The GazettE: Venomous Cell FINAL OMEGA at Yokohama Arena
After a humorous announcement asking the fans to be careful while headbanging, the lights went down on the GazettE’s Yokohama Arena 2011-2012 tour final on January 14. As the two screens on each side of the stage came to life, the band took the stage to the electro beat of “INFUSE INTRO,” vocalist RUKI the last to make an appearance. Wasting no time, they dove into “VENOMOUS SPIDER’S WEB” and guitarist URUHA took the lead with a heated solo. Under red lights, the audience carried out their hand choreography as words like “pain,” “grudge” and “sorrow” flashed on the screen and bodies dived back and forth, setting the hard mood for the rest of the show.
An explosion announced “SLUDGY CULT,” REITA contributing with some smooth bass lines while guitarist AOI danced teasingly to the beat. RUKI climbed about on the crowd-side barrier fences as he adopted daring poses right in the fans faces, all the while displaying good voice control and a strong performance. It was soon time to get down to business, though, with some heavy headbanging for “VORTEX.” Smoke crept onstage, materializing the heat of the performance while both band and fans thrashed heads and jumped as Kai set the beat behind the drums.
A red curtain obscured the screen then slowly parted and the crowd was transported to a dark, gloomy circus for “THE SUICIDE CIRCUS.” On the screen, images of death and war flashed, mingled with images of famous paintings and art pieces. The energy kept flowing as the hall moved to the pop beat, jumping and headbanging vigorously. The song ended with the red curtains closing onscreen once more as the last notes died. Right away, “MY DEVIL ON THE BED” got the crowd clapping, both guitarists showing off their energy. “Let’s welcome the darkness!” the vocalist announced with a yell as the song built up to some fresh growling and a funky beat.
“13 STAIRS [-]1” impressed the eyes, the room turning red. The song started out slow, the lights going down under the crowd’s yells, and like a giant wave the audience rocked back and forth. Red chaos accompanied the growing beat, URUHA’s guitar letting out a painful cry as the song reached the end. The human wave continued moving for “RUTHLESS DEED,” the heavy beat from guitar and bass adding to the song. Red blood and blue water mingled and materialized on the screen and through the lighting, making for a well-accomplished transition from slow to heavy.
“Chijou” brought a heavy, dark tinge with it. Images of a snake moving along a naked female body took the screen, blood and blinding flashes among scissors and kinbaku (a Japanese rope-binding technique). The mood changed for the following number, “UNTITLED,” RUKI dramatically holding a candle for the song’s intro while in the background shooting stars fell to make the piece visually stimulating.
Purple lights welcomed “AGONY,” the vocalist demanding more from the crowd as he yelled “Let’s go, Yokohama!” Then the words “CLEVER MONKEY” flashed onscreen to announce the next song and the dancing continued, AOI taking the lead with his unique and amusing dance style.
As the intro of “VERMIN” started, a loud yell took over the venue. Thrashing heads and dancing limbs accompanied the song, the crowd moving hands right and left and then back and forth between jumps. It was quite a sight as the whole venue synched together, moving to the music. “Are you ready for more?” RUKI yelled. “Let’s become one!” Refreshingly heavy headbanging welcomed “HEADACHE MAN,” the four men in the front twirling and banging heads with the crowd.
All hell broke loose for the classic “Filth in the beauty.” It was impressive to see the whole venue, lolitas and housewives together, giving it all for the song. Both the band and the fans put their hearts and energy into the performance and continued into “PSYCOPATH,” smoke and lights helping to set the mood for the song while KAI showed no signs of tiredness behind the drums.
With a yell, RUKI announced the last song, “TOMORROW NEVER DIES.” Claps and shouts of “Oi!” took over the hall, followed by pumping fists before the song slowed to a stop, resuming to a vocal and guitar duet. URUHA on lead, the guitar sped away in a hot performance. Smoke covered the stage for the finale and one by one, the members left, an eager crowd waiting for their return.
Shouts of “Encore!” repeated like a mantra until REITA and KAI returned for the long-awaited “Ride with the Rockers.” After the heated rhythm piece, the guitarists returned soon followed by the vocalist as the band dove into “REMEMBER THE URGE.” Then, with REITA taking the central platform and the guitarists supporting him one on each side, the band proceeded with the crowd favorite, “Akai one piece.” Passionate headbanging broke out while AOI wiggled his hips to the beat to the crowd’s amusement.
Taking time to thank all the fans for their unconditional support, RUKI confessed to be a bit sad having reached the tour’s end. However, with a smile he added, “It’s very GazettE to end a tour when the year is starting.” The classics continued, first with “COCKROACH” and its contagious heavy beat and vigorous choreography, then later with “DISCHARGE.” Following tradition, the band ended the set with “LINDA ~candydive Pinky Heaven~” in an explosion of whipping hair and moshing. Fans of diverse age and gender joined forces for the song and the venue clapped together to the beat before dancing to the finish.
Again the band left, waving and thanking the crowd for their support but the fans showed no signs of wanting to go home and again insistently demanded another encore while the Guns N’ Roses classic “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” tried to hint the show was over. Eventually the band returned one last time and with the words “Welcome to hell!” RUKI opened “Kantou dogeza kumiai” Half the crowd were down on their knees to headbang as lowly as the song’s apologetic title suggested. It wasn’t easy considering the vast crowd and the obstacle of seating but the memorable performance testified the close bond between band and fans. RUKI tried to approach the crowd surrounded by security guards but the sheer numbers made it difficult for him to make it far from the stage, excited fans climbing up barrier fences as they tried to approach the frontman.
Thus the show ended in a relaxed, familiar atmosphere, fan-service not forgotten as URUHA helped KAI drum and AOI daringly grabbing RUKI’s buttocks, evoking gasps and approving cheers from the crowd. Waving and thanking the fans one last time, the band bid their farewells, RUKI yelling last, “I love you!” as he made his exit.
A loud growl shook the hall while pictures of the band throughout the last ten years flashed continuously, ending with two warm, welcoming announcements: the band’s upcoming album to be released in August and a special live at Makuhari Messe to celebrate the GazettE’s tenth anniversary, high expectations born from both announcements carrying the fans home on cloud 9.
OP: INFUSE INTO
- VENOMOUS SPIDER’S WEB
- SLUDGY CULT
- THE SUICIDE CIRCUS
- MY DEVIL ON THE BED
- 13 STAIRS [-]1
- RUTHLESS DEED
- CLEVER MONKEY
- HEADACHE MAN
- Filth in the beauty
- TOMORROW NEVER DIES
- Ride with the Rockers
- REMEMBER THE URGE
- Akai one piece
- LINDA ~candydive Pinky Heaven~
- Kantou dogeza kumiai