Anime North 2017 Part 1: Hollow Mellow

live report - 03.07.2017 04:15

Hollow Mellow brought an air of dark and dreamy nostalgia to their Canadian debut at Anime North 2017.

This year, Toronto convention Anime North welcomed visual kei band metronome and “dark fairytale artist” Hollow Mellow as musical guests. It was an interesting line-up, as both bands featured members who had performed at the convention in the past. Hollow Mellow violinist Jill took the stage in 2014 as part of Rose Noire, while metronome guitarist Fukusuke performed solo as ADAPTER。 in 2012.

The bands both appeared on all three days of the convention, even making an unannounced appearance at the fashion show on Friday, with metronome representing visual kei style and Hollow Mellow joining the group of lolita models. On Saturday, the bands performed in Hall C of the Toronto Congress Center, an enormous warehouse-like space.

Hollow Mellow were up first. Guitarist Nemu came out in the same outfit he wore to the fashion show: puffy shorts and a white top with a vest over it and a furry top hat with a large yellow eye on the front. However, Jill and vocalist Iruma Rioka debuted a different set of costumes. Iruma wore a fitted red dress and bright red lipstick, while Jill donned a matching red top, black shorts and a hat with white bunny ears.

The band’s romantic and slightly eerie songs filled the venue, with Jill headbanging back and forth as she played her violin and Nemu doing the same as he provided the heavier guitar riffs. Iruma smiled broadly as she sang, pumping her fist in the air to engage the crowd.

Audience members certainly seemed to appreciate the band’s well-coordinated gothic lolita style, as phones were in the air filming and snapping photos throughout the set. Iruma pulled out a card to read from during each of her MCs and while she seemed a bit tentative, the audience had no trouble understanding her and cheered each statement she read out.

The highlight for many audience members was definitely the middle of the set, when Iruma headed backstage for a break and Jill proclaimed, “Now you can see the battle of violin and guitar!” She and Nemu traded solos, throwing confident smirks as they one-upped each other. Then, they transitioned into playing the "Super Mario" theme, which got the crowd clapping along. They did some very Mario-like jumps, making the bounding sound effect with their instruments, and when they switched over to the Star theme they began running circles around each other.

With the crowd heated up, Iruma returned to the stage and introduced the members one by one, even pulling out her teddy and introducing him as “Honey – on bear!” Then, Hollow Mellow brought the audience back into their fairytale world with Twilight, which saw Iruma’s cute and child-like vocals contrasted against the aggressive fist-pumping the guitar sounds drew from the crowd. Soon after, Iruma brought out a big lollipop with a camera attached to take photos of the band with the audience. Fans jumped up and rushed forwards to be in the pictures. The band members also struck group poses for the fans to photograph. They finished their set with Romantique and quickly took their leave.

Calls of “En-co-re! En-co-re!” rang out, and the members came back looking genuinely touched. “I’ll play my favourite song, Touch your heart!” cried Iruma, and the band launched into a slower track. Iruma waved Honey in the air, and the fans followed her, waving their hands from side to side. The song became heavier and more danceable, and Hollow Mellow’s set ended on a high, with fans quickly heading over to the table at the side to buy merchandise.

Set List

01. Lesson
02. Control Me
03. Bad End
04. Eat Me
05. Enchanted
05. Guitar VS Violin
06. Just One More Dance
07. Spindle
08. Twilight
09. Adieu
10. Romantique

11. Touch your heart

Watch the music video for Enchanted below:

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Hollow Mellow   metronome  
Toronto, ON - Canada
Toronto Congress Center
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