- In the beginning
- Kurai-Nichiyobi(Dark Sunday)
- Shinagawa-Shinju(Shinagawa Double Suicide)
- Kojosenjo-no-Maria(Maria on the Thyroid)
- Shayo(The Setting Sun)
- Poetry reading
- Koritsumuen-no-Shiso(Isolated Thought)
- 13-Seiki-no-Hanayome(Bride of the 13th Century)
- Jikan-karano-Kage(The Shadow Out of Time)
- Sakura-Ranman(Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom)
- Akuma-to-Seppun(Kiss with the Devil)
- Kochoran(Butterfly Orchid)
- At the end
In the beginning
I went to a live performance of Wajima Shinji’s singing with a guitar.
It was a solo live concert titled “New Year’s Singing Thanksgiving.”
Being a lazy person, I thought I could just get in with a same-day ticket, but I heard a rumor that the venue was fully booked.
I called around noon on the day of the show and was told that standing was okay, so I managed to get in.
I almost missed it.
The venue, “Mandoro” in Hirosaki City, is about a 20-minute walk from my apartment.
I went there under an umbrella in a smoky drizzle.
I arrived almost at the time the doors opened.
The doors opened earlier than scheduled and most of the seats were already filled with audience.
Perhaps because they packed the chairs so tightly, I was allowed to sit down.
I settled into my seats and waited for the show to start, sipping canned beer.
It looked like a live music club built in a warehouse.
The stage is almost the same height as the audience.
It was small, but it had a great atmosphere.
When it was time for the show to start, Wajima appeared on stage.
He was wearing a T-shirt of “Ningen Isu” and a hancha (a traditional Japanese coat of arms in Tsugaru dialect).
Well, it has an indescribable taste.
I somehow thought he would play a lot of cover songs, but when the show started, most of the songs were original.
First up was “Dark Sunday” from “Odoru-Issun-boshi(Dancing Dwarf)”.
The original song was reproduced, but arranged for solo performance, making it a great listening experience.
The solo part was played by a looper machine, which made it sound as if it was recorded over and over again.
The progressive part was especially powerful.
Shinagawa-Shinju(Shinagawa Double Suicide)
Without a pause, the next song began.
Rakugo, which is difficult to hear at a live performance of “Ningen Isu,” was clearly audible today.
Kojosenjo-no-Maria(Maria on the Thyroid)
A song from the second album.
It is originally a song with only one guitar, so it is natural that it is played.
The lyrics are truly eerie and send shivers down my spine.
The song starts off with a story about a time when the band members had a summoning with a spiritual medium during a program recording at the “Ningen Isu Club.”
The eerie guitar matches the atmosphere of Osorezan.
Again, the looper was used to express the floating feeling of the song well.
He said that he had been working on this song for about 15 years, and it finally took shape.
Shayo(The Setting Sun)
It seems that he unearthed a song he wrote a long time ago, but it was too pop for “Ningen Isu,” so he had to put it in storage.
It is true that there were too many kinds of chords, and it might not be like “Ningen Isu.”
But it was a quality melody.
According to Wajima, it was new music.
Takahashi Shinkichi’s poem, “Dangen-wa-Dadaist(Assertions are Dadaist).
The poem was destructive and eerie, read to Wajima’s guitar, which was full of atmosphere.
It was creepy!
It was uncanny and shook my fear.
The original song has Nobu on vocals, so this is fresh.
The original song is a danceable number, so the charm of the lyrics comes to the fore when the song is played as a solo.
The lyrics, “I’ve been ready to be alone since birth.” are very moving.
13-Seiki-no-Hanayome(Bride of the 13th Century)
This is “Ningen Isu”‘s original poetry reading.
I have heard this song several times at “Ningen Isu”‘s live performances.
The single guitar is also quite good.
Jikan-karano-Kage(The Shadow Out of Time)
I thought this might be the most subdued of the new releases, but today it’s full of atmosphere!
I think I’m finally starting to understand the appeal of this song.
I’d love to hear it again by “Ningen Isu.”
Sakura-Ranman(Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom)
When he play it, the excellence of the melody stands out.
It is really a pop song.
The fast solo is better to listen to with electric guitar.
Akuma-to-Seppun(Kiss with the Devil)
This song was chosen as the last song because it was catchy.
The audience clapped their hands and got into the groove.
Wajima also stood up and played this song.
The audience was also excited by his customary technique of carrying the performer on his back and playing over his head.
This was the end of the main part.
The encore was “Butterfly Orchid.”
The solo using the looper was excellent.
It was like entering a dreamlike world of fluttering butterflies.
At the end
The performance was denser than I had expected and lasted a full two and a half hours.
I could understand the charm of singing with a guitar and was glad to see Wajima, who is surprisingly talkative.
He promised to do singing with a guitar at “Mandoro” on a regular basis, so I’ll be waiting for the next opportunity.
He had a lot of chatting, and I will have to write about what he talked about.
January 26,2014 Freakz
Four years later, in 2018, he came back to “Mandoro” for another performance.
It was a rare experience to see him singing while chatting at a close distance, and it was different from the live performance of “Ningen Isu.”
In 2018, I attended the dinner party after the concert and clearly remember sitting next to Wajima and talking with him.
I was so nervous that I could hardly speak.
Next year is 2023.
May I expect you to revisit in the interval, Mr. Wajima?
December 27,2022 Freakz