Crush 40 to play Youmacon 2015 in Detroit

C40COKEThe juggernauts of Sonic the Hedgehog soundtracks, Crush 40, are set to play the Youmacon convention in Detroit later this year. Crush 40 have recently played at the JOYPOLIS theme park in Tokyo to promote the launch of their latest album 2 Nights 2 Remember, but have not played any shows outside of Japan since 2013.

Youmacon is a celebration of Japanese pop culture, including video games, anime and music, running across three days from Friday 29th of October until Sunday 1st of November. There is currently no information as to which day Crush 40 will be performing as of publication of this article, however we will keep you up to date as more details come to light.

Details on tickets and registration for Youmacon can be found here:

A Day Out at SONIC FEST 2014

In June I had an opportunity to complete the set of SEGA-affiliated fan events and attend SONIC FEST 2014, SEGA of Japan’s answer to Sonic Boom and Summer of Sonic at SEGA’s Tokyo theme park, JOYPOLIS. SONICFEST this year was also a celebration of Sonic’s golden birthday (the birthday for which the age in years matches the date of the month of birth) which is a big deal in eastern culture. Although I’ve had a lot of contact with fans based in the Europe and the US, I’ve not spoken to many Japanese fans; whether this is because there are fewer of them or because there is a language barrier, I was unsure. Suffice to say we arrived at the gates of JOYPOLIS on Daiba island, unsure what to expect in regards to both the order of the day and turnout.

Queue for Sonic Fest 2014I was pleased to see Japanese Sonic fans are just as enthusiastic as the rest! By the time we had arrived (about 45 minutes before doors opened), the queue was already down the boardwalk, heaving with fans dressed for the occasion, excitedly talking and greeting each other as the queue built. The first 200 fans through the door were given special individually numbered tickets, which allowed them access to the “golden circle” for the main stage event at SONICFEST (other fans could watch but from further back from the stage).

The park itself was open as usual on the day, albeit dressed a little more Sonic-themed than usual. In addition to these extras, the park recently underwent a large refurbishment, removing a lot of the old and outdated features and replacing them with attractions more akin to Sonic’s more modern appearance. A large portion of the first floor in the park is now an area known as the “Sonic Carnival”, an area dedicated to Sonic-centric games, as well as a very impressive Sonic statue, who exclaims various statements (in Japanese) when activated; fittingly, Sonic had been adorned in a crown and fur coat for the day. Several of the games are typical fairground affairs in which the most skilled players are rewarded for their efforts in the form of a lovely Sonic plush.

Sonic statue dressed up!Amongst the standard affair are three unique Sonic games. Sonic Athletics sees players take to treadmills, in order to compete in three track events including sprints, long jumps and hurdles. The players physically run on the treadmill, with the forward pressure applied dictating the velocity of the chosen character. Conversely, Sonic Brain Training requires competitors to flex their grey matter through a series of five of a possible ten games, involving memory, mathematics, fast reflexes and a keen understanding of Japanese! Players stand at podiums containing touch screens, and compete to score the highest each round. Those scoring above 1,000,000 were rewarded with a keepsake card to mark your achievement, with those exceeding 1,200,000 earning a special card (the latter being just out of the reaches of my abilities!). Children can also enjoy the Sonic Ghost Shooting game, where a small cart takes players around a small track while blasting Sonic Adventure 2 era ghosts with a gun.

JOYPOLIS storeFor the seasoned merchandise hunter, JOYPOLIS is heaven. The gift shop is filled with a huge range of current, generally available items, as well as a lot of exclusive pieces which can only be purchased at JOYPOLIS. More excitingly, the UFO machines had been especially stocked for one day only with the entire range of seasonal Sonic plushes, which included Surf Board and Water Melon Sonic (Summer exclusive), Halloween Vampire Sonic (Fall exclusive) and Santa Sonic (Winter exclusive). While some were easily obtained by unhooking a ring holding the plush in the catcher machine, others required you to destroy a load-bearing paper tie with a needle-like UFO arm – One Japanese fan pumped thousands of yen into a machine in order to obtain their prize!

For those feeling a little peckish, a special drink and chilidog combo was available, which came with a sticker to prove you’d devoured the foot-long. A limited edition range of sweets were on offer, including a special branded E-MA capsule which contained little cherry candies.

Iizuka-san introduces the main eventThe main event of the day was a 90 minute show on the main stage, hosted by a gentleman in a SEGA boiler suit [EDIT: The guy is called Sexy Saito! Good to know! Thanks to Shane for the info – T]. He was soon joined on stage by Takashi Iizuka, who introduced the trailer for Sonic Boom (branded as “Sonic Toon” for the eastern market), after which gameplay was demonstrated by Iizuka-san himself, Jun Senoue played a selection of Sonic songs accompanied by Sonic himself with fans accompanying by singing along. AiAi from Super Monkey ball made his presence known for the blowing out of the candles of Sonic’s birthday cake.

Iizuka-san then issued a challenge to the audience for three competitors to go head-to-head against at Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed, with participants receiving a goodie bag of Sonic goods. Amusingly, none of the challengers has the skill to beat Iizuka-san, who came in first in the race!

Posing for photos

Uekawa-san on stageYuji Uekawa, best known for his signature Sonic the hedgehog designs that have graced the franchise since the days of Sonic Adventure, also made a rare stage appearance at SONICFEST to talk to the fans during the show. Soon after, a raffle also took place on stage, with the numbers of the 200 golden circle audiences being drawn at random to receive a special prize. After several of these prizes had been amusingly “modeled” by Senoue-san, we were ecstatic to realise that one of our number had been drawn (The winner being Lewis from Segadriven)! Not only that, Uekawa-san also presented three hand-drawn original Sonic sketches, which were also given away to three lucky winners (unfortunately my number was not picked!)

After advertisements for several SEGA games, the stage events concluded, and fans were invited to a meet and greet session with Iizuka-san, Senoue-san and Uekawa-san, with an impressive range of rare Sonic items being brought out by fans for signing (Kieran also got an opportunity to present Uekawa-san with a hand drawn gift). Post-signing session, I had an opportunity to talk to some Japanese fans and take some photos; some of the hand-made items were incredible, and it was obvious to see that a lot of them were extremely passionate about Sonic. More impressively, we saw an attendee wearing a Summer of Sonic shirt! We also got to meet Act, one of the drummers from Crush 40’s live shows, who was also in attendance for the day.

IMG_2899SONIC FEST was a fantastic day out, and it is great to see that community events like this have also caught on in the east. Hopefully SONIC FEST will be a reoccurring event, and I implore you to go if you’re in Tokyo next year! JOYPOLIS is open all year round, with admission starting from ¥800 ($8 / £5) – you can find more information about the park on the English JOYPOLIS page.

Us at Sonic Fest!


Johnny Gioeli Interview: New Crush 40 Material Lined Up for 2014 founder Angie Fabian had a chance to catch up with Crush 40 superstar Johnny Gioeli while he was out on the Axel Rudi Pell last week. In amongst many Johnny-oriented queries, Johnny fields questions on Crush 40, including their future direction, and hints that 2014 will yield new Crush 40 material.

Johnny also answers questions about his favourite films, his artists, how much Chinese chicken was consumed during the recording of the Crush 40 album and his favourite ice cream (also my favourite!) Want to know the answers? Check out the video of the interview below!

(Warning! Some swears and lewd material…but it is Johnny!)

YouTube Preview Image

Sonic Boom Livestream: Going Live, Right Now


If you’re not lucky enough to be at this years Sonic Boom event. Sega have provided a livestream of the event.

And it’s happening right now.

Currently Crush 40 are rocking the stage. If you’re currently rocking the place in St. Louis right now, hope you’re having fun. If you’re having to watch the live stream. We’re currently having a bit of a ‘party’ down at SSMB right now. So turn on the stream, get on SSMB and come join us for the fun.

Live Stream Link: (You do not need an account or need to register to watch. Stream is worldwide.


Crush 40 are coming to Sonic Boom! Tickets now on sale


Boom! Now the announcements start! Sega & the official Sonic the Hedgehog twitter account have announced that fan favourite Crush 40 will be coming to Sonic Boom this year. Although no details were given as to what Crush 40 will be doing, it’s safe to assume that they will be performing, afterall, the venue is a concert hall. However, don’t forget, Sonic Boom does other stage events and both Jun & Johnny have taken part in booth SOS & Boom stage activities at previous conventions, so they might appear in other regards.

Tickets for the event have also just gone on sale and can be purchased from Ticketmaster, according to TicketMaster, a single ticket will cost $29.

Tickets can be purchased from TicketMaster as of now.

Mash-Up Monday: Still Alive Running

Now this Mash-Up Monday… This one right here is beautifulDear Wind Waker-level beautiful.

For today, we have Crush 40’s Live Life from Sonic and the Black Knight combined with Still Alive from Mirror’s Edge.

I just can’t stop listening to this without all my feels being perturbed. It’s too beautiful a mash-up to be put down!

Still Alive Running Remix (Mashup)

Newbiespud, thank you so much for this gem.

Found an interesting mash-up somewhere on the web? Have one of your own you’d like to see featured on TSS? If yes, then send it over to!

Mash-Up Monday: The Level Beyond Adventure

What better way to celebrate the upcoming release of Sonic Adventure 2 HD on XBLA, PSN, and PC, than with this ?

We’ve got quite a super Mash-Up Monday for you all today! Those who cannot withstand mash-up power levels exceeding 9000 are advised to proceed with caution. (There, I just saved you all the joke.)

The main theme to the Dreamcast classic, Crush 40’s Live and Learn, fuses with Bruce Faulconer’s SSJ3 Ascension theme from Dragonball Z to commemorate this great occasion! Super Sonic and Super Saiyan Goku? Now that, I dig.

Those asking about the featured image, drawn by Trunks24, can find it here.

Crush 40 Live Album Release Date and Track Listing

The Crush 40 Facebook page recently revealed the release date for the Crush 40 Live album (currently untitled) as October 3rd 2012, with a release through the Wavemaster record label. The single-CD live album contains tracks recorded at the Crush 40 Live performances in Tokyo in March with the full band ensemble of Johnny Gioeli, Jun Senoue, Takeshi Taneda on bass and Toru Kawamura on drums.

The track listing as stated on the facebook page is listed as:

01. Sonic Youth
02. Free
03. His World
04. Sonic Heroes
05. Open Your Heart
06. Knight Of The Wind
07. I Am… All Of Me
08. With me
09. Never Turn Back
10. Fire Woman
11. Revvin’ Up
12. Watch Me Fly…
13. Into The Wind
14. Rise Again
15. Sonic Boom
16. All Hail Shadow
17. Live & Learn
18. One Of Those Days
19. What I’m Made Of…

The CD is currently up for pre-order on CDJapan for the cost of ¥2,500 ($32 / £22).

Summer of Sonic 2012: Crush 40 Interview

First up in the 3-part series of Summer of Sonic interviews, we have two legendary guys  – Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli! Together this duo makes Crush 40, but I’m sure you all knew that already! Without further ado, let’s get on with the interviews, shall we?

Continue reading Summer of Sonic 2012: Crush 40 Interview

Competition: Win a Summer of Sonic Goodie Bag + Crush 40 Signed Merchandise!

Sore you couldn’t go to Summer of Sonic? Bummed out that you can’t go to Sonic Boom? Nothing can compare to being there on the day, but we hope to give two very lucky readers out there a little piece of the UK experience with our Summer of Sonic goodie bag!

We have a pair of these to give away, which include the Summer of Sonic tote bag, an Archie comic, a Summer of Sonic programme, a stick of Summer of Sonic rock, a Sonic birthday card and a code for Sonic Generations on the PC. As if that wasn’t enough, we’re throwing in one of the awesome 20th anniversary pin badges that have only been available at a few events, along with the brand new Crush 40 EP containing their three new tracks and a Crush 40 poster. What’s more; you will also receive the autographs of both Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli!

So what do you have to do to nab these awesome prizes? Well, all you need to do is answer these three easy-peasy questions about this year’s Summer of Sonic Event!


1) Which two SEGA characters were announced for Sonic and SEGA All Stars Racing: Transformed by Steve Lycett?

2) What are the names of the two character theme songs that were performed by Jun Senoue and guest singers during the Jam with Jun?

3) Which two of our invited guests in attendance were involved with the UK Sonic the Comic?


Send your answers to all three questions to the usual competition address at along with your name. The competition will close at 5:00pm BST on Friday 20th of July, and two winners will be chosen at random out of correct entries; winners will be notified by email soon after. This competition is open worldwide, so wherever you are on the planet, feel free to enter!

Good luck!