It's Friday evening, post Vines at the Red Marquee.
A band you don't know steps to the stage and starts playing. You realize that you know that song, and kind of dug it when you heard it. They play another song. You've heard that one before, too. Hmm... maybe you better get closer to the stage.
There is a small frenzy of Japanese girls in gumboots dancing behind the sound booth. They have crazy smiles as you make your way slowly past them. The smiles are not for you, they are for the group of guys assembled on stage banging out bobbing bass lines and crunchy power chords.
You make your way carefully in the dark, over and around backpacks, bags, and small camping chairs that have been abandoned by owners now gloriously jumping up and down with fists in the air somewhere closer to the stage.
The singer stops. He talks to the crowd. He has a strange accent. British Isles. North. He says, "Are you happy to see us Japan?" Dumb question. The crowd roars.
"We're going to go back to 'Comfort In Sound'," he says. He starts to play. You know this song, too. You even know some of the words. The people around you know it much better than you. They scream. They're happy. Really happy. They sing along. Shout. Double stop. Right in time. The crowd takes over, "It's just the way I'm feeling!"
This song ends. The bass player hasn't said a word. He steps up to the mic. "This is my country." He speaks Japanese. Well. The audience speaks back. The bass player is Japanese. He gets the crowd even higher than they were before he spoke. He plays a crunchy opening bass line. Guitar kicks in. Toms. Full kit. Vocals. The crowd jumps up and down even more furiously. They take over from here.
*Photos: Ryota Mori
Reported by Jeff Richards (2008.07.26 / 15:15)