Kain Oneman GIG AFTER math #1

Live Report

by Leela McMullen, Mio Nagasaki, posted June 5, 2012

Clouds scrolled through an endless sunny sky over three huge panels forming the stage wall of Shinjuku BLAZE. The atmosphere was calm and peaceful–the calm before the storm. When the image changed to an old ruined temple and lightning scoured the skies, Kαin’s show began, heralded by the instrumentals from a new song. The date “2012.05.02” flashed on the screen, marking May 2 YUKIYA’s birthday.

YUKIYA jangled prayer beads into the mic before the band played into the semi darkness for “AFTER_..” The vocalist continued to rattle the chiming beads, creating a ritualistic scene. His smooth voice floated in on the gentle ballad line though the music had a certain kick to it, KENZy’s keyboard and TAIZAN’s cello adding a sense of completeness to the usual fare of guitars provided by SANA and SHIGE and drums by ATSUSHI.

Soft white light came from behind to match the romantic atmosphere in the intro to “lost” generated by light cymbals and gently ringing guitar. As the spirit of the piece picked up, hands waved to the beat. Then the song fell into darkness, striking strobes and dramatic power chords filling the senses for a long period. YUKIYA finished up the number with arms spread wide, soaking up the applause as he slowly brought his hands together, closing into the protective shape of a lotus flower.

As the ethnic beat of “Haunt” reset the atmosphere and the crowd clapped along to the music in good spirit, YUKIYA took up his guitar, ending the interlude with a stout chord. The words “You die” flickered here on the screen, evolving into “For you” and then at last, “Die for you.” Quickly escalating from a simple beginning, “die4you” brought YUKIYA’s guitar into play during the instrumentals, eventually resulting in a guitar-fest under blood red light slashed with white flashes. The song allowed YUKIYA to show off his skills in a vibrant, final guitar solo.

Inlandempire#02” began with a heavily industrial beat, YUKIYA singing over it or into silence before he danced the instrumental, arms moving in a hypnotic wave. The gorgeously designed chorus brought YUKIYA’s voice soaring over the rhythmic music and the number also featured a duet between cello and guitar and a clap-based cello solo, beautifully blending the rock and classical elements.

First beads, then guitar, YUKIYA soon brought out a third instrument to add to his vocal talent: the tambourine. Guitar ripping in, “stigma” started cool. YUKIYA timed hand-clapping, hip smacking, and vibrant jangles in front of the mic to the dramatic melody made angrier by its major tone. He danced frantically through the instrumental slamming the tambourine against his body and continuing even as he resumed singing, letting his voice fly.

Gentle piano to which KENZy added synthesizer preceded “search for…” which sent fists and chords flying in the first upbeat number. YUKIYA set aside the mic stand, stalking about the stage. He then donned his guitar for the new song, “Miles.” Bright lights and bright music took YUKIYA over to SANA as they played the introduction before he zipped back to the mic to sing while SANA and SHIGE moved up front for a little show-boating.

“Oi! Are you ready to have some fun?” YUKIYA called. “I think we’ll have SHIGE sing one.” SHIGE took charge of the vocals for “yukiya_22,” leaving the vocalist free to rip on the guitar. He wrapped it up with a guitar solo before “Sou” came straight in with a full-band rhythmic riff. Back on vocals, YUKIYA sang out proudly while TAIZAN came to the foreground again, his cello preceding the final riff.

The crowd shouted for YUKIYA over beeping and sounds of water drops echoing in a cavern. The sounds blended into “catastrophe,” an epic instrumental theme, YUKIYA removing his mic stand and stepping into the red crossbeams. The transition faded, piano playing in before YUKIYA sang into the dramatic opening of “Again.” Though the intensity pulled back for the verse, the number resulted in shouts of “Hey!” and angry fist-pumping to aggressive guitars which ended in a hot riff. Digitally augmented, “MIND BREAKER#006” brought an array of blue glow sticks into the air, KENZy brandishing his own pair. YUKIYA danced throughout the number, creating a personal atmosphere by choosing targets in the crowd and singing only to them in turn. Riling the crowd, YUKIYA launched “Hane” by starting a short clap rhythm. Deep drums and the barest hint of jazz filled the first half of the verse before YUKIYA turned it violent with a scraping bark, voice reverting to audible silk for the chorus.

“This is our first live in half a year,” YUKIYA announced. “Most of these songs are not on CD. I don’t want to release albums and CDs in this changing world. I’ve thought that for four years. You guys want a CD though, right? I guess it’s about time so we’re heading into production. Until we release this album we won’t do any lives.” YUKIYA stated that they hadn’t released any CDs during their active period so it made sense not to be active onstage while working on a CD release. “This is the last song for today. Please listen. ‘Akashi.’”

Akashi” began with cello and synthesizer, pretty music in the darkness. Then a spot fell on YUKIYA and he added his voice to the light music. When the rest of the band struck up, however, the mood became exciting, Shinjuku BLAZE breaking out in a party of pumping fists. YUKIYA’s smooth voice easily turned to a harsh scream or a wailed high-note, instantly charging the atmosphere. As he sang a capella, the crowd joined him, singing on and on as he cued them to continue and thumped the mic over his heart. The applause lasted in appreciation, continuing on as the band made their exits

Applause shifted into an expectant rhythm, continuing until a slow tone of chanting and synthesizer accompanied tragic black and white imagery of various ruins. The music, “paradiselost,” matched the video as a dark figure climbed an old brick staircase. The idea resolved into a church through stained glass windows and a massive pipe organ, the images alternating and repeating. They continued as the band returned and stood before them. The church doors, propelled from the inside, clanged shut.

A full moon took over the screens for “Shinen no tsuki,” slowly shifting through the color palette even as the full moon waned. The instrumental, “ONE LOVE” provided the transition into “Kibou no kakera” which began with YUKIYA solo on guitar and vocals. The music picked up as the band joined in, but the vocal line remained somber in comparison. KENZy joined YUKIYA, harmonizing the vocalist’s “Woah”s over driving music and descending chords.

“This will be our last live for a while. It could be half a year, it could be a year, but I hope to see you guys soon,” YUKIYA promised. “Today is my birthday. I’ve been making music for nineteen years and many people have celebrated with me in that time. It’s been a long dream and someday I’ll wake from it but if we can’t meet, you’ll live on and grow older and someday we’ll all die. Time gets shorter and years pile up but our music will stay with you even for just another year.” YUKIYA’s dark speech, turning his own birthday into fodder for Kαin’s mood ended on a sentimental note. “It’s a lot of pressure doing out biggest live of the year on my birthday. I hope that you will want to hear our music and come see us again someday. Please listen. ‘Closer.’”

The sweet number with its moving kick bass driving a slow clap to the laid back tune brought the crowd together. The cello powered through the number, through “Woah”s and guitars. A slow fade to black and the screen lit with more old, faded structures, clouds rolling swiftly overhead. Fraught with meaning, “theEND” held a dark feel though the high-ranged chorus brought ringing, extended notes from YUKIYA, his vibrato singing.

The vocalist had some final words of wisdom to share. “I’ve been in bands for a long time but I feel that ‘I’ve finally been able to have a band like this.’ Don’t feel sorry for me. Don’t become afraid, living each day. We can’t become an entirely new person in a moment but eventually people can move on and become what they want. Please remember this music as long as you can. This is Kαin. Thank you.”

As one, the band bowed and said their farewells. “It was a long night,” said YUKIYA. After they left, the crowd stood listening to Kαin’s music and watching the clouds roll on the screen. At last, one brave clap set off a round of fervent applause that brought the night to an end.

Set List

(*BGM = Background Music)

  1. AFTER_.
  2. lost
  3. (BGM) Haunt
  4. die4you
  5. Inlandempire#02 (Unrecorded)
  6. stigma
  7. (BGM) irreparable
  8. search for…
  9. (BGM) the lightningseeds
  10. Miles (New song)
  11. yukiya_22 (Unrecorded)
  12. Sou
  13. (BGM) catastrophe
  14. Again (Unrecorded)
  15. MIND BREAKER#006 (Unrecorded)Hane
  16. -akashi- (Unrecorded)
  17. (BGM) east of eden

Encore

  1. (BGM) paradiselost
  2. Shinnen no tsuki
  3. (BGM) ONE LOVE
  4. Kibou no kakera
  5. Closer (Unrecorded)
  6. theEND
  7. (BGM) theEND

VK Exclusive

There are 25 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Leela McMullen is a strong believer in the philosophy "no music, no life." Having traversed the range of Japanese fandoms, she found her home at last in visual kei and has made it her mission to share what she loves most with the world. Leela completed her B.A. in Japanese language from Griffith University in Gold Coast Australia. She now lives and works in Japan, striving to bring you the goods, hot from the scene. Follow her on twitter for juicy hints of upcoming articles if you've got a bit of Japanese language under your belt! http://twitter.com/#!/LeelaInTokyo

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

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