[LIVE REPORT] Asian Kung-Fu Generation in Nagoya, Japan (Nippon Gaishi Hall 2016.12.27)

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Renowned Japanese Rock Band, Asian Kung-Fu Generation, is currently celebrating their 20th Anniversary and holding a tour across Japan. Team KKS and I had a fortunate opportunity to witness one of the commemorative shows at the Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan on December 27th, 2016. As a fan of the band for 13 years and never been to a single show, I’d have to say this was THE perfect Asian Kung-Fu Generation live for me. Here’s why.

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Coincidentally, the band re-released a 2004 album, “Sol-fa,” around the same time with all the songs re-mastered. “Sol-fa” is probably their most critically acclaimed album as it included famous songs such as “Rewrite,” the 4th opening song for FullMetal Alchemist, “Loop & Loop,” a song featured in the popular Nintendo DS Game, “Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan,” and “Re: Re,” a song which was recently used in the hit anime, “Erased.” Needless to say, Asian Kung-Fu Generation (Ajikan) played the entire album live along with a few other classics and as well as their recent hits.

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The members took the stage at the beginning of the night and instantly hit their fans with the nostalgic bass line of “Haruka Kanata,” the song prominently associated with the one of the best anime series worldwide, “Naruto.” Although it’s no surprise that this song would be in the band’s 20th Anniversary setlist, it was still able to manage to shock the audience and riled them up for the rest of the night to come. The ani-song portion didn’t stop there. In addition to what was already mentioned, Ajikan played “After Dark” & the new “Blood Circulator” from the shows “Bleach” and the recently concluded, “Naruto: Shippuden.”

Of course, I was also excited for a lot of the classic, non-anime songs as well such as “Understand,” “Konayuki,” “Kimi iu to Hana,” “Kimi no Machi Made,” and “Kaigan Dōri” as they were songs of my high school days. *reminisces for a bit* Lead singer, Gotoh, even pointed out that “Konayuki” was a very nostalgic song for them as it has been many years since they last played it live. Though he joked with the crowd that they already knew the band was going to play it because the set lists from previous shows were already online. Still, fans there was ecstatic hearing an amazing song from the indie days.

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After the Sol-fa marathon, the band retreated back stage while Gotoh emerges to the center of the stadium to perform solo with an acoustic guitar. The front man shared an intimate moment with the fans. After “Time Traveler,” the rest of the band came back on stage with Kita, the lead guitarist, sporting vocals while Gotoh maneuvered his way back to the front stage during “Hakkei.” Before heading into the encore, both Gotoh and Kita traded a few words and reminisce what the band was like 20 years prior. Even without completely understanding all of the dialogue, it was clear each member had a proud look on their faces. They truly deserve their success in Japan.

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After a packed 30-ish song show, it’s time for the fans and the band to bid farewell for the night. At this time, Ajikan permitted the crowd to take out their smartphones to take as many photos as they like. As you know, concerts in Japan have a strict policy against photography and personal video recording but for this particular show, I’m happy to see Ajikan being opened to the concept of personal recording. Each and every one of the fans that night got to take home a bit of the concert to remember by.

After “Shinseiki no Love Song,” the band bowed, thanking fans for their support all these years. I joined the crowd sharing our proudness for Ajikan because 20 years of activity is no easy task and they played a great show that night and no doubt, many more shows to come. Again, as my first Asian Kung-Fu Generation concert, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. 20th Anniversary, entire Sol-fa in the set list, and many of my favorite classics. This will go down as one of best J-Rock show I’ve seen in my life. I hope to catch Asian Kung-Fu Generation live again in the near future and hopefully in the United States one day. I can speak for many fans here that we are patiently waiting for them!

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Asian Kung-Fu Generation are

Masafumi Gotoh – VOCALS
Kensuke Kita – GUITAR
Takahiro Yamada – BASS
Kiyoshi Ijichi – DRUMS

Set List

1. Haruka Kanata
2. Senseless
3. Understand
4. After Dark
5. Yoru no Call
6. Konayuki
7. Marching Band
8. Kakato de Ai wo Uchinarase
9. Ima wo Ikite
10. Kimi to iu Hana
11. E
12. Standard
13. Blood Circulator
14. Gekkou

<Sol-fa Songs>
15. Shindokaku
16. Rewrite
17. Loop & Loop
18. Kimi no Machi Made
19. My World
20. Yoru no Mukou
21. Last Scene
22. Siren
23. Re:Re:
24. 24ji
25. Mayonaka to Mahiru no Yume
26. Kaigan Dōri

<Encore>
27. Yoru wo Koete
28. Wonder Future
29. Time Traveler
30. Hakkei
31. Sayonara Lost Generation
32. Shinseiki no Love Song

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  • AndreasStalin

    No Solanin? Fantastic set list though, wish I was there.

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