live report - 05.07.2010 09:00

Japanese reggae artist RYO THE SKYWALKER performed for the first time in Los Angeles on February 27th ready to take on the international reggae scene.

RYO THE SKYWALKER performed for the first time in the US in Los Angeles on February 27th. This event was in celebration of his 10-year anniversary since his major debut. RYO has been influencing the reggae scene in Japan since before his debut. He has also been traveling frequently to and from Jamaica in order to develop his music even further. JointJam Festival, the event he was invited to be a part of, was mainly for up and coming Japanese reggae and hip hop acts.

The event took place at Club 740, amidst the dirty slums of downtown Los Angeles. However, Club 740 ended up being a hidden gem, a restored old 1940’s classic Hollywood building. The main room of the club had a small stage set up under a three-story archway. Upon this stage was a DJ system which was being used by JointJam’s DJ and host for the night. To begin the night, they played music from various reggae and urban artists. The crowd cheered as they played some of RYO THE SKYWALKER’s music. Behind the DJ stand were multiple LCD screens showing computer screen saver-like artwork throughout the night’s performances. During RYO THE SKYWALKER’s performance, the screens showed parts of his music videos as he performed.

It was already 10 p.m. when the first act began. There were various acts, most in reggae style. The first act had been a Japanese dancer; SHY-N did a very accurate Michael Jackson performance. The rest of the acts never really interested the people who were at the event. When the event started, only a group or two of people went closer to the stage to watch what was happening. Most people just danced to the music opposed to paying attention to who was on stage. The most eye-catching act was a female Japanese reggae performer. She performed with a rough voice full of energy, trying to get people to participate in a dance. In the middle of the performance she expressed how much of an honor it was to be an opening act for RYO THE SKYWALKER. It really showed how much of an influence he was in her performance.

It was getting towards early morning when it was finally time for RYO to make an appearance. The host of the show did the final introductions for the night. The host began getting people excited for RYO, yelling things such as “This is who you’ve all been waiting for.” Instead of being scattered on the dance floor, the crowd slowly began moving to the front of the stage. Soon, the place looked more like a concert instead of a dance event. People paid attention to the right side of the stage, waiting for the main performer to appear.

He came out on stage in a blink of an eye, yelling out to the crowd in a mix of Japanese and English. The fans' attention was fully on RYO. The performer was racing back and forth on the small stage in his loud yellow jacket. Although his voice had always received much criticism, in person it seemed a lot smoother than recordings and videos of previous performances. His voice was still unique and seemingly rough, yet he performed all of his music smoothly.

He seemed to really like speaking out to the crowd, yelling out to them and involving them with the music. His statement “English people can’t understand. But I know you can feel the vibe” received the loudest cheer of the night. Each song flowed smoothly into the next. RYO THE SKYWALKER kept on moving back and forth across the stage with rhythm in his step as he called out to fans, “People are you ready?”

By the end of the show he was sweating yet still full of energy. The whole crowd was into the vibe of the music and was smiling along with RYO until the end. When his performance finally finished, many agreed that he had given a powerful and fun performance.
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Los Angeles, CA - United States of America
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