LIVE REPORTGREEN STAGE7/31 SUN
Vanilla is a Flavor
The sun was shining for its third consecutive day when Go!Go!Vanillas took to the stage, a bit of good luck for a band that was needing some, considering guitar player Yanagisawa Shinataro couldn’t join the performance today. But the band pushed forward without him in a true show of confidence and with the help of some amazing guest performers.
After a band huddle they broke into a countrified version of Run Run Run, the fiddle shining and really getting the hoe-down started. This fiddle and the trumpet were really what carried the early set, adding flavor to what were already solid songs. By the time they got to EMA and turned up the funk, they already had the audience eating out of their hands. The set then proceeded into their wheelhouse rock and roll vibes, the drums really propelling the whole experience forward. The songs were catchy enough to be enjoyed by anyone, but hard edged enough to be called rock and roll instead of pop. A difficult sweet spot to thrive in, but Go!Go!Vanillas do it well.
The band took a moment mid-set to talk about what it means for them to be at Fuji Rock, about being there in college with no money to eat or drink with, just coming to experience the music. And what it means to now be playing on that same stage. I understand the sentiment.
Allow me a moment to relate something personal. Slightly over a decade ago I saw Go!Go!Vanillas at a small venue in Kobe (Star Club I believe), where they were one of quite a few bands on a very mixed bill. They were pretty good. And they were really nice guys. I bought their CDR demo for 500 yen, and we offered them a place to crash if they needed one (turned out they didn’t). Many years later I saw they were charting on Oricon, and this year they are playing the Green Stage at Fuji Rock! As a band they have changed and grown, of course, but they are a reminder to me that almost all bands start small, and that sometimes they can break this big. Heck, that anyone can break big if they try hard enough. I almost feel a personal victory seeing these boys up on the big stage, and I will wear my rusted, hand-punched Go!Go!Vanillas pin badge with pride today knowing sometimes rock and roll dreams can come through.
[Photo: 10 All photo]