pyroyale: (GACKT - JAAAAAACKT)
[personal profile] pyroyale

I went to fade’s lives in Osaka and Tokyo, this Sunday and Tuesday respectively, and have finally managed to write up a review. There really wasn’t too much different between the two nights, so I’ll write them together and will just point out the differences.

Both venues were tiny. Really tiny. This is www, the venue in Shibuya –

and Club Drop in Osaka was even smaller.

I had good tickets for both shows (#11 for Osaka and #34 for Shibuya) so I made sure to get there before doors opened. I got to Club Drop about fifteen minutes before the doors opened, and was the third person there. When it came to actually enter the venue and they organised us by our ticket numbers, so many people weren’t there yet that my #11 turned into #6. I got to www again, about fifteen minutes early and there was a longer queue. The same thing happened though – a lot of people in front of me weren’t there yet.

It meant that for both shows I was on the barricade. For Osaka, I was left of centre and directly in front of Noriyuki. In Shibuya, I was right of centre.

The stage in Osaka was tiny. It was only two feet high, and about a foot away from the barricade. I spent most of the show standing with my foot on the stage (mainly because there was a pole in the barricade and I kept getting pushed into it. By bracing my leg like that with my foot on the stage, I didn’t get pushed anymore). Shibuya was a bigger stage and a really, really nice venue considering how small it was.

There was no stage set to speak of, but they had three boxes at the front of the stage, one in the centre and two either side so that the guitarists and Jon could stand on them. In Osaka, Jon spent a lot of time on this centre box, mainly to ensure everyone could see him, I guess. He seemed to stay centre a lot there. But in Shibuya, with the bigger and higher stage, he didn’t stay centre much. They split the stage equally between Jon and the three guitarists, and Jon’s little quarter was to the right of centre.

I spent 90% of the show with Jon stood right in front of me.

I don’t know, maybe he liked having someone there who could sing most of the songs?! I felt kinda embarrassed being the tallest in the front row, the only white person in the front row and standing right in front of Jon. Of course, I wasn’t going to move though!

The fans were really nice. I mentioned this on Twitter, but they were so friendly. I don’t know if they were approaching me because they wondered if I knew Jon (all us white people look alike, right? Hahaha) but I’ve never had as many Japanese fans speak to me at a show. It was nice.

There were a lot of YFC/GACKT fans there. A lot. Before the shows all I could hear from the crowd was “YFC… GACKT….” There were a lot of screams for Jon, too. Osaka seemed to be worse for that and at times, I think the rest of the band looked kinda bemused by it (the girl stood next to me was screaming for Rui but I don’t think he could hear her!). It was a bit more balanced in Shibuya, although the two girls next to me kept shouting for Jon. He played up to it though, asking them what they were shouting so they’d scream louder and saying thank you when they told him they loved him.

There weren’t many people in Osaka. Shibuya seemed near full though. At the back of the venue in Shibuya, were YOU and u:zo!

Setlist (both nights)

01. One Reason
02. Five
03. So Far Gone
04. Beautiful
05. From the Heart
06. Spin
07. Ever Free (new song)
08. Tides of change
09. She
10. Moment of Life (new song)
11. Reality Lost
12. Cosmicalism
13. Break Away
14. Better Scarred
15. Born Ready
16. Kings of Dawn

17. Last Man Standing
18. Let it Go

The band are all fantastic at getting the crowd involved with the songs. Jon leads the audience into singing some of the easier parts, such as the chorus of Beautiful, but also some of the repeated song titles such as in So Far Gone and Let it Go. I think they knew they were playing to a lot of new fans (Jon actually mentioned that during his MCs) so they worked hard to get them to play along and it worked very well.

The new songs sound great. Ever Free is a pretty typical upbeat song and nothing revolutionary, but it’s catchy and works very well live. The chorus line has some “woah-oh-oh” vocals for backing and Jon got the crowd to do this, while jumping up and down. The crowd were enthusiastic about joining in! It’s so catchy, I still have the basic tune of the chorus in my head despite only hearing it twice.

The other new song, Moment of Life, was really impressive I thought. It’s a slower song and slotted in perfectly after She. The chorus line starts with the lyrics “so faraway” and it’s very heartfelt. I can’t wait to hear this one on record.

Kansei is a little ball of fun. He’s really animated on stage and is always bouncing around and spinning as he plays. He controls his part of the stage really well and is pretty adorable. Godo is a lot more intense, especially when he’s doing backing vocals (he does most of the backing vocals) and his body paint is a work of art. I’m impressed that so much of it stays on throughout the show too. Noriyuki keeps his head down a little more than the two guitarists, but he’s a great bass player and has a real presence. He does some of the backing vocals too, particularly the growled vocals on Kings of Dawn.

There was an MC during the second half of the show. Jon said to us “welcome to the snake pit” and then the opening lines of an AKB48 song was played before being quickly stopped (thankfully). I recognised the song but can’t remember any of the names, so don’t ask me which one! The MC was then Kansei discussing his favourite members and their teams while trying to drag Rui into the discussion when he really didn’t want to be dragged into it. Kansei then did his party trick of drinking half a bottle of Jack Daniels without pausing for breath. It certainly smelt real in Osaka (I have a sensitive nose for alcohol so I could smell it… ugh)

I know there were technical difficulties in Nagoya, but these two shows were thankfully lacking in them. Both nights, Jon’s mic sounded really muffled during One Reason, but it cleared after that. Godo spent the last quarter of the Osaka show constantly messing with his effects board, but it didn’t seem to affect the sound. I thought the sound was slightly better in Osaka, but that was probably due to the smaller venue.

At both shows they gave away one of Rui’s cymbals signed by the entire band. Jon had a box with all of the ticket stubs in them and both nights Kansei had trouble remembering what they’re called (半券, Kansei, 半券). In Osaka, there was a little trouble because Kansei read out the ticket number, but there were two tickets with the same number – issued by different ticket companies. So, the girl with the ePlus ticket got the cymbal, and Jon gave a fade towel signed by him (the only one in the world!) to the other ticket holder.

For both shows Jon was wearing a similar outfit to the one on the Kings of Dawn album cover. His jeans were very sparkly and he had a v-neck shirt underneath, but the white jacket was the same. He took the jacket off halfway through, and in Osaka he took the jacket off while the band started playing the intro to the next song. But, he had pulled the sleeves up slightly during the live and had real difficulty pulling his jacket off, hahaha. I was a little worried that he wouldn’t manage it before he had to start singing but he just about made it! In Shibuya, he took the jacket off before the band started playing the song.

In Osaka, Jon stepped onto the barricade. There were a lot of fangirls for him in the second and third rows, so it got a little rough then and there were plenty of hands all over his thighs and stomach again. He didn’t do that in Shibuya, but instead took his shirt off for Let It Go. He’s not shaving his armpits anymore, hahahaha. He gave his water bottle to one of the fangirls next to me, who then squirted the entire contents at him (I’m not sure he liked that, actually. This isn’t YFC after all). He threatened to start a water fight with the bottles he still had on stage, but thankfully decided to call a truce with her instead.

Both nights there was an MC to end the show. Jon and the band were really thankful for the support and to see so many new people. I like Jon’s MCs. He doesn’t really say anything different to most Japanese singers, but he says it in simpler, easier to follow ways.

At the end of the Shibuya show I was lucky to get a handshake and a wink from Jon, and Rui handed me one of his drumsticks. Well, he tried to hand one to me but the girl next to me grabbed it from him, so he handed me a second one. Thank you! It’s all beaten up and the wood is even splintered.

On the way out, because it was fade’s 10th Anniversary, we were all given cards with messages from the band and their signatures. I still can’t figure out if the signatures are printed or actually signed… I don’t really care about getting signed stuff unless I’ve got the signature myself but it was very cool of them to do it, and it’s on my wardrobe door with lots of other random things!

All in all, I was really impressed with them and had a great time. The setlist was a good mix of new and old, and there seemed to be plenty of CDs bought at the end of the shows. The Shibuya show was filmed, so hopefully that footage will surface and hopefully I won’t be in it too much!

I think I've covered everything...


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November 2012

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