Blitzage: debut as opening act for Visage (March 22 – 23, 2014)

Posted on Mar 28, 2014

A few weeks ago we talked about a new band called Blitzage, lead by Akira Yamaoka. Last weekend they debuted in a concert, being opening act for the legendary band Visage. Both bands played on Saturday and Sunday, and I found someone who told me first hand how Blitzage’s debut went. Walter, who went to one of the concerts with his wife Loreley, tells us about this event.

From Segaku, thanks a lot for sharing your experience!

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Walter says that Blitzage’s show was very short and indeed, their set list was barely 6 songs:

  1. Fear
  2. Going Under Deeper
  3. Ob-La-Di,Ob-La-Da,Kill,Goes On
  4. Senno
  5. A daydreamer
  6. Johnny Ride On New Wave

All these songs are original ones from the band and I want to add that, a couple of days before the concert, they uploaded a video of Going Under Deeper with a sound yet to be finished since Naoki Tamamushi’s chorus were due to be included.

The live took place in a rather small venue that didn’t even do a sell out. When Visage came on stage the crowd began getting bigger, but even so it wasn’t stuffed with people.

Blitzage has a very singular techno sound with a touch of rock. Personally I love them because they remind me of machine (Hakuei and Kiyoshi’s band), and this rock style is much more emphasized live than in Going Under Deeper‘s demo. This can be heard in these videos that were recorded in the very concert:

Also, aesthetically they dress with more or less gothic and visual kei influences, especially Tezya, wearing transparent meshed tshirts, half-hand gloves, feathers and long hair. Naoki is a great companion to Tezya, with a similar look, with flowy skirts, gothic corsets and retro hairdos. Funny enough, both are the limelight of the show; Yamaoka seems to be a musician more – and he obviously feels comfortable out of the limelight. Hisashi, Hajime and T-Kimura are in the background.

But Going Under Deeper was the second song. The first one was Fear.

Fear is a dark song with a guitar much more present than in Going Under Deeper, and with a heavier sound. Akira’s elongated notes, together with Hisashi’s electronic voice at times, give this song a fresh air of originality.

Indeed, when speaking of originality, this band nails it. Before, I compared them to machine, but the thing is that machine is the most original band ever in my eyes. Therefore, both bands are very unique, experimental and risky.
If machine is all that, Blitzage goes one step ahead. What is really interesting about Blitzage is the omnipresent electronic music, with a well defined 80s style. Sometimes it seems as if you were listening to a videogame or movie soundtrack from back then, but with modern technology. And that is what makes Blitzage so special.

Walter remarks the good impression the band left in him, much better than expected. Each member is widely influenced in their own genre and everyone adds something to the band, but the problem is that Naoki’s role is merely doing the chorus so she spends most of the time just dancing on stage. However, this changes in one of the songs of the concert, in which she sings throughout the whole song. Honestly I hope she is given more songs in the future because she has musical talent.

The third song of the concert was Ob-La-Di,Ob-La-Da,Kill,Goes On, a song with a touch of electronic grunge more than rock. Definitely, a different song, with an upbeat rythm and a great role played by Hisashi’s synthetized voice and where the instruments are the most important element. I found specially interesting the contrast of Tezya’s super deep voice with Hisashi’s synthetized voice.

Walter highlights the monstruous stage presence of Tezya, a man that has a ton of experience and bursts strenght and charisma. He mentions that everything he spoke was in English. And this is something that can be heard in these videos; when finishing some songs he says “thank you” and so on.
I must add that some days ago I asked Tezya about whether he knew English and he said he knows a little. This is something that shouldn’t be surprising at all, since Tezya had been touring abroad and because of this he has some English knowledge. Even so, his pronountiation is still strongly Japanese.

Next song, named Senno, is the calmer of them all. With a relaxing, melodic style, is a perfect contrast to the energetic song from earlier and somehow it’s perfect for the middle of the night’s set list. Specially remarkable is Naoki’s voice, singing a small part of her own that adds mysticism to the song.

A Daydreamer is a very special song in which Naoki takes part fully, singing throughout the whole song. Tezya also sings, but he is not the main focus. This is a very cheerful song where Naoki’s strong voice plays perfectly with the melodic background and mixes perfectly during the chorus with Tezya.

Johnny Ride On New Wave was the last song of the set. This is one of my favorite songs, it’s a complete song, more rock than the previous ones, and in my opinion a perfect ending to the set.

Walter also tells us that after this, two other opening acts played before Visage, RIS and The Sodom Project. On the previous day, the opening act instead of these two, was Madame Edwarda.

To finish it all, Walter shares his experience when meeting Yamaoka. They stayed in the merchandising area after the event, a small room but thankfully the number of people was very small (between 200 to 250 max). In Blitzage’s merchandising area there were only leaflets or flyers with the band’s pictures, signed. They picked up a few and began speaking with a friend of the band, who was surprised that they knew about Yamaoka and asked them if they enjoyed the event. Then they asked her if it’d be possible to see Yamaoka to sign some stuff for the, and she said it was no problem.
And in fact, sooner than later he came out to his fans and sign autographs as nice as usual.

I wholeheartedly hope that one day they leave Japan to play abroad. Or at least, I hope to have the chance to see them play live!

~Elisa

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