LIVE REPORTGREEN STAGE8/21 SAT
Fast times with Sambomaster
I hope you were planning on having some fun. If fun ain’t your thing, may I suggest you relocate to another stage.
Within the first five minutes of their set, which kicked off with Miracle wo Kimi to Okoshitaindesu, Sambomaster had already expended more energy than most bands do in a whole set. Fast, bouncy, hard and goofy pop. It helped that the band, singer Takashi Yamaguchi in particular, looked like they were having the time of their lives. All this despite their twenty-plus years in the business, they truly put a lot of younger bands to shame with their vigour.
The scheduled rain started early in the set with few tentative drops, but Sambomaster carried on breathlessly as if to hold off the coming downpour by sheer force of will. Rallying the crowd to his efforts, Takashi enthusiastically encouraged the crowd to dance, of course the whole time heavily stressing the need to maintain social distance. After all, these are responsible pop-punk misfits.
It wasn’t until a solid quarter of an hour in that the band took a pause between songs, but that break didn’t last long, in short order they were back at it. Takeshi continued to wow with his fast paced singing, punctuated with rapid fire asides and shouts somehow delivered between lines where lesser singers would have taken a breath. The crowd reciprocated his energy with almost every fist in the crowd pumping along, which has been a rare sight at this year’s more restrained Fuji Rock.
When the band took a mid set song break and Takeshi opened up about the difficulties of the last year, and gave thanks to the souls of those we have lost, it was truly touching. He followed this up with the stripped down and sweet Love Song, showing that this band isn’t just speed and bluster, there is a lot of heart in there too.
As if on cue, the rain came and came hard right as Sambomaster was warming up to their penultimate song and biggest hit, Dekikkonai wo Yaranakucha. While a good portion of the crowd took to the hills to avoid the downpour, those who stayed were treated to the band somehow finding the reserves to double their energy as if to spite the weather. It was raucous. And it was wet. When the set finally ended, it was to repeated and shouted affirmations of love from Takeshi. Seldom does a band telling you that they love you feel as honest.
In the end the youthful charm and boundless energy of Sambomaster’s set filled the basin of the Green Stage to the brim, even though it felt like the rain might be next in line to take a whack at that.
[Photo: 10 All photo]