Almost two weeks into our Tokyo tour as of today. Four gigs down and about eleven, possibly more shows to go until the end of the month.
Last night we played a gig at Pagoda in Ahkihabara. It was another small venue but the atmosphere was great. Tokyo has the best music appreciation I’ve ever seen. In any of the major districts of Tokyo you’re guaranteed to find live houses, places dedicated to showcasing live musical performances. The people who run these live houses really take it seriously. In LA the concept of a ‘sound check’ doesn’t exist. You just get on stage and play, your first song is your sound check. But in Tokyo it’s different. The manager of the live house normally asks the bands to come by early in the day for a sound check. When you get to the sound check they really pay attention to the details. It’s not unusual for them to ask you to write down a copy of your set list along with the mood and tempo of each song so they can sync the lights and effects to provide the best possible show. Also another great thing about live houses is the equipment. Live houses normally have their own gear so you only have to bring your guitar to the venue, which is great when you have to ride trains everywhere. And the gear they have is usually really good. The gear seems to be consistent between live houses too. You’ll usually see a Marshall tube half stack and a Fender Twin or a Roland Jazz Chorus as far as guitars go. Bass and drums aren’t as consistent, but the gear is still good.