Photo by Taio Konishi
A different trio of kawaii rockers
For my third and final visit to the Rookie stage, it afforded me the chance to witness another young female trio of rockers, only this group played their own instruments and didn’t rely on cute poses and phrases. Okay, I’m through with the Babymetal comparisons, before one of their over-bearing fans jumps in.
Tokyo band Hitsuji Bungaku, whose name translates to something like Sheep Literature, played a raw and fairly emotional 30 minute set on the Rookie stage late Sunday night. The girls play a blend of hard rock with post-rock and punk elements. They seemed a bit taken aback by the moment at times but still played a fairly tight, hard-rocking set.
Lead guitarist and singer Haiji stood out for me with her solid playing that included emotionally charged, distorted guitar solos that gave off a feeling of teenage angst. Her vocals were sometimes a bit muffled or quiet, but when she let loose both on vocals and guitar, the band was at their best. There was an intriguing contrast between the somewhat cute shyness and the harder edged rock and punk sound the band played. They didn’t take to the mic except to say formal thank yous to the crowd and remark that this was their biggest day ever.
I think a little more time on the mic and a bit more interaction would do the band some good. The music was able to convey some emotion, but fans also want a direct interaction with 3 cute, young girls playing rock on a stage. By the end, they looked thrilled to have made it through without messing up and were giddy with laughter as the lights dimmed. It’s this kind of raw emotion and excitement that make the Rookie stage worth a look. I’m not sure if we’ll see Hitsuji Bungaku at Fuji Rock again, but if we do, let’s hope the whole set is as full of emotion as their closing was today.