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Jun 19

[live report] Fake? at Anime Next

fake_6As he approached the front of the stage, Ken Lloyd blew a kiss to the cheering audience—then grimaced.

That expression gave away Lloyd’s nervousness about playing an unusual show—his first U.S. performance as Fake (typeset Fake?), at a convention for the anime culture foreign to him. It also punctuated his gesture by showing the gap between his confident rock ‘n’ roll stage presence and his true feelings. The question mark at the end of his band’s name doubts whether it’s fake, but Lloyd’s grimace doubted whether his act is real.

It was hard to tell once the music started, because Lloyd completely became his sexy persona. Clad in leather pants with an undone belt and a shirt that exposed his left shoulder, Lloyd wagged his hands and tongue at the audience, rolled his eyes up and vibrated manically, and danced like a white boy in front of his drummer. (Hey, he’s half.)

Lloyd’s electric presence helped make up for the disappointingly muddy sound system. While portable equipment in a convention center doesn’t lend itself to spectacular sound, the mix was so unclear that the songs were barely recognizable and Lloyd sounded shrieky.

You couldn’t fault the band. The support members supplemented Lloyd’s performance by playing well and enthusiastically. Guitarist Mine seemed most into it, sometimes smiling proudly and beckoning the audience for approval during his solos. He also sweated massively all over the press members standing at stage right.

Compared to previous bands at Anime Next, such as 12012, Fake drew a small crowd. From where I was standing, I could see at least the right third of the seats was empty. It’s understandable—Fake doesn’t have the large fan following 12012 has here, and their one, obscure anime tie-in doesn’t generate much name-recognition among anime fans. Aside from the hardcore fans up front, chanting along to “Disco,” the audience was probably as unfamiliar with Fake as Lloyd was with their anime culture.

But the unfamiliarity gave way to comfort during the concert. The audience moshed to the cathartic rock ‘n’ roll performance, and the band enjoyed their cosplaying audience. “You guys are the coolest-looking audience we’ve played for,” Lloyd remarked.

And even through that rock ‘n’ roll act, some of the relatable Lloyd came through. He promised to get an album out in the U.S. by next year, but said until then it was fine to download his music illegally. Now there’s a way to win over your audience—perhaps the new fans will do just that.

SETLIST:
1. Automatic
2. Everglow
3. Pulse
4. Color Don’t Change
5. In Vertigo
6. New Skin
7. Redemption
8. Bit of Life
9. Just Like Billy
10. Disco
11. nibiru
12. All My Reasons
13. Used to be a Bad Thing
14. Taste Maximum

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1 comment

  1. Ito

    Dear lord I wish I had went… Ken is such a bad ass!

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