Justin’s Japan: NYC Gives B’z an A at Best Buy Theater

Koshi Inaba, left, and Tak Matsumoto of B’z played a sold out show at New York’s Best Buy Theater Sept. 30, 2012. (Justin Tedaldi)

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02) for Examiner.com. Visit his Japanese culture page here for related stories.

“You’re not going to stand there the whole time, are you?” a thirtysomething asks me in Japanese from behind the photo pit barrier.

I tell her that I wouldn’t be much of a rock photographer if I stood still the whole time.

“Good,” she says, her face all business. “Because we lined up for this from yesterday morning. So please try to keep your head down, because it’s in my way.”

Her friend presses a slip of paper into my hand. “Give this to someone with the band—they know me,” she purrs. On it is a name written in katakana followed by a phone number. The reverse reads the name of a nearby hotel.

Welcome to the Best Buy Theater in Manhattan, which drew a sold out Sunday crowd of over 2,000 on Sept. 30 for the New York concert debut of B’z, Japan’s all-time biggest band. Since 1988, Tak Matsumoto and Koshi Inaba have sold over 80 million records, and hold an untouchable record for consecutive number one singles in their native land (46 and counting). A colossal achievement in music, to be sure, but how would the rockers be received on this, their first-ever coast to coast North American tour?

For the complete story, click here.

For Justin’s September 2012 interview with Tak and Koshi, click here.