Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Oh gawd, where do I begin?  I’m bad at writing one-man shows, but with BORN it’s just a jumbled mess, most likely because I headbanged all my brain cells out of my ears. 

Okay, I’m gonna do my best with this one.  I have a lot of stories to tell, so if you’re willing to stick through my rambling, there’s some good stuff in here.

This particular show was part of a four-show series that BORN put on, one show each Sunday.  The shows were called bug screamo” CRAZY” section 1~4.  Yeah, fuck if I know what that means.  Each “section” was meant to be a retroactive performance.  So the first day was the Abnormal Head Machine Day, based on BORN’s first album.  I didn’t go to that day.  The second day, which is the one I’m writing about right now, was themed after three mini-albums that BORN put out a few years ago: BLACK DEAD MUZIC, BLACK THEORY MANIA, and BLACK BORN MARKET.  At the show, Ryouga kept calling them the Black Threelease (literally “burakku suriiriisu” in katakana).  They combined the names of the three mini-albums to give this show its name: DEAD THEORY MANIA Day.  The third “section” (which I’m also going to next week) is called the Agitate to the DOGMANISM Day and will be based on BORN’s DOGMA mini-album.  The fourth show, which I won’t be attending, isn’t retroactive, but the “theme” is K’s birthday.  I think K’s gonna pick all the songs, and they can come from any release he wants.

Anyways, BORN actually went so far with this retroactive thing that they changed their costumes and their hair to look like the era the show is based on.  I didn’t realize how far they were gonna take this until Ryouga blogged about the Abnormal Head Machine day, saying he dyed his hair pink to look like the old days, and TOMO even went so far as to shave the side of his head just like before!  But then, after the AHM show, Ryouga wrote another blog entry that said, “bye-bye pink hair”, and I realized he was going to switch over to that crazy blond-plosion hair he had when I used to see BORN during my study abroad period.  My first thought was, “oh no, Ryouga’s poor hair!”  I mean, he was brunette a few weeks ago, so he’d have to bleach the hell out of his hair to get it vibrantly pink, and then bleach the pink out again just a few days later.  How would his hair ever survive?!  My second thought was, “holy crap, this is gonna be nostalgic.”  When I studied abroad, BORN was kinda at the tale end of their Black Threelease period, so they were gonna be dressed the way they were when I was a student going to indies concerts.  I was pretty sure my brain would implode from the nostalgia.

The show was on a Sunday, as I mentioned before.  I hate going to Sunday shows, but every now and then I make an exception.  The Black Threeleases are some of my favorite BORN releases, and BORN’s leaving for all of July for their first one-man tour around Japan.  These shows are my last chance to see them until August.

We knew we needed to “hibernate” for BORN, however.  They’re the most exhausting indies band I know of, and using up energy on anything not BORN-related on the day of a BORN show is just idiotic.  In fact, believe it or not, this show was my first BORN one-man ever, so I was making that judgment call based on experiencing them at two-man or event shows.  Anyways, to conserve energy, my friends and I met up right in Takadanobaba.  MelJay and I used a locker in the station to make sure we could keep it later when the BORN fans were likely gonna try to take all of them.  Then we went off with Peachy to Saizeriya to chill for several hours.  Once we felt like we’d overstayed our welcome, we went to a café, but it was too full, so we went to a Royal Host, which is a fancier version of Saizeriya.  I seriously recommend Royal Host if you’re in Japan looking for a place to eat.  The food’s awesome, they have crazy desserts, and they offer drink bar with really elaborate tea selections.  I wasn’t hungry, so I just got some fries to share with everyone and used the drink bar.  They had things like maple tea, or plum tea or weird mixed-flavor teas…  All kinds of stuff. 

Anyways, while we were hanging out in Royal Host waiting for the show to approach, we noticed something rather, uh… interesting outside the window.  Two Ryougas and a KIFUMI talking to a bunch of girls, lol.  Yes, obviously they were cosplayers, but they were fucking good cosplayers.  One Ryouga was dressed to look like the current VIGOUR look, and the KIFUMI one was from some era I wasn’t sure of…  The one that really blew my mind, though, was the girl dressed like Ryouga in the PSYCHO DIVA music video.  Holy crap, she was like his twin!  She looked just like this:

Seriously, where did she get that fabric?!  How did she put it all together?!  She even had the hat!  Totally amazing!  Her make-up and hair was perfect, too.  We watched the cosplayers and their friends through the window for awhile, before finally deciding it was time to head back to the station to reuse the locker.  Of course, MelJay and I had to go through the ticket gate to do it, which you’re not supposed to do, but fuck da police, or somethin’…   As expected, there were a bunch of BORN fans using the lockers, and some of them were watching hungrily as MelJay and I opened ours, thinking we were abandoning it.  One boy in a BORN hoodie was so starved for a locker, he actually reached past me and opened my locker while I was shoving something into my backpack on the floor.  MelJay’s stuff was still in there, though, and I hastily apologized and told him we were still using it.  MelJay quickly explained to him that there are lockers near the venue, and he seemed grateful and headed in that direction.  Those lockers are tricky to find, though, so… I hope he actually managed to get one.

Probably not, though, because we stopped off in that area a few minutes later (after lying to the station attendant about making a mistake so he’d let us go back out the ticket gate without charging us any money).  Peachy wanted to use one of the lockers near AREA, but they were all completely full.  I guess a lot of BORN fans were putting, like, one tiny purse in a locker, rather than sharing with each other.  Typical.  My friends and I have talked about this before, but Japanese students aren’t really taught much about sharing when they’re in school.  Ever gone to a crowded café in Japan and seen a Japanese person taking up a four-seat table because they want to put their bag on a seat on the same side of the table as them?  Yeah, that happens a lot here.  So I wasn’t too surprised to hear all the lockers were taken, but not full.

But no biggie, because there are lockers in the venue too.  So moving on, we made our way to the venue!  The BORN fans loitering around were so obviously BORN fans, even if they weren’t in line.  More and more, BORN is starting to have the feel of a major band.  It’s not just the fact that the band’s having a one-man tour, it’s more than that.  First of all, there were a lot of boys attending the show, and boys show up for major bands far more than they show up for indies bands.  Also, the BORN fans go way out of their way to show their loyalty specifically as BORN fans, just the way major fans do.  Every single fan we saw was walking around wearing BORN wrist-bands, or BORN t-shirts, or BORN hoodies, or BORN towels wrapped around their necks.  And they all had a mutual style, with almost everyone wearing black with random flashes of extremely bright color (it looked like early 2000’s Hot Topic out there).  A lot of people had brightly dyed hair, like pink or red.  Plus, you almost only see cosplayers at major shows, rarely at indies.  I’m not saying BORN’s gonna go major any time soon, I’m just saying they’re way farther along the path than most indies bands I’ve seen lately.  I actually felt under-dressed, especially with so many people in hoodies (I think every male in attendance was wearing a BORN hoodie).  But I planned on buying the new bandana and towel when I got in the venue, so I just had to wait until I got inside.

So then we went inside!  I did buy the towel and bandana, because they’re both awesome.  PS Company knows what we want, and what we want is more pink leopard print, and fangs.  I guess Ryouga’s excited about them too, because he’s been wearing the bandana non-stop and showing it off every chance he gets.  It has a fanged mouth on it, and Ryouga seems to like that (in fact, the “ga” in Ryouga’s name means “fang”).  Behold, the awesome bandana:

Then I guess I choose to suck your dick...?
 And behold the awesome-ness of what it looks like when you properly wear it:

Of course, I don't look nearly as good wearing it as Ryouga does, sorry...
As for the towels, Ryouga was pretty excited about those too.  When the shipment arrived, he went on his blog and wrote down the exact moment the towels showed up, then wrote something along the lines of, “they’re here!  They’re here!”  Here’s the awesome towel:

No... I have no idea what that's supposed to mean...
I quickly wrapped the bandana around my wrist the way BORN fans usually do (I used to do this with my other BORN bandana from DOGMA) and wrapped the towel around my neck.  Then I felt appropriately pimp.  It was a freaking hour between doors opening and the show starting, so I dedicated a lot of that time to trying to figure out the best way to wear the towel.  And also dancing.  Most bands play stupid, boring music before their shows, but not BORN.  They played nothing but Rob Zombie while we waited, which was perfect for getting the mood going.

Anyways, at about five minutes to six, BORN’s intro THE ANTHEM (the “welcome to the 666” one) started playing, and everyone was like “bwuh?!” and looking around.  The curtain didn't open, but a voice suddenly started talking over the loudspeaker.  It was TOMO!  He was being kinda silly, so everyone was laughing.  He was soon joined by some of the other members too, and they goofed off and told jokes as they went over some of the venue rules and told us to be patient and wait for the show to start.  Then they signed off, leaving us to wait for a few more minutes, giggling.  My friends and I were joking that Ryouga was probably backstage re-checking his make-up a hundred times.  We were like, “Ryouga, you look fine, get your ass on the stage already.”

Anyways, the band finally came onstage.  I thought they might come onstage to the intro they used when I studied abroad, which was just Marilyn Manson’s The Bright Young Things.  But they didn’t, they just came on to THE ANTHEM.  It’s a good intro, even for a retroactive performance.  The band members came on stage two at a time, first drummer TOMO and bassist KIFUMI, who stood there trying to pump us up before taking their instruments.  Then guitarists K and Ray took the stage and tried to get us excited (although those two are kinda shy, so I’d say they just did their best).  Last was Ryouga.  Honestly, I just couldn’t even believe it, seeing the way the band was dressed.  It was like a chunk of my past was carved out of my brain and splatted at my feet.  Between KIFUMI’s striped scene-kid hair and TOMO’s dreadlocks and Ryouga’s blond-plosion, it was like reliving my study abroad days all over again.  Even though this picture was taken years ago, this is exactly what the band looked like:

Aaaand now I’ve waited a whole day to see if anyone in the band would post a setlist, and they didn’t.  Damnit.  We all know what happens when I attempt to write a one-man blog entry without a setlist: chaos, pandemonium, and disjointed nonsense.  You’re probably thinking, “why do you need a setlist?  It’s a themed show, they only played stuff from the Black Threeleases.”  Well, not really…  That wasn’t all they played.

In fact… I didn’t recognize the first song at all.  Neither did MelJay or Peachy.  Was it a new song?  Or just a really old release from that time period that I never managed to get my hands on?  No way to know without a fucking setlist.  Despite the fact that Ryouga came on stage looking like he was in a good mood, the mysterious song had a slow start that seemed a little odd at first.  Everything sorta came to a standstill.  But the song picked up, and it wound up having parts that would suddenly explode into the fastest drum beats possible.  It was like, “song… song… song… song… rageragerageragerage.”  But after that they returned to Black Threelease music.

EDIT: So I'm dumb and only recently remembered that BORN used to be D&L and that I should look into that.  I just heard some of D&L's music for the first time, and I'm fairly certain the song BORN opened with was The God Star from their THE PUBLIC CIRCUS release.  It fits my description and memory perfectly.  I feel so enlightened now.

The band was in a very bouncy mood.  Ryouga shouted at us that we were gonna “go to the black” (“burakku ni ikou ze”).  There was a lot of jumping around and general spazzing.  Ryouga even stage-dove once, and I haven't seen him do that since I studied abroad.  The Black Threelease songs are good for all that nonsense, although it means the audience has to keep up an extremely difficult pace for the whole show.  They played things like MY SWEET BLACK and Ranshido and Mosaic and [B.D.M.] and other generally frantic songs.  I think the second song was MY SWEET BLACK, where Ryouga told us he wants us to “listen to black music.”

Ryouga, honey… 

I remember during MY SWEET BLACK, Ryouga became so overwhelmed by the urge to jump around that he turned to KIFUMI and just started hopping up and down over and over and over.  He started jumping so high that he was tucking in his knees and cannon-balling up and down.  It’s like he’s got springs in his legs.   But when the performers put that much energy into something, I feel obligated to keep up that pace (even though I’m sure Ryouga’s in much better shape than a chubby white girl).  Still, every song had jumping, or moshing side to side, or continuous headbanging…  Within a couple songs I was already thinking, “how the hell am I gonna see this through to the end…?”

The band tried to pepper the setlist with some calmer songs, probably for Ryouga’s sake as much as our own (I don’t know what happened the last time I saw BORN, but I got the feeling Ryouga exhausted himself).  So they also played songs like White Harmony and Ruisai no Hana.  I was kinda surprised by White Harmony, because I wasn’t sure if that was really part of the Black Threelease era or not.  When it started up, I was just like, “oh, okay.”  But I can’t help myself with BORN.  Even though it’s supposed to be a more chill song, I found myself bopping side to side in time to the running bass-line anyways.  But it’s alright, cuz I saw some other girls doing that too.  One of the girls on second saizen was practically jumping.  BORN fans make me laugh. 

During Ruisai no Hana (I think… fuck me if I’m wrong), Ryouga sang on his own for the first couple minutes without any instruments.  I remember not too long ago, MelJay made a joke about Ryouga’s singing voice, and I was kinda surprised, because I’d never really thought Ryouga couldn’t sing.  But when I pondered where MelJay got that impression from, I realized it’s because Ryouga’s voice on albums is usually autotuned or harmonized to make it sound nicer.  They do it that way at shows as well.  There’s usually a lot of pre-recorded Ryougas singing (which really can’t be helped, because a lot of singing and screaming layered together is kinda BORN’s style).  Anyways, this two-minute acapella probably laid aside any doubts MelJay – or anyone else – had about Ryouga’s singing abilities.  It was beautiful!  There was no layering, just pure Ryouga-voice all on its own.  His voice sounded absolutely fantastic.  He sang really passionately and got all Mariah Carey on us and shit.  I was damn impressed.  Don't ever doubt whether or not Ryouga can sing!

But BORN didn’t play very many slow songs, and even songs like NEO SCREAM aren’t really that slow (I caught TOMO singing along to that one).  It wasn’t long before we were getting blasted with stuff like Karasu and more Deep.  The audience was really rocking the shit out of this stuff.  I remember the first side-to-side that happened was during the second song, and a girl went down and got trampled within moments.  And I should add that we were on the second platform in the back, so it’s not like we were down in the killzone here.  I can’t even imagine what it was like down there.

I got to hear so many songs I’d never had a chance to hear before, like BUZZ.  Or Mosaic, which I’ve only heard once before now (I like to replace the fist-grabby move with a middle finger, since the band keeps yelling “fuck you!” over and over).

Let’s see…  Ryouga had a really funny MC.  He was talking about his hair, and he was like, “so last weekend, I had pink hair, right?  And then I wrote on my blog, and I said, ‘bye-bye pink hair.’  And then I received tons of messages from fans, asking if my hair was gonna be okay!  Well, my hair is just fine, so don’t worry!”

I almost died laughing.  I mean, I was definitely concerned about his hair when I realized what he was gonna do, but I didn’t think for a moment to message him about it!  According to Ryouga, he got worried fanmail asking if he’d have to cut his hair because of all the damage, but he assured us he had no plans to cut his hair, and that it was doing just fine despite the extreme abuse.  I can’t believe it was enough of an issue that he had to MC about it!  However, even if Ryouga’s hair is fine, he blogged a couple days ago saying his scalp really hurts from all the bleaching.  Ryouga… seriously…

Ryouga also commented on all the boys.  He had the boys shout out on their own, but the boys sounded kinda shy when they did it, which made all the girls laugh.  Then Ryouga gave the boys a lecture, saying they shouldn't hurt the girls, but they should still let loose and go crazy.  He was like, "be careful around the girls, but tear this fucking place down" or something like that. The boys cheered a little more strongly at that.

Also, I think Ryouga has temporarily been possessed by the spirit of Valluna-era yo-ka.  I used to make fun of yo-ka because, back when he was in Valluna, he would obsessively check himself out in a mirror he propped up on Kei’s sound equipment.  It was like every other song he would go up to the mirror, check himself out, fix his hair, etc.  One time, Peachy and I actually started counting how many times he did it, but gave up at about seven.  Well, Ryouga wins.  He had a mirror set up on the equipment right where we could all see it, and I swear he went up to it literally every other song.  I counted, but once he passed seven, I knew it was futile to keep track.  Ryouga kept fixing his hair, or poking at his make-up, as if any of us gave a shit what that blond flurry of spaziness looks like up on stage.  I’ve never seen Ryouga look in a mirror before, so I was a little confused as to why he gave a shit alluva sudden.  But it was funny watching him have his own little fashion show over there every five fucking minutes.

Um, what else…  Well, even though it’s not exactly part of the Black Threelease, BORN played RADICAL HYSTERIA, which seems to be their theme song now, or something.  Y’know… I never knew until recently that the chorus is Ryouga screaming “SUCK MY DICK OR DEATH” over and over.  When I realized it, I just about died.  But it makes the song that much more fun.  Especially because we go side-to-side for that one.  Ryouga was doing the forward, Western-style headbanging that he usually does for RADICAL HYSTERIA.  It’s so very Ryouga, the way he holds his arms out when he does it.  I found myself headbanging the same way as I hopped around.  With his new blond-plosion hair, Ryouga’s headbanging looked more spastic than ever.  KIFUMI was doing his high-kicks too, and K was spinning in circles.  If you want an idea of what all this looks like, here’s a video taken from the actual Threelease period, which looks the same as what I saw on Sunday:

Um, when the band left the stage, we called for encore, of course, and they came back wearing the various BORN t-shirts and hoodies.  Only the string section came out at first, and they said TOMO and Ryouga were having some trouble backstage and would be out later.  My friends made jokes about Ryouga frantically fixing his make-up.  I said he was probably on oxygen.  I have a bad sense of humor.

So Ray and KIFUMI were trying to explain to the audience how things were gonna go after the show.  It was something about a lottery, and some fans getting to take pictures with the band, and then something about high-fives.  There were very specific instructions that KIFUMI wanted to impart on us, but he couldn’t get them right, and he was confusing the hell out of us and making Ray extremely annoyed.  K just stood there not saying anything, but KIFUMI was being like, “so then, if you have to go to the bathroom, or you wanna use a locker, you go out and then stay out there, because we’ll give high-fives out there.”  And then Ray would be like, “no, don’t stay out there, come back inside.  Otherwise you’ll block the doors.”  And KIFUMI would be like, “oh, right, so come back inside, and then we’ll do high-fives, and then the lottery winners will take a picture with us and – ” and then Ray would be like, “NO!  We’re going to take the pictures while people are using the bathroom and the lockers, and then we’ll do high-fives!”  This went on for five minutes, I’m not even exaggerating.  Eventually, KIFUMI was so utterly confused by his own instructions, he completely froze with a blank stare on his face.  I turned to MelJay and was like, “is KIFUMI broken…?”  Ray sighed and told us to just ask the staff what to do, lol.  Meanwhile K just stood there smirking at his idiot band mates.  From then on, every time KIFUMI tried to butt in on whatever Ray was telling us, Ray would go, “urusee na!” (“just shut the hell up!”).  It was really funny, because KIFUMI started interrupting him just to drive Ray crazy. 

Eventually, TOMO joined them on stage, and they talked about some stuff, and then they decided to draw lottery to see who would get to go backstage and take pictures with the band.  They said they were gonna pull four ticket stubs out of the bucket.  I cringed.  I didn’t wanna win.  I don’t like awkward situations like that.  Anyways, KIFUMI pulled the first stub, said the number, and then immediately his band mates were like, “you have to say the letter too, stupid!”  See, the tickets were in sections A, B, and C, so 17 could mean A17, B17, or C17.  The first number was in the A section, but the last three ticket numbers were in the C section (and KIFUMI had to be reminded one more time to check the fucking letter).  The band was all like, “whoa, how weird that they’re all C numbers!”  I, on the other hand, was face-palming myself into unconsciousness.  Isn’t it obvious what happened?!  The fans enter the venue by letter and number, so those dumbasses collected the tickets in order and dumped them in a bucket without shuffling them.  So of course the numbers in C section were on top!  Duuuuuuuuur.

When that stupidity was over, KIFUMI suddenly went running up to the vocalist’s microphone and pulled it out.  I thought KIFUMI was just being stupid, but then TOMO went back behind the drum set while K went over to KIFUMI’s bass and Ray went over to K’s guitar.

Wait, what…?

KIFUMI was like, “we’re gonna do a song!”  Everyone was laughing and cheering, and I was just thinking, “wow, seriously…?”  MelJay leaned over and whispered, “can KIFUMI even sing?!”  I had nooooo idea.  Next thing we knew, the band was playing MY SWEET BLACK, with KIFUMI on vocals, K on bass, and Ray on the wrong guitar.  But when KIFUMI was trying to pump us up for the song, he started letting loose some serious screams.  I was like daaaaaaamn boy.  Honestly, all things considered, KIFUMI made a damn good Ryouga.  Can he sing?  Yyyyyyyynot really.  In fact, KIFUMI replaced most of the singing with growling, because he can’t really sing, isn’t confident in his singing, and it also just sounds cooler, I guess.  So we did all the furi and cheered the band on while TOMO laughed his ass off at his band mates’ attempts at performing the wrong roles.  At one point, KIFUMI turned around, leaped into the air, kicked his legs out almost into the splits, and landed one of the most epic jumps off a crate I’ve ever seen.  There was a moment there where I was like, “aaaagh, he’ll never make it!!!”

About halfway through the song, Ryouga came bopping onto the stage, wearing the BORN hoodie with the hood pulled up.  He made no move towards the microphone, just hopped around in the background, nodding his head to the music.  Then, right before the guitar solo, Ray frantically gave the guitar back to K.  While K did the solo, Ray returned to the other guitar, and KIFUMI ran back to his bass.  Ryouga wasn’t really heading towards his microphone, though, and the guitar solo was almost over.  Then he finally strode over to it, and joined in…

At the completely wrong time.  Woooooow, Ryouga, way to go.  He only made it through “shiroku kasumu hibi ni…”, and I think maybe the band could’ve recovered it, but TOMO was laughing so hard that he just stopped playing, and the whole song came to a screeching halt while Ryouga was mid-sentence.  Ryouga, probably really embarrassed but attempting to cover it up, started repeating the line over and over like a broken record.  He was like “Shiroku kasumu… shiroku kasumu… shiroku kasumu… WHAT’S THE MATTER?!  Shiroku kasumu… shiroku kasumu… SERIOUSLY, WHAT ARE YOU ALL LAUGHING AT?!  Shiroku kasumu…”  He even had the nerve to jokingly blame TOMO somewhere in all that.

The broken record went on for awhile while the audience was laughing themselves to tears and the band was in hysterics.  I’ve never seen TOMO laugh so hard at anything.  Poor Ryouga.  I’ve seen Rouga embarrass himself at shows before and he usually seems pretty horrified about it, but he definitely took this one in stride.  To make up for the fact that the song was completely ruined, Ryouga decided to turn it into an MC instead.  During the MC, he mentioned he was sick and had a runny nose.  Aaaaaaaw.  I could tell, honestly.  Although he was as hyperactive as ever, he started losing his voice about 3/4 of the way through the show, and I’d never heard him lose his voice before.  At first I took it to mean that, as usual, he overdid the show (even his band mates have written on their blogs that they sometimes worry he’ll explode up there or something), but being sick makes even more sense.

Then Ryouga casually put his foot on the crate and was like, "hey, isn't it Mother's Day?"  At that, the audience cheered.  Then Ryouga suddenly glared around the audience and was like, "then what the hell are you all doing here?!"  The crowd was like, "ooooooh."  Then Ryouga gave us a big lecture and told us we should all call our mothers after the show.  Wow, um... okay.  He also did rock-paper-scissors with us for some reason.  In Japanese, rock-paper-scissors is "jan-ken-poi", but when Ryouga did it with us, it became "jan-ken-POW!"  Lol, Ryouga's so awesome.

After the MC, BORN went into their closing repeater song.  I’ve never been sure what exactly this song is…  Like, I’ve never heard it on an album.  Some bands have repeater songs that only exist at shows, (for example, The GazettE’s Ride with the ROCKERS only exists at concerts, right?  I don’t think it ever appeared on a CD).

EDIT: By complete accident, MelJay found a BORN video that included the repeater song with its name listed on the screen.  The reason I didn't know about it until now is because the song wasn't actually released by BORN.  It was released by D&L, which is the band BORN was before they decided to change their name and become a "new band".  It's from a D&L maxi-single called THE PUBLIC CIRCUS.  The more you know.  So glad I figured out this D&L thing.

Anyways, shrive is usually pretty exhausting.  It involves doing the weird fist-grabby thing over and over.  On the last count, it also sounds like the vocal track is yelling “goodbye!” lol (no idea if that’s true, though).  After we’d done it, like, a million times, Ryouga yelled out, “raasuto gokai!” (“last five rounds!”).  I was ready to kill him.  It’s not uncommon during a repeater song for a vocalist to yell out “last three!” or even sooooometimes “last four”, but “last five”?!  Damnit, Ryouga.  That was another five minutes of exhaustion, lol.  Knowing it was the end of the show, though, I tried to make it really count.  That was probably when I lost most of my brain matter and sweated out my remaining life juices.

When the song was over and we were all cheering, Ryouga leaned back and screamed “YOU’RE ALL MOTHERFUCKERS!!!” at us.  Whoo, same to you, buddy!

When the show was over, I was kinda excited because it was only 8:00.  I’d have no problem getting home on time, and I might even be able to avoid a taxi!  But BORN was playing a very long recording over the loudspeaker where the band members goofed off and went over every single show on their upcoming one-man tour, and all the fans were sitting down or loitering around as if they were waiting for something.  I knew the band was backstage taking pictures with the lottery winners, but I had no idea what else was going on.  KIFUMI had so utterly confused me with his instructions.  Something about high-fives…?  I know Ray said to just give up on KIFUMI and ask the staff, but I don’t really like bothering them.  Especially at AREA, where the staff isn’t exactly known for being friendly.  After standing around for ten minutes unsure of what to do, MelJay asked a girl near us what was going on.  As it turned out, the girl is an exchange student from Taiwan but, thankfully, she speaks near-perfect Japanese (but no English).  She explained to us that, if we waited around for a little while, we were all gonna line up and go outside to get high-fives from all the band members.

Ooooookay.  So we stood around for awhile and talked with the Taiwanese girl a bit.  She wanted to get our contact information afterwards.  Eventually, the staff started herding everyone outside to go do high-fives.  All I could think was, “uuuuugh, awkward.”  But who am I to turn down a high-five, I suppose.  When we got out there, the typical AREA staff members were screaming at us to get moving and go go go.  They were even physically herding some people forward.  God, the AREA staff piss me off.  They were mean three years ago and they’re still mean now.

Anyways, the band was lined up, although I don’t remember the order (Ryouga was in the middle, that’s all I remember).  The AREA staff herded us through the band in under two seconds.  Still, when I was in front of the first member, which I believe was TOMO, my initial instinct was to politely say, “otsukaresama deshita” (“good job today”).  So I did, and lifted my hand for a high-five.  But the moment TOMO lifted his own hand, I suddenly felt this flash of wickedness go through me.  See, I always make fun of the fact that BORN’s lyrics are like 25% “whoa”, “yeah”, and the occasional “are you ready?!”  So when TOMO lifted his hand, I couldn’t resist the urge to high-five him as hard as possible and go, “YEAH!”  I then proceeded to do that with all the band members, lol.  They seemed to get a kick out of it.  I think Ryouga wanted revenge for my painful high-five, though.  See, when Ryouga high-fived people, he’d say “aishiteru ze!” (“I fuckin’ love you!”) to some of them.  Given my enthusiastic “YEAH!”, I wasn’t too surprised when I received an “aishiteru ze” from him.  But, as I was moving away, he smacked me in the elbow with his left hand and shouted, “I LOVE YOU!” at me in English.  Pffffffffffft.  I love you too, buddy <3

Aaaand that was pretty much that.  They made us leave the venue as soon as we were done high-fiving, so we went back to our lockers, retrieved our stuff, exchanged contact info with the Taiwanese girl (she won’t be at next Sunday’s show, but she’ll be at the tour final in August!), and went on our way.  I dawdled too long, though.  I missed the train I wanted by about eight minutes and had to wait an hour for the next one (thank goodness for the Starbucks in the station), then take a taxi when I was near home.  I’ve been jokingly referring to the end of the show as my “Twenty Dollar High-Fives” lol.

And now, three days later, the green bruise I got on my right arm during the show is still there.  BORN fans, you be crazy.  Crazy awesome.

So that’s all I’ve got for you guys today!  Sorry, this one was really long and rambly, and probably not that great since I suck at writing one-man reports.  I’d love to promise the Agitate to the DOGMANISM report will be better, but I doubt it.  I have the Awoi one-man on Saturday, and the BORN one-man on Sunday.  How the hell will I be able to write two one-man reports from one weekend before next weekend?!  By doing a poor job of it, most likely, but I’ll do my best!

See you next time!


  1. Dude, I don't know why you keep saying this report sucks, cuz it totally doesn't. You managed to do a great job of capturing what it was like to be at this show. I was really worried about never being able to relive the craziness that was this show in the future, but I'm pretty damn satisfied with this report tbh. You even reminded me of things I had already forgotten about even though it's only Wednesday XD

    Random shit I remembered while reading this that you didn't mention:

    During the encore Kifumi got a little too close to Ryouga while he was on the crate and Ryouga grabbed him by the neck and held him in a headlock for a while XD

    Also, before Kifumi and Ray started talking about the post-show activities, they totally thanked us for screaming our brains out calling for encore. I was really impressed with how loud everyone was yelling and how there was never a lull where it got quiet. They said it has been a really really long time since they've heard such a loud and strong call for encore. They promised to make the encore extra awesome because of that.

    So yeah, thanks for rocking this report. I expect something this awesome for the show next week :-P

    1. I was just worried I wrote too much, and it was too rambly and not interesting :-( Then again, I think that about every post I write, lol. Hopefully people who weren't at the show will enjoy this one. Confidence in my writing, I haz none, lol. Hopefully I'll be able to capture Sunday's BORN show and do it some justice.

  2. Sounds fun!! And your reports are always interesting:) Hey, where's the video where Ryouga rides down the hill? I thought you were gonna post that one? I already watched it though:p I also love how Ryouga headbangs in Radical Hysteria, it's so funny^^

    1. I'm glad my reports are interesting! I tend to fret about them a lot, and sometimes I make MelJay check them ahead of time in case they suck, lol. But as long as people enjoy them, I'll just keep doing what I've been doing!

      And I definitely thought about posting the Stupid Life video, lol. It's so amazing. Only Ryouga could be stupid enough to try bike-surfing down that horrible hill. Maybe I'll post it in the DOGMANISM post! I think everyone needs to see it at least once XD

  3. Great report as always :D
    You should be more confident in your writing, its well-written and always fun to read.

    Ryouga is an interesting fellow to say the least. The chorus of Radical Hysteria kills me.

    1. I have so little confidence in my writing, this blog was almost cancelled at least a dozen times, lol. But people keep saying they want more, so I keep delivering XD

      And seriously, Ryouga is soooooo funny. Just wait until I post the report about the DOGMA show, lol.

  4. Awww~~~ They played songs from D&L? i would kill to hear them perform songs from Remy Anny; all those songs are GREAT, esp those from the mini-album "Monochrome to Shinju". Erm, weird question; was the taiwanese girl you met tall (around 1.72m), quite pretty and wears black rimmed glasses? Cos i met a taiwanese exchange student in a MERRY live last year and forgot to ask for her FB :P

    1. Aaaah, I wish I knew more about D&L! I need to check out stuff like Remy Anny and Monochrome to Shinju, cuz I don't know anything about them. I think it was a coincidence that the one single I stumbled upon happened to have two songs I was pretty sure were the two from the show. Actually, now that I know what shrive is, I can confidently say that I've heard BORN play shrive before, maybe at the two-man I went to, so I guess they play D&L songs occasionally, even when it isn't a retroactive performance. I think it's good that they stick to their roots along with their new stuff!

      Also, the Taiwanese girl I ran into was reeeeeally short, lol, so it probably wasn't the same girl. Sorry :-( Hopefully you'll manage to find your girl some time!

    2. That sound you just heard is my heart breaking.

      Anyway. here's what I have from Renny Anny and D&L:

      , which I also believe is what they had ever released. And I still can't fathom why they have to change their name twice when there were no member changes or style *shrugs*

    3. Ah, sorry about that, lol. I'm actually fairly new to BORN, so I'm kind of a n00b on stuff like D&L. Unfortunately, that link you posted doesn't seem to work, :-( But I agree, it's weird that BORN changed their name twice without particularly changing much about themselves. They've admitted to having come close to breaking up a few times in the past, so I guess it was their way of "starting fresh" for themselves, even if it didn't seem all that fresh to the rest of us.

    4. Ooh, just kidding, I got the link to work. My new computer is stubborn sometimes. Thanks for the link! I'll be sure to give it a listen and be more prepared for future D&L moments at BORN shows, lol!