J-rock Evolution in Singapore
By Lee Li Ying
J-rock fans in Singapore were treated to a night of electrifying performances by visual-kei bands MUCC and UNiTE on Friday, Oct 5, 2012, 7p.m. Aurally and visually arresting, both bands filled *SCAPE Warehouse with a rocking atmosphere and genuine pulsing enthusiasm to showcase their unique brand of music and style.
The night got off to an exciting start when UNiTE sent their fans into a frenzy the moment they took to the stage. Dressed in matching punkish outfits complete with multi-coloured, gravity defying hair, the band’s image is signature of the preppy and buoyant “Oshare Kei” style. Despite having debuted only a year ago, the band commanded every moment on stage expertly, feeding off the electric energy of their fans.
Lead singer Yui proves that he is not just a pretty boy, delivering pitch perfect vocals, cleanly enunciated raps and low guttural growls much to the delight of the audience. Although this is the band’s first performance overseas, the band effortlessly charmed the audience with their genuine attempts to establish a rapport with the audience despite language barriers. The frontman of the band haltingly proclaimed, “I ate chicken rice and I love Singapore!” drawing laughter and cheers from their fans.
MUCC claimed the stage next, radiating the energy and ease of seasoned performers. Having performed internationally in Europe and Asia, the band offered the Singapore audience an hour of emotionally raw and high energy metal-goth music. Under frontman Tatsurou’s white face paint and black eyeshadow is a cheeky crowd-pleaser, who at one point, got the audience to seat down and then jump up high on his cue. Band members Miya and Yukke also showed off their finesse and technical mastery of the guitar with multiple solos. The band’s charisma and stage presence created an electric atmosphere: It was clear that they thoroughly enjoyed performing and the crowd loved every minute of that.
Riding high from the reverie of rock music, it was clear that fans were sorry to see both the bands go. Judging from the enthusiastic reception, it will only be a matter of time before more visual-kei bands visit our shores.