Asian Kung Fu Generation @ O2 Islington Academy

O2 Islington Academy
31st May 2013
Written by Rachel Yarwood

Shinsekai no Love Song
 Magic Disk

Angou no Waltz
Marching Band
No Name
Night Diving
Jyuuni shinhou no yukei
Korogaru iwa, kimi ni asa ga furu
Blue Train
Haruka kanata
Loop & Loop
Kimi to iu hana


Anemone no saku haru ni

Tonight, there isn't much room to move in the O2 Islington Academy. The crowds stretch from the squash at the stage barrier, right the way past the bars at the back and to the exits beyond them. Certainly a brilliant reception for Yokohama rockers Asian Kung-Fu Generation. The band's logo decorates the back of the stage and as the band casually make their way to greet the eager audience, they return their eagerness with plenty of enthusiasm to see them with raised hands and plenty of cheers. 

Finally the show starts with "Shinsekai no Love Song". The atmosphere heightens all the more as "Magic Disk" follows straight after proving to be a great choice of song as the upbeat and bouncing rhythms encouraged many in the room to jump on the spot or, for those dotted around with a bit more space to work with, dance as well.

As the show continued however the atmosphere of the night panned out to be one that was very level for the most part, almost border-lining on being slightly lethargic, as the succession of song after song was a little tiresome. As each song began it was met with encouraging cheers but these soon died down, and apart from a few, many in the Academy stood more or less without movement and were seemingly just enjoying the live music.
Even as "Re:Re" began, the crowd responding well as they clapped and cheered along to the fantastic opening of Ijichi's drum and Yamada's bassline, but soon the reaction faded once again. This did not seem to phase the band however as they continued to interact with each other with nods, smiles, even guitarist Kita danced to their music whilst enjoying the moments the audience participated. 

Most notably it seemed that everyone had been waiting for "Haruka Kanata" as the audience then erupted into deafening cheers as soon as Yamada's bassline sounded. More or less the entire of the room roared out and sung along passionately with Gotoh to the point that you would have believed that it was a completely different crowd from the one that had been practically motionless before. As the song came to a close, vocalist Gotoh was obviously humoured by the reaction and spoke "... I understand, everyone likes Naruto?" before giving a laugh along with the fans and saying "Sorry... we are not Ninja and cannot do Kung-Fu... but we can play music!" 
"Kimi to iu hana" brought the first part of the live to a positive and upbeat finale. As the four piece left the stage as casually as they entered, their fans chanted for more, and they were not left waiting long. After a few minutes the band made their way back out again to perform two last songs for us "Solanin" and "Anemone no saku haru ni". The first, "Solanin", did not disappoint as it really promoted this 'feel good' vibe and proved to liven up the place after the short break and the hefty 18 songs of the main set. 
As "Anemone no saku haru ni" drew everything to a close, both the fans and the band seemed both pleased and satisfied with the gig, although perhaps the fans a little reluctant that the live was finally over.
Asian Kung-Fu Generation certainly gave their fans a show well the worth the wait. With a vast, albeit exceptionally long, set list the band gave the UK their all throughout the performance tonight as they graciously attempted to integrate as much of their material as possible in the space of a couple of hours. Perhaps for the next world trip Asian Kung-Fu Generation might allow themselves a breath between songs... but judging by the enthusiasm the guys have whilst playing, that would seem very unlikely indeed.