Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Last Concert Report in Japan

Well, it's that time! Time for my last concert report in Japan! I'm going to keep this one pretty brief. Even though it was an event show, I was really only interested in UnsraW, lol. Anyways, this marked my 44th show in Japan! 44 shows in total... not bad, eh?

Our last show was held at Takadanobaba Area and was being hosted by PS Company. The performers at this particular event were all "super indies" bands. Super indies are the bands who have advanced beyond the early stages of indies. They've released full albums, have good followings, and have usually managed to do a one-man at Shibuya O-West. They're some of the few indies bands who might face going major some day. Because this show contained six "super" indies bands, the event was sold out. I wasn't sure what constituted "sold out" for AREA. Turns out 400 people is sold out...?  Anyways, 400 may not sound like a lot, but for a little venue like that it's a crap-load. Ashley and I had tickets 301 and 302. There were so many people that they had to form a giant line snaking around the building by number just to try and organize it. Unfortunately, our shitty tickets meant that, by the time we got inside, the whole front section was taken up. Ashley and I went to the area behind the second barrier, which is raised above the front section. I really wanted to be down there for UnsraW, though. I couldn't bear the thought of spending my last concert and my last time seeing UnsraW in the back. I figured I might be able force my way down there for UnsraW, but I didn't know when they were playing. Still, I had a bad feeling they'd play first because they were the black sheep band of the night (they're not under PS Company and they're not very PS-like. They were probably only there because they're friends with the headlining band). While we stood there, cramped and crowded, I started to get that itchy feeling I had at Dir en grey when I was stuck behind the barrier. It was that same urge to destroy all the obstacles in front of me and go running.

After about a half an hour of waiting around in that hot, overly-crowded area, the lights finally went down. Then an air raid siren went off. I literally yelled "SHIT!", dropped my purse to the floor, and began shoving people out of my way. You know, I wouldn't have been so vicious about it normally, but the people I was shoving were assholes standing on the only fucking stairs between the front and the back section. This is an event concert, people switch in and out for different bands, get off the goddamn stairs! I tripped down the stairs in the darkness, somehow landed on my feet, then began pushing into the crowd until I knew I was in the action. Air raid sirens, machine guns, and eins zwei drei vier can only mean one thing: UnsraW. Or Nazi Germany. But in this case, UnsraW, lol.

The curtain flew open and yes, it was indeed UnsraW. Welcome back to the blog, boys. Here they are showing off their new hair (yes, they updated their official site just because they had new hair, lol):

Anyways, when the curtain opened, the band was already on stage and Yuuki started yelling immediately. I love the reaction the band gets when they first show up on stage. People in the audience who don't know UnsraW seem to draw back in surprise the moment they see Yuuki. Visual-kei is all about skinny little men in tight clothing, so I think it comes as a huge shock to the audience when they see Yuuki's massive presence. He's probably twice the size of some of the guys in indies. Combine that with his angry makeup and silver grills and sparkly, gold lipstick and, well... it's quite the shock!

Anyways, I still remember the setlist:

ZERO
REBORN
-9-
~Tsuioku no Kanata~
ROSE OF SORROW
Warai Oni

UnsraW went straight into REBORN, which I had yet to hear live. Yay! Anyways, I noticed immediately that Yuuki was behaving differently at this show. I don't know if you guys remember, but when I wrote about UnsraW the last time we saw them, I said Yuuki was having a "clumsy" day. He kept swaying, fell three times for seemingly no reason, and didn't make any sense during his MC. At this show, he was totally stable and normal.  Anyhoo, great performance of REBORN! Madoka was still being creepy and making weird faces at everyone and dancing around with his guitar. Tetsu was being totally adorable and pouty. Jin was being all stoic and serious business and having beautiful hair. And Shou was adorable and smiling like crazy with his mouth open the whole time he drummed.

After that, the band did their obligatory -9- performance. I hope a day will come in which UnsraW doesn't have to play -9-. I'm not dissing -9-, but I just think UnsraW's too good and has too many songs to have to lean on the crutch of a single hit song at every performance. Anyways, it was a fun live. I think the girls in front of me didn't know UnsraW at all, but they cooperated with all the furi and headbanging so that I was able to do it freely myself. At one point, Jin and Testu and Madoka all began headbanging in the same direction at the same time, completely synchronized. Best part is, I don't think they meant to do that, lol!

Next up was ~Tsuioku no Kanata~. Uh oh, ballad time. Having seen Yuuki perform the GUILTY ballad, I was a little worried about how this one would go. I had good reason to. Just like last time, Yuuki basically cried his way through the whole song. He makes this unbelievably tragic face while he performs. He was clutching the left side of his face in one hand, his whole face scrunched up miserably while singing. He seemed to get more upset as the song went on. Eventually, he dropped to his knees and collapsed over the crate with his face pressed into it. He was so close to the girls on the barrier that his hair was brushing up against them. Then, quite suddenly, he slammed his fist down on the crate. The sound reverberated across the whole venue. The two girls in front of the crate were startled and jumped back a little. They cautiously returned to their spots, but Yuuki slammed his fist down yet again. The girls decided to move back to give him some more space while he tossed and turned on the crate sobbing. Yuuki seems to be a very unhappy person. The whole song I kept thinking, "it's okay, big guy! Really!" Eventually, he leaned back and collapsed to the floor, though he pulled himself up pretty quickly. All I could ever see of him was the giant dandelion-poof of his hair moving around on the crate while he sang. Since this was my last show, I was already feeling upset, so this whole thing was generally upsetting to me. Thankfully, the song ended without Yuuki full-blown bursting into tears (which I've heard has happened before) and he climbed back to his feet in the darkness to resume his regular performance.

Yuuki went into an MC at this point. He didn't say anything all that important... just mumbled a bit and yelled some shit at us to get us fired up. But at least he made sense this time and Jin didn't have to come over and whisper at him to sober the fuck up and say what he's supposed to say, lol.

Next song up was ROSE OF SORROW which was, oddly enough, the only GUILTY track they played. The mood perked up considerably here. Yuuki got to do some rapping. While he rapped, Madoka kept rocking his guitar back and forth while stomping his feet. It's... a very strange little dance, lol. At one point, Jin and Shou caught eyes and Shou shot Jin one of his unbelievably dorky and adorable smiles. Jin's attempt at being the stoic, serious member totally crumbled under that smile and he gave Shou a huge smile back. It was soooo cute. We got the whole audience jumping up and down and it was a lot of fun! Only strange moment, though... Ashley and I are still totally baffled about this. In the middle of the song, for seemingly no reason, Yuuki suddenly looked over at the two of us and started waving. I mean, literally waving, like was saying hello or goodbye. He looked each of us in the eye with a blank look on his face while waving one hand back and forth in the air. And believe me, you know when Yuuki's making eye-contact with you. Yuuki never, ever makes eye-contact with anyone, so this was seriously weird. I didn't know what to do so I just smiled uncomfortably back at him. But... why was he waving at us? Why?? I don't understand! Ashley and I are still totally confused about this. Why would he single us out and wave?!

Well anyways, as always, the band had to end on Warai Oni as their extended mosher song. I waited for the appropriate cue when the band moved towards the edge of the stage, then shoved my way through the people in front of me and rushed forward with the rest of the UnsraW fans. Then we got to dog pile. We had a good hundred people up there, so dog piling was fun. We made a wall of humans and we just shoved and slammed into each other over and over again while the band prowled around. Yuuki got out some water bottles in order to start soaking the audience. The first bottle he held down at his crotch and he started shooting water at us with it. He was also dancing around and rubbing his thighs and grabbing his crotch. Pervert, lol. But then Yuuki licked all his sparkly, gold lipstick off. Yuuki, eeeeeew! That is not for eating, lol! Madoka was roaming around, grabbing people's arms and drawing them towards the stage or slamming them onto the dog pile. He was pulling people near me and then hesitated because it wasn't one of the slam-cues in the song. Still, I held out my arm and I was like, "me me meeee! Grab meeee!" He gave me this look like, "lol, it's you again, you crazy bitch" and reached out and grabbed me by the wrist even though it wasn't the right time. He gave my hand an appropriately good scrape as he pulled back. Thanks Madoka, lol! Yuuki started grabbing people's hands and arms too. Ashley was super lucky and got a hand grab from him. Unfortunately, he started grabbing hands to her right, and I was on her left, so I didn't get one. Oh well! I got a loooot of water on me, though. Yuuki was throwing water left and right and shooting whole bottles at us. Super perv. He never actually drinks any of it himself, either, and he probably should because he always looks like he's roasting in that stupid uniform. But yeah, we all got totally soaked and it was a lot of fun as always.

When the song ended, Yuuki staggered off the stage without a single word. See ya, big guy! Tetsu and Jin threw some picks and Shou gave us some cute smiles. Madoka threw some water and then reared back to throw his bottle. Everyone got ready with their arms up, but then he faked us out and didn't throw it. Everyone was like "yeeeeee- oh." But then, just before he left the stage, he suddenly shot the water bottle behind himself without looking back or giving any warning. The audience yelped, but no one got hit in the face or anything, lol. Someone caught it.

And that was UnsraW! Another great performance, you guys, thanks! I'm gonna miss ya!

After UnsraW, a lot of shit got clogged in the drain. We had 【_Vani;lla】 who sucked. We had R-shitei, who sucked. We had HERO who sucked.  They had this one song that was like, "metcha metcha suki! Metcha metcha suki!" ("I really, really love you! I really, really love you!"). Yeah, well I don't love you! They had this one song where they wanted everyone to hold hands and put their arms around each other and sway around being best friends.  No.  Just no.

As far as things that aren't total shit, we also had BORN:

Once again, they opened with Marilyn Manson's The Bright Young Things, so I couldn't resist dancing around a bit. They were amusing as always. The audience was a bunch of idiots, though. They couldn't even figure out a direction to go into when it came time to slam dance back and forth in front of the stage. It all turned into a giant mess. The vocalist jumped into the crowd and crowd-surfed a few times, but his plan to crush us all with the element of surprise was foiled by the stupid audience not even being able to coordinate slam-dancing. They caught him just fine. I think that vocalist is like... messed in the head or something. He kept dancing around like an uncoordinated idiot and faking seizures. Okay, man, whatevs, lol.

The headliner for the night was SCREW:

Hmm... pretty good. I think I was expecting more from them, so I didn't wind up being that enthusiastic about it. But I think if I heard them on an album and not during a live maybe I'd get a better impression of them. It was the drummer's birthday, though. The other band members each had a cake for him. Four whole cakes! Geez! No way the record company will let him eat all that cake, hahaha. Anyways, he seemed really embarrassed and didn't really want people talking about his birthday. For some reason, vocalist Byou told the drummer to sing happy birthday to himself. Um, what? The drummer took the microphone and, in a rather meek voice, went, "happy birthday to me... happy birthday to me... happy birthday dear, uh...... me. Happy birthday to me..." Wow, that was kinda... one of the saddest things I've ever heard, lol. What the hell? Anyways, they lit Byou's cake and had the drummer blow out the candles. Then they took the cakes backstage and the drummer thanked everyone. Mmmmkay. So yeah, their performance was pretty good. Byou threw a lot of water too and made a lot of sexy faces at the audience and grabbed lots of people. Pretty good overall.

And that was the show. W00t!

Anyways, although this is my last concert report in Japan, there will be a couple more posts coming up regarding the future of this blog and other such matters. So stay tuned, the blog's not dead yet!

4 comments:

  1. You're last live in Japan :(

    It really feels epic in a rather sad way, doesn't it?

    Hmmm... Well, UnsraW sounded awesome, as usual, thank you once again for introducing them to me, I love them!

    That part where Yuuki waved at you... how odd, it's like a wave good bye... Does the man have psychic powers or something O____o

    Haha, no, but still...

    Thanks so much for all you're amazing reports! You have really made an impression on my heart!I look forward to more of you're posts!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is sad... I worked very hard to do all these things and write this blog so... it's hard to have it all end so suddenly.

    And I'm glad I was able to introduce you to the wonders of UnsraW! They rather took me by surprise and I'm glad I found them! Rather wish I'd found them sooner, though. And, actually, it's kinda funny but... even before this concert, Ashley and I had this running joke that Yuuki is some kind of Jesus figure who resurrected and now has super powers. We were only kidding, but when he waved at us we also thought "maybe he has super powers on top of everything else!" Maybe there's more to Yuuki than meets the eye, lol!

    Anyways, I'm really glad you enjoyed my blog! I'm hoping the blog won't die completely so... I'll do my best!

    ReplyDelete
  3. hey i cant go to them but i listen to them. you no the are really amazing ain't they?

    ReplyDelete
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