Otoboke Beaver: A Yearlong Passion

Otoboke Beaver is a Japanese Punk band from Kyoto and one of my favourite bands of all time. According to its members, the band performs a "fast-paced and aggressive style of punk-rock" with "frequent changes in rhythm and tempo" and "gang vocals". They have a plethora of personal music influences, including Japanese rock, hardcore punk, and Japanese pop music. Their music features a combination of all of them, representing musical innovation.

In February 2023, I was looking for a concert to attend for my friend's birthday. We discovered Ratas En Zelo, who were opening for Otoboke Beaver, at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. I had never heard of Otoboke Beaver before, but their colourful album covers, quirky song names, and hardcore punk sound piqued my interest. The concert was one of the greatest I've ever seen, and Otoboke Beaver returned to Montreal a year later. On March 19th, Drinking Boys and Girls Choir opened for Otoboke Beaver at the Théâtre Beanfield. The band's powerful instrumentals and gentler vocals made them the ideal crowd-warmer for OB.

The energy in the room was electric as Otoboke Beaver went on the stage and waited to begin their show. The band's stage presentation and crowd interactions were unique and delightful. Guitarist Yoyoyoshie would frequently tell the crowd, "I love you," and experiment with the French language. Singer Accorinrin gave a statement encouraging us to buy merchandise (and I did) since the band "wanted our money." The bit kept going in between songs, and they even have a song called "Let's shopping after show". In between songs, she would warn the audience to "shut up" as we applauded and played the silent game. 

Waiting until utter quiet fell over the room, each time a new song began, the mix of voices, instrumentals, and sheer energy caused the entire audience to cheer and dance passionately. With Kahokiss on drums and Hirochan on bass, the ensemble's energies come together in a display of talent. 

The audience was diverse in terms of ethnicity, age, and personal style. A mix of grunge and eclectic outfits, with expressive patterns and vibrant colours. I chose to wear a combination of the two looks because I think it best captures the essence of Otoboke Beaver as a band. The mosh in the crowd was easy to navigate, with a designated pit. I could step in and out whenever I pleased, and have plenty of room to dance. They are self-proclaimed "pound-cake" girls who provide an entirely new viewpoint to punk music. Some of my favorite songs are “YAKITORI,” “S’il vous plait”, “datsu. hikage no onna”, and “yobantoite mojo”. 

The same week I saw the band, my sister saw them in New York City. I asked her to share some of her experience with seeing them live; to show the universally epic performance that Otoboke Beaver gives.


I went to see Otoboke Beaver for the first time at Knockdown Center in New York City and it was epic. Though it’s the biggest indoor venue they’ve played, the crowd was fully enamoured with the band's every move as they led the “quiet game” and chanted: “We are the champion”. The pit was exciting and playful, there was a real feeling of camaraderie in the crowd. As for the band: this group is an absolute unit. They’re incredibly skilled musicians who are still so raw and fun. Otoboke Beaver is proof “Punk’s Not Dead!”

- Eliana Ballman