To the reader who can’t purchase this album I apologize in advance. To the reader who already has this album, the Mega-Lo-Mania campaign on Kickstarter. Thanks to your generous pledge, Ran will be able to put out his documentary at film festivals, on Netflix and Amazon, and on DVD for the backers who selected that reward.

“Kickstarter Exclusive – Ran Live Band” was just one of those rewards for backers, and since there’s no fancy or clever title to it, it’s exactly what the name describes. The main feature of this album is a set of live performances which pop up on iTunes as “Mega Ran Live,” in a format that probably could have been sold individually as an EP to non backers. Three of the songs are performed live in Vegas, two are from a live set in Phoenix, and one isn’t listed as any city in particular – it’s just billed as “Splash Woman” live. I’m not able to share the live version with you via audio clip, but if you want a sample of the studio version, check it out below.

The difference is of course Ran delivering it live for the enthusiastic fans, who sing the chorus along with him, as an equally enthusiastic Ran breathlessly delivers the video game inspired raps until the instrumental ends and he gets a breather. If you haven’t had the chance to experience him in person, I have to say you’re in luck – he’s on tour from now through March 7th. The six “Mega Ran Live” tracks are not the end of it for Kickstarter backers though – Ran also included four tracks from his last tour overseas. You can hear him rehearsing “Energy Flow” with a live piano, and doing a “Translation Freestyle” live as someone on stage translates the Japanese names of objects handed to him. It’s a little awkward but the chutzpah of the attempt is enjoyable, given that he won’t refuse any challenge even when he’s handed “suede-o” or a “saifu.” Here’s a little taste of what Ran was like in Japan.

This is a hella dope bonus for the Kickstarter backers – and although I know it’s meant to be an exclusive I can’t help but encourage Ran to release a live album via MegaRan Music once all the rest of the bonuses have gone out to the backers – including limited edition vinyl and NES carts with “bit crushed” instrumentals from his latest album. You really can’t go wrong with a little more Ran in your life, and thanks to the fact these shows were well mic’d, you get a good sense of what the Random experience is like live.

Mega Ran :: Kickstarter Exclusive - Ran Live Band
7.5Overall Score