While it is raining cats and dogs outside, an interesting evening is planned in the cosy hall of The Kroepoekfabriek. It’s a Sunday evening in February, but it doesn’t bother many people that they might have to go to school or work the next day. The Kroepoekfabriek offers, in order to reinforce the name and in style, namely in porcelain oriental meal trays, prawn crackers in Dutch better known as kroepoek. While the venue is quite inviting already, it gives an extra push of kindness.
The evening starts with the North Holland band A Million Strong who fills the room with a strong grungy sound. It reminds briefly of the earlier work of Queens of the Stone Age. At the third song, the trio finally gets in the right mood and gets hold of the audience. The long hair of the guitarist swings to the back when he starts the solo. A Million Strong’s raw music is different from the main program sokoninaru. Yet the choice to give this band the task of warming up the audience is certainly not a bad thing, given the incitement in the music. Yet a certain amount of mellow tunes emerges.
As the support act further completes their set, the ground floor room and the balcony are getting more filled. They are waiting for the start of the main program, sokoninaru. The capacity of The Kroepoekfabriek is around 300 people, which makes it a great location for sokoninaru in terms of size. This was not the number that the Japanese band brought in, but the ground floor was well filled with enthusiastic audiences.
After some adjustments to the podium, sokoninaru take their place. The microphone stand is too high for the guitarist Juko Suzuki and after a little tête-à-tête with the bass player Misaki Fujiwara, he places it at his height. The band does not make the audience wait too long and soon starts with a high-tech song that immediately catches the attention of the audience: pirorhythm stabilizer ～only your world～, where the duo comes together as can be seen on the promotional photos that are distributed by the band. What you hear live is also what you get on CD. No time for magic tricks, because you get the real deal presented on a silver platter and the band immediately shows what they are made of.
The band does not seem to want to take a break between the powerful songs. As if it is a steam locomotive, sokoninaru continues to get the public even more impressed. The band succeeds very well, as they unpack with the more famous songs from their hand: re:program, 掌で踊る (Tenohira De Odoru) and エメラルドグリーン (Emerald Green).
The audience is well prepared for the music that they can expect and reacts immediately to the first tones that come up after Juko Suzuki touches the strings. The entire performance the band knows how to keep the audience captivated, some are so impressed that they look in awe. The band is very attuned to each other and it seems to be a perfect performance. The strength of the band lies in the technical practices that the guitarist manages to get out of his fingers, singing in harmony and the speed at which the guitarist and bass player respond to each other with their instruments. A technical spectacle where no mistakes can be made. Still, there is room for the musicians to move and the bass player knows how to jump and dance during the various songs that sokoninaru is playing. On the stage near the bass player, an open bottle of Chaudfontaine is ‘jumping’ along with the music of sokoninaru, the music of the Japanese band is loud, but not loud enough for the bottle to fall. Ultimately there is also interaction with the public through various MCs, but also the request to sing along. When Juko Suzuki asks the audience to sing along with the song 少女の音色に導かれ (Shoujo no neiro ni michibikare), the audience responds immediately and starts singing along softly.
sokoninaru manage to present an interesting mix of their work, with most of the tracks coming from the EP released in 2016, YAMINABE, but in comparison, the other tracks were well-divided from the EP’s I’m NOT a pirolian, METALIN and ZERO. The audience was entertained from start to finish, witnessing a literal Riff Explosion, as the title of the tour suggested.
Setlist 10 February
1. pirorhythm stabilizer ～only your world～
2. self connection
4. さらば浮世写し絵の如く (Saraba ukiyo utsushie nogotoku)
6. 6月の戦争 (6 Tsuki no sensou)
7. 夏の落とし物 (Natsu no otoshimono)
8. 少女の音色に導かれ (Shoujo no neiro ni michibikare)
9. 新世界より (Shinsekaiyori)
10. Break out!!!
11. 掌で踊る (Tenohira De Odoru)
12. Less Than Zero
13. エメラルドグリーン (Emerald Green)
Photography: Francisca Hagen (AVO Magazine)