LUNA SEA "The Holy Night" Day 2 at Saitama Super Arena

live report - 03.17.2018 20:01

LUNA SEA spreads the Christmas spirit to attendees of their December 24th concert.

Following the tradition from previous years, LUNA SEA held their two-day event for Christmas called The Holy Night at Saitama Super Arena on December 23rd and 24th. Some of the Christmas spirit was even on display outside the venue with fans wearing Santa Claus hats. Once inside, the setting was that of a western church, complete with arched stained glass windows with rainbow-like colors showing on the rhomboid side screens, and the rest of the church was shown as a mural on the main center screen. Fans were in the ‘Church of LUNA SEA’ now, pretty appropriate considering it was Christmas Eve.

The drum kit had fluorescent yellow and purple lights and the venue was filled with solemn music. Before long the fans started clapping in rhythm and the band followed with their entry to the stage. First up was SUGIZO, followed by SHINYA, then INORAN and J, and the vocalist RYUCHI entered last. Everyone was wearing black except for SHINYA, who was wearing a white shirt.

Multi colored lights flooded the stage and Hold You Down, from the band's newly released album LUV, filled the arena with sound. SUGIZO was in charge of the guitar distortions and it gave the song more intensity.

An explosion on the screen marked the start of Tonight, a fan favorite from the album Lunacy. SUGIZO took turns playing close to INORAN and J. INORAN took his sunglasses off during this song and sang part of the chorus alongside RYUICHI. The images on the screen became visual noise during the song and it matched the white and gold lights illuminating the stage.

It was time for the first MC of the night. RYUICHI asked the audience if they weren’t feeling hot after those two songs because more songs were on their way.

Smoke and a breeze emanated from under SUGIZO. Fuchsia and blue lights danced around the stage while the main screen showed metallic gold textures. The next song was Jesus and the screens kept going from gold to black and white stripes during the chorus. This time SUGIZO played closer to RYUICHI and then RYUICHI went over to J during the chorus and the end of the song.

This time, SHINYA took the lead and started the song Hurt while the screens were filled with images of red flowing like lava. With a scream of “Wow oh oh” RYUICHI entered the slow paced but mesmerizing song.

Taking a break from playing, the band took the time for another MC, this time about the new album release, LUV, and how “LUV” is what the world is missing nowadays.

With that introduction, a sampling of the new album began with Brand New Days that brought INORAN and SUGIZO to the extreme left of the stage. That song was followed by Chikai bun, a ballad during which two disco balls came down from the ceiling of the arena above each side of the stage, reflecting the white lights. As if to match the reflections, SUGIZO and INORAN changed their instrument’s color to black and white respectively. The LUV was played next, sticking to the white swirling lights and adding blue spotlights for some members. The song from which the new album drew its name was fast paced but slowed in the chorus and then picked up again; it speaks of desperation and heartbreak. At the end of the song, drummer SHINYA threw his drumsticks to the euphoric fans.

The End of the Dream from the album A Will takes a pause from the array of new songs from LUV, filling the stage with red, yellow and white lights.

I’ll Stay With You brought some calm with its ballad pace and the introduction of a violin being played by SUGIZO as drops of water filled the middle screen. The acoustic feeling was complemented by RYUICHI, who also played an acoustic guitar. Moon, also a slower song, followed and a third disco ball was lowered over center stage, reflecting the green and blue lights while it turned slowly.

All of the band members except SHINYA left the stage and it was time for his drum solo. Orange waves on the center screen turned blue during his solo as the fans screamed his name every time he paused his playing. He asked for more screaming and proceeded to smash away at the drum kit. Smoke appeared on both sides of the stage and J joined in to perform his bass solo with SHINYA supporting on drums. The screens showed the words “Come On!” every time J raised his right arm and the crowd shouted along as well.

With the solos done, the remaining members retuned to the stage. Blue Transparency kept the energy of the fans flowing, this time the lights going from blue to lavender as RYUICHI praised the fans for their enthusiasm. Without losing any time it was time for another fan favorite, I for You. With dim white lights, the song was solemnly enjoyed by all.

With his hands on his hips RYUICHI carried on with In My Dream. White and red lights enveloped the stage as SUGIZO donned his black and white “No Nukes” guitar. Desire came next with a lot of interaction between the members and a playful vibe overall.

Time is Dead had the fans headbanging for the first time. Blue, red and white lights filled the arena and SUGIZO performed a shredding solo while smoke and wind swirled around him. The four members joined one another at the front of center stage instead of their usual back and forth to the sides.

Rosier was the last song before the encore. SUGIZO took the farthest right of the stage as INORAN took the left side. The screens played images of red roses and J seemed to have fun singing the chorus of this legendary song that ended with an amazing use of SUGIZO’s effects box before everyone left the stage.

During the encore break, fans started singing Silent Night, which seemed to echo around the once dark arena that was now filled with the lights of the fans' cell phones. It felt like a candlelit vigil. As if to not be left behind, the screens showed images of flickering candles on cue.

After a few minutes of singing the band members returned on stage with smiles on their faces because of how beautiful the arena looked with all the lights. After thanking the fans for their Christmas spirit, they announced a Christmas song of their own, Christmas Song~HOLY KNIGHT. The side screens went back to looking like a stained glass church window and lights matching the colors of each window illuminated the stage. The main screen kept the flickering candles for a complete Christmas feeling. After SHINYA’s solo the windows shattered and the Milky Way replaced them instead.

For the final MC, RYUICHI introduced the members and everyone spoke a bit about the new album as well as the 2018 tour. The message of the tour is “Finding your real feelings for the future”. With a remembrance of the One Night Déjà vu event ten years ago, the band introduced the song that they named the event after: Déjàvu. Fans helped chant the chorus amidst enthusiastic headbanging while red, blue and white images were projected on the center screens. Soon, it was time for the last song of the night, WISH, and silver metallic ribbons were shot towards the audience who grabbed and danced with all through the song.

Before leaving the stage, J wished everyone a Merry Christmas while SUGIZO blew a kiss to everyone from one of the cameras and threw a bottle of water to one of the side of the stage towards eager fans. He was the last to leave the stage.

Fans stayed even after the lights were turned on, waiting for news on the screens, as is usually tradition with this band after a big year end performance, and they were not disappointed. First, a complete list of the 2018 tour dates was projected on the screens, followed by the long awaited news of the revival of the Lunatic Festival.

Set list

01. Hold You Down
02. TONIGHT
03. JESUS
04. HURT
05. Brand New Days
06. Chikai bun
07. The LUV
08. The End of the Dream
09. I’ll Stay With You
10. MOON
11. Drum & Bass Solo
12. BLUE TRANSPARENCY
13. I for you
14. IN MY DREAM
15. DESIRE
16. TIME IS DEAD
17. ROSIER
[ENCORE]
01. Christmas song~HOLY KNIGHT
02. Déjàvu
03. WISH
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