buttonHige @ Shinkiba Studio Coast (24th May '09)


      I had no idea what to expect Sunday night as I rolled into Shin Kiba's Studio Coast with some friends to catch HiGE.

Their videos on YouTube and their DVD seem downright psychedelic and trippy and verge on performance art, but reports on their live shows at Fuji Rock and elsewhere had them pegged as a straight-up pop/rock band. A friend even described them as"throwback grunge”. All I knew was there was sure a lot of young girls piling into the auditorium, and they had all spent some money on merch: from towels, to purple Tshirts, to buttons and tour mementos; everyone had at least something as they milled around waiting for the show to start.

Hige      As it got closer and closer to show time, I started to realize how popular this band must be. The venue wasn't sold out, but it certainly was full-and it's a big venue, holding maybe 4,000 people. When the lights went down, the audience roared and out came the band. First of all, HiGE (pronounced hi: gae) means"beard” in Japanese, but the only member of this band sporting facial was the drummer-the one on the left, hiding behind the cymbals and under a baseball hat. Second, well, there are two drummers.

      I figured we were going to get some huge drum sounds because of this pairing, but ti didn't quite work out that way. While our bearded man behind the kit was steady all night, the other drummer seemed more"percussionist support”. When they did sit behind the kits together, Drummer Right seemed to play hi-hat and snares while Drummer Left seemed to play kick and toms. When the support drummer wasn't bashing the kit, he would pick up a cow bell or a megaphone and try to get the crowd worked up by dancing around at the fron of the stag eand blaring things to the crowd. He used a megaphone, so I couldn't quite get what he was saying though I doubt it matters.

Hige      Front man Hisashi Suto wasted no time with trippy, swirling intros or costumed dancers on stage but got right to the point and played power chord driven pop right from the start. In fact, Suto and company played pretty much the whole of their new album D.I.Y.H.i.G.E. for the fans there who seemed to appreciate it-especially the title track when the whole buidling got into chanting out"D-I-Y-H-I-G-E” during the chorus.

      Suto certainly seemed to have a connection with crowd, as every soft spoken utterance got a tremendous cheer. Guitar player Satoshi Yuki, on the other hand, didn't interact much with the crowd at all except for a warm smile here and there between songs. He preferred to let his Telecaster do the talking as he burned through chord progressions, riffs, and leads never straying too far from his stage right position.

      One costumed member made an appearance, and that was the player on the riser right between the drums. He wore a big grey rabbit's head atop his shoulders and his black suit and tie was lit by the display of his Mac Book Pro as he bobbed around orchestrating all the loops and and some swirly digital delays effects.

Hige      In all, the show wasn't nearly as experimental or theatrical as I was hoping, having seen their live show on DVD and their videos on that internet thing, but it was some no-nonsense, straight ahead guitar pop that was engagingly played and easy to listen to. I also appreciated the fact that after their first ubiquitous encore, they let the crowd walk out and the house lights go down before they decided to come back and do another one for the hardcore fans. When those last few whistles and hoots seemed to be dying down, then so did the house lights. The stage lights fired up, washing it in blue and red, and fans that had already left the building rushed back in like it was the first song of the show.

      This was the final show on the D.I.Y.H.i.G.E. tour of Japan for this Tokyo quintet. Let's hope they get some rest and relaxation so they bring their A-game to Fuji Rock in July.
report and photos by jeff

buttonmag files : Hige

buttonHome (09/05/24 @ Shinkiba Studio Coast) : review and photos by jeff
button強烈に発生する磁場 (07/01/08 @ Liquidroom Ebisu) : review by jet-girl
button髭中毒という病、その病理解剖 (06/08/19 @ Rising Sun Rock Festival 2006 in EZO) : review by jet-girl, photo by hanasan
buttonphoto report (06/08/19 @ Rising Sun Rock Festival 2006 in EZO) : photo by hanasan
buttonphoto report (05/08/25 @ Osaka Bayside Jenny) : photos by tommy
buttonCD review : 文系のロックンロール (04/03/05) : review by nob

The official site



check 'em?-->My Space / iTunes

The latest album



previous works

"D.I.Y.H.i.G.E. - Single" (iTunes)
"夢でさよなら" (国内盤 - Limited Edition / 国内盤 / iTunes)
"Electric" (国内盤 - Limited Edition / 国内盤)
"Chaos in Apple" (国内盤 / iTunes)
"黒にそめろ" (国内盤 / iTunes)
"ボニー&クライド" (国内盤 / iTunes)
"Peanuts Forever" (国内盤 / iTunes)
"キャプテントキオ-SOUND & MUSIC ALBUM-" (国内盤 / iTunes)
"ロックンロールと五人の囚人 [Maxi]"(国内盤 / iTunes)
"I Love Rock'n Roll"
(国内盤 / iTunes)
"I Love Rock n' Roll Tour Final 06-01-13" (iTunes)
"Thank you,Beatles" (国内盤 / iTunes)
"Hello My Friends!"(国内盤 / iTunes)
"LOVE LOVE LOVE"(国内盤 / iTunes)

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