It's probably been over a decade ago when I first heard of a Japanese band, Zoobombs. I remember flipping through their albums between numerous others at the Tower Record in Hiroshima, when my high school music geek friend, Nishihara stopped me and briefly mentioned the band. I thought to myself, "What kind of band name is that?" ( Zoobomb in Japanese means a pair of trousers), and kept skipping through. After arriving in Toronto 7 years ago, I've often asked my Canadian friends if they know the band. I've nodded my head in the realization that they are big in Toronto too. However, I'd missed seeing them live so many times. My recent conversation with Lonely Vagabond made me determined to see them next time there were in town. After all these years, my opportunity finally came to see them here in Toronto at Silver Dollar Room on September 21st.
The moment that Zoobombs stepped on the stage, I knew that it would be one of the best shows that I've ever witnessed. Their vivacious stage presence lit up a fire in the entire venue and went into overdrive. They know the perfect equation to mix various musical genres in their sounds from psychedelic rock, pop, to rapping. The flawless transitions between songs created the endless chain of wowzer from the audience. I was trapped in their dynamic live ambiance. The lyrics were mixed up with both Japanese and English, yet it was hard to capture what the lead singer, Don Matsuo was singing. (It may have been a due to the stereo position.) However, rather it was as if Matsuo was casting a spell on the Canadian audience with their superb performance and their music itself spoke to the audience. As Zoobombs proceeded their performance, I couldn't help realizing that music is just a means of communication beyond the boarders and language barrier and they maneuver it like a ninja star. The sincerer gestures and their passion were communicated to us through their music and it just made me so happy to be the part of the show.
Their success in my homeland may be a hard tale to describe. However, it is not overstating to say they've had more success in North America than any other Japanese artists, especially in Toronto. At the end of the set, Matsuo thanked the audience and acknowledged that Toronto is a very special place for them and I wanted to tell them that this is their second home.
I thought back the moment that I was at Tower Record and I wanted to tap the young me on the shoulder and tell her to grab the record on hand because she would never regret.