A bright sun shines on the Coors Light stage at the Aftershock Festival as BAND-MAID arrives for a small and dedicated crowd. Starting earlier than scheduled on a hot October 9 in Sacramento, CA, the all-female rock unit from Tokyo begins their sound check. This unique quintet refers to their performance as an “OKYU-JI”, a service for patrons at a virtual rock ‘n’ roll café.
Faithful fans and uninitiated festivalgoers alike wondered what service these musicians would deliver. Even on this sultry afternoon, the steadfast ladies wear their fashionable maid costumes. At last, tune-ups and pick-ups meet the demands of the band, who are making their first return to America in over three years.
Directly, the four maidens jolt to life and deliver their latest instrumental song, from now on. Then, as the last refrains of the first song build to a close, SAIKI, their lead vocalist, joins the fray. And now they assert themselves with full power on Domination, their most anthemic tune.
Meanwhile, the audience grows, and curious onlookers stop to ask, “Are these Japanese girls in maid outfits really doing hard-rock?” Lead guitarist KANAMI answers affirmatively with the heavy strums of Choose me.
Next, they challenge the social media world with influencer as rhythm guitarist MIKU Kobato shreds and provides backing vocals with the lyrics, “Hunky-dory day; Let’s dance!”
Suddenly, the bassist, MISA drops it hard and heavy to let loose on Play—a song with a title that invites you to join the fun with fans cheering and shaking their bodies. Then comes drummer AKANE, more animal than human, as she flails for their next banger, Unleash!!!!!
Finally, it’s the last song, and this festival is now in full swing as a jam-packed maid café! The metal maidens thrash for NO GOD, their hard-rocking show stopper. The ultimate calling to fans past, present, and future: BAND-MAID invites you as masters and princesses to their world domination… your table awaits.
Check back for our continuing coverage of Jrock at the Aftershock Festival!