There were too many gigs to specify and put on the post title, hence a “big four” reference came to mind. There was no intent to be definitive at all using it, and sure, it is a slight overreach, but, see, I just saw these giants of Japanese modern instrumental rock for the last quarter of 2016, in my immediate neighbourhood: Mono, World’s End Girlfriend, te’, and toe.
I’ll start with Mono -a band I’ve already seen twice- and toe, another band I’ve seen once before, and they also chose a Shanghai show that falls on my birthday.
Photos for the Mono gig last October 15? I didn’t take any. I convinced myself to just watch the show like any regular show goer and maybe just record something on my phone to document, which I did:
The songs from the new album were spot-on heavy, the favorites were played and savoured. There was a hint of self-doubt on why I was where I was, instead of my usual front row position, but I didn’t mind so much, and there was an itch to change the routine at this point.
I’ve ranted on my once semi-obsessive fascination with the band toe, which I’ve already expounded on here, when I first saw them in 2014. They probably had some cells from Manila in their system, as they’ve just played there a few days before their Shanghai gig.
Much like a self-imposed tradition, I’m usually somewhere else on my birthday. I missed a Mogwai show once for that reason, but that was when I went back home, and the logistics made the concert attendance impractical. This year, I decided a few months ahead that that ticket purchase I made online was a very, very easy decision to make.
Post-rock, or any of its derivatives, is the sort of music I rarely play these days. If any of it gets digested, its at these shows, and plenty of nostalgia trips are had. toe did play a handful of songs from newer records, and as glad as I was that it was familiar, I got lost at those moments. No matter, though. The venue was full despite it being a weekday, most of the crowd -ah, yes, I wanted to write kids– were apparently having a good time, even that lady that stuck out with her wine glass in hand, exclaiming her solitary “Bravo!” after one song.