Okay, time for Round 2 of BORN.
First thing's first, if you haven't seen this BORN video yet, watch this shit right now. It will make any bad day instantly awesome:
Seriously, the hill outside Takadanobaba AREA... that shit'll eat you alive if you try to bike-surf it.
So this “report” is about BORN’s Agitate to the DOGMANISM Day, a retroactive revival of the band’s DOGMA mini-album era. So this is what they looked like:
Anyways, I’ll try to keep this post a bit shorter than the last one, since there’s some obvious overlap, and I don’t want to overload the blog with BORN.
Anyhoo, the day was actually rather frustrating. Why? Thanks to the band I just blogged about: Awoi. But we’ll get to that in a moment. The Awoi post was loosely connected to BORN, and this BORN post will be loosely connected to Awoi. I guess that’s what happens when two bands that are friends have one-man shows during the same weekend in the same area.
So we started out by going to Freshness Burger for the first time in ages (they have onion rings!). We went to the Freshness Burger in Shinjuku because we wanted to be near Like an Edison. Why? The new LIPHLICH single and Signal’s first mini-album were both out and we wanted to purchase them. However, a very excited blog update from guitarist Shin from Awoi alerted us that the band was having an in-store event in Like an Edison at 1:00, so we were gonna have to hover around the area until they were done. Sigh.
After goofing around in Freshness Burger for awhile, we got antsy and went to check on Likea. But of course it was still being taken over by Awoi, so we tried another store, but they had an in-store event too (not sure what band it was). Bored, we went shopping in a used indies store and then Closet Child, but that still didn’t waste enough time. When we came back hours later, Awoi was still in Likea! What the hell, Awoi?! I guess they were taking pictures with fans, but for hours?!
After hovering around a little while longer (and stopping at a weird vending machine where each of us bought really weird juice to see what it tastes like – I bought a pineapple/lemon juice, for example), we went back to Likea. And freaking Awoi was still in there! By that point, they were taking so long, other people were standing around outside the store, trying to peek through the windows to see if they could go in. Some of them were muttering to each other in annoyance. Thankfully, a staff lady came out at that point and took orders from frustrated customers, so we decided to latch onto her. It was getting close to the BORN show and we wasted way too much time in Shinjuku. And we didn’t even hibernate, despite the Awoi show the day before. Not good. So we told the lady we wanted LIPHLCH and Signal, and she brought the items out to us and let us pay her, and then we ran off, leaving Awoi to get consumed by their ravenous fans.
We really didn’t have much time, so we went to Takdanobaba (where MelJay and I, once again, used a locker we cleverly grabbed earlier in the day). Then we sat around in McDonald’s for a little while, surrounded by other hibernating BORN fans putting on their bandanas and towels. I brought the new leopard print towel, but I also brought the old DOGMANISM bandana, since I figured it might be the last time it really gets any use. This is what the old bandana looks like:
I like to tie the bandana around my wrist so that the word “BORN” is showing, which is actually really tricky and took me several minutes of manipulating the fabric.
After only thirty minutes, it was already time for the show, so we made our way out to the venue to join the back of the line (damn our shitty numbers).
Inside the venue, I noticed a significantly smaller number of boys compared to last weekend. I guess all the boys showed up for the super hardcore Black Threelease music, but weren’t as interested in the more “pimp style” DOGMA music. The cosplayers were back from last weekend, although they were (very impressively) dressed in the VIGOUR costumes. Truly amazing handiwork on the costumes and make-up. They had the whole band other than K in that cosplay group.
Um, let’s see… They didn’t play Rob Zombie before the show this time. Instead, they were looping some kind of gothic dance-track music. It almost sounded like Marilyn Manson at first (and we all know Ryouga’s a huge Marilyn Manson fan), but it turned out to be something I wasn’t familiar with. Also, like last weekend, the band waited until five minutes before the show to play a pre-recorded track of all the band members introducing themselves and the show and the venue rules, and telling us to hold our horses and be patient.
And then, not much later, the show started! To my delight, the band opened with the DOGMANISM intro! Even though I returned to Japan in time to catch the tail end of the DOGMA tour, the band always came onstage to THE ANTHEM intro instead (the “welcome to the 666” one). I always wanted to hear the DOGMANISM intro, and this was my first chance! Also, it wasn’t until very recently that I finally figured out what Ryouga’s saying in the intro. My friends and I had various guesses, but it always just sounded like gibberish. But then a Japanese friend of mine made a comment about her commute on the train feeling like a “mosh pit”, and the way she said “mosh pit” made me suddenly realize what Ryouga’s saying. He’s saying, “Mosh pit. Make a mosh pit.” But he says it in Japanese katakana, so it’s, “Mosshu pitto. Meeku ah mosshu pitto.” I felt soooo much better after I solved that mystery.
Anyways, the band made their way on stage, dressed up in their finest pimp clothes (as seen above). My first thought was, “Ryouga, your pants are waaaaaaay too tight.” And I’ve seen a lot of tight pants in JRock, so for me to single out Ryouga’s pants as being particularly too tight, well… we’ll get back to his pants later, hehehe. Anyways, like last weekend, the band looked super happy to be onstage, so that was good. It’s so much easier to enjoy a show when the band’s having a good time. I think BORN really enjoyed this retroactive thing.
Also, no setlist again, so I’m just gonna wing it. I don't want this post to be too long since I just talked about BORN, so I’ll just go over the highlights.
So the band opened with SIX DAMIAN, which made me super happy. Even though I returned to Japan at the tail end of the DOGMA tour, the band never played SIX DAMIAN, which I found odd. In fact, if you look at some of the older BORN posts on this blog, I frequently wrote, “BORN, y u no play SIX DAMIAN?!” And MelJay even made a comment about how she hoped they played the song at the show (to which I said, “of course they will”, because DOGMA only has seven freaking songs). So when BORN straight-up opened with it, MelJay and I both looked at each other like :-D
I also remember that the second song was not at all from DOGMA. I was like, “oh, um… okay.” In fact, it was something very much not at all from DOGMA. I think it might’ve been something from the Black Threeleases. Jokes on you, boys who didn’t show up for the DOGMANISM show!
Let’s see… so Ryouga was in quite the mood. He was getting into those “out of control” stage fits, where every inch of him is flailing. There were a few moments where he got so worked up in the middle of a song, he’d start shaking his head frantically until the words turned into a bunch of gibberish, like when a child’s trying to talk while being bounced on a parent’s lap. Whenever that kind of thing happened, Ryouga would sound like, “MOTHER FUCKTP;AIE;NDKVad;ighoanklemb…………” I love when Ryouga gets like that, though. At one point he had such a fit of spazziness, he sat down on the crate, leaned back, and started kicking his legs up in the air like a child having a temper tantrum. At another point, he got so excited, he tripped all over himself and practically fell right on his ass. Oh Ryouga, you are utterly crazy. Although, he looked really embarrassed about the falling.
The band played a lot of songs I didn’t expect, other than DOGMA songs. I remember they played stuff like mad whistle, Mosaic, the new song IN CREATURE, MY SWEET BLACK, etc. So the setlist was really all over the place, and the only thing that made it a DOGMA day was the fact that they played all seven songs from DOGMA, and also dressed the way they did back then. But I didn’t mind, I prefer variety. Some of the DOGMA songs were nostalgic. Like, I hadn’t seen RED DESIRE live in forever (the audience claps while swaying side to side for that one). The only thing is, I anticipated the DOGMA setlist being “calmer” than the Black Threelease setlist. I mean, the songs from the Black Threeleases are some of the most fast-paced and intense songs that BORN’s put out, so of course the show was gonna be crazy. But BORN actually paced the Black show, and even put in a slow section with songs like White Harmony and Ruisai no Hana in order to let us recover in the middle of the show.
This show was not like that. There was no pacing. Every single song was rapid-speed, and there was significantly more jumping than at the Black show. Within a few songs, the entire audience was covered in sweat. It was absolutely exhausting. Yet, somehow, Ryouga never seemed to tire out. He was just a continuous whirl of leopard-spotted energy. So of course we all had to keep up with him. And here my friends and I had just gone through an Awoi show the day before. The sad thing is, I thought the Black show was paced poorly, and rolled my eyes at BORN about it later. Little did I know how much more exhausting it could get, lol.
As for amusing tidbits about the band… Let’s see, at this show, when they came back for their first MC, they once again said Ryouga and TOMO were having trouble backstage. So it was just Ray and KIFUMI and K up there. So Ray was saying how, at the Abnormal Head Machine show, he sang White Harmony (fuck, I’m kinda sorry I missed that), and at the DEAD THEORY MANIA Day, KIFUMI sang MY SWEET BLACK. Well, today it was TOMO’s turn to sing. Of course, we were all wondering, “well, if TOMO sings… who the hell’s gonna play the drums?!” It’s not like just anyone can play the drums. Also, that means they’re making poor K sing at his birthday show! That’s so mean!
Anyways, TOMO came on stage, and he was explaining that he decided he couldn’t bring himself to do a BORN song, so he was gonna sing a ballad from another musician instead. After he said that, our new drummer headed back behind the drum set. It was K! The audience was like, “oooooh!” MelJay leaned over and was like, “can K even play drums?!” I was like, “I guess…” K looked pretty nervous back there, and tested out the cymbals without looking at anyone. Meanwhile, Ray went to K’s side and picked up an acoustic guitar. And I think KIFUMI stayed on bass. Then TOMO tried to play off his ballad option as a “change of pace”, but I thought it was fairly obvious what was going on. He was really nervous about singing, and he wanted to sing a song he’s done at karaoke a million times that he’s comfortable with. And shiiiit was he nervous. I mean, it’s not just that he told us he was nervous (because he did), but he was visibly tweaking out. He was clutching the microphone for dear life, rocking side to side, stalling and rambling as much as possible, and he couldn’t bring himself to look at the audience. I actually felt really bad for him, and I wanted to go up there, pluck the microphone from his hands, and tell him to go take a break, lol. He had this air of, “aaah, don’t look at me!” about him. But, eventually, TOMO couldn’t stall any longer, and it was time to play.
K played the first few hesitant beats, and the band went into a ballad I didn’t recognize. Probably some famous Japanese ballad that I’m just not familiar with. It only lasted about two minutes, much to TOMO’s joy, I’m sure (and maybe that’s why he picked it). TOMO’s singing voice was, well… it was okay-ish, I guess (I’m just being nice). He’s no Ryouga, but he’s no Yuu from DIAURA either (sorry, Yuu). He had no confidence in his singing whatsoever, though, and he seemed really embarrassed, even as he tried to put as much emotion into the song as possible. As for K, his drumming was very good, but he also didn’t have enough confidence, so he didn’t always hit the drums hard enough. Still, overall not a bad job, and Ryouga didn’t have a chance to come on stage in the middle of the song and fuck everything up like he did when KIFUMI did MY SWEET BLACK. When the song ended, we all cheered, even though I think TOMO wanted to crawl under the stage at that point.
Then it was time for them to pull ticket numbers for fans to take pictures with the band backstage. This time, TOMO made a point of being like, “look! I’m shuffling the tickets! See, I’m shuffling them!” Hah, I knew my theory about the last show was right. Those idiots forgot to shuffle the tickets, that’s why they were all C tickets. After they pulled four tickets (one got within, like, three numbers from Peachy’s), they explained that the high-five thing was gonna happen after the show again. Sigh. Another $20 high-five. However, K and TOMO were the only two on stage at that moment, and they did a demonstration of how the high-fives should really look. Apparently, they should be extremely energetic. TOMO showed us how sad it looks when someone does a “low tension” high-five, as he put it. He told us K is Ryouga, and then he went up to “Ryouga” and gave him a sad, pathetic high-five, and “Ryouga” was like :-( Then TOMO showed us a proper high-five, which involved a running leap into the high-five while screaming “YEAH!” I guess I was half right last time. Then, while K and TOMO were talking, K suddenly karate-chopped TOMO in the ribs out of nowhere, and TOMO almost fell down in surprise. Some BORN fans might be laughing very hard at this news. As some know, K is a big fan of karate-chopping his band mates in the ribs when they least expect it.
So just imagine that, right in front of everyone, lol.
Anyways, Ryouga was late to come on stage, and they said he was still having some trouble (“as usual”, according to them). When Ryouga did finally slink on stage, he came on wearing a fedora and red sunglasses with red lenses. Damn, dat shit be pimp, yo. KIFUMI kept pointing at Ryouga and laughing, but it took awhile before we realized KIFUMI was pointing at something specific. Eventually, Ryouga had no choice but to confess what happened. He turned around and showed everyone that…
He split his fucking pants.
No joke. He had two long tears across his right ass cheek (thankfully, he had white underwear on underneath). Ryouga seemed pretty embarrassed, but the audience was laughing hysterically. My guess is, he either ripped his pants when he was having a tantrum on the crate, when he fell, or the pants were simply too fucking tight. They’re all good possibilities. Their wardrobe lady must’ve been piiiiiissed.
Anyways, BORN picked some awesome encore songs. Naturally they played RADICAL HYSTERIA, followed by Ranshido (they did that same order at the DTM show, and it’s a fucking cruel combo. It’s basically seven straight minutes of nonstop jumping). Actually I think those two songs happened right before encore. But whatever, my memory’s fuzzy after waiting six days to write this. Anyways, I don’t think I mentioned this last time but, during Ranshido, the audience spins their towels over their heads while they jump. Some bands have a designated “towel song”, and BORN’s is Ranshido (you can tell they’re gonna play Ranshido when Ryouga pulls out his own towel and holds it up). As for actual encore, it included the band’s new song, BLASTED ANIMALS (fuuuu, I forgot to mention that in my last post too, they played it at the DEAD THEORY MANIA show). BLASTED ANIMALS doesn't come out until July, but BORN’s already playing it at shows. It’s a lot of fun and involves a lot of jumping. It has a very typical BORN-like chorus, but it’s the jumping dance beat that kinda sets this one apart.
Also, did anyone catch "BORN da Born" on NicoNico this month (I just watched it, actually)? There was a short clip of BLASTED ANIMAL's music video. Let's just say, you guys are gonna SHIT A BRICK when you see the ridiculous thing Ryouga's wearing, lol. This was my face watching the clip: O_________O
Encore also included stuff like DAZZLING MOB, which further proves that Ryouga’s lyrics are about 40% “whoa” and “yeah” (plus I’d been wondering where the hell that song was for most of the show). They also, completely out of nowhere, played Grave Dancer Punish from the new VIGOUR album. WTF?!! When that dance beat started up, I was like nooooo waaaaaay! That song… it’s the stupidest song ever, but fuck is it fun. Musically, there’s almost nothing at all redeeming about it (poor TOMO has to sit behind the drum set doing absolutely nothing for parts of it), and it’s not even that good of a dance song. But it’s soooo much fun for some reason! And Ryouga parties it up on the crate. When I first encountered Grave Dancer Punish at a show (and had no idea what it was), I noticed some people in the audience started changing the fist-punching gesture to punching the air from right to left like a bad ‘80’s workout routine. Well now the whole audience punches the air that way, and Ray and KIFUMI and K actually rock side to side with us while they play, lol. Seriously, that song is so dumb, but I love it.
Um, after the show, we had to wait around again in order to do high-fives. This time I was ready to do it LIKE A BOSS. When I made it up to the band, I decided to do a running high-five with a “YEAH!” for each band member, just like TOMO suggested. It was a lot of fun, but I think I scared the hell out of Ray, lol. Whatever, I do what I want, biotch.
After the high-fives, I actually attempted to run to the train (as in, I actually went running in public, using the adrenaline fuel from the concert) because I had a theory that if I caught a certain train, I could make it home without a taxi and save $20. Well, my theory was almost correct. Long story short: I was in such a hurry, I bought the wrong ticket at Kita-Senju, and it was $10 more than necessary. When I tried to explain it to a station attendant to get a refund later, he didn’t understand what went wrong and I think I wound up paying him a couple more dollars… but I think he might’ve refunded the money on my card…? I have no fucking idea, and there weren't any Suica machines around for me to check (other than the one the attendant was using). I’m just going to call my experiment half a success, and try to pace myself better next time I attempt it.
So that was Round 2 of BORN! Unfortunately, I won’t be going to K’s birthday show (it’s sold out anyways, and it on the same day as the show I’m going to tomorrow). Tomorrow will be one of my only upcoming event shows. Bands include: Signal, Quinstet, GALEYD, TRIGGAH, ALSDEAD, DEZERT, and the hosting band is NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST. So if any of those interest you, stick around!
See you next time!