By Guarionex Molina Martinez
Having been a fan of Kero Kero Bonito for a couple years now I was incredibly excited to finally be able to see them live and see just how well their Japanese-influenced pop music would translate to a live setting. The show opened with Tanukichan who immediately gave the crowd a strong indie DIY-type of feeling that had the crowd in an unbelievably happy mood ready for KKB to take the stage. With KKB’s release of their most recent album Time ‘n’ Place their sound had a major shift toward a more punk and harsh noise atmosphere akin to that of something like Death Grips which is a sound many didn’t expect.
“Flamingo” was their third song on the setlist and by that point the crowd was already accustomed to the more punk setting the band itself was trying to set up. As soon as that guitar kicked in with the melody, the new sound and setting instantly solidified itself as something that would make this show memorable.
Throughout the show singer Sarah Perry would bring out a few plushies that she would wave to to the crowd and put on her head as the band would take it away, the music simply flowing out. One thing I was seriously impressed by was how Gus Labbon went on a drum solo at the end of one of their first song. He completely took off and had the crowd stunned at his speed and hard-hitting momentum. Though this was seriously an impressive feat, it would not be the only one as both Labbon and their hired-gun keyboardist would continue to switch instruments in between songs, both playing their instruments with the same expertise as the person before, something I hadn’t seen since I last saw Weezer back in 2011 where all the band members would switch instruments as a sort of act for a solo in between songs.
Perry instantly came and wowed the crowd with not only her singing but her personality as whole. The cute and idol-like appearance instantly made crowd swoon and continue to cheer without fault. At the end of the show, the band left the stage while a harsh noise blared from the speakers a la Death Grips. This would then lead to an incredibly enthusiastic crowd chanting “KKB” at the top of their lungs to come and get them to do an encore, which of course they did.
They turned off the harsh noise and immediately went to town playing a heavy metal rendition of their song “Trampoline” with incredible breakdowns and Perry herself screaming the lyrics as though she has played for a heavy metal band her entire musical career. Truly an incredible departure from the way the original song sounded, as it originally was something you would hear from a Japanese idol like Kyaru Pamyu Pamyu. The song was a welcome surprise to the fans who had long waited for this fan favorite to pop up in the setlist. This was a rendition which garnered incredible praise to the point where I would want a live album from the band itself!
Featured photo by Guarionex Molina Martinez.