Review: Anamanaguchi, Kitty Pryde, Roar
The Spec took on a fellow musician and Anamanaguchi lover Conner Chase to help tell the tale of last night’s concert alongside writer Paula Tesoriero. The two joined Anamanaguchi, Kitty Pryde and Roar at Rhythm Room in Phoenix for a night of drag, rap and moshing. Relive the night through their eyes, below…
Words by Paula Tesoriero
Opening the show was local band Roar. I was beyond delighted when the band members appeared from backstage donning dresses, wigs, and the most stylish of sunglasses. The performance was unique to me, mostly because I’d never seen Roar play with that drummer before. If we would have been at a slightly larger venue and had a few of the microphones turned up higher, the set would have been nearly perfect. However, it was a bit unfortunate since the drums tended to drown out lead singer Owen Evans’ vocals. This was disheartening since his voice and lyrics are truly what define the music of Roar the best. That being said, during the times when Evans sang and there was little drumming in the background, one could close their eyes and let his voice seep into their mind, and though everything was a little bit more sad, it was also a little bit more beautiful at the same time. Roar ended its set with a very spirited version of “Christmas Kids” and then parted from our company.
Up next to perform was Kitty Pryde. *Long pause*. There isn’t much I can say about this part of the show, yet at the same time I could probably go on forever describing her stage mannerisms alone. After finally taking the stage, dressed in a loose fitting t-shirt and cloudy sky leggings, Kitty immediately began going up to select people and asking if they were having fun. She mentioned how it was her job to make sure we were, and then she proceeded to rap. There was something comical about her set, mostly in the fact that she was rapping over songs that already had the vocals included. It gave it a unique touch yet at the same time she could make mistakes and stop rapping and it would still continue. Her song endings were abrupt and her set was exceedingly brief. One thing she certainly did for the show was add an element of awkward ,yet slight eyebrow raising entertainment. She was as adorable as she was strange (not a strange person mind you, just a strange performer– very outside the box). Soon enough her set was over, and then came the main spectacle…
Words by Conner Chase
After much waiting, both inside and outside the Rhythm Room, surrounded by a plethora of video game enthusiasts and fellow nerds alike, Anamanaguchi finally graced the stage. The extrasensory explosion of color and an 8-bit onslaught of incredible music made for a fantastic performance. The energy that this band brought to the stage was so incredibly tangible. While this wasn’t exactly labeled as a “punk” show, I can definitely say that it was the most “punk” show that I’ve ever been to. A large majority of the audience, myself included, were involved in a non-stop, crazy, moshing dance-party extravaganza. The Rhythm Room itself is a very small venue and this show contained the most people I have ever witnessed fit into this one small room. The ceilings are also quite low which makes crowd surfing a near impossibility, but it happened… oh it happened… Focusing more on the group itself, I find this band extremely innovative and impressive. I believe it is doing some of the most interesting things in music right now, including raising over $280,000 for its newest album on Kickstarter and sending a slice of pizza into space. Also, making authentic chiptune music with real retro video game consoles and combining that sound with modern pop, punk, and electronic influences, is a truly an original and incredible accomplishment.
As I was told by other members of the band, the bass player James actually masterminded the entire live setup complete with multi-surface VDMX projection mapping onto clear cubes controlled via iPad, and a rainbow menagerie of LEDs. I find it amazing when bands are talented enough to do everything themselves and really use their talents to test their creativity and make their visions come to fruition; this is exemplified by the perfectly humble and nerdy gentlemen of Anamanaguchi.
On the whole, the show was probably the most fun I have had in a very long time. Everyone was melded into one collective mindset with the sole purpose of enjoying some incredible music, made by some incredible people who feel exactly the same. To loosely quote Anamanaguchi’s drummer Luke, “Music is the most immediate form of emotional communication. When you hear a song, you don’t need to think about it like you would a piece of art, you just feel. Also, it’s just really fucking cool.” That’s exactly what this show was, really fucking cool. I cannot wait for an opportunity to see what this band will think of next.