Kind of human mind 9GOATS BLACK OUT Oneman

Live Report

by Maya Kawaguchi, posted October 7, 2012

Meguro Rock May Kan was the very first place 9GOATS BLACK OUT performed five years ago, marking the start of their career. Ironically, their first tour final after the disbandment announcement took place at the same venue on August 25 2012.

Darkness fell upon the venue as the live started with their signature entrance music and smoke crept over the stage, slowly screening it from view. Appearing from the smoke, the band was surprisingly attired not their usual black but in white costumes instead. Vocalist ryo was literally all white from top to bottom and sported a mask that covered the right side of his face. As he went before the mic, he bowed to the audience and the intro for the first song, “sink” began.

The spotlight was on guitarist uta who played the lonesome introductory phrase flowing into the serene venue. Ryo sang every word solemnly, stressing through the melody while uta and hati sang added subtle backing vocals. Beginning relatively docile, they then moved on to the mid-tempo “Yasou-nocturne-.”  The lights changed to a mix of pink and purple and the band began to move gradually, effort seen in the music as both guitar and bass gave a strong thump and strum which left a solid impression on the ears. When “lilith” came, the quiet venue woke from slumber with tune that transitioned from calm to a loud explosion of sound. Difficulties were apparent without the manipulator who left the band in early spring but uta covered the parts well with guitar and backing vocals. He never failed to entertain the crowd with frenzied dancing despite the extra work, either.

Ryo roared out a blistering scream and the audience was in for a more heated experience with “HARMS.” The venue lit up with colorful strobes flickering to the pacey music. Both hati and uta came to the front to show off their feisty play while the crowd responded to ryo’s demands for louder shouts to match the pumping fists. The venue dimmed but the audience shouted the members’ names until the band resumed with, “red shoes.” Under the red tainted lights, ryo’s white costume wavered hauntingly in the air as he roamed about the stage. At times sensual, bitter and agitating, the song presented a diabolic taste as the vocal range widened from low to high tones to growls. Ryo’s eye catching performance was one of the highlights of the show as he moved about the stage. The intense atmosphere was maintained through to “belzebuth.” The swerving sound of the guitar and constant rhythm of bass and drum were accompanied by sensual yet playful vocals.

Out of the deep songs came the newer “Yurikago” with a lighter nuance. Uta strummed an acoustic style with a hint of Spanish melody. Passion, and melancholy surfacing alternately, ryo gestured a clap as if hitting a tambourine. A well known introduction flowed as green lights flashed heavily and the fans got their fists shooting in the air for “BABEL.” Ryo’s sinister whisper and the growling support of uta and hati combined to create a steamy atmosphere. Actively striking their instruments, uta and hati wowed the audience by twirling in unison on the small stage. The fiery stage soon cooled for “in the rain,” though. Icy blue light showered upon the stage and countless cries were wrung from the emotional crowd as the vocalist’s vibrant tones delivered the song. Ryo wrung out his voice until he was breathing hard. Then, taking the mask off, he bowed to the audience and left the stage.

In no time, he came back out to the stage to fervent shouts from the awaiting audience. The ritualistic “Table of the Mortal Sins” started upon his return. The crowd thrashed their heads to the addictive beat as ryo and hati’s voices swirled into the music. This gave way to another new song, “Asche.” With the colorful lights and upbeat melody, the song had a hint of jazz and it was a good warm-up for “SALOME.” Pink lights flickered to the sensual music and ryo’s expression changed drastically. Seductive and amorous, ryo interacted intimately with uta who answered him with a subtle, growling gesture. The mood soon became fast and furious in “Keibetsu.” Heads flew and fists shot up to the racing guitar and the accelerating drums. Ryo fired the audience up to more thrashing and pumping as his frantic vocals rushed to the climax.

In a turn-about, “690min” sent hair flying all over the venue, the members following suit. Sometimes jumping to the music, hati set his fingers on the strings creating the constant thumping sound that put the crowd in frenzy. As the energetic vocalist shouted, “Use your heads!” the frenzy took off to a higher level for “headache.” With the lights flashing crazily, the venue was all flying hair. The band seemed more relaxed as ryo urged for more from the audience when the playful “float” started with a call and response. Denizens of both stage and floor were jumping to the upbeat music, hands in air. “ Don’t put your hands down!!” shouted ryo, “Who’s the MAD” capping off the main set with fiercely pumping fists and a lively performance by the energetic members who let out their brightest grins for the first time that night.
Amidst the ardent encore yells, the band resumed with the tender “Tenshi.”  Orange lights enveloped the stage and the venue quieted down appreciating the gentle vocals that were accompanied by the tranquil melody of uta’s guitar.  What followed was another ballad, “Atena no nai tegami” that was delivered with a stronger vocal line that focused on the lyrics in this song.

After the two ballads, ryo started off an emcee in an unusual manner.
“First of all, I want to say… it’s damn hot in here!” The still venue erupted in laughter. “Are you guys alright? If you feel sick, staffs are standing by so call for help when you need it. Ah, and thank you very much for the encore. You know, this is the very first venue we performed in. There used to be seats here but they took them all out and I like the way it is now.” At last he addressed the main issue. “About the disbandment, there are many reasons for it. I’ve got many letters about it and none of what you all felt is wrong. More than sorrow, I will always treasure the time we all had together. I apologize that 9GOATS BLACK OUT will not be able to make you all happy any longer. Please try and understand that although 9GOATS BLACK OUT will be gone, our desire to make you happy will never change. The tour title, ‘Kind of human mind’ means, each and everyone has their own point of view. Take it as you feel. End of that topic! You two have anything to talk?” he asked abruptly, looking at uta and hati who were already geared up for the next song.

Calls of their names arose at once and uta was the first to talk. “It’s so hot in here… There are white spots around the front of the stage. Probably, sweat and make-up?  Ahh… help, hati.”
Hati’ expression said it was too soon to be asking for help. “Finished already? Okay, some announcements! December 7…”
Ryo jumped in: “Wait, wait!  There are orders in announcing things.”
“Ok, passing the torch to you ryo-san,” hati offered.
Ryo picked it up readily. “We will release our last album on December 19 with the title Calling and with the album coming up, we are going to have live events on December 7 in Osaka, December 9 in Nagoya, and December 11 in Shinjuku. The album will have all new songs and this next song is one of them: ‘rip current.’”

The light brightened to a pinky orange while smoke created waves and movement in the air. The melody was bright but had a rhythm of ups and downs that seemed to flow like waves creating a volatile mood. Though intricate, the crowd seemed to respond well to it as they moved their bodies to the music. Moreover, the band gave their most energetic performance for the very last song. The colorful and ardent “Kanbi na shigai” burst free, finishing the show in full bloom.

The band, hearing the shouts, all came to the front bowing with gratitude and with a shout of “Thank you!” all except for uta left the stage. Bidding farewell, uta gave out some pics to the fans, offered a deep bow and left the stage.

Many 9GOATS BLACK OUT fans are struggling with mixed feelings concerning the band’s disbandment. The tour title “Kind of human mind” meaning as ryo said that everybody has their own way of thoughts and every one of them is diverse and unique can be interpreted to mean that there is no right or wrong answer. Either way, the existence of the band will always be in the hearts of their fans no matter what they struggle through.

Set list

  1. sink
  2. Yasou-nocturne-
  3. Lilith
  4. HARMS
  5. red shoes
  6. belzebuth
  7. Yurikago (new song)
  8. BABEL
  9. in the rain
  10. Table of the Mortal Sins
  11. Asche (new song)
  12. SALOME
  13. Keibetsu
  14. 690min
  15. headache
  16. float
  17. Who’s the MAD

Encore

  1. Tenshi
  2. Atena no nai tegami
  3. rip current(new song)
  4. Kambi na shigai

VK Exclusive

There are 9 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Maya Kawaguchi is a Japanese native who grew up in California. She was introduced to VK in college and soon became fascinated by the genre and nagoya-oriented bands in particular. Since then, she has been surprised by the number of foreigners who are interested in VK and hopes to introduce this world to as many potential fans as possible.

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