So Arashi went on a Fuji TV music show a few days ago and had some technical difficulties. The group’s pre-recorded vocals failed to play, forcing the group to gasp actually sing. This news comes from Japan Post who slapped the headline “Sound Equipment Failure Reveals Japanese Boy Band’s Atrocious Singing” which I don’t blame the dude for going with…that’s quality “grab attention” work, good hustle…but like most headlines aimed at grabbing eyeballs, is pretty overblown. Watch the above clip and…they don’t really sound that bad. Yeah, it is a far cry from the studio perfection they usually coast on, but hardly “atrocious.” Naturally, the comment section nosedives into high-school jock music analysis (“don’t people realize that pop music is as real as pro wrestling?” thanks dude you have opened my eyes by the way going to the harvest dance?) and a discussion of the difficulties of singing while dancing.
Yet that is not why I post this – the online conspiracy theories to this, though, are a hoot! Japan Post writes some groups think Fuji TV – who nationalistic groups protested back in August for showing so many Korean dramas, which I used for my opening paragraph for this Atlantic story I’m shamelessly plugging once again – intentionally sabotaged Arashi while K-Pop groups like KARA and Girls’ Generation performed unscathed. Well, so did EVERY OTHER JAPANESE ARTIST ON THE SHOW, but hey details! So yes…crazy people, doing things.
Yet these tin-foil-hat types give me the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite live experiences of the year and the winner of the 2011 “The Inside-Job Award For Incident That Looked Like A Possible Conspiracy That Probably Wasn’t” honor. Back at Summer Sonic, Girls’ Generation closed out the Tokyo leg of the festival with a brief live set. It was deeply bizarre given they went on after headliners The Red Hot Chili Peppers, attracting mostly a gaggle of curious shirtless dudes and ladies wearing head scarf things. Anyway, they got to the final song “The Great Escape” and right before the first chorus the backing track cut out, leaving the members of the group singing with their natural voices. And…they sounded nice! Soon I thought “oh they did this on purpose to show they can really sing, grassroots cred building!” It probably was just a glitch…but you never know [cue X-File’s theme].