If you’re new to the live house scene, it helps to know a few things to ensure a smoother experience
Finding a live house
Most live house finder online tools do give information on gigs and location. You’ll also find such info on the live house’s official website although you generally have to know Japanese to understand the web page contents. While you can always go for a familiar name when looking for gigs, you’d be surprised to discover a new act that can give an equally pleasurable experience.
For smaller acts, you can just buy tickets at the venue. It should cost around 2500 to 3500 yen. That’s worth it considering there’ll be 4 to 8 bands playing for the night. If you’re worried that the show might sell out, you can get tickets in advance from agencies like Lawson. Most gig portals have the info about the dates, venues, promoters, and artists.
Finding the spot
Whether you did get the location of a specific live house, or decided to just try your luck by walking around the city to look for any, be on the lookout because it can be difficult to find. Live house signs are not always conspicuous and because they’re located in basements, don’t expect to be able to use your ears to determine if there’s a live house nearby. Sometimes, the entrance could even be a but further off the main entrance for the building.
Try to get to the place half an hour earlier so you’ll have enough time to find where it is and figure out how to get there. Google maps can help but again, figuring out where the exact spot is might take a while and some of the maps in official websites are misleading. Unless you have access to the timetable, it’s best to arrive for the start time, which usually takes place half an hour after open time. Keep in mind that even the more popular live acts could be slated to play earlier.