Live Report: Quaff at AnimeUSA

As fans slowly made their way in and crowded their way around the stage, you could feel the anticipation in the air. Most of the attendees had already been to the first set on Friday night and were anxious to experience this band’s energy for a second time. As Megaphone Man (a many year veteran staff member for AUSA) took the stage, the attendees cheered their approval knowing that Quaff was only moments from appearing.

As Megaphone Man introduced the band, saying, “Ladies and Gentleman, I give you QUAFF!”, the lights dimmed, and strobes filled the hall as Ukisemi’s rough, husky voice came through the speakers, chanting out their hypnotizing piece, Yuzen-naru-Rekise. From that, they smoothly transitioned into the blaring beat of Ghost Jungle.

As the audience’s anticipation began to mount all over again, the moment finally came when the band appeared. First came HAL looking cool and confident as he strolled out and launched a red velvet rose into the shrieking throng. Next to appear was Makito, who also threw a rose, and after him was SNG. Takuma walked out looking nearly as excited at the audience, and then came the be-masked MC, Ukisemi. The last to appear, Seiya came out, met by screams of approval, dressed in skinny jeans, boots, and his kimono top, over a red tee-shirt.

All at once, the band burst into their song for the anime ZONE-00, ‘Destiny-00’, and I knew that myself, and every attendee were in for another high-energy concert. The ear-to-ear smiles on each member’s face just added to the energy, and gave the entire event an intimate, personal vibe. It was obvious to everyone present that in this particular case, the band was having just as much fun as the audience, which made it all the more special for everyone attending.

After another 2 high energy songs, Seiya addressed the audience with a “Hello everyone,” and then began to introduce each band member, having the audience say their names in time with the music. After the introductions, Seiya threw up his hands and said, “WE ARE QUAFF!!!”

Rolling into a jazzy number, still going strong, the band threw some more of their velvet roses into the crowd, flashing smiles and pointing at the crowd. Once the song ended, Ukisemi took center stage for his MC. He asked, “Did you like it?” only to be met with screams of delight. Nodding his approval, Ukisemi asked if everyone remembered him. He continued telling everyone that he was from Heaven, and then asked if the crowd liked One Piece and Bleach. Then he showed everyone the new Quaff tee-shirt design, and threw it into the crowd.

Once the shirt was thrown, Ukisemi held up a pair of binoculars and asked if everyone knew what they were. Then he explained that they were field glasses, at which point Seiya held up a sign saying, “Field Glasses”. He further explained that they weren’t ordinary field glasses, but were in fact know as “Supponpon Scope”, again reinforced by Seiya holding up a sign. Finally, he said, “Supponpon means ‘all naked’… I can see you all naked!”

At this point, everyone in the audience was laughing and smiling, and Makito had begun to wander over. He reached out for the binoculars, only to get his hand smacked and reprimanded with, “No touch!”

Having put Makito back in his place, Ukisemi held up the binoculars and said, “Supponpon Scope… Only 2 million dollars!”

Makito blinked and looked at the MC, uttering out, “What the fuck?” much to the amusement of the present crowd.

Their little banter over with, the band exploded into “Supponpon”, head banging and leading the audience to wave with them. After Supponpon they eased into a pulsing rock tune that you could feel coming up through the soles of your shoes, and once it was over, Seiya once again addressed the crowd, bringing things down into a slightly more serious mood. He asked if everyone was having a good time, and then said, “Please don’t be shy.”

Once the room was slightly quieter, Seiya continued saying, “I believe the power of music will bring world peace, and the power of animation will change the world. So right here and right now, let’s promise to change our world!”

From there, the band swung into a soulful, but uplifting ballad, and afterwards, Seiya shouted, “I want to see your smile! Let’s sing together!”

After another song, and guiding the audience to wave in time with the music, Seiya smiled and said, “Having a good time? Me too! But, I want more energy! I want more of your energy! I want to hear your voice!”

The band burst into another hard-edged rock tune, before having another little skit on stage. As Makito and Takuma situated themselves on either side of the stage, Seiya and Ukisemi chose sides respectively. Ukisemi then began to make an “energy ball” and Seiya gave the MC a “bring it on” grin… As the two tossed the energy ball back and forth a few times, Makito and Takuma punctuated the throws with perfectly timed guitar slides.

Bored with their game of catch, Ukisemi threw the energy ball into the audience, having them throw it back at Seiya. Seiya then threw the energy ball back into the audience and it slowly made its way around, getting bigger and bigger until Ukisemi started frantically saying, “NO NO STOP!!! STOP!!!”

When the energy ball hit Ukisemi he fell over backwards and the band meandered over to check make sure he was okay. As SNG poked the MC curiously, Seiya picked up something and said, “What’s this? What’s this? OH!”

After introducing their brand new photobook and tossing that into the crowd as well, the band rolled into another set of two songs, Dragon’s Fire and their last song of the night Shake your Booty. Shake your Booty was a memorable song, because halfway through the song, all of Quaff’s American staff, and even Megaphone man were invited on to the stage to dance during it.

After they finished with Shake your Booty, Seiya said, “Thank you everyone, I will see you again! Don’t forget, we are QUAFF!”

The band members threw the last of their roses into the crowd and walked off except for Seiya who paused and said, “One more song? One more? Okay!”

The band members came back onto the stage amidst the cheers and screams of everyone in the room, and they started to play a more traditional sounding song. Once that song was finished, Seiya addressed the crowd saying, “I am glad you are here today. One more song! Because we are here in America, this song is for you, and for the world!”

The guitars started to play a few chords and Seiya asked, “Do you know this song? Do you?”

Suddenly, the guitars came together, and the band began to play a phenomenal cover of Michael Jackson’s Beat It. All at once the room erupted in cheers, and everyone began to scream and clap and sing along. The band member danced in sync, performing some of Jackson’s more memorable moves, and finally when the song was done, Seiya said, “WE ARE QUAFF! Thank you, and goodnight!”

Once the music had died down, Quaff had the entire audience take part in one their traditions, taking a picture with the entire audience. As Megaphone Man came out on the stage, Seiya said to everyone, “Thank you very much, can we take your picture?”

So once the picture was taken (even Megaphone man joined in), Quaff waved and left the stage, and the crowd began to disperse, everyone with huge smiles on their faces.

So ended an amazing concert from an amazing band! Definitely make sure to see them some time in the future! To learn more about Quaff, please see our interview with them here!

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