Saturday, July 24, 2010

DIR EN GREY THE UNVWAVERING FACT OF TOMORROW TOUR 2010 7/21

Anyways, sorry for the late post! I'm soooo backed up on posts right now! I just saw The GazettE at the Budokan yesterday and I'm trying to write up the Dir en grey entry while not forgetting The GazettE show and I'm seeing one last show tomorrow so my brain is exploding. Thus, I also want to apologize (so much apologizing today... I'm so stupid...) for any inaccuracies in this blog. My memory has probably gone to hell since the show and I may not have everything perfect. Some songs and events might not be lined up properly, etc. If you were at the show and notice an inaccuracy, please forgive me.
So I wound up getting into the concert about 1200 people after Ashley did. We hatched this plan in which Ashley would watch the door for me and then, upon spotting me, wave her arms frantically in the air so that I could find her and use her as an excuse to push in towards her. She's tall so this didn't seem like it would be too difficult. When I got inside, she actually did see me and wave her arms. Then I began squeezing my way through people while apologizing and saying, "I have a friend up there!" Most people didn't really react to this. One guy looked annoyed but then shrugged when I said I had a friend. I think it's because so many people duck out after the initial rush that having a few people shove in at the beginning doesn't do anything. So yeah, I managed to get in beside Ashley. For this show, we decided to take Die's side since we were on the other side on Tuesday. We were a little worried about taking Die's side since his mood had been so bad the day before, but we figured he'd probably be more cheerful this time.

Unlike at the previous show, everyone rushed forward about five minutes before the show began, and for seemingly no reason. I don't really know what triggered it. The only trouble was that we then had to stand there completely squished and hot for five minutes while nothing happened on stage. Oh well. Ashley and I got up within about six rows or so from Die (moved up to fourth row eventually). There were some odd people in the back of the crowd too. At first, some guy made a loud, dinosaur-like screech from the back of the venue. Everyone whipped around in surprise, then started laughing. Only a few minutes later, a couple of guys started going "Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!" and making various battle-cries. We whipped around again and could see the arms of some guys spinning their towels in the back. Yeah, this was going to be interesting, lol.

And then the lights went down and the show began! Here's our setlist:

SE: Kimigayo (arranged by Kaoru)
Zan
LIE BURIED WITH A VENGEANCE
THE FATAL BELIEVER

OBSCURE
STUCK MAN
Doukoku To Sarinu
THE DEEPER VILENESS
-inward scream-
Gyakjou Tannou Keloid Milk
ROTTING ROOT
Shokubeni
BUGABOO
AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS -unplugged-
DOZING GREEN
NEW AGE CULTURE
-saku-
Gaika, Chimoku ga Nemuru Koro

Encore:
Sajou No Uta
Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami
REPETITION OF HATRED
Reiketsu Nariseba
AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS
Rasetsukoku

Once again, the show opened with Kaoru's curiously dark and evil rearrangement of Japan's national anthem. Very strange. Everyone began surging forward again and we immediately had people fleeing for their lives in the crush. As for those of us who stayed, I guess we just took in as much air as possible and prepared for the long-haul.

The band came out one-by-one like always. Much to my surprise, Shinya had cut his hair! Just like Toshiya in June, Shinya decided to get a haircut between shows. It's still blond and curly, but now it's even all the way around and around shoulder-length (and layered, I think). Also, he was wearing the exact same thing as the day before but his white, long-sleeved shirt was unbuttoned very low. Die was wearing a white wife beater with a sleeveless black hoodie and black pants and looked much happier than the day before. He held up a fist and grinned and nodded at everyone as he took his position. Toshiya and Kaoru were also dressed identical to the day before. Kyo was wearing a jacket and white pants with massive wallet chains hanging from them. The waistband of his boxers was visible even before the show started. He also had his hair gelled back in a sort of Elvis style. The band took their places, took their instruments, smiled and nodded at us, and then, without any warning, Kyo bent over and unleashed a gut-wrenching growl.

Oh hell, we're starting with Zan?! Ooooh geez. So yeah, that was a hilariously violent way to start off the show. Unlike at Tuesday's show, the audience was much more agitated and unstable (probably because it was the tour final). We swayed a lot and had a lot of near-falls, though the collapsing mostly stayed to a minimum. Still, we were able to synchronize and coordinate all our headbanging, so it was still a good feeling. Kyo's melancholy seemed to have dissipated somewhat from Tuesday's show. He didn't seem to have any sudden somber moments, so maybe he was feeling a little bit better.

After Zan was LIE BURIED WITH A VENGEANCE which was just a good excuse for all of us to yell "fuck!" over and over again. That was followed by THE FATAL BELIEVER, which also happened to have been the third song on Tuesday. Then the band took a break. Toshiya was already sweating like crazy, but he probably feels better now that his hair is short. I saw Kyo go over and have a quick conversation with Shinya, though I don't know what they were saying. Also, when Die walked back to the front of the stage to prepare for the next song, the whole right side of the audience suddenly started going, "Die! Die! Die! Die! Die! Die!" over and over again. I was shocked because I've never seen Dir en grey fans do that. At first I felt like it was a bad idea because it's not fair to the other members to cheer specifically for one member like that. However, it really was incredible how effective the chanting was. Die, who had been extremely angry at the end of Tuesday's show, stood there looking around the audience with a somewhat confused look on his face. Then, this seemingly uncontrolled grin spread across his lips and he cocked his head at us like a puppy. Still looking very amused by our chanting, Die shook his fist at us and then lifted his whole guitar over his head and shook it. If I am to assume that the fans cheered for Die because of his mood on Tuesday then... good job, fans, it really worked. Die was so unbelievably cheerful after this moment that it was like he became a different person.

The band returned to rock us the hell out with OBSCURE. I think it might have been even this early in the show that Toshiya started wandering around. Not wanting Die to get all the cheering on the right side of the stage, Toshiya came over to our side and started grinning and curling his finger at us. The people around me were screaming "Toshiyaaaaaa!" and the shoving got about twice as bad as before. Toshiya just grinned at the reaction before skipping back to his side of the stage. I was surprised OBSCURE showed up on both nights but it was totally awesome. Kyo swapped out the second chorus for pure singing. He stood upon the crate, one arm held out, and belted us with voice.

Up next was STUCK MAN. This was as fun as always. With his mood so greatly improved, Die kept coming up to the front of the stage and leaning towards us while mouthing words at us and grinning. Even caught him singing along a little.

After that was Doukoku to Sarinu, which I absolutely love (also surprised it was played both nights). The audience sang along as loud as possible and it was totally fantastic.

We also had THE DEEPER VILENESS after that. Shinya on those drums... just amazing. He throws his arms about every which way and creates absolute thunder. As I said in my other post, there are certain songs where I like to watch certain members. This is the song where I like to watch Shinya. He's such a monster on the drums and even with his shorter haircut his hair was flying around like crazy. He makes drumming look so damn easy... how does he do it? As the song wound down, Die and Kaoru allowed the venue to overflow with strange, rolling feedback while Kyo sang random, tuneless notes. His singing continued even as the feedback faded, drifting into...

An -inward scream- solo. For this solo, Kyo focused on a lot of deep, sutra-like chanting and mumbling. Amidst his mumbling, he would occasionally tense up and release high-pitched squeals from his body. Sometimes he made these noises that I could best describe as "Jurassic." He also sang loud, heavy notes. At one point, while holding a note, Kyo began smacking himself in the chest. After another deep breath, he held another note and began thrusting the side of his hand against his neck to create a staggered, somewhat choked sound effect. His solo was stunning and effective as always. The audience barely dared to move or breath while he performed.

When the solo ended, Oriental-like music began playing and, like at the 6/29 show, the whole audience went "whooooooa!" Yeah, it's time for Gyakujou Tannou Keloid Milk! I'm so excited that one of my favorite Kisou songs has returned to the lineup! Unfortunately, pretty early on, Die suddenly stopped playing. I froze, thinking it was a repeat of yesterday, only to realize Die had broken a string. This time he didn't seem particularly mad. He just stood there looking slightly disgruntled while he waited for a change of guitar. After getting a new one, Die went right back to being happy, as if nothing had even happened. Anyways, this was a ton of fun. Toshiya was prowling the stage and improvising a lot of the bass line. Kaoru was strutting around and nodding his head at everyone. Die looked so happy I thought he might burst. He would headbang like crazy, then stop suddenly and cock his head at the audience with a big smile on his face. I don't know how appropriate it is to call a 35 year old man "cute" but... I'll be damned if Die wasn't the cutest thing I've ever seen at this show.

The next song up was ROTTING ROOT. Something I forgot to mention in the last blog is that Kyo has started to do a new thing in the chorus that I love. At the June shows Kyo was playing around with different voices during the chorus, but I think he's finally found the one he likes. When Kyo yells "fucking tricky men!" (and the audience shouts it just as loudly with him) he now finishes it off by "meowing" the word "men." In a very high-pitched voice he goes "me-e-en" like a cat meowing. It sounds absolutely fantastic. It just fits so well for some reason.

Up next was another fantastic rendition of Shokubeni. I remember Kyo's solo section was particularly incredible this time. It really seemed as if he couldn't get the words out of himself. He was stomping the crate over and over with each word and turning red from the effort of projecting his voice across the audience without the microphone. He started hitting himself in the chest and, even without a microphone, the sound could be heard all across the venue. He threw every ounce of strength into every word and managed to battle his way back into the song.

This was followed by BUGABOO which was amazing as always. They did the same trick as Tuesday where they shot plumes of smoke onto Kyo while he stomped the crate, adding a hissing noise to the song.

When it was over, the stage went dark and Kyo bent over double and began screaming wildly into the microphone. AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS -unplugged-. This was a particularly ferocious performance of ASOM -unplugged-. Kyo stomped and growled so much that he dropped to his knees pretty quickly, even before the slower part. More strangled, semi-human noises came out of him. Everyone watched in amazement. A boy next to me actually started hyperventilating and panting during this song. I was going to ask him if he was okay but then the performance ended. The boy actually bailed a few songs later.

Just like at Tuesday's show, ASOM -unplugged- went straight into DOZING GREEN, which was awesome. This was followed by NEW AGE CULTURE. That song is great live! The whole string section gets to shout along and it looks like so much fun! Die, who was still explosively energized, actually ran over to Kaoru's side of the stage during this song and stood next to him with an expectant look on his face. Kaoru looked up and quickly figured out what Die wanted. The two of them faced each other, waited for a good part of the song, then began slow-headbanging at each other simultaneously. It was sooo funny. Die was laughing like crazy and even Kaoru couldn't hide a small smirk at Die's enthusiasm. While Kaoru and Die headbanged at each other, Toshiya ran over to our side so we wouldn't get lonely. He was grinning like crazy and running around in front of the stage riling us up. I didn't even know where to look anymore - everyone was being adorable!

Next up was -saku-. Absolutely fantastic. Kyo stood upon the crate during the chorus and sang his heart out. Die was still going crazy and he actually dropped to his knees at the edge of the stage and began playing on the floor. He shook his hair all around, grinned at us, threw his head back, and went nuts. Then, as I mentioned before, he stopped suddenly, looked at us, smiled, and cocked his head like a puppy. He kept doing that all night. It's like... he's 35 and I'm trying to take him seriously and stuff but... damn was he cute.

When this song was over, there was a brief pause before the next song. Toshiya ran over to our side of the stage and then jumped up onto Shinya's drum platform. Shinya, of course, didn't even flinch or look at him. How very Shinya! Anyways, Toshiya stood up there, poised and ready, and then the band went into Gaika, Chinmoku ga Nemuru Koro. Toshiya played the whole beginning of the song up there. Kyo had the audience sing a large part of the chorus for him while Toshiya (back in his own spot) yelled loudly into the microphone. At the end of the song, during the big wind-down, Kyo began stomping and slow-headbanging on top of the crate while growling. The entire crowd slow-headbanged with him. The audience was totally passionate and fired up. It was great.

Then the band left the stage as quickly as they ever do. Die did give us a pretty big smile on the way out, though. I couldn't believe how happy he was. And then it was time for encore-calling. It wasn't too bad. It took a long time as usual but... I don't know, maybe I'm just getting used to it. Then the band returned. Shinya had changed into a black wife-beater, I noticed. And Toshiya's hair was magically dry again. Incredible. When Die returned to our side, the "Die! Die! Die!" chanting started up again. Die smirked and put up his hood and started laughing. Die lifted up his guitar and put it over his shoulder and continued smiling at us. It was nice to see him so happy.

Then Dir en grey went into Sajou no Uta. You know, this was never really one of my favorite songs, but the band seemed really into it so it was really enjoyable. Also, it got the crowd moving instead of the previous pattern of having the first encore song be slow and sad. However, I must confess... I am sad that Tokyo never got to have -mushi- in their setlist. That song has always held a very special meaning to me and I was really hoping Tokyo would get to hear it at least once like the other cities did. But... well, if Dir en grey doesn't feel like playing it, then playing it would be futile. They can only play what they feel, so there's no sense in even thinking about it. So I just sat back and enjoyed Sajou no Uta and Die's pretty hair.

Up next was Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami. Totally amazing yet again. I couldn't believe it, but Die actually dropped to his knees at the edge of the stage yet again and started playing on the floor and laughing. Wow, he was like a different person.

Hageshisa was followed by REPETITION OF HATRED. Hell yeah! I've noticed this at a lot of lives but when Kyo yelled "kamikaze!" the whole audience held out their arms in salute. I've started doing it too - it's like a reflex now! I can't remember, but it might have been at the end of this song that Toshiya decided it would be a good idea to throw his microphone stand straight into the air. Of course, a wire got tangled and tossed along with it, and Toshiya came pretty close to breaking yet another bass. When the next song started, Toshiya looked very fearful that his bass would sound funny, but thankfully there was no harm done and he looked pretty relieved.

That next song happened to be Reiketsu Nariseba, ensuring the crowd would get totally pumped up during encore. Toshiya was wandering yet again and continually coming over to our side of the stage. During the middle section when the music quiets down, Kyo jumped onto the crate and, like at Tuesday's show, turned around to reveal his giant Kannon tattoo. He held out his arms and simply allowed us to admire his impressive new ink. When the song started up again, Toshiya went back to stomp-dancing in a circle and jumping up and down.

Up next was AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS. This was tons of fun. The whole audience was rocking forward and backward going "Hai! Hai! Hai! Hai!" to the beat. When the song ended, Kyo started shouting to the audience. Once again he was yelling to the back, to the front, to the boys, to the girls, trying to get everyone to out-shout each other. Then Kyo started yelling "last song!" Dir en grey quickly jumped into one of my favorite concert-closers:

Rasetsukoku! Now this was a wild ride! The audience seemed to realize, quite suddenly, that this was the last song of the tour final. Thus, everyone flipped out and the pushing got crazy. We even had some near-falls in the audience, but we came out of it okay. Kyo was both running around behind the crate and putting one foot up on the crate to growl at and scream at everyone. The whole audience would throw their fists and scream "jaki!" with the string section (some people even managed to jump on this word, though the result was crashing back down on other people). Toshiya came over to our side yet again and gave us huge smiles (I could see his invisible braces, lol). He kept making a "come on!" gesture at us. Kaoru also decided to wander over to our side (of course, Toshiya went back to the left when that happened). I was glad to see Kaoru wander over since he doesn't switch sides very often. He stood up near the front of the stage and started making hardcore faces at us and posing while he played. I think Die was even more surprised by Kaoru's presence than we were and he ran over to Kaoru immediately. Die, being way too enthusiastic for his own good, pressed up behind Kaoru and started to reach under Kaoru's arm to try and play his guitar. Kaoru, being too serious for his own good, nudged Die's arm out of the way and wouldn't let him. Aaaaaaw. I'm not going to lie, I felt kind of sorry for Die. Mostly because I once saw Kaoru sneak up on Die and play his guitar for him at another show, and I think Die should be allowed to do the same thing back to him. However, Die didn't seem even slightly fazed by the arm-block and the enormous, wide-mouthed smile never left his face. Instead, he did something kinda... strange... and just kept pressing up closer and closer behind Kaoru with his whole body against him. Um, Die...? Kaoru had a rather strained look on his face like Die was invading his man-space. Girls around me were squealing or just making sounds like "whoa!" I'll admit, I was a little surprised by Die's, um... "friendliness." Eventually, Die moved to the side a little and threw an arm around Kaoru and hugged him. At that point, Kaoru just made a face like "oh, alright, if you must be so damn cheerful" and let Die hug him for a good ten seconds. Die just continued laughing and smiling like Christmas had come early. Die was just being too cute for his own good.

Then the song ended and the show was over. The band stayed around for a surprisingly long time. Kyo stood on the crate clapping his hands. Then he pointed at his eyes, pointed at audience members, and clapped again. He jumped back down and I thought he was just going to leave like he usually does, but instead he grabbed three bottles of water. He had one in each hand and was holding the third bottle in his mouth and walking around like that. Whoa, ouch, how did he do that? Then Kyo began to take each bottle and throw water over the audience. Yes, three bottles worth of water. Kaoru was walking around smirking and throwing picks into the audience. He made sure to throw picks on his own side as well as our side of the stage. Toshiya also wandered around, grinning and throwing picks at us. He was also throwing water and water bottles. He threw this one water bottle and it was soaring right towards me. As I was about to reach for it, the water splashed me right in the eye and I flinched and missed. The guy next to me got it. Oh well! Die was also laughing and throwing a ton of water. He even crouched down at the front of the stage to throw some, and pretty much handed a girl on the barrier his bottle. Toshiya gave us all a big bow and started clapping his hands, so we clapped with him. Shinya came out from behind his drum set with his water bottle ready. He had it set up with the straw so that he could water-gun us. While Kaoru was on our side throwing picks, Shinya snuck up behind him and shot the water over Kaoru's shoulder into the crowd. Kaoru didn't even notice! The whole audience was laughing and I don't think Kaoru even knew why! As always, Shinya didn't even so much as twitch a facial expression. Totally stone-faced. Then Shinya jumped up onto the crate and began throwing drumsticks. Then he took his tour towel and stood there folding it. Everyone was watching him with this look on their face like, "...what is he doing?" Shinya folded, folded, folded, until the tour towel was round like a soccer ball. Then he threw it into the air and attempted to side-kick it into the crowd. His aim sucked and it only went into the third row, but everyone started cheering anyways. Shinya jumped back down and I saw a quick little pout on his face for failing to kick the towel-ball very far. At this point, the whole band was gone except Die, who continued to smile and laugh and throw picks. As Die left, he grinned and waved at the audience the whole way across the stage. Wow, what a difference from Tuesday. Wow.

And that was the show! Sorry if this report was no good... I'm brain-dead.

Hope you enjoyed! The GazettE post is coming up next so stay tuned!

2 comments:

  1. please dont be so down on your writing skills! I enjoy your reviews, blogs and personal opinions more than any other that ive read! Thank you for yet another great blog on dir en grey!

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  2. Aaaw, thank you very much for your kind words! Sorry, I'm always kinda down on myself like that. The exposure this blog wound up receiving was rather difficult for me sometimes. I'm glad so many people read it and enjoyed it, but sometimes the blog's existence made me feel like my flaws were naked and exposed. But as long as people enjoy the blog, then I guess it's okay :-)

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