PS COMPANY - The 10th Anniversary Concert Peace&Smile Carnival

review - 27.04.2009 18:45

The highly anticipated DVD of PS COMPANY's 10th anniversary event at Nippon Budokan.

For the many fans who weren’t able to attend the Peace&Smile Carnival, getting their hands on the DVD seemed to be the next best thing - and for those fans, the DVD is worth its price as a glimpse of the special event. However, for those who attended the anniversary live, it may be a little disappointing: not all of the songs are on the DVD, and for some reason, most of the songs selected are older ones that have probably been seen performed on their respective band’s other releases. Nevertheless, the DVD is still a worthy memento for any PS COMPANY fan.

The opening sequence, shown in grainy, home video-like footage, depicts the bands’ last minute preparations mixed with shots of the fans arriving at Budokan. A short montage of videos from the label’s 2005 tour done in black and white follows, and then we are thrust into the present with miyavi and Keiyuh of Kra shouting "happy new year!" to the audience. The reunited "bokodeko team" appear on stage dressed in formal hakama and look gorgeous as they start the festivities. With miyavi riling up the crowd, shouting the 2005 tour’s slogan of "egao de fuck you!" the live begins with Kagrra,.

The butterfly graphic that introduces the band is the same as the one from the 2005 tour DVD, and each name shown is accompanied by delighted screams from the fans. Isshi comes on stage in an oni (demon) mask, and he sheds it abruptly as the band launches into Kotodama. In fact, the entire set shown is signature Kagrra, as Sai and Utakata are the other songs included. The band is dressed in brilliant kimono over normal clothing, and the scene they present is beautiful. Throughout Budokan, fans and towels can be seen waving until Utakata is played; the audience watches in rapt silence as Sin demonstrates his koto playing skills during the stunning closer.

If Kagrra, had seemed a little reserved, Kra has no problem losing themselves in the moment. Keiyuh appears onstage first, looking charming in a tuxedo, and he bows before taking a seat at the piano. The other members of Kra are also elegantly dressed, though their actions don’t quite match their image - the band is insanely energetic, running all over the stage and the walkways to interact with the fans. Keiyuh shows how much power he has packed into his small frame as he sings clearly and audibly with the microphone pressed to his chest, and "Maicho" goes absolutely nuts during his solo. The transition from artman to Mutaku to mutaku to is cut rather obviously, but otherwise, the DVD captures Kra’s character well. Amaoto wa Chopin no shirabe shows their softer, more delicate side, and Buriki no hata reveals how much Kra loves their fans, and vice versa.

alice nine.’s section begins with Velvet, which is a little strange because it’s clear that it is not the band’s opening number. However, that’s quickly forgotten as the excited members race around the stage. Saga steals the show with his guitar versus bass "face off" against Hiroto, and Budokan is turned into a veritable planetarium as fans all around the stage wave penlights in the darkened venue. RAINBOWS includes Saga’s now infamous amp climb as he plays his bass while perched precariously on a tall amp. The DVD set closes with Blue Planet, an energetic number that has everyone in Budokan waving. Shou belts out the heartfelt lyrics while grinning, and it’s clear how much alice nine. enjoyed their time at Budokan.

When the GazettE takes the stage dressed in formal hakama, they come swaggering out - and with good reason. The venue goes entirely wild before the first strains of Filth in the beauty are even played. Everyone is headbanging along to the GazettE, and one of the best moments is seeing Kai let loose behind his drums and let himself be carried by the raw emotion. Through LEECH and DISCHARGE, Budokan is full of flying hair and blissed out fans. The camera work, though a bit dizzying, perfectly captures the pure intensity and unbridled noise the GazettE brings, which is exactly what rock is all about.

As the final act of the night, miyavi doesn’t disappoint. He opens his set with a video from his world tour that espouses his message of peace and love, and it’s the perfect lead in to his solo performance of "Aishiteru" kara hajime you. The gentle musical embrace is followed by irrepressible miyavi charm as he strikes sexy poses and crawls - at some points literally - all over the stage during KAVKI BOIZ. During the MC, he reiterates his stance on love and acceptance before moving on to Sakihokoru. As U r finishes his set, and miyavi gives a saucy performance with a confidence only he can display.

The ending cuts straight to the sake barrel breaking. miyavi, Shou, Kai, Mai and Isshi all pound at the sake barrel, streamers fly, and then you can see the bands interacting with each other on stage as the credits roll. Of course, it’s not complete without the jump, and miyavi and Keiyuh organize everyone to hold hands before leading the venue to jump together.

The opening acts, strangely, are found at the end of the DVD. Both SuG and SCREW are allotted one song each - LOVE SCREAM PARTY and VEGAS, respectively. Though it’s really nice to see some of their stage presence, the position and length of their clips make them seem like an addendum; it takes away from the anticipatory buildup they received at the actual live event, making them seem less impressive.

The special edition limited version comes with six booklets that contain glossy live photos of the bands, yet in the end they aren’t that special, as all the photos have been shown at one point or another in various magazines or online reports. The patch it comes with is a better extra, but to be honest, getting the regular version of the DVD is probably enough. The DVD will definitely satisfy the cravings of those who wish they had been there and offer a different perspective for those who had attended, but most of all it will leave you wishing for more Peace & Smile…and that’s never a bad thing!
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