Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The RockNRoll Hi-Fives Japan Tour, Night 2: NOON+CAFE with Piggies, Foodie, and The exkilll, 4/9/18


On Sunday 4/9, The RockNRoll Hi-Fives played their second show in Japan, this time at Osaka's NOON+CAFE. Joining them for this show were The exkilll, Foodie, and Piggies. NOON is a restaurant / coffee shop with a large music venue and a large disco ball in the back. It's near a busy shopping district in Osaka, and we did some exploring after soundcheck.

The exkilll were playing their second show ever. The entire band wore matching prints and played with an infectious energy. A Walter White action figure stood sentry at the end of the keyboardist's microphone. Covers of Bikini Kill ("Rebel Girl") and The Ramones ("Sheena Is a Punk Rocker") got the crowd singing and bouncing along.

The exkilll

Foodie are one of the bands that feature our host, Maki (bass, vocals, guitar) of Custard Core. She's joined by her husband, Harurou (guitar, vocals, beats), and drummer / bass player, Happy. Foodie play a unique brand of pop full of interesting loops and beats. They really brought home to me one of the things that's been great about the trip so far: seeing brand new (to me) bands every show who are doing interesting things.


Piggies are a trio from Kōbe who had a solid and enthusiastic base of fans at the show. I could see why. They played super-catchy garage / punk highlighted by some stage heroics by guitarist, Tetsu. I loved this set.


The reception for The RockNRoll Hi-Fives has been amazing so far. Once again, the crowd already knew several songs and sang along. Covers of "We Got the Beat," "Do You Wanna Dance?" and "Surrender" went over big as well. Tetsu was right up front toasting Joe. Maki led the charge for "Livin' the Lost Boy Life," while Eilee bashed a tambourine gifted by The exkilll.

The RockNRoll Hi-Fives

About halfway through the set, I ran across the stage and up the stairs behind the band to get some shots from the green room overhead. Joe told the crowd to "Welcome Papa to the stage!" which is a story for later. Check one of the band's recently archived Facebook livestreams if you want the background on that.

Following the set, The RockNRoll Hi-Fives signed tons of CDs and took pictures with fans and all of the other bands. Everyone here has been incredibly welcoming, and we've all been having a blast at the shows together.

The RockNRoll Hi-Fives, Maki, The exkilll

After two off-days of exploring and logging — literally — about 20 miles on foot all around Ōsaka, we've pulled up stakes and are driving to Tokyo for a pair of shows. We're all pretty excited to see the city and all the bands. It's been the experience of a lifetime so far, and it's only getting better.

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