Live report by Jen Wang
September 1, 2014
“Shake the house” is usually a figurative phrase. At AnimeFest’s concert, the room literally vibrated as FLOW rocked out. Eight years after their U.S. debut, the band returned to a packed Dallas crowd, eager to hear some of their favorite tunes.
Without hesitation, FLOW got the crowd moving with “Sign”. Vocalists KEIGO and KOHSHI darted around the stage, jumping and throwing their fists in the air. Next came the much-loved Eureka 7 opening, “DAYS”. The funky guitar was the perfect companion to the flawlessly delivered rap. As the night progressed, TAKE let more of his personality shine through his guitar solos. He milked every minute, and KOHSHI and KEIGO helped make sure the attention was on him.
The tight bonds between band members were on full display, making the concert more enjoyable. It was like watching best friends jamming along, and FLOW invited the audience through getting the room to jump and clap along to “BLACK & WHITE”. Afterward, the instrumentalists got a moment to shine. With IWASAKI laying down a solid rhythmic foundation, GOT’S delivered the funk through some slap bass and TAKE made his guitar scream otherworldly notes. They were a formidable trio.
The vocalists rushed back on-stage for the sassy “Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye”. Pausing to catch his breath, KOHSHI commented, “Oh my god, it’s hot up here.” Little did anyone know that his words would foreshadow the fire alarms going off later. Slowing things down, “Ryuusei” included an unexpected but charming duet between KEIGO and GOT’S. The room then exploded with excitement when the guys played their cover of the Dragon Ball Z theme, “Cha-La Head Cha-La”. The following number, “Tokonatsu Endless”, featured a great interplay between the vocals. KOHSHI also got to show off his impressive range.
The lights dimmed for the member introduction. IWASAKI whipped out neon drum sticks and played harder and louder than ever before. GOT’S entered and started playing his bass like a guitar with intricate fingering. The fire alarm interrupted TAKE’s moment, but an evacuation couldn’t subdue his playfulness. Clad in a Texas Rangers jersey and light-up sunglasses, he gave a stoic look before saying, “I’ll be back” in his best Arnold impression. Instead of picking up his guitar, he started waving his arms in a synchronized dance to the drum and bass. KEIGO and KOHSHI joined him, and it was clear that yes, they were back and ready to go again.
With only a few songs remaining, FLOW saved the best for last. They ended their initial set with the song that helped bring them overseas, “GO!!!” The entire room jumped and sang along with band. No one knew how that performance could be topped, but FLOW upped the ante in their encore with a cover of “Guren no Yamiya”, the opening for Attack on Titan. With many fans of the anime in the crowd, the room exploded with cheers and screams. Their rock ‘n’ roll rendition was definitely a treat to hear. They concluded with “Garden”, the closest thing to a ballad in their set. The calmness provided a quiet moment for everybody, including FLOW, to wind down and soak up the magic of an unforgettable evening.