Sunday, October 24, 2010

Loud Park 2010 (Part 2 : Day 1) / ラウドパーク 2010年 (パート2 : デイ1)

Saturday (October 16, 2010) Loud Park Day 1:

As the event starts at 11:00am, I left the house at 9:30am. The first day I was on my own as Mikako had to work all day. I figured that I would probably run into a friend or at least an acquaintance during the show. I went to Shibuya station and caught the 10:15 limited express on the Saikyo Line, changed trains at Akabane to the Utsunomiya Line and got off at the Saitama Shintoshin Station where the Saitama Super Arena is located. It was 10 minutes before 11:00am. Once I was inside the arena, I head straight for the stage as the first band was about to perform. As I already mentioned the line-up in a previous post, I shall give you my reviews of the bands I did see. For this event there are two main stages located to the left and to the right of a large monitor which is set in the middle - The Ultimate Stage and the Big Rock Stage. So when one band finishes their set on the Ultimate Stage, the next band would start ten or fifteen minutes later on the Big Rock Stage. Unlike the U.S., the bands actually start on time as well! First batter up on Saturday was Holy Grail. And I shall thank all those people who were more meticulous than me in providing the set lists somewhere on the internet.

ラウドパークは朝11から始まる。この日、うちを出たのは9時半。美香子はバイトがあったので、最初の日は一人で参戦。自分の頭の中で会場で友達か知り合いに会うんじゃないかなと思った。渋谷駅に行って埼京線で赤羽駅まで。宇都宮線に乗りかえってさいたま新都心へ。うちから1時間ちょっとで、さいたま新都心に着いたのは11時10分前。アリーナに入ると早速ステージの方に向かった。このイベントにステージが二つあって‐アルテミットステージとビグロックステージ。両ステージの間に大きいなモニターがあって、一つのバンドの演奏が終わると直ぐ別のステージでライブから始まります。 今年のオーペニングはアメリカのホリー・グレエル。あと僕よりまめな人達がネット上でセットリストをアップしてるので、感謝感謝。

Holy Grail Set List

01. Immortal Man

02. T.G.P.F.

03. For All Eternity

04. Call of Valhalla

05. Crisis in Utopia

06. My Last Attack

07. Flight to Kill

These guys reminded me of my high school years when bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were at the height of their popularity. It's the kind of music that made me a fan of heavy metal. Seeing a heavy band like this so early in the morning seems kind of strange but as the show was indoors, it wasn't much of a problem. I think I might even purchase their new CD.



01. Until Eternity Ends

02. Down

03. Sense the Fire

04. Threnody

05. Fearless

06. For Those Who Will

07. Feed the Weak

As the next band starts ten minutes after the previous band's set ends, I ended up watching the entire set of Engel. I was unfamiliar with them but found them to be a Swedish melodic death metal band. That was how they were labeled anyway. It sounded more metal than death though and fortunately the vocalist wasn't one of those singers with the death grunt. They weren't bad but not quite to my taste.



01. Rise of the Shadow

02. Bloody Gaya Fulfilled

03. Spell of Setting Sun : Mirror of Retribution

04. Forty-nin Theurgy Chains

05. Painkiller (Judas Priest cover)

06. Sing-Ling Temple

07. Quasi Putrefaction

This death metal from Taiwan featuring a female guitar player was featured in Tokyo's English Language free paper "Metropolis". I read the article and found that most of the songs they write are political and thought I would check out a bit of their set even though I am no fan of death metal. I didn't stay long - the death grunts were just too much for me. So after a couple of songs I left the stage and went outside the arena for a breath of fresh air and also to go in search of something to eat. But seeing the set list, I wouldn't have minded seeing them do the Judas Priest cover.

東京にあるフリーペーパーで彼らの存在を知りました。台湾出身のデスメタルバンド。特徴は素敵なお姉さんがギターを弾いてます。読んだ記事によると、このバンドの曲の歌詞がほとんど政治的な物で、ちょっと面白そうからちょこっと聴いてみた。でも二曲目からあのデス声が我慢できず、アリーナを去った。ちょうど昼だったんで、腹も減ったし、なんか食べ物を探しに行った。 セットリストを見たらジューダスの曲もカバーしてな、あれを見れば良かったかも。


01. Twilight of the Thunder Gods

02. Runes to My Memory

03. Guardians of Asgaarde

04. Varyags of Miklagaard

05. Asator

06. Death in Fire

07. Crying of the Black Birds

08. Live for the Kill

09. The Pursuit of Vikings

I came back to the arena sometime in the middle of Amon Amarth's set. It seems Scandinavia has started a new sub-genre of metal called "Viking Metal". As you can surmise from the titles of their songs that their theme is all based around the life of vikings - and they're damn proud of it. And even though I didn't know any of the songs, I liked the music. I don't know, perhaps "Viking Metal" is "Happy Metal" because I was having a good time.



01. Dead or Rock

02. Speedhoven

03. Lavatory Love Machine

04. Mysteric

05. Vain Glory Opera

06. Superheroes

07. King of Fools

As I've been standing for most of the groups I've listened to so far, I decided to take a break and find myself a seat in the stands. Another reason why I chose to do so was that I had seen Edguy in concert before as they were the opening act for Rhapsody (an Italian symphonic metal band).



01. Sa Bir

02. Obscure

03. 残 Zan

04. 激しさと、この胸の中で絡み付いた灼熱の闇 Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Fumitsuitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami

05. Dozing Green

06. Inward Scream

07. 食紅 Shokubeni

08. Vinushka

09. 冷血なりせば Reiketsu Nariseba

10. 羅刹国 Rasetsukoku

Okay, one of the few Japanese bands that was playing the event. This particular band is very popular in Europe and has quite a few fans here in their homeland. I figured their music to be in the same vein as Luna Sea, Pierrot, or Janne D'Arc so I decided to give them a listen. I stomached the first song which was an instrumental and tried to listen to the entire second song, but jeez, they were awful!! I couldn't take any more. I had to leave the arena once again. I went wandering around again. Bought myself a couple of souvenirs - a Loud Park 2010 T-shirt and a Loud Park 2010 towel. Yep, towels as souvenirs is a popular item at concerts in Japan. I then went wandering around some more. Grabbed another bite to eat, had myself a beer, then wandered around some more. I headed to the smoking area as it was outdoors and I thought I would grab a bit of fresh air (yes, I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but the smoking section had those smoke catcher things. It was here that I finally ran into a couple of friends. My good friend Tsutsu and another I hadn't seen in about 12 years! Who informed me that another one of our friends was close by and someone I hadn't seen in about 10 years. That being the friend who first invited me to go to Dokken, the rock bar! Not caring about missing the rest of Dir En Grey's set, we talked about old times and other friends. Hellyeah had already taken the stage and I suggested catching the last part of their show so we would be ready to watch Ratt!

今日唯一の日本バンドDir en Greyが次でした。日本だけじゃなくヨーロッパでも大人気なんで、気になって、見る事にした。イメージ的にLuna SeaやPierrotやJ'anne D'Arcと似た様な感じと思いましたが、さ~どうだろう? 最初の曲はインストロでまだ分からないな。でも次の曲を聴いたら、なにこれ?うわ~、最低だ。なんでこんなに人気あるんだろう、わけわからない。3曲まで我慢出来ず、またアリーナを出ました。会場内に歩きまわって、自分の為にラウドパークのT-シャーツとタオル。アメリカ人だったらライブグッズでタオルがあるのはびっくりするでしょ、でも日本のライブなら必ず販売されてる様な感じ。そのあとまた軽く食べて、ビールを飲んで、また歩きまわった。ちょっと喫煙所も覗いてみて、やっと友達と遭遇。一人は中の良いやつで、もう一人は12年ぶりの再会だった。二人がちょうど僕の話をしてたみたいで、その直後に僕が現れ、びっくりしたと言った。また近くに他の友達もあった。その人とは10年ぶりの再会だった。その人が僕を最初にドッケンとゆうロックバーに誘ってくれた人物。いろんな話をしてたら、次のバンドの演奏が始まった。最後の曲くらいを見ようと提案して、そのバンドのあとが楽しみ。


01. Hellyeah

02. Goddamn

03. Cowbay Way

04. Matter of Time

05. Hell of a Time

06. Debt That All Men Pay

07. You Wouldn't Know

08. Stampede

09. Alcohaulin' Ass

This group features the return of Vinnie Paul (Dimebag Darrell's brother from Pantera) to the music world. It also features the vocalist from Mudvayne and the bass player from Nothingface. As I only saw about two songs the only thing I can say, "Damn Loud!" In my book, being loud doesn't equal being good and I think they do their fans a disservice. My other thought was, "couldn't they come up with a better name?".



01. The Morning After

02. I'm Insane

03. Way Cool Jr.

04. Wanted Man

05. Back for More

06. Nobody Rides for Free

07. You're in Love

08. Lay It Down

09. Lack of Communication

10. Best of Me

11. Eat Me Up Alive

12. Round and Round

This was one of the bands I was waiting to see. Me and Tsutsu decide to watch them from the arena, but not too close where the maniacal fans are. Ratt had just released a new album with their original vocalist Stephen Pearcy and they recruited former Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Caveza. My friend who invited me to Dokken was standing right behind me as well. Although the new album got great reviews, I hadn't heard any of it but I was delighted to hear such classic as "Lay It Down", "Back For More", "Way Cool Jr.", and of course "Round and Round"!



01. Starlight

02. Living for Tonight

03. Breaker

04. Teutonic Terror

05. Pandemic

06. Restless and Wild

07. Princess of the Dawn

08. Metal Heart

09. Up to the Limit

10. Fast as a Shark

11. Balls to the Wall

Damn, if you didn't know better, you would think you were listening to the original Accept line-up with Udo Dirkschneider. Their new vocalist is an awesome clone (and that's really not a bad thing). His voice matches their music. This was, by far, the best show of the evening - and we had yet to see Halford or Korn!



01. Mission Statement

02. Reborn

03. Made of Scars

04. Say You'll Haunt Me

05. Get Inside

06. Unfinished

07. Your God

08. Bother

09. Through Glass

10. Digital (Did You Tell)

11. Hell & Consequences

12. 30/30 150

After totally rocking out to Ratt and Accept, Tsutsu and I took a breather and went to the Official Bar located at the back of the arena and had ourselves some beer. Tsutsu's girlfriend was working late but said she would probably make it to the Halford set. This band was created by a member of Slipknot but as we weren't really paying any attention to them, I could give you no opinions on them one way or another.



01. Resurrection

02. Made in Hell

03. Locked & Loaded

04. Drop Out

05. Made of Metal

06. Undisputed

07. Nailed to the Gun

08. Golgotha

09. Fire and Ice

10. Green Manalishi (Judas Priest cover of Fleetwood Mac song)

11. Diamonds and Rust (Judas Priest cover of Joan Baez song)

12. Jawbreaker

13. Cyberworld

14. Like There's No Tomorrow

15. Thunder & Lightning

The Metal God himself - Rob Halford! I don't know. Was it just me? Was it the sound? Or is it the fact that the Metal God is mortal? Of all the bands who's full set I watched, this was the worst sounding, disappointing letdown. For one the bass drum was just so damn loud, it drowned out all the other instruments, including Halford's voice. Having seen Judas Priest in their prime back in the early '80s and seeing Halford now was just too traumatic. The Metal God looked like someone's grandpa wandering aimlessly around the living room while singing karaoke as Halford's eyes seemed more intent on reading the teleprompter than singing out to the audience. Then again, since I am nearing my 50's, the Metal God has aged as well so I will have to forgive him for the teleprompter, but there was no excuse for the volume of that bass drum! Not even singing the Fight song or the covers that made Judas famous (Fleetwood Mac's "Green Manalishi" and Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust") could save it.



01. Intro / 4U

02. Right Now

03. Need To

04. Coming Undone / We Will Rock You (Queen)

05. Pop on Pil

06. Here to Stay

07. Oildale (Leave Me Alone)

08. Falling Away from Me

09. Did My Time

10. Let the Guilt Go

11. Freak on a Leash

12. Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd)

13. Blind

14. Shoots and Ladders / One (Metallica)

15. Clown

16. Got the Life

The Gods of the Nu-Metal movement were the headliners for this evening. I wasn't that interested in seeing them but I thought I would check out at least a couple of their songs. After all, I will be back for another full day tomorrow. Tsutsu and his girlfriend left sometime in the middle of the set. I found myself watching their entire set as well. It was great show and quite entertaining. I enjoyed the way they blended in Queen's "We Will Rock You" or Metallica's "One" in a couple of their songs. Not a band way to end the evening. But still, its at least an hour or so to get back home and I will need to sleep soon as I'm going to start the entire process all over the following morning, but at least Mikako will also be with me!


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