For the online HYPER JAPAN, Nano recorded a special live performance for fans to watch to celebrate the release of their first self produced album, ANTHESIS. Where Sunday afternoon doesn’t feel like the most natural time to have a rock show, let’s see if Nano managed to shake the lazy Sunday vibes and get us ready to rock.
Who is Nano?
Born in New York, Nano (ナノ) is a Japanese bilingual singer who started out posting English covers of Japanese songs on Youtube. Fast forward 2 years later, Nano made their professional debut with an album that ranked 10th in the Daily Oricon Charts on the day it was released. Over their career, Nano has performed both across Japan and the world, including in Germany and Taiwan. In 2020, Nano was intending to perform at HYPER JAPAN until the event was unfortunately cancelled.
Kicking off with No Pain, No Game, a real high energy track to get the audience ready for the show to come that was much needed on a Sunday afternoon. Making use of a sophisticated LED lighting rig, the background showed images that combined with the normal lights to create a 3-D effect. This was on top of Nano having a spotlight on them for most of the show as the band performed around them in the shadows. It was a fitting light display as the song itself danced between rock and hard rock, it was truly a perfect opener for the show.
Nevereverland, was next on the setlist. Starting like a slow ballad, creating a false sense of security, as the heavy guitar riff punches through. Throughout it slips and slides between slow and fast, creating an impactful chorus as Nano shows their vocal strength. Followed by Savoir of Song which builds up more slowly but has a more stable J-Rock identity. The background flickers images of war, striking home the message of the song. After a quick pause, the energy continues with Line of Fire, the lighting was used in full force here as the fire in the background images built with the intensity of the track itself. The bouncy rhythm fits with the dancing of the flames.
Before the final song, Nano took a moment to thank HYPER JAPAN for organising the event. Opting to finish on a ballad, Freedom is Yours, was the last song of the set. Starting with only Nano’s voice and an acoustic guitar, the song slowly builds with other instruments slowly joining in. By the time of the chorus, the song was in full force, reflecting the powerful message that hits harder after all this time in the pandemic. On the last chorus, not being phased by the audience being home, Nano encourages the fans to sing along. A truly special performance to wrap it all up.
In a surreal way, Nano recorded the question section before the performance. Firstly Nano thanked Hyper Japan again for organising the online event, particularly as they were meant to be performing in person last year, which due to the pandemic unfortunately could not happen. Then Nano answered a select few questions which fans had already sent in. Mainly around where they got their passion for music, and performing. The last question was about who was their favourite UK band/artist, listing a few as they talked about their love of UK Rock music. Where it was most likely due to scheduling as they were doing a special birthday live the next day, it was a bit of a shame the Q&A wasn’t live as it didn’t quite have the same energy.
A truly special show, Nano gave a good reminder of what a rock show feels like. Making good use of a sophisticated lighting rig to create a unique experience for fans who were looking forward to it at the cancelled HYPER JAPAN last year. A great setlist, although after the live Q&A with FAKY the day before it felt a bit lacklustre, but it was for good reason. Overall, hopefully Nano can perform at HYPER JAPAN in person soon.