Monday, November 14, 2011

MERRY 10th Anniversary NEW LEGEND OF HIGH COLOR『6DAYS』

Okay, I know I skipped an indies show from last weekend, but I'll get back to it after this (in brief).

Anyways, for now... Got to do something crazy last weekend!  Three major concerts in one weekend!  I’ve never pulled that off before!  Usually two is the most I do, and even then only one of them will usually be major (except for the rare double-Dir en grey).  Last weekend, MelJay and I joined MERRY for the last half of their 10th anniversary special at Ebisu LIQUID ROOM.  Each show was themed after a CD, with Day 1 being Gendai Stoic, Day 2 being Moderngarde, Day 3 being Nu Chemical Rhetoric, Day 4 being PEEP SHOW, Day 5 being M.E.R.R.Y., and Day 6 topping us off with Underworld.  There was a lot of stress and hassle involved in going to all three shows (especially since we live so far away), but I think it was worth it!

To pull off our MERRY weekend, MelJay and I both had to leave work early on Friday to make it all the way out to Tokyo.  For me, this was with a massive side of guilt.  So far, since starting work at my school, I’ve never missed a class.  Even on the occasional day where I take off work early to go to a concert on a Friday, I only take paid leave at a time when I have no more classes for the day and would just be sitting around doing nothing anyways.  But I couldn’t pull that off this time.  I had one class really late in the afternoon, and I couldn’t possibly go to it and make it to the show.  However, I foresaw that class being a problem one day, and decided to get the assistant English teacher on my side.  I decided to test the waters with her a month ago and mentioned that I frequently go to concerts.  I told her it was something of a hobby.  I did this because Assistant-sensei is so young, I figured she might understand.  In the end, she confessed to me something she’s never confessed to anyone in the office before: that she likes Visual-Kei.  A lot.  And used to go to a lot of concerts.  Her favorite acts are Gackt and Vidoll, lol.  In fact, she drove me to a staff party one time and played Gackt the whole way, lol.  So I cleared it with her a long time ago that, on a very rare occasion, I might not make it to that class.  And she said that was totally fine.
So a few days before Friday, I told Assistant-sensei I couldn’t make it to the class, and she said it was no problem.  I double-checked this with her many times.  However, that Friday, it turned out our school was on a “shortened” schedule.  And then it dawned on me that, with the times pushed back the way they were, I could’ve made it to that class and then gone to Tokyo and probably been okay.  Maybe would’ve been late for doors, but still would’ve been on time.  So I wound up feeling bad the entire day, and apologized to Assistant-sensei over and over, although she seemed confused as to why I was apologizing.  Just when I thought maybe I could get over the guilt, another English teacher that I’ve never gotten along with came up to me for the first time ever with a request.  He wanted help with something after school.

FUUUUUUUUUUUU.

I had to turn him down, which totally sucked, because that could’ve been a chance to improve our work relationship.  Later, as I was leaving school three hours early, I went up to him and apologized a whole bunch.  He was so surprised, he actually responded in a friendly manner and laughed with me for once.  The power of saying sorry!


DAY 4: PEEP SHOW


I took the train and dropped myself off in Asakusa.  Not the most direct path I could’ve taken to Ebisu, but I was really early.  I chilled in a Starbucks for awhile.

Oh, story!  So while I was in the Starbucks, there was a group of foreigners from various countries beside me.  There seemed to be a few from Germany, a few from Spain, and a few from America.  Anyways, one of the Germans asked the group, “does anyone know which European country has the most prostitutes?”  To which an American girl responded, “Mexico?”

Face, meet Palm.  Pardon me while I die of shame.

Anyways, after chilling in Starbucks a bit, I finally hopped on the Ginza to Shibuya, then took the Yamanote to Ebisu.  For those who don’t know, Ebisu is just one stop away from Shibuya, so it’s very convenient.  Once I got there, I wasn’t entirely sure how to get to LIQUID ROOM (which is embarrassing, because I’ve been there before for D, but that was a couple years ago).  But I saw some girls with MERRY towels and t-shirts, so I followed them while double-checking landmarks in order to text MelJay and help her find the venue.  She wasn’t able to get out of work as early as me and her bus was stuck in traffic, so she was worried about being late.

But then, by the time I got to the venue, I couldn’t at all remember any landmarks, or how I arrived, and I wound up sending MelJay a very vague text, which I just piled onto the rest of the day’s guilt.  Anyways, the venue was calling numbers already, so I ran into the locker section and attempted to stuff my things in there (I had too much crap with me).  Once everything was in the locker, I realized I didn’t have enough 100 yen coins to pay for it!

FUUUUUUUUUUU.

I asked the girl next to me what to do, and she said there was a café on that floor where I could exchange money.  There were barely any lockers left and I didn’t want to risk taking my stuff out and not having one, so I left my shit unattended in the locker (not my purse, though!) and ran to the café.  Thankfully, the guy was really nice and changed one of my 500 yen coins for five 100 yen coins.  Then I ran back and found my stuff was still sitting in the locker, untouched.  Only in Japan, lol.  Then I took my ticket, a 500 yen coin for drink charge, my locker key, and my dangly earrings, and stuck them in a Ziploc bag, which I then put in my combat boot.  Then I texted MelJay saying the phone was going bye-bye, and closed the locker.  I was about to leave the locker room, when I decided to double-check and ask a girl next to me if the drink charge was 500 yen.  She decided this meant it was time to strike up a conversation, lol.  She started asking if it was my first time seeing MERRY, first time to LIQUID ROOM, who my favorite member of MERRY is…  Being all frazzled as I was, I must’ve had “n00b foreigner” written all over my face, lol.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her I’ve been to, like, 60 shows in Japan or something, several of them being MERRY, lol. 
Once my number got called, I went downstairs and tried to get as close to the stage as possible.  But I noticed I was behind the second barrier, so I moved as far to the right as I could, to allow myself to slip through the side if there was a big-enough push later.  Then I waited around for MelJay, who was nowhere in sight. 

About ten minutes before the show was about to start, there was an announcement about rules (no cameras, no smoking, etc etc.) and, although we couldn’t see him, it was very clearly Nero making the announcement, lol.  No idea if he did that at the previous nights, but it was pretty amusing, and the audience laughed and cheered as he spoke.  Also, they were playing really random selections of MERRY songs while we waited and, when they played Fukinkou Kinema, the whole audience started clapping and cheering during the part of the song where that actually happens, which was really funny.

Anyways, MelJay wound up not showing up until 5 minutes before the show started.  When I asked if it was my fault due to my vague directions, she said yes.  Oopsie.  Weeeeeell the point is, we made it and didn’t miss any of the show, lol.

The show itself began with a large screen across the stage suddenly showing footage of a loud, ticking clock, and then it began flashing nostalgic images of MERRY over the years.  As expected, the audience pushed up like crazy, and MelJay and I slipped in front of the barrier, though we didn’t go super close.

The screen with the images on it was actually just a scrim, I think, and they dropped it to reveal a red curtain pulled across the stage behind it.  Then, suddenly, the curtain parted slightly in the middle, and a man in a masquerade-style cat mask poked his head through the curtain.  It was Gara, lol.  He crept through the curtain and prowled around the front of the stage like a sneaky cat, waving his checkered pimp stick at everyone while we cheered.  Oh Gara, you so silly.  Then he disappeared back behind the curtain, which they parted to reveal the full stage.  The band members came on one by one to the intro music to PEEP SHOW.  Nero was first, with his mouth wide open and his fist raised.  Then Ken’ichi, Tetsu, and Yuu all showed up, looking wonderful.  Tetsu was rocking some cornrows, and I noticed he and Yuu were wearing a bit of make-up.  Probably since this was supposed to be a nostalgic performance.  Gara showed up last.  The cat mask was gone, and he was now wearing a fedora.  Lookin’ classy, boy!  Time for PEEP SHOW!
First thing’s first, the Day 4 setlist (got these from someone named Jigsaw9 on Monochrome Heaven, by the way):

PEEP SHOW
Kyousou Carnival
Sentimental New Pop
Kimatteru Taiyou
-PEEP♂HOLE-
BLUESCAT
Retro Future
FREAKS A GO GO
-PEEP♀HOLE-
Kousou Biru no Ue de Last Dance
Sayounara Ame
Mado Kara Nigeta Love Song
Ringo to Uso
nameless night ~Namonaki Yoru~
Slow→Dive
PLTC
Mousou rendez-vous

Encore 1:
Japanese Modernist
finale
Yakou
Fukinkou Kinema
Zetsubou
Shoudoku

Encore 2:
Calling

As you can see, the first hour was dedicated solely to PEEP SHOW, with things getting a little more random after that.  Since I’m trying to cram three whole shows into one post, I’ll just stick to concert highlights, rather than attempt to talk about every little thing that happened.

Well, for starters, let’s talk audience.  The crowd is gonna be different depending on where you’re standing, but MelJay and I found that we were standing in a damn amusing section.  Really hyperactive fans were around us, and all of them were far more interested in dancing in place than doing furi.  There was one guy who I kept referring to as The Dancer (except I always said it in Justin Timberlake’s voice, from the Single Ladies SNL skit).  This guy was awesome.  He danced around to every single song with every little sound having its own movement.  At times it looked like he was going to break down into full-blown tap dancing, lol.  There was one girl in front of us who basically jumped up and down continuously for the whole two hours.  Goddamn.  But hyperactive fans make me want to be hyperactive, so it made it a lot of fun.  Every time I looked at The Dancer it made me smile and get even more into it.

However, the band itself was a little mopey that day, I think.  They seemed tired, even though they had a break the day before (the week was divided with three nights of concerts, one day off, and then three more concerts).  Maybe the break made them more tired than just going all the way would’ve, lol.  Well, Nero was as wild as usual and turned drumming into full-body interpretive dance, and Gara seemed on top of his game for the most part, but the string section was pretty dead (for the record, it was only the PEEP SHOW night that the band seemed tired, so it definitely goes up from here!).  Ken and Tetsu and Yuu hardly moved the entire show, and hardly head banged at all, which was kinda sad, and they made a lot of mistakes (particularly Yuu and Tetsu).  And although Gara’s energy level seemed fine, his head was all over the place, causing him to make a lot of mistakes himself.  In fact, in one song he actually seemed to forget the words for a moment, and there was a very awkward pause, followed by Gara attempting to catch up with a very angry look on his face.  I know I’ve mentioned this in other MERRY posts I’ve made but, when things don’t go perfectly, Gara gets pissy, so he had a few temper tantrums during the show.  One of them I didn’t even understand.  He was up on his desk doin’ his thing when he suddenly looked all pissed off and made an angry, “fuck this” gesture with his arm and jumped down and paced around a bit.  I think the band was just having a rough night for some reason, but I totally don’t blame them.  A full week of concerts is hard!  I’d be tired and scrambled too!

But the band’s mood didn’t affect the show’s entertainment level!  We still had a great time!  Kind of hard not to have a good time when you get to rock out to the entire PEEP SHOW album!

Highlights, highlights...

Oh, Gara decided to do calligraphy again, for old time's sake.  He wrote out a thank you message on paper and the audience collectively read the words aloud for him.  Then he took a swig of ink and spat it all over himself.  Gross, lol.  But at least he got to spend the rest of the show looking like a psychopath.

Shit got real during encore.  We had two different girls repeatedly crowd-surfing across the audience.  MERRY shows are the only Japanese shows I've ever been to where there's audience crowd-surfing, and it always surprises me because I'm pretty sure crowd-surfing is illegal in this country (even though indies musicians get away with stage diving all the time).  It just made me laugh because the girls kinda rolled over the audience, rather than surfed, lol.  Fukinkou Kinema got pretty nuts too.  MelJay and I were in an interesting zone of the crowd where we weren't so squished that it was a pit, but we were still in front of second barrier, so we had a lot of crazies around us.  Everyone in our area started hopping around in circles flailing their arms and knocking into each other like pinballs for the entire song.  It was like the world's happiest mosh pit.  People were getting nearly knocked off their feet by moshers smiling with love and joy.  Silly MERRY fans, lol.  The Dancer was really goin' at it.  During Zetsubou, the crowd-surfing got pretty crazy.  Those girls had an amazing ability to surf the crowd and then run to the back of the venue within ten seconds and then do it all over again.

Shit really hit the fan during Shoudoku, though.  Gara came on stage with this thing that looked like a cross between a fire extinguisher hose and a rifle.  He could use it to shoot massive jets of smoke at the audience (I believe what came out of the machine was dry ice, and my frozen hand at the Underworld concert a couple days later confirms that for me, lol).  Anyways, Gara got really crazy with the dry ice machine.  He was blasting the crowd, blasting the ceiling, blasting every inch of air in front of him.  Hell, if I had a dry ice machine, I'd probably go crazy with it too, lol.  Meanwhile, the back of the pit was having a damn good time.  Happy moshing turned into angry moshing, with rows upon rows of the audience running into the pit and body-slamming backwards into it indies-style, except much more violent (enough that some people did get knocked down, or got a face full of the people in front of them).  What I found really funny was that the people around me who didn't want to jump in (including The Dancer), took to shoving the jumpers as hard as humanly possible.  If anyone tried to back out of the pit, the people behind them would slam them with their hands right back into the pile.  It was pretty funny.

Shoudoku was the end of the first encore, and Gara was still having fun with the dry ice machine and blasting it everywhere even after the song ended.  At one point, he handed it to a staff guy in front of the barrier, and the staff guy shot Gara with it, lol.  After Gara left, Nero stole the machine and asked Tetsu if he could shoot it at him.  Tetsu reluctantly agreed, and then got a face full of dry ice.  Damn that's gotta hurt!  You can get frostbite from that stuff!  It looked funny from where I was, though, because all I could see was Tetsu's hair blasting back off his face, and then his miserable face as he turned away with a grimace.  After Tetsu left the stage, I guess Nero got curious and then blasted himself in the face with the machine, lol.  WTF.

MERRY came back for one last encore, which was Calling, and then rather awkwardly left.  They're good at awkward encores.  They just sorta walked off, and then the venue said the show was over.  Huh.  Okay.

Yay!

So MelJay and I left, and then checked out the merch booth for the next day, and used our drink tickets.
After we left the venue, MelJay and I were hungry but didn’t know what was in Ebisu.  In the end, we just went back to Shibuya and got some McDonald’s.  The new salt and lemon chicken sandwich is so good!  Then we returned to our hostel and sat around with the guests and staff watching extremely trashy late night Japanese television.  Thanks to a very bizarre comedy skit about taking a shit, every time someone yells, “PUNCH GONE!” I now laugh so hard I cry uncontrollably, hahaha.

DAY 5: M.E.R.R.Y.


MelJay and I have radically different opinions on MERRY’s M.E.R.R.Y. album.  To put it simply, I like it, she hates it.  I think I’m in the minority though, aren’t I?  Seems like most people I talk to don’t like M.E.R.R.Y. very much.  To be honest, I couldn’t tell you what it is I like about it.  Some people say the CD just isn’t very MERRY-like, but I guess that doesn’t really bother me so long as I enjoy it.  I’ll admit the CD is “slower” and more “mellow” than previous albums, but I think I just really like the whimsical feeling of it.  Well, the point is, one of us woke up more excited for the show than the other, lol.

MelJay had some business to attend to in Shibuya, so that’s where we spent the day before the show.  We decided to go to Shakey’s pizza buffet for lunch, and gorged on pizza for two hours.  Gotta carbo-load for the show!  Shakey’s is one of the only places I know of where you can get authentic pepperoni in Japan, and I really like the Japanese-style pizzas like tuna and onion pizza.  Good stuff!  After that, MelJay had to go to the Apple Store for a computer problem, then we went to H&M to buy winter coats, and then we stopped off at Don Quijote and bought character pajamas (you know, the ones that are basically just an animal Halloween costume, but Japan pretends they're pajamas).  SHUT UP.  You can’t live in Japan as long as I have and not eventually wind up with a pair of kigurumi.  MelJay bought a Gloomy Bear pair and I bought Nyampire.  I actually really wanted the bat one, but I didn’t see it.  Maybe some other time.  However, unlike a lot of indies girls, I don’t plan on wearing my kigurumi to a show, lol.

Aaaaaaaaanyways, we eventually went back to Ebisu, only to discover all the lockers at the station were taken.

FUUUUUUUUUUUU.

A station attendant told us there were more at the other exit, so we had to haul our luggage all the way to the other side of the station.  Thankfully, we did find some lockers, and then I repeated the process of separating a few items to put in my boot.  However, I also brought the ticket for PEEP SHOW as well as the Underworld ticket.  I’ll explain why later.

For this show, instead of me hovering kinda far back waiting for MelJay, we were able to get in and plow right up front.  We were still behind second barrier, but a lot of people were just force-squeezing their way through the side into the pit, so we wound up doing that eventually too.  We decided we wanted to finally get in on the action.  By the time the push-up happened, it was quite the tight fit, and we were pretty close to the front (due to us slipping through in front of the barrier at every show, we were in front of Yuu every night).

Here's our setlist:

M.E.R.R.Y.MARCH ~denwenkaukiyaukumikiyoku~
Utagoe Kissa "Modern"
Blind Romance
Saihate no Parade
Hirahira Tonderu
Seinen Himitsu Club
Coq d'or Mama
Hi no de Chou, Machikado Tsunderera
LuLuLu LaLaLa
Last Snow
sweet powder
Poetry
Charlie
Oriental BL Circus

Encore 1:
choral
finale
Yakou
Fukinkou Kinema
Hameln
Zetsubou

Encore 2:
Komorebi ga Boku wo Sagashiteru...

The show started the same way as the PEEP SHOW night, with Nero giving an announcement before the show, a ticking clock on the scrim with nostalgic pictures, and then the scrim falling down to reveal a red curtain.  In fact, when the curtain parted, we could see that the whole back of the stage was also draped in a red curtain, as were the sides of the stage, making the whole thing look like an old theater set.  When the band came on stage, they looked even snazzier than the night before.  Tetsu's cornrows were gone, and the whole band was dressed in "classy" clothes, like suit jackets.  Yuu had this amazing sparkly scarf that actually made me turn to MelJay and squeal, "I want that scarf!"  Gara was wearing a fedora and a black yukata-like thing, lined with red sparkles.  Pimpin', lol.

In general, the mood of the band was waaaaay up compared to the PEEP SHOW concert.  Maybe they finally got some sleep, lol.  Gara was just as energetic, but he wasn't grumpy, and the string section was actually active, with Yuu and Tetsu and Ken'ichi running around the stage and headbanging and jumping up on equipment.  It was a very different atmosphere, but one I was very happy about.

Highlights:

During one song, the venue turned off the lights and lowered an extremely bright light bulb from the ceiling on a cord.  I'm sorry I don't remember which song, but it was a slower one.  I thiiiiink it was during Blind Romance.  Gara used the light bulb like a fake microphone, and also batted it back and forth across the stage and watched it like it was a magical fairy flying around in the darkness, lol. This all looked very pretty, except swinging pendulums make me nauseous (had the same problem during The GazettE's D.L.N. performance at The Budoukan), so that sucked, lol.  But it was a cool effect.
Also, I'm lame and almost busted a gut with happiness that I got to hear Hirahira Tonderu live for the first time.  I don't know how many people really consider Hirahira Tonderu a song worth getting excited about, but for some reason I love that song and I was super excited when I realized they might play it.  It was just as beautiful and awesome as I expected, and I found myself quietly singing along the whole time, lol.  If anyone reading this has never had the pleasure of watching the massive acid trip the band calls a music video for Hirahira Tonderu, put down the drugs and check this video out.  It's awesome.  Couldn't get the fucking embed to work no matter what I did, so here's a link:

This shit is trippin' BALLS, man...

Yeeeeeah.  Speaking of songs I've never seen live before that were exciting, they played Charlie!  OMG!  When I realized what it was, I turned to MelJay and shouted, "well I'll be damned!"  The crowd squished up like crazy and everyone jumped up and down and threw their fists.  Every song MERRY played, the crowd got tighter and tighter.  Aaaaand we had a new crowd surfer.  We had a girl crowd surfer, but our repeat offender at the M.E.R.R.Y. show was a full-grown boy.  Wearing very big sneakers.  In fact, a couple times he actually used me as the ladder to get up on top of the crowd.  This caused a lot of pain in my neck and shoulder as he scrambled up my body like a koala up a eucalyptus tree.  He also managed to kick me in the head pretty much every time he went by, and one of those times he actually kicked me so hard, he somehow managed to kick two of my earrings out.  Which is amazing, because they were studs with backs.  Damn.

Let's see, what else happened?  It was an awesome show, but perhaps not as "eventful" as the PEEP SHOW concert.  It was sort of a trade-off since the band was in such a great mood this time. 

During encore, I got to experience things like Fukinkou Kinema in the pit section.  And you know what, people still tried to dance.  Meanwhile, Gara was standing up on his school desk wiggling his hips to the music and waving around his pimp stick.

Not much else to report on for M.E.R.R.Y. other than the fact that it was just as much fun as PEEP SHOW and that it was a great time.  And it was a lot of fun being in the pit, although that pit was pretty intense.  In fact, a foreign girl a few rows ahead of me was completely unconscious with her head on the shoulders of the people in front of her for the final encore song, and no one seemed to notice.  I was watching her worriedly for the whole five minutes, waiting for her to stir, but she never did, and I couldn't reach far enough to tap her.  When the encore ended and the pit relaxed, she collapsed to the floor and everyone finally realized what happened.  MelJay was able to get there fast enough to help her up.  She did come around, and said she was okay when I asked, and I saw her at the show the next day, so I guess she was alright.  Sucks to pass out at a show, though.

After the show, I finally decided to buy some merch.  I bought the key holder set that I was eying at the MERRY x -karasu- show, and I also bought their wrist band because it's super shiny and reflects like crazy when you throw your fist in the pit.

MelJay and I also gathered up our three tickets for the three nights and went up to a special counter.  Time for an amusing story!

So MelJay read online somewhere that if you have tickets for three or more nights of the anniversary special, you can get a special gift.  We had no idea what the gift was, but we brought our tickets up to the special counter anyways.  We could see people handing over their tickets and getting some kind of black card back, and there was a sign above the booth that said what the card was, but it was a kanji I'd never seen before.  All I could make out was that it was a "something card."  So MelJay and I handed over our tickets, and the staff guy punched a hole through them and handed us our "something card."  Then we walked away and examined them, but found that the stuff written on the card wasn't any more helpful.  It just said to hold onto the card at all costs.  We debated asking someone what the card was, and I suggested we ask the staff.  MelJay didn't seem happy with the idea, so we just hovered around awkwardly staring at the card.  But I was frustrated because I didn't know if we had to do something with the card now, or soon, or what.  Finally, I said, "I'm gonna ask them."  MelJay just gave me a, "if you wanna make a fool out of yourself, go for it"-look.

So I did.

I went up to the guy who gave us the card (he wasn't doing anything at the moment) and held it up.  It went something like this:

Me: Sorry to bother you, but... what is this card?

Staff guy: [gets an absolutely dumbfounded look on his face, waves hand in front of nose (this is the Japanese hand gesture for "no")]

Me: [cocks head] Um... what do we do with it?

Staff guy: [hesitates] It's a "nazo."

Me: [realizes "nazo" is the kanji I didn't recognize on the card].  What's a "nazo"?

Staff guy: [turns slowly to the staff guy next to him with a desperate look on his face]

Other staff guy: [smirks, gives horribly exaggerated shrug] I dunno.

Me: O... kay... well, thank you. [runs away]

Once we were out of ear shot, I burst into embarrassed laughter and told MelJay what happened.  She couldn't believe I was such an idiot that I asked them.  She was like, "obviously, it's a secret."  I was like, "yeah, I guess so... though they really didn't have to be so condescending about it."  Every time I pictured the look on the staff guy's face, I laughed all over again.  Even sitting at Saizeriya eating dinner, I kept giggling about the stupid conversation.

But wait, there's more to the story!  That night, MelJay and I went on the internet and looked up what a "nazo" is.

It means riddle or puzzle.

FUCK.

The card literally said, "this is a riddle card."  And, thanks to Japanese grammar, when I asked what a "nazo" was, it probably sounded like I was literally asking them what the riddle was.  Which was why the other guy shrugged all secretively and said, "I dunno."  MelJay burst out laughing and was like, "omigawd, Kita, you are such an idiot!  I can't believe you asked them!"  Then we went on MERRY's official site to see if there was more info.  The site explained that the card was a mystery, so just hold onto it.  And then, under the explanation, it said, "you can't ask the staff what the card is, so please don't."

OH FUCK I'M SUCH AN IDIOT, HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Yeah, so... MelJay still isn't letting me live this one down.  In fact, I don't think she will ever let me live this down.  I'm officially branded as a moron for the rest of my life.  Not that I wasn't already, but this one was pretty stupid.  I made a total ass out of myself in front of the staff.  I can only hope they just assumed I was a dumb foreigner, but I think what made them so baffled was that I obviously spoke Japanese, and could read enough to figure out how to get the card, yet I was clearly not understanding something.  So I looked even dumber than I would have if I'd just been a "stupid foreigner."  Oh well, lol. 

Let's move on!

DAY 6: UNDERWORLD


Third and final night, time for Underworld!  I happen to love the Underworld CD, and it was going to be really nostalgic for me since I saw a bunch of shows on the Underworld tour two years ago.  So I was pretty excited.  

MelJay and I had a ridiculous amount of luggage on us by Sunday and there was a definite fear of no lockers at the station (the venue lockers were too small for us).  We decided to be crafty and go to Ebisu first thing around noon and get a locker.  We got some of the last couple lockers at the right exit and stuffed all our stuff in it, except our purses.  Then we hopped back on the train and went to Shinjuku, where we had lunch at Ducky Duck's and went shopping for a pair of gloves we liked at O1O1 One.  Lucky for me, since I had a pretty crazy journey to get back to Gunma, the show started an hour earlier than all the others.  I can only assume this is because of travel times for people.  There were plenty of MERRY fans wandering around Ebisu with huge suitcases, and those people probably came all the way from places like Chiba and Osaka in order to see these 10th anniversary shows.  So I probably wasn't the only one who was grateful for the show being pushed forward an hour.

Anyways, we returned to Ebisu later and opened our lockers, then put more money in them to reuse them.  Which made a bunch of very hopeful and desperate-looking MERRY fans very sad.  Sorry, MERRY fans :-(  Then we went off to the venue.

Despite having the worst ticket numbers we'd had so far, MelJay and I managed to squeeze up really close in the pit.  Way closer than the previous nights.  Like the other nights, Nero gave the pre-show announcement, except he kinda screwed up part of it, paused, and went "chikushou!" really loudly into the microphone.  "Chikushou" is one of the closest words Japanese has to a swear, basically meaning, "shit!"  The audience cracked up and started applauding.  The wait in the pit was long and boring, so I managed to get Melissa to play shiri-tori with me, where you say a word, and the other person has to say a word starting with the last word of the previous word.  For example: Egg to Grass.  Grass to Sandwich.  Sandwich to Herpes.  Etc.  MelJay thought the idea was stupid, but we actually managed to make a half hour pass like a breeze, and we laughed our way through the game.  So there y'all go, now you have a game to play when you're waiting before a concert.

Soon enough, the concert began with the ticking clock and the pictures, blah blah blah.  Then the scrim dropped, and this time there was no red curtain on the stage at all.  Just a raw, metal backdrop and the opening music to Underworld.  Here's our setlist:

GI・GO
Friction ×××× 
under-world 
Kigeki no Taboo
montage
Piranha
Gesshoku 
Akai Kutsu
Katamichi Kippu
Kanaria
Enzetsu ~Surrealism~ 
[human farm] 
stupid×cupid 
Midnight Shangrila
Tozasareta Rakuen
Gekisei

Encore 1:
Fuyu no Castanet

Encore 2:
-choral-
finale
Yakou
Fukinkou Kinema
Zetsubou
Identity 

Encore 3:
Shoudoku

Phew, I've written a lot.  Okay, let's do this!

Anyways, the audience was a bit, um... high-strung for this show.  Many of them had gone to all six nights, so a lot of them were kinda flipping.  When the big push-up happened, I went running into the pit like everyone else, but this one girl was so determined to get in there that she was literally throwing people out of her way.  She shoved me so hard I stumbled into a bunch of people and stepped on some feet, and those people misinterpreted that to mean I was the crazy one who knocked people over to get in, even though it was the other girl who pushed me.  One MERRY fan got so mad at me she ran up to me and angrily shoved me from behind for revenge.  What the fuck, you dumb bitch?!!  I didn't do it!  And even if I did, who are you to start pushing people?!  This is a fucking pit, deal with it!  Her equally immature friend then had the nerve to run up to me and shove me and yell something at me a minute later, as if to seal in the point.  I decided to be the adult and ignore them, but it really pissed me off.  I hate being wrongly accused, especially of something so childish and stupid.  Meanwhile, the real batshit crazy girl was totally getting away with it a few rows ahead of me.

Well, whatever.  The band members came on stage, and it was a flood of nostalgia for me, because they kinda looked the way they did during the Underworld tour.  Ken'ichi was wearing sunglasses on stage, and Yuu was wearing these cool jeans with tears in them that were filled with leather.  Gara had his hair pulled up into a fohawk that kinda looked like the top of a pineapple, just like the hair he had during Underworld.  Yaaaaay!

Onto highlights.

Gesshoku was hawt.  But it's always hawt.  I was just happy to hear it again.  And I think it was during Akai Kutsu (I could be way wrong, sorry) that they brought down the light bulb from the ceiling and let Gara play with it again.  At one point he kinda stopped paying attention to it, though, and it swung back and hit him in the face, lol.  It didn't hit him hard, but I think it surprised him, and I think the light bulb was hot, cuz Gara jumped pretty badly, lol.

Well, for Enzetsu ~Surrealism~, just as I'd hoped before the show, Gara busted out the creepy bunny head and did his crazy Surrealism dance.  And you know what?  I've seen him dance around with the bunny head several times during the Underworld tour, but this was undoubtedly the most spirited, silly bunny-head dance I've seen him do.  His arms were flailing around like crazy, lol.  If you haven't had the joy of seeing Gara's bunny-head dance, here's a (poor quality) video of it:


I was really happy to see that dance again, and I knew MelJay had high hopes for seeing it too.

Also, it was sooooo exciting that they played stupidxcupid!  And, to my surprise, a lot of girls busted out a pair of panties for this one.  The number of people who did it on the Underworld tour was always dwindling, and I thought by now no one would bother, but we actually had a pretty good number of girls who whipped out fancy panties and spun them above their heads for the song.  Made my night, lol.

For the most part, the fans were awesome, but I must say, it was more than just the high-strung bitches at the beginning causing problems.  MelJay had a persistent fan who kept putting her arm in front of her face.  Bitchy, yeah, but the problem was that she kept putting her arm across MelJay's neck and effectively strangling her.  No matter how many times MelJay told her to stop because she was getting suffocated, the girl persisted.  I even glanced at her at one point, only to have the fan stare defiantly back at me.  Uuuum... what point are you trying to prove by strangling another fan at a show?  Are we comparing fan dick sizes here?  So yeah, the audience was definitely getting a little mental for the last show.  But I won't let a few bitches ruin my impression of the MERRY fans.  Most of them are nice.

They played Fuyu no Castanet as an encore song.  I've never liked that song (Christmas songs are eew), but it was pretty cute the way they did it.  Basically, it started "snowing" on stage.  Cute little flakes of something light and fluffy drifted down onto the stage for the whole performance.  Something I found amusing was that, for some reason, this stuff only seemed to stick to Yuu's hair (and a little bit of Gara's).  So the others all looked fine, but Yuu's hair was being massacred by fluffy dandruff, lol.  Upon closer inspection, I suspected the white stuff was actually soap, and the eventual stinging in my eyes led me to believe that was probably the case.  So imagine my disgust when Nero came out from behind the drum set, opened his mouth wide, and ate a bunch of it, lol.  Eeeeew.

As usual, things got whacky during encore.  The pit was getting close to Dir en grey pit levels of intensity.  We were squeezed so tight it was impossible to breathe, and everyone was swaying and stumbling and pushing all over the place.  At one point, we squeezed up suddenly and a girl in the row in front of me simply collapsed.  No one made a move to help her (MERRY fans, I'm starting to wonder about you guys...), so I grabbed her and hauled her up, and she came around after a moment, but that's how tight it got in there.

Anyways, encore was a lot of fun, and Gara was even interacting with the crowd and grabbing people's hands and leaning over the audience and letting them grab at him.  Tetsu kept jumping up onto the equipment and giving the crowd that wonderfully moody, dark, brooding glare he's so good at.  Even Yuu was climbing up on the equipment a lot in order to rock out.

During Shoudoku, Gara brought out the dry ice machine again.  Yaaaay!  He was blasting it all over the place, until the whole venue seemed to fill with smoke.  I made the mistake of reaching my hand right up into it at one point, and holy balls was it cold.  So imagine Yuu's surprise when he was up on a speaker and Gara shot him with the machine from behind without warning.  Yuu was so shocked he dropped down into a crouch and then whipped his head over his shoulder like O___O  Gara just laughed at him, lol.  Gara got pretty crazy at the end.  At one point, he unzipped his pants, took the cap off his water bottle, then stuck the whole thing in his crotch and let all the water pour over his nether-regions.  Then he started pelvic thrusting the crotch-water at the audience or getting his hands in it and flicking it at everyone.  When the water was gone, he took the bottle out of his pants and instead looped his microphone cord over the top of his belt and pulled the microphone out through the opening in his pant's zipper.  Then wiggled his hips around and let his naughty microphone flap in the breeze.  As the show wound down, Gara climbed up onto the school desk, did a headstand, and clapped with his feet.  Lol.

Nero came out from behind his drum set and wandered around the stage.  One of the drumsticks he threw landed near me and a guy and a girl started fighting over it.  But then they decided to settle things Japanese style: rock, paper, scissors.  She won, and there was no dispute, lol.  Nero grabbed hands with Yuu and tried to convince his band mates to do a finale jump with him.  Tetsu looked unsure, and Gara was pretty much like, "fuck that, that's stupid" and they abandoned the idea, lol.  Then the band waved at us and thanked us, and Gara suddenly took hold of the microphone stand and began talking.  Now, I know he does talk these days, but he still doesn't do it that often, and he definitely refrained from speaking at the other two shows I went to.  It sounded weird to hear his voice.  It sounds more boyish than you'd expect.  Anyways, he looked embarrassed, but he gave us a long thank you and said how much he appreciated us and stuff like that.  Very cute.  A girl near me actually started crying.

And that pretty much ended the show!  Phew!  It was a rather tiring weekend (and typing all this up was rather tiring too), but it was definitely fun!  Totally worth it!  I had a great time and got to hear a lot of songs I wouldn't normally get to hear!  Good stuff!

Anyways, I was happy to see that the show was over before 8:15, meaning I'd have less of a horribly rushed journey home.  Still, it was too late for me to go home by my normal methods, so I had to ditch MelJay at Ebisu Station and do a lot of crazy transfers and ultimately take a short taxi ride to get home.  But I was home by midnight and able to shower and get some sleep before work, so no complaints!

And now, if my preorder actually worked, I should be going to an indies show on Saturday.  Bands of interest: DIAURA (they're hosting), The Gallo, DEZERT, and THE SOUND BEE HD.  Speaking of which, I heard JoJo, the vocalist of The Gallo, was at the Underworld show!  Yaaaaaaay!

3 comments:

  1. Yus! Awesome post! I think you really did the shows justice. For once I don't really have anything to add :-) And you fessed up about the Nazo XD Bahahaha, I still can't believe that happened. Thank you for updating!!!

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  2. Dry-ice rifle? Ink spitting? Sounds like and awesome time :D

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  3. It was pretty damn awesome ^____^

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