Dec 27

[live report] Lc5 @ Shibuya BOXX Tokyo

Many of you are still at that age where you distinctly remember the moment you grew up. Whether it was your high school graduation, finding out there was no Santa Claus, or catching two dogs doing it in a back alley, we all have a moment where we’re suddenly and abruptly hurled from the awe and wonder of childhood into the seriousness of grown up life.

I’m not sure what did it for the members of Lc5 (I hope it wasn’t the dogs doing it). They’ve pulled together to form a band that is not unlike their vocalist Miku’s previous gig, An Cafe, but with a much more mature sensibility. Lc5’s first one-man show on December 19, 2010 was a pleasant reminder that all rockstars must grow up, even the ones that make Donald Duck noises.

While An Café’s final gig was at the iconic and humungous Budoukan, Lc5’s premiere took a more subtle approach. They performed at the cozy Shibuya BOXX in Tokyo, a venue that forces each audience member to get quite comfortable with his neighbor. This was a live explicitly for those devoted to seeing a new band free of theatrics, pyrotechnics, and puppets. (See my An Café article from January 29.) Besides, Harajuku dance rock is so early 2010.

But it was obvious the majority of those in the Boxx weren’t just walk-ins off the street. From the moment the lights dimmed, squeals for Miku peeped out of the audience along with the occasional dog-bark faux-metal yell so many teenage visual kei fans seem to be skillful at. And there was apparently no escaping the semi-choreographed hand waving that continues to baffle me to this day (do they all get together and practice?). However, most likely due to the fact that the band is a mere six months old, the audience was much less synchronized, with the occasional patch of heads simply glaring up at the stage and bouncing to the music.

Since the visuals were all the more subdued, the music had to step it up a notch in terms of keeping the audience’s attention. Lc5 kept it fairly standard, bringing out an angry, overdriven guitar riff when the time was right, but mostly staying in the pop-rock range that would gather a few sing-alongs upon more listens. A wise move for a first-time show. The band’s music came out as a blank slate; they can add the bells and whistles later, or experiment with synthesizers and fugal horns if their hearts so desire. But for now, this shows Lc5 is not going to approach their project impulsively, letting the music mature naturally over time.

That was the true charm of Lc5’s first show. Not knowing what exactly to expect, but loving the band members regardless, the audience went in there with an optimistic, nonjudgmental attitude. They were collectively saying, “Hey, I just want to hear you play.” Lc5 is not An Café, and no one should expect them to be. The fun is still there, but with a grown up sensibility that brings hope that they’ll attract an audience outside the screaming teenage girl market.

I still wish someone had said, “Nyappy,” at least once.

Official LC5 Website – http://www.lc5.jp/