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Japan Girls Nite brings beauty, dancing, and punk rock to the City of Angels

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[Star photographer and Japanator's resident pretty boy Ace0fClub5 took to the streets of LA to report on the Japan Girls Nite concert. You'll be sure to enjoy the writeup and photos. -- DMV]

The time has come once again. That’s right! Concert review time! And unlike Kanon Wakeshima, the girls of this concert are in no way shy. If anything, most of them are right up in your face rocking out.

Japan Girls Nite was a short tour starting in San Francisco and ending in Los Angeles. In San Francisco, the concert was a part of the opening of Japan Town’s newest store, New People (which Tim touched on last week), basically your one-stop-shop for everything popular and Japanese.

On the tour’s last night (nite*), they played at one of LA’s most trendy venues, The Roxy on Sunset. Which, if you remember, was the setting for Polysics’ concert back in October. Joining us for the nite were five bands, two of which, local opening acts. Now, usually I do not give much insight into the opening acts’ performance, but these two are not your usual warm-ups.

First out is the five girl pop group, Ajuku Girls. Basically an Americanized Morning Musume kind of thing, except they are dressed in over the top Harajuku-wannabe costumes. From multi-colored wigs to the four-inch-long eyelashes, these girls are gushing with “style” as they sing and dance to their super up-tempo pop music. I’m usually pretty open minded with music, but I draw the line at this kind of stuff. I know many of you are MM fans (and I’ll admit even I was desperately trying to meet them at Anime Expo a few months back), but do you really just like them for their music? Or does the fact that they’re an ensemble of very attractive and upbeat teenage girls have anything to do with it? Uh-huh. Regardless, I think it’s the same kind of case here with the Ajuku Girls.

Next was Lemon Drop Kick. Yes, you read that right: their name is Lemon Drop Kick. Already things are sounding dangerously sour, but these guys and their female lead vocalist put on a pretty good show. This LA-based band’s music is hard-core punk rock utilizing both english and Japanese lyrics. I enjoyed their set, and think that their unique style brought in a bit of diversity to an already diverse group of musicians.

Lemon Drop Kick

Now it was time for the main acts to start, and who better to bring them in than Omodaka and the 6%DOKIDOKI Girls? Like me, most of you may already be familiar with Omodaka and his electronic symphony of awesome, but the 6%DOKIDOKI Girls are fresh faces here and the information given on them was very vague. So after speaking with Omodaka himself for a bit before the show, I came to understand exactly what this collaboration consists of.

As I understand it, 6%DOKIDOKI is a high-fashion clothing store located right in the heart of Harajuku, and three dancers representing the store while armed to the teeth in Harajuku fashion, would be performing choreographed dances to Omodaka’s tracks. I was speculative about this. How is dancing going to fit in with Omodaka’s music? Didn’t we get enough MM-style dancing and painfully pink attire with the Ajuku Girls? I understand that Omodaka’s stage performance is not as physical as that of a raging punk band, but is this really a good solution?

I was pleasantly surprised by the answer.

After Omodaka initiated the first sequence on his many musical gaming gizmos, he was joined on the stage by three girls dressed in the most extravagantly bejeweled outfits that I myself cannot yet to describe with any coherency. Their dancing was a fluid mix of modern moves and geisha styling, all of which choreographed and synchronized to perfection with Omodaka’s music. It was very impressive.

But before I knew it, their performance was over. Three tracks seemed to have flown by, and just as I was getting into the flow of the visual and auditory show, they were finished. I would have loved to have seen more of Omodaka and the 6%DOKIDOKI Girls, but their performance already left quite the impression and I was satisfied with bit I was given.

The next band to play was Red Bacteria Vacuum. Again, awesome name that has no clear meaning what so ever. By now you may already have come to assume this, but they are an all girl band, which is sorta the theme with it being “Japan Girls Nite” and all. Their music is full of the screaming and power-cords that you would expect with punk, which makes these girls pretty badass, if you ask me. But there were other moments in their set when songs like “Color” brought things down a little, and I thought this gave them a nice range. Their set was also quite a bit longer lasting as well, being twice as long as Omodaka’s.

The last band of the nite (ok, that’s getting a little old) was TsuShiMaMiRe, which once again is an all girl band and once again has a name that seems to make no sense. TsuShiMaMiRe’s music brings even more diversity to the show possessing heavy Ska/Surf styling, with a little punk and rock thrown in for good measure. All of it brings forth a pretty unique sound which still permitted them to rock out and get the whole crowd headbanging to the beat. And these girls were not to be outdone by the previous acts’ choreography, no sir -- or no ma’am. They took ample opportunities to use special attacks, such as the bassist, Yayoi, who would do a super-high-kick every few moments, and the lead vocalist/guitarist, Mari, who abandoned the stage altogether to engage the audience directly. All of which seemed to have worked well and somehow resulted in a human mic stand.

Altogether, the show left everyone smiling. The combined performances made for an interesting experience. And that’s exactly what it was, and experience, not just the same music over and over again. The show truly had a feel of it’s own that separates it from most of the other acts this venue sees on a nightly basis. This is why I fully recommend it for the next time the tour comes around. If any complaint, I felt as though things went by a little too quickly. Sure, it was 2 hours, but the pacing just didn’t feel perfect, and I would have liked to have seen more Omodaka. With that aside, I enjoyed the show for what it was: DIFFERENT.

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Filed under... #Japanator Original #Los Angeles #music

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