Today, it finally arrived, the festival for which I have been waiting ALL summer: FREEDOM NAGOYA!!
I went last year, and it was DEFINITELY the most amazing outdoor music festival to which I had ever been. I've literally been super psyched about this year's version for several months now.
This morning I met Cesar on the train at around 9 - I wanted to get there before 10 so that I would have time to buy a t-shirt (last year, they were sold out when I got there - sadness) and STILL see Pit's, the band that won the Nagoya audition. I wanted to see what they were all about. Then, I was going to head over to see The 3 Lights Down Kings, the band I saw the end of at the Real Reach/Rookiez is Punk'd show I went to last Friday.
Unfortunately, upon arrival, the line to buy t-shirts was SUPER long, so I had to choose between buying a t-shirt and seeing Pit's.
I chose t-shirt. And ended up missing Pit's and the Three Lights Down Kings as well.
So the first band I saw was 04 limited sazabys.
These guys were seriously amazing and definitely up there in my top two or three of the day (so hard to choose, though, maybe my top 4). My notes about them: TOTALLY AWESOME!
The next band at the big stages was Hawthorne Heights, who were from America. I watched one song and was bored (lots of people seemed really into them, though), so we headed over to the smaller stages, where I got to see Sequim, who were pretty great.
They seem to be fairly new, though, and from Nagoya, so I hope I'll see them around some more.
Then was Enth, who was good but not great and had a sound that was a little bit too whiny for me.
After Enth, we met up with Rachael - 3人お揃い
Then we headed back over to the big stages for My First Story, who was also pretty good, but also a little bit too whiny for me (I really don't mind whiny music and sometimes even love it, but if the guitar sounds whiny to me, that's sometimes too much).
Then the amazingness of the day started!!!! With a band I also saw last week, The Cherry Cokes. They somehow managed to rock more this week than they did last week (because it was rainy? because it was free?).
Please excuse the awfulness of this picture. I decided to post it anyway because I think the guys leg flying perfectly up in the air is hilarious.
They actually seemed to play some different songs than they did last week, which was super cool. And dancing around crazy like in the mud to their Japanese version of Celctic punk just somehow seemed perfect.
Then, Dirty Old Men, who are somewhat whiny, but the kind of whiny I love.
Despite having been, in the past, at several festivals at which they appeared, this was my first time not only seeing them, but also hearing them. My reaction: TOTALLY AMAZING! A little slow, but I totally loved it!
Rachael and Cesar totally LOVED them!
Then for the band that ended up being MY FAVORITE BAND OF THE DAY: Secret 7 Line!!
Apparently, I am a HUGE Secret 7 Line fan - if you'll recall, they were also my favorite previously known band of Punkafoolic! Bayside Crash last week. If possible, they rocked even harder this week.
They unfortunately didn't really seem to leave much of an impression on Cesar or Rachael. :-( I'll defo be buying some of their stuff soon!
After Secret 7 Line was Shank, and while in my head I love them, this is now the second time I've seen them live, and I was somewhat underwhelmed.
After Shank, we had decided to take a lunch break - luckily, the food stalls just so happened to be right next to the stage of
MY FAVORITE PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN BAND OF THE DAY:
These guys were SERIOUSLY AWESOME~!! And to think - I would have missed them if they hadn't been right next to the food.
I don't really know how to describe why they were so perfectly awesome - they just were. Like this wonderful mixture of old school punk with a lot of power and a little bit of bubblegum (that's only there if you really listen for it). Just, watch the video, and love!
Next, ニューロティカ (Nyuurotika). First, the singer came out dressed as a watermelon, then he changed into a clown on some mega high stilts, then he got rid of the stilts and was just a clown. They were super fun, and the music was pretty good. Though the lasting impression was definitely more the outfits than the music.
After than, Rotten Graffty, who were absolutely AMAZING!!
They had a little bit of a punk sound to them, but they were also SUPER hard at some points, with even a little bit of the occasional hip-hoppy feel (which, to be honest, I could have done without).
They were really super fun live, and I TOTALLY got into the music (though I can't help but wonder if I'll like them less on CD).
(Also, afterwards, we talked to the singer a bit because Rachael wanted to buy a CD, and he wasn't very nice)
Then we ran over quickly to the small stages for Buzz the Bears.
They definitely rocked WAY more this week than they did last week at Bayside Crash. Unfortunately, we had to miss the beginning of them because RottenGraffty was still playing.
I also spent a good portion of their set trying to explain what punk is to Rachael (how do you explain punk - it's very difficult!). So I didn't get quite as into them as I would have liked.
Still, super super fun! Yay!
Next, HEY SMITH!!!!
I had been doing a mostly okay job of jumping around and dancing yet still avoiding the mud, but for Hey Smith, I decided to give that up and plunged skanking into the mud with all of the rest of the crowd.
I of course came out completely covered in mud, but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!!
Fingers crossed that all the mud will come out of my clothes like it came out of my skin.
Hey Smith started late and thus ended late, which meant that we missed the first bit of Pan.
They were playing the song from the above video when we arrived, though, and as that is my favorite song by them, all was good. :-) Of course, they ROCKED! I hope I get to see them again before I have to leave Japan.
Then, my favorite Japanese band of all time, Special Thanks.
On our way out, after a wonderful day of wonderful music and moshing and mud (last year, it was SO sunny and SO hot, but this year, even if I was wet and muddy, it was nice and cool), we ran across some adorable dinosaur slides.
All in all, a totally amazing day.
I'm already thinking about how I can find a way to go back next year. :-)