Kagrra, Live in Paris

live report - 10.02.2008 08:00

Live report of Kagrra,'s first concert in France.

After nearly ten years of activity, Kagrra, finally performed in France for the first time. With a reputation for being a great live band with its own individual style of music, if there is a visual kei band that truly personifies Japan, that band is Kagrra,. Since their debut, the group has reflected the traditional culture of their homeland in their songs and given birth to their 'Neo Japanesque' style. La Locomotive was plunged into this very Japanese atmosphere on the 24th of August.

The difficult task of opening for Kagrra, fell upon Closer, but the French group took to the stage bravely. Playing in front of an audience that was far from acquainted with them, the band of Low and Guillaume played for forty-five minutes, warming the audience up with their talents and apocalyptic set list. Closer really accomplished their mission of preparing the five hundred people present that evening for the soft music of Kagrra,, even though the styles of the two bands were very different. To cut it short, they were a straightforward group who got to the point and deserved their place on the stage that night.

Once Closer left the stage, the fans could no longer hold their excitement in and started to chant "Kagrra," while the roadies set up the instruments. Several of the more hardcore fans were wearing kimono, careful not to forget that vital accessory, a fan, which was one of the many goodies on sale at the merchandise stand, so everybody was able to buy one for use during the concert. When the venue was finally plunged into darkness, the fans prepared themselves for the moment which they had waited so long for.

The band took the stage to Miyako, Izumi, the drummer, first, followed by the two guitarists, Akiya and Shin, then Nao, the bassist. Last came Isshi, the vocalist, wearing a long, red haori (a jacket which is worn underneath a kimono). He grabbed his fan and the band launched into one of their most well-known songs, Kotodama. The crowd was completely blown away, but soon fell into the spirit of the song and followed Isshi's movements with their fans. Then came Shigatsu tsuitachi, a calmer song where the sea of fans continued to bob to the rhythm of the song, much to the pleasure of the band members, who were all smiling. Isshi then spoke to the crowd in English, with the help of a small piece of paper. Even though he made a few mistakes, it was easy to understand that the band was happy to be there, which was also obvious from their enthusiasm.

Following the audience's applause, Akiya started to play the first few notes of Guilty and was soon accompanied by the other members. Isshi raised his fist and the crowd went wild. Neither the band nor the fans could stay still, the same feel carrying through to Sai, where Izumi hammered the the drums, the other members running around the stage and sharing the fun atmosphere with the audience. Then came Kamikaze, where Nao sang the choruses.

After that, Isshi gave the microphone to Nao, who made an effort to speak in French, which delighted the audience. However, in the end, he also opted for English. Isshi then announced Uzu, the band's new song, which had yet to be released. The fans were thrilled to hear this exclusive preview with its entrancing melody. There was plenty to delight in, with Isshi's vocals, Akiya's guitar solo, Shin's accompaniment on the koto, Nao's bass and Izumi's drums. Under the light of a projector, the song ended with Shin on the koto, the audience enraptured. The audience members had a chance expressed their emotions before Isshi announced the next song, Utakata, a favorite of the band. Isshi used all of the power in his voice right from the beginning and Akiya alternated between acoustic and electric guitar throughout the song. Once again, Shin played the koto and, once again, the fans were captivated.

Kagrra, continued to surprise with older songs such as Nue no naku koro and Yousai, which thrilled those who had been fans from the beginning, and Genei no katachi.

The concert began to draw to a close with Shin Hyakkiyakou (which is a continuation of Hyakkiyakou, a song dating back to the band's first demo tape), Bokyaku no hate no kogoeta no kodoku and finally Urei, where Isshi asked the audience to sing with him. It was with this exchange that the concert ended. The group warmly thanked the audience and left the stage.

After a few minutes, the band returned for an encore, wearing the tour T-shirts. Isshi told the crowd that they wanted to play Uzu again, because they hoped that everyone would remember it. Even though they had heard it before, the magic came flooding back and the audience was once again under the charm of the song. The group also played Kotodama again, but after the first few notes, Akiya found himself playing alone. The other members stopped and Isshi started to sing "Happy Birthday," accompanied by the audience. The guitarist was moved by this surprise on his birthday. A member of staff brought out a cake, which he set down on a little table and Akiya blew out the candles on stage. Then, as he took up his position once again, he approached the microphone and thanked the audience. The band then resumed the song from the beginning. It was then that the improbable happened. While telling the audience that they hoped to return, Isshi announced the last song, which was none other than the famous Sakura maichiru ano oka de. This song could be seen on Kagrra,'s live DVDs, the Japanese fans singing in a single voice for one long moment. The audience knew this and, even if it was timidly, their voices sang out, which delighted the band.

It was then that the end of the concert truly came. The band turned to the audience, thanked them and exchanged several handshakes. Izumi, Nao, Shin and Akiya then threw plectrums and drumsticks to the audience and Isshi threw his fan. The band then left the stage for the final time.

The audience had some difficulty leaving the venue and made the most of the signing session, getting to spend a few last moments with the band. There were smiles on all faces; both those of the fans and of the band members.

Kagrra,'s first concert in France was a veritable anthology of their work, mixing old and new tracks, without forgetting their newest song, which continued to show the band's ability to produce amazing things. This concert will certainly be engraved deeply into the minds of the audience, an excellent souvenir which will be treasured by them all as they look forward to Kagrra,'s return to France.


Intro - Miyako
Shigatsu tsuitachi
Nue no naku koro
Genei no katachi
Shin Hyakkiyakou
Bokyaku no hate no kogoeta no kodoku


Sakura maichiru ano oka de

JaME would like to thank R:ID, JMusic Live and, of course, Kagrra,.
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