Summer Sonic tends to be a mix of big international names (Rihanna), up-and-coming indie acts (Grimes), and some bands that are embarrassingly brought back from 1996 (Garbage). Yet, I believe it's the beauty of Summer Sonic, and I fully indulged in some guilty pleasures.
What I love about Summer Sonic is the location: indoors for the most part, so you can just lie down on the cold floor, escape the August heat, and listen to your favourite acts in the comfort of an air-conditioned room. I've never seen a festival with so many people sleeping, but it wasn't out of boredom, as I later found out. I think Japanese people are the most dedicated and attentive fans, who turn into a respectful and appreciative crowd, therefore international bands love playing in Japan.
The highlight of my experience was surprisingly Death Cab for Cutie, who made my heart ache with their songs about summer days and summer flings, perhaps because I'm such an emo mess lately. I had seen them four years ago at the same event, and funnily my friend Tom was also present back then, but we had not met yet, which made it special to see them again as friends this time.
My other favourite was ethereal Icelandic band Sigur Ros, who were absolutely mesmerizing, and sound best whilst lying down with eyes closed. I could have listened to them forever, it was quite moving, something I haven't felt in a long time at a concert.
I had a blast dancing to Azealia Banks, and despite my dubiety towards mainstream pop music, I was completely enthralled by Rihanna, who was so beautiful, talented and utterly perfect. I loved her so much, and her performance can only be described as hot. I did sneak out to catch an old favourite, New Order (sans Peter Hook), whose synthpop new wave sounds and performance of 'Blue Monday' made my life complete.
Those are just a small handful of acts I saw. Amongst the hectic running around to follow my timetable to the exact minute (I am a music nerd), I caught a glimpse of Tears For Fears, whom I used to love as a little girl. I was definitely the youngest person in the crowd, and I found the random bunches of sunflowers during 'Sowing the Seeds of Love' quite endearing- that's what I mean by fan dedication.
I enjoyed roaming around the area, as the venue spreads all the way to the beach, including a baseball stadium as a main stage for the headliners. I dipped my toes in the ocean while watching the sun set, and listening to some of the live performances, before going back inside for some cool air.
As for the festival fashion, which I had my eyes open for, it ranged from camping-chic (are backpacks and hiking boots necessary?) to Ke$ha-fan style (colourful neon getups, heeled sneakers and glued on nails and lashes), to simple summer shorts and tees with a sophisticated touch, which I prefer.
The back and forth train rides between Tokyo and Chiba were a bit lengthy and crowded, but they play a big part in the whole festival experience, and I secretly love them.
I think I'll be in a daydream-like state for the next few days, that's how much I loved Summer Sonic. Maybe I don't need to sugarcoat any of that for my official magazine article.
|Summer Sonic 2012- TOKYO!|
|Welcome to Summer Sonic,|
a devilish whale welcomes you.
|Chilling out much|
|Death Cab For Cutie (maybe?)|
|Tom and I got emo during Death Cab|
|You can play pachinko at Summer Sonic.|
I won a tee-shirt and a towel.
|I spelled out my name during Sigur Ros.|
They made me feel creative with shiny bits of confetti.
|Day one: Super Sonic|
|Pre-festival egg udon|
|Day two: cropped top|
|Summer Sonic displays art|
|The beach, part of the venue|
|A stadium filled to the brim for princess Rihanna|