NoGoD’s 10th Attack at Club Citta
A video of scrolling clockwork appeared as the screen at Kawasaki Club Citta’s rolled through NoGoD’s nine previous tour stops and announced the occasion: March 24, the 10th Attack. Behind the pinwheeling kaleidoscope on the video screen, the band was visible only in shadow, but that didn’t stop fans from raising their fists and cheering as NoGoD began the raucous “Kamikaze.” Appearing from behind the screen, Danchou commanded the crowd from the very beginning, aided by a blast of fireworks to force anyone not yet excited into the air.
“We’re NoGoD! This is the last show. I want you to enjoy it so much, you feel like you’re gonna die!” Danchou yelled into his bible-shaped microphone as a NoGoD banner lowered from the ceiling. K and Karin grinned as Kyrie twirled, his coattails fluttering behind him, band and audience rocking together for “Seijyaku no Hate.” “Get violent!” Danchou’s expressions were demonic as he directed the frenzy below, but his voice was surprisingly sweet for “Shinzou” as Shinno’s guitar kept a strong rhythm. The vocalist then made an impressive leap over a monitor speaker to the stage left wing, the fans immediately swarming to the side to follow. K played so passionately he broke a stick mid-number, and continued to drum with the nub until the song finished.
A sudden blackout signaled a change of mood as long pealing notes and slow bass set the tone for “Kowaremono.” Danchou sounded a bit strained in the opening, but as the pace picked up, his inflection better matched the tone. Ringing guitar notes and a burst of flame from the stage felt all the way up to the second floor balcony started the hell-raising “Zouai Anti Thesis.” Shinno crouched and Danchou pulled fans closer to the stage, Citta an inferno as fire kept jetting at the stage-front.
“We finally made it! Super ikemen (good looking) rock band, welcome to the final! I’m really happy!” He announced they’d be making a live DVD of the show, and had a request for the crowd. “Whatever happens, I want you guys to laugh, we’re that kind of vkei band. Smiles are important!”
That kind of positive emotion charged “Raise a Flag,” the cheerful number was like a visual kei take on the eternally optimistic boy-band Arashi. The backlit stage cast beams of light over the audience with the live proceeding at full steam until sudden trouble during “Shuichu Hana” brought the show to a halt. For any other band, the drawn-out halt would have been a catastrophe, but for Danchou it was just another chance to show off his talent for off-the-cuff entertainment.
“Stop! Me-time,” he called, throwing out an improv impression of M.C. Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This.” As it became clear the problem wasn’t going to resolve itself he continued to talk at a breakneck pace about the tour, the food they’d been eating, the bandmen’s weight, and finally some more thoughtful commentary.
“This is our first big hall on the tour, so we were nervous–even the company president is here! I’ve been doing this for six years, and though there’s been a lot that’s happened, if this is the result, I’m glad I went through with it. Who started liking us after our major debut? Has anyone here liked us from before?” Members of the audience raised their hands. “Well, however it happened, you came to like us!” As he took a second, remembering to breathe, Kyrie started up a rhythm on guitar.
“Huh?” Danchou looked over. “Is that a NoGoD song?”
“You got quiet,” Kyrie shrugged, picking up the vocalist’s slack by continuing to play. Together they improvised a comical jazzy lounge song that had the crowd laughing until they were ready to pick up where they left off.
“Love Song” had standout bass that Danchou accentuated with claps of his star-shaped tambourine. The fun song was a mashup of visual kei convention with blues undertones that had Kyrie running around and Danchou jokingly shoving him away as he played maniacal tambourine. Danchou then ran off the stage and allowed the rest of the band to carry on with the expressive instrumental, “Tenba, Soro o Iku ga Gotoku.” K dove into his drumming with enthusiasm as Karin encouraged the audience to clap with the beats. “Enjoying yourselves?” Kyrie asked the crowd as Karin jokingly “saku“ed (widespread arms) at K for his drumming skills. “Since the stage is so big…” Kyrie moved out to take the center spot and posed, prompting the vocalist’s return.
“You talk too much!” Danchou scolded, taking his spot back. “Aishitekure” showed some of the metal influence NoGoD claims, Shinno wrestling with his guitar to pull out the dark notes that gave the song atmosphere.
“Time for the second emcee of the day,” Danchou laughed, “Whatever happens, just cheer raucously. Can anyone whistle? I can’t.” A few members of the audience let out piercing whistles and Danchou grinned appreciatively. “It’s like America!” The crowd cheered. “Are you enjoying yourselves?” The crowd cheered. “You even cheer for my boring talk!” The crowd cheered some more.
“We’ve had lots of trouble [on this tour], there was Quattro (in Osaka)…Shizuoka…” “Okayama,” K chimed in, and Danchou nodded. “Visual kei is a dream, and people think we smell like rose perfume. That’s true! But it’s hectic when we change with other bands. Today there’s none of that, you guys don’t want to see the stuff like us having to change instrument settings and all.” His thoughts then turned as he looked at the camera and waved, and the crane holding the camera turned to follow him. “That’s scary!” he screamed as the machine moved towards him. “But I really like robots. Like the ones with two legs, I want to see them walking.” He did an impression of a walking, lurching robot. Then, deciding it wasn’t accurate enough, he commanded the audience to sit as he moved to the stage left runway where he lay flat on the ground, and, after a few pelvic thrusts, jumped up and robot-walked across the stage.
“Okay, I’ve talked enough, no more emcee! You guys don’t want to hear me talk anymore, right?” The audience shouted back that they did, and the vocalist scolded them. “Lies! The music is food, emcee is just a side dish.”
They dove into the meaty second half, fans moshing violently for ”Kakusei.” The strobe matched the fevered pace of the music before the lights turned blue and spooky, giving the stage a horror-house look that set off “II Kaigi.” Kyrie tackled the difficult guitar work masterfully as Danchou shrieked his way through the song, his shimmying movements a change from his earlier bouncy energy as he did something best described as visual kei interpretive dance.
Drumming and clapping lead into the no-holds barred “Downer’s high,” Danchou treating the audience to an encore of his robot walk as fans whipped their NoGoD towels around. The instruments shone in the number, the vocalist quiet for large portions of the song before joining in with a rich tone that would have been sexy had he not also been jangling the tambourine.
“Let’s go!” Danchou called to head into the next song, before noticing the rest of the band wasn’t following. He realized he’d mistaken the number, and Kyrie patted him on the head before they reset for the correct song, “Identity.” Throughout the cheerful following numbers, the band really showed their charisma, playing with the audience and each other, as entertaining to watch as they were to listen to.
“This is the last song, please listen for us.”
The back wall lit up like a field of stars for “Kousei,” the blue lighting and twinkling bulbs creating the sensation of being in space. As the members left, the crowd started up a chant not of the usual “encore,” but of, “NoGoD!”
“Can you dance?” Danchou called as they returned with the jazz-infused encore “Gekiretsu Kyoukan Ranchikisawagikyo.” The audience followed the vocalist’s direction to mosh not just side-to-side, but front and back, to the floor and back up, and on diagonals in almost aerobic choreography.
“Thanks for the encore!” Danchou took the microphone. “Doing a live with you is what makes me happiest…you guys are awesome fools for rock. Camera, are you getting this?”
Drummer K said: “Today has been interesting. Can you bring the lights up so I can see the fans? Wow! Last time we were here (four years ago) there weren’t this many people. There’s only a little left…” That announcement made the fans boo, and Danchou jumped back in. “What, are you guys going to pay the venue’s time-extension fee?”
Next was Karin. “I’m having too much fun–I’m making lots of mistakes!” he admitted. “Me too,” the vocalist agreed, “everyone, don’t tell!”
“Our “tsundere” prince, Kyrie!” Danchou announced as K tried to touch the guitarist’s nose then stick the camera under Kyrie’s shirt. Between Danchou and K’s antics, the guitarist was soon on the ground laughing.
Yellow-orange lights blazed behind the stage, creating a candlelight effect for the eponymous
“NoGoD,” a song that was as much a meet-and-greet as it was a musical performance. Danchou jumped down to run along the side of the crowd, and Kyrie let fans molest his guitar before jumping down himself to pat fans on the head. K stood leaning out over the drum kit, clearly wanting to go out and play too.
It was in the second encore that he got his chance. After a long call, the band came back for one last song and put all their energy into “Guren.” Shinno especially seemed to have stolen Kyrie’s charisma for the final number, showing tons of personality at the end, and Danchou looked refreshed, now wearing a t-shirt and freed from the confines of his costume. With the last song, there was no reason to hold back, and Kyrie and then K jumped down into the audience, K running all the way to the back of the hall to the delight of the farther fans. Kyrie began to pat heads–girls’ heads–again, leading Danchou to chide him for sexual harassment as they finished the song.
“Rather than number one, we’re the only one!” Danchou called before they left for a final time. He is definitely correct–one would be hard pressed to find another band quite like NoGoD anywhere, a statement the band more than proved with their high class musical comedy act of a tour final.
- Seijyaku no Hate
- Zouai Anti Thesis
- Raise a Flag
- Suichu Hana
- Love Song?
- Tenba, Soro o Iku ga Gotoku
- II Kaigi
- Downer’s high
- Keihatsu Furustoresu
- Gekiretsu Kyoukan Ranchikisawagikyo
- Saikou no Sekai
There are 10 photos in this visual kei exclusive.