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HANABIE., LEFT TO SUFFER, OUTLINE IN COLOR In Portland, OR With Photos!

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Tuesday, June 11, 2024 @ 7:49 AM


At The Crystal Ballroom May 30th

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Review And Photos By Mike Lewis Photography

That good old YouTube algorithm tends to present things that are a little unexpected but appreciated at times. Japanese metal bands are something that I occasionally will watch and although YouTube sometimes gives me a band that I wouldn't necessarily have any interest in, I do often however get several metal bands that I might not have otherwise discovered.

Japan has a rather unique metal scene. There are a ton of bands in the Land of the Rising Sun that if they don't just have a female frontwoman behind the mic, it's an all-girl band and just about every genre seems to have been covered. Flagitious IDIOSYNCRASY IN THE DILAPIDATION has you covered if you are into grindcore, if you're more into hard rock with a metal end, BAND-MAID might be worth checking out, while if Power Metal is more to your liking, FATEGEAR could be just what you're looking for. Then you have the bands who are metal and have decided to create their own genre. Just about every metal fan knows who BABYMETAL is and if you weren't already aware, they have dubbed themselves as Kawaii Metal.

This brings us to HANABIE., who have also created their own genre. At their musical core, HANABIE. is a metalcore band consisting of four members; Yukina (vocals), Matsuri (guitar, clean vocals), Hettsu (bass) and Chika (drums). It was another Japanese band, MAXIMUM THE HORMONE, that led to HANABIE. forming a band and of course to give themselves a more unique edge. Metalcore might be the genre that HANABIE. best fits into, but they have labelled themselves as Harajukucore. If you've never been to Japan before, Harajuku is found in the Shibuya district and among the many famous areas is Takeshita Street which is known for its fashion.

It would have been the release of "We Love Sweets" that would introduce me to HANABIE. back during the pandemic when concerts were a rarity and like many others, I was searching for new music. I was immediately hooked by their musical approach and visual presentation. You have four girls who don't dress like they should be in a metal band, a definite metalcore style, but with both harsh and clean vocals which at some points also had what can only be categorized as cute vocals. With Japanese metal and rock becoming more popular outside of Japan, something I would attribute to BABYMETAL as well as ONE OK ROCK, HANABIE. became another of the many bands that found a publicist in the United States and made their way to United States to tour.

I've been to more than my share of shows over the years and many bands I have seen as well as photographed several times. It isn't often that I find a show that I'm really anticipating coming to the Portland area, but HANABIE. was one of those exceptions. I knew they had played over in the United States previously, but as often seems to be the case, Portland wasn't one of those cities. Their return to the United States this year however found them headlining with support from OUTLINE IN COLOR and LEFT TO SUFFER.

The openers weren't bad but that's not really the reason I was at this show. For me, HANABIE. was the reason that I was in attendance although honestly, as a concert photographer I will cover just about anything that I can get approved for, even music outside of my interest. Had I known beforehand that HANABIE. was going to be such an entertaining live act, I would have requested to cover a second show; either Seattle, which is much closer to me, or I honestly would have been up for making the road trip down to Sacramento just for another three songs in the photo pit.

Their set was as follows:

  • "O TA KU Lovely Densetsu"
  • "NEET GAME"
  • "Bukkowasu!!"
  • "KotoshikosoGal~Shoka ver.~"
  • "Ware Amatou"
  • "Reiwa Matching-sedai"
  • "GIRL'S TALK"
  • "Warning!!"
  • "ghost mania"
  • "TOUSOU"
  • "Osaki niShitsureiShimasu."
  • "Want to TIE-UP"
  • "Today's Good Day & So Epic"
Encore:
  • "SUNRISE Miso-SOUP"
  • "L.C.G"
  • "Sentimental☆Heroine"
HANABIE. is an amazing live act. Yukina is a ball of energy who is all over the stage. She's also mindful that there are photographers in the photo pit, and I had her stop quick to pose for a shot on at least one occasion. They might not come out dressed in closing that necessarily matches their music, but don't let that fool you. HANABIE. could give even the most seasoned metal bands a run for their money. All of them bring a high energy performance and the one thing I have enjoyed with the Japanese bands that tour over here is that they all come across as being extremely happy to be on stage. HANABIE. brings a bunch of smiles, intensity and their own, unique sound and style which comes as a very refreshing concert in comparison to what some bands present.

This tour however was very short with only eleven dates so hopefully they will return soon. I could see HANABIE. joining forces on stage with other Japanese bands that I've previously mentioned in this review as well as others such as NEMOPHILA, LOVEBITES, or even mix things up and add in a visual keisuch as JILUKA or DEVILOOF. Portland of course was right at the end of this tour and hopefully those who caught HANABIE. enjoyed them as much as I did, if not more, and those who went for the other acts, and I know there were many people going for LEFT TO SUFFER, became fans.

Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Mike Lewis Photography


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