Japanese rock band URBANGARDE made their USA debut at A-Kon 2016 in Dallas, Texas, earlier this month, performing for an audience of 2000 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Fans welcomed the group to the stage by waving a mass of flags showing URBANGARDE’s signature bleeding polka dot design before the band launched into the hour-long concert.
Filling the set list with songs like “Sakura Memento”, “Yameru Idol”, and their latest single “Coin Locker Babies”, the band chose the songs best known to international fans from their catalog of erotic, disturbing, and highly-stylized videos. Vocalist Yoko Hamasaki won over the crowd with her poised lyrical delivery and dramatic moves, while frontman Temma Matsunaga provided the chaotic counterpoint, bouncing and screaming “Sex is Heaven!” into his megaphone.
“Everyone we met in Texas made this such a magical experience,” commented Hamasaki after the show, still wearing her sailor schoolgirl outfit from the encore performance. “Sailor Fuku wo Nuganai de”, the band’s independently-produce first video, still remains a fan favorite. In the video, Yoko apologizes to her teacher (portrayed by Matsunaga) for an illicit affair, then gives birth to a giant Kewpie doll who fights her to death with a samurai sword.
While attending A-Kon, URBANGARDE also participated in three autograph sessions and a fan Q&A where the members discussed otaku lifestyles, Japanese society, and the best places to experience J-Pop subculture in Tokyo.
A-Kon 2016 Set List: