This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to catch a sold out Anamanaguchi at the Echoplex in LA as a part of the IHEARTCOMIX “Check Yo Ponytail 2” series. The 700 person capacity venue was full but surprisingly spacious as we walked in on Chrome Sparks. One of the very first things I noticed was the diverse crowd; it couldn’t have seemed more eclectic, but everyone was on the same page in anticipating an off-the-wall night. After Chrome Sparks finished up his bass heavy DJ set, Juiceboxxx took the stage and played their own style of indie rap. The crowd was all over it.
Another beer and bathroom break later and Anamanaguchi was preparing to come on and it seemed like everyone in the place rushed to the stage. The lights went out, the screen lit up and then ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ started pumping through the speakers and the crowd’s anticipation came to a head. The band ran out on stage and jumped immediately into ‘Meow’ a crowd favorite. Within seconds what seemed like the entire sea of people began jumping, moshing, crowd surfing or stage diving. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a crowd go that nuts!
Anamanaguchi continued to power through their set with songs from both their debut Dawn Metropolis and their awesome new LP Endless Fantasy. The relentless assault of a hacked Super Nintendo joined by two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer managed to keep the crowd engaged throughout the entire set. The new lights and awesome projector cubes along with the 8 bit visuals really tied together this unique concert experience. For one of their last songs the band invited Bianca Raquel on stage to handle vocal duties on ‘Prom Night’, a personal favorite and one of the band’s songs that I envision as a possible crossover hit. Almost immediately after beginning the song it seemed as though everyone in the audience was singing along with her.
After the first chorus ended I asked my neighbors to boost me up and soon enough I was crowd surfing over a cluster of terrified looking Asian girls. That was basically the cherry on top of an awesome night spent at the Echoplex with a band that lived up to the hype and then some.