Despite all the negative reports about Facebook (or as it will soon be called; FACEBOOK) at least one thing is useful for the forgetful people like myself: Memories.
With a click on a button or just a tap on the screen, you can see what you did last year for example, at least if you shared something on Facebook last year. Coincidentally, because last year I walked around Tokyo on this day and found a number of trays in the Daiso with ‘Zonne Energie’ (Dutch for Solar Energy) on them. I am already used to English and French words randomly thrown on products in Japan, but I was crazy surprised when I came across something of my native language.
I scroll down and see pictures of several concerts passing by. A specific gig caught my attention, as there were a lot of pictures shared on my timeline: the first show of SAGA in The Netherlands. At that time SAGA was a pop unit consisting of Japanese, Korean and Chinese members who made music together. A unique concept and it attracted the attention of various media outlets who wanted to interview them.
We go back to Thursday 6 November 2014, the date of SAGA’s first Dutch performance in the 330 LIVE in The Hague. A location where several Japanese musicians had already performed, including HITT, OROCHI, Nao Katafuchi, Ryo Fujimura and ADAMS. At that time I hadn’t been organising concerts for very long and I had learned a lot in practice. But there was a small live venue that welcomed the Japanese musicians with open arms and that was 330 LIVE.
The performance of HITT in 330 LIVE was my first real show and the weather was against us. Trains were running less frequently and the trams in The Hague stopped running, because it was already deep in the Winter and that includes snow and frost. There were even fans from Groningen who had called the venue to see if the show would still go as planned, because they were planning to see HITT live and did not live around the corner. The owner of the venue was very surprised and let me know that he was curious about the turnout. It was disappointing, but with the show of OROCHI a few months later, I showed how it actually goes with these shows. Then the owner called that he was surprised that there were fans waiting at the entrance since sometime in the morning. That put a smile on my face. After that, there were performances by Nao Katafuchi, HITT (at least three times), Ryo Fujimura, I-アイ-, MIKARU (G.L.A.M.S), ADAMS and REMNANT at this venue. There are a lot of good memories.
330 LIVE was after a number of shows a regular name for a large number of the shows that I organised and eventually, there are 10 shows of my hand that took place at this location. Eventually, the venue had to close and it has gotten a different destination, but when I looked at the pictures of SAGA on that particular 6 November 2014, I think back to those good times. The warm welcome of the various shows by the public. A nice learning process and getting acquainted with interesting music. It remains great that these opportunities were created and that I have experienced this. 330LIVE still remains a location with a lot of meaning for me. I am aware that things come and go, not only in the case of venues, but also of people and bands. Nothing is forever, unfortunately. It still remains a pity that SAGA, after a number of name changes and the loss of one of the group members, has fallen silent.
I admit that I still miss the 330 LIVE location, but other possibilities have emerged. Recently we were in Musicon with some interesting bands, including ZEROSHIKI. The Zuiderparktheater was also very open for a festival focused on Japanese music. People still speak with a lot of praise about the performance of Esprit D’Air. And this festival was the instigator for a taiko festival a year later at the same location. That is, of course, a great motivator.
After so many years of organising concerts, I dare to admit that I’m not tired of it by a long shot. The frequency of the concerts is low at the moment, but there are new collaborations coming up, so this has to be promising for 2020. I hope you are looking forward to it!