7th January 2017: Hiroshima and Oblivion Dust {Japan, winter 16/17}

I caught up the 8 am ferry and was downtown in Hiroshima [廣島] round 9.10. my first stop was the quite-impressive and down-brining A-dome. This is the building above which the atomic bomb went off, and it is very, very sobering. What impressed me the most was the bottles of water still being offered to those who had been killed by the bomb.

I strolled around the Peace Memorial park, Hiroshima Heiwa Kinen Kōen [廣島平和記念公園] for a while, but I could not stomach the museum, to be honest. So after a while I decided to be on my way. Just imagining the amount of destruction and victimisation was spine-chilling.

My next stop was the old Hiroshima castle grounds. The first thing I saw there was Hiroshima Gokoku Jinja [廣島護國神社], which was full of people doing Hatsumode (I think this was kind of a pattern all through this first week of the year. Oh, the surprise (*≧▽≦)).

After that, I continued towards the castle, Hiroshima-jo [広島城], which holds a little antique museum, and was doing a demonstration on katana-making. However, I did not get to see the blades, they were just working on the guards, which is… I mean, don’t get me wrong. Not as cool? The castle was destroyed when the bomb went off, so it has been reconstructed since then. Part of the museum was dedicated to the reconstruction of the area. On the top floor there are a resting room and an observatory.

After the castle, I decided to head off to have some food and afterwards I went to Club Quattro, which was hosting an Oblivion Dust concert. Not that I am a hardcore (or much of a) fan – as a matter of fact I had never listened to any of their songs – but the guitarist is one of the VAMPS members, K.A.Z, and I kind of wanted to check them out.

I stayed over with Ms-san (who had helped me get the ticket) and some other acquaintances to see the band come in – and we got a half-assed wave from K.A.Z – and then I stayed to buy some merchandise. Then I realised that I had a… tiny problem. I had no transport to get to my hotel after the concert \(〇_o)/ because my last bus to the airport was at 7 pm, and I had a hotel very close to that!!! Well, I could have taken a taxi, but that was mover expensive than getting another hotel and losing the reservation for the previous one. It was a stressy hour until I could get there, check in, get some food and come back, but it all turned out nicely in the end.

The concert, part of Oblivion Dust’s 20 anniversary “I Hate Rock n’ Roll Tour 2016-17”, was really fun. Even if I had not heard any of the songs before, it felt familiar, as I could relate K.A.Z’s music style to what I knew from VAMPS and the long-gone Hide with Spread Beaver to some of thee songs I was listening to. The ‘average setlist’ for the tour was the following, so it is possible that this was what I listened to:

  1. In Motion
  2. Under My Skin
  3. Radio Song
  4. Red Light Green Light
  5. Come Alive
  6. Evidence
  7. Erase
  8. Easier Then
  9. Designer Fetus
  10. Elvis
  11. Sail Away
  12. Crawl
  13. Never Ending
  14. Lolita
  15. 24 Hour Buzz ’99
  16. Death Surf
  17. Nightcrawler
  18. Sink the God

K.A.Z was quite serious and concentrated most of the concert, and he only smiled a couple of times when he was exchanging glances with Arly, who is the support drummer for both Oblivion Dust and VAMPS. Most of the time I don’t even check on Arly that much, because I’m following Hyde around with my eyes, and that is a challenge, so I think this was the first time I was ever aware of how much fun Arly has at his job.

The bass player, Rikiji, was pretty fun. Ken, the singer, has a very different style from Hyde, but I could really see some parallelisms in the way he jerked around stage and jumped up and down. At one point, the guy climbed on the stage scaffolding-like thingy, hooked his knees, let himself and sang upside-down for a while. Now, that was quite impressive.

Surprising as it might, considering that in VAMPS he has to share the spotlight with something like Hyde, K.A.Z was quite… I’m not sure how to describe it… he did not have so much of that spotlight. No much guitar twirling, not that much jumping up and down either. At one point he went all zen in the back of stage where he could barely be seen. Seriously.

After the concert I went to eat with Ms-san and one of her friends and we had a few local specialities, such as Hiroshima okonomiyaki and roasted oysters. After that we all headed back to our respective hotels.