Summer Sonic Osaka 2011

My ticket!!(≡゚∀゚≡)
Hello All!
A couple weekends back, I finally bit the bullet, and threw down some money for a Summer Sonic ticket (only Sunday though. tried to honor my savings a little..( ´ⅴ`)). Summer Sonic is an annual music festival that occurs simultaneously in Tokyo and Osaka. Most of the bands play one night in Tokyo then fly/bus/hike down to Osaka. It's been going on since 2000 and this year's headliners were RHCP and The Strokes, who are two of my favorite bands..! I was totally ready to rock my socks off. In fact, I didn't even wear socks, just in case ( ´ ▽ ` ).

I got friends in loooow plac--.. wait a sec..
In Osaka, the festival is held in Maihama, which is close to the Cosmosquare subway station and the Sakurajima Station on the JR line. They have shuttle buses that run from both stations for a prepaid fee of 600 yen or 800 yen at the bus. Since I went with two other people, we just split the difference of a taxi, which saved us about 300 yen a person. Plus it was much, much cooler in the taxi. Great little "woo-saa" moment before getting down and dirty.

Yui at the Mountain Stage.
We got there a little before 12pm, so there weren't any lines for getting our wristbands. However, because there weren't any big lines, we actually walked right the wristband area and walked all the way into the festival. We then had to walk all the way back, get the wristbands, then go back inside. It was a big loop de loop, so by the time we were next to one of the stages, we were drenched in sweat (=´Д`=). 

 We hung out by the Mountain Stage a for bit, listening to YUI, and contemplating a cool drink, but the lines were so long back there, that we headed back out to the main food area.

Does it look hot to you?
 The food area was just a wide flat space lined with tiny food venders (the Mountain Stage was on top of a hill behind it). I think one of the nice things about Summer Sonic is that you can bring your own food and drink and just kind of camp out anywhere on the grounds (=゚ω゚=), which is also probably why there were lots of families there too. Next year, I'll probably do the same too and save a few yen.

So we popped a squat off to the side, trying to steal a little shade and enjoy our drinks. It was really too hot to enjoy anything like yakisoda or takoyaki, which was there, or have a cup of Jack and coke, which was also there ~(´ー`~), so I stuck with my tea and water.

The Ting Tings @Ocean Stage
 Afterwards, I made my way over to the Ocean Stage, which is the biggest stage, officially ready for some good music and good times. The crowd was still pretty sparse since the band on stage wasn't so popular, but the music was pretty good and there was space for grooving. I decided to inch closer to the front so I could get a better view of the stage, but my two comrades weren't too keen on sunburn, so they stayed toward the back in the shade.

After Viva Brother, The Ting Tings came on. I've only heard one of their songs, but there set was pretty lively. Great music for dancing, so I took advantage of the space I had shook my booty (=^ω゚)ノ

 Once they were done, it was time for a set change, so many people pulled the same move as this guy. It was still pretty close to high noon (well it wasn't noon, but the sun sure was high up), takin' a squat down in the shadows out of the sun was a nice way to escape the heat and keep your space near the front.

Unfortunately, the next act was Kimura Kaela, who is a pretty big name is Japanese music, so the front got really crowded. The Kaela fans were actually kind of pushy, so while I was pushed toward the front, I also got knocked into some big sweaty dudes (who knew big sweaty dudes were fans of such a tiny, cheerful lady (´・∀・`)). I was able to enjoy her performance behind towel and sweaty backs and as you can imagine, it was awesome (;´▽`)y-~~.

Sadly, my phone had kicked the bucket by now, so I wasn't able to take any more photos. And this was right before KoRn was about to take the stage. You can imagine my disappointment (;´Д`). But since KoRn and Kaela fans don't mesh so much, I was able to get a little breathing space before they got on. After they unveiled the H.R. Giger mic stand though, it was back on. People were rushing the stage again, but this time they were metal heads.

The metal heads were pretty nice, everyone left enough space for some good head banging to occur, though at the times people tried to mosh. I think Japanese shows have a pretty strict policy with moshing and crowd surfing, but people still tried even though you risked being pulled from the front.  

After KoRn's show of bada$$ery, it was time for another band I'd never heard of called Beady Eyes. More KoRn fans started clearing the area, so I was able to scoot right to the front against the bars, but Beady Eyes fans started moving in as well, so space was still precious.

Beady Eyes seemed like a pretty mellow band, they kind of reminded me of Rooney, so I don't remember much of their set ( ´∀`). But after them, it was time for The Strokes!!

I'd only been to one other Strokes show, but their sets are pretty elaborate (lots of light work), so it took longer than the allotted time for them to get set up, and by the time they went on stage, it was already 8pm! That was the time I was supposed to be meeting with my friends so we could head back downtown together ( ノ*゚Д゚*). I stayed for a couple songs anyway, because I really wanted to see them, but then I abandoned my spot so I could meet my friends...

I kind of regret leaving because.. in the end, I couldn't find them. Without my phone, I couldn't call them either, and later on, I found out that they had changed the meeting place..(゚Д゚;)! So I missed my friends and most of The Strokes..ヽ(;´Д`)ノ! I was pretty dejected about that, so I just wandered back to the taxi stand and headed back to the train station. 

It was a pretty long day, surviving on fluids alone, but I would say it was worth it (=´ω`=;. I've never had a spot so close to the stage, and the crowd wasn't that bad. I'm definitely planning on going again next year, to both days. And I'm also on the look out for any more music festivals in the kansai area. The next one I find, I'll definitely post on here..!



Osaka@ Night - ALL BLUE Caffe & Bar

Caffe & Bar

I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo but, this bar has a One Piece theme to it. And from what I heard from one of my friends, it's not the first one in Amemura with the One Piece theme, but so far it's the bestヽ(°▽、°)ノ

This place is super new and shiny, having just opened on July 3rd.

Access Info:
Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Chuou-ku, Nishi-Shinsaibashi 2-12-8
Sasaki Bldg. B1F
Tel: 06-6213-6773
Hours: 7pm - 5am
Mixi page: http://mixi.jp/view_community.pl?id=5616013

This bar is pretty easy to get to. It's one block from Triangle park, right across the street from the huge crab restaurant in Amemura. If you get to the Korean Embassy is on Midosuji street, take the left turn north of the embassy, walk straight across one street, and All Blue will be right at the corner of the second street. But it's a basement establishment, so you should keep an eye out for their sign/flag (pictured above). If you walk under the bridge, you've gone too far(/ー\).

  This bar is covered in One Piece paraphernalia. And it's all been purchased by the owner. I can understand why he started this bar because there is no way all this stuff could fit into some guys room. He's got figures, posters, bobble-heads, hats, converse sneakers, Zoro's swords, the guy with the freaky fur hat's shirt, masks, folders, pencil boards. I could probably go on for another few lines, but I've forgotten some of them. But the owner was a really sweet guy. He let us play with the swords, try on the masks, and take tons of ridiculous photos(*´∀`*).

I'm pretty sure there's a food menu, but I didn't get a chance to look at it. All the (alcoholic) drinks were only 650 yen though, which isn't bad for a bar (soft drinks are 450). I thought the tables were cute because of the One Piece decals. He had just ordered some One Piece mugs, but we a day too early for those. I'll probably go back for a photo of that ~(´ー`~). There were about 3 or 4 tables, plus two bars, so a generous amount of people would fit in this place.

 Along with all the goods, he also had episodes of One Piece airing on a TV by the bar. I should clarify that this isn't a "One Piece bar." For obvious licensing and copyright reasons, that wouldn't be possible. But I guess this is what could be called a One Piece-themed bar. Or maybe that requires licensing too... Let's just say it's a bar where One Piece fans are greatly appreciated.

I've actually only read the first few chapters of the manga, so I can't even say that I'm a fan, but I was definitely more interested after leaving this bar. I wanna go watch a few hundred episodes and then come back for some nerd talk with the owner( ´ ▽ ` )ノ. Too bad I haven't found any Sailor Moon or Gundam Wing -themed bars. Would be all over thatヽ(°▽、°)ノ.

 Hopefully visiting One Piece fans will pay this place a visit. I think it's totally worth the time just to oogle at the stuff (and there's not sitting fee, so don't worry about that!). The owner also had autographs from the creator and voice actors. Apparently he knows like.. the creators nice or something. I dunno, maybe one of those six degrees of separation type things. I think I just became one degree closer to having met a manga-ka *keke-keke*( ´∀`).

Check it out sometime!!


Local Music - Photos from Sapporo x Kansai ONS

The members of this band were all 17 year olds. A couple had on uniforms, but the singer and drummer were just in normal clothes. I was definitely feeling their punk rock vibe. The singer was flailing around the stage and jumping over the guardrails into the crowd. Thank goodness the place wasn't filled with people because some salaryman might've gotten landed on ( ´ ▽ ` ). They also handed party streamers to everyone. Ten points for crowd participation.
There were a lot of salarymen there, so that was kind of.. odd. But to each his own(;´▽`)y-~~

More photos of 爆弾ジョニー

Mrs. Halloween
 This band was from kansai and came on after bakudan Johnny. They actually did a song in English, but I wasn't able to realize it until Shota told me. Ooooops( ´・_・`)
I feel like they must've formed recently. The bassist was more concerned with jumping around the stage than playing his part well (he missed a lot of notes) and the guitarist was.. just okay. The drummer was where it was at though. I felt bad she was stuck with these guys because she was really quite good.

More photos.

This band was a 5-piece high school band from Sapporo. They played nice rhythm and blues music, but the singer's voice was so low I could hardly hear her over the other instruments. I'd like to see them again though, I liked the songs they played. The singer had a raspy voice that reminded me of a Japanese Janis or Grace. She could probably make a nice psychedelic rock band (´ー`)y-~~

More photos of Drop's

  This was the only photo I got of this band. They were from Kansai as well, but a nice improvement from the previous kansai band. They had a nice contemporary rock style, not too different from what you see on TV all the time. I guess that's why Shota liked them so much( ´ ▽ ` ). I really liked the bassist though. His bass lines were all really groovy. I wish he was in a band with the girl from Mrs. Halloween Lol

 This band wasn't on the bill, but a lot of people showed up before they got on stage. A few people I talked to said they're really popular and well known in kansai, which explained the growth of the crowd. They were another punk band, but they had their stuff down. At a first glance, it seemed chaotic (no surprise right), but you could also find the melodies floating in between and the drummer carried the beat well too. If I hear about them at any other clubs, I'll definitely be checking them out.

More Gyagyagya photos.

The only regret I really have about the show is being to broke to pick up bakudan Johnny's CD. I guess I'll just have to catch them the next time they come down from Sapporo(●´-`●) 



Local Shops - 3☆tears closet NY

3☆tears closet
NY/London select shop

This is a shop I wandered into while walking toward a dance studio in Yotsubashi. I don't know why I fumbled up the stairs to peek into a shop that doesn't fit my style image (I'm not so girly, as much as I tryヽ(;´Д`)ノ), but I did and ended up having the sweetest conversation with the girl working there. She also happened to be the owner of the shop.

She was really sweet, and actually told she was heading out to NY this month for some new things. I'll actually go back to buy a few things but what she carries is pretty unique. But I'm not from NY so maybe you can just find these things anywhere(*´ー`*) Honestly, I have no idea.

But I DO know that you should visit this shop..! It is small, but that's kind nice in a city where shopping is everywhere and always filled with people. The prices aren't that bad, and the owner is really sweet..! I'd drop by just for a quick conversation(;´▽`).

Access Info:
(The addess in romaji)
Osaka-shi, Chuou-ku, Nishi Shinsaibashi 20-10-14
Kadoya(??) Hachiman Bldg. 3F A-3

Luckily, there's a map on the back of her business card because it would be really confusing trying to type out the directions. The building is pretty nondescript and orange, but it isn't so far from OPA. Taking the train to Shinsaibashi Station on the Midosuji or Yotsubashi Line should get you there pretty easily.

You can access the shop website here.
The shop blog is here.
And if you'd like to email the shop, you can do so here.

Mamiko Ota from 3☆tears closet in Amemura Osaka. She's waitin'!!

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