A Japanese Visual Key air band called Golden Bomber recently treated fans to one of the strangest concerts ever, an 8-second performance to promote their latest single, an 8-second song called “8 Second Encounter”
On June 29, fans of Golden Bomber started showing up at Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City mall, in Tokyo, Japan, up to six hours in advance, to make sure they had a stage-side seat, which is pretty ridiculous considering they only got to see their idols for a few moments. The three-minute countdown to their appearance on stage was much longer than the performance itself, which only lasted 8 seconds. As the countdown reached 2 seconds, the four members of Golden Bomber ran up on stage, grabbed their instruments, and performed their new 8-second song before running off the stage to the screams of their delirious fans.
You would expect fans to feel a bit cheated by the lightning-fast performance, even though this was a free concert, but judging by their reaction as the band left the stage, most of them thought it was pretty cool. Nevertheless, they started asking for an encore and lead singer Sho Kiryuin was happy to oblige. He came back on stage and thanked the audience for showing up so early to hear their newest song, short as it was. But people wanted more, so he called the rest of the band back and performed the full version of their hit song, Memeshikute, which made the encore much longer than the actual concert.
If you thought this 8-second concert was weird, you should know that Golden Bomber is a pretty weird band as well. First of all they are a Visual Key air band, a play on the terms “Visual Key” – a Japanese musical movement characterized by an androgynous look, lots of makeup and flamboyant costumes – and “air guitar” – an art form where the performer pretends to play various musical instruments. Apart from the vocalist, who actually writes both the lyrics and melody, and records the song, the rest of Golden Bomber are pretty much just props. They pretend to play guitar, base guitar and drums, but none of them can actually play any instrument.
According to Gaijinhan, 3 of the 4 members of Golden Bomber don’t even get to hear their songs until after they have been released. Only after Sho Kiryuin finishes recording a song and it is released to the public, do the members get together to figure out how they will perform it on stage.
Golden Bomber sounds like a joke, but these guys are hugely popular in Japan. Just look at the crowd that shows up at their concerts. In the video below, the band doesn’t even bother pretending to play any instruments, but do the fans care? NO!