Starting the day at the right pace
Pacing can make or break a morning set at Fuji Rock. Nobody trekking out to any stage at 11 a.m. (like, 7 a.m. in Naeba time) wants to immediately jump into a mosh pit, unless they are still fueled up from the night before. This concept is one singer/songwriter sugar me understood well at her pre-noon show at the Gypsy Avalon. She first came on stage by herself, greeting the crowd before playing a sparse and sweet number using only acoustic guitar. It was a gently sung number, apt for a first performance of the day.
It was strategic, too. From there, sugar me called out a band onto the stage, beefing up her warm numbers with a dollop of electric guitar, bass and drums. Again, sugar me didn’t rush anything. The first song with more backing was jauntier, but still suitable for the morning. But as the set moved along, the pace quickened, sugar me and co. eventually laying down zippy number anchored by sweet choruses, getting those who had been sitting before bobbing along, sugar me herself adding in harmonica notes and even Omnichord. And then, for the home stretch, things started slowing down again, first with a delicate cover of The Moldy Peaches’ “Anyone Else But You” with guitarist Ohshu handling the male vocals. Then the group took off, and sugar me ended her set with a skeletal acoustic rendition of her “As You Grow,” a nice comedown after a passage of higher tempos that she planned out just right.