While most young acts tend to start off in smaller venues and work their way up, AA= opted to do the opposite. The new solo project from Takeshi Ueda, bassist with apparently now-defunct tech-metal heroes The Mad Capsule Markets, played their first-ever concerts to thousands at the massive Intex Osaka and Chiba’s Makuhari Messe as part of the Countdown Japan 0809 festival in December.

With little chance of Ueda suffering from stage fright — having performed during his 16-year stint with The Mad Capsule Markets at many large-scale concerts, including slots at the Ozzy Osbourne-helmed Ozzfest — it made perfect sense to introduce AA= at the popular event. Their well-received appearances provided fantastic exposure for the late-February release of AA=’s singularly titled full-length debut, “#1.”

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