Envy Rocked Taipei

live report - 08.06.2011 10:01

Envy held an intimate concert in Taipei and captivated their audience.

Envy is a post-rock/metal band founded in Tokyo and composed of five members: Tetsuya Fukagawa, Nobukata Kawai, Masahiro Tobita, Manabu Nakagawa and Dairoku Seki. They have been active together since 1992 and attract a strong and large foreign fanbase, in Europe and North America in particular, where they are currently signed under Rock Action Records and Temporary Residence Limited respectively.

Their latest album, Recitation, was released in 2010, and to promote it, they came to Taiwan to hold concerts in Taipei and Kaoshung, two years after their latest visit in the country. Both concerts were nearly sold-out and attracted many foreigners at the Wall. A few even traveled from Canada to Taiwan just to see the band perform.

The venue was packed and growing excitement was tangible as the curtains opened along with Guidance's notes in the background. All the members but vocalist Tetsuya came on stage one by one while waving to the audience. As for the latter, he waited a few minutes before joining and starting the set.

Envy's music lies between ethereal post-rock melodies and the roughness of the metal screamo. And this mix works surprisingly well in live with songs that are progressively growing in intensity to suddenly explode with the singer's screaming. Talking about Tetsuya's vocal performance, he alternates between whispers, a well-controlled singing, and sudden howls with amazing ease. His voice did not suffer even once and remained constant for the whole set. The other members also did a very good job at their respective positions.

But the most surprising thing however is the gap between the force and the flow of emotions, of sadness and despair coming out from his singing and the very soft, gentle and polite voice he actually has when he speaks to the audience. Almost sounding shy, Tetsuya even dared telling a few jokes in English: "We're coming from Tokyo. We're still alive", provoking a wave of laughter. He then let the translator pass a thank you message for Taiwan's support for Japan's earthquake and tsunami victims.

As for the audience, whose average age is older than at other Japanese concerts held at the Wall, they had been excited starting from the very first song, and the atmosphere grew hotter and hotter, but we had to wait for the middle of the concert to really witness some agitation among the spectators in line with the violence of some of the songs. And despite the rather weak and boring middle of set, the end was really explosive with A warm room, probably THE best performance of the night, and the most awaited one also as the crowd immediately cheered starting from the very first piano notes. The fans and even non-fans had been generally highly responsive to the concert and it seems that the band had been so overwhelmed by it that one of the guitarists gave his guitar to one member of the audience at the very end. However, and it's funny enough to make a point, it seems that a staff member fetched it right after the members left the stage.

Envy was a really nice surprise. Even if you are not familiar with them, you can still find enjoyment in their music and spend a really good concert with them. They are really worth your time, so if they come to your town, don't go; Run!
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Taipei - Taiwan
The Wall
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