Raining so I drove to school. My bike is at Debs, so I didn't have much choice.
This weekend was large. I'm still a little sleepy and my left calf is killing me but the Electraglide All-Nighter in Osaka rocked! The only downer was that we turned up late and missed most of Hexstatic's 90 minute set.
So the events of the weekend. When I left my flat for the train station, the weather was warm and still, just like it is before a typoon. I met Debs on the train to Naoetsu. Before the train pulled off a man asked if I knew Japanese. I said I knew a little and he gestured for me to come back to his seat. He looked as though he was on his way home from a meeting. He showed me a picture taken of a sign near a dam that must have been the topic of conversation. He wanted me to help translate what the sign said. Through a mix of my limited Japanese, his English and my dictionary, I managed to fumble through some kind of explanation. He was satisfied enough and was extremely grateful. When he got off the train he asked if I liked golf. I told him sorry, I prefer soccer and saw him tuck away the golfing magazine I think he was about to offer me as a token of thanks. I must remember this kind of thing for when I ask for help from people.
When Debs and I got to Naoetsu we found waves of rain sweeping down the streets. Luckily, Mel came and picked us up in her car and at her flat were Ryan, Neil and Annie. Ryan was coming to Osaka too, Neil and Annie were here just socially. Emma Baker was on her way, so when she arrived and was picked up from teh station, we settled down to try and get some sleep before our early, 7.19 morning train to Osaka.
We got our train on time. I managed to sleep until Toyama, where we changed for the express to Osaka. There were very few seats on the Express so not all of us had a seat for the journey. We rotated every now and again so none of us had to stand for three hours.
When we got to Osaka we hunted out some food first, lockers for our bags and then the tourist information to find out where the ATC Hall, tonight's venue, was. We then had the afternoon to ourselves. Ryan and Beth went to meet some friends of there's and the rest of us (me, Debs, Emma and Mel) headed to the Sky Tower. The building itself is quite ugly, but the view from the top was amazing.
We all met back at the station around 5ish and headed towards the hotel to get ready. We'd booked a twin hotel room to have somewhere to shower and keep our stuff, so to keep the illusion that there were only two people staying there Mel and Beth checked in while teh rest of us went for food. We found and Italian place round the corner, run by a big guy from Trinidad. This was great cos he spoke English and helped us with the menu when we couldn't read the kana properly. He and Ryan struck up a good report so we had great food with good cenversation. The guy even knocked off the tax from our meal which was nice.
We headed back to the hotel, got showered and changed and headed out to the gig. The room wasn't big enough to sleep all six of us later so Ryan and I decided to take our bags with us so we could stay at a capsule hotel later. We didn't leave til gone 9 which annoyed me because teh gig started at 9 and I knew Hexstatic would be starting first. We got the to venue at 10pm and had a quick look around. I bought a hexstatic t-sirt and as I was putting it away into my bag I heard 'Timber' coming from the main hall. I looked inside and Hexstatic were on! I grabbed everyone else and we managed to catch the last three songs, just as I had when I first saw them five years ago. They were great. They mixed around with Timber and then started playing Ren and Stimpy's 'Happy Happy, Joy Joy'; straight at first before dropping a massive/phat/thumpin' bass beat that sent the crowd wild. It certainly converted Debs to loving Hexstatic. After that, they mixed up some old seventies hits into their own song and finished the set.
Immediatly after they'd left, a chord was struck behind us. There was a second stage, all geared up for live music, and the next band had started to play. The crowd moved from one end of the room to the other and started listening to LCD Soundsystem. What a fantastic concept; two stages, facing each other so as one group plays the next can be set up and the crowd don't have to move far at all. Only the Japanese could think of such a crowd-centric idea.
LCD Soundsystem were okay, but not brilliant so Ryan and I left to try and find a place to stash our bags (the cloakroom queue was massive) and then hunt out some beer. We then took up our places for 2manyDJs and spent the next hour and a half bopping away to a set that included 808 state, Daft Punk, Blur and many others I couldn't recognise. When they finished, I rushed to the other end of the Hall to be as close to the front as I could for the Prodigy.
The Prodigy rocked. They still showed masses of energy and plenty of aggression, even if Keith Flint was camping it up when he got knackered. They played plenty of old tunes and mixed in a few new ones. I managed to get my way right intop the mosh-pit at the front. The mosh-pit wasn't very big, but I had plenty of elbows and head knock into me. I helped a few guys up for a bit of crowd surfing too and was really surprised when one of them returned five minutes later for another go!
After three hours non-stop dancing (half and half for 2manyDJs and Prodigy), we saw a bit of Darren Emerson. He wasn't brilliant so I decided to go off and sit down like an old man. My ankles and calfs were killing me (and they still do today) and I needed to change my t-shirt; the one I had on was covered in my sweat and sweat from other people. Good job I brought my bag. I was feeling hungry and quite sober now after all the bouncing about during Prodigy so we went for some food. After, I felt quite tired and looking round, so did a lot of other people. Everywhere there were people slumped up agaist walls sleeping. I hunted out my own spot and had a quick nap too, waiting for the second wind to carry through til dawn.
I woke and went to see !!! (chk chk chk), who had a lot of adoring fans in the crowd, but I wasn't that impressed. I found the rest of the guys as Ryan and Emma were leaving (Beth had already left) so I said goodbye then hung around with Debs and Mel til Tim Deluxe started. His set opened with a mix of Nirvana's 'Smells like Teen Spirit' which went down well. He moved on to some decent dance mixing, but after about half an hour or so my, legs were screaming out for a sit down. Looking round, Mel had already gone to sleep and Debs was nodding off so we decided to leave.
Dawn was breaking as we got the tram back to the hotel. Mel collected her and Debs bags from teh hotel and we went to the station, bought our tickets and got the express to Kanazawa. A change there and we were back in Naoestu by 13.10. Unfortunatly, it wasn't an express that stopped at Tokamachi so Debs and I had to wait for an hour for the next HokuHoku line train.
When we got to Tokamachi, Debs and I walked to Debs' apartment (I rode my bike to save my calfs), dropped off her stuff and went to met Aimee for ramen near Jusco (what is the name of that place?) to catch up with the week's news (Holly and Kieona enjoyed Tokyo and got to the US safely).
Debs drove me back to my apartment (hence why my bike is at her's) and I settled in for the night. I tried to stay awake as long as possible, but it I couldn't. After falling asleep twice reading my book, I decided it best to shower and go to sleep at 7.30pm. I think maybe I should have gone to sleep earlier because it was difficult to wake this morning; though the cold wasn't helping.
But I'm in school now. I've just nipped off an bought my lunch before the students finish fourth period and now I've caught up with my journal so now there's no excuse to not finish the final draft of the listening test.