LIVE REPORTRED MARQUEE7/29 SUN
CHAI (selected by ROOKIE A GO-GO)
CHAI's triumphant return
CHAI closed out the big stage action at Fuji Rock with their midnight Red Marquee show on Sunday night, and what a show it was. Chai hasn’t been around for very long as a band. In fact they were the standouts from last year’s Rookie a Go-Go stage. But you wouldn’t know it for all the growth they’ve had over the course of the last year.
Twin sisters Mana and Kana are the real driving force behind the band’s energy. Mana is the singer, with a unique and squeaky singing voice that is both playful and feral at the same time. Kana is the guitar player, who played a heavy, driving guitar. The two played well off each other during the set, with interesting vocal harmonies sprinkled throughout their funky, poppy set. The bass and guitar rounded out the show with fantastic instrumentation and stage presence.
Chai’s set was a terrific outlet for the last bits of energy a lot of three-day fest attendees had left at their disposal. The visuals were bright and colorful, and so was the band. The songs got people moving, especially hits like N.E.O., which is a pounding instant classic.
It was reassuring to see how well the band had adapted to their much, much larger degree of popularity of late. They owned the stage like veterans. Their sound has begun to lose a touch of it’s rebellious hard edge and has begun to take on more of a pop sheen, but perhaps this is inevitable for a band on the rise. All I know is that judging from this set, hopefully CHAI will continue to evolve while keeping a firm grip on the quirkiness and musical heaviness that brought them this far.