FUJI ROCKS!

The best festival in Japan has a stellar line-up…

Franz Ferdinand, Courtney Love and White Stripes were amongst the bands who wowed fans at this year’s FUJI ROCK festival.

First held near Mount Fuji in 1997, a massive typhoon forced its cancellation midway through its inaugural run. And while a typhoon didn’t cause problems this year, nightly gusting winds and omnipresent rains pummeled tents and fans alike.

On the opening day The Killers’ Brandon Flowers enamored both locals and expatriates alike, but wasn’t outdone by the enormous charm of Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody.

Day Two featured rain, but broke long enough to usher in some highly anticipated treats: Franz Ferdinand made their Japanese debut with each song getting a frenzied acceptance. Yet nothing eclipsed the bizarre ride of Courtney Love. Taking the stage late and dressed in a tartan skirt and black top, Love looked happy on stage, joking with the audience about being allowed into the country despite her ongoing legal problems back in her native America.

The star performed comeback single ’Mono’, as well as Hole classics ‘Celebrity Skin’ and ‘Malibu’. For some of the songs, Love was aided by a lyric sheet, but still managed to perform an encore.

Courtney is a massive star in Japan, and even has a cartoon character based on her called Princess Ai.

On the final day of the festival Libertines, minus Pete Doherty put in an appearance, with Carl Barat calling for a round of applause for his missing bandmate.

Later in the evening White Stripes made their long awaited return to the live stage, with Jack finding time to cover The Stooges’ ‘TV Eye’.

The Stripes’ set ran:

‘Black Math’

‘TV Eye’

‘Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground’

‘Let’s Shake Hands’

‘Little Bird’

‘Seven Nation Army’

‘Jolene’

‘Shoo-Fly’

‘Apple Blossom‘

‘Astro’ / ‘Jack The Ripper’

‘I Think I Smell a Rat’

‘This Protector’

‘We’re Going To Be Friends’

‘Offend In Every Way’

‘Hotel Yorba’

‘Ball And Biscuit’

‘Cannon’ / ‘John the Revelator’

‘Look Me Over Closely’

‘I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself‘

‘Hardest Button To Button’

‘I Fought Piranhas’

‘Let’s Build A Home’ / ‘Goin’ Back To Memphis’

There was also a surprise in store at the end of the festival.

Morrissey was unable to appear at this year’s event, and, astonishingly his replacement was a Smiths covers band that left most confused, angry or amused.