LIVE REPORTWHITE STAGE7/31 SUN
The Father of Love Songs
Suzuki Masayuki, the Father of Love Songs in Japan, has a long and impressive resume. Not only is he a solo performer, he was also a member of Rats and Star (formerly the Chanels), has recorded the theme music for popular anime, and is a TV personality. And all that without ever having taken off his sunglasses. He brought a heaping helping of old school star power and charisma to his Sunday White Stage performance. When he stood upon it there was no doubt whose stage it was, it was Martin’s.
Knowing how to make an entrance rule number one for a star, and Suzuki knows how. First his band took their places, paused, and entered into the opening bars of SPY, Suzuki coming on stage to the feux James Bond riff in black pants, black sequined cummerbund, red shirt, white sport coat with polka pots and, of course, sunglasses. He said it was his first time on a Fuji Rock stage, but it certainly wasn’t his first time on a stage. He had the fluid and comfortable movements of a stage performer, and he knew how to sell the story of his songs with body language alone.
The crowd really started moving with Chigau Sou Jyanai, a funky little number which got feet tapping and behinds shaking (even if just a little bit). It gave Martin a chance to shake his stuff too.
Songs like Slow Ballad gave him a chance to slow things down and show how he earned the title Father of Love Songs. His voice is perfectly suited for Chanels-style throwback songs like this one, and he could belt it out well. Songs like Hurricane started off a portion of the set that showed this doo-wop skill off even more clearly, thanks mostly to his special guest vocalists.
It should also be mentioned that White Stage saw over-capacity crowds for this performance, going so far as stopping crossage from Tokoro Tengoku because the crowd was so thick. And people of every age were getting down to this set, and getting down hard.
Every culture needs stars like this, the showman singer staples that you and your parents can both enjoy, even if just a little bit ironically sometimes. And it isn’t hard to see how Martin earned the legendary status he has.
[Photo: 10 All photo]