MORRIE TOUR 2019 “In the Shining Wilderness” at Tokyo Kinema Club

live report - 22.03.2019 00:01

MORRIE celebrated his “birthday of the body” with Kiyoharu, Sakito from NIGHTMARE and Boris as special guests.

March 4th this year marked MORRIE’s “birthday of the body”, to use his term. The annual birthday show was actually the final date of his 2019 In the Shining Wilderness tour – a tour that was named after the English translation of the title of his fifth full-length album, Hikaru koya, which is set for release on April 19th. His band for this show also consisted of musicians who participated in the recording of the album, including guitarist Kuroki Shinji, bassist FIRE and drummer Eno Masafumi. Much to the fans’ delight, Sakito from NIGHTMARE, Kiyoharu, and Boris also performed as special guests during the songs from the new album they contributed to.

MORRIE started the show with the first song from the new album, Junketsu no Shiro. He evocatively expressed travelling through the eternal circle of life sometimes through his clear guitar strumming and intoxicating falsetto and at other times with his heavy strokes and powerful singing. The flawless band ensemble allowed the fans to explore the elaborate structure of the song. Another song from the new album, Crusader, followed, and its hard sound thrilled the fans.

MORRIE adjusted his guitar effectors and took a new guitar pick for Saru no Yume. FIRE’s groovy bass line and Kuroki’s guitar melody had the fans swaying along to MORRIE’s deep and glamorous voice. Later, a newly-arranged version of Kanpeki na Sora followed. Kuroki’s superb guitar techniques vividly expressed the feeling of flying. The presence of the sounds coming from his guitar could be felt as if there was a co-vocalist on the stage. Indeed, each musician’s playing supported MORRIE well. During the next song, Unchained, Eno’s precise drum beats controlled the song’s delicate modulations, and his bursting drum shots towards the end of the song lifted MORRIE’s celestial voice, which sang of the liberation of being.

“Today’s guest, Kiyoharu!” MORRIE invited Kiyoharu to the stage. The fans’ ovation filled the venue as Kiyoharu appeared and shook hands with MORRIE before they launched into a special collaboration version of the funk rock song Paradox. Kiyoharu’s dangerously glamorous vocals held the fans spellbound while MORRIE delivered edgy guitar riffs next to him. Cheers rose up from the fans again when Kiyoharu sang while holding MORRIE around the shoulders. The unison of their charismatic vocals electrified the audience.

After the song, MORRIE spoke about the next number, Moonlight Baby, which Kiyoharu contributed guest vocals to during the recording of the album. “It is a purifying song, so I wanted to have his voice in it. His voice naturally fit with my voice. He’s been listening to my music for many years,” MORRIE complimented Kiyoharu. The two singers sang in natural yet breathtaking unison during the melodious rock song, which also featured aggressive guitar work. The fans enthusiastically fist pumped to the singers’ shouts. MORRIE laughed at the end of the song as he seemed to be enjoying singing with Kiyoharu.

After Kiyoharu left the stage, FIRE suddenly started to play a bass solo that eventually changed into the opening riffs of Danger Game. “Sakito!MORRIE invited the guest guitarist to the stage. Now, having three guitarists, including himself, on the stage, MORRIE revealed the full potential of the song. The fans’ enthusiasm literally shook the venue as Sakito boldly delivered shredding guitar sounds and a powerful chorus. The characteristic aggressive guitar sound of the album was perhaps exemplified best in the following song, Angelic Night. The mellifluous and exhilarating guitar melody, which might remind fans of the musical style of Creature Creature, drove the fans into a frenzy. During the performance, the masterful skills of Eno and FIRE added a dynamic groove to the fierce guitar playing of the three musicians. Sakito also amazed the fans with his strength, speed, and technique as a guitarist. “Sakito!MORRIE once again shouted the guitarist’s name, and the fans directed their applause to Sakito.

Later, both Kiyoharu and Sakito came back to the stage to celebrate MORRIE’s birthday. At Kiyoharu’s lead, the fans sang "Happy Birthday" to MORRIE. The show then continued with a special session version of Nagame no Ii Anata. The dream-like rock show set the fans on fire. Finally, with Sakito still on the stage, MORRIE closed the show with another new song, Shinzui. In the midst of the raging band sounds, MORRIE sang of the world in turmoil, and also of existing eternally. After sharing his view of existential transcendence with the fans, MORRIE left the stage.

During the encore, MORRIE invited the last guests, Boris, to the stage. “Boris and myself played together a couple of years ago. They have been holding annual US tours and are very popular in the United States. They are a very beautiful band,” MORRIE introduced Boris to the fans. The three members took their respective positions for the live performance of the album version of Into My Eyes: Takeshi and Wata on guitars, and Atsuo on gong. MORRIE, while stroking his acoustic guitar, gently started to sing. The song progressed with a clear rhythm from the electric guitars and the resonating sounds of the gong setting a solemn atmosphere for MORRIE’s singing voice, which described the beauty and goodness of the eternal realm. Towards the end of the song, the beautiful contrast of Wata’s powerful guitar solo and MORRIE’s falsetto made a lasting impression, capturing the sensation of freedom that has neither a beginning nor an end. “Boris!” MORRIE thanked Boris at the end of the song.

“Thank you for coming to my ‘birthday of the body’. The body will cease to exist one day, but there is actually no death. The eternity of ‘I’ being ‘I’, no one else but ‘I’, and nowhere else but ‘here’ is where absolute freedom exists. Please come to my SOLITUDE show if you would like to hear more about it,” MORRIE said. Finally, MORRIE played the new album’s title song, Hikaru Koya. The band-style presentation of the musical journey through the shining wilderness of Japanese pampas grass under the crescent moon filled the venue with the stillness that lies within transcendence.

American fans will have the opportunity to hear some tracks before the album officially hits stores as well. MORRIE will be holding another intimate SOLITUDE show at the Kraine Theater in New York on March 26th. At this concert, he will perform songs from his various projects — including some new songs from the album — alone with a guitar. Tickets are available for purchase here, and you can also check out our live report covering the previous SOLITUDE show in New York for an idea of what to expect.

Set list

01. Junketsu no Shiro (A Castle Of Purity)
02. Crusader
03. Dust Devil
04. Saru no Yume (Monkey Dream)
05. Phantom Lake
06. Kanpeki na Sora (Perfect Sky)
07. Unchained
08. Kokodewanai Dokoka (Somewhere But Here)
09. Paradox (with Kiyoharu)
10. Moonlight Baby (with Kiyoharu)
11. Danger Game (with Sakito)
12. Angelic Night (with Sakito)
13. Yumei-Kyo (Mirrors Between This World and The Other)
14. Nagame no Ii Anata (You, A View) (with Kiyoharu & Sakito)
15. Shinzui (Quistessence) (with Sakito)

Encore
16. Into My Eyes (with Boris)
17. Hikaru Koya (The Shining Wilderness)
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MORRIE 26/03

MORRIE
New York, NY - United States of America
Kraine Theater
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