MIYAVI at Irving Plaza, New York

live report - 05.13.2017 20:01

Miyavi electrified fans on his 12th stop for Live Nation's Asia On Tour in Irving Plaza, New York.

On April 23rd, fans lined up to see MIYAVI at Irving Plaza. It was MIYAVI's 12th stop on Live Nation’s Asia On Tour. South Korean band KIHA & THE FACES opened the show with their brand of indie folk rock, engaging the crowd with their interactive, funny performance. Highlights of their show were when the New York crowd chanted along with Korean phrases and when lead singer Kiha Chang crowd surfed towards the end of their set.

The flame was then passed on to Slot Machine, a very popular pop-rock band from Thailand, and they poured more fuel onto it. The energy of the crowd was palpable as they rocked the hall. With many of their songs being in English, the audience were easily able to sing along to their catchy tunes.

The crowd roared in excitement as MIYAVI's tall figure, dressed in a black trench coat, finally entered the stage. Starting with Raise Me Up, accompanied by drummer and DJ, MIYAVI’s high pitched, distortion guitar scream filled the hall while his figure was dimly illuminated in alternating red, blue and green lights.

So On It followed, beginning with a heavy drum beat and MIYAVI screaming “New York City, are you ready?!” It was a fun song with a rhythmic DJ vocal track, during which he beckoned the fans to jump and clap.

Despite what seemed like some technical difficulties with his electric guitar at the beginning of the third track, MIYAVI effortlessly managed to carry on the energy of the show as he took off his guitar for his staff to fix while he continued to pump up the crowd.

The first four songs pummelled the hall one after the other, the powerful beats and electric guitar prowess feeding the crowd’s hunger. As evidenced from his performance at Irving Plaza, MIYAVI is an expert on how to own a stage and put on an electrifying performance. One can’t help but be drawn in, absorbed into his high energy. MIYAVI was often jumping about on stage, going from one end to the other with his guitar, to the point that staff often had to come on stage to make sure his guitar line was working fine. From the beginning of the show to the end, MIYAVI was fully engaged in his performance, not just with his skilled guitar playing, but also his facial expressions and how he physically commanded the stage.

At the peak of the fourth song, Dim It, the tension climbed as MIYAVI threw his head back, lifted his guitar in the air and climbed the fretboard, until he finally collapsed backwards at the end of the song.

The pace slowed down with Where the Home Is, a soulful track he co-wrote with his wife Melody. He then spent some moments talking about how he moved to the States, being a father and making new friends. He spoke about making the world better for the next generation, before going into the next song, a cover of P.O.D.’s Youth of the Nation. The audience sang along to the chorus in his soulful guitar led rendition of the popular American alternative rock song.

The concert included more songs from his last album Firebird, as well as some of his older songs. MIYAVI interacted a lot with fans during the live. He talked many times on a personal level about the tour, his family, the current state of affairs in the world with the refugee crisis and his hopes for a better world.

Long Nights was a climactic end to the set and the fans screamed for more. MIYAVI returned to play three more songs, dedicating one of the songs sung entirely in Japanese, What a Wonderful World, to his long-time fans.

MIYAVI finally ended the concert spending a generous amount of time just standing and being with fans, thanking everyone. It felt like a celebration of the fun time that he and everyone had. Enthralled fans were thrilled when he walked up near the balcony on the far right of the stage and stood within reach of fans at the very front of the stage, holding his hands out and giving high-fives, as well as taking multiple pictures. MIYAVI’s warmth and appreciation towards fans was clearly felt at the end of show, which made it a truly memorable night.

Set list

01. Raise Me Up
02. So On It
03. Cool Girl
04. Dim it
05. Ha!
06. Ganryu
07. Epic Swing
08. Kids
09. Where Home Is
10. Youth of the Nation
11. Firebird
12. Afraid to be Cool
13. The Others
14. Long Nights

Encore

15. Mission Impossible Theme
16. What a Wonderful World
17. What's My Name 2017
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