Trick Headline MJP Gig 3 at O-East

Live Report

by Kate Havas, Mio Nagasaki, posted September 8, 2012

Though their shows are few and far between, †яi¢к features some top-of-the-line talent, being the product of La’Cryma Christi bassist SHUSE and fronted by Λucifer’s MAKOTO. The band headlined Music Japan Plus’s third MJP Gig on June 23 at Shibuya O-East, an event that was viewed not only  by those at the venue, but by an additional 30,000 fans watching at home on NicoNico broadcasting.

Before the band appeared, the crowd was treated to the music video of †яi¢к’s latest release, “Scar.” At last, low piano notes and thrumming bass began to resonate from the speakers as the members casually walked onto the stage, the sound slowly blending into a pounding heartbeat then the echo of their name repeating over and over:  “†яi¢к.  †яi¢к.  †яi¢к.”

Feelin’ Rose” had a cool rock vibe, the music smooth and polished from the start. Makoto’s velvety voice was somewhat drowned in the instruments but the pacing of the song was perfect for an opener, waking up the crowd for the finale of the long event.

A rhythmic bass intro soon went into double-time as “DREAMS” picked up speed, blinking strobe lights emphasizing a stormy feel. Tero’s powerful drumming kept the pace tight as Taiji played a quick guitar line and fans called back to the band with cheers. SHUSE and Sin headbanged over their instruments and MAKOTO joined in as the song came to a crashing close. By “SCAR” the instruments and vocalist had found a balance, and SHUSE took the harmony, his voice working surprisingly well with MAKOTO. The bassist jumped with the beat and the song was full of interesting fades and peaks that demonstrated the instrumentalists’ skill. To finish, MAKOTO sang a final, mewling note while spotlighted in gold.

“Are you excited? Good evening, we’re  †яi¢к !” MAKOTO addressed the crowd. “Do we have the video streaming?” He waved to the camera as he announced the band’s July 25 release and September 9 one-man for Tero’s birthday. “Please come!” he told the crowd with a flirty wink. “And here we have Miku Hatsune.” He gestured to Sin whose recent dye job had ended up a shade of teal that was a perfect match to the vocaloid character. Though the guitarist tried to prove his toughness by putting on a gangster voice to address the fans, the cute image was hard to un-see.

ADAM” was bass-led classic rock and fans waved with the beat. A solid number with a catchy chorus, the band was active throughout the song, especially Sin as he contorted and knelt to play–almost touching the floor–and showing off for the streaming cameras. MAKOTO made a gun with his fingers and pointed it at the crowd, and then at his own head for the explosive last notes. They moved smoothly into “Phenomena,” the synthesized opening reminiscent of an anime theme song though it quickly changed as the song turned heavy. Drums and the hum of electronic fiddle charged the music with a boisterous quality. The song was a roller coaster, breaking down into a melancholy air emphasized by blue lights as MAKOTO sang expressively before picking up again with a dramatic upswing.

DEEPER” opened with a hell-raising drum intro that Tero handled with flair. The members jumped forward, MAKOTO’s voice deep and growling as they played the confident and sexy number. Taiji rocked a masterful guitar solo and SHUSE got the crowd pumping their fists, everyone energized by the music. Meanwhile, MAKOTO crouched on the speaker to lean out to the fans and lure them closer with a seductive expression. He ended the song on a long, throaty note as hyper drumming and a big bang closed out the set.

The band then left, but quickly returned for the encore, lead by SHUSE. MAKOTO took the microphone again. “This is our first show in three months!” he said. “I just got back from Thailand today, so I only had about twenty minutes to rehearse. I was nervous, but this is fun. Let’s go!”

The crowd began calls of “Wo-ah” for “MADNESS,” MAKOTO’s high pitched calls matched by Sin’s deep barks as SHUSE played a heavy and distinctive bassline. MAKOTO leaned off the stage as if wanting to jump into the audience or perhaps into the camera, and though the song was full of rock adrenaline and aggression, the melody remained clear and crisp. The band swaggered and strutted, teasing and encouraging the crowd with a passionate display. After a final round of headbanging, MAKOTO ended the song by taking a big swig of water and spitting it onto the crowd, further soaking the already sweating fans.

Judging by the comments scrolling on the video screen after the show finished, fans both in the audience and at home were impressed. While †яi¢к don’t play often, the members’ experience and talent shine and they are definitely an act to catch when the opportunity arises.

Set List

  1. Feelin’ Rose
  2. DREAMS
  3. SCAR
  4. ADAM
  5. Phenomena
  6. DEEPER

Encore

  1. MADNESS

VK Exclusive

There are 27 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Kate Havas first became interested in Japanese fashion and culture in college when manga, anime, and visual kei were just beginning to make their way to America. An art and English major with a love of clothes, Kate signed onto ROKKYUU in order cover fashion and report on Tokyo trends, but was quickly also recruited to the music side of things and has been having an adventure expanding her knowledge of all things VK since. Follow her on twitter at keito_kate!

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

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