After cruel circumstances and bad luck have denied me the chance for years (I was actually in Japan the last time they toured the States) I finally got to see The Pillows tonight at Slim’s in San Francisco. Pirozu is a truly amazing band – I can think of few that combine their knack for fabulous melodies with their intensity and instrumental prowess. Think of a cross between Squeeze, Nirvana and the Ramones and you’re pretty close. Anime fans know them from FLCL of course, and for their theme from Sket Dance, but in Japan they’ve been one of the most popular bands in rock for most of their 22 years of existence.
Tonight I saw them at Slim’s, a modestly sized warehouse in the SOMA district of SF. Opening was Noodles, an adorable girl band from Japan who share a label with Pirozu, and a sound as well to some extent. It was a crowd full of hard-core fans, mostly young, many of whom had traveled a great distance for a chance to see the band in the Western Hemisphere. I shared a table with a very nice fellow who flew in from Chile for the concert, which may have been the record for this crowd. Manabe was mixing with the crowd at the merchandise table between bands, and he took a picture of my Chilean friend’s tattoo…
Just a great night. I wish the show had been longer, but the band lived up to my every expectation (except for not playing “Runner’s High”, which I really didn’t expect anyway). I’ve seen a lot of The Pillows from their various stadium shows in Japan on video, but in person they’re truly astonishing. Amazing energy, especially from Sawao. Videos follow – I apologize that they aren’t better quality, but the whole balcony was shaking during the entire show.
Taking the Stage
I Think I Can