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August Burns Red Posts Second Japanese Tour Report

Pennsylvania's August Burns Red has checked in with the following second tour report from the band's shows in Japan:

"Saturday morning we got up around 9 AM and headed with Geess to the train station where we took the bullet train from Osaka to Tokyo. By car that is about a 9 hour drive, but it took us less than three hours by train. The bullet train ruled. It was whisper quiet, silky smooth, and fast as can be. I believe we were traveling at about 180 miles an hour.

"I had heard a lot about Tokyo and was really anxious to spend some time there. Tokyo has about 11 million people living there. Imagine NYC but in Japan. That’s the best I can explain it. We took a subway from the train station to the Tokyo equivalent of Time Square. It was a complete zoo. People everywhere. There was even a protest going on with a guy on a podium yelling through a megaphone and people holding signs up everywhere. I loved it.

"That night we played a show that was not part of the Geki Rock Fes. The show was in a cool little spot in downtown Tokyo called Shibuya Cyclone. We played with a Japanese band called United. They’re a thrash metal band who have put out 9 records since forming in 1990. Quite a career! It was an honor to play with and meet those guys. The show at Cyclone was one of the hottest shows in ABR history. I played the entire set barefoot with mesh shorts and no shirt. I seldom wear shorts and I never take off my shirt on stage. That’s how hot it was. I almost felt bad for the crowd having to endure those conditions. We were later told that the club was approximately 110 degrees, and about 40 people over capacity, not to mention unbelievably humid. Like raining from the ceiling humid.

"After the show Geess took us out to an awesome Japanese restaurant. This would the beginning of two night parade of Japanese food. Geess ordered dish after dish of different Japanese foods for us to eat. It was a feast! We ate lots of sashimi and sushi, raw mackerel, raw yellowtail, raw salmon, beef tips, chicken sticks, beef guts (very chewy), tofu, fish eggs, and the list goes on and on. We also sampled various kinds of sake, some made from sweet potatoes, some from rice. Geess showed us such a good time that night. We sat and ate food from midnight until 2am. Afterwards, Josh (our tour manager), Brent, and I walked around Tokyo popping in and out of bars watching the World Cup and just taking everything in. Tokyo is such an awesome city and I’m sure I was only scraping the surface of what there is to see and do there.

"I woke up Sunday morning disappointed that it was our last full day in Japan and that we’d be playing our final show that night. Most of the day was spent doing press and interviews. I did my first interview with Jake in the restaurant of our hotel while enjoying a delicious lunch of pork and chicken. Afterwards we went up the street to Club Asia to sound check for the show later that night. Club Asia was cool. Easily the biggest room we were playing in Japan, and I was pleased to hear the show was sold out in advance. After sound check we did an in-store signing at a record store not too far away from the club. The signing was so much fun. I love interacting with the Japanese fans. They’re so kind and appreciative. I feel like they’re completely genuine. That’s not to say the rest of the world isn’t. I just feel like they don’t get as many bands playing there as a lot of other places and they are completely enthusiastic when bands from the States visit.

"The show at Club Asia that night was one of the most fun shows I’ve played. The kids in Tokyo that night set that place off from beginning to end. At the end of the show Matt told me he was bummed the show was over and wished we could’ve played longer. I felt the exact same way.

"After the show I was high on life (as I had been the entire time we were in Japan) and very excited to go out one last time. Geess took us out to a different restaurant that night, and the parade of platters began once again. This time he ordered us some pretty unusual dishes. One of the first dishes that came out was a plate of raw squid. Picture a full squid cut horizontally into six pieces. I’m not going to lie, it looked disgusting, but Geess claimed it was great and I had to try it. It took a lot of courage for me to put that thing in my mouth but after attempting to chew it, I quickly gagged and spit it out. It just looked so gross there was no way I was going to be able to swallow it. I felt like I was on Fear Factor. Josh and Matt were the only two in ABR to swallow the squid. Neither of them were keen on the taste. Besides the raw squid we also ate fish guts, chicken tail, more raw octopus, keish topped with fish skin shavings, teriyaki chicken, more beef, and more sake.

"That last night erupted into quite a party. Our new friends in the Japanese bands Crossfaith, and Each of the Days joined us at the restaurant along with our driver/translators Si and Teddy, Greeley Estates, and a few other friends we had made. It was a great hang and a wonderful culmination of our time in Japan. I didn’t want it to end.

"Japan exceeded my expectations in nearly every way. I’m so thankful for our new friend Geess and Howling Bull, the guys in Crossfaith and Each of the Days, and all our amazing fans in Japan who helped make our first trip to Japan a tour we will not soon be forgetting. I am anxious to return next year and do this all over again. It’s times like these that I’m so thankful to be a part of this band and able to meet and see so many amazing people and awesome places. Sianara!"

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