The opening act for this year's Music Fest was Raj Ramayya, a singer, composer, and lyricist that has credits in Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, and Wolf's Rain and was a part of The Seatbelts which meant he worked with lengendary composer Yoko Kanno.
Prior to Music Fest, I'd only seen him in a small room, acoustic guitar setting at SacAnime Summer. But this time around he rocked out, singing hits from Ghost in the Shell, the first Pokemon theme song, and even Dragon Ball Z.
Now it was time for the "Headliner" act: a trio that has been together for almost 20 years (in 2016). They have songs featured in anime like Eureka Seven, Naruto, and Bleach. They just released a 10th anniversary "Best Of" album.
Ladies and gentlemen, HOME MADE Kazoku.
|Shounen Heart playing on the big screen as the duo performs it on stage.|
|The two during one of the many fan interaction sections of the set list.|
|The three out for their encore wearing their 10th anniversary t-shirts.|
|Their encore song was Thank You!! from Bleach. Because you can't end your performance without signing the song that's ON THEIR ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER.|
|The only good shot of DJ U-ICHI that wasn't from Opening Ceremonies.|
Pic from MusicFest: HOME MADE KAZOKU put on an awesomely rocking show for @FanimeMusicFest! @HMKU_Official pic.twitter.com/dNwt4ad1Dh
— FanimeCon (@FanimeCon) May 25, 2014
With the ability to bring my camera equipment to do photos, this also meant that we were able to take the quickest Music Fest reaction video that we've ever done.
What's the verdict compared to other MusicFests?
I still hold that 2011's Yuya Matsushita - FLOW is one of the greatest MusicFest performances overall. But if I had to rank the "Headliners" only, then HOME MADE Kazoku beats out FLOW for two reasons:
- I grew up on hip-hop and HOME MADE Kazoku is Japanese Hip-Hop. I was "digging" their performance more than FLOW, which is very hard to beat out with their high-energy set list from beginning to end in both years that rivaled this year's performance.
- Kazoku means "family," and they spoke to me about family on a different wavelength that I took on a whole other level and blended with my beliefs about "family first."
FLOW for 2015 please?