Photo by Jumei Yamada
I had purchased my ticket to see Otoboke Beaver months ago and was thrilled to be going. Then Sunny Day Real Estate announced their tour and the Boston show was the same night as Otoboke Beaver. I went back and forth on which to go to, and eventually decided to stick with my original plan. Then Editrix, one of my favorite Western Massachusetts bands, was added as the opener and my decision was solidified. Hours before the show, Editrix had to drop off due to positive COVID tests which was a huge disappointment (get well soon, Editrix!) Otoboke Beaver was going to have to be damn good to help me get over my FOMO.
They were. Their songs were even more charming in person as they swung wildly from bubblegum pop to thrashy punk with little to no warning. Normally the singer tends to be the focus of a band, and Otoboke Beaver's singer Accorinrin definitely captivated the crowd, but the star of the night was guitarist Yoyoyoshie. She flailed around while playing in such a way that you couldn't help but get sucked in, she stagedove towards the end, and every two to four songs she declared "Thank you we are Otoboke Beaver" which somehow never got old. Their hold on the crowd was so intense that Accorinrin just needed to lower her arm to instantly silent the sold out crowd.
Musically, Otoboke Beaver played so much more loudly and intensely than I expected. As loud and angry as songs like "Dirty old fart is waiting for my reaction" and "I am not maternal" are, they were so much fun live. The four piece blasted through twenty two songs in just about an hour, and then did two encores. Each encore was a song that was just about fifteen seconds, which was somehow perfect for this band and this night.
It's impossible to talk about an Otoboke Beaver show without talking about their fans. This is the first show I have ever been to where there was a long line to buy merch before the show, and a line wrapped around the entire venue after the show. Their fans are intense. They sung along to every word, and I'm fairly certain many who did so don't speak Japanese. It was a night of pure joy. Even the mosh pit was filled with smiling faces. It was less a pit of aggression and more just people jumping around into each other and having fun. Even crowdsurfers didn't seem to bother anyone. Everything about the night was pure joy, and I ended up happy with my choice of entertainment for the evening. I'll just catch Sunny Day Real Estate next time around.