MUCC 15th Year Anniversary Live: MUCC vs MUCC vs MUCC at Makuhari Messe
For their 15th anniversary, MUCC packed out the Makuhari Messe former aircraft hangar on what can be read in Japanese as “MUCC day,” June 9. The show was a five hour retrospective through the eras of MUCC’s music, showcasing just how much their style has evolved and the breadth of the band’s career.
Part 1: 2002-2007 Shisei “Life and Death”
When the band emerged, they were dressed to rock in outfits from the Zekku album period, their coveralls paint-splattered and their black make-up smeared and ghoulish. Spotlights flashed in time with the beats of the opening “Kagayaku Sekai,” Tatsuro’s voice growling and hypnotic as steampunk gears twirled on the video screens. The trip through the mid-years of MUCC’s career was heavy and violent, and the band performed with intensity and dramatic flare.
“Shall we die?” Tatsuro purred and the crowd jumped into “Ranchuu,” a song that was pure rock with heavy drums and guitar and quick lyrics. Tatsuro sat on the platform and called back and forth with the audience, the fans crouching down to match him as SATOchi played with crazy enthusiasm. The vocalist delivered impassioned, half-spoken lyrics as the screens displayed a rainy Tokyo cityscape. The soft guitar and pinwheel lights were trance-inducing after the raucous numbers.
The show quickly returned to dynamic performance as Tatsuro spun and kicked his way through the dizzily-paced “Shougyou Shisoukyoujidai Koushikyoku,” a song with a lighter touch. Rolling drums and deep notes from YUKKE’s bass interwove to open the easy-listening “Saishuu Ressha” and guitarist Miya provided vocal backing as Tatsuro gestured to the crowd.
The vocalist stared at the crowd like he wanted to devour them in the intense “Haribote no Otona,” Miya’s strong guitar the backbone of the song. He and YUKKE moved smoothly, their shadows projected large on the back of the stage and Tatsuro sang with creepy inflection, holding up his pinky as he sang lyrics about promise. The red lights and Tatsuro’s contortions on stage gave the song a demonic air.
“This is MUCC! We haven’t done such violent songs recently, but I’m really into them!” Tatsuro’s cheerful smile was at odds with the harsh makeup. “We’ve made it fifteen years like this, and today the show has three parts. Maybe you thought you’d be bored for large parts of the event, but we’ve got special videos prepared for you so you won’t even be able to leave to go to the bathroom! It isn’t like me to do such friendly emcee for “Shisei,” so this is the end of it. Enjoy the rest!”
YUKKE was ready to get on with it, his hot bass standing out in “Kami no Hoshi” and “Monster.” Tatsuro let his hair swing as he sang powerful notes, hoisting the mic stand overhead and stomping around. The crowd was riled up for “Namonaki Yume,” moshing, thrashing, and yelling as SATOchi cued them with hits from the drum. The upbeat song was rousing and the fans got more and more wild as the pace increased, leading Miya to encourage them, “Today is long but don’t you save any energy for the end!”
It was impossible for anyone to hold back for the popular “Daikirai 2006.” Tatsuro gave the crowd the finger as he growled the opening, and Miya and YUKKE played passionately. A few adventurous fans jumped up to crowd surf and were tossed around throughout the aggressive number until the stage went dark.
- Kagayaku Sekai
- Waga, Arubeki Basho
- Shougyou Shisou Kyoujidai Koushikyoku
- Saishuu Ressha
- Haribote no Otona
- Kami no Hoshi
- Namonaki Yume
- Daikirai 2006
Part 2: 1998-2002 Misshitsu “Closed Chamber”
The band returned in looser clothes and more modest makeup, though Tatsuro’s head was half-wrapped in a bandage turban that covered one of his eyes and he had bandages on his arms, giving him a mummy-like appearance. “Aka” was an understated opening compared to the previous heavy set and Tatsuro’s voice had a dreamy quality that gave the song an introspective feel.
“Zetsubou” had American rock influence though, YUKKE slapping his bass through a video montage of scars and tattoos. The influence continued in “Shoufu” as fans moshed to SATOchi’s rapid drum beats and Tatsuro’s clipped delivery. The vocalist whipped his voluminous kimono-style sleeves around then raised his arms as fans took up the chorus.
“Uso de Yugamu Shinzo” was a versatile song that touched on reggae and swing, Tatsuro bouncing on the platform with expressive emotion. YUKKE stood out in the number, his bass taking the song from upbeat to melancholy and back again as fans shouted.
“You’re calling for Tatsuro. I guess that’s me. You know, we’re all around 33 now. I guess that makes us an ‘oba-ndo’,” he punned, combining the words for “middle-aged woman” and “band.” “I want to make a friendly atmosphere here, so let’s do something we haven’t done in a while.” They then introduced a special gift for their fans- MUCC’s “Okashi” (a pun of sweets/ something strange) written on traditional scrolls. O- “Osanai”(not recommended), Ka- “Kakenai” (unwritable) Shi- “Shinken Shirahadori” (The practice of attempting to stop a sword by clapping your hands around it). As pipes began to play a melody resembling an old samurai drama theme, a mysterious Japanese warrior ran onstage to square off with SATOchi. The drummer failed at “shinken shirahadori” and Tatsuro was then whacked on the head with a foam sword, being appropriately punished for all the awful punning going on.
“When we first started, we didn’t have enough songs, so we’d often play covers. We haven’t done one in a while, so let’s do one here,” the vocalist suggested getting back to business. The cover was BUCK-TICK’s “JUPITER” and the performance emotional and soft, Tatsuro putting a different quality into his voice as he used his upper range. “Mae he” was another adroit performance accented by orange light that created atmospheric shadows on the stage. The song was reminiscent of the heavier numbers in the first set, with frenzied instrumentals, and Tatsuro pulled out his harmonica to play along to the wild beat. The song gave all the members a chance to show their talent and stood out among the set.
The final songs continued to show attitude, especially the closing “ZutaZuta.” The opening notes were pure drama and metal as Miya’s screams accented Tatsuro’s rough vocals that were interspersed with gasps. The singer paused on a strangled note before really delivering the song in final, hoarse cries. He swayed and the stage went dark, the clatter of the microphone dropping echoing in the hall.
- Itai Tegami
- Uso de Yugamu Shinzou
- Mae he
Part 3: 2007-2012 Kodou “Pulse”
The sound of a pounding heartbeat throbbed through the speakers and fans clapped in time as it changed to electronic disco music and multicolored lights swung over the crowd. “Are you ready?” the video screen asked. “Are you ready to dance?”
The fog machine began to blow cool dry ice into the crowd and the disco ball twirled as the screen spelled out what the crowd already knew: the next song was “FALLING DOWN.” Theband emerged in their last looks for the night; the outfits were mod designs and Tatsuro sported an oddly suitable perm. Tatsuro’s voice was refreshed and strong, and the whole band seemed revived as they played the fun number. YUKKE and Miya skipped across the stage as fans waved light sticks, the dance beats and party atmosphere increasing everyone’s enthusiasm. The electronic groove carried over into “Oz,” SATOchi grinning with manic energy as he played clipped drum beats. Tatsuro high-kicked across the stage and Miya took the center, playing skillfully.
“Gokusai” used strong drums and cool bass to build tension up to a rapid rap finish. Miya stomped and Tatsuro swayed in the charismatic performance, all the members lending their voices to the chorus. “Bals” was an equally engaging performance with an upbeat tempo. Tatsuro smiled coyly as he accented the song with cheerful tambourine and YUKKE encouraged the crowd to clap along.
“What a great crowd! How is it?” The fans cheered and Tatsuro looked impressed. “You guys can still cheer! Aren’t you tired?” Everyone yelled to show their strength and Tatsuro promised that the show wasn’t over yet. “We’ll keep on for a bit. Enjoy it to the end!”
Lasers whipped around the hall for the pop-rock “Nirvana.” The fans sang along to the big performance, a lively energy permeating the venue. DJ Daishi Dance provided accompaniment for “Arcadia- featuring DAISHI DANCE” and it opened with multiple drummers and synth laying down a super percussion track. Blue lights on the mirrorball gave the stage an underwater look as they began the club-style number, YUKKE swinging back and forth on his double bass and Miya jumping and hopping in a circle. Next was another crowd pleaser, “Fuzz.” The fans screamed as they recognized the opening and Tatsuro jammed with his harmonica. The show’s energy reached a new peak with crowd and band jumping together and Tatsuro opened his arms wide as if to absorb everyone in front of him.
“Utagoe” was upbeat pop-rock, and SATOchi beamed behind the drum kit as the fans moshed. YUKKE and Miya rocked out together and Tatsuro strutted across the stage, pulling out fresh notes and hardly winded by the long performance. They dove right into “Flight” and streamers fell from the ceiling in a golden burst as fans rushed to grab and wave them with the beat. YUKKE tried and failed to contain his smile as Tatsuro ran around with his arms out, airplane-style. The atmosphere became subdued for “Ryuusei,” gray spotlights and thin lasers creating a subtle sparkle. Synthesizer blended nicely with the instruments as Tatsuro sang from the heart, his voice entrancing. “Thank you.”
The band then left the stage, and though they had already enjoyed four and a half hours of MUCC, the crowd wasn’t ready to go home. They started up an encore call, and MUCC soon returned. YUKKE surprised everyone by going to the drum kit and banging out a few notes before returning to his proper place.
The band then took a few moments to address the crowd, thanking them for being there and expressing their happiness to be performing for such a large group. “My view is the best,” SATOchi bragged. “When the lights come up, I can see everyone!” he said, leading all the members to crowd behind the drum kit to get the best look at their fans.
The encore was “Yasashii Uta,” a beachy, feel-good song that the crowd was happy to sing along to with a chorus of la-la-las. The band seemed relaxed now that they were in the home stretch, no doubt pleased the event had gone smoothly.
“Thank you for fifteen years! For those who have been our fans all along, and for those who are here for the first time, let’s continue on together!” After release announcements and a group photo, MUCC finally left the stage for a well-deserved rest.
Between the sets, fans were kept entertained by congratulatory videos from other musicians, actors, comedians, and other celebrities MUCC has touched over the years. The mascot of the band’s home prefecture, Ibaraki, even made an appearance to congratulate them and promote tourism. Fans could take part in the show as well via a large screen that was projecting tweets tagged with #muccmakuhari, and they happily sent support to the members, exclaimed their surprise over who was showing up in the video messages, and complained about the long bathroom lines.
After the show, the band threw an anniversary bash at Shinjuku’s Christon Café for staff and fans alike and the music, dancing, and drinking lasted until morning as various DJs and artists including girugamesh paid tribute to the momentous occasion. Despite being an “oba-ndo,” MUCC proved that they’ve still got what it takes to keep rocking all night long
- FALLING DOWN
- Fukuro no Yurikago
- Arcadia featuring DAISHI DANCE
- Yasashii Uta