Today is the first of two shows here in Tokyo. We're playing the Makuhari Messe, which I think translates roughly to "big dumb ugly-assed warehouse" in English. Not the most attractive venue, to be sure. There is no seating whatsoever, standing room only, but the room is huge. As currently configured for our show, it will hold 24,000 people. We've sold over 20,000 tickets for tonight's show and would have easily sold it out if we weren't doing another show tomorrow night.
Interesting things I saw on the 45-minute drive to the venue:
The red and white Japanese version of the Eiffel Tower:
Or maybe it's the NCSU Wolfpack Tower...
The Japanese version of the Golden Gate Bridge:
A very strange looking building:
Another cool thing about doing shows in Japan is that the night is over early. Reason being, everyone here uses mass transit, so when they get off from their jobs, they go directly to the concert venue for the show, then head home to the suburbs from there.
Today, doors were at 5:00, there was no opening act, and Rage was scheduled to be onstage at 6:30. One bandmember wound up leaving the hotel a little too late in rush hour traffic, so we actually didn't hit the stage until 6:55. But the show was still over at 8:15. Gotta love that!
Here's a photo of Tom's guitar tech, Slim, onstage about 5 minutes before the show started:
Had to turn on the flash to get Slim lit for the shot, but doing so caused the crowd to fade out. So I turned off the flash and got up on the drum riser to get this one:
That's 20,000-plus crazed Japanese Rage fans you're looking at. And they all lost their minds as soon as the band hit the stage.
After the show, the Japanese promoter folks took the entire crew out to dinner at some restaurant that I never got the name of. It was one of those "take off your shoes and sit in the table pit" places. Wave after wave of food and drink descended upon us. Between promoter employees and crew folks, we probably had about 30 people in all. It was all big fun, and when we got back to the hotel around 1:20am, I was ready to go back out to the Roppongi District, but everyone else was too stuffed to do anything other than go to bed.
I just went online for awhile until I got sleepy, sometime around 3am…