Kra 2011 Tortilla Tour Final at Akasaka BLITZ

live report - 27.12.2011 11:01

Kra finished up their tenth anniversary year with a live at Akasaka BLITZ, leaving fans with great memories to see them through to the next year.

Concluding their tenth anniversary year with a one-man live at Akasaka BLITZ, Kra held their fans captivated for three hours. Between fun music and completely pointless yet entertaining chatter, the crowd were granted plenty of memories to see them through to 2012.

Set in the centre of the dark stage rose a fountain of antlers that grabbed attention from the moment you entered the hall. Suddenly its purpose became clear as the music struck up and it began to rise, hanging overhead like a chandelier to match the iron framework gates lining the stage wall. Before the band ever set foot onstage, the crowd were dragged into their dreamy world full of surprises at every turn.

“Hey BLITZ, let’s go wild!” yelled Keiyu from the very beginning. The show began with the vibrant guitar and high vocal line of Masui which evolved into wicked bass lines and unstoppable jumping in Daddy. The rapped verses were blended with some real nostalgic soul sounds with another high-pitched melody line belted out in style. Muma only upped the pace, sending the crowd excitedly moshing from side to side and pausing to clap. The vocalist worked a bit of growl into the piece, sexing up the chorus despite the innocently cheerful timbre of the whole number.

Pausing for breath, Kra greeted the crowd in familiar fashion, teasing and joking all the way. “Have any of you caught colds? No? Of course not. Idiots don’t catch colds. But you’re all very cute! Some beauties up in the back there! Don’t get cocky!” Hyped up beyond measure, Keiyu snapped into high-gear at awkward moments, giving the show a memorably, unpredictable edge. He physically sprung onto Mrs., bouncing from side to side and stalking along the front strip while spitting out rapid lyrics. The highlight of the fluid number was the growl-sung key-change, smooth as butter, that brought the song to a close. After the pretty falsetto and gentler, melody-driven tone of Machibito, Keiyu announced that it was time for a long emcee.

He wasn’t lying. Responding to Keiyu’s forecast of a bright atmosphere, bassist Yuhra was in top form, going one-to-one with Keiyu in a verbal battle. When the vocalist suggested he turn a bit of that strength on the crowd, Yuhra raised a cheer by saying, “No, we have to treasure them.” Another argument followed between Keiyu and Yasuno, resulting in the vocalist accusing Yasuno of being too dark. Taizo somehow kept the audience enraptured with his mundane story of doing laundry on the tour. Meanwhile, the glare from Yuhra’s bass was blinding the crowd who were never afraid to raise their voices, yelling “MABUSHII!” (Too bright!) to which Yasuno winningly exclaimed, “Then Yuhra at least has succeeded in the goal of brightness!” The antics continued endlessly, Keiyu talking from the floor, lying on his stomach or the band arguing about whether or not mobile phones can be used onstage. “I bet you whip your phone out on the plane,” Yuhra accused the vocalist. Eventually, the band convinced Yuhra to jump down from the strip with an odd wiggle which was filmed to be uploaded as a special present to the fanclub and then, all of a sudden, Keiyu announced that seeing as the rehearsal without emcee took two hours, they should probably get on with the music.

The following songs were lighter in feel, beginning with the ballad-toned Yamiyo no Gene and the gothic lilt of Schwarz wald, during which Keiyu danced with graceful gestures. Then came the Japanese-themed Machi no akari with its groovy guitar line and recorded piano muzak. Very colourful both in lighting and music, Dareka no yume no ato featured a hidden treasure of harmonic blend in the chorus, making it one to listen out for! Then came the exclamation, “On this tour, let’s chase our dreams one more time and ride on this train. Please listen, Toki no ressha.” The poppy number with friendly lyrics was sung out with strong emotion. A momentary pause lasted into the blackout before a tumult of voices rose to call to the members.

Once more the emcee took a multitude of twists and turns, revisiting the old laundry topic, teasing the fans about love, and encouraging them to buy lottery tickets for Yuhra, who promised a free live if he won more than ¥10 million. There was talk about what to do for Christmas, Keiyu shattering the crowd’s hopes by saying, “No, we can’t do a live. Everyone does a live so all the live-houses are booked out.” The band then discussed Taizo’s suggestion of going bowling – one of his favourite past-times. “When I try to find a ball that looks light, the finger holes are too small for my hands,” Keiyu complained. “That’s because those are for children,” Taizo revealed to him. The crowd were also treated to an explanation of how PS Company sometimes holds inter-band bowling tournaments with prizes like free photography, and an excited Taizo asked Keiyu to invite him once the next date was set. Incredulous, Keiyu and Yasuno stared at the guitarist in shock. “Aren’t you a member of Kra!?” Yasuno cried, to which Taizo swiftly changed the subject, “Your hair looks great today”, causing the entire capacity of BLITZ to topple over mentally. After a round of impressions of the retro anime Sazae-san, Keiyu encouraged Yasuno to do his 'Amuro', but cut the drummer off with a sudden rile that launched into the fun, jazz-rock Fushigi na sekai kara no shotaijou.

With a positive, exciting melody that breeds enjoyment, Sekai de ichiban tayorinai koi no uta kept the crowd dancing and laughing before diving head first into LOST NUMBER. For anyone whose head wasn’t reeling from the excessive head-banging, Yasuno’s dynamic drumming was a sight to see. Rock showed that the band have a real rock’n’roll spirit buried somewhere under those witty personalities and sparkly smiles, although Keiyu defied the genre, dancing cheerfully while the crowd bent into head-banging.

The real show stopper was Show Time. Keiyu’s rapid voice shifts were so neat and skilful you could really identify each character in the song. The humorous atmosphere rose into a powerful melody of la’s only shortly heard before the vocalist ripped out his best death voice for a section of wickedness and then finally releasing that earlier beautiful melody at length, the crowd singing out full-voiced. The closer of Extra Kingdom gave Yasuno another chance to show off, dancing with one stick in the air while he drummed with the other to the cute tune. The band thanked the crowd, and took their leave, but the call of “Tortilla! Tortilla!” brought them back before long.

“I think I want to give you all a Christmas present,” Keiyu stated to a round of cheers as he sat behind the keyboard placed at centre stage in his absence. Just like that, Kra began the cover song, Christmas Eve, stylishly arranged and performed. The instrumental featured a speedy keyboard rendition of a melody from Pachelbel’s Cannon. Among loads of cute but pointless chatter, Keiyu then made a number of important announcements such as their coming TV show with Music Japan Plus and Keiyu’s approaching cosplay birthday live. Then came a round of poppy music with a lot of dancing which concluded in the patriotic tune of Shonen to sora, a very unusual number for visual kei but stirring.

Kra has come ten years and of course that’s important but this year we’ve started again at 0. That’s what this tour has been about. We’re aiming for 20 years and we can’t give up on our dream,” said Keiyu. “Niji wo koete.” An array of rainbow light shone out from the stage as the crowd raised blue glow sticks along with the vocalist. Sweet and dreamy but with positive energy, the number was a great way to conclude Kra’s final tenth anniversary one-man.

Set List
1. Masui
2. Daddy
3. Muma
4. Mrs.
5. Machibito
6. Yamiyo no gene
7. Schwarz wald
8. Machi no Akari
9. Dareka no yume no ato
10. Toki no ressha
11. Fushigi na sekai kara no shotaijou
12. Sekai de ichiban tayorinai koi no uta
13. LOST NUMBER
14. Darling in the Dark
15. no pain no gain
16. Rock
17. Show Time
18. Extra Kingdom

Encore
1. Christmas Eve (Cover)
2. Yuki no Hana
3. Tightrope
4. artman
5. Shonen to sora
6. Niji wo koete
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