defspiral 2nd Anniversary Live at Shibuya BOXX
As many fans as could fit were crowded into Shibuya BOXX to celebrate defspiral’s 2nd anniversary on May 27. The venue was the same as the band’s very first oneman two years previous, making it a commemorative location for both band and fans. After the completion of the PROGRESS tour and several releases, the anniversary oneman was a phenomenal success that showcased defspiral’s evolution.
The setting was simple, featuring a black hanging with the defspiral logo to better emphasize the band’s crushing presence. The floor went quiet and colorful lighting illumed the stage, setting off the new entrance music. As the audience clapped along to a tune different from that of the PROGRESS tour, a sense of change filled the air. Drummer MASAKI, bassist RYO, and guitarist MASATO entered to the fans’ applause, vocalist TAKA completing the scene. Something about defspiral seemed out of the ordinary at that moment, the beginning of the anniversary live.
Beginning with “PROGRESS,” TAKA inflamed the fans with his performance while the fantastic guitar sound matched powerful drums and bass. TAKA’s dark vocals boosted to a high before the number ended prior to the chorus. At once, red and yellow lights brightened the stage and “REVOLVER” grasped the audience from the beginning. TAKA raised the tension with his voice along with MASAKI’s powerful drumming. “Live the actual moment!” he shouted, the fans reacting to the passion defspiral shared in that precious instant. “Are you ready?” TAKA yelled. It meant the next song was “READY OR NOT.” Strong bass from RYO had the audience getting down to the tune.
“We really wanted to meet you, Tokyo! Let’s have the best night!” TAKA crooned in his sexy voice and the crowd squealed. Breaking out cleanly, the brand new single “Break The Silence” took over. Fans raised their hands and shouted with MASATO and RYO in TAKA’s wake. The floor unified during the exciting number which rocked live and then the intro of the sexy “PARADISE” started, and excitement blew into full swing. TAKA swayed tantalizingly as he sang and he crossed the stage to tease MASATO who played aggressively, the two fascinating the crowd with their mutual provocation. Sensual guitar from MASATO overlapped with bass from RYO under the red lights of the bridge. The whole floor was ensnared in a passionate mood.
Striking up “RESISTANCE” amid red flashes, MASAKI’s drums drove the tune and RYO threw down some slap bass–rare in defspiral’s music– attracting fans’ attention to his bassline. A mirror ball on the ceiling rotated above the audience, turning the space into a beautiful starry sky during the chorus of “Tsuki to Venus,” TAKA’s gorgeous falsetto shining along with the glimmering lights. Then it grew dark, spirited drums triggering “INNOCENT.” TAKA sang emotionally, the music stilling the crowd. Deep bass roared out the intro of a new song, TAKA and MASATO headbanging harshly. TAKA’s lyrical voice groaned, forcing the number into a heavier style. Continuing on with the heavy music, “Babylon” created a mysterious atmosphere, the crowd getting even more vigorous.
“Are you having fun?” TAKA asked. RYO took over with a confession: “I couldn’t sleep last night because of nervousness. And I had a strange dream.” “It was a dirty dream!” TAKA accused, to which RYO laughed. MASATO joined the chat with, “Welcome to our 2nd anniversary live!” and while the enthusiasm remained at a high, TAKA fed the frenzy to initiate “SALVAGE.” The fans threw their heads to the opening riffs with MASATO and RYO before they began jumping, raising their hands to the music.
Defying all expectation, a guest appeared out of nowhere: Rookie Fiddler, the violinist of A(Ace) joined defspiral and the fans welcomed him warmly despite their shock. The mysterious music of “NIGHTMARE,” with Rookie’s beautiful violin, drove fans crazy. His live sound enhanced the drama of the piece beyond the usual. Fans entered a battle of shouts with TAKA during the bridge, and next they battled with MASATO. Unsatisfied with the outcome, he stole RYO’s turn and tried again, this time getting the desired response. The fans yelled with all they had and Rookie also took a turn, the uniqueness of the moment inspiring additional excitement. TAKA’s shouts finished up the interlude and the music became heavier again.
His intervention short but sweet, Rookie left the stage, cueing the guitar riffs of “Twilight,” a title symbolizing the tune which grew to agitato at a blow, and the crowd shook their heads with MASATO and RYO. In the middle of the song, the two changed positions, pleasing the fans with a different view. “I will continue singing from now on!” TAKA expressed, and the appropriately melodious “MELODY” began with soft guitar from MASATO. The catchy tune rang through the venue, vocals strong over the music. Approaching the end of the show, “DIVE INTO THE MIRROR” revved up the pace, making fans jump to the beat. TAKA, MASATO and RYO stepped forward, playing up close to ensure the fervor of the audience. “Thank you!” TAKA cried and for the final blast, the band returned to “PROGRESS” right where they left off at the very beginning of the show. MASAKI underpinned the music until the main set ended with the booming sounds of powerful drums.
The crowd demanded an encore and MASAKI, wearing a brand-new defspiral T-shirt, appeared and confessed, “My hands are shaking from putting too much pressure on them but I want to beat the drums!” Undertaking a rare solo, he showed off his drumming with a heavy sound. Tossing a stick over his head several times, he sometimes failed to catch it and laughed, though the failure only heightened the anticipation and celebration when he succeeded. After the drum solo, RYO, MASATO and TAKA returned in the same t-shirt design, though the two wing-men sported white. “Thank you for the encore! Our drummer seemed to be having fun,” TAKA teased. RYO told MASAKI, “You should practice more.” The encore started with “SHINING (IN YOUR HEART),” TAKA and RYO jumping with the fans, uniting the floor. TAKA’s strong voice was clear and moved with the bright, catchy music.
“We don’t have a long history as defspiral to look back upon, but we realized we can thrive more,” TAKA said. “We released CDs and had lives in several places across Japan. I think we have matured as a band. Welcome to our party today!” He continued on to say, “This live is our anniversary so we will play this cover of a certain band for the first and last time. ‘ROSIER!’” TAKA’s voice was well-suited for the number as if the original was defspiral’s, and MASATO deftly spoke the English phrases during the bridge. The crowd was on a high throughout the song which peaked as TAKA asked them to sing, bringing the encore to an end.
“After we formed this band called defspiral, a big disaster occurred in Japan,” the vocalist reflected, responding to continued requests for another encore. “[At that time] we were in the musical, PINK SPIDER. We really appreciate the meetings hide gave us.” As TAKA expressed his deepest gratitude to hide, another special guest entered the stage, DIE of hide With Spread Beaver. “My dream came true!” the keyboardist shouted. “I have really wanted to play with these guys since they were the Underneath!” DIE’s excited confession brought joy all around and he and the band launched into defspiral’s “PINK SPIDER” cover from the maxi single Reply -tribute to hide-. DIE’s keyboard made the tune more exciting and TAKA controlled his powerful tones and softer, beautiful ones to fit the changing mood.
As if the night weren’t already exciting enough, violinist Rookie returned for one more hide tribute with “FLAME.” TAKA’s sweet voice stood out against DIE’s beautiful melody and then Rookie’s violin joined to enhance the ballad. Soon, all the instruments struck in, fascinating the crowd with defspiral, DIE and Rookie’s lovely version of the number which contained all the feeling defspiral harbored toward hide.
The guests took their leave. “Great times fly quickly, but we can share this fleeting time!” TAKA exclaimed and notified the crowd of some exciting things to look forward to. “First, July 25 is RYO’s birthday! Congratulations RYO!” “It’s in 2 more months, though” RYO answered laughingly. TAKA then announced that defspiral’s 6th single will be released on that day. Then, to celebrate, a oneman live will be held at Shinjuku loft on July 30. “Make a story with us! We send you this song. ‘STORY!’” The fans clapped their hands to the bright opening riffs and the live ended with “STORY” as a beacon to lead defspiral toward the bright future.
The 2nd Anniversary live plentifully evidenced defspiral’s love of music, the members and crowd thoroughly enjoying the fun, the cool atmosphere and the sense of affection towards music. Defspiral’s straightforward pursuit of good music and lived, coupled with their long history, puts the high on the list to keep a close eye on.
- READY OR NOT
- Break The Silence
- Tsuki to Venus
- Untitled/Unrecorded song
- DIVE INTO THE MIRROR
- Drum Solo
- SHINING (IN YOUR HEART)
- PINK SPIDER