all photos by Michael Darpino
Late on a Sunday night, there’s a stark contrast between the cold, deserted DC streets and the cave of 8-bit fantasy I’ve emerged from. Anamanaguchi assaulted the packed Backstage at the Black Cat with strobe lights, pixellated animation, and their unique brand of electronic power-pop.
The last time I caught Anamanaguchi (for the 8-bit Alliance Tour last summer), the room wasn’t even at half capacity. However, the band has clearly gotten some buzz lately from their work on the soundtrack for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game. I found the Backstage nearly full when I arrived, which is a rarity for any Sunday night. The young, slightly geeky crowd was ready to rock out to video-game-inspired bleeps and bloops.
Anamanaguchi are returning to the Black Cat Backstage this Sunday with their signature brand of punk/power-pop. Oh, and they’re bringing their hacked Nintendo.
Anamanaguchi are quickly becoming one of the most infamous “chiptunes” bands around. In the past year, they’ve composed the soundtracks to video games including Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game, and are slated to appear in the next version of Rock Band. They also grabbed minor media attention for holding a vigil in support of Four Loko in NYC last November.
When I imagine a chiptunes concert, I usually think of scrawny high-schoolers bent over their Gameboys, with pixelated graphics running on a projecter. However, Anamanaguchi bring a ton of energy to their live show; the drums are front-and-center, and the Nintendo blends with the guitar lines, rather than sticking out as a gimmick. These guys have a ton of positive energy; it’s like a re-imagined Weezer. You’ll leave with a smile on your face.
w/ Club Scout
Sunday, Jan. 9
@ Black Cat Backstage