Best of the Fest: seanheuristics

  • Best of the Fest: seanheuristics

Photo by 白井絢香 Text by seanheuristics

Posted on 2019.8.2 04:08

Musical Musings from a Rookie Rocker

I’ll admit it, I didn’t fully know what I was getting myself into camping at Fuji Rock Festival. From the rookie mistake of lugging my camping backpack on the rush hour morning train to catch the Shinkansen to wearing my (now destroyed) street shoes to the fest, I definitely got a full espresso shot of Fuji Rock as a first year attendee. Bug bitten, soaked and even a little sunburnt, and to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

It’s the kind of texas mickey music experience that any seasoned sound aficionado dreams of. I did my darndest to stuff my ears with the unstoppable geyser of music that is Fuji Rock fest. Here’s some of my top picks!

1. Paranoid Void
These girls rock (like seriously rock) and were in many ways exactly what I was hoping I’d see at Fuji Rock. Undiscovered, up and coming musical talent that I can brag to my friends I saw first before they got big and ‘sold-out’. No, but seriously this 3 piece instrumental, math-rock group from Osaka blew up the ROOKIE A GOGO stage Friday night and will melt you face if you are ever lucky enough to see them live.

Report here

Smooth, soul, sincerity, this group is the Japanese indie dream I never knew I had. With a full extended band performing with them at the Gypsy Avalon stage, they effortlessly moved between rock, funk and even Rnb. From rockin’ ‘Rick and Morty’ t shirts on stage to having songs named after my home country, I think we were meant to be.

Read here

3. George Porter Jr & Friends
Ok, so I tried to focus mostly on fairly niche, independent artists in my schedule but this legend was just too good to pass up! The original bass player of the funk-defining group ‘The Meters’ the 71 year old veteran laid down a literal masterclass in funk at the Field of Heaven stage Saturday evening.

Further funk

4. The Paradise Bankok Molam International Band
Despite the mouthful of a name, this group brought a seriously fun and funky set to the Field of Heaven Sunday afternoon. Traditional Thai instruments mixed with thick drums and groovy basslines, it’s the psychedelic slice of SE Asian sounds you never knew you’d been craving.

Paradise here

5. Nicola Cruz
Traditional Ecuadorian elements mixed with modular synthesizers wrapped in a dancefloor friendly empanada. A special late night set at the looming Red Marquee stage.

Need I say more?

A special mention goes to the live sound engineers and stage crews at Fuji Rock fest. If you consider yourself somewhat of a sound otaku as I, Fuji Rock will definitely hit all the right buttons. All of the 16 stages sounded great 100% of the time, which is really not an easy feat!