It may have been raining outside in Somerset, New Jersey on June 7t, but inside the crowd couldnt have been more energized as vocalist Satsuki once again took the stage at AnimeNEXT — this time with his new band Moon Stream.
Satsuki previously preformed at AnimeNEXT in 2008 with his former band Rentrer en Soi, as well as making an appearance as a guest at the convention in 2012. This time, he appeared as the vocalist of Moon Stream, a new musical unit, combining forces with guitarist Tomo (echostream). Moon Stream merges the talents of both musicians, producing an elegant yet hard rock sound.
The band wasted no time in riling the audience up. Attached to the stage was a short runway which Satsuki and Tomo both took advantage of, visiting it frequently to interact with the audience. Having no permanent bassist or drummer, Moon Stream had bassist Poel and drummer Takaya (ex. Romance for~) perform with them. Although only support members, they’re skill and cooperation created a harmonious stage presence, completing the band.
The audience was entranced as Satsuki spent about half of the duration of the show out on the runway, directly in front of and above the audience. Satsuki gave all his MCs in English, helping him connect with the audience. His English has dramatically improved within the past few years, compared to when he was in the States with Rentrer en Soi.
He maintained a good attitude about the language barrier: When he asked everyone to shout, and the audience did not understand him, he imitated the crowd in a high pitch voice, saying, “We love you Satsuki,” bringing a laugh to both performers and audience.
Satsuki, Tomo and Poel all constantly moved around the stage, giving each person a chance to see them up close. The band members teased the audience with fan service, with Satsuki hugging and then acting as if he was about to kiss Tomo before pulling away — the screams only encouraging them on further. Tomo and Poel would often play side by side on the main stage, even plucking the strings on each other’s instruments. Takaya wasn’t left out either, as Poel would frequently play near the drums.
For the song “Afterglow” Satsuki asked, “Will you dance with me?” and taught the audience the furi to go along with the song so that the crowd could dance with the gestures that the as Japanese audiences typically do.
As Satsuki announced, “This next song is the last song,” and the audience groaned. He laughed and replied, “So sad!”
The band primarily performed songs published under Satsuki’s solo name, however, AnimeNEXT was in for a real treat — Moon Stream debuted one of their own songs, titled “D/E” (D slash E). Satsuki announced, “This is the first time we play this new song. So headbanging and rawr rawr is ok! Ready?” While most of Satsuki’s songs are in Japanese, D/E is in English, and headbanging and screaming did in fact occur throughout the song.
The band couldn’t leave the stage without throwing guitar picks, water bottles, flowers scattered around the stage and even the tour shirts off their very own backs into the audience. Satsuki threw his shirt first towards the end of the song, showing off his multiple tattoos, and the other three followed after they finished playing. The guys lingered on stage, smiles plastered to their faces before they finally had to depart.
It appears Satsuki is targeting a more global audience post-Rentrer en Soi, playing solo and with Moon Stream in various American and European cities. Future stops include Los Angeles, Atlanta, Montreal, Oklahoma City and Paris. Moon Stream may be a newer band, but it’s evident the musicians certainly aren’t new to this scene. AnimeNEXT attendees were happy to welcome back Satsuki and many more hope Moon Stream will return to the area again.
9 PRAY FOR THE SUN
3 D/E (MOONSTREAM)
Edited and contributed by: Deb