Friday, May 8, 2015

Loud Park 2014 - Tokyo Japan

This is the day that we’ve been waiting for. This is the ultimate reason why we have planned this trip to Japan. For us, visiting Tokyo and nearby areas is just a very big plus.  Witnessing our favorite bands perform in front of us outweighs everything Japan has to offer. I know it is a bit exaggerated but on that day... it feels that way.
We woke up at 7 AM. The concert gates opened at 11 AM. Per LP’s schedule, our favorite bands would start playing at 2PM starting with Belphegor. We had 7 extra hours to visit some of Tokyo’s tourist spots. The one we have chosen was Odaiba City where you could see the life-sized replica of one of the robots from the Gundam Anime series, and also for factory-outlet shopping-spree.
Unfortunately, due to long travel duration, we were not able to make it on time. I personally am disappointed. It could have been our very first time to witness authentic Black Metal music coming all the way from Europe. Belphegor is a Black Metal band from Austria from the First Wave of European Black Metal. I can honestly say that they play the real deal – fast, atmospheric and brutal. But we missed it ☹
From Tokyo, it would take 90 minutes to get to Saitama Super Arena via the JR Line. The nearest station to the arena is Saitamasintoshin Station. Then it would be just a 5 minute walk… make that 2 minutes if you’re super excited like us. :P

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The ticket comes with 1 free drink.
The entrance was quick and easy. LP does not allow DSLR cameras; only small cameras are allowed (smartphones, GoPro and other similar make).  Photos are taken from our smartphones and fragmented GoPro videos. 
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Walking towards the deepest pits of hell (I mean Saitama Arena), several stalls are scattered left and right; there are food/beverage, band merchandise, and future events/gigs/concerts.  The ticket is displayed in Nihongo, we have no clue on where to look for our seats and just entered one of the gates. From there, you can hear the crispiness, clarity and the shockwave of pure awesomeness blasting through your entire face. This is it. We are here. Got me-self teary-eyed for a second there. ☺

The view from our seats is boring but the sound is so damn heavenly. How I wish I could let you experience it too. The band, The Haunted, was playing. I’ve heard of the band but never thought they’d sound this great live. They only have 3 songs remaining on their set so we hurriedly went to the pit after we secured our things in my backpack and took down our first free drink. It was a moment with The Haunted but a great one. Their stage presence is heartfelt. A very excellent prelude on what is yet to be witnessed.

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Next to play was Riot V. Now there are 2 pits in the stadium. The Extreme pit and Rock pit. The Haunted was playing in the Extreme pit. We watched The Haunted from the Rock pit since their set was about to end. Riot V played in the Rock pit. We enjoyed Riot V, they played excellent Heavy Metal. I observed the crowd and found that most of them are oldies jamming through the entire set. By oldies I mean dads and granddads and I kid you not. By jamming I mean group of people creating a small circle of 5 or more, head banging, singing, and air-guitaring. It was a pretty sight that surely put smile on our faces.
While watching Riot V, I can’t help to notice the next band setting up in the Extreme pit. It was our very own Death Angel. Well, technically they’re from San Francisco, USA but they were all Filipino. Death Angel is a Thrash Metal band (it’s not a typo, it really is spelled as Thrash) from the Bay Area of San Francisco. A brief history lesson, they started in 1982 during their teen years. They started when the Big 4 (Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth) were just starting to establish a name for themselves. They’re that good that Kirk Hammet himself co-produced one of their albums. Anyway, we left the Rock Pit on Riot V’s last song to get a good viewing position for Death Angel. For so how many years, this is again the time that I will experience a metal concert with my wife. I’ve seen Death Angel before. They were relentless (yo, checkout their album, “Relentless Retribution” LOL) and I always make it a habit to mosh when they play. But that time, I was the protective husband against the crazy yet lively horde of Japanese metaldudes and dudettes. Besides, we were right in the middle of the crowd where a pit will most likely to erupt.

Death Angel once again exceeded my expectations. They’ve performed just the right songs I want to introduce to my wife.

Left for Dead
Son of the Morning
Claws in So Deep
Seemingly Endless Time
The Dream Calls for Blood
Mistress of Pain
Kojo no Tsuki
The Ultra-Violence / Thrown to the Wolves
The wife is picky with her Thrash bands, prior to DA, she only likes Slayer and Metallica. There could be others but I forgot. :P The mosh pit was insane that I extremely enjoyed it, that it made me somehow sad, because I could not dive into the chaos. Going back to the set list, I know… I know, they did not perform Kill As One and it sucks to be honest.  It was their most known single and has been the band’s anthem long since. Overall, it was a kick-ass set. For me it’s enough to get my wife hooked to one of my favorite artists.

Aaaaaaaaand… we are tired. After 2 and a half-ish band sets, I can hear my legs screaming in pain. So we went out to grab our 2nd free drink and maybe rest for a good 10-15 minutes before heading back to see Kreator. I am a huge fan of Kreator but seeing the lovely wife tired, I don’t mind sacrificing a little time.  :P

The wife however, seeing my sad face insisted we continue the adventure. :D We were so glad we did! We had no idea why, but for some reason, Kreator and Within Temptation switched slots so when we came back, Within Temptation’s banner is on the stage, their instrumental intro is already playing but no one’s on the stage yet. In that moment ladies and gentlemen, I heard the loudest NO the wife has uttered. I could not believe she could run that fast too. LOL

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Remember when I said that this event is the ultimate reason why we went to Japan? Now this band tops the list on why we went to Japan. We first heard of Within Temptation during our college years back in 2004. This was also the time when I met my ex-girlfriend who is now my wife, so you can say that this is very special to us. Within Temptation is a Gothic Metal band from The Netherlands that was formed in 1996. A metal genre closest to my heart due to its innocence and brutality at the same time. Sharon Den Adel, the lead vocalist is a sight to behold. Blessed with a beautiful symphonic/operatic voice, she is like an angel, so surreal in her white and silver dress.

Paradise (What About Us?) – from Hydra
Faster – from The Unforgiving
In the Middle of the Night - from The Unforgiving
Fire and Ice - from The Unforgiving
And We Run – from Hydra
Dangerous – from Hydra
Angels – from the Silent Force
Our Solemn Hour – from The Hear of Everything
Stand My Ground - from The Unforgiving
Covered By Roses – from Hydra
Sinéad (Acoustic) - from The Unforgiving

Ice Queen – from Mother Earth
There is a lot of crowd in the pit, mostly ladies for obvious reasons. We managed to squeeze in into the middle area to get a nice view. Unlike the previous bands, there was no circle pit. With the amount of ladies in the crowd, one would think thrice of starting a circle pit in the risk of being castrated by the angry boyfriends and husbands. LOL.

The first half of the set was composed of songs from their latest albums, The Unforgiving (2011), and Hydra (2014). On the rest of the set, the atmosphere and emotion got a bit nostalgic and dramatic. On the intro of Angels, we were so ecstatic that it got me teary-eyed, my heart just melted. This is one of our favorite songs. My happiness cannot be contained; it’s time to let it go. I know the wife was feeling the same so I gave her a tight hug while trying to hide my already wet eyes. :’) We sang along to our heart’s content. Stand My Ground and Ice Queen were also our favorites and all of a sudden, invisible ninjas were once again cutting onions (hey we are in Japan anyway!!!). We were tired but at that moment we did not feel any. It appeared like adrenaline took over our bloodstream. We enjoyed it until the very end. It was over, they’re gone, the lights were out, the crowd is dissipating and it’s time to move on. Thank you so much Within Temptation. Dreams do come true.

~Jr signed

Kathero the Wife - Loud Park is supposedly for 2 days, Saturday and Sunday October 19/20 but we were a little tight on the budget so that time I decided to let go of Alissa White-Gluz for a moment to see Within Temptation.  

No DSLR allowed so I apologize again for the crappy GoPro photos, you will love the videos though. Pure carnage in the moshpit baby!

I didn't know my husband could be so emo writing up about a metal gig (insert giggle emoji here). I had him write this part of our trip because -- aside from the fact the he knows more about the bands who played, he already witnessed their savagery in Manila last year. I especially loved The Haunted, Mortal Angel, and Within Temptation for the first time I witnessed them play live! For Kreator, I only know 2 of their songs (Warcurse and Endorama) but their melody is such pleasure to the ears. Live is definitely 1000x level up than my iPod. I will not forget WT, it was indeed a dream. Within Temptation for us, has and always will be a Gothic Metal band. I know that they have successfully transformed into a symphonic rock group nowadays but I believe the purist in us will never fade that easily. We (especially my wife) refuse to accept that fact. The time will come but we’d rather stay in the dark for now.
Hopefully this year, we have planned to watch the whole 2 day-show so I am hoping for more female-fronted metal bands. Okay not really, Amon Amarth and Opeth please come back for Loud Park 2015!!! 
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Comments :


Rea Alducente said...

Ohhh and that's why it's called LOUD PARK. Hehe. Why don't they allow DSLR inside?

It's been a long, long time since the last concert I've attended, boo. Good for you for experiencing your favorite bands play live. Gaahh, I already forgot how it feels to be in a big crowd like that.

Kat said...

Hello there Dora Rea! :D Mas masaya diyan kumbaga eh mga professional yung mga nakikigulo. Dati noon sa Manila ang daming mga bastos like may urine ang bottled water or worse hinahagis bote. Yung DSLR depende sa artist or sa production, the reason behind is for your own protection din. sa looks ng artist, safety ng gear or safety din ng ibang tao for example may natamaan ka sa ulo dahil wagas zoom lens na gamit mo. Hehe!