is comprised of four seemingly normal looking Japanese boys. However, they're a prime example of how one should never judge a book by its cover. The boys know just how exactly to drive a crowd wild and deliver a night filled with adrenalin.
The 7th of June, 2014
marks the first ever performance of RADWIMPS in Singapore. The band was in town under Japan Music Festival
, and Singapore was their last stop for the overseas leg of the "RADWIMPS GRAND PRIX 2014"
. The overseas setlist chronicles RADWIMPS' music career over the years rather than focusing on their latest album, "Batsu to Maru to Tsumi to"
Hours before the doors were open, fans were already seen lurking around Orchard Road in their tour t-shirt and towels. Excited fans also gathered at the venue to write their messages for the band on a fan-made banner that states "THANK YOU FOR COMING TO SINGAPORE!"
, faint lights were available only to guide you to your standing spot for the night. Fans went in one by one and found themselves in a small but intimate venue.
7pm sharp, the lights went dark with hints of smoke visible in the background. Then, the music for the band's entrance started to play. The fans cheered as Takeda
walked out from the side and onto the stage, followed by Yamaguchi
and finally, Noda
. With their instruments in place, the boys were set to rock the night away.
The live kicked-off with "Gimme Gimmick"
. The crowd held their fist into the air and sang their heart out.
"Gimme Gimmick" itself was enough to showcase how talented these boys are. Noda's amazing range of vocals, Kuwahara's guitar shredding skills, Takeda's bass slapping techniques and Yamaguchi's rhythmic drumming - they all add up to the band's dynamic presence.
But of course, the boys had a lot more to show.
"SINGAPORE, ARE YOU GUYS READY??"
The night continued with "One Man Live", "Enren"
and "Iron Bible"
played back-to-back. The crowd would swerve from left to right and Noda would continue to pump up the crowd with his guitar and dance moves. Takeda and Kuwahara also wowed the fans with their bass and guitar battle in the middle of "Enren". As "Iron Bible" ended, Noda began with the night's first MC.
"Hello, we are RADWIMPS! Do you guys speak English really well? Satoshi speaks very, very well in Chinese."
Immediately, the spotlight was on Yamaguchi.
"Da jia hao. Wo shi gu shou Satoshi!"
(Hello everyone. I am the drummer, Satoshi!)
The drummer knew very well how to steal the audience's attention - in fact, he may have caused a couple of heart attack that night with his charming big grin. All eyes were on him and everyone was amazed by how good his Mandarin pronunciation were. His Mandarin also garnered a lot of "Awww"
from the crowd.
After one of the cutest MC ever, the band went back into action.
"Wake me up! Wake me up! Wake me up when you come back!"
The crowd went into a frenzy as familiar lines of "05410-(n)"
were being sung. As the lyrics were mostly in English, the crowd were singing in full power while jumping according to the beat of the song.
The highlight of the live started right after "Yumebanchi"
were performed - Takeda changed his bass to a six-string while Noda moved towards his keyboard. He then played a short, lullaby-like piano solo before breaking into "Tummy"
. Noda moved away from the keyboard and started to dance. From time to time, Takeda would switch from his bass to the keyboard and midi controllers.
One could see that Noda was exceptionally happy when performing the song "Tummy". He moved around the stage more than usual and his dance were much softer and bouncier compared to his normal dance moves.
Perhaps, it was pure happiness and love taking over his body as he sings about his future baby.
Noda wore an extremely big smile on his face as the crowd sung the chorus in unison when he held his mic out to them.
"It was beautiful, thank you."
he said to them, and then he proceeds to continue with the rest of the song.
The lighting followed Noda's light footsteps as he traversed across the stage to Kuwahara's side. As the song reaches its end, all lights dimmed and the spotlight focused on Noda and Kuwahara's close proximity - their foreheads close to touching one another. The fans cheered at the top of their lungs, and then the lights went off.
"Hello everyone. Thank you for coming today."
The crowd went wild upon listening to the familiar voice - it was Kuwahara attempting to speak in English.
He then went on about the food they ate when they arrived in Singapore. Noda asked for recommendations from the crowd and joked that he needs to get it all written down.
The boys went back to their spot and Noda once again asked the crowd, "Are you ready for more??"
The crowd went wild. The lights were blinding. "Oshakashama"
RADWIMPS' showmanship was jaw-dropping mad and it was exhibited in this particular song. At one point, the three members turned their backs to the audience and started moving closer to the drumset. With Noda's instructions, they slowly lowered the volume of their instruments. The lights were dimmed accordingly too.
When the whole venue was almost dark and the sound of their instruments become almost inaudible, Noda raises up his hands. The lights immediately went blinding bright and the band raises the volume of their music completely. As they continued doing this for a few round, the claps and cheers from the audience grew louder and louder. "Oshakashama" is certainly one of the best song to hear RADWIMPS perform live.
Almost immediately after "Oshakashama", the band further increased the live's intensity by performing yet another crowd favorite, "DADA"
. In fact, Noda looked as if he jumped right out of DADA's PV - his choice of clothes for the night bear some similarity to the video.
While Noda was popping and spinning around the stage, Kuwahara and Takeda moved to the side of the drums, held drumsticks on their hands and proceed to hit the cymbals in full force.
Later on in the song, Noda reached out for a drumstick as well and crashed the cymbals repeatedly before throwing it to the audience.
RADWIMPS continued to wow the audience through the night by performing "Iindesuka", "Futarigoto"
and "Last Virgin"
. "Iindesuka" was another crowd favorite - everyone clapped according to the beat and sang along whenever they could. Noda kept murmuring into the mic that the crowd sang beautifully.
Though shielded by the dark, you can still see Noda's silhoutte moving swiftly to the keyboard. As "Last Virgin" was played, Noda's emotionally charged vocals soon filled the venue and the crowd waved their hands slowly in unison.
As the song ended, it was Takeda's turn for his MC. He tried to speak a few sentences but ended up speaking in Japanese in the end. Takeda expressed his happiness to the audience as the rest of the band looked on.
"Did you guys understood what he just said? Because, he's not really good in Japanese. Well. I don't know la."
said Noda jokingly.
"We promise we're gonna be back in Singapore. Thank you very much!"
he continued. With that, he announced that they'll be playing the last three songs. "Yuushinron", "Kimi to Hitsuji to Ao"
and "Kaishin no Ichigeki"
were next. Noda urged the fans to sing along if they know the lyrics to the songs.
After the last song was played, Noda thanked the crowd for coming. The band took a quick bow and exited the stage. Fans immediately burst into the chorus of "Moshi Mo"
- it was a call for an encore.
"Moshi mo, hontou ni moshimo, kimi mo boku no koto omotte kuretara..."
After just few minutes, the band appeared back on stage and was greeted by a warm welcome from the crowd. The band members laughed and looked at each other, almost in disbelief at how amazing the crowd were that night.
As Yamaguchi was about to walk back to his seat, Noda pulled him back to the mic stand and the poor guy was forced to say a few words in Mandarin. The drummer didn't hesitate of course, he took on the challenge with one of the cutest smile ever.
For encore, "Tremolo"
and "Darma Grand Prix"
were performed. Being the final two songs, the crowd gave it their best and went all out in singing and jumping along with the band. There were plenty of interactions between RADWIMPS and the crowd - it was an extremely intimate live.
After the last song, Yamaguchi got up and joined Takeda, Kuwahara and Noda in front of his drumset. They took a long bow together and then went forward to shake the hands of their excited fans. RADWIMPS then exited the stage for real this time and the venue announced that the event had finally ended. Slowly, the fans cleared the venue and some went back to queue to buy tour goods again.
For some of the fans, the night continued with a simple gathering and group photo outside of the venue. As they snap away, the LED screen behind them continued to show the image of RADWIMPS' Singapore live poster.
Both the band and the fans gave it their all that night - it was certainly an exhilarating experience one can never forget.
RADWIMPS GRAND PRIX 2014: LIVE IN SINGAPORE SETLIST
1) Gimme Gimmick
2) One Man Live
4) Iron Bible
13) Last Virgin
15) Kimi to Hitsuji to Ao
16) Kaishin no Ichigeki
18) Darma Grand Prix
Remember to check out our exclusive interview
with RADWIMPS in Singapore if you haven't!