Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Pillows and a side of Noodles

Darth Milk and I went to see The Pillows the other night. They hadn't toured the U.S. in 2 years, and we were both big fans. For $20 tickets at the Blender Theater at Gramercy, it was a steal. Nice little venue, too. I believe we're seeing The Rutles at the same place. An all-girl band called Noodles opened for them, and they were very good- similar to the more familiar Shonen Knife or other Japanese rock bands. I like how Japanese rock is often closer to the rockabilly and garage roots that mainstream U.S. rock has long left behind. The Pillows and Noodles are touring a few other spots on their label's Delicious Bump Tour.


The Pillows are probably most famous in the U.S. for doing the soundtrack to the anime show FLCL or "Foolly Coolly" that showed on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. Actually I think it's still on Saturdays at 1am, and if you're up watching TV, it's a pretty amusing show that parodies other typical anime plots, but is still about school kids dealing with killer robots and crazy cute girls from space who fly in on Vespas and bash your head in with guitars. And the music's great.
Noodles lead guitar/vocals.

Noodles were a great opening band, they got the crowd excited and played a fine set in their own right, without playing too long. I regret not picking up their CD at the merch table but it was $18; sorry ladies but that's a bit steep. I got a baseball shirt for the tour with both bands on it, so hopefully they get a cut. They're on myspace of course, follow the link with their name to hear some tracks off their new album Cover Me Shakespeare. Gotta love Engrish. They kindly said hello and told us about a show in Brooklyn at Magnetic Fields in better English than my Japanese.
Little Drummer Girl

The Pillows didn't make us wait too long and busted in to "I Think I Can" as their opener, a decent rocker that I got a good video of:

They played a great set, only an hour plus a two song encore, but they played a nice mix of hits, stuff from Furi Kuri and newer stuff. I wish I'd recorded when they introduced themselves, but I remember the rhythm guitarist is Yoshiaka and the drummer is Shin. I couldn't get a decent shot of Yoshi from where I was smushed in a gaggle of hipsters and anime fans, but I managed to get everyone else.
Lead singer Sawao Yamanaka

Everybody wants some Rock 'n Roll! I can't remember the real title of that song, but they played it. It took them a while to get to their favorites "Ride on Shooting Star" and "Little Busters," but they didn't make us wait for the encore. They just said "You know I like new songs but old songs are good too!" and blasted into them one right after the other.

Crazy Sunshine was another one, and Funny Bunny was one of the encores.
I wish all the pictures were this good. Jun Suzuki, bassist.
Shin the drummer.

I got two other videos of songs I can't remember the names of. If you recognize them, let me know in a comment. Unknown song; Here's the finale:

Great band, great show, great night. Better samples of their music are available at their webpage.

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