BLOOD's Final Tour: La Fin de la Journée in Boston

live report - 02.03.2009 12:00

Echostream, GPKISM, DJ SiSeN, and BLOOD came together for a moving live at Middle East Downstairs on February 1st.

The line outside Middle East downstairs stretched all the way around the corner of the block. Fans were decked out in a variety of styles: some in normal dress, others in Gothic Lolita fashion and a few in colorful cyberpunk. Anticipation ran high for BLOOD's last tour - even people who only listened to the band’s music a few times came solely because it would be their last chance to see them live. Upon descending the stairs into the spacious venue, fans crowded to the front of the stage to get the best view possible and a few headed over to the merchandise table to check out what was available.

First up was Echostream, made up of vocalist Ryoko, guitarist Tomo, synthesist Tony, and percussionists Jen and CJ. They delivered a powerful start to their show with Rip Me Down. Echostream's performance was an exquisite mix of power and delicacy, simultaneously untamed and controlled. Ryoko only said a few words to the audience, mostly "Thank you" at the end of each song, but her gratitude and emotion were obvious as she sang her heart out in harder songs like Contagious, emoted in the beautiful piano ballad CREEP and dramatically crescendoed for their most recent single Dragon.

The audience bobbed their heads enthusiastically along to the beats, responding as Tony and Tomo worked the crowd, leaning forwards at the front of the stage, much to the delight of female fans. During What You Are, Tomo and Ryoko stood side by side as they performed. Echostream finished their eight-song set and as they left the stage, Tomo kissed a few of his guitar picks before flicking them into the audience.

A few moments later, GPKISM arrived on stage, Kiwamu with his guitar and GPK with a smile on his face. The duo wore the sophisticated black of Elegant Gothic Aristocrats: Kiwamu wore shiny black headgear and a corset over his top and skirt. GPK had a burgundy rose in his hair, long black leather gloves, a long-sleeved black top and a crinkled skirt. "How are you?" GPK asked the audience. "Is everyone enjoying the show?"

The audience replied enthusiastically, after which baroque violins - "conducted" by GPK, of course - introduced Illuminatum. After this song, GPK took a quick break to ask Kiwamu how he was. Much to the amusement of the crowd before them, Kiwamu stammered, "Busy!" and went right back to tuning up his guitar for the next song. After a set of light and upbeat songs, GPK called: "Let's get something darker and heavier!" and Sublimis followed. GPKISM finished their set with the ethereal and baroque-influenced Abaddon. The crowd raised their hands in the air, waving them along with GPK and returned the heart signs that he made with his hands.

The next up was DJ SiSeN and the crowd whooped as the stage was set up and the dancers, standing off to the side of the stage and waiting to go on, waved to them. DJ SiSeN started his set with a song that might have been a little bit shocking to the patrons of the bar in the Middle East Downstairs who did not come to see the live. Interspersed throughout the techno beats of the song were cries of: "Onii-sama dame! Onii-sama!"

Nevertheless, both the audience and performers enjoyed themselves immensely. DJ SiSeN's set was a giant party on and off stage. He danced around the stage with a toy bomb in his hand and offered a good deal of fan service as he paired up with his dancers. At one point, one of his dancers pulled out a yellow stuffed animal from the crotch of his neon yellow pants (which hung somewhere below his knees) and let it dangle there for a few moments. Some of the audience members pulled out their glowsticks and raved to the thumping beats coming from the stage. For the second song, DJ SiSeN replaced his toy bomb with a light-up toy whose top whirled around. Later, he exchanged this in turn for a cow print parasol that he twirled around. For DJ SiSeN's last song, he carried a bag filled with candies that he and his dancers threw out to the audience. Ever the playful one, he leaned into the crowd with a lollipop between his teeth as bait, moving it upwards with his teeth as the crowd surged forward in hopes of being the lucky owner of the sweet.

The moments before the main event were filled with excitement from the previous sets and for BLOOD's imminent performance. The president of Tainted Reality made yet another appearance and then the audience learned the sad news that neither kaede nor Ryo (the bassist and keyboardist of BLOOD respectively) would be present for the final tour. However, the audience were delighted by the fact that GPK would support BLOOD as the keyboardist. Finally, Fu-ki, Kiwamu and GPK appeared on stage. Kiwamu had changed his costume from the GPKISM set and now wore an off-the-shoulder top and a long skirt, all in black, and his hair was done up in dozens of black and blue braids, while GPK remained in his Gothic Aristocrat costume. Fu~ki's costume was the simplest of the group. He wore a black mesh tank top and tight black pants, his long hair straightened and free.

BLOOD kicked off their show with CRIMSON, whose gothic-electronic introduction quickly engaged the audience and renewed the attention of the bar patrons. In contrast to this, the next song, morphine, while still upbeat, gave the audience the opportunity to breathe for a few moments before shaking the venue in the latter half of the song and throughout CHAIN. Fists punched the air as Fu-ki yelled: "Let me see your fists!"

The flurry of activity wound down following Oboro as Fu-ki took the opportunity to speak to the audience. "Thank you for coming to our funeral," he said, slightly out of breath but still full of energy. "Next, we'll play a song about funerals. Get ready to go crazy!"

The staccato guitar notes of THE FUNERAL FOR HUMANITY turned the crowd into a thrashing and headbanging mass, growling along to the backing vocals throughout the song. Again, after BLIND, the audience was given some time to breathe with the song I remember you as they waved their hands to the music with Fu-ki. After byakuya and a quick MC in which Fu-ki asked the audience to purchase BLOOD's CDs, their new single Lost Sky was played. Fu-ki went over to GPK on the left side of the stage and the two sang together during the chorus.

At this point, both fans and bystanders were thoroughly engaged in the show. Even some older adults stood by the speakers on the side of the venue to watch, bobbing their heads and tapping their feet to the music. On the floor, the fans headbanged and pumped their fists, a few getting drenched in the water that Fu-ki splashed into the crowd from his water bottle during WALL OF GRIEF. In their final three songs, the band and the crowd were at the peaks of energy. Kiwamu and Fu-ki interacted with the crowd as much as they could, which the eager audience reciprocated. Kiwamu leaned into the crowd with his guitar during ESCAPE; throughout that song and the last sweetest disease, Fu-ki reached into the audience with his mic during the choruses and encouraged them to sing along.

Though the sweatest disease marked the end of BLOOD's set, the show certainly wasn't over. BLOOD disappeared backstage, but moments later, Kiwamu wandered out again with one of DJ SiSeN’s hairpieces on his head. The audience didn’t even need to shout for an encore as BLOOD reappeared barely five minutes later, after tour manager Roger Shackleford introduced La fin de la journée. For the encore, DJ SiSeN and Tomo of Echostream joined Fu-ki, Kiwamu, and GPK on stage, performing alongside them. DJ SiSeN seized the opportunity to dance with Fu-ki and give the audience some fan service. Their final song, the classic D.T.M.H, was heavy and crazy industrial metal, which produced a storm of fist-pumping and head-banging. Despite the small stage, everyone ran around it as if they were on a football field, stopping every now and then to bend down and pose for pictures with fans. Fu-ki and Kiwamu both threw themselves into the crowd, who literally received them with open arms.

The live ended on a thoroughly joyful note. The wig that Kiwamu stole resurfaced and their tour manager offered it up to anyone who was willing to purchase it before directing everyone to the merchandise stand, where BLOOD and GPK would be signing autographs. Kiwamu, Fu-ki and GPK headed to the merchandise stand and the crowd eagerly followed them.

In spite of the sadness of the fact that this would be BLOOD's final tour and that the band would be breaking up at its end, the concert showed no signs of what would be. Rather, the band performed as hard as they could as they had always done, and the audience had just as much fun as they jumped, headbanged, pumped their fists, and sang along to the songs. Even if some did not get an autograph from the band and GPKISM, they certainly had a lasting memory of the night.

BLOOD'S Set list:

2. morphine
4. Oboro


7. I remember you
8. byakuya


9. Lost Sky
12. sweatest disease

1. La fin de la journée
2. D.T.M.H
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