In a smoky basement venue in Sangenjaya, Tokyo, Mexican flags adorn the walls, tequila is being quaffed and patrons casually walk around donning Lucha Libre wrestling masks like this was a Friday night in Mexico City.
Apart from the obvious clash of cultures, this is no normal show. Everyone is here to witness the spectacle that is “Luchacore”, a vibrant mix of Mexican Lucha Libre wrestling and hardcore punk. From being blasted with aggressive drumming and screaming to guarding yourself from the glass debris of fluorescent light bulbs this certainly is a performance that will get the adrenaline flowing.
The stars of the show: In this corner, hailing all the way from Tottori prefecture, “Takimoto-Dairenai” AKA “Takimoto The Great Love.” In the other corner, representing Ishikawa prefecture is “Hamatiw”. The pair make up Gisiri, Japan’s finest Luchacore band.
In 2011, Gisiri arose from the idea of blending the things that they were most passionate about. Hamatiw liked hardcore and Takimoto liked Lucha Libre. To them the formation of Gisiri seemed like an obvious path to take.
“There are lots of bands that like wrestling, and there are lots of wrestlers that like bands. There are many events that cater for those that like both.”, says Takimoto.
After a show is finished, blood stains the floors, splintered wood lays scattered about, broken glass crunches under everyone’s footsteps, and barbed wire litters the stage. Any health and safety department would have a heart attack.
However, luckily for everyone who wants to see this one of a kind show, Heaven’s Door in Sangenjaya makes it possible to have these crazy live shows. Where as it would be difficult elsewhere, the owner Holi-san’s undeniable tolerance puts fun above everything else.
Gisiri have been residents of Heaven’s Door since their formation. Although, its was a little different back then. They didn’t fight. After a while, since they wore their custom-made masks posing like luchadores, they felt there was a need to try out the fighting.
Little fist fights evolved into epic brawls with metal chairs being thrown about. What was meant to be only 1 or 2 minute intermissions between musical numbers began to take up half the show. Now you can expect high-flyer slams off bar stools and barbed-wire people sandwiches for most of the time they’re on stage.
“It doesn’t really hurt because the rush of adrenaline makes it feel like your life is on fire,” Takimoto explains. The drive to become more extreme and entertaining comes from their audience. “Instead of being scared they support us through laughter. Making it totally worth it.”
After watching Gisiri scrap with blood smeared across the floor, it may seem like the drive to be a wrestler is taking over. However, they don’t claim to be pro wrestlers. They hold true to the fact that they are first and foremost a band.
It’s out of pure respect for real pro wrestlers that they do what they do. If they claim to be something they are not, it could be seen as offense to the pros. It seems like the respect goes both ways. In the past, they have been to wrestling shows and explained what they do to the professionals. A number of times, out of mutual respect, these pro wrestlers have joined in on Gisiri’s shows and fought together.
They recently released their new album Que Brada. To get your hands on it, you’ll have to hit up one of their live shows or get in touch to order directly from them.
“If you want one, let us know,” Hamatiw says.
Follow Gisiri on twitter:
Hamatiw – @hamaciu
Takimoto-Dairenai – @GISIRI_DRA
Get your own homehame Lucha Libre masks here -> Panda Rocks