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B’z Toronto live review

Bz live

Bz live – Credit Vermillion

Total Score: 8.6/10

[starreviewmulti id=3 tpl=20]

Who: B’z – From Japan
Where: The Sound Academy, Toronto ON
When: Sept 26, 2012

For those who haven’t heard of B’z I’ll try to give you a quick synopsis.   B’z has sold over 80 million albums, they have had dozens of No. 1 singles, 18 top selling albums  and are the biggest selling music artist in the history of Japan.

To put things into perspective, they’ve sold more albums than The Police, Christina Aguilera, Nickleback or even Lady Gaga and have been around since 1988.  So if you were wondering who B’z is,  I’ll tell you this ‘B’z is very serious biz’.

They sound like an 80s hair metal band that took a long history lesson in progressive rock and blues. The core of the band is Takahiro Matsumoto and Koshi Inaba however, the live show on this tour sounds like one complete band.   Each member is tight and knows the music well. Songs range from hook laden pop/stadium rock to intense break downs, that change tempos with dropped beats, transpositions and complex theme changes rivaling the proficiency of bands like Yes, Rush, The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jethro Tull.

It’s clear that guitarist Tak Matsumoto has his diploma in the Hendrix school of rock.   He never runs out of chops and is really worth paying attention to for any serious lover of guitar based music.


Bz Toronto

Bz Toronto

Pre-Show Hype: This is the first time B’z has ever played Toronto.  The band recently released a six-song mini-album featuring re-recorded English versions of various hits.   It’s unfortunate that there wasn’t more media buzz regarding this show.  I heard about it from a Japanese friend, otherwise it wouldn’t have been on our radar.   Hopefully, next time around they will be playing a sold out stadium.

Crowd: B’z has been around for 24 years and you can see that in the crowd.   The majority were 30+ year old Japanese expats.    A few curious Canadians showed up and there was a sprinkle of youth.   There was a good 50/50 mix of both sexes and the house was approximately 2/3 full.

Style: American 80s hair metal infused with a solid history lesson in progressive 70s brit blues rock, stirred in a blender under the land of the rising sun in a new decade.

Technicalities:  Brilliant lights, however it took 3-4 songs before the mud was mixed out of the sound.

Memorable moment: Singer Koshi Inaba’s shout out to Toronto in English and Japanese”Thank you, first time in Toronto for us.  It’s always so exiting to play in a town where you’ve never been before, thanks for coming tonight…please have fun”.  This was followed by the crowd singing along to the intro of their 1990 hit ‘Easy Come Easy Go’


Memorable moment2:  Call and response moment.   Singer Inaba likes to engage the crowd…”that’s beautiful! Wanna scream more? I wanna scream more.”

Mentionable song: It’s a toss up between “Easy Come Easy Go” and “Zero”

Sex Appeal: When it comes to Rock Stars, B’z has got it!

Obvious surprise:  Japanese people really love guitar solos!   Everyone went crazy each time Takahiro Matsumoto played a solo riff or even a single note!

Their North American tour continues at The Fillmore Silver Spring near Washington DC tomorrow.

For more information on B’z (official website)-

 For cheap concert tickets to B’Z CLICK HERE

By: Darrell J. Shelley