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    King Baby Duck's Live Review: the pillows – ANIME BOSTON 2008

    posted @ 4/10/2008 06:19:00 PM by FreeLoader

    For the first time in its history, Anime Boston’s Main Events Room was filled head-to-toe with people young and old; and for good reason. Making their Bay State area debut were the kings of Japanese rock: the pillows! Known to anime fans thanks in part to the shows “FLCL,” “BECK,” and “Moonlight Mile,” the pillows have toured the States three times; and because of their notoriety having this band play at AB was a big deal to many.

    Before they came on, though, were the good, but very “wrong to open for a band like the pillows” Luv and Response. Mixing R&B with dance and fashion the group was able to perfectly make music that was both audibly and visually glamorous. Despite being a good band I wished that the opening act for the pillows' club stops, noodles, had performed; since both bands share a Pixies-ish style.

    After a fifteen-minute break the main event marched onto the stage, the crowd roaring with excitement.

    “DO YOU KNOW ME?!” screamed vocalist/guitarist Sawao Yamanaka. “Our name is the pillows! OK?!”

    the pillows broke into the first song: “I think I can”: a perfect opening track. If it weren’t for the chairs in the way a mosh pit would’ve emerged. Next up were “Rock ‘n’ Roll Sinners” and “Carnival”; and then broke into “Wake up! dodo” and “Blues Drive Monster.”

    “I believe,” Sawao began, “that good music is good music, no matter how new or old it is!” The crowd went wild, as the band went into their lighter-waving track “One Life.” This was the track that made this Duck a fan of the pillows in the first place. To hear it live again (since I saw them in ’05 at the Knitting Factory) was a real treat.

    After playing “Crazy Sunshine” and “Last Dinosaur” Sawao announced that they were currently recording, and played two new tracks: “NEW ANIMAL” and “Mr. Droopy.” The former had an epic opening, with awesome riffs from guitarist Yoshiaki Manabe; the latter had wonderfully broken English that will surely be fun and catchy to sing along to once the new single is released.

    “Do you guys know ‘Furi Kuri’?” asked Sawao, which the crowd responded by going insane. “Speaking of ‘Furi Kuri’ this is the song! RIDE ON SHOOTING STAR!” Although I’m kind of tired of this song, hearing it live reminded me why this band excites me so much. Next came the two sing-along songs: the blur-like “Little Busters” and the R.E.M.-ish “Hybrid Rainbow”: their most beautiful track. Finally bassist Jun Suzuki was able to shine with “Sleepy Head”: the track with the best non-QOTSA bass line.

    After a five-minute break the pillows emerged again, and chaos almost emerged; as a few droves of otaku almost rushed the front of the stage to form a mosh pit. Sadly security had to act like party-poopers and bring the people back to their seats. the pillows finished with “Funny Bunny,” ending with the hardcore “Advice.” Had this been the Knitting Factory again Sawao would’ve stage-dived at the end, but this wasn’t the case.

    Waiting two-and-a-half hours in line was worth this; but I have to say AB needs to work on seating arrangements. When I was there I sat on the far right, unable to see Shinichiro Sato and his drum set. I was very disappointed with this, and I hope AB will fix this problem in the near-future. Other than this setback this was the highlight of Anime Boston, and perhaps will pave the way for other acts to come and perform not just at AB, but also other clubs in Boston.

    I think I can
    Rock 'n' Roll Sinners
    Wake up! dodo
    Blues Drive Monster
    One Life
    Crazy Sunshine
    Last Dinosaur
    New Animal (new song!!!)
    Mr. Droopy (another new song!!!)
    Ride on shooting star
    Little Busters
    Hybrid Rainbow
    Sleepy Head

    Funny Bunny

    This is King Baby Duck saying "If it ain't made in Japan, it's usually crap!"