Bo Ningen

Hard Luck Bar, Toronto ON, May 8

Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa

BY Ian GormelyPublished May 9, 2015

Throw pretty much any genre tag at Bo Ningen and you're likely to hit the mark. Though nominally acid rock, the London-via-Tokyo quartet have as much in common with Lightning Bolt as they do with the Mothers of Invention. Like the hodgepodge of thrift-shop fashions the group wear onstage, Bo Ningen put culture in a blender.
Beginning their set with a flurry of noise, they quickly settled into a throbbing groove anchored by singer and bass player Taigen Kawabe and drummer Monchan Mona. This foundation leaves room for lead guitarist Yuki Tsujii to fly off the handle, creating sonic freakouts with his barrage of effects pedals.
While a high degree of technical proficiency was clearly on display, it was never the focus. Bo Ningen's knack for showmanship ensures that anyone not drawn towards the stage by their music was pulled in by their flailing bodies. Taigen, in a long black dress and sporting hair that threatened to surpass his hemline, is particularly prone to bouncing between glammy preening and heavy metal bass face, hamming it up for the crowd without losing a beat. The band's extended jam that closed their short set found him climbing the band's amps before bringing everything to a thundering close. For better or worse, no one leaves a Bo Ningen set without some kind of opinion. 

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