“No music, no life” is the famous slogan of Tower Records in Japan. But it may as well be the nation’s official mantra because music is Japan’s lifeblood. If you love music—not just listening to it, but having its beauty and energy captivate your soul in a live setting—then there is no better place to experience music than Tokyo.
Travelling to Japan is a dream vacation for many but it’s an expensive trip that can be cost-prohibitive. Fortunately, if your reason for wanting to visit Japan is to experience the music scene, or even if you’re just a fan of experiencing new live music, then a great opportunity awaits you here in May.
Next Music from Tokyo (NMFT) is an annually recurring tour that brings Tokyo’s fascinating live music scene to life in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The 10th edition of NMFT will be celebrated in Toronto with two concerts: May 19 at the Rivoli and May 20 at Lee’s Palace. This time the music will be quirky, intelligent and very loud with a lineup of four bands and an idol group:
Bakyun the everyday: Soulful and melodic emo-punk with male/female vocals and an extra gear for “loud and intense.”
Yubisaki Nohaku: One of the best (and most beautiful) (and most badass!) all-female bands in the world who play passionate, quirky prog-rock. Fans of Tricot are sure to fall in love.
The Taupe: A band that excels in exploiting the contrast between serenity and ear-shattering noise. Beautiful melodies and soft tones lull you into a comfort zone before a skyscraper of distortion rocks your body and soul.
Yukueshirezutsurezure (Not Secured, Loose Ends): An idol group that performs to screamo and post-metal music with sincerity and raw intensity. The hardcore fury of their performance must be seen to be believed.
Hyacca: This group combines math rock with lightning-speed punk, shoegaze and krautrock. Picture Tera Melos jamming with Bad Brains, My Bloody Valentine and Neu! Noisy and aggressive yet melodic and extremely danceable, Hyacca, who played the festival in 2011, is the primary reason NMFT vol. 3 was named one of Toronto’s concerts of the year by BlogTO.
Although NMFT advocates innovativeness and originality it categorically isn’t a celebration of “weird Japan.” Style is important but not at the expense of substance. Creative, passionate songwriting performed with exceptional skill is the hallmark of artists and bands chosen by NMFT.
Music itself is a form of language expressed through melodies, chord progressions, tempo and arrangement. You don’t need to understand Japanese to appreciate and enjoy the beauty inherent in musical compositions. NMFT shows are consistently sold out, with most of the audience consisting of Canadians with minimal to no proficiency in Japanese. Tokyo has the largest and arguably the best music scene in the world so if you’re open-minded and a fan of good music come watch NMFT in May to witness a music festival unlike any you’ve seen before.
For more info please visit: www.nextmusicfromtokyo.com
MD. Lives in Toronto. So passionate about the Japanese underground music scene that he founded and carries out a three-city (two shows in Toronto, one show each in Montreal and Vancouver) tour to share the music with fellow Canadians.