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Friday, June 19, 2009
Summer festival fever
Flower Travellin' Band @ Rising Sun Rock
By DAVID HICKEY
Flower Travellin' Band can be forgiven for their ever-so-slightly lackluster performance at Fuji Rock last year — it was their first major festival appearance in 35 years. Twelve months on and with several more shows as a re-formed unit under their belts, no such excuses apply at Rising Sun Rock: Expect the hard-rocking hippies to blow weedy competition half their age, such as Beat Crusaders and Straightener, out of Rising Sun Rock's crystalline waters, especially if guitar god/mystic guru Hideki Ishima remembers to bring his custom-made guitar-meets-sitar and singer Joe Yamanaka's vocals stay in tune.
Also check out: Mitsuyoshi Azuma & the Swinging Boppers, for their bow ties; Shibusashirazu Orchestra, for a dance; The Bawdies, for a time trip back to the Cavern Club; Guitar Wolf, for their bite; and Discharming Man, for that name.
The setting: Perfect for northern souls. The festival's six stages lie in the Hokkaido wilderness — 15 km north of Sapporo, to be precise — but with stages running all-night, none of the anticipated 80,000 attendees should be catching a death from Hokkaido's crisp night air. Think of it as Japan's alternative stimulus package.
When/where: Aug. 14 and 15; doors open 11 a.m. Tarukawa Wharf, Ishikari Bay New Port, Otaru, Hokkaido. Two-day tickets ¥18,000 (without camping). Parking available. For more information check rsr.wess.co.jp/2009