Asagiri Jam - It's a beautiful day!
@ Asagiri Arena (4th to 5th Oct '08)
- an amazing weekend -
Last year was my first experience to visit Asagiri Jam Festival. Doped with the energy from Fuji Rock few weeks ago and from my last year experience at Asagiri, their was no way I wanted to miss the 2008 edition of this last big outdoor party of the season. Even before announcing the lineup, Asagiri festival always manages to sell out the tickets in few hours. Once you have been their, it come as no surprise, the location alone is amazing, in the middle of the mountains with the Fuji-san as background.
My weekend quick started with a wake-up call from my friend Koichi. Having worked Japanese style the week before the festival, I was cruelly in lake of sleep and my alarm clock rang in silence for my ears. Luckily, my bag was ready and it's with a 7AM run to Shibuya that I started this rock & roll weekend.
Once I joined the rest of the Smash Mag crew, on our way to the mountains we had a quick stop to feed ramen to my fellow Japanese reporters while I, as the only member of the gaijin team, went hunting for good coffee. After around 2 hours of driving, we arrived to the festival under a welcoming sun. I headed to the camp area right in front of the main stage to setup my tent looking for the perfect compromise between a nice view on the stage and cool neighbors to spend the weekend with. I later found-out in the middle of the night that I got unlucky for the second criteria. While quiet at daytime, my neighbors were rather loudly snoring at night.
After only few minutes of walking around the site to enjoy the atmosphere before the show start, I found my friend Zentaro that I had meet exactly one year ago at the very same place and kept in touch trough last year. One great thing about festivals is that it's easy to talk to people around, make friends and find people to party with. Also good for me, my friends had a very nice provision of alcohol and other goodies to ensure a proper rock & roll party.
The first band that I really enjoyed was the French members of Camille. A crazy punk style female singer jumping around with powerful voice backed with two to five singers acting as human beat box. It was first time I ear of them. I don't know if it was also the case for the Japanese crowd but the amount of people enjoying the show was already massive for one of the first act of the festival.
Later on, I moved to the smaller Moon Stage to see the performance of the Canadian DJ "I am a Robot and Proud". That is were things started to get crazy and, I must admit, a bit more confuse in my souvenirs. He played some good indie-electro beats to bounce your feet at. The act was followed by 8bits style, "feel good music" of Japanese DJ De De Mouse. I had already seen him performed at Womb few months ago and once again, it was a blast. The night kept going while Flying Lotus took his turn behind the decks. I personally didn't know him before last weekend but many people had recommended him to me. I enjoyed it a lot but a mix of alcohol in my blood, lake of sleep that was still following me and a hard day of dancing killed me. I had to retreat to get some energy for Proxy, the act I was particularly interested to ear over the weekend.
So I went by one of the campfire setup by the Asagiri organizers. Around those, you find cool people chilling out, talking to each other while enjoying drink and warming up their fingers. After some time to relax by the fire, I was exhausted and unfortunately, had to call it the day and crawl to my tent to sleep like a lug.
On the following morning, It's at the sound of Taiko drum that I waked-up. Again an aggressive wake-up, but it was actually quite nice. The girls in traditional Japanese outfits were smashing their drums with an interesting mix of brutality and elegance. For this second day of the festival, I hanged-out here and their enjoying the good weather and drank with different people. The performances I enjoyed the most were from the British bands The Cinematic Orchestra and a cool rastafarians Aba Shanti.
After a sunny weekend, the rain finally started to come only when the last bands got on stage. Like a signal that the weekend was over and it was time to go back home for a well deserve shower and deep cozy sleep.
mag files : Asagiri Jam
Jam Special '08 : JAP / ENG (08/10/04 - 05) : photos by hanasan, hiroshi, ikesan, & keco
Jam Special '07 : JAP / ENG (07/10/06 - 07) : photos by hiroqui, naoaki, hoya, & saya38
Jam Special '06 : JAP / ENG (06/10/07 - 08) : photos by hanasan, terumi, yoshiki, & ikesan
Jam Special '05 : JAP / ENG (05/10/01 - 02) : photos by hanasan, hiroqui, saya38, keco, ikesan, sam & yusuke
Jam Special '04 : JAP / ENG (04/10/02 - 03) : photos by hanasan, ryota, sama & yusuke
review (02/09/28 - 29) : review by akira noguchi, photos by hanasan & maki
今年は雨 (02/09/28 - 29) : review by nob, photos by ikesan
photo report (02/09/28 - 29) : , photos by ikesan