This is what their faces look like!
I find out Daikaiju is playing a "Double Fist Attack" set of shows in Northern Ohio. They were to play at Now That's Class in Cleveland at 9:30 pm, and then at Annabell's in Akron at 1:00 am. I wouldn't be able to make it to the Cleveland show due to the fact I was at AIW's JT Lightning Memorial Tournament, but the Akron performance was still in the realm of possibility.
I arrive at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church to see an 8+ hour AIW show.
I make it home from the wrestling show, and set off on my journey to see Daikaiju. On the way to Annabell's in Akron, I eat a Dave's Cosmic Sub. AIW doesn't have the greatest food options at their shows (pizza and half-cooked hot dogs), and I was at the JLIT tourney all day...so it was time for me to eat. If I hadn't eaten that sub, I would have suffered from a hunger headache during the Daikaiju performance.
I pull up to the front of Annabell's. Miraculously, there is one single parking spot free for me right in front of the venue. I jam some change into the parking meter, and buy myself two hours of parking time.
I walk into the venue. There is no mention whatsoever of a cover charge or ticket fee. I went downstairs where the concert was set to take place.
Annabell's is a pretty cool venue. The stage is at floor-level, which always provides for an intimate atmosphere. I'm able to touch the ceiling with my hands. There was a lot of people there, but not so many that I felt crowded. Many Pabst Blue Ribbons were being drank all around me. That's how you know you're at a metal show!!
Setting up for the show with no masks.
After a few short minutes of waiting around, the band was ready to go. They walked onstage with their Japanese warrior masks. I get the feeling that I'm about to witness a concert I will not soon forget.
The rhythm guitarist holds up both fists. This means only one thing...they are about to perform their newest song, released as a single in 2013 (and one of my favorite tracks by them)...DOUBLE FIST ATTACK!! This song starts out in an awesome fashion, with the drummer playing the beat by himself.
The chick standing in front of me looks me in the eyes and says "FIST BUMP! BUMP FISTS!" What an excellent idea. I'd like to give a serious THANK YOU to that nameless chick, because without her saying that, I probably wouldn't have bumped fists.
I hold both my fists to the rhythm guitarist's fists while the drummer plays an extended intro to the song. He went for about four bars longer than what's on the recording. THIS IS THE MOMENT I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. My double fists, beaming with energy, are connected to the rhythm guitarist's fists. This is the perfect way to start the show.
When it's time for him to play, the rhythm guitarist lowers his fists, and begins his furious riffage. The show has begun! I just knew they would start the set with this song. It's the perfect opener!
Let the mayhem begin!
It didn't take long for the lead guitarist to make his way out to the crowd. He walked so far into the sea of humanity that I lost him!! There were actually many points throughout the show that I didn't know where various members of the band were, but I could hear them playing.
After a couple of songs into the set, it was time for the band to migrate! Fans started moving pieces of the drum set into the crowd. The band completely relocated into the middle of the floor!
A random snare in the crowd.
I have never seen anything like this. Before I know what hit me, the drummer douses his symbols in Zippo lighter fluid. BAM! The drumset is on fire in the MIDDLE of a song! The smell of burnt Zippo fluid permeated throughout the small venue. I had heard a few "THIS IS AWESOME" chants at the JLIT tournament, but THIS was truly something to be seen!!!
The rhythm guitarist motions for everyone to sit down. I look around, and everyone is on the floor, so I do the same. I curl up into a ball and jam out for a bit. When the song picks up, the guitarist motions for us to get up! I am going nuts at this point.
Daikaiju playing in the middle of the crowd.
Soon enough, it's time for another migration! Band members hand their guitars to fans, who start playing the instruments themselves. Concertgoers are banging on the drums with their fists. Fans lift symbols and position them so other fans can slam on them with their hands. What the hell is going on!?!? A Daikaiju show, that's what.
Even though there were essentially no rules at this concert, I never once felt unsafe or threatened. I did have to watch out for guitar heads smacking me in the face, though (that's how close the band was to the fans).
The fans now position the drum set up on a platform. The drummer stands and plays while the two guitarists and bassist stand near him. This is the third location of the set!
The guitar cords running to the amplifiers are a mess. They're tangled in a Clark Griswold-like fashion. This is a band that could benefit from wireless guitars! However, the mess of cords seem to have no effect on the enthusiasm of the band or fans. A group of concertgoers actually volunteer to untangle the mess, and are semi-successful in doing so.
Before I know it, the band has played their final song. The set lasted all but 45 minutes, but it was 45 minutes of pure insanity. This was Daikaiju's second performance of the night, so maybe that's why the set was a bit short. Another factor may have been that the show didn't start until about 1:20 am. All around, it was one of the best live performances I have ever witnessed. If you get the chance, definitely check out this band when they're in your town.
This picture is not from the Akron show, but it sums up the band's energy.
Read about Daikaiju further in the Recommended Listening page.