Differences between Japanese and Western live shows
#1
Just a list of things you’d never see at a Western show that you would at a Japanese show. Feel free to add, whether it’s from shows you’ve been to, seen on DVD, whatever.

1. Accurate start times. It drives me insane that UK gigs rarely list these - but then I think UK venues are far more dependent on booze sales so they want you to get there as early as possible to get tanked up. If they gave out accurate start times, probably people would be more tempted to rock up just in time for showtime = less bar takings.

2. Audience participation levels. When I was first getting into bands in the late 80s/early 90s, Japanese fans were infamous for being stony silent and passive during the songs, then clapping politely in between- at least according to every Western band I saw interviewed. Well I don’t know what happened, but now Japanese fans seem to go all out with the fist-pumping/chanting/you name it. With one Japanese band I saw (Classmate Cinderella) the lead singer was doing some sort of Gangnam Style dance routine at one point - and people were joining in in a way that would NEVER happen in London.

3. Towel waving. Basically a glorified excuse to flog some more merch to the superfans, who then get to prove they’re a superfan cos they have a TOWEL, dammit.

4. Towel place reservation. Again, you are a SUPERFAN if you have a band towel, and as such you are perfectly entitled to drape it over the front of the stage to reserve your spot - and people will let you back in without question. Such are the secret powers of the band towel.

5. Going through every single item you have for sale at the merch table in the middle of the show. Thankfully only Aldious did this one, but you’d get absolutely slaughtered for doing this in the UK...the heckles would start within seconds!

6. No phones obstructing your view. No-one takes pictures/videos during the Japanese shows I’ve seen, they may take pics of the stage before or after, but not during. I’ve been a little disappointed not to take 1 or 2 snaps, but frankly if that’s the price of not having your view obstructed by a sea of phone screens, then bring it on.

7. A curtain lowered during set-up. I think this adds to the “show” aspect a little, and especially if the band is acting as their own roadies, it keeps the mystique a little more than seeing them fiddling round with amp/mic levels pre-show.
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#2
I'm definitely OK with the cellphone bit. I haven't gone to many shows, but the last one I went do was too rough and rowdy for people to pull out their phones. It was a good thing if you think about it.
Occasionally, I write music reviews.
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#3
I'd be all for a cellphone ban as well. I'm just not sure if the audience participation thing is so good, because they usually drag all the momentum out of the show Wink

Are there no curtains lowered in the UK at all? I wouldn't say it's the norm in the Netherlands, but it happens often enough to not be surprised by it anymore.
If you can't get enough of me giving my opinions without having asked for it, you can read more of it on my Kevy Metal weblog.
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#4
(12-06-2017, 07:12 AM)TimJ Wrote: 3. Towel waving. Basically a glorified excuse to flog some more merch to the superfans, who then get to prove they’re a superfan cos they have a TOWEL, dammit.

4. Towel place reservation. Again, you are a SUPERFAN if you have a band towel, and as such you are perfectly entitled to drape it over the front of the stage to reserve your spot - and people will let you back in without question. Such are the secret powers of the band towel.
That TJBeast666 character is so easily triggered by towels. Laugh
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#5
hmm. first off, whats a band towel??

it is indeed surprising how stricly they seem to abide to the schedule. honestly some venues in the Netherlands arn't even open when they say they are ging to be.. so no booze sells ether in that time.

ive seen quite a fiew phones during gigs in japan. but its nothing compared to in europe, in japan you see someone shoot one or 2 pictures, in the Netherlands they record the entire 1 hour set..

also i cant believe there are no curtains in the UK. in the Netherlands some venues have them even small ones, and some bands use them. ive never seen them close any curtains in japan myself.

you did forget the most important one!! ''500 yen drink charge''.

and the avarage age beeing twice that of a european show. (atleast for punk that is.)

(12-06-2017, 01:28 PM)Painkiller Wrote: That TJBeast666 character is so easily triggered by towels. Image
haha, i remember that yeah. but i can understand him too. hes also comming from a punk background so that kinda stuff is the complete oposite. id also be pissed if i tried to see a band and i got send to the back because they think i havn't spend enough money on them.
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#6
(12-06-2017, 01:36 PM)gizter Wrote: hmm. first off, whats a band towel??

One of these things. They're often called a "マフラー " (muffler) in merch shops.

Image
Occasionally, I write music reviews.
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#7
Come to think of it, I really don't have anything against towels. Metal shows always punk you up, and your neck starts getting sweaty. Having a towel to soak up that sweat helps keep you cool.
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#8
(12-06-2017, 01:46 PM)Painkiller Wrote: Come to think of it, I really don't have anything against towels. Metal shows always punk you up, and your neck starts getting sweaty. Having a towel to soak up that sweat helps keep you cool.

you can also use the shirts of crowdsurfers for that. Wink
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#9
"Western" shows are very missleading, as for example none of what you have mentioned applies to shows in Hungary. They are on time and no one records anything with their phone...(Admittedly I have not been to a metal show in Hungary in 8 years, though.)
Also it depends on whether you watch a Japanese or foreign band in Japan. For starters, everyone sings the Japanese lyrics, but no one even frickin tries to sing in English. And they generally do not understand the MCs in English either, so there's no reaction at all. Steel Panther always has a really difficult time in Japan. On the other hand, with local bands, the audience does not simply listen to the MCs, but actually talk to the band and mess with them.

The Japanese metalheads really need a lot more omph in their shows as well. I mean it's nice to be able to stand in one place and just chill out without having to worry about crowdsurfers and walls of death and all, but still, they need to get loose more.

Here, Scott Ian got pissed of at the crowd for not moving at all. See 9:44, and even after that, the crowd does not change at all. (Probably did not even understand what he was saying.)





Compare to the other extreme, Chile. Same part at 4:28:





Also, big difference, no flashing of tits in Japan, even at Steel Panther Sad
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#10
(12-06-2017, 08:04 PM)Masurao Wrote: The Japanese metalheads really need a lot more omph in their shows as well. I mean it's nice to be able to stand in one place and just chill out without having to worry about crowdsurfers and walls of death and all, but still, they need to get loose more.

I'm not sure if I agree with that. Then again, I'm not sure if I disagree either. But if that's not in their nature, why force it? If one thing annoys me the most about European metal crowds, it's the guys who don't really enjoy the band, but still come because they can use a mosh pit as a legitimate excuse to bash the shit out of some people.
If you can't get enough of me giving my opinions without having asked for it, you can read more of it on my Kevy Metal weblog.
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