J-ROCK EXPLOSION Karei Naru Gekijou -Splendid Violent Emotion vol. 7- OSAKA SIDE

Live Report

by chi.yow, Kate Havas, posted January 30, 2014

In a continuation of DANGER CRUE’s Karei Naru Gekijou -Splendid Violent Emotion- regular event lives, volume 7 featured simultaneous events in both Tokyo’s Harajuku ASTRO HALL and at OSAKA MUSE on December 15. Event mascot gekiko was present to explain the setup as well as comment: “The Kansai dialect is rather difficult to speak but I’ll do my best.” Finishing up the 2013 series, the final goal for the participating indie bands was a spot at the prestigious Nippon Budokan for Visual BANG!~SID 10th FINAL PARTY~ on December 27.

ZIN

The newest band of the lineup, ZIN, opened the show with their own take on neo-Japanese style, starting their set with “Rensou Rain” which had everyone in the livehouse clapping their hands along with Yoshi’s opening guitar chords. “Everyone, let’s go!” cat-eared vocalist Riku called out to the audience as they joined him in jumping and swaying along to the koto-laced rhythms. The vocalist then directed the crowd in a mad shuffle from right to left for the intro of “Junjou koiuta” while drummer Saku maintained the quick beat with a grin. Yoshi and bassist Orochi playfully faced off during Luy’s guitar solo; Orochi soon taking the center stage for his own solo and proudly plucking at his strings of his bass while fans clapped.

“Good evening. We’re ZIN! This is our first time participating in the Karei Naru Gekijou event so let’s have fun together!” Riku called out before the band presented their version of SID’s “Natsukoi,” their choice of cover eliciting cheers of approval from the crowd as the first piano notes rang out with Yoshi following up skillfully on his guitar. Although Riku had moments of trouble in holding a few of the longer notes, this did not deter anyone from enjoying the jazzy tune to the fullest extent as everyone jumped in time with the beat. Flickering lights announced the beginning of “Renai Dystrophy” with Riku directing the crowd once again to start moving and later reaching down to take out his towel for twirling. Luy teasingly kicked toward the crowd with his long, fishnet-clad legs before sexily sashaying over to the center podium for his solo, beckoning for more yells.

“Last one!” Riku screeched before barreling full steam ahead into the frenzied “Nise Moratorium” that had waves of girls piling onto each other at the front rails—further encouraged by Riku as he reached out to the masses to pull even more people toward him. “Hang in there, front row!” The vocalist called out as he continued to grab at reaching arms and even ruffle the hair of a few heads. Orochi eventually took off his bass to stand on the rail to check on the participants before bravely hopping down into the space between rail and stage to help distribute the spirited audience. Yoshi joined in later as well and the set ended with the fans immersed in delight.

Set List

  1. Rensou Rain
  2. Junjou koiuta
  3. Natsukoi (SID cover)
  4. Renai Dystrophy
  5. Nise Moratorium

Crimson Shiva

Up next was Crimson Shiva, emerging onto the stage to an eerie and discordant intro, ready to fire up the crowd and paint OSAKA MUSE red. “Mephisto” sent the stage into a chaotic clash of growling and screaming as vocalist tokiya teasingly offered an apple to the crowd—making crazy eyes at those who dared to move too close. Bassist natsuki beckoned the crowd to join in with the screams and apple-snatching attempts, all while proudly displaying his torso—possibly as another lure for girls to press closer to the stage. “Freaks” started with a neck-straining round of headbanging that had tokiya clutching the microphone stand as he set an example for fans to follow before releasing a number of unruly screams and growls. He then decided it was time to view the fans from a different perspective—specifically, upside-down—and draped across the front podium while shinjji led the left portion of the crowd in a mosh-like dance.

“It’s nice to meet you at this event, today. We are the red warriors who are going to take over the world!” tokiya introduced the band before revealing their cover of MUCC’s song “Nirvana,”  infused with their own layer of darkness due to tokiya’s deep, drawling voice. shinji was particularly impressive as he took on the challenge of the quick guitar solo. “You can do better than that, Osaka!” tokiya screamed before the distorted music box intro of “Demon’s Garden” took over, exploding into an apocalyptic mix of heavy guitar chords and guttural screams and growls. natsuki once more wandered up front to tease the crowd as asuka also came forward to perform his guitar solo, proudly displaying his skills. The aggressive song ended with a round of flying hair as drummer aki pounded away. Closer “Ecdysist” was the most demanding song of Crimson Shiva’s set; the band requesting that the crowd carry out various forms of headbanging and growling, and tokiya occasionally throwing in a demonic cackle depending on the audience’s performance.

Set List

  1. Mephisto
  2. Freaks
  3. Nirvana (MUCC cover)
  4. Demon’s Garden
  5. Ecdysist

umbrella

umbrella had the most straightforward approach in presentation with vocalist and guitarist Yui strumming as the curtain opened for “Binetsu,” revealing the entire band all set to impress. They were the most subdued act of the night but by no means boring, and the crowd stood mesmerized by Yui’s steady and occasionally haunting vocals. He could be heard clearly as he had only guitar accompaniment from Syu for the initial verses until bassist Hal and drummer Sho added a burst of energy while the mirror ball spun to add sparkle to the calm. This continued for “Samidare” as a melodic piano intro played and the crowd then took the cue to begin slowly pumping their fists to the beat set by Sho. Despite the relatively sedate pace of the song, Hal could still be seen kicking his legs and whipping his long mane of hair about as he played and plucked his bass strings while Syu calmly swayed and occasionally beckoned the crowd to raise their fists.

Wasurenagusa” opened with a set of flickering lights on a red-lit stage as the first melancholy notes filled the venue. Yui cradled his guitar as if he had reclaimed a precious, lost item; alternately crooning and wailing into the microphone. The bass-laden “Kazamidori” had the crowd clapping and dancing along, encouraged by Syu, Hal, and Sho, while Yui reached out to the crowd when his hands weren’t occupied by his guitar. umbrella rounded off their set with a spirited cover of MUCC’s “Utagoe.” Yui’s smile was a clear indication of his enjoyment as he looked over the audience while singing. Syu danced along to the catchy tune with a grin as he skillfully plucked at his guitar. “Thank you, this was umbrella!” Each of the band came forward to give a bow before departing the stage.

Set List

  1. Binetsu
  2. Samidare
  3. Wasurenagusa
  4. Kazamidori
  5. Utagoe (MUCC cover)

EVE

EVE were more than ready to take the reins for the event as drummer Yoshi rushed out to cheers and screams from the audience, followed by bassist Keita, guitarist Ryo, and finally, vocalist Takeru. “Everyone still having fun? Keep bringing it!” the colorful vocalist screamed out before launching into the high energy “Lachymae.” His demands were granted as the crowd jumped to the melody, following the other movements he commanded as well. Yoshi occasionally followed the audience’s hand choreography as they twirled, using one of his drumsticks to imitate while maintaining the rhythm. EVE then presented their take on UNiTE.’s “AIVIE,” adding some different choreography and an electronic backing track to make it their own while still respecting the original composition.

EGOIST” kept the crowd jumping while following the vocalist in yet another series of moves set to music that would not be out of place in a fantasy video game or anime. Takeru’s higher notes highlighted the calmest intervals and Ryo graced center stage with his presence as he stepped up for his guitar solo. “FAKE MOON” once again had the audience hopping from side to side. Keita joined in and almost collided with Ryo since—instead of moving along with the crowd—the guitarist would only turn in place to face the direction they were headed in. Yoshi also participated in the high-energy song the best he could, limited as he was by the drum kit. Finishing up the set with “Divergence,” Takeru called for the audience to keep going with “Come on, Osaka. You can’t be done, yet!” He put the rest of his power into EVE’s last song of the night, his vitality showing the crowd that he wasn’t ready to leave just yet. Finally, Keita and Takeru requested that fans turn around to give viewers of the NicoNico broadcast a better experience of the landscape that the band was able to see as they played.

Set List

  1. Lachrymae
  2. AIVIE (UNiTE. cover)
  3. EGOIST
  4. FAKE MOON
  5. Divergence

Kameleo

Once the ballots for the night had been gathered, special guest band Kameleo literally lit up the entire venue as most of the crowd donned light-up rings and the band ran onstage with their own brightly flashing accessories, met by fans’ screams of delight. First out, were drummer Takeshi and bassist Kouichi, followed by guitarist Daisuke and Takashi, and then… A cat? No, it was vocalist HIKARU. clad in his leopard-print jumpsuit with matching cat ears and wielding a toy fish. It wasn’t long before the band transformed the venue into another sea of flying hair during the heavily digitized intro of “Netsuzou Pierrot.” There was a moment when only the drums could be heard as the other members led the crowd in a crazy cross-floor shuffle.

The band continued their silly antics with “Agete ikouka” where all the members took up a microphone stand and sang to the best of their ability—something that provoked giggles and bouts of uproarious laughter from the audience, particularly when Takeshi took the spotlight. The funky “NEET Hime” started out with a round of headbanging, the crowd happily diving in wholeheartedly. Kameleo then broke out the Christmas stockings mid-song, announcing, “Santa’s here!” before each member tossed an oversized sock of goodies into the eager crowd. HIKARU. waved the last one about for a few moments longer, teasingly asking who did not want it before obligingly flinging it toward the center.

“It’s been a while since we’ve played at OSAKA MUSE. It’s great to be back!” HIKARU. greeted the crowd before the floor was once again flooded with a myriad of flashing color-rings for the electronic intro of “DameO” as fans furiously pumped their fists. Daisuke swayed along to the digitized beat, Takashi making it easier to follow his movements by turning on the lights built into his guitar’s neck as he paraded about the stage. During “Rettou Complex,” HIKARU. surveyed the crowd between verses as if gauging the amount of energy left to the crowd during the heavy, distorted song.

Kameleo also presented their own cover: SID’s “Mousou Nikki.” For this number, Takashi switched between guitar and keyboard and Daisuke took up an acoustic guitar for alternating verses, keeping a varying pace between slow jazz and a more flashy beat for the band’s take on the number. Following up the somber mood, additional microphone stands were once again brought out for a performance of “Gomen nasai!” with all five members showing off their own versions of ‘fanservice’ which included skirt-flipping antics and imitations of butt jabbing pranks, as to be expected when Kameleo’s energies are not restrained behind instruments.

21 Seiki Man” had OSAKA MUSE moonlighting as a shaking disco club where everyone jumped and danced to the funky beat. Nearing the end, HIKARU. requested that fans declare their love for Kameleo with outspread arms and jump to create waves of glittering lights. The vocalist then calling for the audience to “Put your all into this last song because you won’t be able to do the same tomorrow!” “Hajimari no Uta” brought the live portion of the event to a cheerful end, completing a night that displayed the variety of styles that Kansai bands have to offer the visual kei scene.

 

Set List

  1. Netsuzou Pierrot
  2. ↑Agete ikouka↑
  3. NEET Hime
  4. DameO
  5. Rettou Complex
  6. Mousou Nikki (SID cover)
  7. Gomen nasai!
  8. 21 Seiki Man
  9. Hajimari no Uta

Once Kameleo had retreated from the stage, gekiko came out to announce the winners who would represent Osaka at Shinjuku BLAZE; EVE’s name bringing out waves of cheers before the band came out to give their thanks and take a commemorative photo. EVE went on to win the semi-final round at Shinjuku BLAZE against Tokyo stage winners SRASH NOTES GARDEN and volume 6 victors Minus Jin-Say Orchestra to take the prize of performing at Nippon Budokan for SID’s 10th anniversary event live held on December 27.

Chi’s interest in visual kei stems from her love of art. The unique aesthetics in combination with the wide range of musical styles within the genre have been what has kept her interest in the visual kei scene for over a decade. The main image her friends and classmates have of her is with a camera in hand, face behind the viewfinder or screen. This image is also occasionally combined with memories of running around her to avoid getting into her panorama shots.

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!

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