Where to start? DJ Reggie Beat gets the music rolling, promising to take us on a funky voyage. Todd comes on stage, guitar in hand, accompanied by two leotard and wigged dancers with almost anime character looks. The music itself is fairly unique mix of heavy riffs, vintage keyboard sound and electronica with a retro feel. The lyrics are vague life-affirming philosophical themes with some bits of sci-fi thrown in. Some don’t quite work like the pro-feminism song. Although the idea is quite good and the people mentioned like Malala the Afghan school girl, it really falls apart when you ask for a ‘shoutout from my girls’ as he says.
With the nice things out of the way, lets delve into what really made this set a farce. If you’re a fan, look away now. Okay? Stopped reading? Basically, the set consisted of Todd doing karaoke. This really hit me when he had a solo section while the dancers changed costume, not even bothering to keep the DJ on stage. The two dancers are a nice distraction and dance well but they don’t really add anything musically. The DJ’s only job appeared to be to press start given his lack of activity behind the desk and honestly, I don’t think he even had that responsibility. It would have been better to have him in the dancing girl’s costumes since he was fulfilling the same function of singing choruses and dancing.
If this is what you can do to claim a gig payment, I’d like to put my hand up for next Fuji Rock. I can totally find two pretty looking dancing girls, maybe even from the crowd. My DJ can probably even press play and for bonus points, I’ll dress him like the dancing girls. I can dance like a 67 year old and although I might not be able to guitar solo quite as well, I think my inability to do so will only add to the set.
The final icing on this bitter cake of failure was the ending, with the final song receiving claps before the crowd started drifting away. The DJ tries to speak but finds even the sound techs think the set is over as the signal is cut. Nevertheless, he gets the crowd making noise with most people think it just being to say thank you and goodbye. However, the muted applause is the signal for Todd and dancers to traipse back on stage for a completely undeserved and uncalled-for encore. Thankfully that’s the end for this set and about fifty minutes too late for my liking.
Also, a shoutout to the lighting guy who keep shining fixed lights into the audience’s eyes in 30 degree heat. I’m not sure if there’s a clearer recipe for headaches then that. You’re the real MVP and I’ll be sure to hire you if I do get my solo-karaoke-with-two-dancers-and-fake-DJ-set at Fuji Rock next year.
Text by Matthew Evans, Photo by Yoshitaka Kogawa
Posted on 2015.7.26 17:10