I didn't give it much thought ahead of time but now I realize that the odds were definitely against me on this one: 1) It was golden week 2) They didn't have many tour dates 3) Scent of August, their latest album, just came out. So I guess it's no wonder the tickets were sold out before I could get any.
How that relates to tickets selling out is simple: Golden Week is the biggest holiday in Japan and the band apart were playing on a Tuesday, the first day of Golden Week. Most people in Japan are off during Golden Week, so it made it prime time for them to get a good turn out-but not just from those of us in Okayama. Referring to reason 2), we can see that since they had not decided to make too many stops in smaller areas, you can guess how many people flocked from neighboring prefectures to see them in Okayama since it was the closest tour date to catch them. Don't forget about Golden Week: meaning, most of these people CAN make the rather long treck from wherever their hometown is to Okayama because they are off from work.
Being without a ticket meant that I should check out the place early. I went an hour early instead of 30 minutes as my friends suggested, and ended up being told that I had to wait and see if they would sell tickets that day. I waited until nearly everyone got in and even then I had to wait longer for the gig to actually start for them to give the clear on letting me in. Thankfully, the price of tickets at the door was only about 200yen extra(as opposed to my thoughts of it being 500yen or more) and they let me and a couple in just as the guys had finished tuning up.
It was my first time at Okayama Image and seeing it packed from front to back was quite something. When I entered I could barely move since the entire space was occupied already, leaving me to stand in place right next to the door with some other folks. Thankfully, they had already sound checked and were about to go on. It's a really awesome feeling going to a show without having to wait and bathe in tobacco fumes and beer for a band to get on stage and tune up.
Before I talk about the gig, let me just say that I'm not a huge fan of the band apart. I haven't listened to them faithfully forever nor have I ever been to their gigs before nor have I listened to all their albums cover to cover. Their performance was really impressive, though. There was barely anything lost in their recordings and they made a flawless performance from beginning to end. The bassist was just fantastic, with sweat coming off of him like a sprinkler watering the audience. He grooved all over the place but STILL managed to pull off some really sick sounds off of his bass. Entertaining in both sound and sight he was definitely the highlight of the night, and probably of the band itself. Naturally the guys pulled a lot of the night's material from their latest album, "Scent of August"(Taipei, photograph, light in the city, fuck them all, etc.), but there was also a lot of stuff coming from their older releases that definitely pleased me. I had no idea they still played "Cerastone Song", one of my favorites from their back catalog. The only album I am really familiar with is "quake and brook" and they didn't fail to dish out a number of tracks from there that I enjoy, like "Higher", "from resonance", and the single "coral reef".
My only quip with the band apart's performance was their encore. Never in my life have I ever waited for encore for what seemed like an eternity at a show. Never. Usually bands are pretty prompt about encores; not taking too long as to bore people but then again not so short that they barely leave the stage. These guys got two encores and the wait for both was extremely long. I nearly lost the will to clap for their second encore because it was just not looking like it was happening. I'm not sure if just because they are a lot more famous than most bands I see live or if it was because it was a one-man show or something.
This was my first one man live since I saw winnie's one man show last year at shimokitazawa shelter. Winnie isn't nearly as huge as the band apart, so their catalog wasn't nearly as vast and thus, their show wasn't really lengthy. But sitting it out for nearly three hours with the band apart really took its toll on my attention span, especially since I wasn't familiar with a bulk of the latter half of their setlist. Another thing that didn't occur to me was that in a super packed live house it's hard to get drinks and even more difficult when there isn't an intermission between bands since there was only one band that night. You can imagine how crazy the line got to grab a beer at the end of show, with nearly everyone pushing and shoving to get to the bar.
At the end of the night I debated whether to get a T-shirt(the line for goods was insanely long) but I opted not to since I would be going to Kobe the next day for my first festival and decided to save the cash for then. At least now I realized how important it was to get tickets for things ahead of time and lately I've been trying not to make the same mistake I did this night since other places aren't going to be as forgiving.