Melt Banana is one of my favorite bands around, and this experimental Japanese noise-punk band puts on one of the craziest live shows out there. I missed them last time they came around supporting their latest full length Fetch due to them opening for a bigger band that sold out ridiculously quick, but I made sure to grab tickets immediately so I wouldn’t miss them again.
I headed out to the sold out upstairs small stage of Johnny Brenda’s right as Melt Banana was setting up. I wasn’t sure A lot has changed since the last time I saw Melt Banana four years ago, the biggest being that they’ve slimmed down from a 4 piece to a duo, leaving only vocalist Yasuko Onuki and guitarist Agata playing along with backing tracks. In addition, I wasn’t sure if the crowd would be moving at all or if I’d be the asshole everyone hated: small space, 21+ show and people clutching their drinks.
All of my fears were unfounded though as the second Melt Banana started playing, not only was it clear that they still completely kill it live, plenty of people in the crowd had the same idea as me and a rowdy pit broke out for the entirety of their set.
The band played a bunch off of Fetch, and tore through a few from Bambi’s Dilemma and Cell Scrape as well. This tour was supporting their compilation Return of 13 Hedgehogs, so they also did a few off of that. Agata was on point creating a wall of sound with his guitar as usual, while Onuki belted out her lightning fast vocals while hopping around the stage.
By the end of the show I was covered in beer and sweat, and sort of like their music, the whole thing was a bit of a blur. Still one of the best live bands out there today, Melt Banana always provides an insane experience.
Setlist: (from what I remember and not in order)
Lie Lied Lies
Chain Shot to Have Some Fun
Monkey Man (Toots And The Maytals cover)
Uncontrollable Urge (Devo cover)
Left Dog (Run Caper Run)
My Missing Link
Cracked Plaster Cast
Cat Brain Land (I think)
Blank Page Of The Blind