Live Review: SPACE SHOWER RETSUDEN ASIA TOUR – Millian, Singapore (16.03.17)

The annual affair is like a rite-of-passage for all Japanese bands – kind of like the Baybeats of Japan. That said, no one parties harder than the Japanese at concerts. With non-stop exhilaration and high strung performances, SPACE SHOWER RETSUDEN ASIA TOUR 2017 was a night to remember and we were lucky to be there to catch them!

Last week, Singapore saw four of Japan’s top indie bands in town. It was THE ORAL CIGARETTES’ second show here, but the first for the other three. All four bands are in such high demand in Japan, they almost always sell out!

Kyuso Nekomami describes themselves as a punk rock band, but they are so much more than that. Try an experimental punk rock band with a little bit of electronica thrown in for good measure. From the get go, they had the entire crowd dancing to their songs. From hadouken to riding the crowd like a wave, Kyuso Nekomami played off the vibes.

Next up was 04 Limited Sazabys, a quartet from Nagoya. For their first overseas performance, they definitely did make an impression. With their energetic fast-paced songs, 04 Limited Sazabys brings back old school rock reminiscent of the Blink 182 days. Just a lil bit nostalgic there.

THE ORAL CIGARETTES was a more funky punk band with a much fuller sound. Most renowned for their opening song of the anime Noragami Aragoto, THE ORAL CIGARETTES impressed with their high strung songs full of attitude. With smooth, elegant transitions, the songs somehow charmed their way into my playlist. It’s a bit hard to describe Takuya Yamanaka’s voice – from slight falsettos to gentle lulls, he just somehow draws you in. Never mind if you don’t understand a word of Japanese (google will help you with those translations of Takuya’s introspective lyrics), his voice is enough to get you hooked.

Frederic finished up the night with their shoe gaze dance anthems, including my favorite – Oddloop. Kenji Mihara and Koji Mihara’s nasally vocals somehow blends into the songs instead of being a turn-off. Their songs are just so addicting with feet-jiggling riffs and lyrics that just seem to go on repeat until it’s drilled into your head (but in a good way!). From a musical point of view, it was interesting watching them use their guitar synths pedal as most bands usually just use a keyboardist.

Singapore needs more of these bands who aren’t afraid to explore different sounds, and who know how to have fun on stage. Not just the line-up was well curated, but the entire she-bang from the lighting to the set up was well-thought out. Each band had their own entrance with a soundtrack, and they were all so proud of Japan and grateful for the opportunity to represent their country music overseas it was really heartwarming. SPACE SHOWER RETSUDEN definitely keeps to their promise of showcasing rising bands that deserve to be heard by more people.

Photos by Viola Kam (V’z Twinkle)

We also interviewed each band when they were in town! Get to know them better: Kyuso Nekomami, 04 Limited Sazabys, THE ORAL CIGARETTES and Frederic.