Loop Pool at Shibuya

Imagine this picture: Sheila and me, two Spaniard tourists happily prancing around Shibuya, Tokyo, returning from exploring Harajuku and thinking about going for dinner before the restaurants close their kitchens (at 10 pm they are already closing! that’s nuts for our Spaniard inner clocks 😀 ). We are heading to one of the places we have in our list of “restaurants to go”, and at the moment we are approaching the famous Shibuya cross. And we start to hear live music: it sounds like a band testing their gear… and it sounds very good. Like a cross between Quickspace and Stereolab, some kind of post-rock-slash-math-rock… not the kind of music you expect to hear from a street performer.

Since we both are kind of music nerds and like that genres quite a lot, we looked for the source of the music… and we found it in a back alley, just under an elevated train archway: Three musicians, waiting for something, and a bunch of cool-looking people drinking beer and looking at them.

Of course, everyone there was japanese, and we were too shy to ask around to see what was going on. People were chatting around, shouting stuff in Japanese to the musicians, who were here just chilling out and chatting with each other. We didn’t understand anything, why they were not playing? What were we waiting for?

And then it happened. Two trains passed at the same time over us. And at the same moment, they started to play.

And oh, boy, they were good. They were very good. People started dancing, singing along, and generally speaking, having fun. It was awesome. Remember the stage of all this: A back alley, just 100 meters away from the Shibuya crossing, with thousands of totally oblivious persons walking by just some meters away.

I’m not sure if it was a matter of luck, but they even managed to incorporate the trains passing above us. There was this particular moment when a song totally changed its pace just after a train flooded us with all its noise from above.

They played four or five songs and stopped. We left for our dinner (of course, we were late, the restaurant was already closing), and we could barely believe what we have seen. What’s the chance of catching a live post-rock gig in the street, in the middle of Shibuya?

Once we were back at our place, we jumped into internet to look for more info. It turns out that the band’s name is Loop Pool (soundcloud), and they annouced the gig on its twitter, so most of the people around were actual fans, with only a few of us being random bystanders.

I think it was one of the most magical moments in our lives. Even if it were just for that half an hour of music the whole trip to Japan would be already great.

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