The 20th Fuji Rock Festival started the same way the last 19 did, with announcements from NGOs about recycling and donating to disaster relief funds. etc. The two grizzled emcees joked a little less this year, but managed to mention the fact that Pokemon Go finally launched in Japan this morning.
Given Boredoms’ sense of mischief you might have expected them to somehow incorporate Pikachu into their act. For sure, they seemed an odd choice to kick off the festival on the Green Stage. Boredoms’ monumental drum circle thing seems better suited for the night, and while the air was cool, the sun was intense. In such a bucolic setting chanting and howling had an even more shamanistic cast to it, and what was so interesting about the visual aspect was the mundane nature of the instruments, many of which were just metal hardware. You could do this at home, but don’t. The neighbors will be pissed.
Maybe Eye Yamataka is making his bid to be the successor to the late Kiyoshiro Imawano, the mayor of Fuji Rock. Of course, Boredoms’ style has nothing to do with Kiyoshiro’s rock’n soul hybrid, but if you wanted a clean break to welcome in the next 20 years, you couldn’t ask for anything starker. (text: Philip Brasor; photos: Mark Thompson)