July 13, 2018 marked the pillows SECOND sold out New York City show part of the ADULT SWIM PRESENTS: The Pillows “Mono Me You Sun” Tour. Fans, including myself, lined up several blocks around Irving Plaza, everyone sporting their favorite FLCL/anime gear, trendy street style threads, or cosplay. As is the case with many anime/video game/Asian Pop events, the crowd is ALWAYS friendly. By the time I managed to catch up to my friends in line I had already made two new ones, introducing the new to the old and all of us linking together to form one big squad. If there’s one thing I love about anime and all other things that fall under the “weeb” umbrella (damn proud, too), it’s the community it fosters. Many of us enjoy these pastimes alone, while some are lucky to have one or two friends that get it. Events like this are just as much about the social interaction as they are the performance. To feel like the majority for once and talk all things geek with people who respect and legitimately understand.

the pillows were as phenomenal as you could imagine. Sawao Yamanaka‘s physical performance was just as animated as his vocals and rhythm guitar, providing all of us with exactly what we were expecting. But he wasn’t alone: Yoshiaki Manabe and Shinichiro Sato matched his energy with every song, all three taking a moment after the final riff to wipe sweat from their faces in preparation for the next. While standing in the crowd, shoulders aching from holding my iPhone high enough to capture footage, I couldn’t help but think how incredible this experience must be for them. the pillows were living the rockstar dream, performing to a sold out crowd in NYC as part of a North American tour. This is a feat for any band, let alone a Japanese one. And this wasn’t even their first time here.

I’ve waited 7+ years for the pillows to return to America, often times thinking I lost my one and only chance to belt out lyrics I discovered through FLCL. Clearly I wasn’t the only one relieved about that not being the case judging from the loud chanting, applause, and crowd surfacing (seen in some of the clips below). This past Friday was fucking great and I’m still feeling the vibes. So many good people, so much good music, so much happiness and positivity in the air. Everyone coming together to enjoy culture and solid Rock music.

Music truly is unifying, it is the great equalizer.

I managed to capture 4 songs from the show (including some of their most famous). Enjoy them below as a playlist, and here’s to hoping you can feel the energy of the night through the footage! Man oh man, what a ride…!