So, because I like to try and make sure I'm in a constant state of delirious exhaustion, the DIAURA special was the day after the Awoi one-man. Gotta start off vacation with a bang!
According to DIAURA, the Christmas special would be made up of acoustic songs and covers. Which to me sounded kinda.... I dunno.... but I was sure it would be lolzy at least. Also, the show was on Christmas Eve, which is the biggest date night in Japan, so anyone at the show was pretty much holding a red flag with the words "forever alone" written on it. Essentially, if you were a DIAURA fan at this show, it means you didn't get a date. Even yo-ka made jokes on his blog about how he'd be our date for the night, since he understood that this audience was, well... forever alone (or perhaps yo-ka suddenly realized he was forever alone. Oho!). As for me n' MelJay, however, it just proved to DIAURA and to the indies girls what they've probably believed all along: that we're lesbians. Which we're not, but everyone seems to think we are. Two girls who are always seen together spending date night together at DIAURA? Oh yeah. Total lesbians (for the record, a staff guy at our hostel pretty much told us he thinks we're lesbians. Oops).
So the show was at Black Hole, and MelJay and I had shit tickets as usual, so we were in the back. Whatever. Not that this was a normal show anyways. Waiting in line for the show, there were definitely a few girls in sexy Santa dresses, and also some couples where the girl obviously dragged her boyfriend to the show for their "date." Seriously, any guy who got dragged to see DIAURA with their fangirling girlfriend... I hope you got the greatest Christmas fuck of your life that night.
Oh, right, obligatory picture. DIAURA, y'all:
|I guess yo-ka has a pimp chair now.|
Before the show started, a man and a woman came on stage. I couldn't figure out if they were Black Hole staff members, or DIAURA-specific staff members, but I thiiiink they were working for the venue. Maybe. Or the label? The ticket does say Galaxy Present: DIAURA Special LIVE EVENT. So maybe they were Galaxy staff members. Whatever, it doesn't matter. The man was wearing a Santa hat and beard (which looked very silly, since this guy was about 26 years old), and the girl was wearing a Santa hat with a sled and reindeer pattern across it that must've had batteries in it because the reindeer lit up one by one in a row while she was talking. Yyyyyeah, you can see where all this is going. Prepare for silliness. Anyways, the two staff members tried to entertain the crowd a bit. They introduced the show and stuff, and then talked with us to fill time. They pointed out that there were plenty of boys in the audience, and people in Santa costumes. For some reason, DIAURA was late, so they needed to fill even more time. This involved asking the audience lots of questions and gathering stats. Some of it was simple stuff like, "raise your hand if you're a boy." Some of it was like, "who here has already eaten Christmas cake today?" A surprising number of people had already feasted on cake, lol. MelJay and I had some cake-like sweets already, so we put our hands up halfway, lol.
The one I found really interesting was when the staff asked the audience, "who came from outside of Tokyo?"
Uuuum........... over half the audience raised their hands (including MelJay and I, obviously). I'm guessing a lot of the raised hands were from Yokohama or Saitama or other nearby places, but some of it was probably from farther away too. I kinda hope the staff really took that moment to heart (they looked really surprised) because it's not exactly easy for some of us to see these bands whenever we want, and seeing the band in the middle of the day on a Wednesday is just not possible for a lot of us. So... I hope that was a learning experience for them. The staff guy then asked who came by train (me) and who came by bus. MelJay was one of just a few people who raised a hand about the bus, and the staff guy gave her a strange look. I turned to MelJay and whispered, "I bet he's wondering if you bussed across the Pacific" hehehe.
Anyways, the staff told us DIAURA was running late and to be patient, then they left the stage. Unfortunately, the audience was missing out on hot sex and Christmas cake and they weren't willing to be patient, so they all started shouting and growling for DIAURA. The staff guy poked his head back on stage looking very nervous and told us the band would be on as soon as possible. As he was saying that, Yuu suddenly pushed past him and came on stage, which made the staff guy look very surprised. Er... I guess DIAURA was ready, lol.
Aaaaand Yuu was wearing a red Santa top with fuzzy buttons and everything. In typical Yuu-fashion, he ignored any laughing that came his way. Kei came on stage next, wearing a similar Santa top, and Shoya followed close behind, wearing the top half of a reindeer costume. Had a hood with little antlers and everything. And fuzzy buttons. You can never have too many fuzzy buttons. Of course, now I was wondering what the hell yo-ka would wear. I couldn't imagine him in a cute Santa costume. Not even a little bit of one. When he came onstage, however, he was wearing a Santa costume that looked just like Yuu's......... except it was black. Uh, yo-ka, where the hell did you find a black Santa costume?! Typical. Yo-ka immediately screamed, "Happy Merry Christmas!" at us. Sigh.
So, after the audience was done laughing at DIAURA wearing Christmas outfits, yo-ka introduced the show and repeated the fact that it was an acoustic and cover show. By then, the staff had set up music stands with sheet music and acoustic guitars and stuff. The band leaped into covering songs pretty fast.
Now, here's where I become nearly incapable of describing the show. The reason? I honestly didn't recognize a single one of the band's covers, and I've now forgotten the names of everything single one they announced. I could've taken notes but, to be honest, I thought at least one member of DIAURA would put the setlist on their blog. I was strangely mistaken, and the names of the songs they played, and who those songs were by, was never mentioned outside of the show. I can tell you that it wasn't really other indies songs, or even JRock, which is what I've seen other indies performers do on occasion. It was more "popular" songs, although it wasn't girl-pop or anything. I can tell you for sure that they covered an EXILE song, which kiiiiiinda made me want to punch DIAURA in the face, lol.
But you know what was interesting? A lot of the songs DIAURA covered required a lot of skill to do (and a lot of it was done acoustically). In fact..... I started to notice that DIAURA was using more skill to cover these songs than they ever do in their own songs. MelJay noticed it too, and was bothered by it. Like, why does the band keep its talent to itself if it obviously has it? If they have all these skills, why don't they use them? I always figured DIAURA was "good enough" at what they do, but watching them cover other songs, I started to realize they have a ton of talent... they just don't use it. It really ruffles my feathers because it's pretty well-known in the music world that less talent sells better than true talent. I remember the Nostalgia Chick (thatguywiththeglasses.com) brought this up one time, using Lady Gaga as an example. Lady Gaga would sing brilliantly in small clubs and venues when she was starting out, and then dumbed her singing down to Britney Spears-level when she started to get famous. Because that's what sells. Mariah Carey can obviously sing better than Britney Spears, but will never sell as well because the audience doesn't want talent. I've always known DIAURA is a bit of a Galaxy manufacturing product, but it makes me sad to see how deep the rabbit hole goes. Collectively, the four members of DIAURA could do really awesome things with music... if they thought the audience gave a shit. But instead they settle, because that's what the crowd really wants.
So it was bittersweet, I suppose. It was great to see how awesome Kei really is on the guitar, or how brilliantly yo-ka can sing (MelJay and I have started jokingly calling him Mariah Carey), or how much skill Yuu and Shoya have in the rhythm section... but sad to know we'll probably never see it again while DIAURA lies squashed beneath the fist of the indies industry.
It was cool to watch them cover songs, I just wish I'd recognized them. There were a few that made the audience go, "heeeee?!" but... no idea what they were. Other than EXILE. Yuck.
After covering about... six or seven songs, the band went into the true acoustic section. This is where the car took a turn down What The Fuck Road, and crashed into the Lolz Tree.
So, even though the song-covering section was pretty much all acoustic, the actual acoustic section was more like... singing Christmas carols. What. So Yuu came out from behind the drum set and joined yo-ka and Shoya, who were standing around a music stand. Kei sat down in a chair with his acoustic guitar. Then yo-ka explained that Kei was going to play guitar, while the rest of the band took turns singing songs.
First of all, I knew Kei could sing damn well, yet he was the one playing guitar while poor Shoya and Yuu were up there with Mariah Fuckin' Carey. I think the whole audience was thinking, "how the hell is Yuu going to sing?! That guy can barely talk!"
Actually, I should mention... MelJay and I have this running joke about Yuu. As near as we can tell, anything you say to Yuu, his response will just be:
So the band started to do this acoustic thing, and all the songs were about Christmas, but I still didn't recognize them. I think they were famous songs, I just... don't really know famous Japanese songs. Hell, I barely know famous Western songs, let alone Japanese ones. So, while Kei played, yo-ka, Shoya, and Yuu would each take turns singing a verse or two. Yo-ka, as expected, sang awesomely, and loudly, and confidently. Shoya started off rather quietly, but I think the entire audience was still blown away.
Dude... Shoya can sing. I think we were all shocked. Shoya has kind of a goofy, high-pitched speaking voice, so it was a little shocking when this explosive, professional singing voice came out of him. He sounded like an actual vocalist. Shoya was obviously embarrassed, though, cuz he kept giggling, and even had to skip words occasionally because he was having minor laughing fits.
As for Yuu... well... um... he's not, uh... the worst singer ever. He probably could've used a confidence boost, though. He sang really quietly, and his singing voice was about an octave too high because that's what happens when you sing quietly. If he'd had some confidence, he could've saved himself some serious embarrassment. Except..... I don't think Yuu can be embarrassed. The audience, as expected, burst out laughing the moment he started singing, and continued to giggle like crazy every time it was his turn. I felt absolutely horrible for Yuu, until I realized... he didn't fucking care. He never blushed, never flinched, never looked up, never looked embarrassed, and never tweaked what he was doing. He literally just didn't give a shit. It was like he had an impenetrable wall around him and he couldn't even hear the laughter. Yo-ka kept giving Yuu these, "oh gawd" looks, but Yuu didn't even glance at him.
And Yuu said:
The whole thing looked like a bad session of karaoke, with that one guy who sings loudly over everyone (yo-ka), and that one guy who sings well but doesn't really want to (Shoya), and the one who doesn't sing so well and probably shouldn't be singing (Yuu). Reminds me of the many times I've gone to karaoke in a large group (for the record, I'm the Shoya. I can sing, but the moment you put me in a large group, I about die of embarrassment and can barely get above a whisper. Put me in a small group with people I know, however, and I turn into the yo-ka, hehehe). Also, Yuu and Shoya kept forgetting how parts of the songs went, so yo-ka would suddenly take over and start singing over them with this big smirk on his face. Psh.
Now, just when I was thinking Kei was super lucky getting out of all that, yo-ka decided it was time to switch places. Hooo boy. Yo-ka took Kei's guitar, and Kei had to go over to the stand and start singing. Now, we all know Kei can sing. He sings backup for yo-ka all the time, and he sounds great. However, Kei is also known for choking the moment someone puts a microphone in front of his face, so I wasn't sure how this was gonna go. While they were setting up, however... Kei almost fulfilled one of my life dreams... and then dashed it.
So this is going to sound really stupid, but one of my biggest desires in the whole world is to see a JRocker sneeze on stage. You have no idea how badly I want to see that. It sounds like the funniest fucking thing to me, yet I swear it has Never. Happened. Ever. Dir en grey's been around over fifteen years. Any sneezes? None that I've heard of. I've never heard a single story of a performer just suddenly losing their shit and sneezing in front of everyone. How can that be?!! Anyways, while Kei was getting set up, he suddenly got that look on his face. That "omigawd, omigawd, omigawd" face. He turned away from the microphone, his hand up near his face, and continued to look horrified for a moment. I was so fucking excited. At last, I would finally see a JRocker sneeze, and I could forever be witness to the proof that they can in fact sneeze in front of everyone.
But Kei managed to stop it :-(
He looked immensely relieved, of course, but I was fuming. So close............. we came so close to a JRocker sneezing............... and then he blew it. Damn it, Kei.
Anyways, as expected, Kei's singing was awesome, although he looked a bit embarrassed too. It was like the Three Stooges up there. Meanwhile, yo-ka played guitar. At one point, they decided to do an acoustic version of their own song (Kesshou, where yo-ka usually plays guitar anyways). Somehow, Kei couldn't figure out when he was supposed to sing and not sing, so at one point he just kept singing with this really embarrassed look on his face, while Yuu and Shoya stared at him. Oops. Meanwhile, yo-ka suddenly hit a snag. For some reason, he simply had no idea how to do the guitar solo on an acoustic guitar (usually Kei plays that). The whole thing came to a halt while yo-ka plucked each of the notes out individually. I wasn't even sure what the hell he was doing at first. The audience cracked up. I couldn't see yo-ka since he was sitting but, knowing him, he probably not pleased, lol. Or he was at least really embarrassed.
It was at that moment that I finally realized...... DIAURA simply didn't rehearse their Christmas special. Literally. They were all over the place. But whatever, the show was supposed to be casual anyways, so it didn't matter.
After they were done with the acoustic part of things, the band did a raffle. Each of them had a gift prepared, and they each pulled a number out of a hat with a ticket number on it. If your ticket number was called, you got the prize. Kei showed his gift first, but I couldn't figure out what it was. It was a fancy, red box, and it looked like some kind of, like... cigarette box cover? I dunno, he said what it was, but I didn't understand. Then Yuu showed off his gift. It was a pair of earrings. He assured the audience they were for girls, lol. Then yo-ka brought out his gift, which was pretty impressive. It was a fancy ring he'd been wearing for years, including during his last band (Valluna?). He said he wore it on his second finger, usually. Man... that's pretty generous. I was thinking to myself that the girl who got it would have to have tiny fingers because yo-ka has such skinny fingers. But when the girl who won the raffle went up to receive the ring, yo-ka asked if it fit, watched her put it on, and then said, "chijimete kudasai, ne" which means, "please shrink it down". Wait......... it was too big?!! This girl must have freakin' baby hands. The last gift was Shoya's. He says he doesn't have much use for it anymore, so he was giving away a Vivienne Westwood lighter. The audience was like, "whoooooa!" I dunno... I'll agree that it's a pretty generous gift (Vivienne Westwood shit is expensive), but I was more impressed with yo-ka's gift, since it was personal to him. Well, whatever, I didn't win a single thing, lol. But I don't mind.
They also talked with the crowd for awhile. I've noticed some weird battle going on between yo-ka and Shoya, and every time yo-ka talks to Shoya, or listens to him during a show, he makes a face like (<__<) at him. This went on for about twenty minutes, lol. They talked about stuff like being in high school. Yo-ka revealed that he was already in bands when he was in his second year of high school (and he almost gave away his age. He was like, "second year... how many years ago was that... must've been - oh, wait, that's not important"). He also revealed that, during that year, he had black hair with short bangs. Good. Lord. He said the pictures are really embarrassing, and the audience started screaming that they want to see them. But yo-ka insists he threw them all away. Yeah right. I think it was Kei who admitted he didn't do much with bands back then because he was too wrapped up in club activities. Figures. They also pondered what they wanted for Christmas, which somehow turned into teasing Shoya because he's the only member with a iPhone. Then yo-ka was like, "but don't worry, the rest of us will get iPhone 4s. And then you'll be sorry!" Oh, wait, and then he went (<__<) at him.
After all that, the band exited the stage. Yo-ka assured us we would see "the real DIAURA" when they came back. Sure enough, after some time backstage and some clearing of the acoustic equipment, the band put on their normal intro and came back to do their own songs like a normal show. The first half took about an hour, and so did the second half. It was a pretty packed show. Not much to say about the second half, other than the fact that it was awesome and fun because DIAURA shows are awesome and fun. The band was pretty hyperactive, probably because they were so relieved about being able to do their own thing again. Played a lot of their best songs, had a great time, etc. etc. At the end, yo-ka gave a big heartfelt speech about how far DIAURA's come and stuff. He mentioned how they acquired Shoya, and of course yo-ka was like (<__<) as he said that. Shoya was just like, "ehe..."
For the most part, that was the show. Sorry this wasn't more, uh.......... complete. My brain is filled with Swiss cheese holes. The next post is going to be, um..... painful. A bit funny. A lot of painful. I'll get started on it ASAP (especially since I'm going to another show this weekend, which will put me more behind than ever).
Also, if you notice a growing list of "labels" (basically, "tags") on the side of this blog, just ignore it for now. That shit won't be complete for a loooong time.
See ya soon!