heidi. Summer Holiday Project Day One

live report - 11.09.2011 10:01

heidi., CASCADE and universe cooked up a live that was one part fun and two parts fever.

The first day of heidi.’s double summer gig was one part fun and two parts fever. The vocalist was in fine vocal condition from start to finish and the music in tip-top shape. universe made for a fine pop-rock warm up while CASCADE was a brilliant pairing with heidi. In fact, their musical influence, particularly in guitar, could be heard in the flow from one set to the next. Vocalist Tama’s adorable voice spun effortless yells, barks and indescribable vocalizations as he danced about and led actions with an indomitable energy that seemed to rub off on heidi.’s Yoshihiko. They seemed to approve of heidi.’s energy-saving hand-held fans, too, breaking in the middle of the set for Tama to brighten the lights by riding a bicycle to provide energy. CASCADE played some fun songs with great musical value such as the rhythmically tribal Shakariki Masela, the electronically inspired Digital Onna and Distortion Pinky which featured some wicked guitar. “heidi. fans, universe fans, and CASCADE fans, too. Everyone enjoy yourselves until the very end!” bade Tama.

There was a long interlude as heidi.’s drum kit was set up from scratch before the crowd’s very eyes, topped off with the new massive heizo ‘phone strap’ perched atop the kick-bass to match the huge blow-up version to the right of the floor. Perfectly on the ball, however, the fans were clapping upon the very first strains of heidi.’s opening music, without any warning as the lights dimmed in retrospect.

During the opening of Synchro, the fans made for an impressive sight, jumping and waving their arms from side to side while onstage, vocalist Yoshihiko and guitarist Nao swayed in tandem. The number cleanly set the pace for the set, fun and festive! “THANK YOU!” roared Yoshihiko, grinning. “Hello!” was a sweet continuation of that theme, Yoshihiko singing to Kohsuke who came to visit at centre stage before vigorously riling up the shouting crowd. “Go!” he cried, cueing an instrumental featuring the vibrant guitar of Nao. Meanwhile, a constant flurry could be seen behind as Kiri’s drum sticks seemed to bounce about with a life of their own. Gekkou Showtime strengthened the atmosphere with deep, groovy music that seeped into the fan’s bodies. Kiri was fierce on the drums while Nao dug into the guitar line with a vengeance, providing a nice harmonic balance in the chorus, his high harmony offsetting Yoshihiko’s solid notes.

“Hey, we’re heidi.,” Yoshihiko greeted the crowd. “This is our first time performing with both universe and CASCADE. In other words, I’m really, really nervous. Did you notice? I was so nervous that in Synchro, I-”

Kohsuke kindly cut in with a round of “Yay!”’s before Yoshihiko could embarrass himself. Then it was Yoshihiko to the rescue, saying “Leave Kiri alone” as calls for the quiet drummer sprang up out of nowhere.

“In this summer heat, go for summer with us!” the vocalist cried, leading into Natsu Ichizu. The musicians all sang along, loving the song for all their worth while Yoshihiko did tribute to the guitar solo, wiggling his hips even as he gulped down water. Singing along with Yoshihiko’s solo right up until his own hot bass solo, Kohsuke took to the notes with a swagger, Kiri following up with a -thwack-BANG- that sped the song on to its feverish finish. The bassist tipped his hat, posing as Rem began and sang along with the intense vocalist. The crowd then responded to the crashing of symbols, throwing themselves forward. Nao played out an impeccable solo, fingering the extended notes stirringly. Yoshihiko’s scream of “KOI!” ("koi" means "come" in Japanese) only inflamed the mob, and throughout the song they jumped as if their lives depended on it. Totally unexpected, Utakata came in smoothly nonetheless, Yoshihiko channelling his inner little girl and dancing about as one with the crowd. Kohsuke, however, poured his soul into the interrupting shouts. “Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump!” Yoshihiko ordered mercilessly, the crowd wrecking themselves to obey.

It didn’t end there, though. No sooner had the music stopped and the crowd been released from their endless bounding than they were in the air again as the cheerfully bouncy Heaven took off, Nao bouncing from foot to foot while Kohsuke hopped like a bunny, Yoshihiko compromising with bouncing hips as he sang the playful tune. Throughout the outtro, he gestured to the crowd, his elation in the evening clearly visible. “Can you go for the last one?” he asked, all of a sudden. The set could not have felt shorter, and as all hell broke loose musically, the crowd were shockingly reserved as the hectic Omaesan began. The reservation didn’t hold for long, however, and soon they were as hyped as the band, Yoshihiko whispering to Kohsuke who dutifully repeated the “Thank you for coming today!” in a passionate yell, receiving a pat on the head like a puppy who had skilfully offered his paw. The number raged on until reeling to a stop. “Wow, this straightforwardness feels great. Thank you so much!” Yoshihiko exclaimed. “We’re very grateful to universe and CASCADE who helped us make this event, and thankful to you, too. The fever here tonight is all thanks to you! For any newcomers, I usually speak more, but…” The crowd cut him off in disbelief. “So you should all come to Nao’s birthday tomorrow,” he continued, heedless of the interruption. “Now, I’m going to pack these straightforward feelings into five sounds. “O-ma-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-sa-n!” he sang, finishing out the song on fire along with his ecstatic bandmates and taking off with waves and grins for the crowd.

Before long, heidi. were back, Kiri trying to hop up on a speaker to wave to the crowd while a passing Kohsuke held him back. “Thank you for staying until the end,” Yoshihiko greeted, then haltingly announcing the new mini-album Sixth Sense to be released on September 21st as he forgot what he was supposed to be saying. “And from October… Uh… We’ll do a tour,” he continued, explaining that it would be a series of events paired up with other bands. “So yeah, please come,” he laughed, giving up. “I’m all wrong today!” he exclaimed helplessly. “Oh, and my birthday is in October, so come to that, too!” he added. With that, the atmosphere did a complete 180, launching into the encore of Mukuro with a wild fervour. The crowd sent their necks snapping from side to side as hair flew, and Yoshihiko transformed into an angry overlord, sending his microphone stand toppling as he abandoned the lyrics with a scream of “Shibuya!!!” There was a permanent growl to his voice under the effect laid over the microphone, and he and the rest of the band joined the crowd, going all out until the very end.

As fun, exciting, and intense as the short set was, well set up by universe and CASCADE, the event on the 17th was just a warm up for the festivities of Nao’s birthday one-man the following day, and the crowd went home with much to look forward to.

Set List:

01. Synchro
02. Hello!
03. Gekkou Showtime
04. Natsu Ichizu
05. Rem
06. Utakata
07. Heaven
08. Omaesan

01. Mukuro
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