When your band’s music, image, and overall mantra is basically to have fun and make everyone smile, it’s hard to justify a depressing final show before an impending hiatus. Amidst rumors and speculation, Harajuku dance rock kings An Cafe stepped onto the Nippon Budoukan stage on January 4 without so much as an overly dramatic tear. AN CAFE LIVE CAFE TOUR 2010 King of Harajuku Dance Rock ~Ikinari Nyappy Legend~ was to be their last show for an indefinite time span.
Yes, they were saying goodbye for the time being.
Yes, all their fans would miss the heck out of them.
But gosh darn-it, they were going to dance and swing their instruments with all the happy nyappy of the thousands of An Cafe fans in Budoukan that night as well as the thousands more who couldn’t make it.
The Budoukan stage was illuminated with the signature An Cafe emoticon that represents the cheeky chuckle behind all their music. Lasers shot out from the stage, blinding some, but entrancing most as they beamed over the audience and glittery confetti fell from the sky. They even incorporated a few pyrotechnics, which caused a wave of heat to shoot up from the stage and envelope the crowd. It was flashy, colorful and a bit over the top in a way that made the visuals just as important as the music.
That’s not to say the music isn’t the heart and soul of their act. Granted, the girls in the audience love vocalist miku’s playful smile and teruki’s (drummer) boyish good-looks, but the real test was their sound. An Cafe has a knack for delivering extremely danceable tunes that require impeccable rhythm and a tight set up to execute. If one strum of a guitar was out of order, the audience would lose the beat and the music would simply turn awkward.
An Cafe had nothing to worry about that night. With kanon’s cool, clean bass and takuya’s rhythmic guitar playing under yu-ki’s wild, exuberant keyboard mashing, there was nothing left for the audience to do but dance. Critics may call them silly, but the precise playing they delivered that night was something even the most staunch music snob would have to applaud.
And the audience ate up every little detail of the visuals and the music. Amidst the dancing, cries of “NYAPPY!” filled the air, often loud enough to shake the stands. Miku had stated in the November purple SKY interview that “nyappy” was just a pet name. But it was so much more than that at the show. “Nyappy” is the word An Cafe fans abide by, and it’s not just the nonsensical, goofy sound that only has meaning amongst the fanbase. “Nyappy” is fun to say when you’re down and guaranteed to make your friends laugh if you randomly greet them with it.
This show could have ended like the final shows of many now-defunct artists: girls collapsing to the ground, wailing, attempting suicide with their official band hand towels. But An Cafe’s message of going out smiling and dancing translated perfectly into the hearts and minds of their fans. People left Budoukan ecstatic, goofing around with their friends and joyfully commenting on the band members’ silly antics. It’s a shame to see them quiet for while, but there is a whisper of hope on the wind. And that whisper is, “Nyappy!”
[svgallery name="ancafe10"]Official An Cafe Website – http://www.ancafe-web.com/