Quaff in Nashville

Heard of Quaff? I hadn’t, until it was announced they were coming to MTAC.

Quaff or Die!

Quaff: a Japanese visual kei band. Officially described thus: “Quaff is a band like none other. They bring elements of traditional Japanese music and culture into their heavy hitting music and live performances. Quaff rocks out with dual vocalists emphasizing their Japanese roots. Everything from the vocal melodies, to the rapping, to the drum beats, to the music screams of Japanese which takes their rock sound to a completely unique level. Even in a country saturated with musicians, Quaff is the only one to create a fusion of synergy between the traditional Japanese aura and modern music.”

MTAC: Middle Tennessee Anime Convention, the only con I’ve ever gone to (saving its new sister-con GMX on my birthday last October), for seven years now. No matter your level of anime involvement, it’s a great and fun environment of geekery. It’s almost like home; the congoers are nice (and clean!), and staff are good at what they do.

Anyway, Quaff came to MTAC this month, becoming the first band to attend the con straight out of Japan. In short, they were wonderful. At first I hadn’t expected much; I didn’t have time to check out the band’s videos very thoroughly before the con, and at a quick glance they look like most other visual kei rock bands out there. Well, I was pretty wrong.

Through the great fortune of having awesome friends, not only was I able to meet them briefly and take a picture with them at the con Friday; I was able to stand right at the front at their concert Saturday night. It was there that it became obvious: not only are they a good band (in my opinion, without hyperbole, the best band to have played at MTAC thus far) with an awesome variety of music that made me even want to dance from start to end in a kimono when my legs were worn out and my back was sore — not only that, but they also all have a ton of heart. For them to have been so kind, so smiley (I’m drawn to people who smile a lot), and so awesome at music all at the same time blew me away. Really, I had expected to be mildly impressed at best. Them playing a con that has obtained a kind of personal connection with me makes it even better, too. It was an all-around great experience for my first actual concert.

So, they are worth a listen, especially if you already like Japanese rock. A lot of bands everywhere wash out or blend in amidst cultures of pop idols. This one connects straight to the heart (and to the booty!).

Here’s wishing they return when MTAC “takes it to 11.” They HAVE to. Quaff or Die!

(Addendum: my friend caught Makito’s rose. Jealousy ensues! But it was awesome.)

Designer, artist, author, comic enthusiast, and geek about visual design/video games/Japan/human rights. Among other things!

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