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Asian Kung-Fu Generation @ Nano-Mugen Festival

by Philip Brasor

There are few success stories in Japanese rock as satisfying as Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s. Formed at Yokohama’s Kanto Gakuin University in 1996, the punk quartet slowly garnered a following in the Tokyo metropolitan area before appearing at both Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic in 2003. That same summer, the group hosted its own festival, Nano-Mugen, with like-minded punk bands at the tiny Shinjuku Loft club. Since then, Nano-Mugen has become one of the year’s major rock festivals, having graduated to the gargantuan Yokohama Arena in 2005.

Also check out: AFKG’s support acts on both days are Manic Street Preachers, Ben Folds, Nada Surf, Hard-Fi and annual favorites The Young Punx. On July 19 you can also enjoy local rockers Straightener, Hiatus, Ogre You Asshole and Kiyoshi Ryujin. Guests on July 20 include Spitz, Unicorn and Sakanaction.

The setting: Yokohama Arena is one of the biggest venues in Japan, meaning it’s pretty much a barn (though not as much of a barn as Makuhari Messe).

When/where: The shinkansen stops next door at Shin Yokohama Station, as does the Yokohama Subway line. Tickets for each day are ¥9,600 and are available at all major ticket sites, or by calling Disk Garage at (03) 5436-9600, but you’d better hurry. For more information in English see nano-mugen.com Doors open each day at 10:30 a.m. and shows start at noon.