Photo by MITCH IKEDA
A slice of punk rock for All Night Fuji
After a one year hiatus, All Night Fuji was back. For the first year ever though, All Night Fuji (Fuji Rock’s annual opening Friday all-night dance party) took place in the Cafe de Paris. The venue couldn’t quite match match the Orange Court’s all night parties of the past, but it was still nice to see the event make a return.
The problem with the Cafe de Paris as a venue is the capacity. Compared to the open air stages, space can be an issue in smaller venues like the Cafe or the Crystal Palace. The other issue is the distance to the Cafe. As the furthest stage from the festival entrance, a good 30 minutes is needed to make it from one end to the other. That said, we’re here to talk about the music too, right? Mixed in among the usual lineup of DJs for the night was Japanese punk band, SODA!.
They’re a band that’s been around a few years and really give off a feeling of their love for the classic punk rock sound in their songs, banter and demeanor. All the members look in their 40’s, you can tell they’ve been around the punk rock scene for a while. Despite the genre not being overly technical or fresh today, when played with a passion, the 90’s style of punk rock can still be a whole lot of fun.
SODA! played for about 45 minutes and looked to be grateful for every minute. They even managed to squeeze an extra 5 minutes into their set, to their own delight as well as their fans, who were jammed into the Cafe rather tightly. I was a little surprised to see a good number of people decked out in SODA! gear, from hats to shirts and more, as I had never heard of this band before today. SODA! powered through 3 more songs in that last 5 minutes and had the crowd chanting for more. After each tune they seemed a bit taken back by the crowd and the whole experience of getting to play at Fuji Rock. It was a nice spot of high energy rock and roll to keep spirits up before the continued pulsating beat of All Night Fuji played on for the duration of the night and into the early morning.