The Killing Red Addiction's Debut In Los Angeles

live report - 17.07.2009 01:01

A new band filled with older, well-known musicians, The Killing Red Addiction kicks off their debut at a small venue in Los Angeles with cover songs and crazy fun.

The night of June 22 started out like any other at the WHISKEY A GO GO, with a lineup full of up and coming bands just trying to get a break and a crowd of people just wanting to have a good time. However, as the night went on, the crowd slowly got larger and a sense of anticipation grew among both the performers and the audience: most of the bands performing that night grew up listening to the night's highlight, The Killing Red Addiction, and were fans of the members' previous band.

The four members of The Killing Red Addiction are veterans to the indie rock music scene in Japan, all of them having been in well known bands. The vocalist, Dynamite Tommy, was in late 80's band, COLOR, considered one of the founding bands of visual kei. Since then, he has been the producer for bands such as Dir en grey and the founder and president of influential label Free-Will. The bassist, TAIJI, used to be in X as their first bassist before going off to be in other bands such as Loudness and Cloud Nine. Kenzi has also been around for awhile, as the drummer for Kamaitachi and The Dead Pop Stars and vocalist for ∀NTI FEMINISM. On guitar is TATSU from the popular 80's punk metal band GASTUNK. Only a few people in the audience knew who he was, but by the end of the night the audience cheered for him just as loudly as they did for the others.

After each band performed, they would introduce the next band and count down until it was The Killing Red Addiction's turn. Lemon Drop Kick concluded the countdown with a very brief but energetic set, and the roadies went to set up the stage for The Killing Red Addiction. Setting up KENZI’s massive Pearl drum set, tuning and setting up two of TAIJI’s basses and two of TATSU’s guitars, and putting the mic stands in the right places took them some time. Each moment was heavy with anticipation from the audience and opening bands. The final touch to the massive and laborious setup was a large blue tarp placed smoothly at center stage, leaving everyone wondering why it was there.

After a few tense moments, the lights came up slowly, quieting the audience, and TAIJI descended to the stage from a side staircase to begin the show. His face concealed with a hood and his long hair, he started an intricate bass solo that turned out to be The Star Spangled Banner. After the anthem, he picked up the pace for something a little more casual and complex. Gradually, he slowed down and then KENZI, in a red robe and an unusual red potato sack over his head, came onstage and walked up to the microphone to speak: "This is going to start the live show, but it’s different normally. We don’t play music. We are a testimony to our attitude. We can have same style and can be as one tonight."

With that, he threw off the sack on his head and ran to the side of the stage where roadies waited for him with extremely long florescent lights. As they waited for what would happen next, the reactions of the audience ran the gamut of excitement to wide-eyed curiosity as they imagined what he would do with those lights. For the former, who had probably witnessed this in many ∀NTI FEMINISM’s shows, it came as only a small surprise; for the latter, it might have come as shocking as KENZI struck the three lights across his chest at center stage, shattering glass everywhere. With large and jagged piece of glass still in his hand, he dragged it across his chest to draw blood before biting into it and shattering glass around the stage yet again. With glass all over the center of the stage, the purpose of the large blue tarp between clear as KENZI hopped back to his drums and the roadies ran out to clean away the tarp with the glass wrapped inside.

With the drums now joining TAIJI’s bass, TATSU came out with a bowler hat and a little bit of a hop to his step, and his guitar joined in. Finally, Dynamite Tommy came out decked out in what seemed to be anything and everything that would hide him: a long bulky sweater, a beanie, a flu mask, and red sunglasses that fully blocked his eyes. Dramatically removing the flu mask with a grin, he began what would be the first of many cover songs of the night other than the instrumental introduction. The first song was from TATSU's old band, GASTUNK's Mokushiroku and had started out as a speed metal piece with fast-paced drums and highly technical bass and guitar, before slowly dissolving into classic punk and Dynamite Tommy's vocal parts. However, before the song could really get going, it stopped quickly and abruptly after only what seemed like a minute of music.

From their two covers of GASTUNK songs, The Killing Red Addiction went straight into their next cover song of the night, The Clash’s White Riot. This song gave KENZI the opportunity to demonstrate his amazing talent and off-beat drumming style, as he was completely unafraid and agile as he played, not caring to sit still at all - he even stood on the drums at some points. At the same time, TATSU seemed to be having a lot of fun - perhaps a little too much fun, as he was moving around so much that he walked backwards into the second guitar behind him and knocked it over.

Soon afterward, Dynamite Tommy started the first MC for the night in slurred speech similar to his singing style. Still, he spoke English with careful pronunciation, though some might have still had difficulty grasping what he was saying: "Pay attention to words. My English isn't good. Can you hear it? Thank you!"

Pausing for an answer, the crowd yelled back in response and as they calmed down, Dynamite Tommy continued, "This song has many problems in Japan. Please pay attention." Still having a little too much fun, TATSU moved forward, playing over Dynamite Tommy’s MC, only to be stopped by the latter demanding, "Hey! Please pay attention."

After repeating himself a few more times, Dynamite Tommy got the playful TATSU to return to his side of the stage, and he continued the MC to introduce the next cover song, "This was made last month. This is great because I want to play a great song. You ready? Theme of the Timers!"

The Timers had been an 80's controversial rock band whose album and songs had been banned from television and radio for their themes of anti-war and anti-nuclear power. Theme of the Timers by The Timers, which was a cover song of The Monkees (Theme of) The Monkees. It started off slow and was sung with a flat tone of voice, but quickly gained momentum, turning into the catchy song that it was supposed to be. Dynamite Tommy stumbled a bit at the words "We're the timers" but quickly laughed it off and recovered. The song was very brief, but despite this, the fans were not the least bit dismayed as it was now TAIJI's turn to say a few words. Speaking in a raspy voice due to a cold, his words to his fans were brief, but the cheers for him were the loudest yet as he dove right into a bass solo.

The impressive bass solo brought the set into a marathon of Sex Pistol covers. Fans were amazed at how good and how precise the covers were; at the same time, it could not be denied that some were disappointed by the fact that half of the set was cover songs. Tommy Dynamite's flat and almost monotone singing was an interesting accompaniment to the music, and the band as a whole had great dynamics playing together and showed that they had been both friends and bandmates for some time. TAIJI went over to play side-by-side with TATSU many times. After an MC , The Killing Red Addiction surprised everyone by covering songs, Tomorrow Never Comes and LALAMIE, by Dynamite Tommy's old band COLOR.

During the last MC, TAIJI prepared the crowd for the end of the night by yelling, "Please pay attention and give your applause!"

With this the band went straight into a cover of Nirvana's Rape Me. As he started the song in his low monotone, Dynamite Tommy fidgeted with his pants, even taking off his belt, while the watching crowd wondered what stunt he was about to pull. Meanwhile, the band took on a more serious tone with this song, a departure from the more wild, "no worries" punk songs that they had just played. As the song went on, Dynamite Tommy became more and more dramatic until the high point of the song and did what everyone had anticipated he was going to do - he dropped his pants. He continued to sing a few more notes in his boxers before suddenly dropping to the ground in silence and curling up into fetal position.

The others picked up the pace and became more excited. TAIJI moved more and more around the stage, maneuvering around the huddled vocalist. When the song ended and the other band members were walking along the stage and waving to fans, Tommy picked up his pants to join them. Several minutes later, the lights went out and the band waved to the fans a bit more before walking back up the stairs. The fans lingered for a bit, still staring at the stage in wonder, talking excitedly about what had just happened. When this band was first announced no one knew what to expect of them, and when they played their first live, it had been all cover songs. And now it seems with their own official website and myspace up and running, The Killing Red Addiction seems to be sticking around longer then their debut show.

Set List:
1- Mokushiroku
3- White Riot
4- Theme of Timers
-Bass intro with Word from TAIJI-
5- God Save the Queen
6- Holidays in the Sun
7- Anarchy in the UK
8- Tomorrow Never Comes
10- Rape Me
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The Killing Red Addiction  
Los Angeles, CA - United States of America
Whisky A Go Go
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