live report - 19.09.2011 10:01

9GOATS BLACK OUT tells a story about struggles, hope and finding value in the things around us.

A three consecutive day one-man closed the book on three chapters; Bright Garden, Howlingbird at the HELL, and the Orphee were held in Takadanobaba CLUB PHASE from June 17 to 19. After a break in 2010, 9GOATS BLACK OUT fully resumed their activities in 2011, showing drastic changes in their presentation as well as performance which have undoubtedly surprised many. With the present 9GOATS BLACK OUT, the three-day one-man the RETROSPECT may have been one of the challenges they had to execute in order to proceed to the next chapter. It was a chance to look back into those three chapters, not just appreciate them and reminisce about the past, but also to realize what the past has given them.

Bright Garden act 3, June 17

Though it was a weekday, the venue was packed to the point where people had to be asked to move more to the front as it was literally impossible to let people in. Soon, as all were squeezed into the venue, the performance started with a light. The screen in the center of the stage scrolled up quietly as blue lights gradually illuminated the stage, showing the members' presence. ryo, who was attired in the original Bright Garden costume with a black and red mesh wig, had taken the microphone, singing the rap part as it signaled the start of the long three days. SALOME came next with ryo’s ear-spitting shout. Red and pink lights flashed intensely to the passionate and mysterious music as the members moved about on stage. When the lights turned to blue and white, Yasou-nocturne- began right away with both the band and the audience moving rather modestly.

Soon after a brief silence took over the venue, it was broken by shouts and calls from the fervent fans that had been waiting for this time. As if answering to the calls, the band resumed their performance with sink. Serene lighting shone upon the members as the quiet piece flowed through the venue flawlessly to the end. The atmosphere changed in an instant when ROMEO started with an intro that sounded like heartbeats. Wicked at the rap part, and seeming very innocent in the melody, ryo fascinated the audience with his variety of expressions.

Without a break, the band proceeded to the addictive raw and then to the heavy Lestat where the atmosphere of the venue all at once became more lively as the audience started head banging to the music ceaselessly till the end. Provoked by the heated up atmosphere, ryo shouted fervently to the audience as they as well let out a great shout. Den lille Havfrue was next in the set, uta quietly strumming his acoustic guitar while ryo sang quietly yet strongly to the music.

Dramatic lighting effects where the lights flickered as ryo and uta sang the “tick-tock” phrase repeatedly turned out amazingly beautiful in the rain. The audience knew right away that it was time for the heavy part of the set as the intro for float had started. uta led the audience in raising their hands to the upbeat music which was followed by the addictive 690min, where hati’s heartbeat-like bass induced crazy head banging amongst the fans as well as the band members. As ryo screamed out the next song headache, it was time for the famous “Super akaya Time (a.k.a SaT)” where akaya would entertain the audience with his crazy dances. The lights dimmed once again and in contrast to the silent stage, the audience's shouts rumbled the floor.

Sleeping Beauty began when uta strummed his guitar. The lights turned ice blue and the fans were quiet, appreciating the song. Then, the atmosphere plunged into the dark and melancholic world of Rakujitsu. Followed was an MC by . “The bird believed that it would see the light again. Even if its wings are broken, legs tangled, and the eyes vision only a sea of red, it believed to fly once again. That bird is me. Believing light will shine upon the bird.” As the gentle melody of Tenshi faded away quietly, the main set ended with cheers as the members lightly bowed and left the stage.

When the members came back on stage, they were all wearing the new T-shirt that was one of the new goods sold that day and which was the top seller. ryo and uta wore black while hati, akaya, and takumi were in pink. In their MC, they talked about what had changed for the members in the last three years, and episodes about quitting smoking. hati, who was the main speaker, turned the microphone to ryo who introduced the new songs missing and yuutsu to kodoku. After they played both songs, ryo continued his MC by speaking about the CD release of the new songs and a one-man at Shibuya WWW for the release of the CD titled Rorschach inkblot. Last to end off the set was the acoustic version of Negai and the venue was wrapped in a warm, encouraging melody as the first day ended peacefully.

Set List:

01. a light
03. Yasou-nocturne-
04. sink
06. raw
07. Lestat
08. Den lille Havfrue
09. in the rain
10. float
11. 690min.
12. headache
13. Sleeping Beauty
14. Rakujitsu
15. Tenshi

01. missing
02. Yuutsu to Kodoku
03. Negai(acoustic version)

Howling bird at the HELL act 3, June 18

The second day was even more packed and literally impossible to move about in the venue. It was no wonder that the tickets were sold out very early. As the time came, the second day started with the old classic, sink. Blue and orange lights faintly lit the stage, gradually becoming a devilish red when ryo said “Welcome, this world is hell,” which led into belzebuth. Slowly but constantly, the lights changed from one color to another to the slow but tempting rhythm. ryo’s pantomime-like gestures drew the crowd's attention as the atmosphere became energetic. More movements were seen from the other members as they moved on to red shoes. ryo let out a scream in the rap portion of the song and uta interacted with the crowd more, causing the crowd to become more active as well.

The lights dimmed, and a jarring noise signaled the start of raw. Singing to the audience, ryo slowly moved from one side to the other, singing with his extensive range of vocals. During the sensual SALOME, blue lights flashed constantly as ryo interacted more with hati and uta. The music became heavier and the venue was filled with head banging fans. ryo’s words lured the audience into Lestat. Screams induced more head banging as hati and uta aggressively went to the front and played their instruments. As the song ended with fans having their hands up in the air, the venue became dark once again.

Gradually, the glowing blue lights illuminated the stage as the piano intro for Den lille Havfrue started. The fans were calm, appreciating the next two songs that would be the hallmark songs of 9GOATS BLACK OUT, Sleeping Beauty, and in the rain. When MOSES, an introduction for one of the tracks in 9GOATS BLACK OUT's first mini album came on, the crowd knew it was time for ROMEO. ryo’s rapping and impressive wide vocal range could all be heard in this song. The piano intro for Yasou-nocturne- came on as the song started with dramatic light effects. Without any pause, float followed, where the interaction between the band and the audience was great. From this point onwards, the songs were heavy from the pulsating 690min, fist-pumping Who’s the MAD, scream-inducing minus and headache where manipulator akaya went up on the speaker and stirred up the fans with his wild performance.

With the brief break after the main set, the first encore, a slower arrangement version of Ate no nai tegami started. Calmly and gently, serenity returned to the venue. Then, there was a brief MC by the members who announced that some of the goods were sold out on that day. After those announcements, ryo introduced the next encore song, “In the previous Howling bird at the Hell one-man at O-WEST, we have delivered this song with our heart, and for all those who were there as well as for all those who weren’t there, we present this song again with all our heart. Tenshi.”

Pink lights were cast upon the stage, and the gentle song flowed quietly throughout the venue. After the song ended and a few more announcements, ryo spoke about the concept of the first two days, “There was a bird yearning for the light. The bird had a dream to fly. He flies to his dream, but fails and falls to the earth. However, the bird does not give up. The bird flies once again and the faith in him makes him the light. The story of the Bright Garden ends at that point. From Howlingbird at the Hell, the bird longs for the sky, becomes the light, and at this point it is not dead. The bird realizes that the place it yearns to fly in was not the vast sky but a very small dark hole. The bird realizes it is not a bird but in fact a bat. The small dark hole it created was the reality. When one sets barriers around himself, even a beautiful place becomes a place of hell.

"Break the barriers, believe in yourself. The bird is a character in this story, but it also represents me. I have been in many bands in the past, and suffered setbacks to the point of confining myself to that small dark hole. However, the members made me realize this and enlightened me. uta made me realize the importance of family and friends. hati, who is always positive, taught me to smile and have fun, and is the one who always makes the effort to do things. akaya lights up the crowd and takumi came to support our band. Of course the staff and all our fans as well made the band and I change for the good. What Howlingbird at the Hell wanted to convey was, loved ones will always be by your side. Please listen to our last song, Heaven." The song peacefully but very strongly delivered the message to the audience. As the song came to an end, bright lights engulfed the venue.

Set List:

01. sink
02. belzebuth
03. red shoes
04. raw
06. Lestat
07. Den lille Havfrue
08. Sleeping Beauty
09. in the rain
11. Yasou-nocturne-
12. float
13. 690min
14. Who’s the MAD
15. minus
16. headache

01. Atena no nai tegami
02. Tenshi
03. Heaven

the Orphee act 2, June 19

The last day of the RETROSPECT started with Reminisce. When the lights went out, the screen in front of the stage projected a blue loop-like figure. From the sides of the screen, one could see that the members were standing by as ryo started singing. Gradually, the screen scrolled up and the silhouettes of the band members wavered in the smoke. With the renewed intro, HARMS kicked off the live with its driving melody, the fans moving along to the song. The white strobe lights flickered for BABEL, and in an answer to ryo’s screams, the crowd punched fists in the air with vigor.

The energy in the venue was amazingly powerful that day. After the beautiful SALOME, they proceeded on to belzebuth with an introduction from ryo, “Welcome to Orphee. Once again, we will descend to hell to retrieve something important, your voices are the light, lead us to the path.” The crowd was heated up even more when they answered to his shouts and the band went on to the next heavy song, red shoes, and to the rappish ROMEO.

“Where am I? Where are you? It’s so dark, I can’t see. Let me hear your voice before I sink down.” With the words, the melancholic sink started quietly. Orange lights were then cast upon the stage for TANATOS which had new lyrics and melodies added to it, giving the song a different feel from the original. Then, more movements were seen from raw, and Lestat as the band led the audience into heavy head banging. In the end, all hands were up with applause from the audience.

The lights dimmed and all members except uta and akaya left the stage. With a piano intro, the instrumental Lithium started. The strumming of the guitar was much stronger than the recorded version, which did in fact give more life to the song. The other members came back on stage, and resumed the set with Yasashisa no Imi. A song they rarely perform live, it had a different arrangement from that of the album version. When the venue went dark with only orange lights illuminating the stage, Atena no nai tegami started right away. The quiet, appreciative atmosphere changed drastically when ryo put his hand up in the air and the intro for float started. uta led the crowd as the fans got their energy back again, mirroring his moves. 690min followed, the atmosphere escalating in vibrance. Literally, everybody in the venue was head banging to the pulsating music. The members as well, seeing the excited crowd, were all smiling, moving energetically to the music.

ryo shouted at the top of his lungs as the audience pumped their fists up for Who’s the MAD. minus induced more head banging, and the heavier headache got the venue pumping fists and head banging. When SaT started, the audience's cheers grew even louder. Fervent fans continued calling the members names even after the lights dimmed when the song ended. Then, in an instant, the atmosphere changed as ryo kicked off Heaven. Following that was Negai and ryo voiced the lyrics for Lithium. The lights from the ceiling showered down upon the stage beautifully and even after two days, ryo had maintained his voice well, delivering the song wonderfully to the audience. With uta and hati singing the backing vocals for the chorus, the last song of the main set came to an end.

Right after a brief break, the members came back for the encore as the audience cheered and called out their names. When ryo came back last, the encore started with in the rain. Then, with a "thank you," ryo began his MC. “Thank you very much for coming for the third day, the Orphee. How was the Orphee? To me, it was something painful to go through. Yesterday, I talked about the story from Bright Garden to Howlingbird at the HELL. In the Orphee, the character in the story descends to hell to retrieve something important and finds it, but on the way back he lets go of it.

"We cannot bring back our loved ones nor can we recover something that had been broken. That is why for the three days of the RETROSPECT one-man live, although we look back at the past three lives, we will never be able to re-enact them. the Orphee remains a bad ending. The last songs of the main set, Heaven and Negai are requiem for the lost loved ones and in the rain is a song to deliver our feelings to them. Through this day, the Orphee, what I wanted to say is, we can’t change reality but can change ourselves. We are still alive here, and still have our feelings in our hearts. Finding value in the new things around you, and with it, once again realize the importance of your loved ones, and that they are the light. Let the light be the hope for all of us, Tenshi.”

The acoustic version of Tenshi, with the gentle strumming of uta’s guitar, flowed throughout the venue. Peaceful yet very strong, it was most definitely the song to set the crown on the final day and to this three-day one-man, the RETROSPECT.
In the end, ryo said, “We all stumble, and have tough times in our lives, but still tomorrow will come and the sun will rise once again. Let us all live together with hope. Thank you.” Applause from the audience grew, even after the curtain went down.

Set List:

01. Reminisce
05. belzebuth
06. red shoes
08. sink
10. raw
11. Lestat
12. Lithium
13. Yasashisa no imi
14. Atena no nai tegami
15. float
16. 690min
17. Who’s the MAD
18. minus
19. headache
20. Heaven
21. Negai

01. in the rain
02. Tenshi (acoustic version)
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