We Went There: Kikagaku Moyo & Minami Deutsch at the Turf Club
Never skip the opening band.
On a night where I was all-in to see the amazing Japanese psych-rock band Kikagaku Moyo, my only exposure to the opener Minami Deutsch was seeing Jon’s post here on Reviler and listening to their new EP the afternoon of the show. But in one of those moments that keeps you coming out on a cold winter night, the opener not only upstaged the headliner, but they cranked out one of the best sets I’ve seen this entire year.
(Watch a video from their set below)
Like Kikagaku Moyo, Minami Deutsch are a Tokyo based band that revive the sound and look of the heady 60s psych rock. On a night where Kikagaku Moyo leaned into their more whimsical and flowery instincts, Minami Deutsch brought crushing reputation that electrified the sold-out Turf Club. Their sound was adventurous and wild, augmented by their long-haired looks and guitar heroics. The duel guitar sound oscillated from spacey to crunchy, with their noodling never venturing into excess. The drums marched to a powerful motorik beat and the bass was thick and rambunctious, the kind of demented march that would have sounded at home in prime-era Can recordings. I came into the night hardly knowing the band, but like a lot of the crowd around me, I left a convert. I’ve since gone back and listened to their last few recordings and while it doesn’t fully capture their amazing live energy, it does showcase a band that I imagine will be headlining their own tour sometime very soon.
While Minami Deutsch’s set may have overshadowed Kikagaku Moyo’s headlining set, it certainly didn’t mean that the headliners didn’t deliver. This was my second time seeing the band live, and they continued to impress with their vintage-yet-timeless sound. As mentioned above, Kikagaku Moyo explored a more pastoral sound, only occasionally locking into a krautrock groove throughout their nearly hourlong set. The majority of the set consisted of what can I suppose be called folksy-psych ballads, with the crowd mostly hushed as the five piece unwound textured compositions that felt like the gentle response to the the opening set.
Together the two bands combined for one of the shows that you are glad you didn’t miss. Their sounds were analogous, but they ventured down different paths on this night in a way that really allowed both to stand out.
You can see Jon’s full photo set from the show HERE.
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