Thursday night. Finished work at 7.30 and hotfooted down to the metro, hoping to get across town from Kudanshita to Ebisu before 8.00. Luck was on my side with the trains and I was able to get to the Liquid Room, grab a drink at the bar and find a fairly good place in the crowd just in time for the gig to start.
This was the last night of the Soil & "Pimp" Sessions autumn tour and the venue was packed to the rafters with an eager crowd. It was the fourth time I'd been to see them, but the first time in Tokyo.
Shortly after 8.00, the introductory theme came blasting over the speakers, and a couple of minutes later, Josei, Akita Goldman and Midorin (aka J.A.M.) made their way on stage to rapturous applause. The trio kicked off the set with a blistering cover of 'Quiet fire', which was to set the tone for the whole evening.
They were then joined by the rest of the band and things stepped up a gear as they launched into 'Suffocation' followed by 'Memai'. The band were equally as hyped up as the crowd, the atmosphere totally electric and you could tell that it was going to be a good night even at this early stage. Compared to the gigs I'd seen in Hiroshima (which were great), this was at another level altogether. Shacho was agitating to the max, encouraging the crowd during the riffs and solos and rousing us with his banter between songs.
They played a selection of favourites old and new, but as with any band that has built a good repertoire of tracks, you're always left wishing that one particular song had made its way on to the set list that night.
As is tradition, the set built to a climax with their thrash jazz anthem, with the crowd chanting "Soil!" at full voice.
The gig drew to a close and it was time to shuffle off home, adrenaline still pumping, really hot despite the cold air outside, ears ringing, but still wantig more.
Roll on February and the new EP and more concerts.