The Heathens Tour Diary, Pt. 2: We're Kinda Big in Japan

Categories: Tour Diary

Photo courtesy of Kentaro Yamada / Roller Magazine

The Heathens, the band I play bass in, went to Japan. Here is part two of my tour diary. Part three is being optioned for Hollywood as "The Hangover IV."

December 1, 2013
Yokohama, Japan
Three (or four?) swigs of Suntory from Al's flask and I was ready to go. This time, I decided to leave the mask at home, although I did get an amazing picture of me wearing one in front of a large Christmas tree at the mall. If I was the type of guy to send Christmas cards, the photo after the jump would definitely be it.

See also: The Heathens Tour Diary, Pt. 1: OC Punks Encounter Japanese Bidets

Al Function

Gabe opened the show by asking the crowd to move forward, which I despise because I've never once seen a professional band do this. If you are legit, people will want to be close. If you aren't, their distance is all you need to know about how little they care about you.

Except -- WAIT -- they actually did it! Five seconds prior, there was a 12-foot gap between me and the crowd and thanks to Gabe there was a cute Japanese girl less than six inches away. No matter what happened from this point on, I knew I owed him for this one.

There were an estimated 30,000 people at Pacifico Yokohama and about 600 of them were watching us, which was by far the largest crowd I've played to. I've heard plenty of people say how nervous they get in front of crowds -- not me. It's individuals that freak me out. Whether I'm playing bass, singing karaoke or reading poetry, the more people in front of me, the better my performance. Off stage, I have zero self esteem, I stutter, I look like a nerd and I attend weekly therapy sessions to convince myself I'm not a 34-year-old fuck-up. But give me a microphone and I become James Brown, Elvis, Andy Kaufman and Chris Rock rolled into one.

Again we tried the elongated "Rumble Riot Riot" intro and again it failed. We are nothing if not consistent. "Throw Me a Rope" was next. I looked up, noticed a sea of people staring at me and without warning I became Gene Simmons, which is ironic because I hate KISS. But there I was, flailing my arms and pounding my bass like a bat-winged, fire-breathing, long-tongued, blood-dripping rock star because in that moment, I was a rock star. It was a feeling I could get used to.

Before "Rock Yokohama," I looked around and noticed many people taking pictures and videos. I felt like that kid from One Direction -- you know, the one who looks all smug and shit? That kid. I wanted to tell the crowd, "You're damn right. Take pictures cuz I'm famous." Sadly, I am not famous. Please do not tell the Japanese that.

With so much video being taken, I decided to actually, you know, play "Rock Yokohama" rather than jump around and pound my instrument. Turns out, when I'm not hopping and making Pete Townshend windmills, I can actually play bass. Who knew?

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