Review : JD Garrahy
It’s the digital age and that’s something that excites me immensely. How you listen to music has changed and with that, how you discover new artists has also changed. Thanks to the pandemic situation in the world, this has also affected live music, but that hasn’t stopped artists from offering some stellar shows in a virtual format. Case and point, Graupel.
Having recently discovered this band by the fates of music streaming app algorithms, I was pretty damn excited when they announced that they would be doing a worldwide virtual performance. Live In Nowhere is so many types of right, it’s hard to put into words how spectacular it is. But i’m going to try, just for you, my avid reader.
Picking a venue that works for your band is difficult, from acoustics, to crowd capacity, to lighting tech and availability, the list is endless. These are not as important factors (still relevant though) when organising a virtual performance. Graupel has chosen the Hokkaido snow scape, a picturesque setting for some brutal Japanese metalcore. Travelling from their home city of Tokyo, this quintet of musicians has chosen somewhere truly beautiful to perform a crushing set.
A pan around the snowscape, capturing ice on tree branches, whilst ‘Memories’ plays, is a perfect introduction for such a setting. Mild and soothing, it would be amiss if they had kicked off with another song. But don’t let this fool you, we are then greeted by the brutality that is ‘Bereavement’, kicking full tilt into what promises to be one hell of a show. One after another, we’re gifted with their best tracks ‘Departure’ and ‘Horizon’ show just what the band is capable of as far as musical skill is involved and show just how brilliant frontman Sota is behind the microphone (oh yeah, this guy can roar with the best of them).
Its beautiful to see such a young band work with their surroundings and show just how well they compliment each other’s musical abilities, while also making it seem like they’re NOT freezing their arses off. As the band launches into ‘False Dreams’ they show that they have all the musicality that they seemed to be inspired by, showing that they are influenced by bands such as Prom Queen, Every Time I Die and fellow countrymen Crossfaith.
With a slight intermission, more than likely to warm themselves up, but also to make perfect use of the backdrop, the sun begins to set and the hue of oranges and yellows playing on the camera lens make you feel truly thankful that such beauty exists in this world when it feels like it’s all going to hell in a handbasket. Their tracks ‘Towpath’ and ‘Etherial’ compliment this brilliantly and it feels like the music and scenery are harmoniously in sync. Awe inspiring in its simplicity and at the same time, its complexity. This was the moment that i was truly happy that i had paid to watch this show.
After the sun has set and darkness falls upon the snow scape, we see all band members breathing steam and when the final track on their set list ‘Fade Away’ goes into overdrive, multiple light sticks illuminate around and between band members to really give the atmosphere the live music feel that would seem to be a staple in their actual live set. THIS is virtual music eye candy at its finest. As the band conveys their gratitude to their viewers, the lights go out on what was one hell of a show.
This is where I thought it was over. Oh, how wrong I was. The added bonus of a 10 minute behind the scenes video was the icing on the cake. The banter between band members and crew, how the whole concept was planned and executed and all the small things that went into such a massive undertaking, is something that gives you a massive connection to the band. It’s definitely a concert that I’m happy I was a part of witnessing. Bring on the end of COVID so we can get these guys down under to deliver this set live.
Watch the behind the scenes video HERE :