Concert Review: Anamanaguchi, January 21, Wrongbar

Toronto – Honestly, this was a bit of a crazy night.  I started off the evening at the Monster Jam monster truck show, followed that with Anamanaguchi‘s set at Wrongbar, and then capped off the night with a trip to the Bovine.  That’s at least one too many things for one evening, yet i did it anyways.  Consider it conditioning for all the club hopping I’ll be doing in a couple months’ time for SXSW and CMW.  Except without the monster trucks.  Really, SXSW should have monster trucks though.  I mean, it is in Texas after all.  Everything’s better with monster trucks, right?

I’ve got to say, Monster Jam is a bit of a weird scene.  It’s mostly made up of just watching these crazy machines race each other around a track in order to “qualify.”  What exactly are they qualifying for?  I don’t quite know.  Finally, after a bunch of these races and a couple digressions into ATVs and Motocross bikes, the audience finally gets what it came for – trucks smashing shit.  So I guess that was satisfying.  Yeah!   

After getting all amped up from that whole scene, I was ready for Anamanaguchi’s set of energetic chiptune rock.  In a weird way, they weren’t all that far removed from the world of monster trucking.  I mean, videogames and trucks smashing stuff are both things that might appeal to one’s inner teenage boy … or outer teenage boy if one still happens to be a teenager. 

For the uninitiated, Anamanaguchi make use of a hacked NES to create much of their music.  Live, they play in a traditional rock setup playing along with all the Nintendo-ish sounds.  As I said, it’s fun and energetic and since they’re an instrumental act, they rely on a few gimmicks to make the show a bit more interesting.  The band handed out glowsticks to the crowd as we were entertained by weird and wacky series of images projected onto a screen behind them.  Images like furbies and kittens and weirdly pixelated oddities combined with ’80s level AV tricks that sort of reminded me of the Gerry Todd Sketches from SCTV.  It was somewhat psychedelic in it’s own way.  Oh, and the band worked in a Britney Spears cover early in their set.  See?  Fun.

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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