FC Five

support Kamakiri + Count Of Strength
author PP date 16/10/11 venue Shelter, Tokyo, JP

Guest review written by Patrick Tvener

By six pm outside the venue of Shelter in Shimokitazawa people were starting to gather. Many of who were eager to get out of the sticky humid evening warmth and into the air-conditioned basement of the venue where FC FIVE were the main act of the evening.

It had only been a couple of weeks since FC FIVE last played a show. Recently also with the likes of Sick Of It All when they visited Japan. The last time I Saw FC FIVE was when they visited Stengade 30 in Copenhagen when they were on tour with Bane and Comeback Kid some 6 years ago. Tonight was therefore a special night if you ask me, and how right I was about that. Read on to figure out why.

This gig tonight was according to the flyer supposed to be a one man show, hence one band. For this reason it was not unusual that there were so many people wearing FC FIVE band t-shirts waiting for the venue to open. On a closer inspection of the venue I quickly noticed FC FIVE would be accompanied by two other bands, a hardcore band and another band I had no idea who they were. But let’s get on with the review shall we.

Count Of Strength

The first band were Count Of Strength and they started on time. They quickly incited all the hardcore kids to start swinging their arms and legs in hardcore fashion and bulldozing their way to the stage in effort to either grab/get closer to the microphone in order to “sing” backing vocals or in order to begin the stage diving process. Mind you, this stage diving business barely had a chance to stop at all this evening; I would reckon there were at least 25 stage dives during the first band. It was a circus, but we were loving it. The songs were intense, loud and fast, combining the metallic and the punk sounds well together. Both “Barrier Free” and “Stand this Place” were well received by the crowd. The sound this evening was very impressive indeed. This band has also been around for some ten years and it showed, as they made things look easy. The vocalist even went for a courageous stage dive during the final song and was forced to finish the number in the pit where others were slam dancing and jumping on top of him in good old hardcore fashion. I was surprised that the scene here in Tokyo is this frantic and explosive. Count of Strength left the stage 20 minutes after they went on, it was a shame they didn’t play longer. They managed to squeeze five songs and get the crowed warmed up for what was the beginning of a memorable evening.

6

Kamakiri

The second band up was Kamakiri, which means praying mantis in Japanese. I have no words to describe how weird this band was. It consisted of two men; a singer and a man who was in control of the turntables and samples. I swear to you, it was messed up. The singer was messed up. His dance move, if you could call it that, consisted of him humping the air. His free-styling was perverted and absurd. They played five songs, and yes , it was humorous and shocking but I quickly retreated to the bar and had a drink and engaged in small talk, remaining there until they finished. It was a joke. One for effort.

1

FC Five

People were relieved when Kamakiri left the stage and now knew that it wouldn’t be too long before FC FIVE would unleash their live set. They have gained quite the reputation during the years, primarily due to their live performance, but also for their ability of creating powerful, catchy hardcore anthems. They have been a band now for 11 years, and have toured Asia, Europe and USA, they have one EP and four full lengths. Their latest record is entitled "Dandelion's Blues." On stage, I could see that the crew was starting to tune the guitars so I made my way up front. I also noticed that there was a camera crew that were also setting up, so whatever happened tonight was going to be recorded; reaffirming my belief that this would be a special night. The drummer, the bassist and the guitarist came on stage first and played the instrumental “Enter” and as this came to an end, Tomy (the front man) appeared and exclaimed, “We are FC FIVE! Please have as much fun as possible”, and then the show started. From this point on the basement at Shelter turned into a hardcore party/war zone à la Converge show as the band went through a set of 24 songs. It included songs such as “Strange Days”, the frantic “Super Bloom”, “Jaded Hope”, and “My Strife” – a crowd favorite. The Shelter was sold out tonight, meaning 250 people in the basement and it could be felt. Both the band and the crowd were restless, I don’t know where they got the energy from, there could have easily been 60 stage dives (alone from the stage), a few off the speakers and some even managed to dive into the sea of human hands from the banister by the staircase entering the basement – believe me, it was nuts!

They played almost half their set before they took a break, and Tomy announced that they had two important messages. One, a new record will come out by the end of this year. The second message came during the second encore when only the bassist and Tomy entered the stage. “…. We have decided to call it quits and stop FC FIVE” he said, and his voice rattled in our ears and heads. A majority of the 250 people tonight just stood still in disbelief and thought maybe it was a joke. The more enthusiastic people up front spat out some harsh and heartfelt words in protest. Tomy tried to continue the speech he had started but a silence quickly fell. It was only disturbed by the slight involuntary spasms of his throat. Obviously it was hard for him, to tell their fans, friends and the public that after the release of the new record and after the tour in 2012, FC FIVE will seize to exist as a live band. They then delivered a very explosive “Watching The Sky” as both the band and the crowd continued to give it 110%.

This was like an old school hc concert, those that did not want in, could go home, safe. Those that wanted to be part of the noise, chaos, tension and excitement stayed until the last note of the third encore song “My Strife,” which was followed by the appreciation that continued to pour out of each and every one of the band members. It showed the respect, courage, determination and passion they had to whatever the last eleven years had been. Besides, what is hardcore without emotion? If you ask me, the past 11 years could only have been crazy beautiful.

Tonight was an impressive demonstration of what a hardcore concert should be. As this is a review of a band, I would have to grade them high as this was a hardcore experience in spades. Both the sound, the performance and energy from the band was phenomenal. The smile alone from Tomy’s face when he was dodging bodies and limbs that were being catapulted on stage and when he gave the mic to those who were willing to sing along with him was priceless. There is probably no better place for a band member to smile no matter what genre it is you play, then on stage with your band, looking at your fans. Tonight was a good night, and surely one to remember.

9

Setlist:

  • 1. Enter
  • 2. Evolve
  • 3. Strange Days
  • 4. The Ruin of Eye
  • 5. Stolen Things
  • 6. New Greed
  • 7. Never Say GoodNight
  • 8. Super Bloom
  • 9. Some Apologies
  • 10. Deep Coma
  • 11. My Strife
  • 12. Dawn Break
  • 13. A Thousand Shams
  • 14. Cowards
  • 15. In the Dark
  • 16. The Midnight Sun
  • 17. Eclipse
  • 18. Generations
  • 19. Change
  • 20. Jaded Hope
  • 21. The Man Who Killed The World
  • 22. Dandelions Blues
  • --ENCORE..
  • 23. Come To The End
  • 24. Watching The Sky
  • 25. My Strife

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