If I were to strip away all the bullshit of pleasantries and pretending that I'm a journalist type, and would just get down to it, I would post Propagandhi's set list, give it a 9 or 10, and then say "FUCK YEAH! WOO!" However, I don't think that's regarded very well these days, so I'll fancy it up in a review.
Shows in Japan I always find a little interesting. It's hard for me to not either be very negative on the experience or very positive. Always judging. Never just accepting. It's a fault of mine. I either think that it's amazing how much fun everyone is having and am amazed at the positive energy and the overall energy of the pit and the people in general, or I'm very skeptical of there being a circle pit for every band that is always seemingly perfectly formed. Is a circle pit just part of the equation to being punk? Is it all fake? Are they celebrating something from punk culture and being a part of it? It's all a very stupid slippery slope to go down, and the long of the short of it is that I don't like circle pits or crowd surfing, and there was shitloads of both. Good on them. Everyone was having fun. I just sometimes become a little testy when I'm trying to rock the fuck out to the music but instead am being repeatedly being pushed in a counter-clockwise fashion. Both Japanese fans and foreign fans were awesome though. There was no real dicks of the night.
Now, something I didn't really realize until the very end of the show was that this was essentially a Comeback Kid show with Propagandhi headlining. By this, I mean that it seemed like the majority of people there came for Comeback Kid or Comeback Kid-esque music, and the three opening bands sounded (at least to me) very similar to Comeback Kid, and not similar at all to Propagandhi. Through an off comment by Chris during Propagandhi's set, it seemed that Comeback Kid invited them on the tour to headline it. Fucked.
Without knowing this, and without knowing anything about Comeback Kid besides assumptions I made up all by myself, I had lots of thoughts like "fucking bullshit hardcore windmills" and "fucking Comeback Kid fans" and "what the fuck?" and all that crap.
The first band was Cleave...or Endzweck. One of the two. They were the first two bands. Whoever was first sounded like...incomprehensible hardcore with the odd emotional part put in there. If you're a fan of the genre, don't listen to a word I say, and just check them out. I think all the bands have MySpaces. I have no idea what I'm talking about with this kind of music. The second one sounded better than the first because they lost the odd emotional part and seemed to have a lot more energy. Also, more growling. For both bands there was a decent amount of people into it, or at least that's how it looked from the bar.
The third band was FC Five. For Comeback Kid-esque music, they were fucking amazing and the crowd was really, really into them. I waited outside for the majority of the set because it wasn't for me. I'm lame, though, so fuck me.
Before Comeback Kid came on, I had nothing but hate for them. I was having lame judgemental thoughts on the fans and the entire genre of music. At the end of their set, I didn't like the music, but I realized that I was a loser for hating them and that they seem like really cool guys who really enjoy what they're doing and sing about things that aren't fucking lame. Their crowd interaction was some of the best I've seen of a Western band in Japan (it seems lots of bands consider the language barrier an acceptable reason to say really lame things and follow them up with "haha, they don't understand"). The energy was intense, and I almost wished I was into it so I could've have that much fun with everyone in the pit, but it wasn't for me. Kudos, though, guys.
Now. Propagandhi...I had the expectations for them to be amazing and to have great commentary and basically just slay. I was worried that they'd play a lot off Potemkin City Limits. I really love the album, but I wanted to hear all their shit, not just the one album. They went above all expectations.
They started with "A Speculative Fiction," which I heard was fairly standard, and then I assumed they would play the first three songs off Potemkin, but they went straight into "Fuck the Border" after. After this point I forget the order, but it was an equal mix of all the albums and all sounding fucking amazing. Every time they played an old song I thought to myself "holy fuck they're playing '_____'! Fucking '_____'! I wish I wasn't out of shape and could do more than sway and shake my head."
As said, the crowd seemed really cool. This is where the super positive "Go Japan" thing comes in. No violent assholes! Hooray! Not even one! Despite the drunk young business man (or suit-wearing man) in the crowd's constant taunts for "Ska Sucks," everyone was rad.
Propagandhi didn't talk so much, but they said their thank-yous in Japanese and Todd said a little more. Jord went on about how some drum move that I didn't care about wasn't started by NOFX but by another band that I'm not cool enough to know about. Todd introduced "Less Talk, More Rock" with saying he hopes we all think it's okay to be gay, and introduced "Purina Hall of Fame" saying that it was for the few vegetarians in the crowd, and that people should rethink eating seafood perhaps. As previously said, Chris thanked Comeback Kid for inviting them despite it being risky. Fuck, are Comeback Kid cool guys. I'm sorry that I was full of hate, CbK.
The last song before the encore was "Purina," and while it rocked heavily, I couldn't rock the fuck out to the max during the breakdown because of people's constant desire to crowd surf. There was a similar problem during the final song of the night: "Anti-Manifesto" (a song I didn't think they played anymore). Good on them crowd surfers for havin' a good time; I just wish it wasn't when I'm really trying to feel the intensity of "Anti-Manifesto."
Great night. Got rid of lame biases towards Comeback Kid. Saw an amazing Propagandhi set. Got to see some Japanese hardcore bands while chilling at the bar.
Set list (I'm probably missing one or two songs):
How to Clean Everything:
- Stick the Fucking Flag Up Your Goddamn Ass, You Sonofabitch
- Who Will Help Me Bake This Bread?
- Hallie Does Hebron
- Less Talk, More Rock
- Nation States
- Resisting Tyrannical
- Rio de Manitoba
- Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes
- Motor League
- Purina Hall of Fame
- Fuck the Border
- Speculative Fiction
- Greater Things
- Die Jugend Marschiert (America's Army)
- Rock for Sustainable Capitalism