LIVE REPORTWHITE STAGE7/27 SAT
Gezan rips the morning open
Those of us who don’t mind a little brain-rattling before noon were treated to a uniquely engaging performance on Saturday by band-on-the-rise-but-by-their-own-terms Gezan.
Their sound is hard to pigeon-hole, a weird chunky blend of metal, rap, punk and pop that, when reading the recipe, seems like it shouldn’t work. But somehow it goes down a treat. They started their set screaming, and promised the crowd that they would be loud. They delivered on this promise.
Visually the band is distinct, especially lead singer Mahi to the People (yes, that is the name he goes by). Prince may have purple, but Gezan has red. I can think of few bands so closely associated with a color. Magi came on stage head to toe in tracksuit crimson, with a cape to boot. In all my days I’ve never seen someone wrap a mic chord around their arm as many times as he did during the first few tracks. Lanky, androgynous and beautiful, but fierce and predatory. It was hard to take your eyes off him, though there was more to see.
This show saw Gezan fulfilling their dream of playing a big Fuji Rock stage since their Rookie a Go Go performance years ago, and they did not let the crowd down. Water bottles thrown or kicked from the stage, the crowd was surfed and many a head was banged. It was hard not to. Even though the dominant genre changed from moment to moment the set felt cohesive and coherent. The only through-thread was that it stayed aggressive and it stayed loud.
Gezan proved one of the few bands at the fest that felt like a garage band who grew to White Stage status the way they wanted to, playing the there the same way they would a basement punk venue. And I mean this in the best possible way. They also had the confidence to be creative in a way many other ‘hard’ bands cannot. How many acts have the cajones to prominently feature a didgeridoo in a ten minute epic, grounded with a backing track of droning human barks, thematically about their home town Tokyo? Not many. Then to top it all off they brought on a chorus line of guest vocalists for their penultimate track, 6 by my count. Rappers, hardcore screamers, a tombonist, even Chinza Dopeness for pete’s sake.
They came in screaming and went out screaming. And when the weekend is all over they will probably be my favorite act of the fest.