Nirgilis at Anime Expo 2011August 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Posted in Music, Nirgilis, _live performances | 2 Comments
I usually don’t attend concerts unless I am very familiar with a large body of the performer’s work, but seeing how I had decided to go to Anime Expo for all four days this time around, I decided to live a little.
Nirgilis was never big on my anime song radar – they did the odd theme here or there that I liked, but as far as I was concerned didn’t exist outside of those songs. I downloaded their discography hoping to get into them more, but not much of their work stood out for me. Despite this, I was curious to see if they could pique my interest more in a live setting.
The location was different too – the May’n and Nakajima Megumi concert last year was in the Nokia Theatre, while Nirgilis played on a smaller stage in Club Nokia.
The intro set the atmosphere right off the bat, and I knew I was in for a new experience. Inadera Yuki (the drummer) and Kurihara Minoru (the… mixer? the guy who played the samples/loops, etc.) came on stage first. It seemed more like a DJ performance as opposed to a J-Pop band (the music was primarily electronic-based too). There was even an intentionally over-the-top epic sample of Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra”.
When singer Iwata Acchu (yes, her first name is pronounced like a sneeze, she even poked fun at it herself) rushed onstage, the trio started off with Brand New Day, a catchy number that has grown on me a lot recently. Acchu wasn’t nearly as strong of a singer as she sounded on record, but her overflowing enthusiasm really got the audience going. That energy also made Kiseki, the opening for Birdy the Mighty Decode: 02, a fun song – while the actual recording dragged and was repetitive, the live version made me feel like dancing. Nirgilis then followed up with the cute and upbeat Koisuru Wakusei, one of their more obscure songs (took me ages of googling around to find out the title of the song) and I loved the bouncy “sekai wa happy day!” choruses.
Things slowed down for Snow Kiss, the first ending of D.Gray-man, which is the first song I had heard from them and is still my favorite. Strangely enough, Acchu’s vocal delivery on this one was her most solid one of the entire concert, and certain parts gave me the chills. The song itself is beautiful and the live version was even better. The next track was their most recent anime theme – Shiny Shiny, the ending for Deadman Wonderland. Like with Kiseki, Shiny Shiny was a slightly dull song that was transformed into something lively and catchy by the enthusiasm the trio put in. To top it off, Acchu directed the audience in moving their arms in a simple pattern for the opening lines in the choruses.
Picture taken from Shimaru’s review
The energy of the stage really kicked into high gear when they played Chk Chk Chk – if Acchu seemed hyper before, that was nothing. In this song, she was literally hopping around madly in circles. The song itself went on for longer than the other tracks and was a musical mess (with a million samples of god knows what looped) but a ridiculously fun mess. Highlight of this one would be Yuki moving away from her digital drumset and playing the cowbell. There was a bit of an interlude where Acchu initiated one of those “repeat after me” sessions while Minoru and Yuki continued to play – she ran through some popular anime that were pop culture icons even in America (such as Pokemon, Dragonball Z, One Piece, etc) and got the audience to chant “SEX! SEX! SEX ON THE BEACH!” afterwards, which was quite amusing :)
Nirgilis closed their set with Sakura from Eureka 7, their first anime hit. I was looking forward to this the most and it fell a bit short. Several samples played that were not present in the original – including one of C&C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” that was just plain lol-worthy – made the song sound very disjointed. It was definitely a good DJ performance with the mixing but I prefer the untouched Sakura with the driving melody line – this version was solid, but it’s not my thing.
The crowd yelled for an encore. and Nirgilis did indeed come back on stage. They played their new song Chocolate, which sounded like it was taking a leaf out of Nakata Yasutaka’s book. Chocolate is very Perfume-esque, and I think this style suits Nirgilis very well. It was also my boyfriend’s favorite of the concert.
I remember Nirgilis had listed themselves a mash-up band but when I explored their recordings, I had thought, “what are they talking about? this is just plain ‘ol J-Pop!” However, that mash-up style with all the mixing and looping whatnot only works well live – their record label must have realized that and had them opt for a more clean-cut sound for their CDs. But I can’t deny that Nirgilis seem truly in their element jumping around performing to mixed and remixed renditions of their recordings. While I’m usually only satisfied with a concert if the vocal performance is up to par, Nirgilis changed my view on that. Acchu’s singing may have been flat more times than I can count, but the passion the trio put into their set was very contagious and mesmerizing. If I had a chance to see Nirgilis live again, I would definitely be up for it.
Nirgilis’s awesomeness will spread like a zombie infection… you can run, but you can’t hide…!