Osaka

Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1997 22:06:46 -0700
From: Romo <romo@cisco.com>
Subject: OSAKA: CLUB QUATTRO -- 10/21/96

the stage: cozy club quarters with little height to the stage [maybe a foot above crowd level]. three mic booms positioned across the foreground, a largish [maybe 10' X 10'] projector screen [a la MVFF] to the right in the back, and a small "L" shape of 'gear' toward the background left.

the gear: three guitars on stands at center/middle stage: a light brown acoustic, the dark woodgrain electric, and that hideous green standby. a roland electric piano forming the vertical line of the "L", and a color monitor with a new Mac 8500 forming the bottom part of the "L". two video [TR-i cam] cameras cloaked in gray masking tape, leftover from NWO, perched on mic stands: one above the lower register keys of the piano, the other at knee level pointed upward towards the center stage mic.

the payoff: Todd barefoots it onstage a little after 7:00p [doors opened @ 6p], smiles, grabs the acoustic, tunes it, walks up to the center stage mic and breaks into the opening strains of:

lysistrata: strong, strong voice... like i've never heard live. the tempo is quick and the guitar is full and dynamic. T enjoys the small crowd with frequent smiles and a familiar yet fresh perspective for 1997.

cliche: T pounds the acoustic for the bridge. a solace is found during 'where are the words...' where we realize there is not a sound in all of quattro other than the soft tones of the six strings and the singular voice.

common man: still the same acoustic. T nails all parts with a comforting confidence. the local fans go wild. T smiles again at the end during the applause. it is now that i finally realize i'm in jp seeing TR-i.

hammer in my heart: T leverages the 2 & 4 clapping of the crowd to breathe life into a sparse acoustic arrangement. the guitar solo is replaced with a flamenco-like progression that approaches violent proportions. T nails the ending scream with room to spare.

T retires the acoustic to it's stand and negotiates his way to the piano. A mocking frightful look crosses his countenance as he makes small talk about the 88's being a 'dreadful instrument'. he checks the sound on the roland, then breaks into a solo piano 'writer's arrangement' of:

fidelity: all vocals are on target. in the audience, we look at each other to find smiles as we pinch ourselves. T deliberately slows down the entrance to each chorus during "and when you think that it's all or no-thing..."

viking song: repeat, *viking song*. needless to say my horns were on fire! T battles with the fingerings, stopping several times and saying "oh, that's it!" and continuing, much like the old live impromptu _you left me sore_.

wouldn't have made any difference: the first of many passionate, intense moments T would create for the attentive crowd. i heard sniffles at the end of this one. we all clapped in quarter notes during the bridge.

free, male & 21: T introduces this as a song he's never played live before, and provides a brief history on the Shakespeare festival and Up Against It. classic Todd. he played this every night and i found myself signing it by the time we hit tokyo. "everything in the world.....!"

T comes back out to front stage and activates the large video screen which has the output feed from the color monitor near the piano. it's a mac desktop with several icons bearing familiar acronyms as filenames. he launches the Individualist CD-e and begins a schpiel on the technology, ION, waking dreams, and the reportedly unsuccessful NWO tokyo show. he kicks off the fascist christ video and tells us, "this is what was *supposed to* happen in 1993." after around one minute of playing video director, he shifts to the content front end and selects two songs, then performs them, adding the lead vocal:

family values: the 50's-ish video from the CD-e is now playing on the large video screen with the music blaring through the quattro PA without the benefit of the lead vocal. T does karaoke-style-fam-vals-i to a groovin, dancin, clappin, club quattro. everybody feels part of the show.

individualist: or, as i've come to call it, I-i. same deal as previous. the karaoke style music leaves out the rap that T so cheerfully embellishes as he works his way across the three mics in front of the stage. no keypad.

T retires The I-CD-e and opts for the woodgrain guitar. he struggles to tune it with the local help and finally begins the pickings of:

tiny demons: since the audience is still all wound up from the dancefest, we find ourselves swaying in half-notes to the hypnotic rhythm. T is obviously not pleased with the sound of the guitar for this selection. so, he picks up the green standby, launches CuBase and drops into:

b & w: T starts the guitar intro, then turns around to push a key on the mac keyboard to begin the instrumental build-up and first verse. all rhythm instruments have a track in the CuBase application except for guitar and lead vocal, to which T readily obliges. killer snare sound, dude!

#1 LCD: green standby only. no accompaniment. the club is so small, and there is no rhythm section, so the crowd provides harmony as loud as T's lead vocal: "so hot... so hot.... ".

the green monster gets a break as T heads back for the piano. some banter about the threatening instrument leads to another intense group of selections:

compassion: T is fully engaged in the moment, and belts out the choruses without hesitation. i think he was more concerned with making a mistrake on the piano.

drunken blue rooster: yes, i'm serious. this left me and the rest of quattro completely speechless. though he stopped after approx forty seconds, we cheered him on to continue. he admitted he couldn't play it anymore, yet still tried bits and pieces unsuccessfully. too cool.

T had enuff of the keys and went back for the green machine. he again activated CuBase and dropped in:

secret society: remember the NWO guest geetar player sessions? T revisited this with a local picker [from One World?] who held his own as T shot a video of him with a TR-i cam which appeared on the large screen behind him. T controlled when the guitar solo loop would terminate with CuBase to finish out.

tables will turn: from the CD-e without the lead vocal. T wails A/C style for the rap, but no 9-key on the mean green for this solo. he activates the beginning from the mac behind the piano, then has to rush up to the stage mic to begin "water, water... ".

T leaves the stage. we clap in unison at an electrifying rate. T reappears, and from the CD-e selects:

beloved infidel: much easier to watch T perform this song in something other than a wet suit. again, no keypad. the audience is captivated.

i want you: can't remember what guitar he used, but performed it acoustic- staccato style. T gets into it. no distractions. eyes closed. ends it with a reprise of the intro.

T leaves the stage again. more syncopated clapping. this is cool. T appears for a second encore [rare in japan] for a CuBase version of:

worldwide epiphany: since ferenzik wasn't there, i made the antler's sign with my right hand between the horns for the four bars before the choruses. though similar, a different mix than any other WWE i've heard.

and that's Osaka. but, it was only the beginning of our trek, our budding relationships with the Nihongo fan base, and our hat-trick of consatos in Honshu. stay tuned...

holding hands around the world
romo-quattro


From: LaniRene@aol.com
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 1997 14:09:07 -0400
Subject: Re: OSAKA: CLUB QUATTRO -- 10/21/96

Wow Romo! There's not much I can add to your review of Osaka, except I kept
track of all Todd's banterings:

(First, earlier, out in the streets of Kyoto and Osaka we heard the loud
speakers of small vans circling the streets and alleys emploring the people
to vote for the local elections.)

OSAKA: CLUB QUATTRO 10/21/96

Todd comes out and asks: "Did everyone vote?" Since Club Quattro is a small
bar/club, everyone had their one free drink and a cigarette, Todd grimaced,
"Whoa, smokey". Actually, a dry ice fog machine was slowly emitting a thin
layer all night. Eerie and cool at the same time.

After "Fidelity", Todd said "Don't look up my skirt; there's a rumor I'm not
wearing underwear".

After "Free, Male, and 21": "I'm less afraid of the piano now".

Todd asked if there was "an itinerant guitar player here?" for "Secret
Society". A Japanese friend and I wondered if the local guitar player was
better than Todd.... The guy was on his knee, propping the electric guitar
and JAMMIN' (who was he, anyway?).

I had a little time to make notes on the sarong: It consisted of a dark
background and stars, moons, planets and various squiggles in the Balinese
style of reverse batik. We've seen the shirt before; the black one with red
and green circles all over. I'm glad he lost those rubber sandals he wore at
Cleveland; barefoot is the way to go with a sarong. ;-)

During the CDe demo, when the ION graphic symbol went on the large projector
screen, Todd said, "There's that company that went out of business" and,
"Now, for some visual entertainment". He showed the "Tables Will Turn" video
and played along. It was great when he mocked Dan Quayle, going "bla, bla,
bla" with his hands opening and closing near his mouth!

Wow! Did we really just experience that?

We bought some "The Individualist" and "TR-i" pins (500 yen) and exited the
Club. Went down eight floors to wait outside by the backstage elevator exit
and chat with our new Japanese fan / friends, only to discover Todd walked
right out the FRONT door and into the Osaka night! Wonder what he thought
when NO FANS were there to swarm him? Oh, well, there's Nagoya...

Stay tooned!

Lani


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