Live Report of MUCC at RTOC in Birmingham

live report - 10.25.2008 08:00

Report of MUCC's performance at Rockstar Taste of Chaos 2008 in Birmingham.

On the 21st of October, the Rockstar Taste of Chaos tour came to the Carling Academy in Birmingham, bringing MUCC with it. Although the majority of the sold-out gig was made up of fans of the five other bands, at the head of the queue were MUCC fans who had been in line for several hours. Inside the venue, a merchandise stand was selling T-shirts, along with copies of Shion, their latest album. At 6:30pm the band did a brief meet and greet, signing posters and shaking hands with the queue of fans who had come to see them, before they disappeared to get ready for their show.

The small stage opened with a short set by local band iSPYSTRANGERS, followed by Californian group HORSE the Band. Once they had finished their set, they introduced MUCC as the next band and a select group of fans, who had gathered near the front, cheered enthusiastically. As HORSE the Band took their things offstage, the members of MUCC set up their instruments and disappeared backstage again. Before long, the lights dimmed and the band returned one by one to an instrumental SE, with vocalist Tatsuro the last to make an appearance. They were dressed in mostly black clothes with the usual dark makeup and, helped along by the obvious MUCC fans near the front, the audience gave them a warm welcome.

The first song was Nuritsubusunara enji, a loud and tuneful song which was a great start to the set. It was obvious that the band wanted to give all of their energy to their brief moment in the spotlight, not just for their fans, but also to prove themselves to the audience members who had not heard their music before. Tatsuro was moving around a lot, dancing and gesturing with his hands as he sang. He spent most of his time near the front of the stage, often with a foot up on one of the monitors as he sang to the audience. Miya and YUKKE, at opposite sides of the stage, were playing energetically, while SATOchi was a little lost in the background, but put all of his energy into the song's harsh drumbeat nonetheless.

The next song was Fukuro no yurikago, which followed on nicely. It had a slightly more subdued feel to it and an almost eerie sound, but this only made Tatsuro's inimitable vocals stand out even more. The sound quality was good, which meant that this impressive voice was not lost in the loud music which accompanied it and even Miya's backing vocals had their chance to be heard. Shion came next with SATOchi leading its almost tribal beat and Tatsuro's voice roared even louder than on the recording. The gentler, more haunting sections of this song were perhaps a little lost on some of the audience members who were not here for MUCC and occasionally chose to shout things at them instead. However, they were more than happy to headbang along with the heavier moments, even creating a surprisingly violent mosh circle from time to time throughout the set.

Tatsuro then took a moment to talk to the audience, his English surprisingly clear as he shouted: "Thank you Birmingham!" After warming up the crowd with a few brief sentences, delighting the MUCC fans, who cheered in response to everything that was said, the band launched into the wonderfully upbeat FUZZ. The crowd cheered loudly as both Tatsuro's harmonica and YUKKE's electric double bass came into play. The floor vibrated as the band thrashed out this song, jumping and dancing along with the audience. It was a clear fan favourite as they joined in with the chorus and the wonderful atmosphere made it clear just how much everyone was enjoying themselves. During the instrumental section of the song, Tatsuro played with the crowd a little more, yelling: "Everybody shout YEAH!" and "Now shout FUCK YEAH!" which was met with loud responses from all sides. This song was an obvious highlight of the concert, after which Tatsuro kissed his hands and bowed to the crowd.

This was then followed by the recently released single Ageha, which was well received by the crowd. Tatsuro's voice growled over the heavy verses and sang out passionately during the choruses, showing off his impressive range. Miya's guitar solo seemed to be appreciated by fans and first-time listeners alike and the headbanging crowd were led through this unique song by SATOchi's drums.

Tatsuro then thanked the audience once more and announced their last song. As the first few notes of Libra echoed out of the speakers, the MUCC fans went wild, clearly delighted by this final choice. Each member played just as animatedly as they had done since the beginning, the intensity of their performance never faltering for a moment. Even the more subdued verses held onto a powerful, almost creepy atmosphere as Tatsuro spread his arms wide and put every last bit of his energy into this final song. With his long hair and heavily made-up eyes, it was hard to tear your gaze from such a charismatic and emotive performance. As the tension built towards the end of the song, Tatsuro's voice growled out more and more violently until both the song and the set came to a close.

The band thanked the crowd once more and left the stage, leaving a thoroughly well-made impression on the audience, who cheered and applauded loudly. The set was short, but it comprised a lot of well-chosen songs which both pleased MUCC fans and sparked the interest of those who had not heard of them before. Although the audience was small, they gave the band plenty of encouragement and contributed to a very successful performance. Hopefully, MUCC will soon return to the UK for a one-man tour, but until then, we wish them well for the rest of the Taste of Chaos tour.


1. Nuritsubusunara enji
2. Fukuro no yurikago
3. Shion
5. Ageha
6. Libra
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