Amber gris & 9 GOATS BLACK OUT: Ambient Circus
Amber gris and 9 GOATS BLACK OUT held the final show for their Ambient Circus coupling tour on January 20. Lolitas, goths, foreigners and quite a few male fans gathered at LIQUID ROOM despite the cold and the rain for a rollercoaster-ride of goth-inspired sounds for all tastes.
Amber gris kicked off the show with their soothing vocals and powerful instrumentals. The hall went silent as the heavy curtains moved to a dramatic intro of Arabic influences to reveal the band already on stage. Clad all in white, red, and black amber gris opted for an gloomy bohemian look.
A powerful ballad, “in sickness and in health,” got the crowd moving to cool bass. The band brought a refreshing and positive tone despite the gloomy beat, gentle vocals and smooth bass making the ride a pleasurable one in a dark world unusually accented with light. The rhythm built up for the fast-paced “Franny wa gokigenna name” (Franny is not in a good mood). The song rose and fell, from sweet to angry, in very well accomplished transitions. Temari’s melodic vocals filled with angry passion for “over flow girl’s sick.” Powerful guitar solos took over, first Kaname’s for the opening and later Wayne’s under purple and red lights.
Koto, with his outrageous sexy Germanic look, took the honors for “hazy moon luv gaze.” The smooth bass seized the hall in an awesome performance while the crowd pumped fists. The powerful drum and bass work continued for “Umikaze to ame to saigo no tegami” (Sea breeze, rain, and the last letter). Blue, green and white lights, reminiscent of a sunrise by the sea, embraced the venue.
“million dead baby songs” did a great job lighting the mood with its initial groovy beat. The crowd swung with the positive-romantic vocals and the yet somewhat dark tune. With a sudden yell the song ended, the guitar diving in a strong solo for “wishstar and sunlight and darkness.” The song was very well accomplished with interesting vocals, and strong instrumentals, the confident bass and vigorous beat set the pace for the headbanging, both on and off stage. “Bishuu” from the band’s upcoming single made quite an impact with its strong beat. Red lights set the mood for the demanding ballad, the drums gaining a tribal tinge half way through the song almost resembling a heartbeat.
Visually, “Awake or asleep” was one of the most interesting pieces with the crowd clapping in unison to the circus-inspired intro. The band made sure to move around and interact with the audience, headbanging frantically to the beat. The thrashing of heads continued with “hummingbard’s.” Like a madman, Temari moved in circles, striking dramatic poses between growls. It was a refreshingly psychotic performance with the mood swinging from sweet to angry without notice.
With two songs to go, the band embarked on the nights first emcee, announcing the upcoming release of the single Decadence, and thanking 9 GOATS BLACK OUT for their teachings and support during the coupling tour. “Giniro no coffin” (Silver Coffin) brought about a lonesome drive, the fast pace and slower moments blending nicely and helping the transition for “love in the first.” The song closed the set with a blast, Temari kicking the air as he twirled relentlessly, singing to the bass-line and clapping, shouts of “Kawaiii” escaping the swinging crowd. With this vibrant performance and a crowd hankering for more, amber gris bid their farewells, passing on the torch.
- in sickness and in health
- Franny wa gokigenna name
- over flow girl’s sick
- hazy moon luv gaze
- Umikaze to ame to saigo no tegami
- million dead baby songs
- wishstar and sunlight and darkness
- Awake or asleep
- Giniro no coffin
- love in the first
9 GOATS BLACK OUT
The curtains parted to a dramatic intro, revealing 9 GOATS BLACK OUT already onstage and clad mainly in black. The band kept a stoic attitude and dove right into the slow song, “Sink.” From the start, ryo displayed an impressive vocal range, his red gloves standing out obviously among all the black. Hati set the pace with some groovy bass lines, stepping back halfway through the song for uta’s haunting guitar solo. “690min” warmed up the show and brought back the refreshing headbanging. The crowd let out a gasp as ryo approached uta and pretended to lick his chest before pacing around the stage like a caged animal. All went silent for the vocal solo during which ryo yelled and growled, the red of his gloves resembling blood as he reached his arms to the sky.
For “BABEL,” the band took complete control of the crowd, moving around constantly between growls and headbanging. Hati took over “Lestat” with hot bass lines that accompanied the funky beat. The transition from heavy to slow wasn’t as well accomplished as in previous songs but the vocalist’s earsplitting yells and the band’s contagious performance made up for it.
Lonely piano opened “yuutsu to kodoku.” Ryo moved around the stage like a mime, pausing right before the song took off with its strong bass. “Help me. It’s cold.” the vocalist uttered solemnly, the speech opening the path for “rakujitsu.” Yellow and red lights fell on one side of the stage, giving it the impression of an abandoned building, scarce sunlight creeping through the broken tiles.
A slow intro allowed the band to prepare for “Lilith” with broken rhythm due to its length. The groovy beat returned and flashes of split-personality came to mind as the band went from slow to angry in a split second, completely changing their attitude. Fiery musical lines accompanied pumping fists for “keibetsu” and “Who’s the MAD.” Takumi marked the tempo with fast, steady drums and programmer akaya did a great job, interacting constantly with the crowd and moving to the beat.
“Headache” followed although “neck-ache” would have been a more appropriate title considering all the vigorous headbanging. The fan-service returned full force with akaya taking the guitar from uta who responded by biting him on the neck vampire style. The guitar was eventually returned to its owner, and having no time to sling the strap on, the guitarist played on his knees.
In a dramatic emcee, ryo introduced the concept and main character behind the tour “a sad Pierrot who turns sadness into smiles.” The vocalist spoke about the tearful clown who puts on his make-up before stepping onstage with the purpose of making others smile and his make-up and mime-like movements came together as the concept became clear. “kannbi na shigai” with its fast guitars and smooth bass illustrated the clown’s struggle. A long round of applause evidenced the crowd’s appreciation and welcomed the set’s final song “negai.” The ballad combined vocals and instrumentals cleverly with ryo taking the lead and his clear voice enveloping the hall.
A story of opposites and contradicting feelings shaped 9 GOATS BLACK OUT’s set, over the image of a sad clown who despite his own sadness still thrives to make others happy. The sad and angry tune expressed the tearful Pierrot’s misfortunes yet some light shone through in every song.
Discretely, the band made their exit, leaving a cheering crowd behind but 9GOATS BLACK OUT soon returned in reply to the encore demand. “Wow, so many people here today!” Ryo exclaimed with a grin. “We are amber gris!” he shouted with a laugh and the audience disagreed. “We are totally different, right?” he continued with a smile that contrasted his gloomy and stoic attitude during the performance.
Blue and white lights accompanied the ballad “Sleeping Beauty.” Nice bass and fast guitar accompanied the strong vocals as the song alternated waves of heaviness and sluggishness. With a bow, the song ended and ryo called Temari out to join him onstage. The interaction between the two was amusing with Temari showing signs of wanting the mic and ryo gesturing as if to say “Do you want the mic?” Handing it over, ryo exited to everyone’s surprise and with Temari on vocals the rest of 9 GOATS BLACKOUT proceeded to a cover of COCCO’s “Jyukai no Ito.”
“I want to sing one more song!” Temari confessed before calling wayne to join uta on guitar. Ryo also returned and with a grin, he announced the last song of the night. “I used to sing this song when I was in GULLET with Reo from lynch,” ryo stated and the audience went wild. However, while ryo started singing, the music remained silent and Temari instead led the hall in another classic: “Happy Birthday.” Ryo was shocked as Rami brought out a cake and stood speechless as akaya cut a slice and handed it to him. Despite his best efforts to avoid the cake, ryo ended up eating it and with a teasing smile whispered (in English) “Sankyu, babe!” Obviously embarrassed, he tried to cut the surprise short saying “Are you OK for time? I worry it will get late because of all this!” The others didn’t seem to be in a hurry and neither did the crowd who shouted happy birthday and clapped. Yelling “Last!” ryo announced GULLET’s “deracine.” The hall united, band and crowd singing together with clear nostalgia and emotion. The twin vocals mingled in a powerful and sweet piece that was a good mix of both bands, not as positive as amber gris yet not as dark as 9GOATS BLACK OUT. The crowd had no trouble following the choreography and it was the perfect way to end with everyone singing in one voice.
- yuutsu to kodoku
- Who’s the MAD
- kannbi na shigai
- Sleeping beauty
- Session Jyukai no Ito (COCCO cover）
- Session deracine（GULLET cover）
There are 13 photos in this visual kei exclusive.