Tsunami Washes Out Shows

The crisis engendered by the massive earthquake and tsunami that wiped out much of the coastline of northeastern Japan March 11 caused a lot of tour cancellations.

Two groups, however, were already in Tokyo and ready to play the night the tsunami hit. The Melvins and High on Fire canceled their planned shows. The bands, on tour together, also happened to be in Christchurch, New Zealand, Feb. 22 when that town was hit by a massive earthquake.

Among the other foreign artists who canceled or postponed March visits to Japan were The National (which also canceled its Singapore show), Azure Ray, Iron Maiden, Jack Johnson, Fran Healy, Slash, and Murderdolls.

The Gaslight Anthem was already on tour but canceled every date after March 11. However, All That Remains actually played the night of the 11th, and Cyndi Lauper, who was in Tokyo when the earthquake hit, stuck around to perform the following week.
Though her three-day stint at the Blue Note Tokyo isn’t scheduled to start until March 23, Dionne Warwick has said she may cancel because she’s deathly afraid of earthquakes.

The BBC Philharmonic already played seven dates of its 14-date tour of Japan when the quake struck but canceled the remaining four. In some cases, shows were canceled for “safety” reasons, but also to conserve energy.

The quake damaged a nuclear plant that provides Tokyo with a good deal of its energy, and locals have been asked to cut down on their electricity consumption. In fact, one artist from New Zealand with the rather ominous name Our Love Will Destroy The World postponed a March 12 club date to the next night and played a completely acoustic show without P.A. as a benefit for tsunami victims.

In addition, Tokyo Disneyland closed for 10 days in order to carry out safety inspections, and the all-girl pop idol group AKB48 canceled its regular shows in Tokyo so its permanent theater could also undergo checks.

Even more musicians have lined up to offer help in one way or another to the Japanese victims of the disaster. Lady Gaga is selling a bracelet and all proceeds will go to a Japan relief fund. So far it’s been reported that she’s raised $250,000.

Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, whose band Beady Eye has already sold out all five concerts of its May tour of Japan, dedicated a song to the victims at a March 12 show in Paris.

Bryan Adams has suggested an all-star concert to raise money for Japan, and even Charlie Sheen has said he will earmark some of the money from ticket sales to his upcoming “live shows” to a Japan relief fund.

Katy Perry, Diddy and Chris Brown have entreated fans to give to the Red Cross Relief Fund, and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park has designed a T-shirt to benefit Tsunami Relief in Japan.

The video for the new Black Eyed Peas single, “Just Can’t Get Enough,” was actually filmed in Japan a week before the disaster, and a message at the end links to the Red Cross.