STEREO C.K.&Shinjuku LOFT present “slow butterfly02”

Live Report

by Mio Nagasaki, Maya Kawaguchi, posted October 26, 2013

July 30, 2013, was the second day of “slow butterfly,” the STEREO C.K & Shinjuku LOFT joint event that saw 12012, the Keel—a session by ryo (ex-9GOATS BLACK OUT), aie (the gods and death stars), ShuU (girugamesh), and Tomoi (C4)—and STEREO C.K. rock the tight venue with their head-thrashing songs. It was also a special day for the three bands for a more somber reason as it was the birthday of their former peer Daisuke (ex-Kagerou, ex- the studs) who passed away a few years ago.

In tribute, 12012 and Keel both heated up the venue with their striking performances before passing the torch to STEREO C.K. Screeching resounded as the opening was layered with the rhythmic clapping of the fans and their welcoming shouts to the members. STEREO C.K. wasted no time, quickly geared up their instruments to begin with “the day.” On a red tinted stage, vocalist Sena’s creepy voice created a seditious atmosphere and as the venue lit up, he shouted, “Here we go!” The band’s latest single release, “Zankyo” was a kick starter, with the band and crowd shouting an energetic “Hey! Hey! Hey!” in unison. Guitarist Yuana—with his blond wig wildly swaying—showed off his solo form as he played close to the crowd, making an effort to spear the occasional fan with his gaze. Sena moved about actively from start as he fueled up the crowd, inducing heated headbanging. “Let’s have a good time together! ‘Psychopath circus!’” As Sena introduced this next song, the stage and crowd began swaying to the swinging melody. Bassist kazu lightly fingered the chords while Yuana strummed a jazzy tune which soon turned into a moshing frenzy. “Thank you!” said Sena. “Hi. We are STEREO C.K. It’s the second day of the event ‘slow butterfly’ and we have sold out today. Thanks! We hope it is turning out to be an exciting event!”

After the brief emcee, the band resumed with “BRAND-NEW DAY.” Sena—in a low, groaning voice—fueled up the audience as the melodious song reached the main melody. Amon struck the beat while Yuana turned to the audience, gesturing for the fans to raise their fists which brought a vibe of energy to the venue. The stage was then showered in vivid lights of red and blue hue that gave a psychedelic atmosphere to “Repeat” as it began with guitar taking point. The crowd had their hands in the air as they jumped and clapped along to the spirited song. In the following, equally upbeat, untitled number, Yuana crazily slid his fingers across the fret board, creating distorted sounds and showing off his skill. In contrast, the wistful “FAKE” started with Amon tapping out a marching rhythm. Slowly, reaching his hand out to the audience, Sena sang in agonized tones. It was a  ballad that began gently before increasing in intensity until its abrupt finish amid dim lighting. The venue lit up once again with the catchy “STATION” followed by “Machibuse”—a song that dramatically changed from sensuous to vibrant as Sena made full use of his vocal palette.

“Hello, again,” Sena began, re-introducing the band. “We played in Shinjuku one year ago and we are fortunate to be able to perform here again on the same day. Thank you.” Applause met this grateful statement. “Thanks for coming today; please stay with us till the end. I’ve written the lyrics for this song in encouragement for us to find the light in our lives. Please listen: ‘FLY.’” While heavy, the melody maintained a feel of encouragement as advertised. The pace then picked up with kazu’s fingers racing a rhythm met by Amon’s drums to which the crowd shook their heads. The band now loosened their expressions with grins, Yuana and kazu even sharing a private smile. “Last! Still got some energy? ‘squall!’” shouted Sena as their last song escalated, turning the floor into a sea of thrashing heads. Yuana lip-synced to the song as he joined the crowd in some light headbanging, keeping his guitar line playful. Meanwhile, the rhythm team galloped through the main melody which soon had all of the towels in the venue aloft and swinging. At the climax, Sena got Yuana to join him on the platform, and the band ended their set together, surrounding the drums for the final strike. Thanking the audience, they left the stage.

STEREO C.K. came back out for an encore to close the day with another rendition of “Zankyo.” This time, the pumping fists punched heavier and there were thrashing heads among the members as well. The show ended on this satisfyingly vibrant tone and, as the lights flared, Sena left the stage first, saying his farewells. He was followed by Yuana who thanked the crowd with his signature water spray and then Amon who waved quietly to the audience. All left except for kazu who waited until last to thank the crowd and to say happy birthday to his dearly departed former band-mate, Daisuke. With a warm smile, kazu took his leave, ending the second day of STEREO C.K.’s hot event run.

The performance came at the tail end of a rare line-up and fell on a date significant to many of the members and their fans. STEREO C.K. filled Loft to brimming with their sound and attitude and though young, the band has an impressive history bred through its members, promising many more special experiences as their sound blends and grows.

Set List

  1. the day
  2. Zankyo
  3. Psychopath circus
  4. BRAND-NEW DAY
  5. Repeat
  6. Untitled
  7. FAKE
  8. STATION
  9. Machibuse
  10. Squall

Encore

  1. Zankyo

VK Exclusive

There are 47 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Mio Nagasaki is a freelance photographer lending her time, skills, and love for the genre to ROKKYUU Magazine.

Maya Kawaguchi is a Japanese native who grew up in California. She was introduced to VK in college and soon became fascinated by the genre and nagoya-oriented bands in particular. Since then, she has been surprised by the number of foreigners who are interested in VK and hopes to introduce this world to as many potential fans as possible.

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