MIYAVI Live in Boston 6/25: 1/2

Although as a city I think Boston is awesome, at 4 hours, it’s a bit of a drive, so I don’t head down there very often. I think that the old architecture, the medley of people attracted by a big-city-status, and its unique attitude are all quite charming. As a place to drive, however, I think that we almost died about 40,000 times. When my sister went to Cairo, she told me about the fact that there are almost no road-rules, so stepping into the street is like hopping into a Flood of Imminent Death. Now that I have experienced Boston traffic, I can tell her that such lawless abandon and auto-aggression lies much closer to home.

Accompanying Visualist Roukun and I left around 6AM Friday morning. After the basics of arrival were taken care of (check-in, etc), we decided it would be a good idea to drive into Allston and scope out the venue beforehand to lessen the chances of stress later. It’s highly fortunate that we did so, as we ended up going the wrong direction and getting caught in some hell-trap of ultimate doom called Massachusetts Ave. which was, needless to say, nowhere near the venue. Around 3PM we finally found Harper’s Ferry, located right on one of the main strips of Allston– a hive of Korean karaoke, restaurants, and an extremely popular liquor store. At that time, the line was still really short– consisting primarily of the extremely hardcore who had apparently camped out overnight in order to be first in line.

We ended up getting in line around 6PM, two hours before doors opened. The line had grown so that it actually wrapped around the building, but it was still an utterly do-able situation. Although we had two hours to wait, we were positioned between the club and the aforementioned liquor store, right on an insane intersection where we could watch hundreds of people encounter near-death-experiences without even realizing it. During the wait, countless people stared, yelled out of car-windows and from passing bicycles, and stopped at points on the line trying to figure out what so many heavily-decked-out people were doing. A lot of them thought we were waiting to get into the liquor store. Try and trace that logic– I couldn’t do it. People along the line responded to the question “What are you guys waiting for?” over and over. “We’re waiting for Miyavi!” “Who?” “Miyavi. A Japanese superstar.” “Oh, never heard of him.” Understanding that people have different interests, I still have to make this annoying comment. Oh people, how do you sustain meaning and fulfillment in your existences?

"What are you guys in line for?"

Finally the clock struck 8PM and the line started moving. Waiting for a show is a strange mixture of experiences. On one hand you’re standing on the street for multiple hours. This is not something the average person chooses as an entertaining pastime. On the other hand, the excitement, nerves, and adrenaline that starts coursing through your veins while the seconds tick by is an awesome rush that builds steadily. You’re bored, and yet you’re having the time of your life. At about 7:50 you realize you’re there to see MIYAVI. At about 8:10 your segment of the queue gets funneled into the club in a tiny cluster, and you’re hustled through black-marker, wrist-band, and ticket-stub procedure, and sent into heaving bass background music, dim red and purple lights, crowds of murmuring gothic teenage girls with green hair, and one of those heavenly creations sent down to us by higher-beings: the merchandise stand.

The merchandise was slightly disappointing– according to consensus vote. But pretend I didn’t say that. The selection was slightly different from the other reports I read. They had white (girls’) T-shirt, black (guys’) T-shirt, girls’ and guys’ tank-tops, the tote bag, pen, and a poster which apparently other lives didn’t get. I ended up buying the pen, poster, (guy’s) tank-top, and Roukun got the tour t-shirt. Just as a note, by the end of the show the tote bag and some of the t-shirt sizes had sold out.

We found a great place to stand near the stage, settling in around 8:15-8:20. Our spot was dead-center, four or five people back from the barrier. The stage was positioned so that people could wrap around three angles, and the stage was set up with 5 mics at different points, so not everyone had to try and stand directly in front of one mic, which was awesome. At this point, I would like to make a special shout-out to the really sweet woman we queued-up with/stood with during the show. It was awesome talking to her, and we were glad we got to watch the performance with her! Sorry that we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye at the end.

People milled around for a while, and then as it got closer to 9:00, started packing in around the stage. The club was getting intensely hot, and everyone was starting to get impatient. The purple and red lights, although dim, created a stifling atmosphere, and along with the pulsing background music and stale air only seemed to encourage people’s antsiness. As the wait stretched from five to ten to fifteen minutes, one of my favorite parts of Jrock lives began to unfold. As the wait-time grew beyond the scheduled start time, the little black door leading from backstage became the axle of time and space, the focal point of all human obsession. And every time that door opened and someone stepped out, the crowd would squeal, scream, wave their arms, and roar MIYAVI’s name. And every single time, it was a crew member stepping out to tune guitars and arrange mics. This happened probably three or four times. I swear, MIYAVI doesn’t even have to come out. The sound-guy can just stand there tuning his guitar and the crowd will be totally satisfied. The crew member was smiling and shaking his head like “these crazy Americans…”

Images: Roukun (2,3), gacktpause (1,4,5)

13 responses to “MIYAVI Live in Boston 6/25: 1/2

    • You’re welcome! Sorry to leave it at a cliff-hanger like that, the next installment will be up shortly.

      Have an amazing time at the Dallas show! He’s gonna blow your mind, I can guarantee it!

      • I got there pretty early! I was in the first third or so of the line, and had no idea that it went that far back towards the opening time! I was on the right (our right, not stage right) of the stage, by the sound guy, second “row” back. I was behind one person but sometimes had to look over two or three people. All in all, really good position.

      • Yeah, the crowd did shift a lot, especially right at the beginning when everyone was jumping up and down, a lot of people moved places slightly. I thought it was a pretty well-behaved crowd, actually– there wasn’t tons of pushing, and the fact that we could move at all seemed amazing.

        I got there around 6PM and we were just around the corner. I think from that point the line started growing around 6:30, although in the end I didn’t get to see how far back it went.

      • Wait… you were just around the corner? Shit, you must have been standing right by us. What do you look like, hahaha? We were just around it too, maybe a couple of people down from it. Literally just a few feet from the telephone pole, sitting just about right in front of the first bike rack.

      • Interesting. Honestly I do not recall the location of the telephone pole, but I was standing right next to the bike rack. This may sound a bit strange, but are you by any chance from N.H.? I chatted for a while with some cool kids from there who waited quite near me in line. Am I moving ten-steps backwards, or does it ring a bell?

      • I was located to the left of Scenic Bike Rack, and took a lot of pictures of people walking around it…

        AHAHA. I’m not from NH, but I was standing on the other side of the two kids who were! And I stood next to them in front of the sound booth, too.

        In fact, the girl from NH (who, iirc, dragged her male friend down with her… to see Miyavi… he wasn’t a giant fan but likes Gackt…) has HER post here:

        http://shamesmerizer.blogspot.com/2010/06/myv.html

  1. Hi (and a big wave from the ‘”sweet woman” who is blushing furiously at your kind words). I didn’t want to spam one of your posts with a random comment so this was the perfect opportunity for me to comment. I checked out your blog on the way home the day after the live (read many wonderfully-thought provoking posts) and have been meaning to thank you and Visualist Roukun for keeping me company while we waited in line and at the show. Never thought I’d meet someone who liked the same three artists I did but miracles do happen. And sorry about running off at the end without saying goodbye – I think I lost sight of you near the exit and was afraid of missing my train. I think you summed up the live nicely in your 2 posts and it’s amazing to relive the emotions I felt as I read through your posts. I’m so glad your poster survived the ordeal. Reports on his live on Sunday should be pouring in soon so I’ll let you read those first before I comment on it, if you are interested in hearing my thoughts. I don’t know if I’ll be back in Boston but I’ll always remember the great time I had there with Miyavi and his fans.

    • Hi! My apologies for taking so long to respond to your comment. I was really glad to hear from you, and flattered that you took the time to look at my blog. I did my best to get an accurate report of the show written up, but I find that now that the initial rush has worn off, I’m remembering more and more little details and moments that were humorous/hardcore/heartfelt. I’m glad that so many people were able to experience what we were able to experience, and I hope that in the future many more people will be able to see MIYAVI live. Seeing his show was priceless.

      How was the NYC show? I would really like to hear your opinions/experiences. I did read one report but the only real impression I got from it was that the audience seemed a bit rough and ready. Otherwise it sounded like people had fun. What did you think? Were there any notable differences?

      • Hi,

        Thank you for responding. It’s great to hear from you as well.
        I wish I could recall more details as the days dragged on but I just seem to experience exponential memory loss. I’ll try to put together a review for you. I can describe the NYC live in one sentence as a preview – If heaven and hell could coexist at the same time in one place, for me, that would be the MIYAVI’s
        NYC live at Irving Plaza.

      • Wow, that was quite a cliff-hanging teaser! If it’s not too much trouble and you end up finding time to get a review together, I would definitely like to read it. 今は 待ってます!:)

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