With tensions mounting against Japan in recent weeks, one glimmer of hope shines amongst the chaos and disarray: Harajuku Dance Rock is back. And by that, I mean An Cafe. Nearly three years after announcing their hiatus, the bouncier-than-a-bouncy-castle band resumed activities with their two September live performances ANCAFESTA ’12 SUMMER DIVE. Rumors circulating amongst the foreign press say that An Cafe might be the ones to solve all the world’s problems. And I mean all of them.
OK, maybe An Cafe wasn’t there during the September 9 show I saw to make any big political, social, or otherwise deep statements about the wrongs in the world. They were there, however, to dust off those old Harajuku Dance Rock shoes for a show that was all about that legendary, ancient, but not forgotten custom of NYAPPY.
What is NYAPPY? Frankly, I’m still a little unsure on the concept, but from a layman’s prospective, it’s exactly what one would see at an An Cafe show. To open the show, the band marched around the Yoyogi National Gymnasium Second Building, a circular venue that normally hosts basketball games and probably gladiator fights. Their costumes resembled pastel versions of 1930′s hobo clowns, complete with oversized pants, jackets, and knick-knacks. Dinky circus music played in the background as fans reached out for a piece of the An Cafe action. One male fan earnestly shook vocalist Miku’shand. It was truly a touching moment scored with an almost-cover of “Baby Elephant Walk.”