From Iceland — Airwaves Day Four: Good Music Doesn't Care What Language You Speak

Airwaves Day Four: Good Music Doesn’t Care What Language You Speak

Published November 8, 2015

Gabríel Benjamin
Photo by
Art Bicnick

From the moment I heard of Bo Ningen, I was interested. A Japanese psychadelic acid punk four-piece? It sounded perfect! And, as I learned tonight, it is! Their sound went from heavy and sludgy to fast and twangy, and their lyrics, well, I couldn’t make heads or tails of them—they could easily have been deeply anti-establishment, or pro-fascist—but it didi’t matter because their instrumentals and attitude were spectacular enough to get the crowd moving, moshing, and smiling throughout the show.

Photos by Art Bicnick

What really set Bo Ningen apart from the other rock acts of Airwaves was their phenomenal showmanship. Their outfits looked thought out, giving each member a very clear character; for example, the singer/bassist’s black dress playing to their androgynous presence and orgasmic facial expressions, and the lead guitarist’s red shirt/trouser combo went hand-in-hand with their action hero-like jumping and kicking around the stage.

And the song structures were different to anything else at the festival, too. Their last song featured about two minutes of metal hooks, jazzy drums, and rapid-fire lyrics shouted at full volume, and then fifteen of improvised shredding with a heavy dose of theatrics. It was fantastic. And the crowd’s headbanging was fabulous. And the amount of perspiration emitted was almost insufferable.

It was a great show. Once it was all over, I heard a man next to me utter, “Oh my God! I could die right now.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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