live report - 28.06.2011 10:01

DIR EN GREY graced fans with the show of a lifetime with a power-packed performance on May 19th.

A diverse crowd gathered at Zepp Tokyo for the show of a lifetime on May 19th to see DIR EN GREY. The fans had one thing in common though – they were all part of DIR EN GREY's Fan Club 「a knot」. From the moment fans arrived at Tokyo Teleport they felt a special night was ahead. Hundreds of DIR EN GREY tour T-shirt clad fans filled the streets and their energy and passion was palpable. The show was sold out, as were most of the shows for that FC-only tour, and inside the venue the dedicated fans waited patiently for the start of the show anticipating the songs they would be graced with that night.

A gigantic roar filled the room as the SE started resounding across the venue. The stage seemed divided by colors. Die’s side was red, Shinya’s white drum set matched Toshiya’s white amplifier and Kaoru’s side was black. With the crowd clapping, the members came on stage, shrouded by white smoke and lit with bluish purple lights. Kyo was the last and as he made his appearance, the crowd released a deafening yell. Kyo approached the podium slowly and with confidence stepped on it, raising one arm to the skies. With that cue, the fans did the same and as the lights turned green HYDRA -666- started. At once everyone started head banging, including Die and Shinya. All fists in the air, the crowd sang “666!”

OBSCURE was next and helped set the mood for the night. Bodies violently moved back and forth in time with the beat. Toshiya head banged energetically to the song as the lights went from blue to red for the chorus.

LOTUS was welcomed by soft white lights that seemed perfect for the interesting ballad. The bass lines stood out for this song along with Toshiya’s contagious performance.

It was impressive to see the crowd sing DOUKOKU TO SARINU from the album UROBOROS at Kyo’s command. As the vocalist shouted “Omaera, Koe kikasete kure!” (Let me hear your voices!) the fans immediately obeyed, singing “Shinjirarenai no wa dare no sei?” (Whose fault is it if I can’t believe?), the lyrics echoing hauntingly throughout the room.

As Kyo took his shirt off, a thunderous roar filled the venue. Two old favorites followed: SAKU and GRIEF. Red lights greeted both songs, indeed marking the mood. The band’s performance during GRIEF was spectacular and the fans made sure to keep up, moving back and forth like a black wave in the middle of a storm. All hands up, the fans furiously pumped their fists in the air, shouting “Blood tastes like vanilla!” at the top of their lungs. Suddenly, both the crowd and the vocalist opened their arms up in the air and to the music started clapping. Visually, it was simply striking and Kyo’s performance was memorable.

Shinya has his turn to shine during THE FATAL BELIEVER. The drummer’s speed and energy were superb and he stole the show, always head banging powerfully to the song.

It was still difficult to understand what song was next as Kyo started speaking in a low voice, as if in prayer. After a haunting solo Kaoru joined in, extracting disturbing sounds from his guitar. As the two wandered off in their own dreams the crowd seemed to disappear, the guitar and the vocalist’s cries mingling together in palpable despair. The stage went red to welcome Shokubeni. It was time for some Kyo-style dancing and, naturally, more head banging.

BUGABOO and dead tree followed, warmly welcomed by the crowd. The band went even further back in time with none other than ZAKURO from their second full album MACABRE. Kyo’s desperate yell echoed throughout the live house and the guitars followed suit. Dimly lit, the stage was covered by a blood red veil of light. Die stood solemnly behind his acoustic guitar and Kaoru seemed lost in the song as he speeded away for the guitar solo. Alone in the center of the stage, Kyo conveyed through sounds and gestures what words couldn’t and for the song his pain seemed real. As the song reached its climax, the vocalist knelt on the floor arms up in the air as he shouted from the bottom of his heart in a desperate mantra “ai shiteiru…” (I love you).

Kyo was still on the floor when fog started covering the stage. A lonely red light shone behind him and as all the other lights faded, all that was visible were silhouettes. The fans seemed to hold their breaths in anticipation and when the first chords of RED SOIL were set loose, the crowd shouted excitedly. Loud “Oi!Oi!Oi!”s accompanied the song as the massive black wave of fans appeared to transform into an army of daemons summoned to war. Heavy head banging and moshing followed suit in a fiery performance. DIFFERENT SENSE came next. Powerful drums and a very distinctive DIR EN GREY sound seemed to please the fans who tried to follow the choreographies. It was interesting to see Toshiya helping with the chorus and Die’s fans rushing to the front as he moved forward for his guitar solo.

Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami was received with a deafening roar by the passionate fans. Purple lights served as the background for the warm performance of both the band and the crowd as they sang the chorus in unison. Toshiya made sure to jump around in time with the beat, mimicking the peppy crowd.

Hotter the show got during the remake of one of the bands first hits – ZAN. The heat became palpable as smoke invaded the stage once more, the red lights adding intensity to the song. The crowd was more than familiar with it and once again became one as hundreds of bodies unified in a giant black wave, moving back and forth in synchrony. Kaoru head banged furiously and behind the drum set golden hair swung as the drummer moved in time with the beat. Die made sure to come to the front, extracting some loud yells from his fans. Kyo’s performance was simply spectacular.

As the band left the stage, the demand for an encore became stronger and stronger. The fans didn’t have to wait long and an ear-splitting roar welcomed another two favorites – CHILD PREY and C. The spectators head banged powerfully when the string men moved around and interacted with the fans. The audience went wild as the two guitarists played back-to-back and then moved closer to the fans all while grinning.

The fervent head banging continued for AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS and REIKETSU NARISEBA. If the former song resembled a vigorous and steady heartbeat, with the crowd pumping arms in the air, the latter was more like a heat racing furiously. The fans swayed, mimicking Kyo as he graced them with some Kyo-style dancing, moving his body wildly to the song.

The night was reaching the end and Kyo announced the last song of the night, encouraging both male and female fans to give all they had. CLEVER SLEAZOID was the last of the 20 songs the band had chosen for the show and the fans indeed gave all they had. The night ended as it started – with full power. Before leaving the stage, the five men thanked and said goodbye to the fans, throwing picks, water bottles and drum sticks. They left the stage amid an ovation by the fans and we all look forward to see DIR EN GREY live again soon.

Set List:

01. HYDRA -666-
05. SAKU
08. Shokubeni
10. dead tree
14. Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami
15. ZAN

-SE- G.D.S.
17. C
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