Thursday, January 12, 2012

D Tour 2011 Legend of Heiron (Tour Final)

This show will get me, uh... halfway caught up with shows, lol. Just two more after this, although one of them is massive and will be time-consuming to write. This also marks the only major concert I've seen in Japan this year other than MERRY, which is for no reason other than the fact that major concerts never seem to fall on a goddamn weekend. In fact, neither did this one, but I happened to be on vacation, so there ya go.

So today's band is D, who have temporarily decided they're Chinese:


I've seen D several times in the past, but it's been a damn long time. I haven't seen them since the 7th Rose tour, and that was 1 ½ albums ago. To be honest, I was really frustrated that I never got to see D during the Vampire Saga tour, but what can ya do. Major bands are very elusive.  Although, this show only further emphasized my frustration about missing out on Vampire Saga.

MelJay and I showed up an hour early for merch, because I have somehow lost my D flags. How the hell did I manage that?! I mean, it's alright, I guess, cuz I never decorated the flag case or anything like a lot of people do, and I still had my 7th Rose tour final fan. But why could I find the fan and not the flags?! Maybe I left them in America by mistake. But I also wanted to see what other merch was available, and MelJay was thinking of getting some flags too (I dunno why, though. I don't think she really likes D, and she was just being a good sport, lol). Even though I swear the sign said merch would start being sold at 4:30, it was nearly 5:00 before they actually started letting the line move. Which kinda sucked, because I wanted to get a locker, and go get something to eat before the show. But I always enjoy looking at the fashion of the D fans. So many of them are wearing awesome boots and dresses (I'm a sucker for anything from Black Peace Now and h.Naoto), and the cosplayers are always some of the most impressive I've seen. We already had a few people dressed in Asagi's Chinese outfit, and they looked pretty amazing. But I think I spent much more time wanting to buy the clothes off the people waiting around the merch line than I did actually wanting to buy any merch, lol.

Once we got up there, I took a look around, and I did see some nice stuff, but nothing was jumping out at me. The new fan is pretty (it's black with a Chinese dragon embroidered across it), but it's embroidered in gold, and I don't like gold. My red, lacy 7th Rose fan is awesome and doesn't need replacing any time soon. But I definitely picked up some new flags and a new case. Except I forgot to bring anything to hang the case off of, and I wound up shoving it awkwardly in my purse. Then MelJay and I used a locker and ran off to a Freshness Burger nearby and got something to drink.  And wolfed down some onion rings. Oh, and used the bathroom. Most important.

Actually, it was kinda funny... while sitting in the Freshness Burger (for a whopping ten minutes or so), there was a couple sitting near us. The girl noticed my flag case sticking awkwardly out of my purse, and she was like, “oh wow, D, I haven't seen them in so long...” And her boyfriend was like, “yeah, at least a couple years.” And then the girl was like, “we should see them again...” So... I think I accidentally just sold a couple future D tickets, lol.

Anyways, MelJay and I returned to the venue and waited around for our abysmal ticket numbers to get called. I was lucky number 777, which is only lucky in Las Vegas, and not so lucky at a D show with a thousand people (especially when you're stuck standing outside without your coat). Once we made it in, we were able to slip easily through the side door to get a spot fairly close up. The only problem being that we were shoved as far to the left as possible. I was pretty sure I would have to just pretend Ruiza was there, but never actually get a good look at him.

The backdrop of the show was really nice. The whole background was covered in long tapestries, each with a Chinese dragon designed on it. Stage lights colored the backdrop red and made the dragons kinda look like they were carved there. More lights were soon added that moved in a rippling fashion and made the background look like it was liquid. It was pretty cool.

Oh, and Awoi repeatedly hinted that they were going to be at the show, so I kept looking up at the balcony to see if I could see them.  Honestly, there were a lot of band-type people up there, so it was hard to tell, but... it sounds like Awoi was there, lol.

The show started on time, which was nice. The few times I've seen D in the past, they have a tendency to be late (one time, I think they were almost twenty-five minutes late). So being on time was definitely good. They came on stage to some Chinese-ish sounding music, which obviously fits the current theme. Their mini-album Huang Di (which is apparently pronounced “fahn di”, which sounds to me like a pun on “fan” (us) and “D” (the band), but who knows) was centered on a Chinese-style theme. I was apprehensive about this show, however, because the Huang Di album was just “okay” in my opinion, and I didn't want the Chinese theme to dominate the entire show. D have always been a bunch of chameleons when it comes to theme and image, but an entire show of Huang Di would probably start feeling like something other than D. Whatever D is. I'm not really sure.

Let's get out the setlist, shall we?  And please, please forgive any Romanization errors I make.  I took this from a Japanese blog, and some of the names are impossible without looking up, so I'm cross-checking some of this with D's official site.  And a few of these.............. I just gave up and left in kanji................. =___=

Heiron ~Yami ni Umareta Mukui~
Crimson Fish
Meteo ~Mubi no Kiza~

-MC-

Night-Ship "D"
Makutsuenshuuki
Honoo no Kairo
妖奇譚
花惑

-Drum solo-

Ryuugan no Shizuku
義侠双伝

-MC-

Barairo no Hibi
Sansuishi
7th Rose
Guardian
Koutei ~Yami ni Umareta Mukui~

Encore 1:

Grand Master
Dangan
Kaze ga Mekuru Peeji

Encore 2:

Toki no Koe
EDEN

Encore 3:

Dearest you

So you may notice a few interesting things about this setlist. For one thing, unless I'm mistaken (which is always possible) not a single song from Vampire Saga appears. Which is highly unusual, since it was their last full-length album. Three songs from 7th Rose do appear, however. Their latest single, ~L’Oiseau bleu~, doesn't show up either. Also, several of their classics, like Yami Yori Blah Blah Blah, and Yami no Kuni no Alice are missing. Even Night-Ship “D” was thrown in right at the beginning as though the band wanted to get it over with.

Hmmmm?

Overall, the show was a mix of good and bad (and please... no lectures about being an ungrateful, spoiled JRock fan. I'm allowed to have opinions and feelings, and it isn't healthy to say that every single show a band does is 100% awesome and amazing for all eternity, just because I have access to them. That's just not natural). The show was a mixed bag because I can't say it wasn't a good show. It was a very good show. But some things felt off or rubbed me the wrong way.

Let's get the negative part over with and end on a good note. For me, the setlist was a bit of a downer. Now, I knew the Vampire Saga tour was over, and I wasn't expecting to hear much from it. But I expected at least a song or two... maybe the singles? I was hoping to hear the last single too, because I thought it was so pretty. I didn't think that was an unusual desire. I thought it was strange that D would put out an album and a single and then, one mini-album later, completely forget about them. For MelJay, who's on the fence about D and had never seen them before, I think it was disappointing, which I felt kinda bad about. I mean, am I being unfair? I don't expect bands to cling to their old songs forever (I mean, I'm a Dir en grey fan, I'm used to entire albums getting tossed to the curb when the band changes styles), but it just seems strange to put out an album and a single, and then toss them away a few months later.  But maybe it's just because it was a tour final, they did things a little differently... who knows.

The other thing that felt off about the show was Asagi. I haven't seen him perform in a couple years, so I'm not speaking knowledgeably here, but he seemed... tired. Considering this was a tour final, I would've expected a bit more spunk from him. He sometimes seemed like he was just going through the motions and wasn't really into it. On the 7th Rose tour, Asagi was a force to be reckoned with. He was so much fun to watch, and he was an unexpectedly energetic frontman. The reason I even got into D was my surprise at how much fun Asagi was at the V-Rock Festival.  At this show, however, he just seemed passive and subdued. Even MelJay, who's never seen Asagi perform before, pointed out to me that it seemed like Asagi was just hiding behind his hair for a lot of the performance. Even on the occasion where he brought out a prop (like a whip), he never actually used it, and just held it as if to say, “don't worry, I didn't forget, I'm just sleepy.” As always, his voice was amazing, but his energy level seemed low. If anyone reading this has seen D within the last few years or so and can do a compare/contrast, lemme know what you think.  Or, if you were at the show, lemme know if you agree, or if I'm just crazy.  I might just be crazy.  It's okay to tell me I'm crazy.

Other than the setlist and Asagi's lethargy, it was a good show. The rest of the band was definitely into it. I couldn't see Ruiza well, but whenever I got a good look at him, he was rocking out plenty, and smiling. Tsunehito was jumping a lot, and smiling too. Hide-zou was just being a bad-ass as usual. And Hiroki's always fun on the drums, because he's so strangely animated about it (and also smiles a lot). I started to feel like Tsunehito took over for Asagi, as far as crowd commanding goes. In fact, Tsunehito just took over in general, which was kinda awesome. For example, if the crowd was just standing there, but Tsunehito decided it was time to start headbanging, he moved to the front of the stage and started headbanging, just to get us to follow him. And we almost always did. Tsunehito was responsible for about 25% of the headbanging and jumping that occurred in our area, and I kinda wanted to give him a big hug for it. Tsunehito doesn't seem like the type to take over the crowd, but he's actually really good at it. And since Asagi didn't seem to be in the mood for his usual puppeteer behavior, it was good to have Tsunehito for backup.

Highlights, highlights...

Hiroki had a great drum solo. I've always loved his drum solos. I don't know much about drums, but I know that his solos always feel weirdly musical somehow, but I don't know why. It really gets the crowd going. And Hiroki's just kind of adorable. He looks so happy about drumming, lol. The way he played this time, it involved a lot of really loud, solo crashes, like he was trying to imitate thunder. I don't know how else to explain it. But I know it sounded cool.

D had a very strange MC at the show (and, for whatever reason, only Hiroki and Hide-zou changed out of their costumes and into tour shirts). Asagi gave Ruiza a rather grand introduction, and it seemed Ruiza was expected to do most of the MC. But I guess Ruiza didn't know what to talk about, so he held up a bag full of every single merch item that D is currently selling, and introduced the products one by one. Which was... unusual. I'm not sure why 5+ minutes were spent going over each of these items when all that information can easily be found on the band's website. But it was funny to watch Ruiza try to play salesman. The band is also selling scrunchies right now (but seriously, what band isn't selling scrunchies these days?), and Ruiza showed us that Hiroki was wearing one in his hair (for the record, the scrunchies kinda look like roses). So the audience started screaming for Ruiza to use a scrunchie too. Ruiza seemed surprised, but he rather awkwardly gathered his hair and extensions of various lengths and put it all back into a ponytail.

Man, I wish I could remember more of the MC stuff. A lot of it was really funny. Hiroki and Hide-zou said funny stuff too, but... I don't remember any of it anymore. They talked about the year, and how it went, and how it was almost nothing but touring (maybe that's why Asagi seems tired).  I also remember something rather dirty was said (like something about someone being naked, or something), and it caused the audience to go, “whoo!” which made Ruiza go “whoo!”

I kinda felt bad for Tsunehito because, while he was doing his MC, everyone was laughing, and he had no idea why. The reason was because his bass was way too reflective, and it was shooting a laser beam of light at the audience and the back of the venue. I mean, this wasn't just a little beam of light... this was like a searchlight blasting off his bass, and the light moved every time he did. I felt bad because Tsunehito seemed really confused by all the laughter, but he just kept talking anyways. I think the band couldn't see the light at all, because Asagi kept looking around at his band mates, trying to figure out what was so funny. Sorry, Tsunehito. We weren't laughing at you, your bass just had the power to kill a hundred ant colonies.

Hmmm... what else, what else...

I was happy to realize I still remembered almost the entire flag routine for Night-Ship “D”. I mean, I had to look around at the audience a few times to make sure I had the moves right but, for the most part, I still remembered how to do it. D also had us do two or three songs with the fans (which seems like more than usual), but they weren't particularly hard to replicate. I noticed that my red 7th Rose fan seemed to be the majority amongst the audience members. I guess everyone just realizes that the 7th Rose fan is awesome, lol. I thought I'd be the only loser with an old tour fan, but it seems a lot of D fans are still using that one. Glad I brought it back to Japan with me!

During Toki no Koe, Asagi still did the thing where he waves his arm up and down to make it look like he's controlling the audience's headbanging. The audience does it with him now, which made me smile. I did it too, even though I think I accidentally slapped a girl in the head, lol.

They shot streamers at one point.  I can't remember where I put the one I brought home with me, otherwise I'd take a picture, but they're shiny gold, and they say the name of the tour on it and stuff.

Also, anyone who was at the show, help me settle this.  I'm convinced Asagi's hair-piece tassels were glowing in the dark, but MelJay thinks it was just the way the light was reflecting off of them.  I have no idea.  All I know is, every time the lights went out, the only part of Asagi's gold outfit that was glowing was the tassels, which seemed completely lit up.  Did anyone else notice this?

Other than that stuff, I don't have much to say. It was a good show overall, even if it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. The music sounded great, I had a really good time, and we got to hear some really great stuff (I was very happy for the inclusion of Meteo, and we got to do Toki no Koe, just like the old days). Hopefully, I can catch D on their next tour, and maybe Asagi will be a little happier.

Oh, and on the way out, we got bombarded by tons of indies performers handing out flyers as usual.  I was ignoring them, until I realized the vocalist of Le-vert was there.  I snorted and took one from him, and he looked very surprised.  I accepted one from their red-headed guitarist and got a double-take from him too.

Sorry for the short report, I just don't have much memory of the whole thing. Screw you, brain!  You always fail me when I need you!!!

Next up is Black Hole's New Years event. Sixteen bands in twelve hours!

4 comments:

  1. My ticket number was 751 so we probably weren't too far away from each other lol

    I'd never been to a D concert before so I didn't have anything to compare it to.. I was a little on the fence about them as well, and I only went because I didn't have any other concerts I really wanted to go to and I recently met friends who are insane D fans.

    As I said, I don't have anything to compare to, but Asagi didn't stand out that much to me...maybe cause he was tired... I definitely felt like Tsunehito was working the audience awesomely. And Hiroki was ADORABLE.

    I don't know their music that well... so actually the MC was one of the most interesting parts for me. Especially since I had no flags or fans so I just stood there awkwardly during those songs lol

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  2. I will see them in VIenna this April ^-^,I hope he won't be tired on that day,lol. Good concert review as always ^.^ .

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  3. You're free to voice your opinion, it's your blog after all. I come here to read that opinion. If I wanted otherwise, I'd go look for a concert report or something.

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  4. @lovetoday: We were probably right near each other and didn't even know it, lol. And your flag-less experience reminds me of the first time I saw D at V-Rock Festival. I was watching everyone use the flags and fans and I was like, "aaaaw, I want oooone T___T" But I'm sorry if the show didn't really move you to the positive side of the fence. Hope you had fun anyways! :-)

    @Emotional Days: I'm sure the show will be great! The band will probably be excited to be in Vienna ^__^

    @Colouring Needle: That's true... although sometimes I still feel like I'm too much of a big mouth, lol.

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