LIVE REPORTRED MARQUEE7/31 SUN
Photo by Keiko Hirakawa Text by Nina Cataldo
Posted on 2022.8.2 12:31
Bring on the Sunday Gospel at Fuji Rock!
Nariaki Obukuro’s Sunday evening set at the Red Marquee came as close to a Sunday gospel church choir performance as we could at Fuji Rock this year. Obukuro stood on the dimly-lit stage with two bedside table lamps on either side of him and his band, which consisted of three chorus singers and a DJ. It appeared like a cozy bedroom, and the sounds that came out were both comforting and inspirational.
The stage changed from the yellow hues of the lamps to pink lights on one side of the stage, and blue on the other as Obukuro began singing a love song; it felt as though the man and woman were singing to each other. The gospel-inspired R&B music was layered on with hip-hop and the DJ. Obukuro, as well as his backup singers’ vocal ranges are absolutely one of the best that were heard all weekend at the festival.
Once there was a pause in the music, Obukuro made note that he just returned from England, after 3 months of his tour. Fuji Rock ’22 concludes his tour and he asked the audience if it would alright to open a can of beer at the end of his set, since he hasn’t drank over the tour. He also exclaimed that he turned down live streaming for his set from the festival because “my music isn’t meant to be watched on a computer screen,” and he praised the crowd for turning down big-namers, Superorganism (who were playing at the same time on the White Stage), to be at his musical experience all the way out in the countryside of Niigata.
His set transformed from Sunday-morning gospel to deeper, darker beats heard at clubs as the sun began to set. Whether people were there to wind down after a long, hot weekend, or to start off their long night ahead, Obukuro provided the perfect amount of musical entertainment.
Obukuro is the CEO of Tokyo Recordings, which has produced acts such as Wednesday Campanella and Kou Shibasaki. He has also co-produced music with famous Japanese American musician, Hikaru Utada (which was briefly rumored to be a secret act at Fuji Rock this year).
[Photo: 10 All photo]