MORRIE at Kraine Theater, New York

live report - 02.25.2018 19:01

MORRIE returns to Kraine Theater for another unique "SOLITUDE" performance.

MORRIE returned to New York City to perform his second “SOLITUDE” show at Kraine Theater in the East Village. The quaint black box theater quickly warmed up as the audience filled the red plush seats awaiting a unique performance. The stage was set with a podium with a small white bowl and a wine glass filled with water placed on top, a microphone stand and guitar synthesizers.

When the lights in the audience went out, leaving only the stage lit, MORRIE dressed in all black, quietly stepped out and immediately started playing his first song Melancholia III on his red electric guitar. The darkness in the theater felt almost eerie as the transcendent strums of guitar and MORRIE's deep voice filled the space. He directly followed with Kanpeki na sora and Sleep in the Sky, classics that are from his solo work and band DEAD END respectively. Playing solo alone, as MORRIE and just his guitar, the songs take on a different, more bittersweet and angsty tone than their circa-1990s original versions. Enveloped in the soft lights, changing in colors from soft reds, blues, and green, MORRIE kept the audience transfixed as he skillfully traversed between his low registers and high falsettos, accompanied by a gripping vibrato.

A surprising, yet somehow fitting choice for his set, MORRIE did his own beautiful, unique rendition of Lilac Wine, also covered by Jeff Buckley amongst other artists. He then switched to a black electric guitar for Unchained, a song from his more recent solo album HARD CORE REVERIE. It felt like a jolt following the sweet, melancholic tunes before it, opening with a heavy driving riff. It was as if being jolted from one’s reverie and then pulled into another.

As MORRIE switched to an acoustic guitar, in contrast to the first several songs, he began to speak more at length to the audience in between songs. The atmosphere changed, lightening up physically and in mood, as the lights changed to a bright spotlight. His initial dark and hypnotic impression changed to somewhat casual and humorous when how he joked about how he can talk too much. Despite his fame as one of the forerunners of the visual kei rock genre in Japan and the popularity of his bands DEAD END and Creature Creature, MORRIE came across as a humble and personable human being on stage. He spoke about his favorite word, "Nowhere" and how his works for the past ten years explored the concepts of nowhere and philosophical questions of what is “I”.

Morrie switched back to electric guitar and continued the set with songs from Creature Creature, such as Shin-en and Vanishing, both from the Inferno album. He also played more of his solo works, many from HARD CORE REVERIE. MORRIE’s versatility and experimentation were both evident in tracks like Go Under. Although it lacked the slamming bass and sounded quite different from the recorded version, his high pitched screaming and skillful guitar kept the audience on the edge. He closed the set with Hikaru kouya and the audience screamed for an encore for several minutes after he exited the stage. MORRIE returned to end the night with two DEAD END classics, satiating nostalgic excited fans with Heaven and Luna Madness.

MORRIE announced during the show that his band Creature Creature would be going dormant after the next, just announced final tour. MORRIE also announced that his solo band on March 4th will be with a new lineup of musicians. The glimpse of works shared in Kraine Theater of MORRIE’s past and present certainly left an indelible impression.

Set list

01. Melancholia III
02. Kanpeki na sora
03. Sleep in the Sky
04. Lilac Wine
05. Unchained
06. Epinoia
07. Riding the Night
08. Kaosu no naka ni
09. Koko de wa nai dokoka
10. Shin-en
11. Definitely Maybe
12. Harukurue
13. Go Under
14. Sign
15. Vanishing
16. Calling You
17. Hikaru kouya

01. Heaven
02. Luna Madness
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MORRIE 08/27

New York, NY - United States of America
Kraine Theater
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