TOISU!!!

15 02 2010

Toisu! Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Also happy Valentines Day everyone! I hope you’re having a great V-day like myself sitting at home going through the piles of work I have. But if you’re actually having a good time, that’s great to hear. I usually don’t really celebrate Valentines Day but this year I had a special treat for myself on Valentines Day (for all intents and purposes 2/13 will be V-day for me this year). And yes, I treat myself due to the fact that I can’t accept chocolates (allergic) and usually have no prospective love interest to really celebrate Hallmark Day.

The other night I had the pleasure of seeing POLYSICS live at the Blender Theatre at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City. For those who may not know of POLYSICS, they are a new wave rock Japanese band. They are well known for their crazy antics and eccentric costumes and songs. But that’s one of the reasons why I love them, they have such originality and great music.

POLYSICS OR DIE!!!Kayo, the multi-talented keyboardist, vocoder, vocals, synthesizer, bassist, has announced that she will be leaving the band. It has been about two years in the making. I first heard this news on December 24th, so at the time I thought it was a horrible Christmas present as that would’ve killed my chance of ever meeting her. But lo and behold they embarked on an American tour for January and February. They performed on February 13th in New York City and I was there. Because I had to see Kayo before she left. Read more for my night in the Big Apple with POLYSICS.

Oh how I love their orange costumes

I have to admit that I’m not a hardcore POLYSICS fan. I’ve been a fan since about the winter of 2007. I had actually heard their music in 2005 from a podcast but was not particularly drawn in. I believe I was probably in the phase where I was listening to more mainstream J-pop. So POLYSICS wasn’t exactly my cup of tea yet. Seeing them live on Youtube changed my opinion as I fell in love with that robotic keyboardist, Kayo. And the rest is history.

2 + 13 = 15

I like how in the marquee they put up  “THE POLYSICS”. Because you know, they aren’t really called “THE POLYSICS”. *sigh* They just don’t take these Japanese bands seriously in America. But I digress. Around 6pm I lined up as the 10th-13th person to see POLYSICS. I had spent a good portion of the day getting to New York City and enjoying some local sights with fellow wotachatter, CharlesNguyen. We went to Kinokuniya and Book-off and I snagged some gems. I was hoping not to break my bank but I think I did a good job controlling myself. I grabbed the Airi+Maimi issue of UTB that I had wanted for a while now as well as Kojima Mayumi’s “Me and My Monkey on the Moon” album and BENNIE K’s “Sky” single for quite cheap. But I digress again. I have to stop doing that.

My that cover is soooooooo nice...

As many may know this weekend is Chinese New Year. In fact, I’m being a really bad son not going home for the holiday. But this weekend was very important to me as Kayo is leaving the band and this is my only chance that I’ll ever get to see her live. So I spent a good 2 hours freezing outside in line. But it was fun. I was behind a group of 4 Japanese women: Miyuki, Yasuko, Megumi, and Yuki. Miyuki-san seemed to be a middle-aged lady but she really surprised me cause she had wristband, t-shirt, towels, everything POLYSICS. The other three were young and looked to be at least in my age area.  I managed to eventually start talking to them but the real problem was that they were straight up Japanese. Like they came from Japan just to see POLYSICS so they didn’t speak English. This was a really good time to practice my Japanese XD

It was great talking to them. Miyuki-san was very patient with my basic Japanese and we talked a lot about POLYSICS: the members, their music, and other music related things as well as some more practical questions. The girls were pretty impressed when I showed them the picture of me meeting Kago. All in all they were pretty knowledgeable in the pop culture of music, unlike my previous Japanese teacher. They all were pretty big fans of POLYSICS though and spotted them while they were moving around in casual clothes. They gave the members presents and got their signatures and this made me come to the realization that associating with them really gave me a trump card.

So true, the doors opened at 8pm and once we got in, the Japanese group camped out straight away right in front of the railing separating the stage and the audience. As I wandered I heard them calling to me “Henry-san! Henry-san!” and saw that they had reserved a little spot for me. So it was very nice to know that my spot up front was reserved. I was very delighted to hold more conversations with Miyuki-san as we waited another full hour for the opening band to come on. As the hour went the Japanese girls would switch places as they went up to the merchandise booth off to the side whenever a band member would appear for signings.

Incredibly easy to find in their costumes, near impossible to pinpoint in casual clothing.

I have no idea how they were aware of this. They’re relatively short and by the time the members were coming out even I could not see over the crowd at the merchandise booth. But I’m so glad I was hanging with them. I had told   Miyuki-san that my favorite member was Kayo. And surely enough, the girls let me know that Kayo was out just as the opening band was getting ready to start. I rushed out there fighting through the crowd. I had brought my copy of their Bestoisu Limited Edition album in case I might get the chance to get an autograph. And as I got to the end of the line, I saw HER!

Kayo visoredKayo un-visored

When I think of Kayo I always think of her visored orange costumed form. And here she was in front of me wearing casual clothes and a pair of normal eyeglasses. She’s so small in real life and SO cute. When it was my turn I had decided to have her sign her picture in the Bestoisu booklet. She exclaimed “Aa!” as she saw that I had the Bestoisu album. I take it there were very few if any people who had brought that album for her to sign so I was quite happy to see her reaction to seeing the album. With my best effort I asked her if she could sign her picture. And SHE DID. What a cute signature too, a little owl! Yano, the drummer was at the table too but he walked off as the opening band started playing. I only got Kayo’s autograph but it was well worth the wait and effort. Honto ni ureshii, yo.

Kayo <3
I returned to the front (yatta, Miyuki-san wa saikou datta!). The opening band was “These People”. I didn’t really care too much but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the guy playing the congas. You could barely hear them. And one of the guitarists/keyboardist was playing SO dramatically I was surprised he didn’t trip all over the wires. He was so dramatic that his keyboard started falling off the stand as he was playing it. It was pretty nice to see the difference between what I figure was more of an amateur band versus the well seasoned veterans, POLYSICS. Overall their music wasn’t really that bad but I was too in the mode of wanting to see POLYSICS to really get into These People. After some more waiting POLYSICS came out in their costume + sweatshirt, sans visors to do their equipment set-up and sound check.

kayo

I spent MUCH of my time just watching Kayo set-up. I was infatuated with Kayo at the concert. Seeing her set-up and hearing her sound check live adds an extra level of kawaii. Miyuki-san had asked me if I knew what “moe” was. Of course, I knew and responded that Kayo is at times very moe for me. Miyuki-san laughed frequently at me for this as I had my eyes glued on Kayo throughout the set-up time XD I could write an entire blog post about my infatuation with Kayo but I will spare you that horror (unless you are a fellow Kayo fan like myself). After they finished they left and the crowd spent some time singing along to A-ha’s “Take on me”. They came back shortly after to do another quick check. It was about 10pm and “P!” started playing. That’s when we knew the show was to start.

By the way, none of the pictures I’m using are from Saturday night with the exception of the marquee. Cameras weren’t allowed and I was too prude to break this rule, especially since I didn’t want to get kicked out after I got Kayo’s autograph. Onto the actual concert!

POLYSICS LIVE at long last, I have waited so long!

P! is a personal favorite of mine as a concert hyper and that’s exactly what it did for all of us in the crowd. The first actual song was “Young Oh! Oh!” and it was great. They played their classic songs like: “Peach Pie on the Beach, I My Me Mine, NEW WAVE JACKET, Coelakanth is Android”. A good portion of the songs were songs from their latest album, “Absolute Polysics”, including”: “Fire Bison”, “E.L.T.C.C.T.” “Shout Aloud!” and “Beat Flash” among them. They also played Kayo-centric songs: “Baby BIAS” and “Black Out Fall Out”. I was really happy with the setlist since I love most of the songs they played. YOUNG OH! OH!

The thing about a live performance is the audience factor. I’m not really a good headbanger but that didn’t stop me from at least shaking my head to the beat. It’s one thing to shake your head to the songs coming out of your speakers. It’s a totally different experience hearing it 4 feet away from you. Great experience, I loved it. I also felt the wota in me as I did the small dances along to each song. Like there was the “Oo Ha! Oo Oo Ha!” arm pumping and “Rocket” arm waving among others. I watched Kayo very intently while she was doing any of her dance moves ^_^. I was owned by the mosh pit behind me however, the crowd actually managed to make a bruise on my chest from all the ramming into the railing. When Hayashi told the audience to “spin” with him during “I My Me Mine”, I was horrified with the havoc that was going on behind me.

It seems Hiro has been hanging out with Nakky recently I have to admit my one gripe with the concert was sound. Because of being in the front I could hear the guitar, bass and drums clearly. Hearing Hiro’s (lead guitarist, center) vocals was possible. Fumi, bass on left, was hard to hear. It was near impossible for me to hear anything coming from Kayo’s mic and keyboard. I was very sad about this as I wanted to really hear the live factor of her sounds. I made up for this by practically eye-raping her for 75% of the concert. She’s just that CUTE! Oh and speaking of cute. I think Hiro has been hanging out with Nakajima Saki recently. Any C-ute fan should immediately get what I mean by looking at the picture above XD.

TOISU!

Hiro spoke English for his MC segments. There was a lot of TOISU!. As he explains it, it is a Japanese way of saying “Hello!”. He’s a great guy. Very energetic and a great personality. In one segment he asked the crowd if we had a valentine for V-day. And then he asked if POLYSICS could be our valentine. I would say yes to Kayo any day.

The concert was great. Not great, awesome. I don’t really have words to describe how awesome the concert was. I’m so glad I went though with it. It was my first concert and it was a great first concert. It saddens me that Kayo is actually leaving the band. But as a fan I will support her decision. Best of luck to you Kayo! Thank you Kayo and POLYSICS for making my Valentines 2010 unforgettable!

Be my Valentine Kayo!

~Siggy, who LOVES watching Kayo headbang with her beautiful silky long straight hair~

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8 responses

4 03 2010
Moe~! Kayo is Moe~! « International Wota

[…] Toisu! […]

4 03 2010
lordjagganath

you win at life sir you do

5 03 2010
Langdon Alger

sugoi!

9 03 2010
lastaznpride

You are so lucky to live near NYC to be able to go to such things!!! I was so excited to hear that you got to sit in the front!!

9 03 2010
lastaznpride

this is not a reply..LOL…just wanted to tell you ….um…not a good word choice on using the word “rape”…and then following it up with her being “Cute” …but great post nontheless…

25 09 2010
Michael Brennan

Hey! I was actually at that same concert at Gramercy! I mustve been right near you cause me and my buddies were like 8th in line and stood in the front row! I got pics on my FB from the show in an album.

I recall the opening band not being too great, but the moshing during the Poly’s show was faaaatastic. Had a great time. I remember how hot and thirsty everybody was by the end of the show and how nice it felt to get out cause it was so cool outside.

25 09 2010
siggyx4scythe

8th in line, you were definitely around me when we were in line then. You remember the Japanese ladies, I was right behind them. I actually noticed something really funny the other day. I was poking around on POLYSICS’ myspace and happened to notice they had pictures from the American tour.

it’s pretty amazing, but I managed to FIND myself in that picture XD and I was look, SCORE!

1 01 2011
Year in Review 2010 « Conflict Productions

[…] I don’t really consider that a traditional concert so this is why I consider POLYSICS to be my first concert! Ever since hearing Kayo was set to graduate from POLYSICS I was intent on seeing her before I […]

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