Tokyo Decadance Halloween 2011. I was looking forward to writing a very nice blog post about this party. Hell, I was looking forward to the party, period. But we can’t always have what we want. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt the need to rant on this blog, but I’m afraid a rant is what this is going to be.
But let’s start with the non-ranty parts. Preparation for the party itself went fine. It’s Tokyo Decadance, so dressing up is very important. There isn’t technically a dress code, but you can get various discounts based on how dressed up you are. MelJay and I decided to do a themed costume together. The theme was basically me attempting to make up for a failed costume I did about four years ago (it just looked stupid), and our success as ganguro at Madison’s FreakFest last year made us realize we work well together as a pair when it comes to costumes. So we spent the last few weeks shopping for our costumes, which mostly involved going to Closet Child, Okadaya, Black Peace Now, Okadaya, Body Line, Okadaya, oh, and probably back to Okadaya again.
Story! During one of those trips to Okadaya, I saw Jin from UnsraW in the store! It was brief, and he walked out really fast, but I was still like O____O
Anyways, MelJay and I had inverse costumes with a card suit theme. We had card suit earrings, rings, bracelets, pins, and then drew a card on our faces. We did all the hair and make up in the living room of our hostel so, needless to say, we got a lot of stares and comments from people. Especially the hair. We teased that shit up to the ceiling, although it definitely collapsed as the night went on. I should add that MelJay got the idea to tease our hair after seeing Hibiki at Dark Castle last weekend, lol.
After we were done, we had the pleasure of walking through Asakusa, riding the Ginza line, and walking around Shinjuku in these outfits. There was a lot of staring, and some people stopped us and asked for our picture, lol. Anyways, here are our costumes:
Anyways, we met up with Caroline (as seen above, obviously), as well as a lovely young woman from Poland that MelJay met on LiveJournal.
So we headed off to the party, which was set to start at 10 pm. We arrived at about 9:40 and got into the general sales line. There were two lines, you see. The regular line for regular people, and the line for people who bothered to get the Fast Pass. Those people could skip the regular line.
Ready for this? Okay…………..
To get the Fast Pass, you have to go to the Christon Café ahead of time (and pay the cover charge at the bar for it), or go to a costume shop called Bad Little Boo. I had no idea where that place is.
So it turned out about 90% of the partygoers got the damn Fast Pass. What this turned into was a group of people who had loyally stood in line right when doors opened watching a parade of Fast Pass people go in ahead of them. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, right?
Us general line people waited three hours to get in. Yes, you read that right. Three hours. People who showed up at midnight were allowed to get in before people who showed up at ten.
Does this sound fair to you? It sure as hell doesn’t sound fair to me. By the time we got in, my friends and I were so miserable we weren’t even interested in the party anymore. All the people around us looked so hollow and unhappy you would’ve thought we were waiting in line to get slaughtered. Um, is that how a party is supposed to be? Isn’t a party about everyone having fun, not trying to leech extra money off the attendees?
And you know what, I could’ve maybe dealt with it, until the end, when my part of the general line finally got up to the elevators. The elevator came down, and Adrien - the party’s host - was riding it. A bunch of staff members had to come through, so Adrien let them on. But there was still room for at least ten people on the elevator. Adrien glanced at us standing there in line looking like we wanted to die, and asked repeatedly if we were Fast Pass. When we said no, he pressed the button, and sent the elevator off without us.
What are we, just a pile of shit? By that point, I’m not sure I could’ve enjoyed the party, even if I’d really wanted to.
Thankfully, my friends and I did all get discounts. The maximum discount was 1500 yen off (oh, I should add that Tokyo Decadance has raised its prices on top of everything else. It used to be 4000 to get in, now it’s 4500). 1500 yen off was for really over-the-top costumes (like this one girl in line whose hair was so elaborate she had a whole fake bird in it). 1000 yen off was for costumes that showed dedication and effort, though they aren’t crazy. 500 yen off means you at least wore something costume-y. And no yen off means you didn’t dress up at all. All my friends and I got 1000 yen off, yay! This year’s drag queen was much nicer than the one two years ago. Maybe to make up for the raised prices, lol. MelJay managed to convince me to use cuteness to win him over. When the drag queen was all like, “ooh, what do we have here?”, MelJay and I put our hands together in a heart shape and batted our eyelashes at him while he went, “ah, kawaii!” So I guess that worked and got us a good discount, but I also threw up a little inside my mouth and probably developed a cuteness-induced ulcer.
As if to further enforce that this party is only about money now, and nothing else, we had to wait in line for about a half an hour just to do coat check. Why? Because they had one staff person doing it. One. Why did that piss me off? Because, across from the cloak room they had about a dozen different staff members selling merchandise. So apparently selling shit is more important than moving along a line of about forty people blocking the hallway? Sure, whatever, I get it.
But I thought maybe getting in would make everything that happened a little better. Maybe it could still be fun.
First of all, by the time we got in, we’d already missed stuff. We missed the dancing robot Shinji, for example, and I was really looking forward to him. Also, the DJs sucked. That was the first thing I noticed. Where were all the good DJs from two years ago?! These DJs were all boring, not wearing costumes, and playing repetitive dance beats over and over again. I wanted to dance, but how the hell could I dance to that?! They kept putting dancers on stage to move to the music, but even they looked out of ideas sometimes. How do you move around to repetitive, lifeless crap? Now, there was an alternative to this: Tokyo Dark Castle had put itself in a small room upstairs, so that people could duck up there occasionally if they wanted to. And the music was certainly better up there. But the room was tiny, and full of strangely creepy people. Like a really fat white guy wearing nothing but an over-the-shoulder thong who occasionally flashed his privates at people. So fuck that.
Well, okay, there are more reasons to go to Tokyo Decadance than dance music. There are usually acts and performances. Except there really weren’t many listed, to my dismay. Pretty much just DJs and the small handful of main acts. I wanted to see Selia, for sure. And obviously I wanted to see Hizaki. And Kaya. I figured that would at least fill the time between 1 am and 5 am, which would otherwise be nothing but mindless dance music.
Well, around 2 am, some important-sounding music started, so we all headed down from our perch on the staircase where we were sitting doing nothing, and went down into the crowd. I thought it was too early to be any of the potential party headliners. We came down there to find Selia on stage, which made sense to me. But then Kaya came onstage. Ooookay. Those two together makes sense, as well, and it's kinda awesome, but it seemed a little early for big acts like Kaya. I mean, we only just got into the party… Well, whatever.
Anyways, Kaya went straight into a song, with Selia singing backup vocals, which was a lovely combination. They both have great singing voices, but they also have very different singing voices. Kaya has a more masculine (kinda) voice, while Selia has the high, operatic voice, so the two sounded really nice together. I think Selia's voice deserves to be displayed on this blog. This guy should get more credit for what he does. He has the voice of a woman, and a very talented, operatic woman at that. Whether or not you like the sound of opera, I still think this video is worth checking out:
So Selia and Kaya did one song together, and then Hizaki came onstage. Oho. I had a feeling Kaya and Hizaki would do something together. Here’s a picture of Hizaki:
All of this happened really fast, I should add. I’m not trying to skimp on details, it’s just that this whole thing was very rushed. So Hizaki came out, and then he played guitar while Kaya sang and Selia did more backup vocals. I’m tellin’ ya, Selia’s the closest we will ever get to having a Blind Mag in this world, unless Sara Brightman one day decides she wants to take on the role forever. Anyways, there’s really nothing much to report about these last couple songs. They sounded very nice, and that’s about it. But then, next up, they went straight into Kaya’s Rose Jail song, which is only to be expected. So that was a lot of fun. It’s hard not to like Rose Jail. I mean, I’m not a big fan of Kaya’s music (not the solo stuff), but even I think Rose Jail is fun. So we had Selia doing backup even for Rose Jail, and Hizaki on guitar. Although… MelJay pointed this out, and I kinda wondered about it too… I’m not entirely sure Hizaki was always playing. I think sometimes he was physically going through the motions, but his guitar wasn’t actually doing anything. Or plugged in? I mean, I guess for a performance like this, it’s really more about presentation than substance, but it was still rather odd. Especially since we all know Hizaki’s a damn good guitar player.
About halfway through Rose Jail, however, a fourth person burst onto the stage. Well, I’ll be damned, it was Kamijo:
Kamijo decided to make a guest appearance. Which was lovely and all but……….. I think he was drunk. My friends agreed. First of all, his hair was only about half done. Second of all, he looked all clumsy and wobbly. It was cool to see him, but I also wanted to face-palm very badly. But Kamijo, at least, was proud of himself. He shouted, “Kamijo ga kita ze!” (roughly translated to: “Kamijo has arrived, bitches!”). Then he took a shaky bow. They finished up the song, the four of them, but it was a tad awkward. Kamijo kept trying to encourage furi, but he didn’t really know the furi (or was too drunk to remember it), so he and Kaya were doing two totally different things. This turned the whole thing into a chaotic mess.
After Rose Jail, I think they went into the Versailles song Zombie. I think? Sorry, I’m really not all that familiar with Versailles. Kamijo and Kaya sang together, while Selia hovered awkwardly in the background doing his part as much as he could. Kamijo pretty much overtook the stage at that point, and Kaya got overshadowed for the most part. Generally I forgot Hizaki was there, lol. I felt kinda bad for Kaya. He’d been upstaged pretty badly during the last two songs, including his own. But then, in the middle of the song, Kamijo suddenly grabbed Kaya and kissed him right on the lips. That wouldn’t be such a big deal, except… well, you either know why, or you don’t. Let’s just say, Kaya has said some stuff about himself and Kamijo that some fans claim was a joke, and some fans claim was completely serious. Either way…….. it made this kiss a lot more awkward than necessary. Not only that, but it took Kaya so much by surprise that he sorta lost himself, and Kamijo had to catch him. After Kaya was back up and had steadied himself, Kamijo suddenly grabbed him again, leaned him back, and gave him another kiss. And this one looked serious. There’s fanservice kissing, and then there’s whatever the hell Kamijo did to Kaya's face. It was quite intense, and Kamijo meant business. The whole audience was like O_____O After Kamijo let go of Kaya, let’s just say………. Kaya didn’t look very happy with him. And I can’t say I blame him. Not the, uh... classiest moment ever, lol.
That was pretty much the end of the performance, to be honest. That's all it was. Tokyo Decadance only had this small handful of performers, and they stuck them all on stage during the same quick, 25 minute time slot. Kaya practically only got two songs to himself. Goddamnit, Tokyo Decadance. I mean, seriously. I understand that both Kamijo and Hizaki probably wanted to leave because they had to perform at V-Rock Festival the next day, but still… a little bit of time-staggering would’ve been nice. Now it was 2:30 am and we had nothing to look forward to (well, I noticed on the pamphlet the next day that Selia was listed as doing his suspension routine at the party, but maybe we missed it while in line, who knows. Also, if you don’t know what “suspension” is, don’t look it up. Save yourself some nightmares, I’m serious).
Well, anyways, my friends and I tried to get back into the party after the performance was over, but it was getting harder and harder to even fake enjoyment. After the performers left the stage, the party went straight back to mind-numbingly boring DJs, foot pain, and a crowd attempting to dance to nothing. After another hour or so, my friends and I were starting to think it wasn’t worth staying. After a quick conversation while hiding out in the crowded bathroom, we finally decided to bail. We just couldn’t take it anymore. It was so boooooooooooooring! And anything we were interested in had already been onstage. Sure, maybe Kaya did a small something again at the end - who knows. Admittedly, I’ll be a little sad if I find out Selia’s suspension routine happened after we left. But I wasn’t willing to gamble that on the possibility that we missed it during the three hours in line, because I certainly wasn’t willing to stay until 6 am (then again, wouldn’t Selia probably prefer to do suspension at the end, since he would get all bloody? Who know…). Whaaaaaatever.
I should add that coat check left us standing in line for another half an hour. Fuck my life. I am so not going to Tokyo Decadance's Halloween party next year. Screw it.
Eventually, we managed to escape and hunted around for any goddamn restaurant that was open at 4 am. After awhile, we wound up at Matsuyama and we all got curry and sat around sighing about how lame the party was. Then we all went home once the trains started running again. MelJay and I went back to the hostel and got three hours of sleep. It could’ve been more, but we needed to get up at 10 am because we needed to do some Ticket Ninja action.
I haven’t added this to the schedule yet, but I will once I make another schedule update. BlackHole is hosting an end-of-the-year indies show with a bunch of really good acts. The ticket sale was staggered with A-tickets sold one day at Lawson, B-tickets sold the next day on e+, and C-tickets sold at the venue at a later date. But BlackHole isn’t really big enough to host this kind of event. MelJay and I found that out the hard way the previous day, when we made a stab at A-tickets. We hunted around for a Lawson we heard was in Asakusa. Once we found it, tickets had been on sale for an hour and a half, but this is indies, so maybe we’d be okay? Nope. A-tickets were looooong gone. So we had to make a stab at B-tickets. But e+ always crashes at 10 am due to server overload, so it was time to put Ticket Ninja skills to use. Basically, right at 10, I sat there clicking and refreshing each page repeatedly until I was able to make it all the way through the process and reserve our tickets. I had to get through about eight windows, and I had to click about fifty times to get to each one. It was a crazy process, but I did manage to pull it off and get the tickets. And that’s why they call me the Ticket Ninja.
The show will be December 30th. Bands of interest include: Lycaon, DIAURA, THE GALLO, Para:noir, DEPAIN, AUBE, DEZERT, and a few I’ve been meaning to check out, such as BLOOD. Some nostalgic acts will be there too, like SCAPEGOAT, and Velbet. The show will go all day from 11:30 am onward, and will have 17 bands. Should be pretty crazy!
Anyways, this weekend will also be packed! I have the Lycaon x DIAURA Bisexual tour final tomorrow, and an indies show Saturday. Stay tuned