On July 1 NEMOPHILA, in their first international performance, stepped onto the stage of the world-famous venue Whisky a Go Go. Confidently, they stood before a sold-out house with fans hypnotized and stunned in disbelief. Perhaps the American audience was in shock as they had only seen this Japanese metal band through their mobile screens and computer monitors. Now, for the first time in real life, they could see these metal mavens mere feet away from their frozen faces. And these unaware patrons were about to find themselves contenders in a sonic showdown.
The beat of drums and wail of guitars came out swinging as singer mayu unleashed a one-two punch of mighty growls and stunning vocals. Appropriately, REVIVE began the first round by catching the sluggish crowd off guard. Next, a cross-body shot, RAITEI (雷霆) hammered down the power from the legendary stage. At the first break mayu, embodying the showmanship of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and the confidence of Muhammad Ali, spoke clearly, laying down the gauntlet, saying, “We’re here to kick your ass tonight!”
As they lit up on Houzuki (鬼灯), hands went into the air, legs loosened up, and heads began to move. Guitarists SAKI and Hazuki delivered left and right hooks of riffs and power chords all night. And then, with their latest release ADABANA, the rhythm section stepped forward with the body blows. While Haraguchisan rumbled on the bass with bliss and a smile on her face, Tamu Murata took out all her aggression on a defenseless drum kit.
The beatings continue
This audience never stood a chance. It was like controlled pandemonium in an octagon, as the crowd felt every hit with banger after banger for a heavy metal whooping. In the next break, the hard rockers roused the crowd for a beat down. SAKI prodded them to “make more sound” and Haraguchisan taunted, “I will destroy you”.
Regardless, the ladies continued to lay the smack down with FIGHTER, and it was time to rope-a-dope. The hapless fans tried to box their way out by starting a mosh pit, but security was having none of it. You had to absorb the audio assault and take the beating. So, the people kept their melee at bay and let out pleas of mercy until the last note of SORAI.
The beautiful beasts lived up to expectations with a roundhouse of sounds heavier than hell. They only laid back on the jabs for the ballad GAME OVER and the anthem Change the world. Then they took their bows and went backstage victorious after DISSENSION put the fans on the mat.
Yet this crowd, getting back up to one knee, wanted more punishment and begged for an encore. Well, they got it, good and hard. The ladies came back out and punched right at the heart with an emotional performance of Life. Finally, they delivered the knockout blow with the single that started it all, OIRAN. And down for the count goes the Whisky… asses kicked!
As everyone caught their breath and made the journey home, we caught up with some of the showgoers. They came to Whisky a Go Go from all over America: a couple from the state of Washington, and folks east of the Mississippi. We also met YouTube reactors: Two Girls from Dana’s Faith and Alan of the band Dicodic. When asking him, the ring leader of the Gajin Guys podcast for his reaction to the heavy metal pummeling, the exclamation was unexpectedly short but to the point: “Fucking awesome!”.
If you are a glutton for some metal punishment, then step into the ring with NEMOPHILA when they return in October for the Aftershock festival. Or see this rocking brawl yourself on July 16 when the full stream premieres on ZAIKO.
Ultimately, the excitement felt in this show was palpable on both sides of the stage. For sure, bet on the odds of a rematch as NEMOPHILA will undoubtedly return to America!
- Read part 1: Interview with NEMOPHILA: “We are here to kick your ass!” part 1
- Read part 3: Interview: NEMOPHILA before kicking ass at Whisky a Go Go part 3
NEMOPHILA 1st in LA: Good evening from Whisky a Go Go
- Date: July 16, 2022
- Time: Starts at 18:00 (JST).
- Archive period: Until July 23, 23:59 (JST).
- Ticket sales period: Until July 23, 21:00 (JST).
- Ticket price: 4,000 yen.
- Tickets: Buy at ZAIKO
JROCK NEWS thanks JPU Records for allowing us to join NEMOPHILA on their first live event at Whisky a Go Go.