Dir en grey, Arena 37c (9/2000)
Cool metal tees… This could be your only chance!
don’t suppose anyone remembers Kana?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Malice Mizer recently, and everyone sharing their top 10 Dir en grey songs inspired me to do the same for Malice Mizer. I’ve always found these guys intriguing, especially the way they shifted through different eras based on the lineup. It’s a shame that drummer Kami died, because maybe they’d still be around. But, at the same time, his death sparked some of their best material, so it’s as bittersweet a situation as it could be.
I probably love these guys as much as I love Dir en grey. When they reissued Merveilles in hardcover book packaging with a music box built in, there was no question that I had to have it. So, with that, my favorite Malice Mizer songs. In no particular order:
- Le Ciel
- Beast of Blood
- Kioku to Sora (Tetsu version)
- Bel Air (Gackt version)
- Mayonaka ni Kawashita Yakusoku
- Seinaru Toki Eien no Inori
- Tsuioku no Kakera
- Gensou Rakuen
- Hamon / Kyosokyoku
That last one may be cheating a little as it’s a song that was only played live by Gackt and Kami during the Merveilles tour. I also don’t have anything from Voyage aside from one song because I’m not too fond of that album, being a little too frilly for me to take it seriously. I do love the Tetsu era, though. VK has tons of horrible vocalists, but Tetsu’s histrionic crooning brings a smile to my face. Yeah, now we have guys like Yomi and Jin and Ruki (to some extent) that aren’t good vocalists in the slightest, but there’s nothing endearing in their awfulness compared to Tetsu, Sakito, or that dude from Mirage (I forget his name).
I want to hear more good-bad, not bad-bad.
BLAST FROM THE PAST:
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
That’s More Like It!
I don’t know what happened between last night’s so-so live and tonight’s mega-super-uber blockbuster-to-end-all-blockbusters gig, but i’m glad it did!
I got there early this afternoon and met some nice people in line (Hazuki and Emiko). And i got all the merchandise i had promised people i would, including Band Yarouzes from two months ago, with the Kyo poster, which was a great surprise, because merch tables hardly ever sell magazines, especially not ones left over from months before. The poor merch table girl though, ugh! I said, “ready?” to warn her… then it was like, three this, five that, four of those, one black three white, two of these… make that three… make it four, okay, done!”
My arms thusly loaded with t-shirts and books and all sorts of other stuff, i hot-footed it over to a little Tower Records courtyard to get myself situated and packed away, and then maybe do some CD shopping by myself. But i ended up joining the same girls i met in line after they waved me over. And with that simple wave, all the doubts and ickiness of yesterday was washed away, my faith in Deg fans renewed. Hallelujah!
And while i hung out with them, other acquaintances were strolling by and saying hello… it was really nice!
I got into the show late — ticket #1250’ll do that to ya — and saw even MORE people i knew; joined Tina (who missed yesterday’s concert in favor of Dopeheadz at… Shibuya AX?) and while we were chatting, close to showtime, Deg’s much-liked and respected manager came out to say “Don’t kill each other, ok, we’re all friends, right? Let’s have fun!” And as we were planning the best way to get up front (there’s a maze of rollbars to navigate, plus all those PEOPLE ahead of us), the dam spontaneously broke and a river of fans flowed into the frontmost section, and we let the flow carry us too; i ended up a meter or two in front of Kyo.
I think i’m officially a Kyo fan now; we just make eye contact, and it never gets old. He’s electric! Getting way ahead of myself, at one point late in the show, he came towards the crowd from his usual rest-spot at the edge of the drum riser, and as he approached the mic, the crowd cheered and screamed uncontrollably (as always), and i was smiling in a “This is so cool… the universe is so cool right now” way, and he caught my smile a did a smile back at me. I mean, right at me, like he new what i was thinking because he was thinking the same thing. Not that i’m special; he looks around at everybody a lot. Always goading the crowd, and levelling those piercing stares at unsuspecting fans.
And the band interaction today was WAY better than yesterday. I remember coming up for air after having had two different crowdsurfers on top of my beleaguered head/back, and seeing Die, Kaoru, and Kyo all huddled together playing through …maybe it was Filth? One of the more rockin’ recent songs, anyway. And Die and Kaoru were smiling and laughing with each other, and then for the chorus Kyo popped the mic in front of Kaoru’s mouth, but all that came out of Kaoru was an unprepared “muh—,” and he looked at Kyo and erupted into laughter, so Kyo in turn looked and laughed to Die, so Kaoru turned to Die and laughed even harder, all three of them sharing the laughs, and then they all broke away at the same time for the next section of the song.
That’s the kind of stuff you want to see live, your favorite band having a good time entertaining you!
And there was a lot of that; Die and Kao leaning on each other’s backs as they played, Kyo leaping off his riser twenty feet in the air, arms raised to the heavens, Toshiya leaning so far over the edge of the stage you’re wondering if his foot is on the bouncer’s head (and bouncer’s whose sole role is to catch crowdsurfers and release them back into the general population to crowdsurf again… and again… and again… no bullying, just kind subservience to the fans).
Die even faced Shinya for a bit, and Shinya gets almost universally ignored because he’s such a stoic (and he remained tight-lipped and concentrating with Die as well…) but at beginning of the next set he came out to Die’s side of the stage, and everyone screamed his name because it’s so rare, (he generally hangs back in my experience, only confronting the crowd at the end of a set, when he throws out exactly two drumsticks, one the left, one to the right, almost always in the same spot — which i never remember til it’s too late). And he splashed some water onto the overheating crowd, and tossed the plastic water bottle in, and was kinda smiling, which is about all you’re gonna get from him when he’s in front of a couple thousand screaming minions.
I got a piece of Shinya’s towel too, which was the very last thing thrown out; my fingers got wrapped around a corner, and then twisted around and yanked from their sockets as ten other people tore simultaneously at the cloth — i surrendered my piece quickly. It was like dogs fighting over a bone, how they shake their heads violently and yank mercilessly. The towel was last seen being firmly yet calmly gripped by seven different fans who shuffled cautiously towards the lobby together, eyeing each other with distrust. How do you decide who gets it…?
Also in the crowd was another easy-to-spot non-asian foreigner (yay!), whose name i missed but during intermission the first thing she said was “I read your site!”
Ahhhh, if i had to choose between hearing that phrase forever or lifting schoolgirls with bondage collars over my head… tough call!
Back to Shinya, that bastard tossed a stick right at me, and i missed! As is to be expected, the clumsy oaf that i am… i mean, it was like a father tossing a softball underhanded to his son for the first time, from four feet away, literally, so easy was this pass, but i grasped for it a millisecond to soon and it sailed right past my hand. But c’est la vie, i’ve already got one, ne? What would i ~possibly~ do with ~two~!????! <grits teeth and winces>
The setlist kicked ass. Started out with the happy, bouncing, crowd-surfing faves Child Prey, Jessica, and Umbrella — an amazing burst of initial energy that helped the show lift-off to celestial heights. They slowed it down a little bit only twice (and much-need respites were they! Most of us were actually hoping they’d slow it down, i imagine, so we could catch our breath and rest!).
After one of the set breaks, we chanted, they came back out, Die sat down with an acoustic and i looked over at one of the japanese guys i’d been lifting girls with and sighed, “Undecided ne,” which is a good song, but not my favorite use of five precious minutes of live-time.
The lights faded, a solo spot descended upon Die, casting long shadows down his face. He fretted the first chord, and i looked at it, and i recognized it, and just as he strummed it i realized it would be Akuro no Oka. And so it was! Gorgeous.
They also played the two new songs, Drain Away being one (but which one I do not know — they’re both good, but one’s somewhat better, and just to confirm again from yesterday’s post-post post: Drain Away will be released on 01/22/03.)
That was a good time for the audience to relax before being hit with a nice surprise…
Over the speakers, in the darkness between songs, and over the roar of the crowd, you could just barely hear a little girl’s voice croaking, “…i’ll be good… i’m gonna kill you… i’m gonna <this is where i start yelling along, above the din> BLOW YOUR HEAD OFF LIKE RASPBERRY JAM!” (Kyo definitely noticed that! His eyes bulged at me!) And they broke into Berry, that wonderful track off macabre.
So that was great, although Kaoru’s guitar line (the chuggachuggachugga line that runs throughout the song) was not as clean as on the album. Also unfortunately, that was after being clocked in the head for the hundredth time, ensuring a concussion, and it hurt to headbang, so all i could do was hurl more girls like sacks of potatoes to show my participatory skills. (The girls take off their shoes, but they still have heel bones, knees, and shins that can do a lot of damage to a noggin’!)
(I was surprised that everyone else didn’t scream along to the intro; but i guess it being in English, the fans know it but maybe can’t call it forth out of their mouths at a moments notice.)
Another thing; a little more crowdsurfing today, and i ended up on the Zepp lifting team again (three of us guys, plus one girl who liked to provide the knee for the jumpees to stand on). It worked out extremely well. A handful of surfergirls nod/wink-style thanked me during the show (the boys that surf over you never do), and one even came up to me an hour after the show, in the train station! Just to say thanks! A cutie too! Hubba hubba mwuah ha!)
One rather funny incident which didn’t involve me, thankfully — some guy was crowdsurfing, and another guy got on top of him and rode him like a horse! LOL!
Oooh oooh, there was also a videocamera shooting today too — i think the manager was running it, just bits here and there, nothing like a pro-shot video or anything — and i was on tape at least twice, so now i can’t wait to buy the next video that comes out.
The crowd was also mic’d both yesterday and today; make of that what you will. My interpretation: live album (or at least more b-sides)!
And then a little more fun afterwards!
Fucking kick-ass gig!
Brad Pitt vs The Meev! FIGHTO!
NoGod’s new single and fall tour schedule.
- THE POWER
- 机上の空論 (live version) - Recorded at ASTRO HALL in July 13th, 2013
- 敬虔 (live version) - Recorded at ASTRO HALL in July 13th, 2013
Japan Fall tour dates
NoGoD ONE MAN TOUR-2013 AUTUMN-【 神髄 】
10月6日(日)新潟GOLDEN PIGS RED
European Fall tour dates
10.12.2013 - The Underworld, London - UK
12.12.2013 - Matrix, Bochum - Germany
14.12.2013 - Backstage, Munich - Germany