Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Bands gorge on attention – not sushi – at Summer Sonic

August 21, 2009

The world’s top rock bands were blown away by record crowds at Japan’s “Summer Sonic” music festival earlier this month.

MUSIC-JAPAN/BRITBANDS

Headliners such as Beyonce, Linkin Park, Kasabian and Keane helped Asia’s biggest music event celebrate its 10th anniversary in front of a record 250,000 in Tokyo and Osaka.

But as they gorged on the adulation of Japanese fans, many overseas artists struggled with the sushi and other local delicacies.

Feuding UK rivals Kasabian, Keane and Razorlight left their handbags at home as bands concentrated on more serious issues in the posh backstage catering area.

“The treat you like royalty in Japan — like you’re Elvis Presley or John Lennon,” Kasabian vocalist Tom Meighan told me, wearing the look of a hungry college student. “Nothing surprises me in Japan. You can hire a cat out for half an hour and stroke it while you have a coffee. But I can’t get on with the food. I can’t do sushi. Our manager has brought a case of pot noodles. Can you get kebabs here?”

Rock n roll.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

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