After releasing the wonderful output of songs recorded for the album Endless Fantasy, Anamanaguchi brought innovation to a new aspect of their music; their live show. Funded by fans via the website Kickstarter, the groundbreaking-composers-slash-tech-wizards custom-designed and built their wildly colorful stage show that they brought to the Beachland Ballroom last night. With several giant monolithic LED poles, two Plexiglas cubes and a host of projections, the guys put on an imaginative stage show that brought life to their chiptune rock and dance tracks. The background projections of anime characters, cats, cans of Four Loko and Deloreans represented a deeper image beneath their music. Anamanaguchi's concert was more than a colorful light show or skillfully crafted yet easily enjoyable pop-rock tunes. They are a musical projection of a generation bombarded with internet memes, early '90s nostalgia and fast-paced information. The crowd, nearly entirely of this generation, responded with a youthful force turning the concert into a blissful celebration of living in the present.
The show opened with a pre-recorded track full of 8-bit synths mixed with modern production and a sampled voice that asked the question, "Have we reached the motherfucking point of perfection?" To massive applause the band came out to kick the show off with their newest hit "Meow." The song is a strange and upbeat track featuring catchy lines and a sampled cat; practically the anthem of the internet. Behind the band, a barrage of projected images of cats, pop culture cartoons and glitchy worlds collided, perfectly synced with the music. The monolithic poles glowed and flashed in rhythm, at times overshadowing the musicians. The band continued on to perform a host of songs from the new album like the lyric-laden tracks "Prom Night" and "Japan Air." Other songs like "Endless Fantasy" and "Space Wax America" elicited spontaneous dancing. A strange version of a sing-along even took place during "Planet," a song with no lyrics that the crowd took to its reoccurring, jangling melody. The band played other tracks too like "Helix Nebula" off of 2006's Power Supply and their recent remix of Matt and Kim's "Overexposed."
Before the band played the last song of its engaging and chaotically colored set, the overzealous crowd began shouting, "encore," not wanting the music to ever stop. And after their last song, a new track that delved into sludgy, half-tempo beats and heavy synths, drummer Luke Silas came forward to talk to the crowd. He explained they were, in fact, coming back out to perform one more. "Everyone had to pee, including me, but I'm a professional and will just piss my pants on stage," Silas joked with crowd before the band went back on to paly another new track to the hyped crowd.
A collaborator with Anamanaguchi on their new record, Sabrepulse opened and got the crowd warmed up on this cold night. His brand of electronic music eclectically combined elements of drum 'n' bass, complextro, glitch and house to create an incredibly interesting and energized set. Using an analog synth, a hacked Gameboy and a computer, he worked his set with an energetic flair the crowd responded to well.
Representing Cleveland, Broken Keys started off the night. Also blending 8-bit glitch into other electronic music styles, his music set the pace for a night of music that extracted sounds from the iconic and immortal Nintendo.