Saturday, July 3, 2010

DIR EN GREY - THE UNWAVERING FACT OF TOMORROW TOUR 2010 - fan club only - 6/30

When I first saw the name of Dir en grey's new tour, I thought to myself, "well, smart-asses, what is the unwavering fact of tomorrow, hmm?" I think I've discovered what it is, however. The unwavering fact of tomorrow is that, once you see Dir en grey, you will inevitably return to see them tomorrow. Regardless of whether or not you have a ticket.
We last left our intrepid heroes (me n' Ashley) on a quest to give up our Lycaon concert and see Dir en grey for their second fan club only concert instead. I had already guaranteed a ticket for myself by having an amazing stroke of luck and running into Risu (from Orchestrated Chaos), who had an extra. Now we needed to find a ticket for Ashley. We decided that looking for a scalped ticket would be our best option. Risu said scalpers start to show up around 3:00, so Ashley and I met up in Shinkiba at 3:00 and began our mission.

One of the first things we passed on the way was a girl with a desperate, near-tears look on her face, holding a sign that said "chiketto wo yuzutte kudasai", which means "please sell me a ticket." Uh oh. She repeated this phrase at every single person who walked by. Did that mean there were no scalpers? But no, over by some of the circular-bench areas, we found the same couple of scalpers I've seen at every Dir en grey show. No, really, I've seen these same two scalpers at every Dir en grey concert I've been to - one fat guy and one thin one. We approached them immediately and asked if they would sell us a ticket. The fat guy told us yes, if we were willing to pay 10,000 yen for it. 10,000 yen?! That's fucking double the original price! They were selling them for less the day before! Bastard. He also told us he didn't have the tickets yet, but a friend would bring them in about an hour. We told him sure, we'll buy one (while thinking that we'd keep looking in the meantime). Ashley and the scalper exchanged cell phone numbers and then we went off to Subway to get some food (I should add that I was totally crippled from yesterday's show. The concert had scraped a lot of skin off my feet, combined with blisters and bruises, leaving me with a nasty limp. I had debated staying in the back during the show, or just not moving up as far, but I wasn't sure).

After finishing up our sandwiches (mine was tuna salad with lettuce and olives on sesame bread, mmm) we sat around watching the Dir en grey fans eating sandwiches and doing their make-up (our general assumption is that any fan doing their make-up isn't planning on going into the pit). Soon, the scalpers called, so we decided to head back over there to check out the ticket. On the way, we passed the same girl with the sign looking for a ticket. Seriously, she looked like she was going to cry. I could hardly stand to look at her. When we reached the scalpers, the skinny one pulled a ticket halfway out of an envelope and showed it to us. It looked real, and the number was around 2500 or so. Still, I decided to play "skeptical foreigner" and immediately asked him "zembu misete mo daijoubu?" ("can I see the whole thing?"). Much to my surprise, not only did he pull the rest of the ticket from the envelope, he actually handed it to me completely and let me hold it and inspect it. Okay, so he trusted me not to run away with it. I stared at every inch of that ticket, but it looked real. Still, I threw a few more skeptical questions at him, such as "do they check ID number?" and "can I really get in with this thing?" He assured me they don't check ID (I already knew that, though, obviously, I was just being suspicious) and he told me he'd sold ten tickets the day before and everyone got in fine. Okay, that's a lie. I was around the day before and watched him for awhile and he hardly sold a thing. Still, it seemed legit, and no other scalpers were around. Even though I knew it would be futile, I asked him, "nesagete mo daijoubu?" ("you think you could lower the price?"). He pulled the whole "oh, well, this show is sold out, you know... if you don't buy it now someone else will take it... limited supply... blah blah blah." God, alright, alright. That's a lie, no one else will take it, but you're obviously not going to budge. We sighed and decided to buy the ticket, despite the terrible price. I gave Ashley a bit of money to help her pay for it and we moved on.

Risu wasn't going to be around to give me my ticket until 6:30 or so (after doors open) but my number was above 2000, so it didn't matter. Ashley and I went to 7/11, bought popsicles, then sat on the sidewalk to watch the fans. Lots of interesting people the second day. Saw some definite indies musicians and lots of people with Kyo's Hageshisa hair (yo, he cut it, you guys). Ashley and I played a game called Who's Going to Go Into the Pit?" It's an easy game. If you see a guy/girl wearing sweatpants, no jewelry, flat hair, and holding a towel, they're going into the pit. If you see a guy/girl with fancy, gelled up hair, fancy shoes, and jewelry, then they're going straight to the back.

Eventually, we walked down the bridge area again. The girl with the sign had put down her sign and was now sitting on a wall, begging everyone who went past. How terrible. Maybe she couldn't afford the scalpers, I dunno... We walked past the scalper and he stopped us on the way, explaining that he would be a nice guy and trade Ashley her ticket for one with a better number. Her 2500 suddenly went down to 700-something. Whoa. I couldn't believe it. My number was still above 2000. Well, looked like we would be separated from the start. We went over to the coin lockers but I realized I needed my cell phone on me to get a hold of Risu. Not sure what to do, Ashley and I decided not to share a coin locker. Risu had texted me, telling me to meet her back at the station, so I told her where to meet me and that I wouldn't have a cell phone. I dropped off everything in the locker, then left Ashley behind (she was going to be called in soon). I ran/limped the whole ten minutes back to the station and met up with Risu, who gave me my ticket. Then we rushed back to the venue. On the way, I realized I'd left my sunglasses on top of my head. Crap, now what?! I'd already used my coin locker! And I loved these sunglasses (white sunglasses with leopard spots on them and red lenses framed in red with sparkles on the sides. Shut up, I like wearing stupid things). I had an idea of what to do with them, I just had to enact my plan...

When I finally got inside the venue, I took my sunglasses and threw them off to the side near the doors. Why would I do this, you wonder? Well, remember how Ashley lost her bracelet at Tuesday's show but it still showed up in the lost-in-found? Dir en grey fans are really nice about otoshitamono (lost items), so I figured if I tossed the sunglasses to the side, some kind soul might find them and turn them in safely to the lost-in-found (so long as they didn't get crushed or stolen - but the Japanese rarely steal). Let's see if my plan works!

Anyways, I decided to try a new tactic for the night. Instead of going towards the middle via the back (where I would have to deal with the barrier again), I would go in through the right on Die's side. The meant starting so far to the right that I wasn't even in front of the stage, but I planned on running inwards as soon as the show started. This would give me a big head-start as far as proximity to the stage is concerned.

Anyways, now that we're here, let's give another warm welcome to this post's sexy topic, Dir en grey:

The wait for the show to start was unbelievably boring by myself. However, there was one thing that kept it amusing. I had noticed the day before that, in the back and on the sides of the venue there are these rooms blocked off by blue glass that I think are meant to be two-way mirrors but they kind of fail at it. I suspected these were VIP rooms. On Tuesday they were empty, but on Wednesday I noticed the shadows of several people inside the room on the left. Three of them were nothing more than silhouettes behind the glass, but two of them were against the glass. One was short and facing away, the other was really tall and skinny and looking out across the crowd. I squinted and I was able to make out his features. Extraordinarily intense, jutting cheekbones, angular eyes, puffy, layered hair... Wait, that's Gara from MERRY! The one next to him physically seemed to be Nero, but I couldn't see his face. Ashley told me later that she was on the left of the audience and could clearly see that it was Nero, and the girls around her were whispering about it being Nero. I mean, it's no surprise that MERRY would be at a Dir en grey concert since they're like "sister bands" but still... seeing Gara's lanky, familiar form made me smile.

The band started at least ten minutes late. The entire crowd surged forward quite randomly and I have no idea what triggered it. Nonetheless, I took the opportunity and made a run for it, towards the middle, towards the front. I completely forgot the pain in my foot or any pain in general. In fact, I couldn't feel much of anything in my excitement, so I threw caution to the wind and decided to do exactly as I did yesterday and fight my way as close as possible.

The opening music started up and it was, um... what? It was Kimi Gayo, the Japanese national anthem. Except with some kind of atmospheric music playing along with it. Um... okay. Why not. Let's get to our random and crazy setlist!

Kimi Gayo "Kaoru's Edited Version"
Hageshisa to, Kono Mune No Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami
Myaku
THE FATAL BELIEVER

LIE BURIED WITH A VENGEANCE
STUCK MAN
Doukoku To Sarinu
THE DEEPER VILENESS

Kyo's Solo -inward scream-

Toguro
ROOTING ROOT
Shokubeni
Sajou no Uta

AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS -unplugged-

DOZING GREEN
NEW AGE CULTURE
Saku
Zan

Encore:

embryo
Gaika, Chinmoku Ga Nemuru Koro
REPETITION OF HATRED
Reiketsu Nariseba
THE FINAL
Rasetsukoku

The band members came out one by one. Here's the appearance low-down: Shinya was wearing a thin, long-sleeved, white shirt that was semi-transparent. He looked beautiful as always. Die was wearing a black, sleeveless hoodie over his white Chrome Hearts wife-beater (he kept the hoodie open). I was happy to see his hair was still deliciously long. Kaoru was wearing pretty much what he wore on Tuesday, bling-necklace and all. Toshiya was wearing one of the tour t-shirts with a small part of the collar scooped out at the chest like he often does. He still had the leggings and pleated skirt. However, Toshiya just had to be as unpredictable as always and, between Tuesday's show and Wednesday's show, he chopped off a good seven inches of his hair. Wha-? Toshiya, did you really stop off for a haircut before the big fan club concert? Still, it's a really cute cut. It's basically an emo-cut with the hair short and black in the back but with longer bangs swept off to the side in the front. It looks like his hair from their embryo music video, but black. Kyo was wearing what he wore the day before: expensive leather jacket and t-shirt, but he'd swapped his black pants for jeans. Also, his pants were waaaaay too low. You could see the entire Calvin Klein waist-band of his boxers. I don't know how he keeps those pants on. He was wearing a pretty huge, fancy belt, though.

Then the band rocked right into Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami. Whoa, hell yeah! Way to jump right into the new single! Anyways, I noticed during the band's set up that the temperature hadn't been rising like the day before. As near as I could tell, Shinkiba Studio Coast got themselves a brain (or wanted to avoid getting sued for physical damages) and turned on the air conditioning. Because of this, audience fainting was reduced by at least two-thirds and there was virtually no audience collapsing or falling. That synchronized togetherness that I spoke of at the fan club concert back in December was more present this time. Because of that, I could spend more time watching the actual band and enjoying myself, and less time clinging to people's clothes and trying not to fall to the floor. Hopefully, that will improve my report immensely! Anyways, Hageshisa was totally awesome, of course. If possible, the band looked even happier than the day before. Toshiya was whacking the crap out of his bass and smiling. With less heat stroke and exhaustion, audience participation improved immensely.

After Hageshisa, Kyo put one foot up on the crate, rested his arm across his leg, and started scanning across the audience with a skeptical glare on his face. Dir en grey fans know the look. In the background, strange carnival music was playing. Uh... carnival music? Really? Wait a minute, I thought. I know this carnival music! Could it be...? Oh my god, it's Myaku! Holy crap, man. The surprises just keep coming with these guys! Myaku is one of Dir en grey's oldest songs (a single from before MACABRE in 2000) and I've always loved Myaku. The funny thing is, after Tuesday's setlist, I jokingly thought to myself, "wouldn't it be funny if they played Myaku tomorrow?" Anyways, the audience looked really excited. Kyo performed it differently from in the old days. In the past, Kyo would do spazzy robot-like movements to the song, but that's not really his style anymore. Instead, he went with the one-foot-on-the-crate-bent-over-double-snarling style. He replaced all the original screaming with his current guttural growl instead. It was awesome because Kyo would snarl "got for gimmick!" and the audience would echo "got for gimmick!" back at him like on the album (seriously, though, what the hell is "got for gimmick" supposed to mean?!). We basically took over the layering of the song. When they got to the chorus, I almost laughed out loud at how poppy and out of place it sounds at a current Dir en grey concert. Everyone was jumping up and down to the bouncy, almost cheerful chorus. Then again, the "cheerful" sound is because the song is being sarcastic (the song seems to be about getting pregnant after a rape). I noticed Die was happily mouthing along to parts of the chorus. Aaaaaaw. Anyways, Myaku totally made my night. Right then and there I thought "god am I glad I gave up Lycaon. No indies show could ever compare to this." Really, if I had gone to Lycaon and found out Dir en grey played Myaku while I was there, I would have raaaaged.

Anyways, next song up was THE FATAL BELIEVER which they also played the night before. However, due to a much more stable audience, I was able to appreciate it more. During the "kill them all with the crazy hammer" part, the whole audience would headbang together simultaneously, so much so that you had to do it with them or you'd get hit in the head. The crowd would basically push your upper body with them in time to the words. Now that's how a Dir en grey audience is supposed to be. Thank you, Studio Coast, for finding your soul and turning on some goddamn air conditioning.

The band took a break here, and there was no painful gasping from the audience. Everyone was dripping with sweat, sure, but they could at least breathe. We had a couple fainters, but not the whirlwind of fainting present on Tuesday.

After the break (and after Die guzzled down some beer), the band went into LIE BURIED WITH A VENGEANCE. Aw hell yeah! It's no secret that I loooove Dir en grey's MARROW OF A BONE album for its mosh songs, so this was definitely an exciting turn. During the beginning part when the guitars are kicking in, the whole audience started throwing their fist and screaming "Hai! Hai! Hai! Hai!" in time to the beat. Everyone was rocking out like crazy. Then, at the end, the whole audience shouted the entire "fuck" section with Kyo. The lyrics are literally "fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck you're a motherfucker" and repeat. Goddamn did it feel good.

Next up was STUCK MAN - whoo! The whole audience was jumping up and down and bouncing to the beat. That song is soooo much fun. Kyo had us doing alternating shouts with him. He would scream "blood-stained carnival!", hold out the microphone, and we'd scream "blood-stained carnival!" back at him. Die started jumping up and down at one point, and we actually got the whole audience to jump up and down together. Yay, we did it!

The next song up was an Uroboros song that hadn't appeared on Tuesday, and it's one of my all-time favorites, so I was soooo excited when they started playing Doukoku to Sarinu. That song is sooo epic live. Although I have to admit to chuckling when Kyo does that robot voice and says "IIII'm behiiiiind yoooou." But the chorus is so powerful and everyone throws their fists in time to the words. During the really climactic chorus, Kyo had the audience take over a lot. Everyone seemed to lung forward with each forceful syllable like "misekake no seNtaku naKI michi bakari wo-". We wound up singing at least half the climactic chorus with Kyo smacking himself in the chest and screaming "motto!" ("more!") while holding out the microphone. Totally epic.

The next song up was another MARROW-mosher favorite: THE DEEPER VILENESS. Shit's gettin' real! The whole audience was doing that slow, synchronized headbanging together (basically lurching in unison). I love when that happens. I really didn't have a choice because the person behind me bent their knees forwards into my knees on each beat, forcing me to move with them. THE DEEPER VILENESS is the song where I always make a mental note to watch Shinya on the drums, because he is so fucking sick on those things during TDV. He's like a many-armed god back there, smashing the drums into submission. How can such a skinny man be capable of such force?! The whole band was headbanging like crazy and Die was back to the full-body headbang that looks so awesome.

As always, the song ended with that industrial-like noise-fest in which Kaoru spews static and Die rolls up and down the neck of the guitar making crazy sounds. For whatever reason, during this part, Kyo decided to start, um... belly-dancing. It was a totally random time to do it, and yet it was so totally perfect. And man can he dance! He was undulating his torso like a snake and twirling his arms and fingers like a professional. Every time Die rolled a particularly dissonant note, Kyo would swivel his pelvis in a full circle. Funny thing is, the audience was screaming over this as much as the song. Oh Kyo, you sexy thang. He did some similar belly-dancing at Tuesday's show, but I can't remember when. He peppered it throughout Wednesday's performance as well.

Kyo's dance went into one of his inward scream solos. It was very similar to Tuesday's solo, with an emphasis on high-pitched wailing and strange bird noises. The mumbling and chanting from Uroboros seems to have been scrapped. During a few parts, Kyo just breathed into the microphone, and everyone seemed to fall into a trance. The audience was so silent that, when I pulled my arm out of an uncomfortable position between two people, the locker key I was wearing on my wrist jingled audibly. I was sooo embarrassed. Still, I could feel cool air coming down on us from above. Thank you, Studio Coast, thank you...

Next up was another Uroboros song that had been missing from Tuesday's setlist: Toguro. What a beautiful song. The audience stood still for most of it, arms held up and admiring the band. Die's hair was floating in the wind, Kaoru was pouting in concentration, Toshiya was moving feverishly around his spot... I remember Kyo took up belly-dancing again during the "dancing slowly, forever sick" part. When the song ended, Kyo hissed the word "sick" and struck a pose with his arm held out towards the audience.

Toguro moved into a repeater from yesterday: ROTTING ROOT. Funny how I said on Tuesday that I'd never heard ROTTING ROOT live and then they went and played it again on Wednesday! It was equally as fun and awesome and, with an audience that could stand on its own two feet, I was able to enjoy myself much more! I think it was during this song that Kyo started to do some bizarre stare-downs with the crowd. At one point, he unfocused his eyes and stared straight forward into the pit for so long that he went cross-eyed. He held that stare for at least twenty seconds before suddenly jerking his head away. I actually managed to get a couple of stare-downs with him (well, I was fifth row dead center, so yeah). It was kinda funny. At one point I bugged my eyes out back at him to see what would happen, and he responded by widening his eyes even further. Neither of us seemed to be winning, so he jerked his eyes onto the person next to me and I smirked.

After ROTTING ROOT was another repeater, but one I knew they had to play: Shokubeni. Once again, I knew it was coming by Kaoru's static. Also as awesome as Tuesday's rendition. One thing I didn't point out on the Tuesday post was that the audience actually alternates the chorus with Kyo, regardless of whether or not he signals it. Kyo sings "kagome kago no naka!" and the crowd sings back "kagome kago no naka!" whether or not Kyo holds out the microphone or skips singing it himself. I'm not sure why the crowd does that, but it sounds really cool. Just a funny note, but this girl behind me was determined to keep singing even if the crowd crushed her forward, so sometimes her singing exploded out of her in really funny ways. Shokubeni was one of my favorites. She was singing along when the audience suddenly surged forward so her singing came out as "kagome kago no naKA" followed by a strangled noise. I laughed.

The next song was another oldies surprise: Sajou no Uta from VULGAR. This was another song I was never as fond of, but it sounded really nice live and it was a good song to get into the groove with and nod along with. Plus it's just cool that the band has started throwing some older songs into their setlists.

After that came - AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS -unplugged-. Time for a Kyo rage-fest. Remember how I said Kyo toned down ASOM -unplugged- at the Tuesday show and did more strange noises than screaming? Yeah, well, not for this one. This time Kyo was back to having an absolute fit. His legs were spread out in a wide stance across the crate and he was bent over completely double, red-faced, screaming and growling into the microphone while a mix of piano music and something else played in the background. Kyo's whole body shook like a monster was about to erupt from his back. He stomped the crate repeatedly with both feet and, like the Tuesday show, the venue issued massive jets of steam down upon him from above. I just have to add that the steam smells like maple syrup for some reason. Anyways, this was a really epic ASOM -unplugged-. When it was over, Kyo dropped to his knees and began scraping the microphone across the top of the crate. Pieces of paint visibly flew into the air.

Like the night before, this went straight into DOZING GREEN. Another totally awesome repeater. Die plays guitar soooo fast. Good shit.

Next up was another older song that totally made my night: NEW AGE CULTURE. Aw hellz yeah! I was so ready to rock that shit! I don't think they've played that song live in a damn long time. On the album version, I love the way the string section shouts "He's simply a food with no reason" but I couldn't even hear them live over the audience shouting it. We all rocked out like crazy. I was sooo glad they played that song!

Next up was Saku - always a crowd-pleaser - which had been absent at Tuesday's show. Kyo stood atop his crate while he sang the chorus and everyone held up their arms in salute. Die kept throwing his hair back like the shampoo commercial that he is. I've seen Saku live so many times and it never fails to be awesome. Saku is a particularly intense song and the crowd always responds really violently to it. I was pretty much getting hit in the head over and over by people's arms because everyone was pushing and jumping and throwing their fists so much. The crush got really painful at this point as everyone continued to push forward. Lots of girls had their faces smashed almost cartoon-style into the backs of taller boys in front of them. I had a few moments where all the air got shoved right out of me. Just when I thought things couldn't get any more packed and fierce in there...

Zan.

Again with the ridiculous timing of Zan! I swear Dir en grey does it on purpose just to see how many people they can get pulled out of the pit. No, really, Kyo was looking around the crowd smirking right before they went into Zan. This shit was just as intense as Tuesday's show but falling was replaced by total rocking out. The crush was ridiculous and a few times I just gave up on breathing because I didn't have much of a choice. Still, the audience returned to that awesome synchronized headbanging I love so much. Except it's not a slow headbang with Zan, it's a crazy-fast, frenzied headbang. People were shooting their sweat everywhere. I know I mentioned this in my December post, but the thing I love about the new version of Zan is the way the rocking-out gets paced. Kyo holds this long growl and everyone shakes their fist. Then it's like "grrrrrrrr-UGH" - pause - and then the band slams the fuck back into Zan and everyone synchronize headbangs. I love how the whole band is poised and waiting while Kyo growls. After he hits that "UGH" and pauses, Shinya and the string section all manage to slam right back into the song at exactly the same instant. It's absolutely fantastic (and happens at two different moments during the song).

And then Kyo held up an arm, nodded, and the band began to leave the stage. Like last time, they didn't really look back at us much. Kaoru and Toshiya gave a few nods, Die gave us some smiles (and drank some beer) and Shinya ignored us completely. I know they just do this to make us antsier for encore. Encore, once again, took forever. Plus, I wound up near some guy who was driving me crazy. He kept trying to push and shove people out of his way even when there was no reason for it (it's encore, dude!) and he fucking smelled like garlic. No, really, I think he was sweating garlic. He even held up his arm and sniffed himself at one point. I wanted to punch him in the back of the head and be like "yeah, asshole, you stink!" Who the fuck eats garlic before a concert?! Uuuuugh. Like I don't smell enough ungodly things in that pit.

Anyways, the band finally came back holding up their arms and ready to dive-bomb back into music. The next song up was another oldies surprise: embryo. Wow, that's pretty old. Like Tuesday's show, Dir en grey ended part 1 with Zan, left, then came back and did an old, calm, pretty song. Kyo sang the entire song very calmly and quietly, except for the line "daikirai na papa ga ite" ("the father I hate is here") which Kyo violently screamed. This was especially creepy because the song is about a little girl who is continually raped by her father now that her mother has committed suicide. The song was quite beautiful and sad live.

But then the band was ready to step it up by going right into Gaika, Chinmoku ga Nemuru Koro which was played at the Tuesday show, except towards the beginning of the set. The song was totally awesome again, and Kyo was stomping around on the crate during the tumble-down ending. Synchronized headbanging was back!

Next up was another MARROW-mosh favorite: REPETITION OF HATRED. Oh fuck yeah! So many great MARROW OF A BONE songs showed up on Wednesday's set! During the part where Die plays his guitar in the vertical position and slides his fingers up and down the neck, he kept shaking his head and sticking out his tongue and it was all strangely, um... sexual looking. You go, Die! Toshiya kept whacking his bass and literally jumping around in circles. You gotta love his energy. Kaoru was headbanging all hardcore-style and making that stern, angry-Kaoru face. During the guitar solo, Kyo was making all sorts of wild faces at the audience.

Not wanting to slow the pace, the band moved into Reiketsu Nariseba. Like Tuesday, people started jumping around out of their spots, like a really squished form of slam-dancing. But most people couldn't do much of this because the force of 3000 people was keeping them firmly in one tiny location. Unfortunately, Garlic Man didn't slam-dance away from me, and he kept trying to take my spot. Eventually, he and I wound up in some kind of shoving war. I'd shove him with my elbow, he'd throw my arm down and shove me, so I'd shove him with my shoulder, and this went on and on. Unfortunately for Garlic Man, he wasn't very strong, so eventually I threw him off balance and stepped directly in front of him, just to make him mad. Think of it as a "time out." He didn't even try to fight me after that, and the garlic odor began to dissipate as I kept him in detention behind me. Reiketsu was as awesome as Tuesday and got everyone totally crazy.

But then the pace shifted suddenly when Dir en grey went into something a little more depressing... THE FINAL. This was the same pattern as Tuesday: one slow old song followed by three mosh songs followed by one sentimental, sad song (for Tuesday it was Kodou) and then ending with something old but super hardcore. So yeah, THE FINAL. This is the song that is known to make people start sobbing in every country. To be perfectly honest, THE FINAL has never made me particularly sad (Kodou makes me much sadder), but I can appreciate how it touches a lot of people (the song is about suicide). A couple of girls behind me were bawling. The song is extremely powerful live, though. I love when Kyo sings "te no naka ni wa aisuru beki hito sae mo hanabanashiku chitte. Te no naka ni wa ikita imi kisande mo munashiki hana to chiru" (translated as: "even loved ones scatter like flower petals from my hand. Even if I engrave the meaning that I lived into my hand, it will only be known as flowers of vanity"). It's intense because Kyo always throws up a hand while he sings it, and the entire audience throws up their hands with him. A lot of times Kyo just throws up his hand and screams "te no!" which is just the reference to the hand, and then allows the audience to sing along the rest of the line for him. The part that usually get to me is the end of the song when Kyo sings "so I can't live, so I can't live" because I feel like the audience sings it as though they really mean that.

When it was over, Kyo held up an arm and started screaming "Last song! Last song!" Here we go, I thought. Make this count!

So, after making some of the audience members cry, Dir en grey decided to step it up and go into one of their oldest mosh-songs: Rasetsukoku. Even though this song is really old (from back in 2000), Dir en grey resurrected it at the Budokan in January. Thus, I actually said to Ashley before the show: "I bet they'll play Rasetsukoku." And right I was! I like this as a last song much more than CHILD PREY, personally. It's just a personal preference. It gets everyone going crazy and the whole audience jumps (or tries to) and yells the word "jaki!" every time. Dir en grey seemed more excited at the end of this show than they had on Tuesday. At one point, they all came up to the front and surrounded Kyo's crate and played together (I think Toshiya had his foot up on the crate too). At another point, Die and Toshiya went over to Shinya's drum platform and paid him a visit. Later on, Die - seemingly determined to get Shinya to look at him - jumped up on Shinya's drum platform entirely. Shinya didn't even give him a glance, hahaha. Die also tried to initiate switchies and ran like an excited, scampering puppy over to Kaoru's side of the stage. This prompted Toshiya to start roaming around. Toshiya is scary because wherever he roams, the audience doubles the psychotic crush. Die seemed to be having an equal effect over on the left. While Toshiya wandered, he twirled his finger in a circle, grinning. I've never been sure what the hell that twirl is, but Ashley calls it his Party Finger. Yyyyeah, Party Finger, hahaha. Kaoru didn't seem interested in playing switchies at first, but eventually he wandered over to the middle and started being all hardcore. He kept bending backwards and throwing the horns and making big, hardcore stances. Ooooow, crush. Kyo roamed the stage too, making people crazy on both sides. When Kyo vacated the middle, Toshiya took over his crate for a little while. I love when Dir en grey gets all excited like that. Maybe it's because the audience was able to have a lot more energy at this show that the band became more crazy with us.

Aaaaaand then it was over. Kyo jumped up on the crate and started clapping his hands above his head and smirking at us. I even caught a genuine smile from him. A real one. It was fleeting, but it was there. What really amazed me was, after he was done clapping, Kyo looked around at all of us, nodding, then started clapping again. The audience started clapping with him. Wow. We rarely get that kind of acknowledgment from Kyo. Then he jumped down and exited the stage (though not before spitting some jets of water at us). Then the rest of the band roamed around, tossing picks. Kaoru was tossing his purple picks and he gave us a genuine smile too. Wow, a real smile from Leader-sama. Another rarity. Toshiya was spitting water at us and throwing water from his water bottle at everyone as he threw picks. He throws his picks really far. He was grinning like crazy. Before he left, he clapped his hands together and gave us a bow. Die was being too cute for his own good. He put his tour towel on his head and walked around like that, grinning. He threw picks and water and dumped a whole bottle of water on the heads of a few girls in his area. He even graced us with some full-toothed smiles and, as any Dir en grey fan knows, Die has the world's most incredibly perfect, amazing, glowing smile. Oh Die, don't be so adorable. He took the towel off his head and threw it into the audience. Then Shinya came over, jumped up on the crate, and started squirting water at us (his bottle had a straw). Then he smirked a little, threw some drumsticks, and left.

And that was the end.

Well, I was sweaty, exhausted, and my feet hurt like a dinosaur had gnawed on them for awhile, but at least I didn't think I was going to die like at Tuesday's show. We had fainters, certainly, and a few people got carried out by their arms and legs when the show was over (and I saw a couple girls crying from injuries) but this was a more "normal" level of fainting and injury for Dir en grey. Tuesday's level was absurd, but Wednesday's was typical and even expected. Exhausting, hot, and painful, but most people were still glowing with some kind of internal satisfaction that they survived and got to see Dir en grey. Well, but one funny thing... as I was pushing my way out of the crowd to leave, this guy went running by. Well, actually, it was more like he was being herded past us by a girl holding a hand on his back and screaming for everyone to get out of the way. Everyone jumped out of the way and he freakin' projectile vomited everywhere. Oh man, if I hadn't been so tired, I totally would have screamed "TEN POINTS!" That was pretty awesome. You go, Vomit-Man!

I actually found Ashley in the crowd as we were leaving. The two of us were in pain but we felt much better than after Tuesday's show and we didn't feel the need to go drop dead anywhere. The walls weren't even littered with unconscious bodies this time. Good job, Studio Coast! Maybe next time you'll remember the fucking air conditioning. We headed out the doors, picked up our stuff from the coin lockers, then made our way out. I told Ashley about what I'd done with my sunglasses, and she was skeptical that they could have survived. We headed over to the lost-and-found and... ahahaha, I am diabolical. There they were, in perfect condition, untouched. Pure genius. If you want one of your belongings to survive a Dir en grey show in Japan, just throw it intentionally on the floor for the nice fans to find it for you! When I showed the sunglasses to Ashley, she was like "oh, you bitch." I also caught up with Risu on the way out and paid her for the ticket.

I just wanted to give a huge, special thanks to Risu for selling me that ticket and helping me out via myriad texts so that I could help Ashley get a ticket as well. You have no idea how much going to that show meant to me. If I hadn't run into you, I wouldn't have gone, and I would have hated myself. Thank you soooo much for your kindness, thoughtfulness, and patience! I owe you one!

Anyways, that was that. Ashley and I parted ways at the train and I headed home to pass out from exhaustion. Especially because we had school the next day. Uuuuugh.

And that's my report! I hope you enjoyed! I know it was lengthy as all hell, but I hope it gave you a taste of what I experienced! Dir en grey means a lot to me, and I know they mean a lot to a lot of people, so... I guess I just wanted to pass along my experiences a little bit.

Anyways, see you guys soon! Also, I didn't forget about Monday's indies post - I'll get to it eventually. Bye bye!

2 comments:

  1. Once again, beautiful post. I'm glad you got to go and share this all with us! What a show... sounds like it was quite the experience :-D

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  2. Thank you for sharing this! I'm going in a month to this new tour and am dying for the day to get here!

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