BAND-MAID Serves Up Hot Show In Minneapolis


On Sunday, August 6, the Japanese rock group, BAND-MAID, delivered a hot performance at Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN. The all-female musicians from Tokyo resumed their 10th-anniversary world tour across North America. The metal maidens arrived in the Twin Cities after making history at the Lollapalooza 2023 music festival in Chicago, IL.

Yet, on this day, eager Midwestern fans lined up early at an old movie theater long since renovated into a concert venue. Unsurprisingly, the concert was sold out and packed from floor to balcony. The room buzzed with anticipation as the house lights went down while an instrumental waltz began.

BAND-MAID backstage at Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN

Once all five members positioned themselves on stage, they roared to life with the opening statement, Domination. Like hard rock demons, they set the room on fire as the audience erupted. Throughout the concert, the tones of the guitars, bass, and drums were perfectly thunderous. Up front, the vocals were powerful yet gritty. Lead vocalist SAIKI commanded the stage with confidence and poise. Next to her was guitarist and vocalist MIKU Kobato striving for another level. Together they were confident and playful throughout the night. Over the last ten years, the two musicians have formed a bond like a sisterhood.

Next in the set, part of the powerful start were bangers glory, alone, and Play. Likewise, the crowd was loud, singing along with the band which put a big smile on SAIKI’s face. After which, MIKU had a short intermission welcoming the fans to the show. She expressed the band’s gratitude to be in Minneapolis for the first time. Now with that break completed, they launched into Unleash!!!!!, Choose me, and Sayonakidori [サヨナキドリ]. While MIKU made a minor mistake in the beginning, she recovered fast and was flawless onwards. Finally finishing the set with from now on as lead guitarist KANAMI’s playing was near flawless in this instrumental song. Enthusiastically, the audience erupted in cheers as she hit the high note at the end.

On the next set break, SAIKI and KANAMI ask the fans questions, especially for something very important—good food recommendations! They wanted to find local flavors to enjoy in addition to their revelation that they prefer KFC in America over Japan. What would their Japanese fans think about that in their home country?

Another break wrapped up, and they embarked on arguably their best set of the night. The hard-hitting tune Manners started off the set with the best version this author has heard live. Next, the song Dice was blistering and heavy, with drumer AKANE’s solo transitioning into the formidable HATE?. Yet the highlight of this song was the duel between guitarist KANAMI and bassist MISA improvising with each other. At center stage, MIKU and AKANE held the groove until SAIKI came in with her assertive vocals to finish the number. Finally, leaving the crowd exhausted and emotional after songs Different, Daydreaming, and Memorable finished out this set.

In the final break, it’s MIKU’s Magic Spell Time which she calls “Omajinai Time”. This intermission is a carryover from her days working at a maid cafe in Tokyo. The inspiration for the “magic” is a routine where the maids bless the guest’s food to make it taste better. Simply put, the magic words are “Moe, Moe, Kyun, Kyun”. Moreover, MIKU does this at every concert. Even though each time is different and unique, more importantly, fans are convinced the magic works. Though they have no choice but to join Omajinai Time or else risk the anger of a scary pigeon!

Thus the final set was a tour de force with BAND-MAID pumping Varsity Theater full of energy and emotion. Starting off with the fan-favorite FREEDOM. Next, getting the crowd fired up even more, was After Life, a head-banging song that kept the crowd moving. Then Screaming was so heavy the audience exploded with dancing and yelling. For sure, KANAMI’s solo was electric! Followed by the anthemic endless Story, the soaring vocals and triumphant music leaving more than one person with a tear in their eye. Finally, SAIKI and MIKU command everyone to “jump”, and the audience abides with their remaining energy. MISA accompanied the jam with a funky bass solo leading up to the hard rock banger NO GOD for an explosive flourish.

A BAND-MAID concert is a must-see event! Each time is a memorable experience bringing fans back for more. No doubt, these metal maids are on fire!

Click here for GAIJIN GUYS PODCAST and reaction to BAND-MAID at Varsity Theater.

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