VAMPS LIVE 2017 "UNDERWORLD" Final at Makuhari Messe Event Hall

live report - 07.12.2017 00:01

With a great display of energy at a once again sold out show, VAMPS unleashes the chaos for the finale of their UNDERWORLD tour.

2017 has been a busy year for VAMPS. After the release of their single CALLING and their fourth full-length album UNDERWORLD, the hard rock duo embarked on a lengthy tour through the United States, Japan, Latin America, and finally after their usual summer and Halloween festivals, the time came for the conclusion with a one-man concert at Makuhari Messe Event Hall.

As the clock displayed over the curtains on stage quickly hit 16:60 hours, the background music slowly faded out allowing the applause and shouts of bloodsuckers to be clearly heard. The minutes trailed on until the countdown reached the 16:66 mark, and then the curtains suddenly opened to reveal an authentic looking catastrophe area: ruins of a burning church with some crosses perilously hanging, dilapidated police cars on both sides of the stage, fires billowing on in the background, a red VAMPS’ flag suspended from the destroyed church, and as a finishing touch, the stage was enclosed with strips of caution tape. These astonishing details were just a preamble of the chaos that VAMPS was about to be unleash.

One by one, Arimatsu, Jin, Ju-ken, and K.A.Z filed onto the stage while high pitched alarms from the police cars rumbled through the venue, then HYDE appeared on stage and shouted, “Are you fucking ready, bloodsuckers?”

The sirens turned off and made room for the loud synth of UNDERWORLD. HYDE began to encourage everyone to go down to the underworld with him, and fans accompanied the band by chanting “Yeah!” in sync with the lights of the dilapidated patrol cars. The intricate stage set up not only perfectly portrayed the aggressiveness and energy of VAMPS, but also allowed the band many opportunities to interact with the fans. During INSIDE OF ME and LIPS, K.A.Z and Ju-ken took the chance to stand on the police cars in order to interact with the fans from a higher level, while HYDE provoked the crowd by playing with the caution tape, making everyone scream louder during the chorus.

“Welcome to the underworld! Have fun at our last concert of the tour. Are you fucking ready?”

HYDE shouted as the intro of EVIL began to transport the audience to hell itself, and the intense flames that suddenly burst on stage increased with the wild head-banging of the crowd. The aggressive sound of K.A.Z’s guitar and the powerful voice of HYDE complemented each other masterfully during BREAK FREE. Everyone raised their fists over and over again, shouting even louder. The caution tape from the stage disappeared during the middle of DON’T HOLD BACK. It was the point of no return: the bloodsuckers had already fallen into the hypnotic powers of these vampires, and in turn seemed to feed on the intensity radiating from the band.

Suddenly all the lights of the Makuhari Messe went off, and the bells from the destroyed church began to reverberate throughout the venue. The fire displayed on the background screens soon revealed a stone throne in the center of the stage where HYDE, wearing a black cap and jacket open to reveal his upper body, was sitting. “Would you bleed for me?” was the first thing that HYDE said before red lights filled up the venue as an introduction to BLEED FOR ME, a song where HYDE provoked fans with sensual movements while played with the mic stand.

IN THIS HELL followed shortly after, and it seemed like the calm before the storm: slow, serene, and evocative. This gave the fans some respite before the madness resumed, but as soon as IN THIS HELL was over, bright blue flames unleashed more craziness from the audience once again, and the powerful drumming of Arimatsu opened one of the most enthusiastic songs of the night: CALLING. K.A.Z and Ju-ken took center stage to interact with each other while HYDE handed the microphone over to the fans in order to fill the venue with their voices.

HYDE took the microphone again for the second MC of that night, in which he said that it was the end of the tour and that there wouldn’t be another VAMPS’ show for the rest of the year. Despite the announcement, he then requested the audience to go crazy with them by asking if they were ready for more, while the police cars’ sirens activated again – a clue as to what was coming. However, it wasn’t necessary to ask as the fans were more than ready to continue exuding their energy. The song BLOODSUCKERS began precisely with a shout of, “Are you all bloodsuckers?” This immediately made the arena go crazy and the entire audience sang the characteristic two rounds of the song along with the band, before making the “V” sign for VAMPS with their hands.

DEVIL SIDE started without giving anyone a second to take a break. Typical showman that he is, HYDE moved back and forth on stage encouraging fans to pull out their devil side before he started to chase Ju-ken around the platform where K.A.Z skillfully played the chords of this famous song. Most of VAMPS’ songs are created in order for fans enjoy jumping and singing along to, and one of the songs where there is even more of a display of synchronization is RISE OR DIE; the audience became one with the Japanese vampires using their chants and applauses to follow the rhythm set by the band.

Just after the song completed, a couple of poles raised on each side of the stage to hoist VAMPS’ flag to the top. “Come on arena! Stand up,” HYDE announced with this guitar in hand to join forces with K.A.Z in AHEAD. Fans didn’t miss this opportunity to dutifully sing the chorus of the song, while the strings team motivated them from the stage to sing even louder. B.Y.O.B. (BRING YOUR OWN BLOOD) encouraged the party to start at Makuhari Messe, as a large disco ball filled the whole venue with yellow lights. The fun was so evident that while Arimatsu, Jin, and Ju-ken sang the chorus, HYDE took this opportunity to interact a bit with the camera, hide behind K.A.Z, and do a bit of head-banging with Ju-ken.

When the festively entertaining moment ended, HYDE and Ju-ken came down from the stage to get lost among the sea of fans. HYDE spent a couple of seconds throwing smoke into the audience with a special fire extinguisher, while the instrumental team started playing the first chords of MIDNIGHT CELEBRATION between the pillars of intense flames erupting from the stage. HYDE and the fans initiated a shout and call series with the sirens of the patrol cars in the background, unleashing an intense session of head-banging.

Finally, the audience said goodbye to the band members and requested an encore with the “V” of VAMPS raised high in the air. After a moment of waiting, the stage lit up again with green lights the intro of SIN IN JUSTICE. HYDE asked everyone to sing louder and louder, and the fans didn’t hesitate to answer by shouting “lose your sin in justice” while HYDE waved around the iconic flag of VAMPS attached to his mic stand.

K.A.Z then took the microphone in order to dedicate a couple of words to his fans during the last MC of the night. “Thank you for coming to the end (of the tour). This year we released a great album, we did a tour in America and here, and held the Halloween events and festivals. They were great because you all where there, thank you very much for coming. This is the last VAMPS’ concert of the year, and it’s a bit soon, but happy New Year,” he said laughing before handing the mic back to HYDE. “We returned safely and I’m very happy to see you all. You all are very cute. I had fun (today), thank you for coming.”

When the vocalist finished thanking everyone, he looked for the lamp of his cellphone and turned it on, asking the audience to do the same. To the delight of the band, a sea of white lights formed immediately, creating the perfect atmosphere for SWEET DREAMS. Hundreds of lights swayed gently, guided by HYDE’s own cellphone from the stage, while K.A.Z captivated everyone with his spectacular guitar solo.

At the end of the song, the energetic drumming of Arimatsu marked the beginning of RISE UP, a song where the fans once again showed off by singing each verse with all their heart. However, there was still something missing that is essential for all vampires: blood, and of course all the madness that goes with it. The front man announced the final song, and with that VAMPS unleashed the chaotic and catchy tune, SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ ROLL. The fans seemed to have unrelenting energy – even though they had continuously been jumping, head-banging, and raising their arms up high throughout the show, they still had plenty of energy to scream and jump along to the rhythm set by Arimatsu and Jin. The red flames seemed to drive the crowd even more crazy as some people suddenly started crowd diving in the arena, while HYDE approached K.A.Z to get onto a police car together, receiving even more enthusiasm from the fans.

The madness came to a close with a synchronized jump by HYDE, K.A.Z, and Ju-ken while hundreds of hands formed the “V” in the air. HYDE took the opportunity to film the audience with his own cellphone, throw red roses, and take a couple of selfies with the fans and with K.A.Z. “Thank you! See you! Wait for us with your necks clean!” he concluded before sending a kiss to the audience and leaving the stage. Everyone ended up feeling completely exhausted but more than satisfied with the memorable and energetic performance by these Japanese vampires.

VAMPS concluded their 2017 activities with this finale concert, and they released a Blu-ray DVD on December 6th, featuring performances from their tour VAMPS LIVE 2017 UNDERWORLD.

Set list

01. UNDERWORLD
02. INSIDE OF ME feat. Chris Motionless of Motionless In White
03. LIPS
04. EVIL
05. BREAK FREE feat. KAMIKAZE BOY of MAN WITH A MISSION
06. DON’T HOLD BACK
07. BLEED FOR ME
08. IN THIS HELL
09. CALLING
10. BLOODSUCKERS
11. DEVIL SIDE
12. RISE OR DIE feat. Richard Z. Kruspe of Emigrate / Rammstein
13. AHEAD
14. B.Y.O.B. (BRING YOUR OWN BLOOD)
15. MIDNIGHT CELEBRATION
16. SIN IN JUSTICE feat. APOCALYPTICA
17. SWEET DREAMS
18. RISE UP
19. SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ ROLL
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