â€œYouâ€™re not going to stand there the whole time, are you?â€ a thirtysomething asks me in Japanese from behind the photo pit barrier.
I tell her that I wouldnâ€™t be much of a rock photographer if I stood still the whole time.
â€œGood,â€ she says, her face all business. â€œBecause we lined up for this from yesterday morning. So please try to keep your head down, because itâ€™s in my way.â€
Her friend presses a slip of paper into my hand. â€œGive this to someone with the bandâ€”they know me,â€ 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 theÂ Best Buy TheaterÂ in Manhattan, which drew a sold out Sunday crowd of over 2,000 on Sept. 30 for the New York concert debut ofÂ Bâ€™z, Japanâ€™s all-time biggest band. Since 1988,Â Tak MatsumotoÂ 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,Â click here.
For Justin’s September 2012 interview with Tak and Koshi,Â click here.