DaizyStripper’s 5xStarz Attack Lights Up Yokohama BLITZ

Live Report

by Kate Havas, Mio Nagasaki, posted March 14, 2012

 

Yokohama Blitz lit up with DaizyStripper’s charisma for the surprisingly heavy “5xStarz Attack” on January 21 2012. After writing messages to the band in the lobby, fans headed into the sold-out venue’s main floor where they were greeted by an English voice over: “Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, welcome to the 5xStarz Attack.”

A big flash of light lead into heavy headbanging from the band as they opened with “Dictator” but no vocalist could be seen until lights revealed Yugiri singing from behind the drum kit, his sparkling jacket bright under the stage lights. Dazzling lasers and strobes lit up the livehouse in a spray of green and white for “Screaming Husky,” Yugiri prompted to a seizure as he gave in to spastic headbanging.

“Welcome to BLITZ! We’re happy there are so many people here, and we’ve got more heavy songs to go! Before we continue, I have two things to tell you. One, if you feel sick during the live, please take a break in the bathroom or lobby. If so, you’ll have to get help from the people around you and you may not know them, so let’s take a moment and make friends. Say ‘hello!’ ‘What’s your favorite color?’ ‘I like pink!’ ‘Oh, me too!’” Yugiri joked as he imitated the fans.

“Second, give it your all today!” Yugiri shook his hips as solid bass lead into “AWAKE ME.” Fans pumped their fists to the more melodic parts of the song interspersed with the harder death voice. The members all raised their arms in dramatic unison, before Yugiri let out a guttural scream. Fancy drumming then led into the nicely balanced “Become a Beast.” “YOKOHAMA!” Yugiri screamed as the band thrashed to the music, even Kazami gesturing and asking the audience for more from behind his drum kit. Yugiri made eye contact with members of the audience, drawing everyone into his aura of charisma. By the time “Psychedelic Heaven” came up, the fans were no doubt getting whiplash from the onslaught of headbanging. Nao punctuated the number with sharp growls, and Yugiri spat water at the crowd in time with the guitarist’s barking.

Fans got a bit of a cool-down with “Tsuki ni Jyusei,” the lights shining purple for the comparatively subdued number. Then “Sunaue no Rokaku” opened with poppy guitar as Yugiri sang earnestly, spotlight flicking between the members as Kazami kept up a marching drum beat. The band left to applause, save Kazami, who took a seat at the piano for an emotional musical interlude. Fans watched entranced as he played a melancholy solo that swelled into a powerful second movement before ending on a strong note.

When the band returned, Mayu had an acoustic guitar, ready to accompany the jazzy “Yasoukyoku.” The backdrop lit up to reveal tiny blue lights blanketing the rear, twinkling like stars, and the sparkling lights and swingy sound worked together to create an intimate atmosphere.

“Are you hushing for me?” Yugiri asked the silent audience, inciting screams before he managed to quiet them again. He greeted the various segments of the audience, even the second floor. “I love it when I have a second floor to call to! This year, we released three albums and three singles. We worked hard, but you guys who collected all of them have been working hard, too!” The crowd cheered. “You know, everyone, more or less, has a dream. These releases are our dream. Get your dreams!”

Zetsubou no Freesia” had an enthusiastic entrance and was full of positive feeling, the members bouncing around the stage. Nao sang along and the bright lights cast beams off of Rei’s chrome bass as he played hard. The cheerfulness continued with “Sunday Driver” as strong guitar lines had everyone clapping in time. Yugiri skipped around the stage, ruffling Nao’s hair and grinning as the fans made hearts with their hands. The chorus of ‘happy-go-round’ perfectly captured the feel of the performance as the band gave over to pure, silly enjoyment.

Kiss You” is one of DaizyStripper’s–and possibly all of visual kei’s–most romantic songs, and all the members and the audience sang along to the lovely melody. Yugiri went quiet to allow the fans to sing, coming back in slowly to add his voice to theirs. Yellow lights crossed over the stage making shapes that resembled stars as the song ended with a cymbal chime.

Cutesy theme music began to pipe out of the speakers, and Yu-Giri looked around. “What the hell is this?” he asked, and Rei pointed to Nao by way of answer as the song picked up a chorus of bouncy ‘la-la-la’s. Nao whispered something to Yugiri, who then dropped the subject. “Is everyone enjoying themselves? Who’s having their first Stripper?” Fans who were seeing the band for the first time raised their hands. “I think we should do a member introduction. On drums, Kazami!”

Kazami let out a torrent of drumming as Yugiri screamed for him as loudly as any of his fans. “I remember the chorus [of “KISS YOU”] from when we played at AX, did you see that video? It’s all thanks to you,” the drummer told the fans.

“What about me?” Yugiri protested.

“You too,” Kazami agreed, “but our fans are really great. How did we get such wonderful fans?”

Next was bassist Rei and he took the center as Yugiri went to Rei’s back platform and began to mess around. “This is our fifth year, and we released three albums and three singles thanks to you…”

“I’m the new bassist!” Yugiri interjected from Rei’s usual position, prompting a “shut up” from Rei. “Like I was saying, it’s all thanks to you, and even that guy in the back,” he said. “Today, maybe some people have colds or something and couldn’t come, so you’ve got to take over and enjoy it for them, too! To do that, you’ve really got to strip down and give it your all, give us more! I love you!”

“Our new bassist is very kind and sparkly!” Yugiri praised himself as he exchanged places with Rei. “On guitar, N-A-O, NAO!”

The cheesy music began again to reveal at last Nao waving his hands for the audience to simmer down. “I was thinking that the new people here might get the wrong idea about me. So I’ve prepared a self-introduction by having the staff write questions for me and I thought it would be fun if you could read them.” He passed the notes over to Yugiri and they began a question-and-answer game, Nao shouting every answer.

“When’s your birthday?” “JANUARY 31!”

“Blood type?” “O!”

“Favorite food?” “YAKINIKU!”

“What did you eat yesterday?” “YAKISOBA!” “Oh, not Yakiniku?” Yugiri added.

From there, the questions took a turn for the ridiculous:

“If you dropped \50,000 but Kazami was in danger which would you go for?”  “Uh…KAZAMI!”

“How do you say ‘same’ in English?” “SHARK!”

“What’s your saddest memory from your school days?”

To this, Nao gave a longwinded answer: “When I was in my third year of junior high school we were doing gymnastics and making a pyramid in PE and my name wasn’t called and we got to the end and I said, ‘but you didn’t call me.’ I was told that because I suck at sports so much I should just stand at the bottom and put my arms up in a pyramid shape.”

“You were a one-person tower?” Yugiri laughed.

“What can this world do without?” “There’s a lot of reasons, I’m sure, but…live house drink fees!”

“Who could DaizyStripper do without?” “…I couldn’t say!”

“Say something to the company president!” “I love you!”

“Say something to the other members!” “I cause a lot of problems for you but thank you and let’s stay together!”

With that, the pair burst out laughing and exchanged high-fives and Yugiri moved on at last. “Maybe you don’t know, but he’s our leader, Mayu!”

“I want to say something that’s leader-like,” Mayu began. “Thank you for supporting us for these five years. The title of this live is 5xStarz Attack–that’s us. We’ll become stars shining down. Even though this is a rough time for many people and there’s a lot going on like entrance exams we still get messages from people who were happy to come to our lives, so thank you. That gives us strength, to be able to look out at all of you. Today is cloudy, and you can’t see the stars, but everyone comes here and shines like a beautiful night sky and…”

“Leader, Mayu!” Yugiri interrupted, ever ruthless. “This is our first one-man of the year and we want to do a lot of things to make you happy…These are the five people who make up DaizyStripper. We’ll shine and you’ll be shined upon. Okay? Ready, Yokohama?”

Electronic piping heated Yokohama Blitz for the heavy “5xSTARZ.” Multicolored lights flashed with Yugiri’s voice and the strong backbeat gave the song a sexy feel as the band thrashed in unison. The performance was electric and brought the crowd back into a dancing mood. Staccato drum beats lead the crowd moshing into the DaizyStripper classic, “BLACK DROPPer.”  Yugiri squealed out the lyrics, his already high voice reaching brand new pitches. Constant movement, violent barks and electronic scratching added to the wild feel of the song.

The show now worked up to fever pitch, the band launched into “Know FutureWith a screech of “Thank you, Yokohama!” from Yugiri, Kazami then gave the audience their own round of applause and left the stage.

The fans began to sing the chorus of “KISS YOU,” encouraging the band to return as their voices got louder and louder. “Our fans are really different,” Yugiri remarked as he took the microphone. “We’ve made a new song for today. We’re kind of nervous, and we may make mistakes.”

When he began to sing, however, it was their first single, “Dandelion” which quickly morphed into “Hoshizora to kimi no te” and fans were suddenly aware that they were getting a rare medley. The eight songs flashed by with starts and stops, making it feel like the stage was a clip reel, with the most attention paid to the cabana-style “Lyrical Night” and the strong finish with “Dearest.” “That was DaizyStripper’s special medley! Now we’re going to do another older song.” The fans screamed as Yugiri announced “Tsumi no Batsu” and the intro played in then abruptly stopped. “Medleys are the best!”

The fans yelled in protest, and Yugiri feigned surprise. “Do you really want to hear it? Ask me. Say ‘do it to me!’” he said. The fans screamed as he made them yell for him before rewarding them with the song. Rei’s bass was a highlight of the number as he and Nao played face to face and Yugiri channeled Michael Jackson with high-pitched yodeling inflections.

“When bands reach five years, we often get told not to change but we don’t change, we evolve. With that in mind, we’re going to keep changing without changing.”

The new song “aquarium” sent a field of teal lazers gently rolling out to blanket the venue, giving off an underwater appearance. The song was well-paced and powerful with a good balance between the instruments. “Even if we’re reborn, we’ll sing with you,” Yugiri told the crowd and Kazami took the piano again for the emotional “36.5C” Yugiri’s voice was as high as the violin accompanying the song and they finished the set on an elegant note of voice and piano before leaving the stage again.

After a regular encore call, the fans received some welcome news. “After five years I can finally say we’re having a tour final at Koukaido!” said Yugiri.

Fans raised their arms as the band began “decade” and quickly set to moshing back and forth across the floor while DaizyStripper ran around kissing and snuggling each other before “Stay Gold” finished the set on an upbeat note with nice rhythm. The band peered out into the crowd as the fans waved and the guitarists took the platform. Once again, Yugiri decided to try a different role, sitting at the piano and playing a few fake notes. The atmosphere both onstage and off was infectious as the night finished in a round of manic music.

Nao and Mayu hit the ground, exhausted, and Yugiri dumped water on Nao in an attempt to revive him. Joining hands, band and crowd all jumped in time. “Thank you for 5xStarz Attack! Thank you for a fun day!” they said before leaving the stage. With a one man tour in the works, however, fans won’t have to wait long until the five stars shine down on them again.

Set List

  1. Dictator
  2. Screaming Husky
  3. Zero Crysis
  4. AWAKE ME!
  5. Become A Beast
  6. PSYCHEDELIC HEAVEN
  7. Tsuki ni Jyusei
  8. Sunaue no Rokaku
  9. Twilight
  10. Yasoukyoku
  11. Zetsubou no Freesia
  12. Sunday Driver
  13. KISS YOU
  14. 5xSTARZ
  15. BLACK DROPPer
  16. Know Future

Encore 1

Medley:

  • -Dandelion
  • -Hoshizora to kimi no te
  • -Juliet no Knife
  • -Lyrical Night
  • -Trigger
  • -Harumeku Bokura
  • -Shikisai Vivid
  • -Dearest
  1. Tsumi na Batsu
  2. aquarium
  3. 36.5C

Encore 2

  1. decade
  2. STAY GOLD

INFORMATION:

DaizyStripper 5th Anniversary ONE-MAN Tour”DREAMER”

04/13 (Fri) Saitama Shintoshin VJ-3 HEAVEN’S ROCK
04/14 (Sat) Takasaki CLUB FLEEZ
04/21 (Sat) Kashiwa PALOOZA
04/25 (Wed) Sendai darwin
04/27 (Fri) Sapporo KRAPS HALL
04/29 (Sun) Mito Light House
05/11 (Fri) Nagoya ElectricLadyLand
05/13 (Sun) Kanazawa AZ
05/17 (Thu) Takamatsu DIME
05/18 (Fri) OSAKA MUSE
05/20 (Sun) Fokuoka DRUM Be-1

Tour FINAL
2012/06/03 (Sun) Shibuya Koukaidou

VK Exclusive

There are 24 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Kate Havas first became interested in Japanese fashion and culture in college when manga, anime, and visual kei were just beginning to make their way to America. An art and English major with a love of clothes, Kate signed onto ROKKYUU in order cover fashion and report on Tokyo trends, but was quickly also recruited to the music side of things and has been having an adventure expanding her knowledge of all things VK since. Follow her on twitter at keito_kate!

Mio Nagasaki is a freelance photographer lending her time, skills, and love for the genre to ROKKYUU Magazine.

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