SPIV STATES “Warp @ Rock Party” Jun Birthday Live
The night was rainy and cold but nothing could keep SPIV STATES’ faithful fans away from Star Lounge in fashionable Shibuya on November 17. Though three months had passed since the band’s last live performance, the reason for the large crowd was not the wait but rather the occasion–frontman JUN’s birthday!
Star Lounge, with its red walls and rustic metallic chandeliers resembles a European Gentlemen’s Club, and the live house itself helps set the mood for any show. The daring red curtains and Bohemian decoration seem an apt contrast to SPIV STATES’ outrageously colorful look and rock beats.
As if the red of the venue itself was not enough, crimson flashes announced the start of the show, and smoke crept onstage while the energetic intro played. Suddenly, blinding white strobes flickered as one by one the band made their entrance. With Tomoya on drums, seiya on bass, Nagi on guitar and JUN on vocals/guitar, the band dove into “Futari no hoshi.” The catchy tune caused the crowd to sway, the beat building up to confident guitars and smooth bass lines. A very energetic JUN moved his arms to emphasize the lyrics, his pink and green hair and jovial clothes giving him a deceivingly sparkly look at odds with his strong vocals and stage presence.
“HEART” began with shouts of “Oi!” initiated by the vocalist and soon mimicked by the crowd. The powerful ballad was warmly received by the audience and seiya’s fire contagious as he twirled endlessly while delivering some cool-toned bass. JUN mastered both vocals and guitar effortlessly, lending a hand with the choreography, too. Then hands moved back and forth for “Glider” as the fans followed the motions for the cheerful song.
JUN opened the night’s first emcee with a warm “Thank you Shibuya!” while the crowd took a good look at the four men on stage. JUN’s pink and green hair matched the neon green letters on his white t-shirt and blazer, while Nagi was dressed all in black, an ‘80s style black-and-white shirt finishing the look. seiya wore tight red jeans and a leopard-print vest over his t-shirt and Tomoya could barely be seen behind the drum set, though the faded-red of his hair stuck out. After a short talk, the band got back to business with “WGMM NOISE” and more dancing. The crowd jumped, mimicking the three frontmen and waved their hands to the contagious beat. Keeping it cool, Nagi swayed and shyly averted his eyes from the crowd while JUN and seiya were unstoppable dancing machines.
JUN took the lead for a cool guitar solo that opened “TOKAGE.” The song built up with a sweet rock beat and all hands followed JUN’s as he demonstrated the choreography, the crowd receiving his solos with literally open arms. “HORRY” followed, the jolly yet powerful beat quite impressive with the band doing a great job in working the audience. Blowing kisses to the eager crowd as the song reached an end, the vocalist took a step back as the lights dimmed.
A white curtain of smoke screened the stage for “Karon,” soft piano gliding throughout the room as a mirror ball twirled, leaving a trail of dancing stars in its path. Strong bass-work and an impressive performance by JUN throughout the sweet ballad made it a high point of the set. The transition to the slow yet determined “Lovers Film” was very smooth, with the drummer setting the beat skillfully to lead in guitar and vocal.
The atmosphere changed from the next number. With a short yet intense drum solo, the band moved on to the next song, bassist soon joined in as the audience clapped and the two guitars following. “Are you having fun? Why are you all so cute today? Is there something you’re dressed up for?” the vocalist asked while he clapped, encouraging the crowd to do so, too. Another birthday, another year, but JUN proved he’s still in touch with his childish side.
“Even though I’ve got this green in my hair, and I’ve made it to this age, there’s still one thing I can’t stand: green peas!” he joked, scrunching up his nose and shaking his head in a way that made him look more like a toddler than the charismatic frontman fans had come to see.
“– VIVA CAL –“ was not so much a song but an interaction skit with the vocalist talking to the fans while the others played and interacted with the crowd. “I love you!” JUN whispered, the fans replying with an amusing “Yay!” “You’re not supposed to say ‘Yay!’ but ‘we love you!’” he explained with a teasing smirk. They complied between laughs and he went on, asking them to say “we love you!” every time he said “viva!” It was indeed an interesting sight with the fans flashing hearts at JUN and shouting at the top of their lungs.
Towels were brought out for the next song, “SPRITE,” the audience spinning them wildly to the strong beat. With the crowd spinning towels, throwing them in the air and jumping, JUN took the front for another heated guitar solo.
“SOS” was jumping and upbeat as Jun powered through the rapid-fire lyrics. “Can you keep going?” he asked the audience as seiya stripped off his shirt, revealing a ripped body and nipple piercing. JUN flirted with removing his shirt as well but settled for just stripping off his jacket as Tomoya’s drumming picked up speed and kicked the song into an even higher gear. “Thank you, Shibuya! Can you love me more?” he yelled as they began the band’s namesake anthem “SPIV STATES.” “Spiv States! Rock Spiv States!” the audience chanted along with the band as Jun lead them to an excited finish. He saluted as he sang out the last note. “Thank you Shibuya!”
The band exited then returned in SPIV STATES shirts as the audience yelled for each member in turn. “It’s great to have a live on my exact birthday!” JUN told the audience. Then seiya took the mic, barely able to contain his glee.
“I have a surprise for you!” he said, though an unimpressed JUN told him “I’m not that easy to surprise. ” He ate his words a moment later when seiya pulled out a letter from JUN’s mother. “Should I not read the bad parts?” the bassist asked, forcing Jun to defend his mom: “She wouldn’t say bad things!”
And she didn’t. The letter was full of support for JUN and stories about how he started playing guitar in junior high school and how he was a spoiled but creative child who liked to draw on his own face even though she gave him paper. “Please continue to follow your dreams,” she finished. “I’ll have to call her after the show,” said JUN, looking touched.
It wouldn’t be a birthday without singing, and JUN wasn’t the only birthday boy in the house; Nagi also had a birthday coming up so he checked to see if there was anyone who shared a birthday with him or Nagi, or even had a birthday in November, but only one person was brave enough to raise her hand and identify herself as a birthday girl. They sang a rock-version happy birthday and a cake was brought out, the candles blown out with a count of “une, deux, trois.”
JUN opened his arms wide as the lights changed to an atmospheric blue and the guitar lead into “Flavor.” Fans leapt with the chorus, and JUN danced along to the music. Before the final song, he gave the fans a heartfelt message.
“Everyone is walking a different road and has hard times, but you have to keep hope…because everyone is on their own path, there’s hope there, too. This next song carries a message.” “Always” had a heavy “we will rock you” style opening, with the audience clapping overhead. JUN swept his hand over the crowd, pushing his vocals for this final number and singing with emotion. Seiya seemed swept up in the song as well, mouthing the words and moving with the music.
“Thank you!” JUN yelled as the song finished with heavy strums of guitar. “I’m going to remember every face. Let’s meet here again!” He gave a big, final bow before introducing the members, and Seiya nearly took his shirt off again. The three took a collective bow and leaned out to high-five the sweaty crowd before exiting.
This was the first show for SPIV STATES in a while, but with color and enthusiasm, JUN made it worth the wait. The band expects to be performing again in February, and we look forward to catching them for another round of visual pop!
- Futari no hoshi
- WGMM NOISE
- Lovers film
- – VIVACAL –
- SPIV STATES
There are 9 photos in this visual kei exclusive.