7/28 - (After)

Best of the Fest: Lisa

This year was nothing short of a miracle weather wise. Although there was supposedly a fluke sunny weekend in 2012, I wasn’t there so I can’t confirm whether it’s true or not. While the great weather was one of highlights of the fest this year, it can’t count toward my top 5 list. (Woe.) There were of course tons of amazing performances throughout the weekend that I managed to catch at least a glimpse of, but it feels unfair to rank them.

So I’m making a compromise:

Top 5 Acts I Saw From Start to Finish

  1. Man With a Mission: Although there are no pictures to even give a tiny visual glimpse of how great they were, the wolfmen from Tokyo were amazing. They had it all: balls of fire, fireworks, crowd surfing wolves and some great music to dance and sing along to. They were, overall the most solid and fun performance I saw at the fest. Other performances may have have surprising, impressive or emotional parts, but MWAM kept it up the whole time they were on (or flying off) stage. Who’zza good boy! Whozza good booooy? Yusss, MWAM’s a good boy, kibbles and head scratches for all of you!
  2. Miyavi: I recall saying as I left the stage on Friday afternoon after seeing Miyavi’s show, “Wow, I’m done for the weekend now. I don’t need to see anything else.” I ended up getting overexcited about some other artists I saw and forgot about that statement completely. It says more about the high level of Fuji Rock performances than anything else. Throughout the fes weekend though, my thoughts turned back to the show, and despite being the underdog (a Japanese artist on the White Stage in the middle of the day in the blazing sun) I think Miyavi and Bobo are worth first place and certainly deserving of a better time slot next time.
  3. Lorde: Hyped, but for good reason, Lorde put on a stellar show. Her voice, her manner between songs, her crazy body acrobatics. It was warm, welcoming and felt surprisingly intimateーdespite the man behind me shouting every answer to her questions. I’d love to see her on an outdoor stage next time, so she can really let her long hair down.
  4. Jungle by Night: These Dutch dynamos took me completely by surprise over at Cafe de Paris. There seemed to be about three dozen of them (there weren’t) packed on a teeny tiny stage (really, it’s so small), surrounded by hundreds (quite possible at first) of punters. It got so hot in there I had to leave (as did some others) but the dancing both in and outside the tent kept going. So. Much. Fun. Would love to see them on a stage they can all fit on…
  5. SiM: I’m a big fan of the Rookie A Go-Go stage, and that’s where I saw these guys first three years ago. They’ve grown a lot since then and here’s hoping they’ll keep going on in that direction. Just the right balance of ska, reggae and punk and enough guts to start a wall of death in the middle of the afternoon. Fantastic.

Honorable mention: The ¥100 ice pops over at Tokoro Tengoku. They helped me survive many a moshpit, and I hope they’ll be there to support me next year again, be it rain or shine. (Shine, I really want it to shine.)


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