heidi. 6th Anniversary: Katte ni Yarasete Kudasai
“Katte ni yarasete kudasai” roughly translates to “Let us do whatever we want” with a pun on the character ‘sai’ meaning festival.
In 2011, heidi. performed over 30 songs, including all of their singles to date, for their 5th anniversary concert. In response, the band designed something wilder for their 6th anniversary at Shinjuku Blaze on June 3 2012. Not only did heidi. perform a fun set with a rock spirit that had the denizens of the packed livehouse dancing and moshing like crazy, but they precluded the main event with four separate session bands based on the whims of each of heidi.’s members
Nao Session (Natsumero/Summer Melodies)
Vocalist – Baku (Hana Shounen Baddies/Billy)
Guitarist – Nao (heidi.)
Bassist – Rame (Black Gene for the Next Scene)
Drummer – heizo
The two songs of Nao’s session band were based on popular summer tunes, the first a cute number with a childish swagger yet overpowering melodic moments. “Sore ga Daiji” by Daiji MAN Brothers Band was a brilliant way to begin the celebration.
The moment the curtains had opened, heidi.’s very own punk goat mascot, heizo, took the crowd’s hearts in hand. Behind the drums, he clapped his sticks together, encouraging the crowd to pick up his rhythm as the rest of the session members entered in yukata, perfectly dressed for a summer festival. Nao and his chosen vocalist, Baku, both sported festival masks as a hair-piece while bassist Rame wore a t-shirt under his own Japanese festival-wear, giving the crowd a taste of his boyish alter-ego. Throughout the opening number, star-drummer heizo kept to simple beats but held up well for a goat while Nao showed off his vocal range with high counter-melody woahs over the rich vocals of Baku’s chorus.
The crowd responded immediately to the guitarist’s greeting, “gokigenyo!” and applauded the members in turn though Nao stumbled over Rame’s band-name, “Black… Black Ge…” “Black Gene for the Next Scene!” Rame scolded before congratulating heidi. on their 6th anniversary. “Thank you for inviting me, but I think this drummer has too much impact. It’s not worth competing with him, so I hope we can be friends,” he joked.
Baku had plenty to say about heizo as well. “I’m really glad you invited me for this. That thing up there is cute but it’s dirty on the inside.” “There’s nothing inside!” Nao snapped, the argument resulting in a rude gesture. “Woah, was heidi. that kind of band?” Baku gasped in mock shock though he couldn’t resist a wistful “Cute!” as the goat-drummer waved his own greeting and Nao praised heizo for his hard work.
Baku personally thanked the crowd for coming just to see him, ignoring the skeptical giggles as he then introduced the last song. “Nao’s concept is Natsumero, so here’s a song I think you’ve heard of: ‘Natsu Matsuri.’”
The iconic Japanese summer festival tune began with a pretty a capella solo which quickly escalated as Baku riled the crowd, cheerfully dancing about throughout the number. Nao wandered the stage-left area restlessly, bouncing unstoppably during the chorus. A guitar solo of the main melody was quite impressive in his ringing, rock style, demon mask bobbing as he felt the tune. The three human members gathered about heizo for the finish and Baku rewarded the crowd with a front flip. “Thank you! Have fun! This was the Nao Band!” As the curtains closed, heizo sat waving to the crowd who shouted his name till he was no longer visible.
- Sore ga Daiji (Daiji MAN Brothers Band cover)
- Natsu Matsuri (JITTERIN’JINN cover)
Yoshihiko Session (Sics)
Vocalist – Yoshihiko (heidi./ex-Sics)
Guitarist – Isa (ex-Sics)
Bassist – Zun (Thomas/ex-Sics)
Drummer – Kanna (Dog in the Parallel World Orchestra)
Heavy entrance music set the mood, lights flashing an angry red though bassist Zun danced on, making cute peace signs. Yoshihiko was all business, though. “Hey, Blaze! Ready to have fun?” Beginning with some suave, jazzy music, “feke love age” kicked off the set and Yoshihiko took advantage of the song to introduce the band who each took solos, showing the crowd their stuff right off the bat. The cool blue and blazing red illumination blended into a warm purple for the smooth chorus and the nice melody led the crowd along, growing cooler and steadily angrier as Yoshihiko controlled the finish. “Thank you, Blaze,” he drawled.
“Hi everyone. We’re Sics. This is the band I used to be in but now I’m in heidi. I borrowed this stage for my beloved Sics, although the emcee is no better than in heidi.,” the vocalist warned. “Today’s drummer is Kanna from DOG. You see, our drummer’s phone wouldn’t connect no matter how many times I called. I searched hard but I couldn’t find him, so I wanted Kanna to play with us as we’ve played in a session band together.”
Guitarist Isa was less forth-coming. “It’s been seven years since I stood on a stage… I don’t talk.”
Zun was perfectly happy to take up the slack, though. “Six years ago, I came to watch (heidi.’s first live)! I remember it like it was yesterday. The first song was ‘Charles.’” “That’s right!” Yoshihiko agreed.
As Kanna took the mic, Yoshihiko, kindly moved aside to give the fans a good view, taking a seat on the drum platform. “Don’t leave me alone!” Kana begged of him, dragging the vocalist back into the conversation as he added his congratulations for heidi.’s anniversary.
“You don’t still get confused for staff, do you?” Zun asked Yoshihiko. “Fans used to hand you our surveys saying, ‘Please pass this on to the members!’”
With one more song to go, Yoshihiko amped up to full power. “Let’s shout and remember! Go ahead and remind me why I put contacts in!” he yelled, exemplifying exactly that as “The Collection” took off and he sunk into headbanging with the crowd.
About as far from heidi. as possible, the number took the crowd into the depths of visual kei phenomena. Heavy and angry, “The Collection” saw Yoshihiko take on a dark tone, ending phrases on a bark that propelled the crowd forward at regular intervals. They moshed unrestrainedly through music driven by drum and bass. The monotone tune and sliding growls opened up into a melodious chorus and a slow section that made it clear why heidi. snapped up the vocalist all those years ago. Yet for the moment, Yoshihiko was firmly in the Sics universe and he brought the revival to an end with a tortured groan.
- feke love age (Sics)
- The Collection (Sics)
Kiri Session (Anime songs)
Vocalist – Momochi Minami
Guitarist – F
Bassist – YUCHI (Kannivalism)
Drummer – Kiri (heidi.)
Background music of the infinitely popular “Cruel Angel’s Thesis” transported the crowd from angry, underground VK to a world of mecha and magical schoolgirls long before the band appeared. The star of the session was not anime otaku (enthusiast) drummer Kiri of heidi., but rather, the otaku idol, doll-headed Momochi Minami. Her cute, school-girl outfitted form and high-pitched voice were the perfect catalyst to hype the crowd up into a world apart from rock.
The opening number, “Sora Iro Days,” from the anime Guren Lagan began the set with an exciting punch, Momochi’s high voice naturally raising energy levels. She danced and danced, Kiri in his element as he struck away behind and the crowd sang along. However much of an impact Momochi made, though, it was Kiri the crowd shouted for when the song ended on a high.
“Good evening, this is Kiri Session,” Kiri announced, reluctantly taking the mic. “I wanted to do anime songs so that’s what we’re doing. Why? Because I love anisongs!” The drummer then began introducing the session members, explaining that he and YUCHI had been in a band together over ten years ago. The bassist gave the game away by adding “In our teens.” Meanwhile, F had quite a story to tell.
“I thought I’d never stand onstage again so if Kiri hadn’t invited me, I never would have experienced this feeling.” When Kiri had invited F to join his session band, F refused at first, only to call back 15 minutes later and ask if the slot was still open. “To all of you, 15 minutes might seem like a short time, but I thought so hard about it in that time!”
At last, the spotlight turned to Momochi Minami. “Who knows about me?” she asked unabashedly. The sheer lack of hands prompted an exclamation from the idol who then made an effort to buy the crowd over with sweets from inside her big plastic hair band. She then turned to Kiri. “I’d never heard of you and you suddenly contacted me asking me to join this session band. I thought there had to be something wrong with you!”
“No there’s not! This is perfect!” Kiri argued. “Anyway, I suck at emcees, so…”
“Not at all! I think you’re very good!” the strange anime-esque idol defended, though she took over riling the crowd for the final number all the same.
In her super cute voice, Momochi danced around making rabbit ears and seeming for all the world like a character of the girl-band anime Keion come to life as she sang “Fuwa Fuwa Time.” The crowd clapped along enthusiastically and the singer turned to watch Kiri, mimicking his drumming. It was an insipidly cute ending to a confusing yet adorable set of anime otaku hijinks.
- Sora Iro Days (Nakagawa Shouko cover from Guren Lagan)
- Fuwa Fuwa Time (from Keion)
Kohsuke Session (SIAM SHADE)
Vocalist – Danchou (NoGoD)
Vocalist/Guitarist – Kazuma Endo (SIAM SHADE)
Guitarist – MASATO (defspiral)
Bassist – Kohsuke (heidi.)
Drummer – Ooshima Tsuyoshi (Usagi)
Despite the presence of an honest to god member of SIAM SHADE in the session band, it was the appearance of vocalist Danchou that hogged attention. His shiny gold and star-studded monstrosity of an outfit was capped off with a giant collar stolen from heidi.’s mascot, heizo.
The first number started gently, the lights on Kazuma Endo’s guitar shining out beside bassist Kohsuke who dug right in, rocking out throughout the piece. Despite his enigmatic costume, Danchou’s vocals rose to the occasion and his hot performance was countered by MASATO’s cool attitude as his fingers flew over the strings impressively in a guitar solo designed for the best. Danchou’s high-pitched shouts and mega-watt energy blazed through the hard-rock outro.
“This is Kohsuke’s band! Having fun? Well don’t have too much, there’s still the main set to go!” Danchou joked. Kohsuke followed, amping up the crowd with energy matched to Danchou’s. The vocalist then whipped off his sunglasses – only to reveal an exact copy painted on his face. Laughing like a madman, he announced he would sell the sunglasses after the show for five thousand yen.
While the vocalist caused trouble, Kohsuke introduced the rest of the band, beginning with drummer Ooshima Tsuyoshi who had been his close friend in Junior Highschool. Next, he faced across the stage, introducing MASATO. “We call him aniki (big brother),” he explained.
“Congratulations, heidi. niisan (brother),” MASATO responded. When asked if he was the talkative type, he fended off further discussion with a “Not really.”
Danchou more than compensated and his introduction ended in a shout of “You like me more than Yoshihiko, right?” though the response was surely unsatisfactory to one who proclaimed to be the eternal rival of heidi.’s vocalist.
Kohsuke’s excitement was apparent as he built up to the main event. “Then there’s… Kazuma from SIAM SHADE!” He announced that his outfit was the kind of clothes he himself wore to see SIAM SHADE live.
“Yeah, but those clothes make you look like a Hideki fan,” Kazuma complained before threatening Danchou not to screw up the lyrics. The vocalist assured him that he had them down 100%.
It was time for Danchou to live up to his promise and there could be no doubt during “Kumo Nochi Hare” that he had put in the hard work he advertised. He danced and grooved through the intro to the prominent but slow bass line. Danchou and Kazuma made a good team as the SIAM SHADE member added his voice to the number. It was that collaboration on top of the beautiful, uplifting chorus, the guitar solo nailed by MASATO, and Danchou’s inexorable excitement that made for an unforgettable moment for the crowd (and doubtlessly for Kohsuke, too).
- NEVER END (SIAM SHADE cover)
- Kumori Nochi Hare (SIAM SHADE cover)
Between each of the session bands, the crowd was entertained by a glimpse of the dressing room where members of heidi. and their session entourages wrote messages, danced, skulled cans of beer, and mostly teased heizo in front of the camera. Momochi Minami picked up any slack, dragging heizo into all sorts of skits including a multi-person circling move popularized by Exile which heidi. drummer Kiri was co-erced into joining. NoGoD vocalist, Danchou, needed no co-ersion, though, hogging the camera so often with his gimmicks and outrageous costume that Nao wrote a rebuke, for some reason showing it to the livehouse viewers rather than to the offender himself. Yoshihiko’s message after the final session, “Let’s make this a great day,” began the transition from session band mania into the main event as the crowd’s anticipation rose to the max.
There are 50 photos in this visual kei exclusive.