Two indies events, two days in a row. You'd think that would be fun, right? Well, if you think stabbing yourself in the face repeatedly is fun, then you'd be correct. Anyways, I feel obligated to make a post about all the bands since it did take up a good ten hours of my life and also because there were a few bands I came to see who I'm going to discuss. To balance out the situation, I'm going to post about these shows through snarky one-liners and bitter commentary. As usual, I don't really mean any offense, and I'm just trying to be funny. But for those of you who like sarcasm, this is your post!
First show was at Ikebukuro Black Hole. It was a couple tour with Valluna and Re:dis. Ashley and I were tricked into the show by some cleverly worded signs that said "Valluna tickets for sale" without saying it was an event concert. Fail. We didn't know any of the bands other than Valluna but we paid the money so we had to go (albeit bitterly). I'm not sure of the order of these bands at all, so let's just plow through it, shall we?
I believe the first band up is NEXX:
In looking up their picture, I discovered that the band had a really terrifying-looking vocalist up until recently, only to replace him with their bassist, A.K.A. the vacant-looking guy you see above. I can just hear the staff meeting now:
Manager: Sorry, Scary Vocalist, scary's just not in right now. We're going to replace you with someone who's a more marketable singer. Your bassist.
Scary Vocalist: But... but sir, he's retarded. That's why he's the bassist.
Manager: He may not be able to sing, and he may look like he was hit in the face with a frying pan covered in glitter, but the ladies love 'em when they're cute!
Scary Vocalist: Cute?! He's mentally challenged!
Manager: Sorry, kid, I need you to clean off your desk by three. And make me a sandwich.
Scary Vocalist: ;-(
Next band up is probably the WoRLD:
Upon looking up their photo, I discovered that they've recently had some kind of nervous breakdown. They're changing their names and changing the band name (which hasn't changed at all, but what the fuck do I know) and only one member is even listed on their site. Nervous breakdown? Probably from inhaling all them hair spray fumes.
Next band up... maybe OUROBOROS... I dunno...
Ya know... if you're going to name yourself after an absurdly successful album released by Dir en grey last year, you could at least try to make the band look into it. I don't even remember these guys playing. I kid you not.
Next band uuuuup, maybe MiD DERACINE:
AT LAST WE'VE DISCOVERED WHAT HAPPENS WHEN KAYA AND CHRISTINA AGUILERA HAVE SEX!!!
Next up, I have no idea, let's say it was... D'LORE:
I can sum up this band very simply: they opened with the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song, and the vocalist had the words "fack you" drawn on his chest. It's hard to look away from train wrecks. From my research I've discovered that their vocalist is leaving the band in a few weeks. Well fack you too.
Next up was probably BLADE:
I literally don't remember them playing. Not a thing.
Okay, let's get to the shit that was actually enjoyable (about six hernias later). The tour was being led by Re:dis and Valluna, and I suppose it makes sense that the headliners would be the only bands worth seeing. Next up we have a band that showed up once on the blog before, but this time I'll give them a little bit more detail.
Next band up is Re:dis:
From what I can gather, Re:dis only formed last year and they hail from Nagoya. They've only released a couple demo tapes and a single and yet they've toured the entire country and draw in huge crowds. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but what the hell do I know. I've seen them once before and wasn't able to get much of an impression of them musically because these venues have shitty sound quality. This time I still wasn't able to make out the music very well, but I can definitely say they're very, very hard and vocalist Ryuuji can scream and shriek like a mofo. He's a tiny dude, but he's very, very scary. His face has so many piercings that he kind of resembles a living pin-cushion. And he makes faces at the crowd like he's a serial murderer.
I would post some sample music of Re:dis on here but, unfortunately, there's nothing available to post. Overall, they sounded pretty solid, and they're not very VK, so their focus is a little more musical and a little less on the look. The screaming was very intense, but Ryuuji could sing as well. He made a lot of really crazy faces and generally looked deranged. He spazzed around like crazy and even took the time to run his nails across his torso until he bled. His MC was pretty amusing too. Ryuuji couldn't catch his breath at all, so he sat down on the crate facing away from everyone and gasped out a good four-minute long MC in the direction of the drum-set. I think this was meant to be slightly funny. The longer he wheezed/talked, the more people started giggling. Eventually Ryuuji paused and said "mou kurakunachatta" ("everything's gone dark"). Wow, kid, you need to hit the gym and get in shape, lol. It shouldn't take four minutes to catch your breath. Every now and then Ryuuji would glance over his shoulder at us, smirk, and continue talking to the drum set. Strange fellow.
Also, Ashley and I were going nuts trying to solve the mystery of why the hell Ryuuji appears to have a hole in his chest. It's the oddest thing. There's like a chunk in the middle of his chest that looks like it was scooped out with a spoon. It almost looks like a stab-wound scar. Weeeeird stuff. As Ashley put it "I think that guy has some serious problems. I don't know what they are, but they're there." Eeeexactly.
Well, anyways, the band was very enjoyable and Ashley and I were up and doing some furi for them. It was nice to see an act that didn't make my ears bleed. Thanks you, Re:dis, for not sucking at life.
Next band up is our old friend Valluna:
Welcome back, you guys. They always bring up the mood... unlike their fans, who continue to be the biggest, most annoying bitches in the universe. They take the front for bands they don't even like just so they can have the front when Valluna comes out. They won't move for saizen... in fact, they won't move period or apologize if they hit or step on someone. So obnoxious.
As for the band itself, they did a good job as always. The fans were making me extremely irritable, but at least we have yo-ka's terrifyingly perfect body to admire in the meantime. He's like a Greek god in a corset. Goddamn. Much to my surprise, our beloved Kirimaru has finally decided to do the right thing and give up colored contacts. It was rather shocking to see him walk out on stage with a completely symmetrical face and making eye-contact with people... and not walking into any inanimate objects. He was looking around the stage and the audience with wide eyes as if seeing everything for the first time. By god, he can finally see! It's a Christmas miracle! SAKURA was still being his usual, super-friendly self... Kei still looked like he was about to have a heart attack and hates every second that he's on the stage, and KANADE... well, it's no news that I just don't care for him.
Anyways, Ashley and I manged to pull fourth row at the very least, and we rocked out and had fun as usual. I guess I'll just talk randomly here...
Well, yo-ka attempted crowd-surfing and finally got his ass dropped. Seriously, why is it that the heavy, brick-bodied Asians are the ones that like to crowd-surf? Well, this time the girls didn't run away and he had a good seven or eight holding him up. Still, they couldn't keep him up and wound up dropping him, hahaha. It's about time. He was totally asking for it. Actually, the dropping wasn't the part that hurt. They managed to lower yo-ka somewhat slowly so that his feet hit the floor before he fell down. But then the girls tried to pick him back up and put him back on the stage. This involved lifting him and basically hurling him at the crate. Um... why would you toss him in the direction of the crate? This looked like it hurt. Yo-ka rolled into the crate, stumbled, and hit the floor. He definitely stopped singing and looked like he was in pain/startled, though he recovered quickly. Way to go girls, you suck at life most thoroughly now.
Also, some people have probably noticed a "brightening" of Valluna's music. Sometimes it's hard to tell if this kind of cute-ifying is because the band wants it, or because the indies label is telling them to shut the fuck up and do it. And make them a sandwich. Valluna seems to be a case of the latter. Whenever they play the lighter, more cheerful songs, Kirimaru seems to go almost still and becomes disinterested. He only perks up during the hardcore songs. What's more, KANADE's attempts at smiling cutely look more like grimacing in pain.
Hmm... I dunno what else. At one point, yo-ka's fake eye-lash fell off and start dangling over his eye. That was seriously creepy looking. I'm glad yo-ka's got a severe case of narcissism and checks himself out in the mirror every few minutes, or that eyelash may have been there the whole show.
When Valluna returned for encore, they announced that they would bring Re:dis out on the stage and cover a Re:dis song. The crazy Re:dis girls in the back all seemed very excited. See, Re:dis fans are actually cool and move out of the way when their band isn't on stage. Plus Re:dis's entire saizen consisted of really tall school girls wearing scary make-up. Really scary. I wouldn't want to pick a fight with those girls. Anyhoo, yo-ka announced Re:dis, but they didn't show up. After a confused silence, everyone started screaming to make them come out. Four of them did, but a fifth straggler was still missing and one of his band mates had to leave the stage and go retrieve him, lol. Yo-ka and Ryuuji appear to be super BFFs and had their arms around each other and kept hugging and laughing and whispering like school children together. Ryuuji, despite his porcupine face and stab-wound in the chest and other terrifying qualities, is horrifically adorable when he's not performing. He's all smiles.
So Valluna covered a Re:dis song while Re:dis wandered around bothering Valluna and laughing (or just looking dazed and confused sometimes). As usual, the Valluna fans were total assholes and acted very coldly about what I'm assuming they took to be a false encore. They virtually didn't do any furi and mostly just watched (seriously, furi is so freaking easy to do even if you don't know the band, what the hell Valluna fans). The Re:dis fans were going nuts with happiness, though, and the few good Valluna fans were laughing at how silly it all was. Hell, I was laughing. Yo-ka and Ryuuji kept sharing the microphone and alternating singing while the string sections bugged each other. At one point, SAKURA wound up with three members of Re:dis trying to put their arms around him. SAKURA kind of looked like "um, you guys, I'm trying to concentrate on playing guitar..." Or they'd go bother Kei, who just looked frightened and put off as usual. Ryuuji seemed unable to stop laughing, so that was pretty adorable.
Then the show ended and the asshole Valluna fans started screaming for another encore even though bands only ever do one and Valluna would have to pay extra to play another song. But you know, whatever, Valluna fans are just selfish bitches. The curtain did re-open, but only with Valluna and Re:dis all standing there with their arms around each other. Ashley turned to me and whispered "conga line?" I almost died laughing. Seriously. Yo-ka just thanked everyone and Ryuuji giggled like a little girl. Or, when he laughs, he sounds like a cat squeaking. The audience was like "aaaaaaaw." Yo-ka told the audience to hold hands so everyone could do a jump together. This girl next to me seemed lonely all by herself the whole show, so I asked if she wanted to hold hands. She looked stunned, then agreed, lol. After the jump, and after the show was over, she came over to me while I was gathering my stuff and thanked me profusely. No problem, little lady.
That about wraps up Day One. Onto Day Two at Shinjuku Ruido K4, and even more embittered sarcasm. There wasn't much improvement with this show, and Ashley and I only decided to go on the very day of the show because VAJRA would be having their first concert without Eru (quick note: Eru and 『L.』 from previous posts are the same person. Eru has always written his name in kanji on the blog, but now he's credited that way everywhere since his departure from VAJRA. As such, I've chosen to write his name in the phonetic pronunciation of the kanji. Eru and 『L.』 are pronounced the same in Japanese, it's just a difference in spelling). Knowing Eru would be gone, I did a quick sweep of the fans before the show and saw that, much to my sadness, a certain blond/pink-haired spazz was missing... As expected, upon losing Eru, we lost Nesting Girl as well. Sigh... I figured as much...
The show was being hosted by 7 Addict who, for whatever reason, decided to perform first. The moment they stepped on stage, I muttered "I hate my life." The picture won't show you why, but I'll explain. Here's 7 Addict:
This picture is so unlike what I saw that I almost wonder if I have my bands mixed up. I don't think so, though, because it's a session band, so things are up in the air as it is. What I saw was two men dressed and acting so much like L.MC that I almost did a double-take. The other three members were men in kimonos... wearing rabbit heads. Oooooh fuck my life.
Next up is Para:noir:
Yeah, whatever, we've seen them before. They're not bad, although I don't know if it's really my cup of tea. They don't suck enough for me to rip on them, so I'm just going to let it go. Oh, well, they did have an ambulance siren propped up on the sound equipment. That was sorta cool.
Next up was VAJRA:
Actually, ALSDEAD was listed as playing next, but the order was getting messed up for some reason. Good thing Ashley had the instinct to move up to around third row for ALSDEAD or else we would've been screwed. So, as stated before, this was VAJRA's first show without Eru. The band was realigned with Kiyuki remaining on the left and Yuuri over in Eru's old spot on the right. What's really interesting is that, not only did the band opt not to have a support guitarist, they also didn't have a pre-recorded track of Eru's part. Instead, Yuuri somehow managed to split up his own guitar part and selected pieces of Eru's guitar part and effectively play the role of both guitarists. Um, wow. Only problem was that it made the furi kind of confusing since the music sounded a little different. We had our half-Japanese Club Leader up on the barrier as usual, and even she kept making mistakes and laughing in embarrassment.
Their performance was fine, but the crowd felt so lacking without Nesting Girl's wild enthusiasm and tom-foolery. I already knew that losing Eru meant losing Nesting Girl, but it was still rather empty without them. Also, due to the order change, a lot of people were up front who didn't realize it would be VAJRA, so they were a little "whatever" on the whole thing. Nobro, already the world's most pissed-off Asian, seemed to grow pissier every minute. He seemed to be looking around at us in disgust, and his disgust eventually turned into aloofness. He didn't even self-mutilate (though his torso seems to have accumulated some more foot-long surgical-slashes since the last time we saw him). I still think this is due to Eru's departure. Those two were a team. Eru was the extreme sadist and Nobro was the extreme masochist. Eru's presence amplified Nobro's presence. The other members are all too sweet and nice. Nobro needed someone to grate on his nerves and piss him off. Nobro needed someone who wasn't afraid to come over and bother him and upstage him and make him angry. Without Eru, Nobro seems deflated. I still don't entirely understand those two, but without Eru it just seems wrong.
According to Yuuri's blog, Eru actually came to see the show. I don't know how a man with violent pink hair could've been so sneaky (I certainly didn't see him). Now the band is saying that they'll have Eru play with them on Saturday, even though he's been removed from their official site. More and more, Eru is beginning to remind me a dog scratching at the door to be let back in. Something's just not right.
As for their performance, Kiyuki seems to be getting braver and even put his foot up on the barrier. Nobro was making lots of crazy faces and crouching on the crate. They didn't do any gyaku-daibu, however, which might have helped to relieve the rage Ashley and I had been accumulating. Overall, they did fine, though Nobro definitely seemed aloof without Eru's grating presence on the stage with him.
Let's move on, shall we? Anyways, Ashley and I were feeling annoyed with all the shitty bands we were being subjected to, so we went and used our drink tickets outside. Shinjuku Ruido K4 is set up with windows between the bar and the actual stage area, so you can watch the bands from outside (as many equally picky or bored people do).
Next band up is Elm:
Wow, a Halloween-themed band... haven't seen that before. Ashley and I just watched in horror from the window. The vocalist had blades for hands like Edward Scissorhands... and he was doing para-para with them. I couldn't figure out what this reminded me of until Ashley said "he looks like Voldo." Oh. My. God. YES! If you're not familiar with Voldo, the creepy, boneless pervert from the Soul Calibur games, you should look that shit up. Anyways, I thought to myself: "well, maybe I'm not being fair. I can't really hear the band's music." Then some girl opened the door and oooookay, not my cup of tea.
Let's move on. Next band up was Velbet:
OH MY GOD THE GAZETTE PLAYING AT AN INDIES VENUE?!! OMG I'M SO EXCITED I - wait... you're not The GazettE. Damnit.
Let's play a game called count the ways this vocalist looks like Ruki from The GazettE:
2. Red, velvety outfit
3. Identical make-up
4. Bleached blond hair styled the same way
5. Lines drawn on his neck (no, really, I'm not even kidding)
You know what... I don't even know anymore. Ashley and I stayed outside and every now and then then the door would open and what seemed to be The GazettE would come blasting out. Uuuuugh. You know, I understand that VAJRA is a Dir en grey rip-off, but at least they don't look exactly like Dir en grey on top of that. But now it seems we have bands who are willing to sound and look like other bands at the same time.
After this, I really wanted to leave the venue and skip whatever the fuck else might be playing, but Ashley and I decided to at least wait it out for ALSDEAD, since we'd made it that far. We were pretty sure ALSDEAD would be next and we would skip the band that went after them. Thankfully, ALSDEAD was next, so...
Next band up is ALSDEAD wearing their new (and much improved) costumes:
God, what an improvement from those heinous white outfits from before. Part of the problem with those outfits is that vocalist MAKI gets reeeeeally red when he performs, and the white brought out the red. He looks a lot less flushed in black, lol. Plus Dorkmaster (sorry, his real name is Reito but he's dorky so I gave him a new name) is actually wearing pants, which he seems far more comfortable with.
Anyways, they were enjoyable at the "mid level" as always. A band I don't dislike, though I don't really follow them either. The music is good, although MAKI's voice is kinda... I dunno. Sometimes it annoys me. They did a fine job as always, except for the part where MAKI somehow managed to fall off the (unstable) crate and pitch into the barrier and nearly take out the girls on saizen. Good job, MAKI, hahaha. He looked pretty embarrassed and later apologized and laughed it off during the MC.
After the show, Ashley and I grabbed our shit and ran for our lives. Out in the hallway I spotted MAKI walking around. Ten minutes later, and his neck and face are still the color of a tomato, lol.
Anyways, that's that for the double post. I hope you enjoyed my sarcasm and annoyance.
Next week, I have three concerts in a row, but they're expected to be really awesome, so be on the lookout for a much happier post from me.
Here's next week's super exciting schedule:
6/28: The Indies record label Heretic Sound Music's last indies event. Bands include Valluna, Ha;qch (been awhile!), Navir, ALSDEAD, and O_DBLE (the band that VAJRA came from, consisting of Nobro, Eru, and Yuuri).
6/29: DIR EN GREY FAN CLUB ONLY CONCERT
6/30: Lycaon one-man (Eve and Mio's last concert)
Pretty exciting stuff, huh? I'm excited! See you all soon (with much better reports)!