The band to watch for in the future...
Due to their recent touring abroad and in Japan, along with their hightened conciousness of the world around them, the 3Peace has begun to cause quite a stir. Openly active in their communities and globally vocal in the cause for peace and freedom, they are willing and eager to use their music and message for the benefit of all.
They also tear the roof of the place with a full, scorching sound that's hard to believe comes out of only three people. All three members have different tastes and musical backgrounds. Singer/guitarist Hara-san was a former funk advocate, while bassist Nagano-san is based in psychedelic rock. Drummer Kajiwara-san rounds it out with a long background in punk-rock with bands like the Blue Hearts. All three of their flavors can be tasted in their rock and roll stew, while the overall productwould not fall into any of these categories.
Since I had heard a good bit about the 3Peace as they gradually built their following, I decided to go check them out for myself at Tokyo's well-respected club Loft. When I arrived, music had already begun blaring from behind a frayed black curtain. I pulled it back to reveal what looked like not three, but a seven piece, or is it eight? Nine? This proved to be one the opening act, a collaboration of the 3-peace members and a group from a local center for the autistic. As a form of "rock n' roll therapy", the 3-peace decided to get involved with this special need and began going to the center and rehearsing with a group of autistic residents with the idea of letting them perform live with them on occasion. What I had walked into was a dress rehearsal for later this evening.
After the practice, I spoke with Hara-san about their recent touring through Argentina and Mexico, as well as some travels to the Basque country in Spain. Although they love touring around the world, he says, their main focus now will be centered in Japan. They want to continue touring in-country promoting their new album and spreading their music. After a little while, their opening act was ready. As they cranked through some garden-variety garage rock, their newfound friends, jumped, sang, banged the drums, and truly had time of their lives. Apparently, performing has had a positive effect on the autistic conditions of several of them, bringing them further out of their shell.
Then it was time for the headliners. The 3Peace took the stage with a sonic wail. Hara-san's guitar screamed through the first number as he spat out the lyrics in almost a rap, while Nagano's bass thumped through the chorus. Being a Sunday night, the crowd started off rather subdued, but by the end of the opening number, knees began to bend and heads began to bob. Their second piece was another stomper with tight tempo changes, relying heavily on the drumming talent of Tetsuya-san, reminiscent of his earlier punk days. From here, their set went from fist-pumping, stadium rock numbers to bubble-gum grunge. On other numbers, there were reggae downbeats interlaced with Hendrix-style guitar.
All three are very talented in their own right, yet they seem to merge well into each other, remaining one band, as opposed to three musicians. Each had their own moments. Nagano-san and Hara-san both hold their own in solos, and Kajiwara holds it together with incredibly tight drumming, but they are much more accessible as a whole than individually.
After a ninety-minute set, the 3Peace were cheered on to a fifteen-minute encore number, a catchy tune filled with guitar hooks and flourishes of effects pedals. This brought the show to a close, but further proved to me that these guys are the ones to watch for in the future. Three may be a crowd to some, but here it's just right.
Reported by Jason Jenkins.