Hi this is Tak (Tone).
Our first time in USA tour is now finished!
We are back in Japan!
Sorry it took us so long to upload blog and photos.
(See some photos here http://imaritones.slide.com/ )
It was our first time playing shows in USA.
And the tour was very successful.
We want to say thank you to everybody.
And hope we can see you again soon!
Here is short summary of what we did in USA.
Dallas TX (April 3-5)
We played 1 song at ICC Dallas (Japanese church)
And finally, Tak got baptized.
(yeah it's been a year and 3 months Tak accepted Jesus and became christian, it was a good timing and opportunity.)
It was such a blessing and we all had a good time.
We stayed at our friend Ken's house.
They had a party for us and we could talk with many friends and pastors.
It was wonderful time and Jake made a big cake for that party.
It tasted so good now he is called "Cake"!
We met some Japanese christian musicians there at ICC.
Hope we can do something together in Japan!
Thank you, Ken-san, Oscar-san, and everybody at ICC!!
Austin TX (April 6)
Actually it was 2nd time for Tak to visit Austin.
He was there in 2007 SXSW.
He didn't play in official slot. He just visited there but he played outside on the 6th street, with his guitar alone and made 30 bucks.
And finally we got official gig in Austin.
We played at club called Headhunters. It was nice place.
We had some trouble. Jake didn't understand how to construct his drumset. Just 1 hour before the show, he noticed he needs to drill drums to attach the hardware. (In Japan we don't have to. Because in Japan usually everything is already attached and ready.)
But soundguy/booking manager (he was a bassist of a well known hardcore band, by the way) was so kind and he did all the drilling work and we managed to assemble the drumkit just before the showtime.
Because there was no time for soundcheck, it was not a best condition and Tak's voice was not good, but his guitar shredding was as good as usual.
In the end we got very good responce from the people!
Next morning we took some photos on 6th Street.
Hope we can come back there in some festival!
On April 7th, we visitted Fukuko-san's house.
There was a bible study meeting of ICC Houston there.
We joined them and Tak played 2 worship songs with an acoustic guitar.
We stayed at Fukuko-san's house. It was very nice, thank you Fukuko&Brian-san.
Tak jammed with Brian-san a bit, it was fun.
On April 8th, we played at Super Happy Fun Land, downtown Houston.
It was a very cool venue.
We played with Bows & Arrows, 10th Grade Cutie. They were all good.
10th Grade Cutie was a real punk rock. We digged it so much.
I heard many people were supposed to come that night because they put the show on some newspaper. Actually crowd was not that big but none the less it was a fun and happy night!
Yes, Super Happy Fun Land rocks!
Little Rock AR, April 9th
We drived for 8 hours and we came to Little Rock AR.
What a pretty town!
Downtown was not so big but everything was so art&pretty!
We all liked the town.
Weather was not good.
During our show, outside was a thunderstorm.
But the show itself was a thunderstorm, too!
We did a very hot show that night.
Cool part of the show was when one guy came to the stage and offered me(Tak) a shot of whisky.
I tried to avoid drinkin the whole shot but people all shoutted like "go ahead and drink the whole shot!", so that's what I did! And people went crazy.
When I played last song of the set I was feeling a little drunk but it was a hot night!!
We love Little Rock!
I think we played Big Rock there!
Nashville TN, April 10.
Again weather was not good.
The guy from the venue told us it's lucky we were alive because we had come through tornado.
But the Nashville show was one of the best.
Mr.Wakaisenshi gave us his original T-shirts specially made for us!!
It was a big pleasure and it gave us a lot of power.
We did a very good show and recieved very good response. Sold many CDs.
We also met Whisper Of The Garden, who is a great singer and plays christian music.
Next morning, we and Whisper and her manager CC had a breakfast together, talking about christianity in Japan and lots of things.
It was a good time.
Around Nashville, there were some mountains and forrests. It looked somehow like Japan. Yes, Nashville, we felt something special. We will come back diffenetely.
Atlanta GA, April 11&12
After having a breakfast with Whisper Of The Garden, we went to Chattanooga.
And there we met Pastor Butch Varner.
He was in Japan before for a long time and he is eager to spread gospel in Japan.
We talked about lots of things and also about his plan of coming to Japan this year. Yes, we are willing to help him in Japan!
By the way there we ate some humbergers at Red Robin. Wow it was very good, possibly the best humberger we ever had. (Because in Japan we have only McDonald's.)
Until this time it turned out that our show in Atlanta was cancelled because of the venue was closing down. Well, hard luck, but this kind of things sometime happens.
So we went directly to Naoko's house. Naoko-san was a friend of Jake's.
She and Jake had met here in Yokohama, Japan.
And she was a christian too.
We were kind of dissapointed because of the cancellation of the show.
But Naoko-san called the pastor of Japanese church in Atlanta and now they would let us play some music in their church!
Yeah, we were very excited! Thanks, Naoko-san!
April 12th, it was Easter Sunday.
We joined Easter Worship at Westminster Japanese Church in Atlanta and played 2 worship songs.
It was such a pleasure to play in a church on Easter Sunday.
Thank you everybody there!
After that, we went to the Stone Mountain and did some sightseeing.
New York City, April 13-15
On April 13th, in the morning we sent our amplifers and equipments to Ken-san.
Because in New York City and Seattle, we don't have to bring our amplifers.
That means when we do our next tour, we start from Dallas TX again.
Anyway, we flew to NYC.
We stayed at some hostel owned by Japanese. There were only Japanese people stayed there, so it's kind of funny.
On April 14th we played at Otto's Shrunken Head in East Village.
We met a Japanese drummer, he played in other band that night.
And our show, it took a while to get everything right on stage, but after all everything was great! We had a good responce and had a good time.
We met Pastor Richy there.
He was a music industry person. Working with many big musicians.
So it's great thing he liked us and offered us a help.
Maybe he can help us when we visit NYC next time.
We wish we could stay longer, so that we can play Pastor Richy's church on Sunday.
Thank you very much, pastor Richy!
On April 15th, we did all the sightseeing. Because it was 1st time visitting NYC for us. We went to Times Square, Broadway, Central Park, East Village, Battery Park and Statue Of Liberty, and we walked and crossed the Brooklyn Bridge.
After all those sightseeing we were all tired but we again met Pastor Richy and did some business talk. Great, hope it works!
On April 16th, I got a phonecall from Mr.Locke from OURS (the band based in NYC), because last year I met him in Utah in a film festival. He was very nice person. But unfortunately this was a day we had to leave NYC. But thanks Mr.Locke!
Seattle WA, April 16-19.
So Seattle, personally for me(Tak) it's 2nd time visitting this city.
This city is beautiful and pretty. We all love Seattle.
On the first day we stayed at cheap hostel near the Pike Place.
We had sent our posters there beforehand, and when we arrived, lo and behold they put our posters all over the place. We were very glad!
We stayed in Seattle for 3 days and it was very lucky we didn't see any rain during our stay. We saw only blue sky. It's very lucky in Seattle isn't it?
April 17th, after we did some sightseeing, including Pike Place Market, 1st Starbucks, Space Needle, we went to the venue.
Again it was very cool venue, it was located in Georgetown and there were lots of crazy people around there partying on the street. Very artistic vibe.
Luckily we had some Japanese audience there. And it was one of the best show, too. Seattle rocks!!
We met Leiko-san and Rae-san. They were very cool people.
On April 18th, Leiko&Rae-san picked us up early morning and we went to Japanese Church in Tacoma.
There we joined worship and Tak plaed 1 worship song with an accoustic guitar.
After that Leiko&Rae-san we drove back to Seattle and did all the sightseeing.
Shawn (Hardison) gave us a Live Recording CD-R from the previous night show. Thanks Shawn!
We went to Washinton University district and Fremont and Capitol Hill. It was fun!
And we had tea at the restaurant by the river near the university bridge with Leiko&Rae-san and their friends. Thanks!
We stayed at Leiko&Rae-san's house, we jammed together with Rae-san in his garage. It was fun! And we had wine and sake and we had fun all night!
And after that, we flew back to Japan!!
All throught the tour, we had great help from Japanese churches and Japanese Christian people. We are very thankful and grateful for that. Thank you for all the people.
And we personally want to say big thanks to Ken-san.
Without her help, this tour was not possible.
We have made friends with some Japanese Christian artists and American pastors willing to come to Japan.
So our next step is to team up with those people and make a big movement in Japan. Yes that's what we will do.
And since this tour was succesful, we want to make it bigger and happier next time.
Things are just starting to move ahead. And we are going to keep them moving.
So guys, see you again soon!!
Tak (Tone) / IMARi ToNES