemed to have really come together after many months of making music together. Someone wrote on Mixi that when the musicians' eyes met while they played, causing them to smile, the person became tearful—I know how the guy feels. A band can be such a beautiful thing. A fog machine pumped throughout their show, and during 'Chikyu' the overhead lights turned dark blue while the spotlights faded, transforming them into what I imagined as dark sculptures in some marine kingdom.
The band are nice, charming, good-looking guys in person, but at times the stage beautifies them, so they are radiant. I think it reflects that they're living fully, ecstatically, for a short moment in that little space. After they played the rest of the evening's set—Hello Again, Weekend Wonder, Shiroi Asa, Memai, Shumatsu, and a new song written for that night, called February—I could've stopped by to chat, but this time I didn't, wanting to keep in my head for just a little while longer the image of them, a few yards away but in some different place, on the stage.
I didn't take any pictures, but here are good photos from another night.
*A Lucymin is a true advantage Lucy fan (it's a play on words—Lucy plus 'shimin', citizen). If you own all of their regularly available music, or have been to more of their shows than you can remember right away, or if you just really, really like their music, I think you can call yourself a Lucymin.