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A few weeks ago I was at work bored out of my mind, so I started checking my Twitter feed. Nothing that great caught my eye until I got to chiptune band Anamanaguchi's feed. It said something along the lines of seeing them in Cleveland that night. I've been trying to see them for YEARS, but every time they are in Ohio I seem to not be. I was supposed to work till 7pm, but doors opened then, so I begged my manager to let me out early since we were slow and I got the go ahead! So after some texting of my ex-fiance / baby momma / roommate / friend (aka Andrea) we found a baby sitter and was on our way to Cleveland.
Upon arriving at the venue we were shocked at how tiny and shitty it was. The club could probably fit 100 people tops and the ceiling was a drop ceiling that was falling apart and had water stains from what I could only assume was a leaking roof. Andrea pointed out that she was one of probably under 10 females there, it was a wall to wall sausage fest as you could expect, as Anamanaguchi was opening for a crazy Japanese band, Peelander-Z, whom i'd never heard of. I was starting to think that it was going to be a shitty night and probably get more awkward as it went on.
Once Anamanaguchi took the stage, I thought "Tonight is gonna be a good night" (You just thought of the Black Eyed Peas song) and it was. Anamanaguchi rocked, during their songs I could feel the floor bouncing under my feet, almost trampoline like, as everyone was bouncing and jumping to their songs. Anamanaguchi played all their "hits" ranging from their older CDs to Another Winter from the Scott Pilgrim video game. Sadly, they weren't the head liner so their set was kind of short, but was well worth the $10 ticket price and drive. I hope to see them headline in the future!
The lead "singer" of Anamanaguchi
I was around 2nd or 3rd row from the stage (I didn't take this video) Also, if you look closely you can see everyone slightly bouncing along to the song making the trampoline floor. There are also other videos of the show on Youtube, but this is probably the best sounding one.
As soon as Anamanaguchi finished around 50% of the people left, not even staying to give the headliners a chance! Andrea and I decided to stay to at least see what they were all about. Pulling up Wikipedia on our phones to research them, we found out they do wrestling antics on stage, are from Japan having met each other in New York City and have lots of audience participation. Since a lot of the crowd had left, we pushed to the front of the stage easily, dead center, so close we could reach out and touch the lead singer's microphone.
Peelander-Z took the stage, consiting of Peelander Yellow, Peelander Red, Peelander Green, Peelander Black and occasionally Peelander Pink, each member dressed head to toe in their namesake color. Peelander-Z's lead singer has a haircut similar to Hulk Hogan and is missing a front tooth and he looks like he is old enough to be someones grandpa. Andrea and I keep looking at each other like... WTF is about to happen!?!?!?
Music starts and all the band members start jumping and playing at the same time, the lead singer starts shouting some lyrics that I forget (most of their lyrics are 3 to 4 words in English, over and over and over making up the entirety of the song) and Peelander Red jumps into the crowd with his guitar, and ends up standing on their hands with his head pushing up the drop ceiling while playing! It was the craziest rock antics I'd ever seen, these guys knew how to put on a show!
The show continues, as I continue to lose more and more of my hearing, and Peelander-Z reaches what I assume is one of their bigger hits, Mad Tiger, at which time Peelander Yellow and Red leave the stage and come back wearing tiger colored masks and capes. The lyrics to the song are literally Mad Tiger, Mad Tiger, Mad Tiger over and over. Peelander Pink takes the stage in what looks like a cross between a Power Ranger and a member of Team Rocket and starts handing out pans and drum sticks to everyone in the first two rows (including us.) The lead singer starts blowing a whistle and has us hit our pots and pans to the beat, then he and Red leave the stage and upon returning Red is dressed in a giant squid costume with bass strings on it. Red, Pink and Yellow go into the crowd and reveal a long rope, which spreads from the front of the crowd to the back, under which Red in his squid costume limbos. Then they had the entire crowd limbo as they moved the rope from one side of the club to the other, all while the drummer played and we played our pots and pans. It sounds really stupid, but it was SO MUCH FUN!
We are literally right in front of the lead singer, you can see Andrea, she is the short girl with the ponytail.
At this point I'm covered in sweat and can barely hear and Peelander-Z starts performing a song about Tacos. They repeat the same thing over and over "Taco Taco Taco, Taco..." Something... I have no idea! Then the unthinkable happens, they start holding the microphone to people in the front row, to my left and to my right. I start freaking out inside, I DON'T KNOW THE LYRICS! Yellow holds the microphone to Andrea, she says the lyrics... then the unthinkable happens, he holds the microphone to me...I literally just go "mphhh mphhh mphh" and mumble. I then get a dirty look and get hit with the microphone! I was so embarrassed! They finished the song and started the next song, which was apparently something about how everyone likes their steak medium rare, and Andrea and I turned and ran out of the club while Yellow's back was turned so we didn't get harassed by him.
I still have no idea what the hell the last part of the lyrics are...Tacos x3, today?
It was easily the best concert I've ever been to, not necessarily musically, but fun wise it can't be beat. I plan on going to see Peelander-z in Akron in June and plan on redeeming myself from ruining their Taco song! NARP anyone?