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Saturday, January 12, 2013


One of the best opportunities that I had in 2012 was to be an ALO for Esplanade's Baybeats Festival. To celebrate their tenth anniversary, they not only had newbies but also invited several more veteran bands back to perform! In addition, they brought in bands from overseas, like Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan!

I was very impressed by the quality of the bands for the 3 nights, but one band that seriously stunned me was START OF THE DAY from Japan!

Image from Official Website.

START OF THE DAY is a female-fronted Japanese emo rock band that was conceived in 2002. Growing up in the 90’s to the sounds of Scandinavian, American and especially Swedish emo rock made a profound impact on members Yuya Tanami (vocals/guitar), Atsuko Watanabe (vocals/keyboard), Tatsuya Tanami (guitar), and Takamitsu Hiruma (drums). Employing spatial and emotional guitar hooks, soaring vocals, and tight drums, their music is likened to “watching an emotionally-driven cinema”. [Taken from Baybeats.com]

Listening to them is a bit like listening to Jay Chou: you cannot fully make out the lyrics until you read them. But in START OF THE DAY's case, the backing track+Atsuko's voice = pure awesomeness. I always figure out the lyrics much much later.

Initially, I had an okay impression of them because I only had time to listen to this one song.

I only met them in person when they came for their sound check which sounded really good, and made me look forward to their performance later that night. Hearing them live is really very different from their CD. Not that they sound worse, but their charisma and power live is that much more powerful. ^^ They even included a purely instrumental track, my favourite track of the night but sadly was not included in the album they sold that night ): Still, check it out on Youtube (and their whole set list for that night)!

I was so impressed that I went to the booth to buy their album. The top 3 songs I liked from this album were If (the harmonies were beautiful), One Long-lasting Belief (tribute for the Japan earthquake) and The Best Mistake. I got a complimentary shirt too when I sent them off at their hotel. ^^v The shirt is super comfortable! I wear it very very often just because it is so comfortable XD

The members themselves are very friendly people! We tried hard to communicate with English XD Thank goodness they had Adam with them to be a translator. 日本語をもっと勉強しましょう!

They even had a tour to celebrate the release of their new EP The Baton! Touring more than 10 locations in 2012, they will end with one final stop in 2013!

Someone just sponsor me a trip to Japan. Pretty please?

If you are/will be in Japan at that time, do catch them (: If you're stuck in Singapore (like me), give their album a listen!

Before Baybeats, I listened to very little rock, much less emo rock. For the bands that were performing at the Outdoor Theatre, they were rock-ish within my tolerance levels XD Now I'm even okay with certain songs from One Ok Rock, Luna Sea etc.

Find out more about them below:

In general, I am also very impressed by the quality of the equipment, sound & lighting staff that Esplanade has, and the musicianship of all the artistes. It really made the performances that much better.

In addition, it made me reflect on myself. To be truly chorally competent, what levels of musicianship would I need to strive for?

Love. Integrity. Excellence.