L’Arc~en~Ciel "25th L’Anniversary LIVE" at Tokyo Dome - Day 1

live report - 04.19.2017 08:00

On April 8th and 9th, L’Arc~en~Ciel celebrated their 25th anniversary with a two-day live event at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.

On April 8th and 9th, L’Arc~en~Ciel celebrated their 25th anniversary with a two-day live event at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Their music style ranges from pop to rock and they have even ventured into punk in some of their singles.

Intro

The sold-out venue's lights went off and fans cheered for what was to come. A huge stage with a backdrop of several LED screens lit up and a mysterious figure appeared. It introduced itself as “Ellie Cranc” who came from the future and was shocked to discover that all information regarding L’Arc~en~Ciel's 25th anniversary celebration had been erased from the future in the year AD 9125. So, Ellie gave the whole world a mission in the form of a smartphone application, L'Arcollection. She asked the fans to find the missing pieces of the band's history and send them to Tokyo Dome for the event to take place.

The mission had been completed the night before, so all fans had left was the promise of history following its course. “Will they appear?” asked the screens.

After a screen introduction of all the band members one by one, the lights were turned on and there they were on stage, summoned by the pieces collected. The audience went crazy.

Niji

Vocalist hyde stood over a platform that also served as a screen and allowed for light and image changes during the whole concert. This song’s color was yellow. While the stage was covered in rainbow colored lights (the band’s name means "rainbow" in French), the first song Niji, which also means "rainbow", began. As the song went by, what seemed like the found pieces of the mission fell onto the screens.

For the next song, the lights rotated and time seemed to move forward. hyde came down from the platform and smoke appeared on the stage.

Caress of Venus

Caress of Venus was next, a fun song for the band to interact with the cameras and for fans to sing along to. Leader and bassist tetsuya played his trademark fuchsia bass with LED lights that made it easier for fans to find him on stage from afar, especially in a venue as huge as Tokyo Dome.

the Fourth Avenue Café

Then, the song the Fourth Avenue Café came on and the stage lights switched to fuchsia, blue and white. Both hyde and tetsuya walked to different sides of the stages to get closer to those on the first floor stands amidst cheers of fans while drummer yukihiro and guitarist ken were showcased on the many screens on stage.

After the song, the backdrop screens formed the name of the band in yellow letters and music was halted in favor of a long awaited MC that welcomed fans to this anniversary celebration known as “L’Anniversary”. After some interaction between hyde and ken and thanking for everyone’s support during their 25-year career, it was time for the audience to do something for the band: waves! At hyde’s command, the audience started a wave that went all the way up to the highest point of the Tokyo Dome seats and then, after the first practice, came back to the band members that were hit by a wind effect from said human wave.

flower

With the sound of a harmonica played by hyde, the song flower began. hyde walked to the left side of the stage, threw water to some fans on that side and kept playing the harmonica throughout the song. At the end of it, he threw the harmonica into the overjoyed crowd.

Lies and Truth

With a guitar solo by ken, the next song, titled Lies and Truth, started. The many screens behind the band started to show several images from different promotional videos of the band, like some sort of television channel that took fans through the many styles and eras L’Arc~en~Ciel has had these past 25 years.

fate

The screens on the stage started to lose their signal and everything faded away, going from screen noise to images of passing clouds. The stage was enveloped in smoke and, amid flashes of light and a guitar riff, fate, an emotional and deep song that echoed the ambience on stage, came next. As the song progressed, the lights changed from purple to blue.

forbidden lover

The clouds on the back screens give way to a dark blue sea, keeping with the theme of despair and a sense of turbulence. The band seemed to be lost at sea in the middle of a storm, surrounded by fireballs that were shot from the front of the stage. With this feeling of the perfect storm and lost love, forbidden lover began. The song really showcased hyde as he shaped the whole feeling of the song with his singing, as well as yukihiro whose tempo determined the pace of said storm. Fiery flames framed the screens during the climax of this song, then switched to a calmer sea towards the end.

Shout at the Devil

Continuing the theme of fire, fans were dragged to hell as the screens were engulfed in fire and a faster drum beat by yukihiro started the song. Shout at the Devil was faster in every sense. For this song, the stage was totally covered in red light, and there were fire balls and pyrotechnics. Before it ended, hyde raised his microphone stand, showing a black flag tied to it, screamed as part of the song and then threw the stand to the floor.

-Intermission-

After such an intense song, the band let the audience rest with an intermission. As the crew got things ready for what was next, the side screens showcased the 25th L’Anniversary logo and it beat like a heart from time to time, changing the pace as it went on. At the same time the LED wristbands (called "L'ed bands") that were given to every attendant followed the rhythm with pulsing red lights and different sections of the venue were lit up in rhythm to the drum-like sound.

REVELATION


© 今元秀明 (Hideaki Imamoto) / 岡田貴之 (Takayuki Okada) / 緒車寿一 (Toshikazu Oguruma) / 加藤千絵 (Chie Kato) / 田中和子 (Kazuko Tanaka)

The band members, sporting different outfits than before, returned to the stage with a different, more minimalistic stage setup. hyde and ken had their own mini set of drums, yukihiro was on guitar while tetsuya still played his characteristic fuchsia bass and had a stationary camera under his control on his side.

Without notice, the new mini stage started to rise and move towards the fans at the arena level, passing over them as the song REVELATION went on. In a play between band and fans, the song was chanted by everyone. In this song, the L'ed bands took center stage by providing the mood for the song through several light changes.

Voice

After getting back to their traditional instrument setup, the next song was announced: Voice, a song from L'Arc~en~Ciel's first album. This was a welcome addition to the set and it drew cheers from the crowd. Having the stage now set up on the other side of the arena gave fans at the back of the venue a chance to be closer to the band in a more intimate setting compared to the huge main stage. The lack of stage lights was made up for by the L'ed bands that lit up white and blue with the song.

X X X

Continuing on the substage, the intro of X X X (pronounced "kiss, kiss, kiss") began and the L'ed bands on different sections of the venue pulsed to the rhythm. On the highest balcony, purple and fuchsia lights formed the name of the song X X X during the chorus and the name of the band at the end of the song.

-Intermission #2-

The stage started moving again as each band member held crates with small balls that they threw to the fans as the stage returned to its starting position at the main stage. tetsuya also controlled a stationary camera on the moving stage and filmed the audience with it.

As the band members disappeared from stage, the screen showed what appeared to be a special news broadcast called "LNN”. The host of the show asked the audience if they wanted to see the videos collected by the joint fan effort during the special mission for this event. Fans screamed over and over at the news anchor's request and then the screens started showing special footage from an old photoshoot that drew various reactions from the crowd, clips from music videos as well as backstage images of L'Arc~en~Ciel's recording sessions, including a rehearsal for one of their songs and a few CMs for various past releases.

Kasou

Finally, the band returned to the stage, dressed in elegant suits. The screens lit up with fluorescent pastel frames. Two android-like pole dancers graced both sides of the stage behind the band and moved along to the mysterious rhythm of Kasou. Here, the L'ed band bands shone red.

Shinshoku ~lose control~

The pole dancers started dancing at the top of the platform behind the band with the screens showing images of DNA chains. Eventually, the rhythm changed from artistic to energetic and gave way to Shinshoku ~lose control~, a fast paced song that fully gave meaning to its title and made the crowd go wild.

HONEY

The screens on stage now showed a honeycomb-like yellow design. hyde appeared on stage with a black guitar and L'Arc~en~Ciel's well-known song HONEY began. The audience's L'ed bands lit up, matching the song's rhythm with white, yellow and blue lights.

MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM


© 今元秀明 (Hideaki Imamoto) / 岡田貴之 (Takayuki Okada) / 緒車寿一 (Toshikazu Oguruma) / 加藤千絵 (Chie Kato) / 田中和子 (Kazuko Tanaka)

ken was the only one left on stage as he performed a soft intro melody for the song that was to come. With blue lights from the L'ed bands for company, MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM began with just ken until he was joined by hyde and the rest of the band. This time, hyde donned a white suit with a matching hat and gloves. Fans sang along during the chorus of the song in coordination with fuchsia and blue lights.

NEO UNIVERSE

The screens now showed a futuristic metropolis and flying cars passing by. NEO UNIVERSE was next and it brought a new addition to the venue: a remote controlled Inflatable flying car with lights that flew through the venue and amazed fans during the following songs.

STAY AWAY

Now was tetsuya’s turn to interact with the crowd before the next song. With a strong bass intro, rainbow colored stage lights and blue L'ed band lights that kept with the futuristic setting, the song STAY AWAY made the crowd clap at certain parts of the song in a coordinated fashion.

Driver’s High

A speedometer appeared on screen as the rumble of the engine of a car sounded throughout the venue. Amidst exploding fireworks, jumping fans screamed “Clash!” and “Flash!” during Driver’s High.

READY STEADY GO

With a scream of “Are you fucking ready?!” from hyde and fast paced drums by yukihiro, the turn for READY STEADY GO came around. Metallic ribbons were fired at different areas of the venue and grabbed by excited fans. Like in previous songs, the fans sang along to part of the lyrics while waving their newly acquired ribbons.

-Intermission #3-

Fans got another intermission when the band left the stage. This time, LNN News reported that the L’Anniversary live was coming to an end and asked who the mysterious Ellie Cranc was. Ellie then explained how she was within all of the fans while her name appeared on the screens on stage. The letters were shuffled around until they formed its true meaning: L’Arc~en~Ciel. With the final message of “Don’t be Afraid”, the final part of the show began.

-Encore-

Don’t be Afraid

The logo for the 25th L’Anniversary was shown behind yukihiro’s drum set and hyde appeared with a new hairstyle to sing their newest song Don't be Afraid that served as the theme song for the latest "Resident Evil" movie in Japan. The song sung live transmitted the sense of urgency and need to escape the video game and movie franchise is known for.

tetsuya thanked the audience for their support all these years and joked about how the year was actually the 26th anniversary instead of the 25th. “Did you know that?!” he asked. “We knew!” replied the audience.

Blurry Eyes

Blurry Eyes was next and it brought the audience back in time as past footage of the band performing the song was shown side by side with actual live footage for the concert. While hyde used a whistle to encourage fans to sing along as he walked around the stage, the rest of the band members seemed to be having fun with the song as well. At the end of the song, the whistle was thrown into the crowd, reaching a lucky fan.

Link

Giant colorful balloons with the 25th L’Anniversary logo appeared on the sides of the venue and were thrown to the fans on the arena and lower levels of the stands to bounce around during the song Link. During a break in the song, the screens on stage showed images of many fans that had been sent from all over the world. The break was also used to introduce and thank each band member before continuing with the song. One by one, the members added their instruments to the song and carried on with it.

Anata


© 今元秀明 (Hideaki Imamoto) / 岡田貴之 (Takayuki Okada) / 緒車寿一 (Toshikazu Oguruma) / 加藤千絵 (Chie Kato) / 田中和子 (Kazuko Tanaka)

The L'ed bands lit up once more, forming the words “25th L’Anniversary” on the highest balcony at the back of the venue and shining blue on the other sections of the venue. hyde thanked everyone for attending the live and for the support during the career of the band. He then announced the last song of the night, Anata, which started as a disco ball descended over the stage. Fans sang along during the chorus until the big finale where feathers fell on stage.

The band members waved goodbye and left the stage. Both L’Anniversary dates had similar set lists with few song changes, but captured the essence of the band over the 25 years of their career. If this is a glimpse of what L’Arc~en~Ciel can give fans in just two days, fans can only imagine what a full-scale tour would bring. Whether at a national or International level, L’Arc~en~Ciel fans are in for a visual and musical treat anytime the band decides to perform again!

Set list

01. Niji
02. Caress of Venus
03. the Fourth Avenue Café
04. flower
05. Lies and Truth
06. fate
07. forbidden lover
08. Shout at the Devil
09. REVELATION
10. Voice
11. X X X
12. Kasou
13. Shinshoku ~lose control~
14. HONEY
15. MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM
16. NEO UNIVERSE
17. STAY AWAY
18. Driver’s High
19. READY STEADY GO
20. Don’t be Afraid
21. Blurry Eyes
22. Link
23. Anata
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