The Real Pillows

So instead of Anime Boston I spent most of my Friday and Saturday in NYC doing anime-related things, and eating at Mitsuwa across the river.

I heard there was a line there or something at AB? Hope I didn’t miss much.

Ikuno, Ayumi, Yoko (L to R)

I caught the Pillows and Noodles on the NY leg of their “Delicious Bump Tour in USA 08”. It was Friday night. The day after, the Pillows would have headed north to AB and Noodles to their Brooklyn show. The venue was few blocks north of Union Square, at Blender Theater at Gramercy. Unlike their last hole-in-the-wall show in 2006, this venue was much nicer complete with a sloping pit and stadium seats in the back. The place had a pretty cramped downstair-lounge area though.

I want to talk about the Noodles a bit. They’re a band made of 3 Japanese girls. Between I last saw them in ’06 I’ve finally gotten to watch Linda Linda Linda, and the way Ikuno (bassist) goes at her base on Friday night totally reminded me that movie… I think the consensus was that Ayumi (drummer) was the cutest and had the best English to boot, if you are curious. But it doesn’t stop there; it’s pretty interesting to see the same band 2 years later and observe what has changed. I think overall their playing style has gotten better, but at the same time their song selection was slightly grungier for some reason. Not a bad thing, but it’s not exactly what I expected.

And was it just me or Ikuno seemed feeling a bit under the weather?

Jun, Drummer?, Sawao, Yoshi

The Pillows, on the other hand, brought their veteran showsmanship to their show. They are fun, energetic and generally very solid at jumping around while hitting those lol riffs. The two guitarists know what they’re doing. Yoshi was very cool. Shin the drummer was sort of lol-looking.

I guess if there’s anything to say about their live, it was a little too much pandering. Compared to their last US tour, they played a lot more of their FLCL songs. That’s what most people know, and they got into it. Their newer stuff was notably less well-received even if they are just as good. It’s a little sad.

But it’s always great to hear them play their older songs as they totally change stuff around. I was particularly impressed with Little Busters and (again) Hybrid Rainbow. They are not exactly rocking songs but they managed to turn out that way. They’ve also changed a few small things to some of the other songs and generally the band had a nice grip on the mood and flow of their set.

I really wish they’d play some of the songs they did last time. It just seemed…more fun.

But then again I busted out laughing when they encored with Advice. So it works either way.


6 Responses to “The Real Pillows”

  • DS

    A friend at Anime Boston did not get to see them because he was stuck in line so long to register on Saturday that he didn’t want to just go right to another line and he needed food, lol. But later, he waited in the autograph line and got the CD he’d brought signed, so he got something out of it at least!

  • omo

    Good for him! Glad the line didn’t kill your friend.

  • Zeroblade

    When you mentioned Little Busters, the Key fanboy in me jumped, until I remembered that you were talking about The Pillows.
    Also, I kinda envy you guys for having all these guests and such go there; last famous JP person I remember coming here was Yoshiyuki Tomino (LOL). Shinzo Abe doesn’t count.

  • omo

    Well, wait till the announcement later this year. The con season hasn’t started off yet, if you want to get jealous.

    Tomino is very cool and a different level of Japanese guest. I was fortunate enough to talk with him briefly years ago, so you should consider yourself fortunate as well :)

  • jpmeyer

    About how big were the venues that you saw them at? I saw both of them (do they always tour together or something?) at a club in the Lower East Side 3 years ago. It was pretty small, and basically everyone came there hours before the show to save themselves a spot.

    Also, I totally bought a shirt from Noodles after the show because the Engrish on the back was so hilariously bad.

  • omo

    It was about the size of a movie theater. In fact I believe it was one until it got converted into a concert hall.

    The size of the place where I saw them 2-3 years ago was way smaller.

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