DER ZIBET present Holly Noise X’mas
The night before Christmas couldn’t have been hotter with veterans DER ZIBET gathering their fans of old for a memorable Christmas eve show at CLUB PHASE in Takadanobaba. Gothic duo Rose Noir opened the show with their electro-gothic tunes. The crowd laughed at the fun conversations the siblings had with their pet skull Sebastian, violin solos, and even twin violins contributing to a unique performance.
Ready for some old-school rocking, DER ZIBET took the stage. Issay (vocals), Hikaru (guitar), Hal (bass), Mayumi (drums) and Mahito (keyboard) drowned the small venue in sound. The band’s diverse compositions filled with smooth bass and blazing guitar lines were accompanied by confident drums and keyboard and topped by intoxicating vocals. “Furueru tsuki no chemical beat” kicked off the show in a dramatic fashion. Impossibly pale and clad in black, Issay moved his trench coat to the powerful drums. Holding both ends in his hands as he stretched his arms to the sides, the vocalist resembled a creature of the night, black wings wide open under the bright moonlight.
The rhythm built up for “UPPER QUEEN,” the crowd pulsing and clapping to the funky beat. The light piano and fast drums added a certain je ne sais quoi to the tune, Hal tapping the bass with mastery to produce some offbeat sounds. Issay’s vocals were the cherry on top of the cake with the vocalist taking complete hold of the crowd with his vibrancy. With Hikaru in the front for a fast solo to hot red lights, the band proceeded to “Eien no matataki.” The song started with Issay blowing kisses to the eager fans and continued in a seductive tone, the mellow drums setting the pace for the vocalist’s sensuous dancing.
“Merry Christmas!” Issay greeted the crowd with a huge smile as he led the night’s first emcee. His casual and friendly tone contrasted dramatically with his cold and distant attitude in performance, “We haven’t just been playing!” he assured the fans, “We are preparing a new album! And to give you all a preview and show our appreciation for you being here on this special night we prepared a ‘Love CD’ for you all.” A loud roar shook the hall as he introduced the new song, “UPPER QUEEN,” “Downer King.” Issay moved to the fast beat, getting dangerously close to the front rows. Arms flashed to greet him and he teased the crowd as he sang, “King of downer, is my name!” The jazzy piano and wicked guitar solos fired up the crowd and the smooth rhythm continued for “PRIMITIVE STAR.” The theatrics grew graver as Issay exploited every move to emphasize the lyrics. The crowd mimicked him swaying to the sensuous beat. Hikaru and Hal lent him a hand in the chorus, the crowd eagerly responding to Issay’s shouts of “Hei!”
Pink lights accompanied the delicate “Kogoeta taiyou” with its groovy yet lulling beat. The vocals stood out imposingly over the slower beat and testified the vocalist’s talent. “Thank you!” he said in a warm voice, “Are you having fun? We will play another song from the upcoming albums that will be released hopefully in March, the first one, and June, the second.” In a theatrical “Ladies and gentleman,” Issay opened “Utakata no buutokai.” The circus tune inversed the roles and transported the crowd to a stage, the vocals echoing through the venue and adding intensity to the smooth bass and piano. Issay twirled, arms open as he danced to the jazzy beat. Grabbing a glass no one could see he poured some imaginary wine into it and sipped pompously. “Juurokubyou no melancholy” was a determined ballad that brought with it some fierce guitar solos, Hikaru speeding off to Mayumi’s thunderous drums. Issay moved like a snake, floating rather than walking from one end of the stage to the other and interacting with the crowd.
“Chocolate dream” proceeded in the same sweet and warm fashion. “I forgot something!” Issay suddenly confessed, smiling apologetically, “We are selling the calendar for next year! You can buy one for you, one for a friend and one more!” He tipped his head and added with mischievous smile, “Buy many! For friends, parents, kids, just buy as many as you can!”
A superb acoustic corner followed. The first song, “Mystery park in paradise,” intoxicated the crowd with its groovy bass and guitars. The piano took over “FATHER COMPLEX,” Issay’s haunting voice elevating with ease across the room. The vocalist sat for “SHININ’ HOLIDAY,” lights down for a casual and intimate tone. The song sounded like a merry-go-round, lulling the crowd with the accordion’s intoxicating sound. Issay’s lament gradually became more demanding, even angry, the words “shinin’ holiday!” yelled out in despair for the dramatic finale. “We hadn’t played “FATHER COMPLEX” in many years, the vocalist pointed out before moving on to “Masquerade.” Doing justice to the title, Issay showed up with a masquerade masque while the accordion took the forefront for the bohemian tune, tango and Latino influences clear in the hot guitar solos. As the front man danced away at an imaginary grand ball, the piano took over, an impressive instrumental performance ending the song.
“Issay, you’re hot!” some of the fans yelled out as the song reached the end. With a pleased grin he replied “Thank you!” Crowd primed for some heavier songs, the band got back to the electric numbers. The fans rejoiced at the fervent solos of “Girls” and “PRAYER” and the ardent vocals rocked the crowd who eagerly sang the chorus and never ceased to move to the jazzy beat.
The tempo sped up with “Shinkaigyo” summoning some old-school headbanging. Unable to stand the heat, Issay got rid of his long coat. Hikaru’s fingers flew over the strings as he moved to the forefront for a solo, his traditional sunglasses discarded halfway through the song allowing him to thrash his head freely. All arms in the air, the crowd followed the choreography for “Manmosu no yoru,” pointing up at the words “Wake up!” and pumping to Mayumi’s drums. “On guitar, Hikaru!” the vocalist yelled out and the guitarist took the center for another shorter solo, every member in turn taking a short spotlight moment before Hikaru introduced Issay.
“Thank you!” the front man said with a kind nod. “It’s the last song. We have never done this one live,” he explained, referring to “Stony Room.” Light pink brightened the fierce ballad and ended the show ceremoniously. Like a wave the rhythm built up only to ease again, Hikaru and Hal completely lost in the lulling beat. The guitar sped away in a fascinating race to a heavy-hearted piano. With a whisper, the song ended and the band made their exit.
Issay was the last back onstage after the effusive encore demand. In a flashy red coat, topped by a Santa hat, the vocalist seemed to be in a great mood, soon assuring the crowd, “It’s Santa-san, not Satan-san!” Laughter filled the room and wasting no time, DER ZIBET proceeded to “an old song” as the vocalist put it. “Kuchibeni shinkirou” saw Issay at his best, arm up as he yelled “Oh, oooh!” followed closely by the crowd. The fast rock song was filled with fun choreography that included jumping to shouts of “Hei, hei, hei!”
Calling Louie and Jill from Rose Noir, who returned in full Christmas spirit with gothic-Santa outfits, the band dove into “Hi-toairando no hakuchuumu.” The funky beat was contagious, guitar, piano and violin mingling together to create a very unique and interesting sound. The atmosphere was definitely ripe for celebration, Issay speaking through a megaphone half-way through the music.
And since it was Christmas Eve, and the band’s last live for the year (and probably for the months ahead) the crowd kept yelling for another encore. Minus jacket and appropriately in white, Issay dedicated the Christmas classic “White Christmas” to the supportive fans. Not even the English lyrics stood in his way, his voice showing its full range in a rock cover with a clear DER ZIBET touch. The lights and the solemn way each word was sung seemed to bring together Frank Sinatra and The Phantom of the Opera for the impressive ending.
With a joyful and heartfelt “Merry Christmas!” the band ended the night.
- Furueru tsuki no chemical beat
- UPPER QUEEN
- Eien no matataki
- Downer King
- PRIMITIVE STAR
- Kogoeta taiyou
- Utakata no buutokai
- juurokubyou no melancholy
- Chocolate dream
- Mystery park in paradise
- FATHER COMPLEX
- SHININ’ HOLIDAY
- Manmosu no yoru
- Stony Room
- Kuchibeni shinkirou
- Hi-toairando no hakuchuumu
- White Christmas
There are 51 photos in this visual kei exclusive.