Versailles at the Nippon Budokan

live report - 02.24.2017 19:01

On Valentine's Day, Versailles performed for the very first time at the famous Nippon Budokan.

After a comeback at the end of 2015, visual kei band Versailles performed for the very first time at the famous Nippon Budokan on Valentine's Day. The quintet has just finished its European tour and celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Attendees got the new album Lineage ~Bara no matsuei~ with their ticket — the only way to get this novelty.

The great Budokan, usually representing the Japanese tradition, was the castle of Versailles on that day as suggested by the concert's name. Two large screens were placed on each side of the stage. The venue was decorated to look like European cathedrals, with a large stained glass at the center of the stage. 70 choristers dressed in black carrying candles settled on stage with a classical piano tune. The soft melody soon faded to epic music with calls and answers between choir and audience. The members of Versailles arrived one by one on stage. They seemed to emerge from below the central stained glass, illuminated by a holy light.

The first title of the evening was Aristocrat's Symphony, which nicely took advantage of the choristers' singing as flames rose in rhythm. The choir left the stage for the next song, ASCENDEAD MASTER, which started with a continuous stream of flames. During the first MC, the band welcomed fans to the castle of Versailles and Nippon Budokan. Shouts & Bites, slow but powerful, bore its name well because of singer KAMIJO's shouts accompanied by exclamations from guitarist HIZAKI and bassist MASASHI. Then followed Inheritance from the new exclusive album, and the venue was bathed in a pink light. HIZAKI played a devilish guitar solo and the song ended with the sacred singing of a choir, interestingly contrasting with KAMIJO's shout of "I want to suck your blood!" That was the beginning of Vampire, and the lights turned to red this time.

HIZAKI and TERU put themselves on the sides of the stage, well lit by the spotlight, to begin Chandelier with dual guitars. The singer declared to fans that they were the chandeliers bringing light to Versailles. The following MC described their recent European tour. KAMIJO told fans how he got hurt by falling off the stage in Poland, and humorously conveyed the importance of wheelchair accessibility. Less than two weeks after his fall, the vocalist was already standing on stage for his fans so that their destinies intersect, and DESTINY - The Lovers - began. The musicians and audience all raised a bright rose each, transforming the Budokan into a garden of roses in many colors.

According to a funny proposal of guitarist TERU, it would be possible to play more songs by increasing the tempo. Versailles took up the challenge and played Philia faster than the original. YUKI's drums set a fast pace that the other members followed. Guitar solos of HIZAKI and TERU were pushed to the extreme, rapid notes following in an impressive way.

The next song Serenade was dedicated to the late bassist Jasmine You, eternal member of Versailles. The stained glass changed its appearance during this emotional sequence: an angel appeared at the top of the projection, disappearing at the end of the song. The projection changed again during Faith & Decision, the stained glass becoming an organ with a butterfly. The choir came back at the end to sing "Endless dream forever" in unison with the audience. MASQUERADE also took advantage of the voices of the choristers, and Versailles left the stage.

After their return, the five musicians revealed their plans for 2017. A world tour and a Japanese tour will take place to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the band. The grand finale will be held on December 17th at Zepp Tokyo. The encore began with Lineage, the eponymous song from the new album. The musicians sang the back chorus and the audience sang along thanks to the lyrics on the screen. After The Red Carpet Day and a second encore, the public raised the colorful roses again for Sympathia. Versailles ended the concert as always with The Revenant Choir. A shower of confetti fell on the arena and the choristers joined the musicians, making the finale an apotheosis. Members of Versailles joined hands, fans did the same, and everyone jumped to mark the end of this concert.

Set list

01. Aristocrat's Symphony
03. Shout & Bites
04. Zombie
05. Inheritance
06. Vampire
07. Chandelier
08. DESTINY - The Lovers -
09. After Cloudia
10. Philia
11. Serenade
12. Faith & Decision


01. Lineage
02. The Red Carpet Day
03. Sympathia
04. The Revenant Choir
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