amaterase at Tokyo Kinema Club

live report - 24.04.2018 10:01

A little over a year after their comeback, amaterasu held a one-man show "amaterase yuiitsu-sai 'kako genzai mirai ~ majiwaru hito to oto no wa ~" at Tokyo Kinema Club on April 8th, celebrating their past, present and future ambitions.

Sakura trees adorned the wide stage of the opera theatre-like venue of Tokyo Kinema Club, introducing an atmosphere of a spring festival consistent with the band’s very Japanese, ethnic vibes.

As the opening SE started, supporting members for the show, drummer shinpei (ex-SuG), bassist KEN (Xie) and guitarist You. (Scarlet Valse) entered the stage and bowed to the audience. Descending from a little stage above the main area, guitarist Daishi and vocalist Akira greeted the crowd in a series of choreographed moves, and took their places as the two frontmen of the band.

The show kicked off with a bang as Akira urged the crowd to raise their fists to the hot sounds of Hi no kuni. As lights flickered, Kibougaoka followed with industrial vibes to its heavy guitar riffs. The vocals and the guitar taking turns to let each other shine sounded like a conversation. A slower-paced, yet intense Kagerofu with its dark vibes followed, culminating in another round of the voice and guitar sounds intertwining as fans stretched their hand out toward the stage.

Daishi and Akira took turns to welcome the crowd to the one-man show. The two proceeded to discuss the stage decorations, Daishi’s dramatic “The sakura outside might have shed, but our spring is starting from here!” eliciting cheers and laughter. It's a running joke among the band and it’s fans that the guitarist tends to forget something at every show, including instances of forgetting his guitar in the past, and this time was not an exception – he forgot to bring the backdrop, but the venue salvaged the situation by projecting the band’s logo on the back wall, making it even bigger and more impactful than usual – all good!

Leaving the jokes aside, the band proceeded to play its newest song Nayuta – a powerful song about their infinite possibilities going forward. Kami no ko with its prominent drum beat and catchy sounds moved the crowd as they waved their hands. Akira’s clean, flawless singing shone in a gentle solo. He seemed almost like a different person in Ouma, where the singing suddenly because harsh and powerful. The members used the entirety of the wide stage, interacting with the crowd and with each other.

An MC followed, in which the band introduced their support members, with another round of joking around. KEN talked about using beauty apps to make himself look prettier as the band poked fun at his bald head shining brighter than stage lights, while You. and Akira discussed how recently the polite distance between them has been getting smaller, and the drummer shinpei talked about how the last time he played with the band was 12 years ago, the members noting how much he had grown since.

Continuing the show, the band played the gentle Subaru – a song that Daishi wrote while amaterase were on hiatus, and which Akira has been yearning to sing ever since he heard it. While the two performed this song together for the first time, the emotion could be heard in Akira’s voice as he did the beautiful song justice. Following that was another song written while the band wasn’t active – the upbeat Yggdrasil, with medieval European vibes to it, which however sounded surprisingly natural embedded in the overall oriental sound of the band’s music. Akaki ryuu no kishi no monogatari continued the medieval theme with flutes and tambourines backing up the main instruments. During the verses, Daishi and the support members knelt as Akira captured all attention singing in a clear, enchanting voice.

As an SE played, Akira and Daishi went up to a little stage above the main stage, where they proceeded to play a semi-acoustic set. They started with the soft and gentle acoustic version of Itsusu no umi no monogatari, with a flair of sadness to it, and continued with a more positively-toned Akatsuki, in which acoustic guitars, backed by electronic tracks, created rich, impactful sounds.

As the two members returned to the main stage, ambient electronic sounds announced the start of Mahoroba. Halfway through the song came a narration from Daishi – an interesting aspect of the band’s shows is the atmosphere of storytelling you get submersed in throughout the set. Following came the upbeat and catchy Aya with it’s memorable melodies, concluded by a lengthy, flawless solo from Daishi – another characteristic feature of almost all amaterase songs.

After another laughter-filled MC, the live continued with Marogare, starting with Akira and Daishi doing a choreographed intro. The dark verses progressed into a brighter chorus, lights shining on the lively crowd as they all spun towels in the air. For the final Houou, a symbiosis of western and eastern sounds, the audience took out fans for the epic intro and looked like they were having lots of fun dancing along. The song culminated in a long, fluent guitar solo, followed by a clean, beautiful solo by Akira, the whole venue feeling united. The band thanked all for coming, bowed and left the stage.

Straight away, the fans started calling for an encore by chanting members' names. The band returned to the stage, thanked the crowd for calling them back and cracked some more jokes. The encore set kicked off with the intense NATURAL SELECTION, with screams and fist-pumping from the crowd, and jumping that made the venue rock. The members moved around the stage, urging the audience on, and drum, bass and support guitar solos led up to the main culminating guitar solo.

Before the last song, Daishi thanked everyone for choosing their show that night, said that they will be writing more songs and that they want to be connected to everyone more, so they should stay watching out for amaterase. Akira confessed that while the fans are coming to see them, he also feels like he is coming to see everyone. Concluding the show was Shinrabansho, a lyric-less song where the voice became one of the instruments, and everyone sang along with Akira in unison, coming together for a powerful finale.

The band and the fans bowed to each other, and the members hugged and went off the stage visibly happy. The viewers were left with a warm feeling of having witnessed something much more than just a music gig, and with hopes to see more great things from amaterase going forward.

Set list

Entrance SE
01. Hi no kuni
02. Kibougaoka
03. Kagerofu
04. Nayuta
05. Kami no ko
06. Ouma
07. Subaru
08. Yggdrasil
09. Akaki ryuu no kishi no monogatari
10. Itsusu no umi no monogatari (Acoustic version)
11. Akatsuki
12. Mahoroba
13. Aya
14. Marogare
15. Houou
Ending SE

02. Shinrabansho
Encore ending SE

Watch our recent video interview with amaterase below:

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