Music Vocab #1

This will be a series of posts featuring vocabulary useful when talking about music in Japanese. When I started getting into the scene, I had quite a learning curve as none of this is covered in traditional learning material. Hopefully this will prove useful to some fellow music enthusiasts. This first entry will focus on concerts.

  • ライブ、ライヴ (raibu, raivu) – Concert. Also note that コンサート (konsaato) is currently used to describe things like classical music concerts, NOT popular music concerts.
  • ライブハウス (raibu hausu) – Concert venue, generally all-standing. These vary in size from capacities of about 50 people to as large at 2,500. The large ones may have a smaller, seated balcony section.
  • 箱 (hako) – Slang for concert venue.
  • ホール (houru) – Hall. Seated concert venue. In my experience, they tend to have poor quality sound systems.
  • アリーナ (ariina) – Arena. The biggest type of live venue such as Saitama Super Arena.
  • ワンマン (wanman) – A concert where there is only one band performing. These typically last 1.5-2 hours with 16-20 songs.
  • 2マン (tsuuman) – A concert with two bands. Each general perform for an hour.
  • 3マン (suriiman) – A concert with three bands. Each band typically performs for 45 minutes.
  • 対バン (taiban) – Other bands performing at a show.
  • トリ (tori) – Last band. Slang. Not necessarily the same as “headliner.” What ever band organizes the show will typically go last and play at least one more song than the rest in an encore.
  • トップバター (toppu bataa) – First band of a concert. Slang.
  • O.A. オープニングアクト (ou ei, oupuningu akuto) – First performer and typically significantly less famous than the other bands. Not many shows have a band officially designated as an opening act like this. When they do, they’ll typically play a shorter set than the other bands, as opposed to most shows where all but the last band typically have equal set times.
  • ハシゴ (hashigo) – Going to two or more concerts on the same day. Literally “ladder.”
  • ドリンク代 (dorinku dai) – Cost of the mandatory drink. Virtually all live venues require the purchase of a drink ticket to enter. Typically 500 yen, although lately venues charging 600 yen are becoming more common.
  • ドリンクチケット (dorinku chiketto) – Ticket that you can exchange for a drink. May be restricted to a limited menu or require you to pay the difference for more expensive drinks (such as something made with Red Bull).
  • 目当て (meate) – The band you’ve come to see. When you enter the venue, you’ll  be asked which band you’ve come to watch play, and that band will get credit for your ticket.
  • 整理番号 (seiri bangou) – Your ticket number. This determines the order for entering the venue. This may be further divided into groups (A tickets, B tickets, etc.).
  • プレイガイド (pureigaido) – Online and convenience store-based ticket selling services.
  • 予約、取り置き (yoyaku, torioki) – Reservation (for a ticket).
  • 当日券 (toujitsuken) – Ticket purchased the day of the show at the venue. Typically 500 yen more expensive than a presale ticket or reservation ticket.
  • MC (emu shii) – The segments of a concert where the band talks to the audience.

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