NAG Live – June, 2015

Saturday 6

Everywhere (12:00 | ¥3500)
The first weekend of every June, over 200 bands descend on the live houses and clubs of central Nagoya for a two-day event that is the closest thing to Summer Sonic we’re going to get. For their 10 year anniversary, they’ve put together an amazing lineup, including many of my personal favorites like THE CHERRY COKE$ and The fin. Two day passes are available for only ¥5700. More details at

Old School
Link’s Bar (20:00 | FREE)
The only thing better than a night of the best beats from days long gone, is a night with DJ scrying at the helm of this way-back machine. Born in Chicago and educated in California, this crowd favorite is the only DJ qualified to drop both East and West side sounds without causing a kerfuffle on the dancefloor.

Electric Run
Toyota Stadium (16:30 | ¥6,500)
Running is all the rage these days, as it seems nearly everyone is so goddamn proud that they just did a whatever-K in however many minutes. Well, that’s all well and good for anyone who wants to live forever, but it would take a fairly monumental event to get my ass off the couch. The Electric Run, a world-wide mashup of lasers, visual FX, dance music and crazy fashion, is just such an event. After the 5K fun run through an electric wonderland, DJ Baby-T will lead the rave celebration at the end.

Kat McDowell
Café Flow (18:00 | ¥3,000)
The open air architecture of this cool new hangout near Nadya Park is the perfect venue for the surf pop of this Kiwi/Japanese singer and songwriter.

Sunday 7

Open Auditions
Uchiyama Community Center (10:00)
After wowing audiences with their last show The Club, the Nagoya Players are ready to get started on their next one, the original drama Psychic, which opens in December. This is your chance to get involved with the vibrant Nagoya theatre scene.  Any question should be sent to

Thursday 11

Jim Kweskin Band with Samoa Wilson
Tokuzo (18:00 | ¥7,000)
There is so much good live music in Imaike on this night, with nearly something for everyone. If you like blue grass and hillbilly music, don’t miss Jim Kweskin, a legend of the 60s folk scene. Just what the east end has been missing, more jug music.

The Iron Maidens
Bottom Line (18:00 | ¥6,500)
Calling this group the greatest all-female Iron Maiden tribute band detracts from the fact that they are THE greatest Iron Maiden tribute band, regardless of gender.

Over The Border
Club Upset (18:00 | ¥2,800)
When you think about alternative rock, several cities probably jump to mind; Seattle, Manchester, Athens, Kuala Lumpur?! Perhaps it’s not most known for rocking out, but there’s a new generation of young bands gaining fame in Southeast Asia, including Djezna’s Stalker. For something very much under the radar, check them out on this night.

Saturday 13

Zepp Nagoya (20:00 | ¥7,500)
With their spellbinding a cappella covers of today’s hottest music, it’s really no wonder that these YouTube wunderkinds sold-out nearly every show in Japan in the first two weeks! If you want to see them, there are still seats available in Tokyo, Osaka & Fukuoka.

Sunday 14

Apollo Base (17:00 | ¥3,000)
Ska Punk Is Not Dead, and Ska Punk Strikes Back, the first two albums from local band Ryoji & Ska Punk Zombies are manifestos defying anyone to speak ill of the blaring horns, rabblerousing lyrics and skanking of this hard-to-hate genre.

Rotary Wave
Club Upset (15:00 | ¥2,300)
A damn fine sampling of electrorock with She,in the haze from Tokyo and local faves palitextdestroy and white white sisters. Now, I know it’s “cool” to use all lowercase letters in your band’s name, but this is getting ridiculous. It’s this rampant disregard for proper use of the Shift key that makes bands like SPACE LIKE CARNIVAL seem to be the most important act on this night (they are not).

Monday 15

Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock
Diamond Hall (18:00 | ¥9,000)
If there really were a school of rock, Michael Schenker would have an entire chapter dedicated to his influence and talent. As a member of Scorpions and UFO, Schenker laid the foundation of rock with his signature Gibson Flying V. And upon that foundation he built his Temple of Rock, a celebration of the many classic songs he is famous for.

Friday 19

Future Venus
Club Orca (19:00)
I’m not really into trance music, mostly because I’m not a coke-snorting Euro-douchebag. However, the NRG mixes of the glamorously androgynous DJ Yoji from Kobe will set a fire under your ass. Dance or burn.

Acoustic Showcase
Coat of Arms (20:00)
I love that CoA has become a popular stage for local musicians to go unplugged for their fans. I love it even more now that Ghost of Matsubara is getting in on the act, along with singer/songwriter Mikey Likesit and a mystery guest.

Monday 22

Club RAD (17:00 | ¥3,000)
Some good punk rock from Canada along with Nerdlinger from Australia and several local bands

Wednesday 24

Blind Guardian
Bottom Line (18:00 | ¥7,500)
“heavy metal concept album”: there is no other 4-word combination which brings me more dread as a music reviewer. And Beyond the Red Mirror, the newest release from this German power metal band, lives up to that dread and then some.

Saturday 27

Torro Torro
X-Hall (21:00 | ¥3,900)
From their banging remixes, like the one they did for Zedd’s Clarity, to their original hits like CA$HVILLE, this Toronto duo is all over the scene.

Rock City Toyohashi
Live Space Zero (18:45 | ¥2,000)
This is a bit further afield than I like to send my readers, mostly because I don’t want to be liable for anyone getting lost and never seen again. But for such a strong team up of local musicians, like the amazing Xandra Corpora and her band, and talent from our sister city, including SNACK MAMA, I am willing to take that risk.

Sunday 28

Chicago Loop
Club Mago (14:00 | ¥3,500)
The feverish mixes of UK DJ ant, AKA Chicago Loop, harken back to the days when techno music was kinda cool.

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