On October 28th, the third edition of visual kei festival Vijuttoke!!Festtoke!!2016 was held in Nagoya. This year, the festival was hosted by four venues: Diamond Hall, Apollo Base, SPADE BOX and HeartLand. There was also a dramatic increase in participants, with 25 bands taking part. The variety of acts was impressive, with representatives from virtually all visual kei’s subgenres, from gloomy Nagoya kei to bright and cheery oshare kei.
As performances took place simultaneously across the four venues, each visitor of the festival could only choose several bands to watch. JaME's live report on Vijuttoke!!Festtoke!!2016 covers the performances of six artists: DADAROMA, heidi., dexcore, DIAURA, AI and Arlequin.
© Vijuttoke!!Festtoke!!2016 / Photo by Tsuyoshi Hayashi
DADAROMA, a young but already quite well-known band, were the first on stage at SPADE BOX. The set started with one of their hottest hits: the musicians took their places accompanied by the rhythmical sounds of Oboreru sakana, and the applause they received were pretty rhythmic, too. As the vocalist roared, the scene was brightened by blue flashing lights. The pulsating rhythm of the song continued. The audience stood transfixed, then suddenly, the music’s mood changed completely, and everyone started violently headbanging. Meanwhile, frontman Yoshiatsu got the audience crying “Nagoya!”.
Without a pause, the band proceeded to the second song. Yusuke set the rhythm that was completed by a tender but uneasy melody. All the instruments attacked at the same time, and then, everything was quiet again. Yoshiatsu’s soulful whisper slowly but steadily grew in strength, showing the crowd a mix of screams and scowls. Then, at the deplorable chorus, his vocals were pure and piercing. Everyone who’s ever heard DADAROMA would be enchanted by this mix of furious energy and breathtakingly beautiful melodies.
As the opening chords of APATHY HUMAN emerged, both the musicians and audience started headbanging like crazy. Yoshiatsu demonstrated his vocal full range, switching from powerful growls to pure high tones. At the end of the performance, he flashed a spine-tingling grin. As is typical protocol at these events, an MC followed in which the vocalist introduced his bandmates, thanked everyone for coming, and invited them to their next show in Nagoya.
In contrast to the somewhat subdued energy of the first half, for the second part of DADAROMA’s set, the adrenaline flowed freely. Yoshiatsu had only to move his hand to make the crowd run rampant, jump and raise their fists. Meanwhile, guitarist Takashi, bassist Tomo and drummer Yusuke played with such violent energy, the venue’s walls seemed to shake.
Everyone went full force, but the vocalist’s vitality was truly something out of this world. During MONEY, he even stepped down to the venue floor, and the audience duly made way for him. The half-hour set raced by. The last song was the lively Yume tarareba, the title track of the band’s new single. His bandmates exited the stage while Yoshiatsut thanked the fans, blew kisses, and smiled before he went away, accompanied once more by Oboreru sakana.
01. Oboreru sakana
02. Tokekomenai zarazara na geijutsu wo kimi ga kuroshite kurenai ka
03. APATHY HUMAN
04. TREND IDENTITY
06. Yume tarareba
© Vijuttoke!!Festtoke!!2016 / Photo by Tsuyoshi Hayashi
Meanwhile in Apollo Base, heidi. were beginning their set. Not being devotees of lurid visual kei styles, the band were dressed in stylish casual outfits. In contrast to the deep reds that dominated DADAROMA’s performance, heidi. preferred a lighter, brighter palette which added a positive vibe. Even vocalist Yoshihiko’s white cardigan supported this theme, even if it was not presupposed. The set began with the appropriately upbeat Twilight town. The smiling audience clapped along with Yoshihiko, swaying side to side to the tune.
Next was blaze, a song known for having an interesting rhythm, reminiscent of the clattering of hoofs. When the melody slowed down at the most lyrical moments, the vocalist’s voice was especially intense. The audience echoed the musicians, following all Yoshihiko’s commands. It seemed that once they raised their fists, they didn’t lower them until the set finished. As the music subsided, the crowd began chanting the musicians’ names impatiently. heidi. then performed Sakura underground, the title track from their latest single which was released on November 16th.
Nao and Kousuke’s skillful solos pleased the audience, while Kiri, who had girls crying “kawaii!” at him at one point, was in fact the embodiment of masculinity, with his drumming set the energetic rhythm of the performance. The toe-tapper Omaesan closed the set. When the song seemed to have come to an end, Yoshihiko suggested the audience to continue, and the fans went completely wild. Before going, the band thanked the audience and told them to have just as much fun for the rest of the festival. Then, heidi. took their final bow.
01. Twilight town
03. Sakura underground
04. Gensou hayashi
05. Nijiiro rein
© Vijuttoke!!Festtoke!!2016 / Photo by Sachiko Ishihara
Over in HeartLand, the venue was fully packed out. This was despite the fact the only thing the audience knew about the band was it is a new band created by DEATHGAZE drummer Naoki. The band hadn’t released a single song, had released no information about their line-up, and even kept their name a secret. Nevertheless, this mysterious flair alongside Naoki’s reputation had only fuelled fans’ interest in the group.
As soon as the curtain was raised, the audience started chanting Naoki’s name. Upon the disturbing sounds of the intro, four musicians dressed in black came out on stage and took their places. Wasting no time on words, they immediately began playing with such furious energy, it was clear to everyone this was a genuine Nagoya kei band. Naoki’s insane drumming was supported by fierce guitar and bass work, and enhanced by wide-ranging growls and screams.
The energy welling up on stage gave no opportunity for respite. The sporadic lyrical parts seemed to be misleading, as they only offered the crowd the chance to take a short breath before the band struck them with a new wave of intense sound. As the set went on, the audience became divided into two parts. The front rows headbanged and reacted to every new song (though all the songs were new) with their full energy, while those standing towards the back remained still, listened carefully as if tasting the sound.
The performance was over in no time. The music didn’t stop for a single moment, the band presenting five songs in one continuous salvo without even pausing for an MC. It was only later by checking the band’s website that festivalgoers learnt they’d witnessed the birth of dexcore. Its members were kagami on vocals, tetsu on bass and Naoki on drums. Their guitarist at Vijuttoke!!Festtoke!!2016 was a session member whose name wasn’t revealed. dexcore will release their first single The Dead Sea on December 14th.
02. The Dead Sea
03. New song
04. Miserable Imposter
05. New song
Read Vijuttoke!!Festtoke!!2016: Part 2 at http://www.jame-world.com/us/articles-123624-vijuttoke-festtoke-2016-part-2.html
JaME would like to thank Vijuttoke!! for accreditation and extensive support.
Vijuttoke!!Festtoke!!2016: Part 1
live report - 05.12.2016 00:01
The first part of JaME's live report on Vijuttoke!!Festtoke!!2016, featuring DADAROMA, heidi. and dexcore.
© Vijuttoke!! Festtoke!!2016