aki and Kaya Rendezvous at Club Phase- Khaos Rendezvous Day One
Despite the untimely end of his iconic band, Laputa, vocalist aki continues actively rocking with an audacious, self-titled solo project. For the first edition of his event, “Khaos Rendezvous,” aki gathered fans and friends for a two day show with a rare line-up of high caliber musicians. The rendezvous was hot rather than chaotic and took the crowd on a fiery ride through three distinct styles of visual kei. The artists shared their passion for music through undeniable charisma, many surprises in store with secret guests and grand sessions.
The lights fell to dramatic piano, its piercing cries gaining strength as the rhythm grew. The classical intro was accompanied by a disco tune, lights dancing and twirling to the beat. With slow steps, Kaya walked in, his outfit for the new single “SALOME” revealed fist hand; a see-through veil cascading down his arms and swaying with every movement. The new song was warmly welcomed, piercing growls rocking the walls and contrasting heavily with Kaya’s deceivingly sweet appearance. The electronic background and the heavy beat mingled perfectly, Kaya’s voice impeccable as he went from sweetness to anger. “Let me hear your voices!” he screamed between twirls and belly-dance arm motions.
With a growl, “Medusiana” descended upon the hall, and making full use of the stage, Kaya twirled dangerously, arms slightly open as he tilted his head to the side, striking sensuous poses. He shifted from catchy and sweet to fierce and feisty in a glimpse, words cutting the air like knives as he stressed the lyrics.
A sad operetta played in the background as the musician welcomed the audience, voice sweet and delicate. “I usually play with younger bands and feel like a big brother so it is unusual for me to play with older musicians. Yes, I’m still in my twenties!” He added the last part with a mischievous laugh. “For you gaijin(foreigners),” he said, addressing the unusually high number of foreigners in the crowd, “I’m not scary! I do talk a lot… for like five minutes.” Throughout his talk, innocence turned to impishness without warning in a somewhat psychotic dance of personas. “I will be covering Laputa for the next Crush album. You may feel like saying, ‘No, that’s wrong! You’re not doing it right!’ but please keep in mind that I love Laputa as much as you do. I did say I speak a lot. The emcee is getting long but I promise it will only be five more minutes!” The crowd laughed at Kaya’s antics as he went on talking about the new goods. “No-one wanted me to have a mouse-pad but I said, ‘I want to do it!’” His voice was demanding for the last as he stomped his feet for emphasis. “If you don’t buy it, I’ll be in trouble!” he said with a pout and a wide grin.
The coupling song for the single SALOME followed, “BABYLON” starting loud and fast. The lights flickered on and off as Kaya drowned in a sensuous dance that mixed gothic and Arabic influences, hips and arms swaying like a deadly serpent. The strong beat contrasted with the hot vocals, Kaya’s stage presence unbeatable and the performance breathtaking.
The dark “Kairai” opened to terrifying laughter. With hair covering his face and the stage’s dim lights allowing only a single beam to shine through, Kaya was all demon. “Pourriture noble” continued in the same heavy fashion, Kaya bending backward at an unusual angle as he contorted to the rhythm before demanding with a growl, “Lend me your voices!”
In “Silvery Dark,” the sound of waves was slightly muffled by a mournful piano. Sad and crystalline, the vocals shone with full force, rising and falling with impressive ease as Kaya played with notes and sound in a remarkably haunting piece. The song ended with a desperate cry, Kaya gazing solemnly sky-ward as the sounds of waves and piano washed over the hall. Unannounced, three figures made their way to the stage and it took a while for the crowd to understand what was going on.
Through the next couple of songs, the electronics eased and a band accompanied Kaya in one of those rare and striking performances that stays with you for years to come. Theatrics were grave for “Sink” as a warm bass made its way through the clear vocals. “It’s a rare moment. I have a band today,” Kaya said before introducing each member. “On guitar. Iori from cocklobin. He is also the composer for ‘SALOME.’ On drums, Sujk from DELUHI, and on bass Cell, ex siva.”
The piano galloped heavily for “Curse of Rose.” Gradually, the beat intensified, guitar and bass firing up loud and strong, while Kaya danced in character. The lights seemed to transport the hall to a full moon night, fists rising for the guitar solo. The chorus and thundering instrumentals gave the song a belligerent, medieval tone in one of the night’s strongest numbers. “Addict” opened with an interesting combination of electronics and bass, guitar and drums summoning flying hair. “Who am I?” Kaya asked, voice sharp and demanding, the crowd stirring in anticipation of the number destined to follow that remark. Red and black lights accompanied the heavy and hot “Rose Jail.” A sea of bodies moved forward as Kaya skittered across the stage like a black widow spider, demanding more shouts with his fierce growls. The arrangement and strong instrumentals gave the songs a sharper edge, testifying to Kaya’s versatility.
Kaya left the stage solemnly as he had come in, yet the crowd was in for a surprise as he returned latter for an outstanding duet with the show’s host.
- Pourriture noble
- Silvery Dark
- Curse of Rose
- Rose Jail
The mood changed with aki and his renowned musicians. With Hitoki on bass, Kazutoshi Yokoyama on keyboard, Death-O on drums and Yuto on guitar, aki wasted no time and dove into some old-school rock with “UMBRELLA.” Drums flashed over a soft piano, the bass pulsing through as Hitoki thrashed his hair to the hot beat. The vocalist barely moved, voice rising with ease as he lightly gesticulated to stress the lyrics. “Welcome!” he said, and the crowd cheered, pumping fists fiercely for the following “SHOCK ME.” A funky beat enveloped the hall, ardent instrumentals and high-pitched vocals mingling perfectly. The crowd moved back and forth, all hands up with aki, while the strings took the spotlight with inflaming riffs.
Bass stole the show in “ASIAN MOON,” Hitoki tapping on the strings for some feisty notes. Moving his arms slowly, aki signaled for the instruments to cease, vocals rocking the crowd with lulling verses. The transition to “THE BLADE” was very smooth, calm piano accompanying the deep vocals. Hot bass and pulsing drums added intensity to the number, distorted guitars giving it a finishing touch. The tone grew more brutal for “Kagefumi Ballerina.” The contrast between the fast instrumentals and the sweet vocals lightened as the tone harshened, words cutting through the air as aki swayed to the lulling beat. His desperate growls added fire to the song. “Kuchizuke” continued in the same fashion with the tune rising and falling in waves, sweet piano still lingering in the background.
“Welcome and good afternoon. My name is aki,” the night’s host introduced himself casually. “Sorry, I’m not very good at emcees. I played with Kaya once and since then I’ve always wanted to do it with him again.” With a laugh, he added, “it’s not what you think. I wanted to play with him again.” The crowd laughed at aki’s sudden change in behavior. “Laputa broke up 12 years ago but many people still like our music. I know Kaya does. I know we look scary but we are all nice!” the vocalist reassured with a grin. “Please open your hearts to us!”
The mood eased for “DILEMMA” and “NEO HERO – Ichigeki hisatsu! -” with their happy beats. Groovy bass lines got the crowd swaying and the drummer was unstoppable, moving constantly as he fiercely punished the drums, sticks flying dangerously with every beat. Calling Yuto to the front, aki moved back, the guitarist taking the spotlight for a fervent solo
“LOVE MESSIAH” brought the musicians to the front in turns, the band moving and interacting with the crowd. The strong ballad, “BRILLIANT JESUS,” followed with piano and vocals complementing each other in a beautiful tune before guitar, bass and drums stepped in. The vocals echoed hauntingly over the superb instrumentals, aki working the crowd well. Slow and smooth, the set continued with “LANDSCAPE” and the crowd surrendered to aki’s distinguishable vocals.
“Thank you for being here today! Tomorrow we will go even deeper into hell with cocklobin, so don’t miss it! Kaya has been waiting, so let’s call him. What do you call Kaya?” he asked the crowd who laughed and yelled “Kaya!” “That’s it? It’s pretty normal!” aki exclaimed with feigned disappointment.
Clad in a stunning red corset, Kaya returned, bowing countless times as he explained to the crowd that he was a big aki fan. “This is like a dream come true!” he confessed as he covered his mouth shyly.
“Do your fans know Laputa?” aki asked and Kaya promptly replied, “Of course they do! Those who don’t, please go home!” he added, coldly glaring at the crowd.
Yokoyama and Death-O joined the two vocalists for the stunning cover of Laputa’s “Yurenagara…” to be part of the next cover compilation album, Crush. Sweetness gone for good, Kaya growled, fiercely kicking off the song. aki mimicked him to the crowd’s delight and the younger vocalist’s distress but the contrast of both voices worked very well and gave an interesting tone to the number.
“We have accompanied Kaya back to the country of the roses!” aki grinned as he returned in response to the encore demand. The show ended in a party mood, the funky beat of “ONE LOVE, ONE PEACE” with its heated instrumentals keeping the crowd in motion till the very end. An appetizer for the heavy show to come on day two, the tune raised expectations high and they were not to be disappointed. Stay tuned for part two!
- SHOCK ME
- ASIAN MOON
- THE BLADE
- Kagefumi Ballerina
- NEO HERO – Ichigeki hisatsu! -
- LOVE MESSIAH
- BRILLIANT JESUS
- Yurenagara…（Kaya Laputa tribute cover version）
- ONE LOVE, ONE PEACE
There are 10 photos in this visual kei exclusive.