Japanese born pianist Hiromi Uehara is one of those unique performers who might not be the greatest musician technically, but supplements her music with a joy that makes her concerts great. Check out this jazzy little ditty, courtesy of oneinchpunch: Read the rest of this entry »
Udo Music Festival is kinda what you would get if you mixed Summer Sonic and Fuji Rock together, but then let it mature a bit til it agrees with the 30-60 crowd. Actually, that’s not entirely true, but when you think that Santana, KISS, The Pretenders, The Doobie Brothers and Alice in Chains are headlining, it gives you the sense that this festival might be aimed at the slightly older rockers.
For the younger crowds, there’s a large punk contingent and some good all rounders like Ben Folds and Australian Ben Lee. There’s also a nice selection of Japan’s finest, including the eternal rockers Guitar Wolf.
The festival goes over two days in Shizuoka Prefecture. Tickets are ¥16,000 (one day) or ¥30,000 (two days).
Udo Music Festival (Japanese only)
The Tokyo Summer festival is a month long event (July 5 – August 6), with stage performances, exhibitions and concerts in venues all over Tokyo. It was created 22 years ago by pianist Kyoko Edo, composer Maki Ishii and musicologist Takashi Funayama. Each year there is a different theme for the festival. This year, the theme is “Songs of the Earth/Music in the Streets”.
The focus of the concerts is on classical and symphonic music, but it doesn’t end there. There’s a large focus on world music, with performances from Sengalese singer Youssou N’Dour with his group Le Super Etoile de Daker, Iranian classical singer Shahram Nazeri and Japanese singer and shanshin player Kazuhira Takeshita.
There’s also a much anticipated performance from French breakdance outfit Black Blanc Beur who are on their first tour of Japan. So yes! While the Tokyo Summer Festival is a good idea for anyone feeling high-class and cultured, it’s also a great place to check out some great dance, hip hop and world music, plus all the other stage shows and exhibitions.
Tokyo Summer Festival
I’ve already written about about Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic but they’re just the two biggest gaijin-friendly festivals in Japan. It’s summertime now and there’s plenty more music festivals on offer around Japan than just those two. Over the next week or so, I’ll be posting about what festivals you can sink your teeth…errr…ears…into, here in the land of the Rising Sun.
Today, it’s about a festival that I’m personally very excited about. Apparently it gets bigger crowds than either Summer Sonic or Fuji Rock. And since Fuji Rock gets around 125,000 people, that’s a helluva lotta people. The festival is called Rock In Japan and as you might have guessed, it’s all homegrown Japanese music, although not necessarily rock.
Japan has some awesome bands. Only a few have made an impact overseas, and to be frank, not all of the bands have even made an impact in Japan. There’s a lot of talent here though and the Rock In Japan festival is the best way to try them out.
Headlining are Puffy, Shonen Knife, Ellegarden, POLYSICS and Oceanlane amongst others. The festival goes over three days on the beach in Ibaraki Prefecture. Tickets are ¥10,500 (one day), ¥20,000 (two days) or ¥27,000 (three days).
Rock In Japan (Japanese only)
Recently I wrote about the Fuji Rock Festival. Well, if that seemed a bit pricey, or long or far away, there’s the in-Tokyo alternative, known as Summer Sonic. It’s being held at the Chiba Marina Stadium and the adjoining Makuhari Messe convention centre from August 12th to 13th.
It’s slightly cheaper because it’s a) shorter, b) closer to Tokyo and c) well, cheaper. I’m not as excited about the line up as I was about the Fuji Rock lineup, but it may still be interesting for you.
Headlining are: Tool, Metallica, The Deftones, Linkin Park, Muse, Daft Punk and The Flaming Lips. There’s plenty more bands playing though, on smaller stages, including Japanese bands Beat Crusaders and m-flo, amongst others.
I’d recommend the whole festival though just to see my favourite band: The Cat Empire from my hometown, Melbourne in Australia. It’s their first time playing in Japan and because they’re playing on the Beach Stage it’s bound to be a fun gig.
Tix are ¥13,500 for one day or ¥24,500 for both days.
Summer Sonic official website (in Japanese and English)