Sixh. Fashion Opera Live
Following the fashion show, Sixh. transformed from proud designers into visual kei rock band. The set was suave like their clothes until they unleashed a secret weapon…
Into the darkness came NARI, jumping up onto the center stage podium with a solemn air before breaking into cheerful double peace signs and waves. Mint’s entrance could be described as genki, a veritable bundle of energy opposite to his modelling attitude. Guitar and bass synced up, lightly putting their instruments to the test until IBI entered at last, cool, calm and collected.
The opening number, “Kouen,” had NARI headbanging right away while IBI worked the runway, leading motions to the music. The cool rock mood accelerated with the yelled lyrics “Let’s dance!” Even MNT grooved about and a heavy riff that would usually be met with flinging heads and whipping hair was instead reserved for dancing and clapping. “Hey, we’re Sixh. Have fun until the end, okay?” said Nari.With a wail of feedback, groovy jungle drums and funky guitar, “Minashigo” swung to a red wash. The progression into a deep verse had IBI flipping from that opening funky mood to cool apathy.
When the number ended, an awkward wait resulted in MINT stepping up to the plate, eyes on the delinquent NARI across the stage. “Looks like I’ll be talking instead,” he said, the words half invitation for NARI to jump in and rescue him. No rescue was forthcoming, however, and so he stumbled on, asking how many people in the audience knew about Sixh: “So… about five or six. Okay, well, our concept is the combination of fashion and music. As you saw in the fashion show, there’s IBI style… MINT style… and MINTNEKO style…” he introduced. “How did you find the show?”
“Thank you!” called NARI all of a sudden in response to the applause. “Oh, now he wants to speak,” MINT grumbled. Out of breath and in extremely formal Japanese, NARI thanked all of the artists participating in the show. “How many of you know that guitar guy?” MINT asked with a mischievous glint in his eye. “And how many of you know me?” When the yells died down, he continued. “Well, that’s about the extent of Sixh.” The fans, however, were not about to let IBI be overlooked, raising their voices in demand for the vocalist to take the mic. “Thank you for gathering today!” IBI cried. “I think many of you have never seen us perform live before but I hope you’ll enjoy yourselves from start to finish.” Please listen to the next song,” said NARI. “”Mizore.””
The deep feel of the rhythm section and ballad-style guitar line created an illusion of pitch as IBI’s smooth, gothic tones sounded much higher by comparison. Below his melody NARI sang, the two voices blending in harmony. Next, the laid back tones of “Black Heart” featured prominent bass and a subtle guitar. Suddenly intensifying the atmosphere, “Sayonara Dance” began with a discarded coat from IBI as he incited a round of rhythmical clapping.
NARI spoke calmly. “Thanks. The next song will be Sixh.’s new song, “Pierrot Gokko.”” The bright, energetic number had a mildly heavy undertone that kept MINT jumping around in the chorus and the crowd clapping enthusiastically through the instrumental. Under the vocal line, the music grew heavier, an expert manipulation on the original theme. “Hey, shall we fire it up for the second half?” IBI suggested, bending at the waist in an almost tribal display to match the heavy rhythm even as he traversed the catwalk.
In the following blackout, MINT stripped down to his “I (MINTNEKO) Sixh. shirt.” The crowd cheered, having deciphered the action through the darkness. The bassist then announced Sixh.’s pending appearances in New Jersey and L.A. including their first overseas fashion show. “If you happen to be heading to America, then please do come along,” he invited. Complaining of a dry throat, he then passed the emcee off to NARI for some announcements.
While the two chatted loosely, IBI squatted at center stage, fanning himself with the Sixh./MINTNEKO fan that was on sale for the evening. He chipped in, however, to talk about the cancelled shows after the March 11 disaster and solemnly mention the Sixh. store in Sendai. Then, lightening the mood, MINT and NARI improvised a simultaneous “We want to move on with the live, but…” “But?” prompted NARI, obviously following MINT’s lead. “…But I have to tune so go ahead and talk freely,” finished the bassist. NARI’s babbling came to an eventual end with MINT’s consent and the suggestion, “Now let’s clap for the special guest!”
Drums striking up a rhythm, the crowd clapped along until Utahiroba Jun entered to elated cries of “Jun Jun!” He commandeered the crowd for a moment, having them wave along to his personal chant before allowing Sixh. to borrow them for “Mangetsu.” Heavy and with a wicked grind that brought the crowd into a whole new state of excitement, NARI joined in on the vocals, singing in a solid, hard-rock style. Meanwhile, Utahiroba ran about the stage learning the movements by watching IBI intently then instructing the crowd once he had them mastered. Dancing like a living statue of Kali behind IBI and MINT , he spruced up the already entertaining number with giggles and cheers and when IBI called “Let’s hear your voices!” the crowd didn’t need to be told twice.
The surprise live music cover of air band Golden Bomber’s “Kimi ni bango wo kikenakatta” began with a burst of streamers that blanketed the crowd. Utahiroba strolled up and down the catwalk and across the stage, leading each step of the dance moves. Rarely treated to such live performances, the Golden Bomber fans were thrilled by MINT and NARI’s enthusiastic performance. IBI, too, kept up with the number splendidly… until he started laughing too hard to sing. His punishment came in the form of a tweaked nipple as Utahiroba yanked aside his shiny singlet. Laughing still, IBI rubbed his chest and picked up the role of vocalist once more, falling to his knees and lying back on the floor as he belted out an impressive parody of Golden Bomber’s Kiryuuin. The number was a brilliant end to the set, proving that Sixh. can take on music drastically different to their own and pull it off well.
“Thank you! We’re Sixh.” IBI yelled.
“Thank you! I’m Utahiroba!” the air bassist spoke up, not one to be left out.
“Thank you, I’m MINT!” “Thank you, I’m NARI!” repeated the two Sixh. musicians.
- Black Heart
- Sayonara Dance
- Pierrot Gokko (New song)
- Mata Kimi ni Bango wo Kikenakatta (Live performance Golden Bomber cover)
There are 89 photos in this visual kei exclusive.