Moi dix Mois at Shibuya WWW

Live Report

by Diana Tome, posted December 25, 2011

Dark clad gothic lolitas in their best Moi-Meme-Moitie attire, puffy skirts, and elaborate hairdos adorned with Moitie-blue lace and flowers  made quite a few heads turn at independent  theater-come-livehouse,  Shibuya WWW. As we headed down the dimly lit set of stairs, we were engulfed in darkness, the black walls and high ceiling giving us the impression of descending into an underground lair for Moi dix Mois’ tenth anniversary performance.

The lights went down, giving way to a dramatic piano intro before the curtains parted revealing a black clad figure with burnt red hair. Behind him, the band’s logo shone brightly, its white patterns screaming under the sea of black. A massive, bloody wooden cross dangled from the ceiling, kept in place by heavy metal chains and on each side swung an iron chandelier, casting trembling candlelight on the stage. Adding to the spooky gothic atmosphere were skulls and an iron gate to finalize the look. Holding an old-looking book in his hand, the lonely figure spoke, welcoming all into this realm of darkness before introducing the other three mages. With guitarist K, bassist Sugiya and drummer Hayato on stage, it was time for red-haired Seth to call the high-wizard. Under flashing thunder, Mana made his entrance.

The band dove into “Perish. The steady bass and fast guitars stood out, adding intensity to the performance. In a solemn tone the vocalist addressed the crowd, his voice fading away under a haunting piano intro for “The other side of the door,” and on into“Eternally Beyond” as chains rattled and a heavy knock on wooden doors stirred the venue. Seth shed his cape and commanded his army of darkness, fists pumping to the beat under shouts of “Oi! Oi! Oi!” As the crowd followed the hand choreography, K moved around, his bat-like guitar causing quite an impact.

A smooth transition to “Mephisto Waltz” and “Deflower” followed. Mana’s newly transformed blond hair matched his white guitar, both standing out pure in the sea of black. The lead guitarist swayed, drowning in the melancholy ballad, the crowd moving gently with him. Meanwhile, Seth’s voice echoed dramatically throughout the venue, allowing him to show off his vocal range.

The mood changed dramatically with “Sanctum Regnum.” Before actually moving to the song, Seth, with K’s help, explained to the ritual movements to newcomers.“Did you hear their voices?” he asked, turning around to Mana. Palms up, the lead guitarist tilted his head as if to say “I didn’t hear a thing!” “Don’t be shy!” Seth continued, “the people behind you can’t see your faces so it’s just the five of us watching!” This time, the crowd put all their hearts in the rehearsal to please Mana. The crowd shouted “D” moving their right arm to form said letter as Seth sang “Sanctum!” then the left arm up for the I after “Regnum!” with both meeting below the chin for the X and lowering  for DIX. The atmosphere was very solemn, as if we had penetrated a secret coven of vampires. The night’s seventh song was titled, appropriately enough,  “The Seventh Veil. Cool guitars and fiery drums heated up the show. Sugiya delivered some fierce bass lines while keeping it cool, leaving the moving around and firing up of the crowd to K.

The infamous “Message from Mana” – during which the legendary guitarist never utters a word – was warmly welcomed. “Mana-sama changed his hair!” said Seth. Mana leaned to whisper something in the vocalist’s ear. “Oh, it’s not a wig!” Seth repeated out loud, causing the audience to laugh. “When we were at the studio and he first came in with that hair I thought it was a new support member! But no! It was Mana-sama!” With the crowd laughing, he went on to announce a live at Shibuya O-West in December.

“Gloire dans le silence” followed up next, with K helping on vocals. The front men gave all they had, Seth’s energy contagious as he fell down on his knees with earsplitting growls. The lights turned blue to match Mana’s current guitar and with open hands, the fans embraced “Vain.”  The string trio thrashed their heads wildly to the fast-paced drums, Mana delivering some memorable guitar lines. On his knees, Seth head-banged passionately before standing to meet Mana and then K, who he sang back to back with.

The lights went down and the sound of dripping water echoed tauntingly for “Pendulum.” Under the lament of a church organ, bells rang, the bloody cross undulating from the ceiling enveloped in crimson lights.  Like a charmed snake, Seth swayed to the beat, dancing seductively next to Mana.  “Are you ready for more?” K yelled as he lifted his arm up high. The crowd answered with a loud roar, singing along with the opening lines of “Night breed.” The head-banging continued during “immortal madness (X-time).” Half way through the song, allowing both the band and the fans to restore energy, they engaged in yet another chat, this time to congratulate Sugiya and Hayato on their birthdays. The two graced the crowd with a vivid drum and bass duet and the guitarists joined them as Seth introduced the bandone by one. They resumed the number, and everyone screamed “dix sight!” When Seth insinuated that the crowd loved the dark above all, they changed the shout to “darkness!” As a treat to the faithful fans, Mana did his share of fan-service, grabbing Sugiya’s neck from behind in a supposedly sweet embrace.

To a room on fire, Hayato took the lead with a short drum solo, the string trio soon joining him. Pumping fists and head-banging accompanied “Dead Scape”  and then “Xanadu.” Illuminated by twinkling candles and twin purple moons, the ballad calmed the venue. Seth posed dramatically, reaching his hand to the bloody stars that shone above him, his voice enticing. Mana drowned in the song as he pointed his guitar to the sky. Taking the lead for “Lilac of Damnation,” the guitarist sped away with an electrifying performance, heavy drums, and fast paced vocals.

“Are you ready for more?” the vocalist asked, a loud affirmative cheer clearing the path for “Detress.” Ever dramatic, Seth kneeled on the floor as he growled to emphasize the lyrics, all lights going down in anticipation for the earsplitting yell that escaped his lips in a pain filled lament. As the song reached an end, Mana fell to his knees – drained of all energy – thrusting his guitar up high. One by one, Moi dix Mois left the stage, Mana the last to make his exit, bowing solemnly as he thanked the crowd for their energy and support.

The wait for an encore wasn’t long and with surprised gasps, the fans welcomed the band back, all of whom were clad in tour T-shirts. It was an unusual sight, Mana still with blond hair, all spiked up like a demented mad scientist in a T-shirt with a white bloody guitar. Fittingly, all hell broke loose for “deus ex machina,” hands flashing up as the audience danced with their hands. Seth’s yells were contagious and the fiery performance continued throughout “Ange ~D side holy wings~.” The band moved around, putting all their energy in the night’s last song until the band bid their farewells, smiling and waving to the zealous fans. Mana was the last to leave, bowing deeply with open arms, leaving behind a cheering crowd.

Moi dix Moi’s tenth anniversary live was a unique show featuring old songs and recent classics.The band graced the fans with some of their most memorable works – all distinctive of the Moi dix Mois legend, of course. With ten years down, the band show no sign of hitting the brakes. In fact, with three shows in four months and another promised for December, 2011 has been a year of record activity. Of course, their long-awaited new album is another boon and will feature songs voted on by the fans as taken under consideration by Mana himself! There’s nothing but excitement glimmering ahead in the darkness for Moi dix Mois.

Set List

ENTRANCE MUSIC: Silent Omen

  1. Perish
  2. The other side of the door
  3. Eternally Beyond
  4. Mephisto Waltz
  5. Deflower
  6. Sanctum Regnum
  7. The Seventh Veil
  8. Gloire dans le silence
  9. Vain
  10. Pendulum
  11. Night breed
  12. immortal madness (X-time)
  13. Dead Scape
  14. Xanadu
  15. Lilac of Damnation
  16. Detress

Encore

ENTRANCE MUSIC: Destruction xxx

  1. deus ex machina
  2. Ange ~D side holy wings~

EXIT MUSIC: sacred Lake

Diana Tome saw her life change when she came across X-Japan's Blue Blood. A big supporter of old school visual rock, she believes visual kei is a lifestyle and philosophy that goes beyond the clothing and the music. With a background in headhunting and psychotherapy, Diana completed her M.A. in Psychology from I.S.P.A. in Lisbon, Portugal. She now lives and works in Japan committed to keeping the VK/V-rock flame alive.

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