David Myhr - Soundshine

Finally! Live in Tokyo!

Posted: January 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: post | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

And so the final day came!  The day of my first live appearance in Tokyo with a band since the Merrymakers played three songs in front of record business people in 1997 with Andy Sturmer (Jellyfish) on drums!

(This is the eighth and last blog post from a wonderful trip to Japan! Please feel free to go back and read about how the trip started, how I look back on the time in Japan with the Merrymakers, when I made a fool of myself at the Budokan, my acoustic solo performance in lovely Osaka, my meeting with Matthew Sweet, the rehearsals with my Japanese backing band, my radio interview).

For more than fifteen years it has been on my “to-do-before-I-die”-list to play in Japan again – but with a full band – AND for the people who actually bought the records, for people who actually have heard my music, for people that actually bought a ticket to come and see the show. And now with my solo debut album Soundshine recently released in Japan (before anywhere else in the world) the dream grew even stronger. And suddenly the day came! It happened on January 11, 2012, at the Powerpop Academy Party that took place in the very hip and happening rock club shimokitawa THREE.

The club is located in the coolest of Tokyo areas which is called Shimokitazawa and is Tokyo’s answer to New York’s Greenwich village or  London’s Camden Town. Here’s a picture of me inspecting the neighbourhood in the hours before the concert.

The evening started with two brilliant support acts. The first one called hello! from which the lead singer Yasu also played in my band. I loved their colorful, charming performance and their music reminded me at times of an old favorite band of mine, Ben Folds Five. The highlight for me was when they made a very creative, and inspired version of “April’s Fool” by the Merrymakers. For any songwriter having your songs covered it’s a great honor and a thrilling feeling – and for me it was very touching to watch their cool version of our old song. A similar, almost surreal, feeling hit me when I watched the second band Doacock (which by the way also was a brilliant and highly energetic band) when they made a Merrymakers cover as well. So cool!

And then it was time for my own performance. I started of by playing a few songs on my own – switching between piano and electric guitar. Among the songs I played was “Monument of Me” which was the Merrymakers big radio hit in Japan back in the day – but also “April’s Fool” which had been heard in a “new” version earlier in the evening.

But I couldn’t wait until I got my new backing band up on stage! We played a bunch of songs from Soundshine and it all went incredibly well. The band was tight, inspired, and rockin’ – and the audience seemed very enthusiastic (at least from what I could tell up from stage!). They clapped, cheered, sang-along, danced, and I couldn’t have been happier. When we reached the end of the show with the in Japan famous song “Boom Boom Beat”, and my single “Got you where he wanted”, the house was truly rocking! Also – significantly for Japan – the sound was pristine! I wouldn’t expect a highly professional sound in a small basement rock club in other parts of the world but here the sound was really super. For a performing musician to be inspired and relaxed that is of highest importance.

The show was captured by a film team so hopefully it will be possible to see the show in the future but for now – please enjoy an amateur clip from a cell phone to get a “glimpse” of the first song from the concert “Cut to the chase”. :

I want to say thank you to everyone in the audience who came to the show. You received me with open arms and I will never forget this day! I also want to thank my backing band (you rock!!!) – for the evening dubbed “The Merryfakers” –  for an incredible performance. And thanks to boss of Thistime Records / PowerPopAcademy Shinsuke Fujisawa who put it all together with his colleagues and thanks to shimokitazawa THREE for a great evening and for great sound! Please enjoy a slideshow with more photos from the gig, and meeting music business partners, friends, and fans below:

This was a true “milestone” in my career. Now I have to go back to Sweden and “reality” for a while – and start planning the launch of Soundshine in Europe which is planned for late March. But I will always treasure this memory of Japan – and I can’t wait to come back hopefully sooner rather than later!!! Domo arigato gozaimasu Japan!!!

Thanks to Kiku Fukuzumi for slide show pictures (except the one in the street taken by Ryuji Gotoh), Akky Yasui for picture at the top of the blog post, and to Miyuki Kimura for video clip!