LIVE REPORTGREEN STAGE7/28 SAT
MAXIMUM THE HORMONE
Maximum the Hormone have something of a reputation for being a “batshit insane” band and it seems Fuji Rock likes to have at least one edgy act playing the festival each year, if only to help the audience feel like they can reclaim a little of their “wild” youth. Maximum the Hormone themselves are getting on a bit, though their longevity was proven with a solid set at the Green Stage.
Formed at the height of late-90s nu-metal the band’s set covered a path carved from punky tunes mixed up with gutteral vocal breakdowns and screeching reminiscent of contemporaries System of a Down, tribal drumming that smacks of Sepultura and ska-reggae grooves all mixed with pop accessibility that proved why the band have forged a 20-year career so successfully.
Between songs drummer Nao charmed the audience with a cutesy ongoing joke played from her drum-side webcam and the Green Stage video-screens, running a Snapchat filter gag which might have had hardcore stalwarts muttering “that’s not metal”, but the audience lapped it up regardless. There was also a running gag about the impending typhoon played that seemed to be drawn out a little too long, but was amusing if only for the dodgy cardboard graphics parodying Japanese TV and the fact that all anyone seemed to be able to talk about was this approaching deluge. It was fitting then that the sky opened up during the final song, almost is if the weather was listening.
Pre-show buzz focused on Maximum The Hormone’s reputation for intensity and that was certainly apparent in their set, which provided a welcome change of pace in the Saturday line-up, yet the on-stage banter revealed a warm and long-standing familiarity with the audience, many of whom may have made the switch from another rival festival this year to the mountain climes of Naeba. If anyone was wondering where the rock in this year’s festival was, Maximum the Hormone brought it.