the GazettE - 9th Birthday 9-NINE-

live report - 03.30.2011 20:01

the GazettE celebrated their 9th birthday with a spectacular live at Zepp Tokyo.

A young crowd waited patiently for the GazettE on the night of March 10th at Zepp Tokyo for the opportunity to celebrate live with the band their 9th anniversary. Both male and female fans trying to copy their idols displayed a wide range of hair colors from bright pink/red, to yellow and white gray. The tour t-shirts and towels were another common feature amongst the crowd. On stage the band’s logo was displayed, illuminated by dark red lights. Outside the night was cold but ZEPP was packed with no empty seat in the house. The fans were on fire anticipating what the GazettE had in store for them.

the GazettE didn’t make their fans wait. At 18.30 sharp the lights went down and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy started playing. Immediately a massive cheer echoed through the venue and the thrilled fans started clapping in perfect synchrony, welcoming the members who stepped onstage one by one. Kai was first, followed by Uruha, Reita and Aoi - all clad in black. Aoi’s pinkish red hair stood out in the sea of black and Uruha looked unusually sober with his now black hair, a white lock popping out under all the black. Ruki was last and the crowd had a particularly warm welcome in store for him.

They were off to a hot start with LINDA~candydive Pinky heaven~ from their 2003 EP Super Margarita, a familiar number the fans knew at once, clapping first right then left, all in unison. Aoi appeared to have some technical difficulties with his guitar half way through the song but it didn’t interfere much with the performance, and once the problems were solved he was more than happy to join in with clapping and dancing. Uruha also delighted the fans with some sexy dancing. It was impressive how the fans knew all the hand choreography and to see teenage girls in mini-skirts moshing and crowd surfing.

With the fans well worked up it was time for another old favorite - Akai onepiece. “Come on!” shouted Ruki and the excited crowd followed shouting “Oi, oi, oi!” while pumping their fists to the music. Ruki managed to thrill the fans even further by spitting some water into the crowd. The fans moved as one, a sea of arms waving to the right, the left, then up and down reminiscent of a sand storm.

The mosh continued for Psychedelic Heroine. Kai was very energetic and never stopped smiling whilst Uruha’s performance was impressive with the guitarist showing off his amazing skills without ever neglecting his fans. As the song approached its end, it was time for Aoi to shine with a solo that drove the fans wild. The song ended and Ruki addressed the fans for the first time that night, thanking them for coming and for their support over the years. The lights went down and Ruki’s devilish laughter echoed throughout the venue. Immediately, hair of all different colors started flying violently to Hyena. It was time for some fan service as Uruha approached Ruki and the latter slowly and sensuously licked his ear to delighted squeals. The light show for AGONY was very interesting - red, green and purple lights flashed in turn and transformed the live-house into a night club. “Tokyo!! Come on!!” shouted Ruki over and over as the fans jumped up and down. The crowd was very enthusiastic and when Ruki screamed “What’s your name?” they immediately understood that Maggots was next. VOICELESS FEAR from their latest single, PLEDGE, left the fans uncertain of what to do, unfamiliar with the new choreography. Guren and PLEDGE followed and although Uruha did an amazing job on guitar solos, the show went through a lull.

For the second MC of the night, Ruki spoke about the new tour and its concept, thanking the fans for their support. “It’s our 9th anniversary though it seems like it`s been longer.” The statement was greeted by a loud cheer and the GazettE went back to what they do best as it was again time for head-banging with HEADACHE MAN and VERMIN. HESITATING MEANS DEATH followed and Ruki graced the crowd with his famous legs apart, elbows on the knees, violent head-banging from one side to the other. The fans followed suit and soon many girls were copying him, some on their knees, others on all fours, hair swaying to the music. “Oi Tokyo!!! Can you give me more?” shouted Ruki, the crowd replying with a loud cheer - but for Ruki it was not enough and he challenged the fans to raise their voices, saying, “That’s not loud enough! Are you ready for more?” With the audience shouting at the top of their lungs it was time for another old classic - COCKROACH - and some more Ruki-style head banging. The fans were not tired yet and did everything to catch their idol’s eye, some jumping, others waving frantically. The head banging continued for the last two songs before the encore - DISCHARGE and Filth in the beauty.

The fans were not ready to go home yet and patiently waited for 10 minutes shouting “Encore” over and over again like a mantra. After a long wait, Kai and Reita came back on stage and entertained the fans with the energetic Ride with the ROCKERS. Both took turns with the microphone and thanked the fans. “We have been together for 9 years now having a great time with you guys! For me it will be so for 10, 20, 30 more years, until we die!” Reita reassured the fans. Soon Uruha, Aoi and Ruki joined the two on stage. “Happy Birthday!!” shouted Ruki in English to which the audience reacted with shouting and clapping. Taking his position in the center of the stage, he introduced the next song, shouting “I am…, I am… I am Ruder." It was Reita’s turn to shine with Ruki warmly calling “Rei-chan” to take the central rise for the bass solo.

Doro darake no seishun was very energetic and funny with Aoi and Uruha dancing, Uruha kindly shoving Aoi off as if to say “This is my space”. Aoi wasn`t intimidated though, shaking his hips to the music and going to Reita’s side - both dancing together to the fans' delight. Aoi seemed to be in a great mood and kept encouraging his fans to shout more and more, and they eagerly complied. As the song ended and the fans shouted for their favorite band member, a massive birthday cake was brought in and at once the audience started singing Happy Birthday to the band. Meanwhile, Uruha and Kai made fun of the intriguingly huge hat worn by the person who brought the cake. Everyone was in a great mood and it improved further when Ruki announced that all would have a turn talking for that night’s MC.

Uruha went first. “It’s been a long time”, he said. “I can’t believe they brought a cake! 10 years for a band is legendary, I think! Not that we will break up after another year!” he added, laughing. Kai was next, excusing his short MC with the fact that he had already spoken during the drum and bass duet. “Wouldn’t you rather hear from someone who hasn’t said anything yet?” he teased, handing the microphone to Aoi. “I love hearing your voices,” Aoi exclaimed, greeted by a male voice shouting his name. Hearing this, Aoi turned around with a surprised look on his face and asked “Yes?” a massive laugh from both the fans and the band echoed around the venue making it hard for him to hear his own voice. “I can’t hear my voice. My voice is pretty, isn’t it?” Receiving no reply and seeing Kai stand up and chat to a staff member, Aoi threatened to pass the microphone to someone else, greeted in turn by a big “Eh??” from the crowd. “I feel loved!” he exclaimed with a smile, passing the microphone to Reita, who was thankful for the support. Ruki reinforced what Uruha had said, noting how hard it is for a band to last so long with the same members while tasting the cake with his finger.

As the night approached its climax, the GazettE granted the fans with more head banging during THE $OCIAL RIOT MACHINE$ and Kanto dogeza kumiai. The staff and security personnel had a hard time during the latter as the fans kept crowd surfing. The old favorite, ✰BEST FRIENDS✰, was indeed a perfect choice for the end of the show, reflecting what has kept the band together for 9 years and will, according to the members, keep them together for many more to come. As the members left the stage one by one, Knocking on heaven’s door by Guns’n’ Roses began. Again, the fans tirelessly demanded an encore and it was time for the last surprise of the night, Anatanotame no konoinochi. Uruha’s performance and guitar solo were impressive, and Aoi was very energetic and tried his best to entertain his fans, dancing and shaking his hips to most songs while doing the infamous Aoi-dance to the delight of the fans. It was a perfect way to end the night and thank the fans for their support and love with both band and fans singing the chorus as one.

Set list

LINDA~candydive Pinky heaven~
Akai one piece
Psychedelic Heroine
Filth in the beauty
EN1 Ride with ROCKERS
EN2 Ruder
EN3 Doro darake no seishun
EN5 Kanto Dogeza Kumiai
WEN1 Anatanotame no konoinochi
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