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Jun 13

[live report] heidi. – Sure, Why Not?

I was sipping a beer at the concession stand outside the venue for heidi’s show when a lamb walked by. The lamb had one of its ears pierced and wore a black, apron-like punk get up. I glanced back and forth from my beer to the lamb for awhile before shrugging and taking a giant swig.

Why the hell not?

That was my impression of heidi.’s Premium Showtime [-Birthday-] on June 3, 2011 in Tokyo. Heidi is the young band whose name, judging by the lamb motif, was derived from the classic children’s novel about a little girl and her creepy grandfather, plays visual kei rock with slight hints of punk and Neo Japanesque, and causes their fans to twirl insanely. I swear the beer had no effect on the twirling part.

As a whole, heidi is not too different from the typical fourth (fifth? I lost count) generation visual kei band. They have the Rod Stewart-style layered hair, semi-gothic clothing, and the tenor-to-occasional-metal-screaming vocalizations of Yoshihiko that so many of their peers love to incorporate in their music. Besides vocals, guitar is the centerpiece of the music, and while Nao is by no means unskilled, his instrument serves its purpose of carrying the melody. In summary, they’re good, but not something to prove wrong your pessimistic friends who believe all visual kei sounds the same.

But that’s just it. The reason why heidi sold out their show that day was because they are satisfyingly digestible in every way. Their music is good, but not brilliant, which makes it easy for the casual music fan to get from the first of their 30-some odd tracks they played that evening. Their look is mall-goth levels of dangerous, but not extraterrestrial enough to make parents seek counseling for their kids. Their MCs are vaguely pervy, but not disgusting in a way that would put the FCC’s panties in a twist.

Of course, this brings the median age of fans down to the late-teens. But who is to say there shouldn’t be bands out there for that group? Heidi is the type to give you enough street cred without making you stand out, which is perfect for the young person who just wants to have a good time without thinking too hard about it.

This all works to make heidi great for the anime convention circuit. Their photos alone will draw in curious convention goers when they perform at AM2 in California this summer. And their sound will satiate the newbies and oldbies of visual kei fandom for the time being. If you find yourself at the Anaheim Convention Center, and you’re not sure whether to take a listen, just ask yourself, “Why the hell not?”

Official heidi. website – http://heidi-net.com/top.php
AM2 website – http://am2con.org/