Southern All Stars Live

OK, I admit this is a bit late, but last week (Dec. 1st), we went to the Tokyo Dome to see Southern All Stars live, and really, it was probably the best live gig I’ve seen – ever.

Almost three hours of continuous music, by probably Japan’s best band. Complete with an amazing light show, screens, dancers, fireworks and balloons big enough to be out of ‘The Prisoner‘, the whole night was just amazing.

For me, it was great that they included a lot of my favourite songs, including the single ‘Bohbo No.5’, complete with hilarious animations running around the back screens, ‘Rock and Roll Superman’, and ‘Yellow Man’, which is the first time I’d seen that live, and it really is a great live track. That made up for a lack of ‘Manpi no G-spot’ in the set though!

Compared to the previous live show at ‘Rock in Japan’, and despite it’s length and the size of the hall, this seemed a little bit more ‘for the fans’, with Kuwata, the lead singer, showing why he’s not only a good vocalist, but also a consumate showman, chatting with the crowd and generally setting the mood. It also let the band put some stunning visuals on some moving video walls, from patterns, to animations to photos, illustrating each song, and doing some of their slower, more melodic songs.

Fortunately for us, we’ll see them *again* on Dec. 30th in Yokohama, but it seems that generally, it’s really hard to get tickets, because they don’t tour that often anymore – indeed Kuwata lamented that at 49 and a smoker, he’s not sure how much longer he can do it (Though as he runs around the stage dressed as a schoolboy, you’d never guess his age!).

For those who have no idea who these people are, I really recommend buying or renting the new double CD “Killer Street”, which is a combination of some reworked old songs, and a lot of new tracks.

Personally, I’ve been really impressed with them, and it’s great to see a band who can put tens of thousands of fans in an arena and do a long, fantastic show. Roll on Dec. 30th!