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Pachinko Concert Review

Pachinko revives old and new music at St. Andrew’s

April 28, 2024 – A long line passed from the entrance to historical Detroit venue St. Andrew’s to Lafayette Street in Bricktown to enter the same music hall where figures such as Iggy Pop, Alice in Chains and Nirvana performed to see a band that originally was a lost piece of time from the British indie scene of the late 1990s that was rediscovered through the internet almost 15 years later..

In 2016, a user on the infamous imageboard website, 4chan made a post relating to a CD they had found at a record store in Nottingham, England and unknowingly, discovered a band that has now been more than solely impactful for over 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, including myself called Pachinko. They bring a more mature look into their older concerts alongside They Are Gutting A Body of Water, or TAGABOW for short as their experimental and mysterious opener. Unfortunately, the band I mostly bought the tickets for, Weatherday, couldn’t make it due to the error of not having a visa to perform in time for the tour in the United States. Overall I expected plenty considering my prior experience of the Saint Andrew’s venue and the genre of each band but they have upped my standards for every future concert at smaller locations.

Pachinko, recently in May 2023 re-released a selection of demos made between 1997 and 2001, featuring a few new songs, and well-made, more modern takes on songs made in their teenage years, gaining fame for their more shoegaze style and initial mysterious backstory online. They gained a cult following over time, even gaining notoriety on apps such as TikTok through their most popular songs, “D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L”, “All they Wanted” and “Laputa”. Their remakes of some lesser-known ones like “Rocking with Keith bring a more full-sounding version in comparison to the demos.

They are Gutting a Body of Water preforming at Saint Andrews Hall, April 28th, 2024 (Evangeline Millwood)

The crowd at this concert I felt was what really made it. Sometimes, in modern-day concerts newer people to pits feel more discomforted by self-proclaimed gatekeepers, while more long-term concertgoers tend to think concert etiquette has been thrown out the window after the pandemic. Though something about the crowd’s energy felt different and connected, during their most famous songD>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L, several people around me crowd surfed, or during one of their songs the pit started forming in duos and dancing together, including me and someone I barely knew. Though that’s often something that comes with good concerts, you gain trust with the people around you.

TAGABOW overall as an opener had an extremely mysterious and grungy sound that felt experimental and different in comparison to other concerts I had been to as of late, they gave a wonderful performance overall and it was incredibly helpful that they added transition points in case people needed help in the pit or to find lost belongings, they felt like a good connecting opening and though I didn’t know much about them prior, I found myself overall enjoying their music by the end.

Pachinko felt as if they were well prepared for the concert, consistently interacting with the crowd with witty banter and leading the pit occasionally but not fully trying to command them in a good balance. They brought angst from their teen years to a new coat of professionalism in their adult years. It felt genuine despite the time difference between their first and sophomore albums. They took this random opportunity of becoming a piece of lost media and gaining fans again after all those years and gave it their all to take complete advantage of this truthfully once-in-a-lifetime situation.

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