LIVE REPORTGREEN STAGE7/26 FRI
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS
Fujirock veterans rock your block
20 years ago, The Chemical Brothers headlined the Green Stage at the first ever Fuji Rock held here in Naeba. Fitting then, that they make their return in 2019. Along with veteran Fuji Rock acts like The Prodigy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bjork and Foo Fighters, The Chemical Brothers have headlined more than most repeat acts, appearing here a total of six times since 1999.
Most recently headlining in 2011, they were long overdue for another appearance and with the release of their latest album ‘No Geography’, it was the perfect timing to bring them back as the main attraction on the first night of this years fest.
Backed by super slick stage production, credit goes to the stage production designers synchronizing the visuals and effects perfectly to the show, pushing energy and excitement levels consistently into the upper echelons.
Wireframe bodies and faces contorting to the beat, Ultraman-style heroes vs. monsters, rockem-sockem robots and splashes of colorful paint visually accompanied the Brothers’ heavy hitting beats, as they led festival-goers through both recent and past hits from their catalogue. The stage production definitely gave a freshness to the material; Scenery changes in the foreground (giant disco balls, banks of lighting raised and lowered, aforementioned robots…), along with well-timed blasts of confetti and huge inflatable balloons that were batted around by the crowd linked with the visuals on screen and tied the performance together well.
Bombastic opener “Go” was a great choice to get things moving, and the duo burned through well known recent tracks like “Eve of Destruction” and “MAH”, blending newer songs seamlessly with old. This was most evident on a sort of ‘mashup’ of “Swoon” vs “Star Guitar”, which the crowd justifiably responded to with a wave of loud cheers.
Working in “Hey Boy Hey Girl” (no surprises there), they rounded out the set with other classics like “Galvanize”, “Leave Home” and “Song To the Siren” before topping everything off with what everyone was undoubtedly expecting, “Block Rockin’ Beats”.
Though completely fresh visuals kept fans on their toes, many in the crowd (myself included) were probably expecting a bit more variety in the setlist, but all things considered, The Chemical Brothers put on a great show that kicked off the first night of the festival in true Fuji Rock fashion.