I WOULD LIKE TO ANNOUNCE THAT THIS BLOG POST IS COMMEMORATING MY 20TH CONCERT SINCE COMING TO JAPAN. Yup, I've hit 20 concerts! Holla!
And now for something completely different. Well, sort of. We've discussed Kaya before, but only in the context of Halloween parties and indies events. This time, my friends Ashley, Geri, and I went to see Kaya all on his own doing his own show. And that, my friends, essentially means a drag show.
First, just a quick note... I attended an indies live the day before the Kaya concert and the show had fourteen bands. Yes, fourteen. However, due to the fact that all but three of them sucked giant balls, I'm not going to bother to blog about it, even though that kinda breaks my blog rule about keeping track of that stuff as accurately as possible (I'm a little OCD, what can I say). I would like to mention, however, that I finally went to the Rockmaykan for that show. That venue is famous because it was the first venue that X Japan, Luna Sea, and Malice Mizer ever played at. However, the venue's set-up is lame and it has no barrier, a tiny front section, and crowded seats that people take over within the first minute. And the sound-system is way too effing loud. But the lighting is really good, I'll give them that. As for the show itself, all I'll say is: meth.'s vocalist is a scary little monster and he's awesome, Navir was fun as always despite a lot of technical problems on stage, and... that's about it.
Anyways, back to Kaya!
So Kaya was performing his show at Ikebukuro Black Hole. This was also my first time at Black Hole, which I'd been told was quite a lot like... a black hole. It's on the sketchy side of Ikebukuro station and down a sketchy alleyway, but the venue is actually pretty nice. It has a full, working bar like you'd see at a club, and the sound quality seems to be really good. However, it really feels like being shrunk down and stuck inside a black shoe-box that happens to have a stage inside.
So, to add to the bizarre-ness of an already bizarre event, Kaya proposed this idea: since March 3rd is Girl's Day in Japan, and May 5th is Boy's Day in Japan (get it? 3/3 and 5/5?), then our show, which would be on April 4th (4/4) would be "gender equality day." In Kaya language this translated as: anyone who showed up in the clothing of the opposite gender would get a free drink.
Hoo boy. I personally had no interest in dressing up as a man just to get a free drink, but I knew that this kind of event at a Kaya concert in Japan meant almost everyone was going to be in drag whether they look good in it or not.
When we got to the venue, there were already plenty of people lined up outside trying to get in the door. Men in lolita dresses, women in suits, men in lacy gloves, women in suspenders. The girls themselves didn't look bad at all in drag. Hats and button-down shirts and other such things made them look more adorable than anything else. The guys on the other hand, well... there were some guys who clearly had no idea how to put on make-up... guys in dresses that didn't fit them very well... But hey, beggars can't be choosers! This was about a free drink, damnit!
Down the stairs and past the bar... the bartender was a young man in a leopard-print vest who gave us all a creepy smile as we went by. A couple of drag queens were standing next to the bar to greet everyone as they went past. One of them was wearing leather short-shorts and thigh-high boots and looked really shy and adorable. The other, well... he was as drag-queen as it gets. He had the giant, curly, afro-like wig, tiny clothes, long gloves, massive heels, and he was bopping to the dance music playing in the background. One foreign guy in a lolita dress went by and the drag queen gushed the word "kirei!" at him, which, if we factor in tone, would translate to "nice dress, honey!"
Finally, we all crowded into the Little Black Box of Doom to wait for the show to start.
So this is Kaya:
Anyways, this was a one-man concert, meaning Kaya was able to bring a complete concert experience to the venue. He appeared amidst smoke and colored lighting and the die-hard fans went nuts. There was only about 200 people in there but... they're biiiiig fans of Kaya.
Things started off with Kaya dressed in a costume similar to the one seen above. A lot like this:
Anyways, Kaya also had his backup dancers with him for this show. Now, the two dancers he had with him for the first song were, in fact, twin girls. Usually, Kaya has male backup dancers, and Kaya commented about how it may have surprised everyone to have female backup dancers (I think he may have even said it was his first time using female backup dancers at all). Still, the girls were totally adorable. They were dressed in pseudo-suits and top hats and, being twins, everything about them was identical from the matching, insanely long hair, to matching tattoos on their arms. The only way I could tell them apart was that one sister had hot pink nails, and the other had bright orange nails. Kaya introduced these lovely ladies as "Kitty" and "Arena." Based on the fact that they're sexy dancing twins with tattoos... I think I know where Kitty and Arena dance when they're not performing with Kaya, if ya know what I mean. Anyways, the girls were adorable and knew how to work the crowd along with Kaya to get everyone excited.
Unfortunately I don't know Kaya's music well enough to tell you exactly what he played, but I know he played the classics like Chocolat and Ophelia. And, as always, Kaya impressed with his pitch-perfect singing voice and extremely feminine hip-wiggling.
Kaya also had another backup dancer who was male. The other dancer did have a name, but since I don't remember it, I'm going to refer to him by the name I used in my mind during the show: Barbie. This guy was dressed like some old-fashioned Barbie doll with a long, tight black dress, long gloves, massive hair, extreme make-up, etc. His facial expression never changed, and he spent more time posing like a doll than dancing. And I think that was the point. However, I couldn't help but be amused by the fact that Barbie, um... didn't shave his armpits, hahaha.
Now, I don't much care for Kaya's music. I would never listen to it on my own time. So why did I go? Because Kaya is funny, absurd, ridiculous, charming, and he knows it and doesn't care. When he MCs, he spends more of his time telling jokes and playing with the audience than he does saying anything important. People have joked that Kaya spends more time talking than performing (not true at all, though). During his first MC, he revealed that the really adorable guy in drag that had been standing near the bar in leather short-shorts was, in fact, his roadie. This earned a massive gasp of shock from the audience. Apparently, Kaya's roadie is not usually in drag and no one recognized him. Kaya thought this was hilarious and tried to talk the roadie into coming out on stage to show off his new look, but the roadie was too embarrassed. One thing that's funny about Kaya is how he talks with the crowd. People aren't afraid to yell stuff out while he talks, and he always responds with some amusing quip and that insanely terrifying laugh of his. The man is, for lack of a better word, charming.
Now, I don't mean to get off topic here, but I just had to mention this... So, it's no secret that I think Mana from Moi Dix Mois (former Malice Mizer) is kind of a douche bag. I know Mana is really influential and is an icon of fashion and has his own label and fashion line and people respect him and blah blah blah, but I, for one, have always thought he was kind of an ass. Well, Kaya's MC just confirmed it for me. So I guess Kaya's birthday is coming up, and Kaya really wanted to have a special concert on his birthday for everyone to come to. But Mana decided to put a Moi Dix Mois concert right on Kaya's birthday. This would be more forgivable if Mana wasn't Kaya's friend, mentor, and ex-producer, and knows very well when Kaya's birthday is. Bear in mind that a lot of Moi Dix Mois fans are also Kaya fans, meaning those people would have to make a painful decision between which concert to go see. To make matters worse, Kaya apparently called up Mana and asked him to change the concert date, and Mana refused! Mana, with all that power and influence, with the enjoyment of a lot of his own fans at stake, refused him! Kaya was trying to make this whole story into a funny joke and laughed during the whole thing and repeatedly threw the horns and growled "Dix!", but... it's still a douche bag move on Mana's part. In the end, Kaya compromised and, on his birthday, there's going to be a big night-party after the Moi Dix Mois concert so all the Mana/Kaya fans won't have to choose and can see both. And Kaya can enjoy his damn birthday.
On a lighter note, Kaya is turning twenty years old again... just like last year, lol.
Anyways, halfway through the show, Kaya switched outfits. He moved into something a lot more goth, kind of like this:
There was only one difference, however. He replaced his skirt with tight, leather, short-shorts. Um... what? I guess this was his first time wearing this outfit, and he kept turning back and forth on stage, asking the audience what we thought of it. Well, Kaya... I can tell you're a man, now, that's what I think of it, lol! Kitty and Arena also switched into skanky, PVC leather halter-tops.
The show continued on, but now the songs got a lot more techno-dance influenced. Lots of audience-wide jumping and hopping going on. Kaya made sure to end with his crazy Rose Jail song. But I prefer to think of this song as the Grope Kaya Inappropriately Song. Kaya likes to come up to the front of the stage, dip his body in, and let people fondle him. He also sucks on people's fingers. Now, I was in a bad mood... as I have been for about two weeks now. The fact that I'm skipping blogging about our last indies show should tell you what kind of mood I'm in. And when I'm in a bad mood, I lose interest in doing things I would normally think are awesome (like when Ashley had to pull and drag me just to make me stand up to see Ha;qch). Unfortunately, this was one of those days. Everyone rushed forward for a chance to grope Kaya (including some creepy, old men who probably shouldn't have been doing that). I, however, just stood in the back and watched. I was close enough that I could've groped but... I just didn't feel like joining in the fun. I didn't do any furi for the show like everyone else, and I didn't jump with anyone else, and I really didn't feel like groping Kaya. Sorry, Kaya, I'll molest you next time.
So everyone was headbanging like crazy now, and some of the guys in the audience who were in drag couldn't keep their wigs on for this, so there were guys headbanging while clutching their wigs in their arms, which was pretty funny. Ashley and Geri decided to go forward for some groping, and I guess Ashley tried to grab Kaya's arm and, thanks to those little booty-shorts, she accidentally grabbed him somewhere she never, ever wanted to touch. Ever. Oops, lol. There was also "moshing", with people body-slamming the wall of bodies surrounding Kaya. Also, Kaya got dragged in a little too far and had to be rescued by his roadie. But the roadie would've gotten there faster if he wasn't tripping on his high heels, lol! Must be hard to wear heels for the first time, lol.
And that was the end of our show! When the show was over, everyone lined up for drinks (some of which were free). There was also a drink called Kitty named after the dancer. Buuut I was lame and got ginger ale, lol.
So I hope you enjoyed our drag-show bonanza! Stay tuned for whatever crazy things happen in the future!