JULY 20th 2011

Review By: Peter Ruttan


B'z is a Hard rock group from Japan that have released 41 consecutive singles, 23 albums, and sold more than 77 million records in Japan alone. So this year they continued their famous live-gym tour with additional stops in North America: Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. We had the pleasure of covering the Vancouver show that was held at the Vogue theater.

It had been since 2003 that B’z played in Vancouver so for vocalist Koshi Inaba and grammy winner lead guitarist Tak Matsumoto who are the creative force behind the band are a custom to playing to large outdoor stadiums but wednesday night they returned to Vancouver in front of a frenzy crowd. This was there chance for some who missed them 8 years ago to witness them up close and personal. Just to give you a ideal the merch table was set up outside the venue and the custom van t-shirts were sold out within 20 minutes.

With B’z ready to hit the stage we had Takanobu Masuda on keyboards, Edmonton’s own Shane Gaalaas on drums and bassist Barry Sparks. These musicians have played with the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen, UFO, Ted Nugent, and the Scorpions. Koshi and Tak feel playing with many different and skilled musicians and doing solo projects keeps their music fresh and inspired in there long career. 

Koshi on stage presence was very well done as with every leap, shout and punch in the air seemed well rehearsed. The group played on a fairly stripped down stage save for an impressive lighting and let the music do most of the talking. In the memorable category of tunes played in English this night was Juice, Friction, Naked Venus, Splash! and Brotherhood. The excitement was feverish and the crowd showed the band their love and dedication by standing up for the entire hour and half singing to most if not all of there 22 set list and in return the band performed without slowing down.

Overall, the concert was a great time for some 2,000 screaming B’z fans in attendance, fists and peace signs raised in support of the rock-star icons. The show definitely left many fans wanting more, but hopefully we won’t have to wait another 8 years....BANZAI!