Rocketman Summer Fes 2010 - thank you for the music!!

Text and photos by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound

RocketmanOn Sunday August 22, I went to Liquidroom in Ebisu for "Rocketman Summer Fes 2010", an event celebrating the 10 years since the debut of Rocketman, Fukawa Ryō's music unit.

Let me sum up those 10 years briefly. Rocketman first started on Readymade and it was a unit formed of Fukawa Ryō with producer Konishi Yasuharu. First album "Flying Rocketman" contained a good amount of spoken word comedy, and some music tracks (a few borrowing from Pizzicato Five songs). 2nd album "Rocketman Deluxe", still on Readymade, wasn't a 2-piece unit anymore, and featured some more music with producers including FPM, Comoestas and Fukutomi Yukihiro. Afterwards, Fukawa went to concentrate more on his musical talents as a songwriter, and released two original albums, "Love, sea & music" and "The Sound of Musique". Recently he has had some success producing idol trio Cosmetics, and this month he released his first greatest hits album.

The 6-hour event featured many of his collaborators since the beginning, as well as some of his comedian friends between each set. The place was quite packed, he said there were over 1000 people!

It started at 16:00 with Rocketman Deluxe, his DJ team with who he has a regular event at club Mishuku Web (every month 3rd Friday). They must have played for about an hour and I got there a bit before they finished, in time for an appearance by comedians Cool-Poko followed by a live set by Nakatsuka Takeshi (Qypthone). He was accompanied by two other musicians, and played songs such as "Stompin' Jack Flash" and "Kiss & Ride".

Next was comedian Yamamoto Takahiro ("kita----!") followed by a DJ set by Verbal (m-flo). I think it was the first time I got to see him DJ, he was really good entertaining the crowd and his DJ skills are not to be discussed!

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Next though was DJ Kaori, a big name with TV spots advertising her many mainstream mix CDs. I was really wondering if she could mix at all. Her show did prove that she does have a few skills. One hilarious thing though is that she's accompanied by a big guy who picks the next record for her, which she'll listen to and either mix to it or reject it and go pick something by herself..! This turns her whole show into a big joke, whether intentionally or not. Anyway she looked good and always smiling, and she knows how to entertain her audience, that's what matters right..?! :)

Then there were two unknown comedians imitating Mariah Carey and Eddie Murphy, they were quite funny. They introduced the next DJ, FPM! He played along with their jokes before moving onto his set. He mixed house tracks and included "Without You" and "If you do, I do" from his latest album, and also his "Smells Like Teen Spirit" club remix. It had been a long time since I had seen FPM, but I was really happy to see he's in such good shape!

Rocketman Summer Fes 2010FPMFPM

Next comedians were none other than Ungirls! They haven't been so much on TV lately, but I like them a lot. They did a few of their "janga-janga" jokes that made them famous. Then they introduced the next DJ: Konishi Yasuharu! Konishi has a lot to do with Rocketman, and Fukawa kept thanking him for all what he did. His set started with Crazy Ken Band's latest single "1107", to continue with Sheena and the Rokkets "Lemon Tea" (from his remix collection album) and Kimura Kaela's "Ring a Ding Dong". He also played "Rocketman no Theme ~We are Rocketman!~" from "Flying Rocketman", for which Fukawa came on stage wearing a 「トマン」 ("toman") yellow sweater, that used to be completed by Konishi wearing 「ロケッ」 ("roke").

Rocketman Summer Fes 2010KONISHI YasuharuRocketman

Then it was Rocketman's turn to DJ, he started playing remixes by Konishi-san: Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and SMAP's "Shake".
Around here there was a mini-set of a unit called Bakubaku Dokin, two girls wearing big glasses. They sang two songs. They were apparently given their name by DJ Fumiya of Rip Slyme, but no information is to be found online. It remains a mystery.

Rocketman Summer Fes 2010バクバクチキン

This was followed by Kongōchi Takeshi who did his famous air guitar performance. So funny especially after seeing him with his band yes, mama ok? earlier in August!

金剛地武志金剛地武志金剛地武志

There was also an appearance by comedy duo "itsumo kokokara" ("kanashii toki!!!"), who also haven't been seen much on TV recently. They did a few of their funny kamishibai-style sketches. Rocketman continued spinning with some of his songs including "Sweet Summer Song", "kako wa iranai", "kumo wa nagarete", capsule's "Jelly", also his recent track "dancemusic", and some Daft Punk.

Then it was time for Cosmetics! The three girls of the renewed unit arrived on stage and introduced themselves. Then they sang their first single "Love Is All II ~korekara hajimaru Story~". They each talked again saying thanks to their fans and families, and that was it.

CosmeticsCosmeticsCosmetics

Rocketman played a new original song called "Happy end of the world", the title definitely a nod to Pizzicato Five. The song will be available on iTunes within a few months. He also played the original Cosmetics' "Love Is All". Then it was time for the best of the show, Fukawa was alone on stage and played "shōshinmono kokufuku kōza" from "Rocketman Deluxe", the song made to fit his hilarious one-liner jokes. He had a whole bunch of new up-to-date ones about Twitter, iPhone, AKB48, etc. That was just awesome!

RocketmanRocketmanRocketman

The event was reaching its end, he played "thank you for the music", another new songs from his greatest hits album. The show closed with all the comedians and artists coming back on stage, and the last song that was played was nothing but Pizzicato Five's "a new song"!!! He said that his DJ unit loves this song and they play it every time. The crowd had been getting a bit tired after 6 hours standing, but the last energy rush made everyone dance again and even sing along!

Rocketman Summer Fes 2010Rocketman Summer Fes 2010Rocketman Summer Fes 2010

I didn't buy the greatest hits album, because I had most of the songs already, but I did buy one of those great T-shirts for the event. I'm usually not very fond of summer festivals, but make it indoors and with some of my favorite DJs and I'll be there. :)

Larger sizes and more photos at Flickr

Tags: Bakubaku Dokin, Cosmetics, FPM, KONISHI Yasuharu, NAKATSUKA Takeshi, Rocketman (click for more info)

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