Freak outs and free expressions of Hikasyu
When you come into a show expecting something different and obscure it can lead you in a few ways. I heard allegations of avant-garde and experimental live shows from Japan’s Hikasyu, but even with expectations of weird and wild it can’t really prepare you for what their show is like. This seasoned band of freak out hippies play what they want, how they want it and don’t worry about fitting into a norm or gaining popularity.
Hikasyu is a band of five sometimes collaborators, who play a form of free folk, free jazz, rock and more. The lead singer uses his voice as a kind of psychedelic instrument, ranging from scatting to growls, screaming, singer, humming, howling and more. To put it simply, he’s a nut who lets any expression out when he sees fit. The rest of the band lives in the same wacky world as their front man, which is probably essential to maintain sanity when you have a lead singer who howls and screeches at the top of his lungs whenever he see fit. .
The band goes on tangents, squeals, botches notes, and explodes in free sound explosions. More than anything however, they read each other well and play off of each other like the seasoned vets they are. The set seemed a bit short for Hikasyu, who like to chat and engage the audience. There was a bit of banter this afternoon, but it felt restrained.
Individually each member is very talented, all with an obscure but affirming quality about them. Each member got a brief chance to solo and explore, but still fit in with the rest of the band. It’s the band’s shared freak outs and the way they combine and play off of each other in ways only close friends are able to that makes them special.
For a band to be so far out of the norm and able to play free music, they need to be extremely talented and self assured that this style will work for an audience. Hikasyu and this afternoon’s Cafe de Paris crowd was totally on board, so even in the weirdest moments the band never felt disconnected from the packed Cafe crowd. The fans had evidently taken the Hikasyu experience once or twice before and will no doubt sign on again for a plunge into the unexpected, free and wild world of Hikasyu yet again.