Tuesday March 28, 2010 at CMU
with Deepak, Will, Lisa
I only caught the last quarter of this show since we had an IM soccer game earlier in the evening. I met Deepak at the show during Saberpulse's set, and Will and Lisa showed up later to see Anamanaguchi. I had heard of Anamanaguchi through Deepak, and had listened to some of their songs at his place and was intrigued by the combination of Nintendo sounds and rock music. The song and a half that I saw from Sabrepulse was definitely more Nintendo than rock, though. The act was actually one British guy controlling an amalgam of electrical equipment and dancing around and fist pumping. He seemed to have a Game Boy in his hands and was pressing buttons, but I really don't know what effect that had on the sound. There was a crowd of people by the front of the stage dancing around, but it was nothing like what he was doing onstage. He bopped back and forth between pieces of equipment and jumped around and shot his fist into the air. Clearly, he was having fun. I didn't dislike the music, but it wasn't exactly my cup of tea, either. Strangely, there was a large screen behind the stage that was displaying a movie; Deepak told me it was “The Room”, a notoriously bad, cult drama film.
Anamanaguchi played next and they were more enjoyable, to me. They are basically a standard rock band that plays 8-bit produced sounds from equipment on the side of the stage that serve as the main melodies, while the guitars/bass/drums fill in the soundscape. Also, they played some psychedelic/digital animated images instead of a crappy B-movie with no sound. Their set was loud and energetic, full of crunchy guitars and fast drumming and high-pitched melody lines. In fact, the drummer played so fast that he ripped off his t-shirt after the first two songs. There were long lulls between songs as they set up the digital stuff, which was too bad, but their banter was pretty funny and they had programmed the computerized voice intro to say silly things. I think I'll listen to their songs again, every once in a while.
Turns out this was the last night of a month-long US tour for these 4 acts that played with hacked Game Boys, known as the “8-Bit Alliance Tour”. After Anamanguchi's set, they all came out onstage and said an awkward goodbye and thankyou to the crowd, wherein Sabrepulse was draped with three guitars and had a drumstick placed in his mouth by the other bands. It was odd but endearing.
Live at Blip Festival
”Jetpack Blues Sunset Hues”
Live in San Francisco