Shinya 2019 Birthday Event & SERAPH Premium Showcase at Mt. RAINIER HALL SHIBUYA PLEASURE PLEASURE

live report - 12.03.2019 00:01

SERAPH debuts at Shinya’s birthday event.

On February 24th, DIR EN GREY’s drummer Shinya celebrated his birthday with a special birthday event that comprised the awaited on stage debut of his solo project SERAPH alongside mysterious vocalist and pianist Moa and a Q&A section with his fans.

The theater’s layout allowed for all the attending fans to comfortably sit down during the event that lasted over two hours. Before the show began, the fans filled the theater and were greeted by Shinya’s transparent drum set with gold accents over a white platform in the back center of the stage, and a piano mostly covered by white fabrics cascading to the floor and white dressed chairs that would later be occupied by orchestra members.

As the show was about to start the orchestra members entered the stage and took their places. The intro for Destino started playing and SERAPH’s members walked on stage, Shinya wearing a white ruffled shirt and white pants and Moa donning a beautiful white embroidered dress. Both of them stood on both sides of the drum set to introduce themselves before taking their seats by the drums and piano respectively after the intro music ended. The translucent cape covering the back of Moa’s dress elegantly reflected the lights on stage and had a rainbow pearl light effect as she walked off the drum set platform to sit by the piano.

The first song Destino (“fate” in Italian) was soft, mysterious and sounded like a chorus of angels. This feeling was enhanced by the orchestra joining in, very appropriate as the start of the live given that the name of the project was “SERAPH”. As the song progressed, the intensity of Shinya’s drumming upped a little and the piano, not to be left behind, blended in with the entrancing drum beat. The song, although calm at the beginning, ended with an ominous feeling.

Abyss followed, the stage covered in blue lights. Moa sang softly while playing the piano. The song's rhythm and overall feeling was shaped by the lovely violin chords as Shinya's drumming stopped from time to time to set the beat. The mix of blue and then white lights over the white draped piano and white drum set platform gave the illusion of a heavenly setting.

It was time for a break for the first MC of the night. Shinya greeted his fans, introduced SERAPH and explained that each song so far had titles in different languages and are related to the places they were composed after. The next song Sauveur (“saviour” in French), for example, was made when Moa was traveling in France and so, the name is in French. With claps from the fans and Shinya’s invitation to enjoy the song, the show continued.

The third song Sauveur brought the first surprise of the night. The white stage was not only meant to evoke heaven for SERAPH and the fans but also doubled up as a perfect projection canvas, as images of an old French palace filled the white canvas behind the drum set and other white covered places of the stage accompanied by golden spotlights from above. The song does have a whimsical Versailles feeling to it.

After the song, Moa played a few notes on a silver flute as a cue for Shinya’s next MC. When Shinya asked for his fans’ opinions on the first three songs and whether they liked them or not, fans who had been quiet until then laughed and clapped in cheerful agreement. Shinya then went on to explain the next song and how its title “Uisce” means “water” in the native Irish language of Gaelic.

For Uisce, a big body of water colored by the sunset was projected on the screen. The song started slowly without drums, mostly with the sounds of piano and vocals from Moa. But just as unpredictable as large bodies of water, the drums suddenly took over in a rapid pace and the cellos joined in, highlighting the sense of haste and danger the drums brought in. Red and fuchsia lights added to the atmosphere, rapidly flashing mainly over Shinya and at the beat of his drums. The lights returned to a calm white and were accompanied by the chime of bells whenever the drums lessened their intensity, only to regain the hectic pace at the end of the song.

Shinya introduced the next song, stating that unlike the previous unreleased songs, Génesi was known by his fans as it had been released on their first single of the same title back in 2017. Fans were transported into paradise as images from Génesi’s music video were projected on stage and this time lyrics for the song appeared as well. Heavenly blue and green lights shone over the smoke-filled stage to complete the image of paradise as Moa’s soft voice and piano contrasted with the strong drum tempo and sharp cymbals.

After Génesi ended, Shinya thanked everyone for attending the show and announced the last song, Kreis (“circle” in German). The stage was covered with images related to the wilderness: a mountain surrounded by green trees and beautiful aerial views. This song was the perfect closure for the concert as it ended with a rhythm that awakened a feeling of adventure. After it ended, the orchestra stood up to leave the stage, then Moa and then Shinya left the stage as the fans cheered and the instrumental version of Génesi played.

After an intermission, the second part of the evening took place again on stage, with questions from the audience members to Shinya in a quaint talk event. The final surprise was delivered by Moa to Shinya. Much to everyone’s delight and Shinya’s surprise, she entered the stage with a food cart covered with a white table cloth that carried a cute chocolate birthday cake, shaped as a bear.

Before Shinya blew out his candles and made a wish, Moa sat at the piano to play a short version of Happy Birthday while fans happily sang along to Shinya. The special birthday evening had come to an end, a perfect present for SERAPH’s debut, Shinya’s birthday and fans alike.

Set list

01. Destino
02. Abyss
03. Sauveur
04. Uisce
05. Génesi
06. Kreis
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