Having never been a fan of rock or punk music, I definitely would not be the best person to judge a visual kei band. I can honestly testify though that many of my fellow Kanon Wakeshima fans seemed just as shocked as I was when [geist] appeared on the stage and began playing their hard core music.
My first encounter with [geist] was during the 2009 Japan Festival at the University of Maryland in College Park. It was a family event. Professors, students, and many others in the Maryland community brought their family to enjoy an enriching night of cultural experience. The festival offered a show of traditional Japanese dance, and had a room filled with booths that introduced guests to various aspect of Japanese society. It was a calm and quiet affair until the stage was cleared in preparation for the band…
Standing there on stage, the members of [geist] certainly were more than just a face in the crowd. The audience looked at them with curiosity, and then…they played their first song… Saying that their music was a shocking contrast to the atmosphere in the room would be an understatement. The room quickly emptied as grandparents, children, students and professors sought shelter from the noise. The Maryland community was obviously not ready for [geist].
As I stood there in Hall D of the Baltimore Convention Center and saw the familiar faces enter the stage, I too was not ready for [geist]. While I can appreciate that there are many fans of visual kei and j-rock, I found their music too great a contrast to Kanon Wakeshima’s. I do wish the band luck in their climb to success, but I would just ask that they try to choose more appropriate venues in the future.
([geist] Photos courtesy of Lee Miller)