Karl's Corner - 08/17/2002
08/17/02 it's not "we gonna tear down the lighthouse"
touring: Tokyo: Summersonic Festival show #1 of 2
...Wow, what a day! The Tokyo Chiba Marine Stadium turned out to be just the right size for the over 30,000 rock lovers who assembled today. We got there as the Hives were diving into their set. This was their first taste of Japan and it looked like they were working on getting comfortable on stage. They poured on the charm as best they could while adjusting to the setting. Next up was Mongol 800 who I will attempt to describe as sort of a Japanese Green Day. Super catchy melodies all over the place, and punky riffage. Sort of led by the bass player guy's blangy-blang bass riffs. Hanoi Rocks dissapeared form the main stage bill, we dont know why, and so it went to the weez. Rivers came out slinging his special combo of abstract thoughts and crowd stoking, and particularly charmed the audience with his nice renditions of the "Chippusu" potato chip song and the "Japanese childrens counting song". Weezer had a mission today, to show they could command a stadium. I, for one, think they suceeded. Of course there was one more act on the bill tonight. As Rivers announced late in the weezer set, "I just got one thing to say: Guns And Roses!". We later learned that Axl himself was watching and enjoying the weez set from the wings, and heard that weezer is just about his fave band these days! Now thats pretty damn cool.
We took up our positions to watch the 4th GnR show in the last 3 years take shape [they did Rock in Rio 2 years ago, Las Vegas last year, and Hong Kong a few days ago]. As it got darker the scheduled showtime came and passed with no rock music started. Everyone started to worry, was this another notorious delayed start? The stadium had a 9:30 noise curfew, and the last train home for many patrons was at 8:45, so G-n-R didnt have much time to burn. As it turned out, one of their fog machines was mounted way up high in the lights, and it had blown up right before showtime, showering the stage with slippery fog oil. They ended up being 40 min late, while tech guys used just about every towel in the stadium to make the stage safe for rocking out again. And rock out they did! While Axl is now the only orignal member left, the band he has assembled has the chops big time, and they were tight and aggro, tearing thru all the classics! Axl ran around like a madman, and the crowd was in a ballistic state for the whole set. Amazing stuff. And at one point, Axl said to the crowd something like "...[Well here we are] playing with weezer...I never thought i'd [have the opportunity to do] a show with weezer, after [all I went thru] for the last 8 years..."