It's hard to say what brought about the musical change--perhaps the usual culprits like boredom, maturity, or spending too many hours remixing Sting songs (yes, sadly, it's true)--but the end result is still mighty innovative and satisfying. And so should be the show. Though Oyamada crafted Point entirely by himself in his tiny home studio, he fronts a full band for Cornelius gigs. No hoodied beat junkies hiding behind racks of samplers, oh no no--these are animated apes, not Gorillaz! We're gonna be throttled by no less than three wall-of-noise guitars, grooved by bossanova beats, and confronted with karate spacemen, three-dimensional kaleidoscope lights, and tons more multi-media goodies.
The extravagant live set-up provides one explanation of why it's been so long since we've heard from Cornelius. Not content to focus solely on sound, Oyamada is deeply involved in every aspect of the show--from digital videography to conceptual artwork and even fashion. He's known to sport all sorts of threads borne from his longstanding creative partnership in the ultra-hip Tokyo street label A Bathing Ape--which also turns out Cornelius-themed T-shirts shrink-wrapped into the form of a spray paint can, Beastie Boys figurines, and even freakin' beer (the label features the slogan "Ape Shall Never Kill Ape"). The merchandise table may almost be as fascinating as what's happening onstage--strap yourself in for total sensory overload.