Fans showed up en masse for the Texas leg of the Asia On Tour concerts in Dallas and Houston last weekend, selling out both venues in the week leading up to a night that featured performances by South Korea’s Kiha & The Faces, Thai band Slot Machine, and Japan’s own legendary “samurai guitarist” super-fine father-of-two MIYAVI. Being the faithful fan I am, I snagged a pre-sale ticket the moment they went on sale (though I missed meet & greet and “pass the line” options somehow, so I guess I need to brush up on my ticket purchasing skills), guaranteeing myself a spot at one of the best shows I’ve been to in a while. I mean, with a lineup like this, of course it would be.
Below are some of my takeaways of Saturday night’s rich display of musicianship at Houston’s House of Blues.
Kiha & The Faces Bring the Lolz
The humor Kiha & The Faces brought to the House of Blues as they opened the Asia On Tour show was the perfect way to ease us into what would turn into an onslaught of rock the rest of the night. The group’s comedic value derived from frontman Kiha, whose wit translated well across their set thanks to his strong grip on the English language. When he wasn’t spitting rapid-fire lyrics over laid groovy beats, he was busy being a hilarious motha’effa. Often, it was both at the same time.
Favorite performance(s): “ㅋ” and “빠지기는 빠지더라,” which Kiha attempted to teach us, with hilarious results.
Slot Machine Proves Thailand Knows How To Rock
I might not have understood a lick of what Slot Machine was singing or known their discography before Saturday night, but after their show, I sure as hell want to now.
Slot Machine easily stole the hearts of the people in the audience as they hypnotized the venue with their mysterious aura and charismatic members. Foet, the lead vocalist, had such a gangsta vibe about him that I loved. He might have been small, but he – along with the rest of Slot Machine – proved himself worthy by the end of the band’s set, successfully putting Thai rock on my radar.
Favorite performance(s): The one with the tambourine!
I don’t know if I can find the words to adequately describe what it was like seeing MIYAVI live. From the minute MIYAVI stepped on stage to his last guitar slaps, this man held absolutely nothing back. He soared through some of his most iconic singles with pure adrenaline and made sure that every corner of the stage felt his presence.
If you’ve never been to the “Peacock Room” at the House of Blues in Houston (this was my first time), then know that it’s tiny. Like, surprisingly so. In fact, it was so small, that at one point MIYAVI took a second to ask everybody to take a few steps back either to give the people up front room to breathe or to break up what looked to be a bit of rowdiness. Either way, the show never once lost its momentum. MIYAVI spilled his heart and soul into his music and in return, we went HAM. MIYAVI’s set was one of the loudest I’ve been to, both in terms of crowd volume and the soundwaves that poured out of the sound system. My ears didn’t stop ringing until Monday morning, that’s how fucking loud it was.
Watching MIYAVI perform was, if nothing else, awe-inspiring. I can’t say I’ve witnessed such a passionate individual go as all out on a guitar like MIYAVI did Saturday night. His energy was not only palpable but I left his set completely drained of my own. I almost didn’t make it, you guys.
Favorite performance(s): ALL OF THEM.