MIYAVI "DAY 2" World Tour at Slim's, San Francisco

live report - 10.06.2018 10:01

Longtime fans show their undying loyalty to MIYAVI, ten years after he held his first solo concert at the very same venue.

After touring with two other asian bands for the Asia On Tour concert series in 2017, MIYAVI has returned to San Francisco as a powerful solo act. MIYAVI’s "DAY 2" World Tour 2018 has six stops across the United States and Canada for the North American leg of the tour, and multiple other stops in Asia, Europe, and South America. His tour entourage includes longtime collaborative drummer BOBO, vocalists Seann Bowe and Heather Ogilvy, and DJ Jonny.

MIYAVI had done his first solo show in San Francisco at Slim’s in 2008 during his This Iz The Japanese Kabuki Rock Tour. Ten years later, he returns to Slim’s with a sold out show packed into the intimate club venue. Fans lined up in front of the venue hours before the show started hoping to get a front row spot, and they seemed very different from the crowd back in 2008. Then, MIYAVI’s own style and music was much more eclectic: a blend between traditional Japanese Kabuki and American hip-hop, and many fans had dressed up to mimic his style. Now in 2018, the audience seemed older and many of the same people who had gone to the concert ten years ago had grown up, but remained big fans of MIYAVI.

The concert started late on a Friday evening, and the crowd was buzzing with excitement as fans were trying to guess what songs he would play. The lights dimmed and the low chatter quickly turned into an excited roar as MIYAVI came onto the stage, guitar blazing. Dressed in a customized black leather jacket, skinny jeans, and Y-3 sneakers, MIYAVI looked like an American rock star – a by-product of living in Los Angeles. Opening with the song Flashback from his album Samurai Sessions Vol.2, MIYAVI was all over the stage, making sure he showed love to every section of the pit. As with most of his recent music, the focus has shifted away from vocals towards more prominent guitar sounds, with distinct hip-hop and electronic dance music overtones. MIYAVI always seemed like he was in his most natural environment not behind the microphone, but in front of the stage shredding on his guitar.

Between tracks, MIYAVI talked about the inspirations for his recent songs. He discussed his work with the UNHCR, and how he made it his life’s mission to help refugees after he worked with Angelina Jolie. MIYAVI talked about “human disasters”, specifically genocides and the resulting refugee crisis, and how humans caused the problem and that humans have to be the ones to solve it, to find solutions. He also talked about diversity in the United States and how it was important to him and his family, and why it was a big reason he likes living on the West Coast.

“Music might be able to solve the conflict, change the people, and gives us a more meaningful direction for the future. We are responsible for the next generation. The next track I wrote about acceptance, we are all different but we can be one through music,” he leads into the next song, “We are The Others!”

The following track Long Nights, he explains, was inspired by a girl he had met in a refugee camp, who had to escape her country in order to survive. He told the story of how he felt hopeful and inspired after seeing the reactions from the refugee children’s faces when he played guitar for them.

The optimistic vibe instantly returned with the opening of Firebird, his signature passion and love for entertaining on full display as he continued to energize the crowd through his lyrics and riffs. Dancing With My Fingers followed, with singers Seann Bowe and Heather Ogilvy substituting some of Daichi Miura’s vocals.

MIYAVI closed with Day 1, grabbing the mic and encouraging fans to “bring down the house” right above the cheering front row. Thanking the crowd, everyone quickly disappeared off the stage. The audience members wondered what songs he’d come back and play for the encore, many hoping for renditions of his older songs. MIYAVI returned to stage recording the enthusiastic audience with his phone, and went on to introduce each member of his crew. He thanked the crowd again, reminiscing about his first show in San Francisco at that very same venue, and thanked his loyal fans for still attending after all these years. MIYAVI then treated everyone to Neo Visualizm and What a Wonderful World, and ended the night with Real? and What’s My Name? 2017.

Set List

01. Flashback
02. So On It
03. In Crowd
04. Bumps in The Night
05. Dim It
06. HA!!!!!!!!
07. Ain’t No Sunshine
08. Humble
09. Icon
10. Lemon
11. Epic Swing
12. Pink Spider
13 The Others
14. Long Nights
15. Firebird
16. Dancing With My Fingers
17. Strong
18. Day 1


01. Neo Visualizm
02. What a Wonderful World
03. Real?
04. What’s My Name? 2017
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