The first Cibo Matto song I ever heard was Birthday Cake, almost 15 years ago, in the video game Jet Grind Radio. I hated it. Every time it came on I felt like I was going crazy.
And then, somewhere along the way, I fell in love with it, somehow. I started to like the feeling of going insane while Miho Hattori screams, “Extra sugar, extra salt, extra oil and MSG!”
I’ll admit, back in the days of Kazaa, I downloaded most of the songs from their albums, Viva La Woman! and Sterotype A, listening to the few songs I had endlessly, on repeat. I once played DJ at a friend’s party, and spun Cibo Matto tracks nearly the whole night. Most people wanted me to stop DJing so they could play whatever top 40 garbage was popular then.
I found out that Cibo Matto had released a new album earlier this year, when an awesome WKNC DJ spun MFN, from their new album, Hotel Valentine. I immediately recognized Hattori’s distinct voice, and even called the DJ to gush about how much I love Cibo Matto.
Ever since then, I had been trying hard to see Cibo Matto live. When I originally got into them, I figured the band was finished touring and making new music, and that I would never get that chance.
On Wednesday, Cibo Matto tweeted that they were coming to the Visualite theatre in Charlotte on Friday, so I packed my bags, bought tickets, and raced to Charlotte at the end of the week.
It was so worth it.
They played with a full band, and a guest guitarist, Nels Cline. Each of the band members wore white, reminding me of a cross between high fashion models and house painters.
Cibo Matto kicked off the set with the chill tune Sugar Water and rolled into BBQ – one of the songs I had managed to miss from my Kazaa days. After BBQ came Spoon, which was one of the best songs of the set.
Then everyone grabbed some sheet music, and Hattori grabbed some lyrics and started a cover of Águas de Março. It was a nice rendition, but lacked the distinctive Cibo Matto sound that they have previously given to the About A Girl cover. It’s probably a work in progress and I hope to hear a finished product soon.
Yuka Honda and Miho Hattori dancing together.
Blue Train, Moon Child, Deja Vu, and 10th Floor Ghost Girl came after, hyping up the energy in the club to a boil. The band left the stage after 10th Floor Ghost Girl, but the audience immediately began shouting “Encore, encore!”
The band took the stage for one final song, the one we all wanted – Birthday Cake.
Everyone shouted the lyrics and jumped up and down. “Extra sugar! Extra salt! Extra oil and MSG!”
It’s been a long time coming, but I finally got to see Cibo Matto. I would do it again in a heartbeat.