L'Arc~en~Ciel “LIVE 2018 L'ArChristmas” at Tokyo Dome

live report - 07.02.2019 11:01

L'Arc~en~Ciel’s Christmas present to their fans!

Renowned band L’Arc~en~Ciel had their first Christmas lives on December 19th and 20th at Tokyo Dome. Over a year after their long awaited 25th anniversary concerts, the four music legends got together for this special Christmas celebration dedicated to their fans.

The concert begins with an introduction video featuring a frozen forest that hid crystals containing one L’Arc~en~Ciel member each. Upon the visit of what seems like a forest deity shown as an ice reindeer, the members are unfrozen one by one, appearing in person. A rainbow aurora shines brightly on a stage framed by tree garlands.

winter fall

Wearing a white and really fluffy outfit, hyde starts singing winter fall. The stage lights dance to the beat and during the final verse the lights turn orange.

Caress of Venus

The upbeat rhythm makes everything shine with rainbow colored lasers and matching color L’ed bands worn by the audience, who shout whenever hyde commands through yells of “Tokyo!” or send flying kisses to the camera. hyde moves to the right of the stage as tetsuya goes to the left to greet fans.

snow drop

Snow starts falling on the screens; hyde and tetsuya now switch places. When the center of the stage that holds the crystals as well as the drums lights up green, the audience’s L’ed bands light up to match it. During ken’s solo part of the song the L’ed bands change to a pulsating orange, matching the speed of his guitar.

It has been 1 year and 8 months since L’Arc~en~Ciel’s last live, and hyde says it must be a Christmas miracle. He also announces they will play songs they haven’t played in a long time and urges the crowd to enjoy the show until the end.

BLESS

ken, wearing brown tinted glasses and now with an acoustic guitar, is ready for BLESS. The top of the tree in the middle of the stage is now adorned with blue light balls. ken does a soulful solo at the end of the song.

Kuchizuke

This time, hyde is wearing sunglasses. The lights transition from calm and wintery to deeper colors like purple and red. This passionate song is the first surprise on the set, having not been performed in 10 years.

fate

fate keeps the stage purple but this time wide green and purple lasers dance across the dome. Red and blue spotlights over the stage meet in the middle to keep the purple strong. Red spotlights shine over hyde during the faster second half of the song alongside yellow spotlights that dance around the stage.

Dearest Love

Dearest Love is the second surprise of the night, a song not performed live in over 20 years! With the spotlight on ken, hyde sings the intro. When the guitar gets stronger, the top of the central tree lights up with mini white and purple stars that start descending slowly.

The stage lights up in a mixture of fuschia and green that turn red during the second chorus, reflective of the burning image of the lyrics. tetsuya does an emotional, high pitched chorus near the end of the song.

MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM

With the spotlight on him, ken starts the well known solo that leads to MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM while the ice reindeer from the beginning of the concert stands behind the central tree, its antlers changing colors with every note from ken’s guitar. On cue, it runs off the screen when yukihiro starts drumming along.

The stage shines in a rainbow hue and the center screen shows a frozen willow tree also shimmering with rainbow lights. As hyde walks to the end of the catwalk the L’ed bands shine white. The fans sing along to the final chorus and hyde sends everyone a kiss.

Hurry Xmas

The side screens show stained glass, and green and red spotlights shine towards the ceiling. The stage crystals and ice turn a soft orange. tetsuya and hyde sing the intro of the song before the rest of the members join in with their instruments.

On both sides of the center screen hang lights shaped as a Christmas tree. The fans’ L’ed bands shine with red and green colors to fit the song and then form the concert title ”L’ArChristmas” on the top levels of the dome. During the chorus, hyde holds tetsuya’s shoulders from behind. This version of the song has a special Christmas arrangement.

Driver's High

The arena pulsates from the center out with red lights while the sound of a roaring engine and fire introduce Driver’s High. The L’ed bands pulsate faster as the song progresses. During ken’s solo, the L’ed bands turn yellow.

DIVE TO BLUE

Giant colorful balloons are rolled and bounced around over the fans in the arena for DIVE TO BLUE, another surprise song.

The frozen tree in the center of the stage now holds blue stars on its top while the center screen shines blue and teal alongside purple and blue spotlights. The L’ed bands pulsate with blue lights. Eventually, the big balloons break into smaller balloons for fans to grab.

After an intermission, each member takes his place on the new setup. tetsuya now holds an electric fuchsia double bass for the upcoming song. ken does the MC and tells everyone a funny memory of his grandma.

Miraisekai

Glittery gold and orange lights show up on the main screen for Miraisekai. hyde ends the song saying “Merry Christmas”.

Shizuka no umi de

Deep purple spotlights shine on the catwalk. The side screens become a monochrome milky way while the camera closes in on the moon on the center screen. The L’ed bands turn blue. This may be the biggest surprise of the night. After 22 years of absence, the song transports the fans to the moon. Smoke fills the walkway and shines with white spotlights.

hyde lets everyone sing the chorus of “feel heavenly” while he continues with the song. At the end, voices from the ground control of our spaceship as well as the screens announce each member has landed, and the beat intensifies to give way to trick.

trick

Lit up by purple spotlights and deep colored lasers the four members move towards the main stage on a sliding stage while playing their guitars. Each member takes turns to sing the song. tetsuya went first, then yukihiro, followed by ken as hyde taunts the fans from the platform, and at last hyde.

X X X

Pink and blue spotlights change the mood, with fuchsia lasers and L’ed bands to match. Flame torches light up the stage against a deep pink background. X X X ends with a burst of fire.

Wings Flap

Golden stars dance on the center screen. The trees on the sides light up again and the stage’s frame lights up purple, the crystals pink and the L’ed bands golden.

Link

Gold and red metallic ribbons shoot towards the arena area. tetsuya takes the front of the catwalk while enveloped by yellow lights. The center stage shows colorful lights and rainbows matching the L’ed bands.

hyde announces that the band listened to the fans, taking songs for the setlist from previous online surveys they did. Although Natsu no Yuutsu got many votes it sadly doesn’t fit the concept, so he apologizes for that.

White Feathers

Slowly, white light balls adorning the top of the tree fall. White Feathers has been missing from their concerts for seven years and is warmly welcomed by fans. At the peak of the song, white feathers start falling on stage and travel around the arena.

Don't be Afraid

Purple and red lights couple with Don't be Afraid for a sense of impending danger and fear.

After the song tetsuya, asks if anyone knows Santa Claus wears red. He explains that that image was created by Coca Cola as a promotional stunt a long time ago and has since remained as the universal image of Santa Claus.

twinkle, twinkle

Back with the Christmas theme, several golden spheres show on the main screen. The L’ed bands go from white to gold and yellow spotlights shine over the band members. After 12 years, twinkle, twinkle is performed live again.

I Wish

hyde sings the chorus of I Wish acapella, then ken joins in on the acoustic guitar several times. The fans sing the lyrics that appear on screen until hyde continues singing, backed up by tetsuya. An original, instrumental, faster paced version of what was previously played follows. hyde moves over the walkway among red and green lights with matching L’ed band lights around. After 21 years, we get to see I Wish performed live.

hyde tells everyone how he woke up without a voice and felt afraid, but due to the support of the band members and staff he was able to be at the show. After seeing all the fans’ happy faces, he felt grateful he was able to deliver.

Yuki no ashiato

Only lighted up by white spotlights the band performs the last song, Yuki no ashiato, another song that took 10 years to be performed again. All the fans wave their white L’ed bands and paper snow falls on stage and in front of the walkway.

As is customary, after all the members leave the stage, tetsuya comes back with a basket full of bananas that he happily throws around the arena area. The side screens flash “Merry Christmas”, the final message to the fans.

This two-day Christmas live has certainly been the best present for all L’Arc~en~Ciel fans and everyone hopes there is only more to come.

Set list

01. winter fall
02. Caress of Venus
03. snow drop
04. BLESS
05. Kuchizuke
06. fate
07. Dearest Love
08. MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM
09. Hurry Xmas
10. Driver's High
11. DIVE TO BLUE
12. Miraisekai
13. Shizuka no Umi de
14. trick
15. X X X
16. Wings Flap
17. Link
18. White Feathers
19. Don't be Afraid
20. twinkle, twinkle
21. I Wish
22. Yuki no ashiato
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