Chiba in May is a lot less vulnerable to typhoons than Shizuoka in the autumn. Moved from the original date and venue due to a storm in 2011, Metamorphose Spring has held onto a stellar lineup and, for good measure, added a few big names. The Flaming Lips and UK dance music pioneers Orbital survive, with Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz Sound System and DJ Afrika Bambaataa more than bulking up the already impressive numbers.

Flaming Lips
Metamorphose logo

The newly metropolitan venue is the massive Makuhari Messe, where daytime live acts and nighttime DJs will be the only thing sticking to a standard music-festival formula. All-night vibes were a late decision from the promoters and there are sure to be a few more surprises over the day. Other acts on the bill include Darren Emerson of Underworld “versus” Tim Deluxe, Derrick May, Galaxy 2 Galaxy and Detroit based Moodymann.

From rave in a velodrome (the Cycle Sports Center in Shizuoka) to mega-party in a conference centre is a long way to have travelled for the festival. And bringing people like UK brother-act Orbital (left, top)could be seen as a major coup, but it is testament to the event’s success and does not happen by accident. Orbital’s latest album, Wonky, which was released in April, has been hailed as a return to form for the duo; trend-setting music site Pitchfork called it a selection of “dance tracks that hit you with the immediacy of pop singles” and the NME says it is “blissful, sedentary festival listening.” Sounds perfect.

Psychadelic alt-rock stalwarts The Flaming Lips (left, centre) will bring quite a show from their home in Oklahoma – or at least wherever else they have been touring, such is the relentlessness of their schedule.

In fact, recent shows in Costa Rica and Spain have proved the band’s international popularity. Front-man Wayne Coyne will tweet his way through the bars and airports which make up his journey to Japan, but all the real drama will be on stage. Expect an elaborate, epic show with animal suits, projectors and a light show that will prove why this is a band to see before you die.

The chance to see Gorillaz Sound System in Japan is a fine thing. Jamie Hewlett’s characters, who previously lived in music videos and on record sleeves, are ‘brought to life’ as true members of the group on the massive screen that will accompany DJs and percussionists from the collective. Have a look at the day time lineup below, or visit the Metamorphose site for more information.

When: Saturday, May 12, 10:00 – 05:00

Where: Makuhari Messe, Chiba

How Much: ¥14,000 (¥12,000 adv.)

Metamorphose lineup

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