Every year thousands of people flock to the live music capital of the world, Austin, Texas, to experience what is arguably the best festival in the world, SXSW. This year’s festival had more variety than ever with hundreds of international acts taking the stage at various venues. Japan and Korea were particularly represented with several different showcases, all showing different genres of music.
Japan Nite’s preview show showcase many alternative Japanese artists. First act to perform was The fin., an alternative/indie band from Kobe. The fin. have a very soothing sound, and put on a very entertaining act.
Next up was Chihiro Yamazaki and the Route 14 band. Chihiro is a very talented trumpet player, contributing to the jazzy sounds of the Route 14 band. Chihiro expressed her excitement of being in Austin, getting the growing crowd much more excited as their set progressed. Their performance finished with a song called “Japan”. An interesting feature of this group is that one of the songs performed had any spoken lyrics.
Check out Chihiro Yamazaki and the Route 14 band’s “Japan”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWXMHhJGtTw
After that act, a group called Mothercoat took the stage. This group had a very synth driven sound, accompanied by unique vocals from the male and female vocalists. I have never heard anything quite like this group.
The last group I was able to see was a female duo called Zarigani$. This hard hitting rock group sounded like something you would hear as the intro song to an action filled anime. If you enjoy punk-rock groups with loud vocals, you will enjoy this group. Both of these ladies had a lot of energy on stage, despite the humid weather.
I really enjoyed the part of the Japan Nite preview I was able to attend. The crowds were not huge, but each artist seemed thankful people attended. You could really tell how much these performers enjoyed being on stage playing. Part of the appeal of SXSW is the eclectic mix of genres you can find in one line up and this show was an example of one of those.
Japan Nite is an annual US Tour that kicks off in Austin and tours all across the United States. You can head over to their website, japan-night.com, and see if the tour is coming to a city near you. I definitely suggest you check these groups out; you might just discover your new favorite band.
– Ke’Anna Bullard
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