Sunday, July 23, 2006


So after getting my arse handed to me by a great bloody mountain, I went to see Coldplay with my girlfriend, at the Nippon Budokan. Now, I'm not really much of a Coldplay fan, and I was really horrendously exhausted from my attempt at Fuji, but even so, I enjoyed the show. It was what you'd expect from a modern rock concert, backed by lots of label money: lights, video effects, giant yellow balloons filled with gold glitter falling from the ceiling. The frontman, whose name I can't be bothered googling, struck me as being right on the edge of offensively arrogant, but the rest of the band rocked out pretty hard. It was a good show, and I'm glad I'm went.

But there's one thing I feel bears mentioning about concerts in this country: there's no floor admission. Everyone is given an assigned seat, and expected to damn well sit there for the duration. The Japanese are big on this (the faster trains, and almost every movie theater, all involve assigned seating.) For the most part this isn't a big deal, but at a concert!? Well okay, if you're going to a Beethoven symphony, but for rock? People are supposed to be standing, moving, dancing ... there's supposed to be a mosh pit packed up in front of the stage, with the lucky getting crowdsurfed and the unlucky getting trampled. The chaos is all part of the energy, part of the experience of going to a rock concert.

To be fair, pretty much everyone was standing, clapping in time with the music, singing along, but still ... it all seemed just a bit, I dunno, micromanaged. I love this country, but sometimes these people need to learn how to let go a little.


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