Friday, 29 February 2008

Tokyo Dance Club

This week Wednesday my friend Philipp from Germany hoped over for a one month visit and since Philipp and I like Metal, we decided to spend his first weekend in Tokyo, like I spent mine: going to a Live House.

With no aide, but Domi's Blog, we looked for a Live House concert connecting his tabs "Japanese Bands" with "Live Houses playing Metal" until we found a working combination in the Band Gallhammer and the Live House Earthdom.
We had an alternative going to some huge club with my coworkers, but we decided for the Live Music.


So there we went and after a little walk in the opposite direction we were even able to find it! The Gallhammer girls kept was Domi promised. Gallhammer are three small Japanese girls playing Hellhammer like dark atmosphere metal.
Usually they look really cute, but on stage they turn into demons with dark growling voices and threatening glowing eyes. They really created a scary dark atmosphere.
It is so cool to have girls like this proving that girls can do metal as good as any boy.

bar area

stage area (all a little blurry, sorry)

The Live House Earthdom is really nice. It is nicely decorated with black figures and animals on the wall going along with green vegetation. As a specialty it has a little bar area to hang out on couches and relax during the gigs or during one you don't like. There even is a small monitor displaying the stage in the other room. It gives great room to talk and get to know other people too. That's how we got to know a Japanese guy, whose name I can't remember a guy named Iain from London and Risa Reaper from the Gallhammer girls. The three of them would later tell us about a really tiny mysterious temple/Live House named 無力無善寺 Muryokumuzenji (temple without strength or pleasure). It is said to have stuffed animals like Hello Kitty and Gaspard hanging from the ceiling and other weird stuff. We noted down the name, since Gallhammer had yet another Gig on Sunday in this very place.

After one more gig from single solo drummer and a cool Punk band and some more talking we decided to leave for the last train back.

can you find the drummer

he cool punk band

When we reached the station however, Philipp was in a real party mood and we spontaneously decided to call my coworkers and ask whether they had gone already to the club (they agreed on eating in Shinjuku before). We were lucky they were still in Shinjuku and just departing for the disco. So we met up, went to Shibuya and from there into a weird bus standing in the middle of nowhere.

Tokyo Dance Club: Ageha

We were required to show our ID before entering, which already gave a lot of trouble to some of our Japanese friends, who had no ID. A little trivia about Japan, while foreigners are required to carry a foreigner card, called ALIEN REGISTRATION CARD with them, Japanese don't even have a personal ID or passport. That often leads to problem for Japanese people proving to be themselves. A quite philosophical problem, isn't it?
I remember from school the comic of a Japanese mother being asked to prove her ID at the post office. She would go home and come again with a photography album displaying her life from baby to woman.
Eventually we were let in and drove for long time across Tokyo. It was the first time I crossed the Rainbow Bridge and had a look on the famous Odaiba.

After quite a while we arrived a large insignificant looking building hosting the dance club. It was my first time being to a club that size and What a fuss!. There were tow inspection borders. One where yet again we had to prove ourself + age, yet again having a lot of trouble getting our Japanese friends in, eventually they even let us beg for the entrance. What a fuss!
When we were finally inside the hall we had to buy entrance tickets for 3500 Yen. What a fuss!
You would think we could enter now, but no. This time we were searched for weapons, drugs and what else. What a fuss!
And what is all the fuss for? It is so useless. Brian was even able to smuggle a bottle of coke inside by hiding it clever. It is so useless and What a fuss!

Inside the halls were gigantic. There were several halls. The entrance hall was for drinking and chatting connecting to two dance halls playing loud MTV music. And a final third stage outside in the open heated by outside gas driven torches. Yes I am not kidding they heated the outside in winter...
The outside place even had a pool, which apart from the winter temperatures, we were forbidden to enter.

Now I am surely not a fan neither of the music, nor of the elitist feeling of going into such a club and surely not of the security What a fuss! or the ridiculous prices, or that the place had its own VIP area putting classes on people or that they wouldn't let me in although I claimed every person is important!, but I thought, it is the first time you can experience such a show, you are with your coworker friends and Philipp and you can as well gulp the stone and enjoy it. And that's what I did.

What I liked most was the nice air around our bunch of friends, which made us stick together dance in circle formations and do crazy stuff. Everybody was laughing, smiling and having a good time and this is contagious, so I joined in. Philipp needed some liquid starting fue, but then he also joined in. Although I still didn't like the music I enjoyed dancing with the others.
However what I didn't manage to do, is this strange ass dance, where a girl dances in front of you sticking her ass out and you dance behind her. I don't know, I found this strange and always backed away if somebody tried to do that with me. :( The others did it a lot though. Also I was bad in reacting to different approaches from girls. The thing is, I was not interested in a gf/bf relationship with them and I saw no reason in flirting for the sake flirting. I never could do that so far, I would feel like a liar, I don't know.
Apart from that I think I beat myself quite ok.

One highlight of the night was when my Korean and Italian coworker friends jumped into the pool on the outside area not minding the temperature. A security guard came and was really angry but our Japanese friends built a quick protection wall around them and defended them verbally until the security guy gave up.

And that's how the night passed. The club closed around 6 or 7 am and we went home with the first trains resuming their schedule on Saturday.

I guess I wouldn't go again, but I don't regret it. It was nice experiencing such a thing once and I had a good time after all. About Gallhammer, I think Philipp and me are going to their next concert in this strange temple...
but that is another story