All Things Bright and Beautiful
Live Report “All Things Bright and Beautiful” @ Shibuya O-East 2016.11.02
Feeder’s special relationship with Japan owes much to this being bassist Taka Hirose’s motherland, but not in small part as a result of the constancy Japanese fans demonstrate in their musical affections. Mostly consisting of 30-somethings rolling into the venue after work for a gig well timed with a mid-week public holiday, O-East’s punters were not quite the bouncy teens they may have been back in the 90s, but they were going to give it a go regardless. This also quite probably accounted for the fact that guest DJ Hiro from Crossfaith was met either with complete incomprehension or affected disinterest while he was spinning an eclectic range of tunes in the corner of the venue. Never mind, though – he seemed to be there mostly to add a bit of hip credibility to the Fred Perry sponsored evening and certainly did his job with aplomb.
Announced by the buzzing of wasps referencing the front cover of new album “All Bright Electric”, Feeder began with a spare and quiet start to album opener “Another Day on Earth”, blossoming out into echoing guitar solos and a rock-heavy bridge. Much of the set featured tracks from “All Bright Electric”, an album that has seen Feeder back on form after an unevenly received few years before their hiatus. Second track “Universe of Life” was charmingly familiar, with chord progressions harking back to the grunge-pop the band exuded in the 90s. Later into the set “Eskimo” established itself as a solid stadium number – all catchy riffs, energetic build-ups and crescendos that sounded huge in the confines of O-East. Meanwhile, “Geezer” nodded to it’s namesake with a crunchier sound and a heavier swing towards the realm of bands like Royal Blood.
A tendency for music critics to liken Feeder to other seems to haunt the band, but (Coldplay mentions aside) that’s no bad thing. Their set swung from the heavy chug of “Renegades” and the punky rabble-rousing of “Insomnia” to tracks with anthemic choruses like “Feeling A Moment” and “Borders”. At times we were steeped in teen memories from Brit-Pop drenched numbers like “High” and at other times it seemed as though we were heading towards modern post-rock with the band’s live delivery of certain songs.
“Buck Rogers” closed out the main set, with frontman Grant Nicholas teasing out the opening strains of the song in a whisper before sending the crowd into a final frenzy. It didn’t seem like the song could be topped with anything else but “Seven Days in The Sun” and “Just a Day” finished off the encore with a flurry of crowd-surfers and singing from the audience.
In an evening of songs spanning twenty years there were only a few moments that seemed like a lull in the show. Regardless which direction the night headed, what cannot be faulted is the band’s solid chops. The songs were tight, the sound walking a pleasing balance between nostalgia and adventure. It was a night of fond reminiscences, effervescent sound and a promise of perhaps more next year in a ski resort somewhere up in the mountains.
Photos by Shiori Nishi
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