Man With A Mission Headlines The Whisky

Review & photos by Andrew Bansal

July 10th 2014, The Whisky-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood CA: Coming to the end of a four-week US tour, Japanese eclectic experimental band Man With A Mission played a headline show at the Whisky-A-Go-Go in West Hollywood last night, a little over eight months after they performed at the Roxy a few paces down the street. With just one opening act, this was event was of a rare and unusual kind for a place like the Whisky, and it was exclusively occupied by Man With A Mission’s loyal fans who had turned up in large numbers to support them. At 10 PM, the lights went out and the band members arrived on stage amidst palpable excitement and anticipation.

In comparison to the Roxy show, Man With A Mission made four changes to the set list and played the songs in a different order, presenting a welcome variation to the fans, most if not all of whom must have attended that previous show. Combining rock, metal, punk, pop, electronica and every other genre of music possibly imaginable, Man With A Mission embody the quintessential Japanese ethos of eclecticism and their show truly has something in it for everybody. The fans here were loving every moment of it, the Nirvana cover drawing a huge response as expected, but every one of the other 10 items in the set also garnering a great reception.

The band’s performance and energy levels were excellent and justified the reputation carried by their name, and they showcased themselves as solid musicians with a strong stage presence, obviously enhanced by their wolf-like appearance. But in all honesty, this venue wasn’t quite as fitting for their show as the Roxy clearly was last December. With a relatively much higher stage, the crowd here wasn’t as close and intimate with the band, and the front stage lighting was very surprisingly low. I’m never one to complain about low lighting, specially if it suits the performing band’s musical style (and I certainly don’t have anything against the Whisky as I support all their shows), but even though Man With A Mission carry a story and a message in their music, there is absolutely nothing dark about their live show and it’s all about the fun and the visual presentation, which required much better lighting than what they had here. That took away slightly from the impact of this show, but regardless, Man With A Mission still put on a fun-filled show for all in attendance.

Man With A Mission is playing at the Chain Reaction in Anaheim tomorrow Sunday July 12th, which should undoubtedly be a crazier show considering the much smaller size and intimate setting of that venue, and they’re also confirmed to participate in the massive three-day Knotfest gig in San Bernardino this fall. It’s clear from the turnout at the Whisky that Man With A Mission’s fan base shows no signs of dwindling, and with more live appearances, it will only continue to grow because they’re a live band worthy of attention.

Check out a gallery of 11 Man With A Mission photos from the show below, or view it here if you’re on a non-Flash device:

Man With A Mission links: 

Set List:
01. distance
02. Hasta La Vista
03. Evil Falls
04. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana cover)
05. Fly Again
06. When My Devil Rises
07. Take What U Want
08. Vitamin64
09. Don’t Lose Yourself
10. Emotions
11. Get Off Of My Way

Remaining Tour Dates:
07/12 – Anaheim CA – Chain Reaction [tickets]