Japan’s hottest export, WagakkiBand is poised for an encore visit to the United States as guests of Austin‘s SXSW festival, and will be stopping in New York City to perform at Irving Plaza on March 14, 2016 as a headliner for the evening titled “WagakkiBand Live in N.Y. – AKATSUKI –“. Akatsuki is the lead track from their newest album and means “Dawn”, or “New Beginning”. Tickets for Irving Plaza will be available for general public via Ticketmaster on January 29th.
The band played to a sold out Club Nokia L.A. Live crowd as part of the Anime Expo in July 2015 and performed on Good Day L.A. They have been making waves with their mix of ancient Japanese musical tradition and modern rock reaching #1 on the Japanese charts with their September 2015 sophomore LP, YASOUEMAKI, as MTV Japan named them an Artist To Watch.
WagakkiBand is an 8-piece band that fuses Shigin, poetry recitation rooted in Japanese traditional performing arts, Wagakki, traditional Japanese musical instruments, and rock music to bring a fresh and yet authentically Japanese live show. Their YouTube smash hit, “Senbonzakura” has over 33 million views and counting and their latest single, “Hangeki no Yaiba” is the theme song for the dTV original series of mega manga/anime hit, “Attack on Titan“.
Front woman Yuko Suzuhana is in fact the champion of a nationwide Shigin contest. Backing Suzuhana are 7 members playing traditional instruments including Shakuhachi (bamboo flute), Shamisen (3 string guitar like instrument), Koto (Japanese Harp), and Taiko (Japanese drum).
They released their debut album Vocalo Zanmai in 2014, which hit Top 10 twice during a 22 week stay in the Top 100 of Japan’s Oricon weekly charts. While their video “Senbonzakura” hit 10 million views within a few months of release.
On January 6 WagakkiBand played for over 10,000 fans at the legendary Budokan. Tokyo-based music critic Daniel Robson described it:
“As the band left the stage after two thrilling hours, it was the audience’s turn to sing, chanting the chorus to “Akatsukino Ito” until the band came back for an encore… They saved their biggest hit for last. As Beni and Daisuke perfomed the rousing Tsugaru-jamisen and shakuhachi intro to “Senbonzakura”, a shower of glittering ribbons fell from the ceiling. Yuko held out her mic so that the crowd could sing along. For WagakkiBand, of course, a promising new year has only just begun.“
WagakkiBand Live Performance Photo Gallery