Concert Review: Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra “Skanking Tour” in Matsuyama

Posters at Matsuyama's w Studio Red.

(Click here for other posts about Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra)

Entering the venue.
I finally (finally!!!) got the chance to see Japan’s legendary Ska band Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra in Matsuyama, Japan, the last leg of their “Skanking Japan” livehouse tour.

I always prefer to see bands at their “home base” or home country if possible, so I was ecstatic to do so this time. But why Matsuyama? Well...by the time I found out about the tour, all the other locations were sold out! Plus, the date simply worked out better with my schedule. 

TSPO played at Matsuyama’s w Studio RED for two days (6/23 & 6/24); I attended the second show, the last show of the tour. Unfortunately for me, since I bought my ticket from overseas, I had to wait for quite awhile to get in. But the wait wasn’t long, and before I knew it I was inside, waiting for the guys to enter!

Moments before the band arrived on stage!

TSPO blasted onto stage and began their glorious (pun intended; Glorious is the name of their latest album after all!) 23-song set. Dispite having been on the road for several days, the members played with high energy and genuine interest in the Matsuyama fans. 

I was pleased to hear newer songs from Glorious (the title track; In Love cha cha cha [恋して cha cha cha]; White and Black Montuno (白と黒のモントゥーノ ); To the Unbelievers (野望なき野郎どもへ); The Ring).  Out of the newer songs, I enjoyed In Love cha cha cha the most as it was one of the more interactive songs; however, all the songs felt less like a performance and more like a party!

As I’ve never been to a TSPO concert before, it was awesome to her old fan favorites like Skaravan, SKA ME CRAZY, and Pedorazu. For me, Yuichi Oki (keyboard) throughly murdered all this tracks and the concert in general. Although he seems to be past traveling across the stage with his keyboard is tow, he jammed out like no other—gave me chills!

Nargo’s crazy antics were an amusing surprise as the seemingly low-key trumpeter went from grunge rock singing to robot dancing while wearing goggles at the drop of a hat!

A special moment for me was definitely hearing Kinichi Motegi (drums) sing Remember Me. I’ve written about his beautiful voice on my blog before, and it was moving to hear him song live. 

The intermissions during the live were just as entertaining as the concert with the members making various jokes and telling personal stories all while teasing fan girls and boys in the crowd. (I decided to hang back but I definitely kept my eye on my favorite cool bass killer Tsuyoshi Kawakami!)

After two hours, including an encore, it was all over ending with the classic Lupin III. This show has to be the most surreal I’ve been to, most likely since I have been wanting to see the band for so long. It’s clear that TSPO has a major passion for what they do and love their fans (especially the lucky ducks in the front who got merch thrown to them!) I hope the keep the music going for many more years to come!

Rating: 5/5

Set list:

01. murai Dreamers<サビレルナ和ヨ>
02. Skaravan (スキャラバン)
03. Glorious
04. The Battle of Tokyo
05. Heaven's Door 
06. 24Hours To Ska
09. In Love cha cha cha (恋して cha cha cha)
10. Paradise Has No Border
11. Remember Me (リメンバー・ミー)
12. White and Black Montuno (白と黒のモントゥーノ オルガンver.)
14. To the Unbelievers (野望なき野郎どもへ)
15. One Step Beyond
16. White Light
17. The Ring
18. Without a Road, Rebelious (道なき道、反骨の。)
20. Pedorazu (ペドラーズ) (Tetris theme song)
21. Faintaway (ちえのわ)
22. Routine Melodies Reprise
23. Lupin III

(From Natalie.mu, with corrections)


  1. I randomly found your site and read all your TSPO posts, super cool to see someone review all of their stuff! They're definitely my favorite band and I've listened to all their albums.
    Looking forward to seeing the reviews of their later albums.

    1. Thanks! I'll get to those reviews sometime! :)