Versailles Philharmonic Quintet Grand Final Chateau de Versailles
Versailles Philharmonic Quintet rocked Shibuya with a thunderous live that closed their 2011-2012 world tour. Shibuya Kokaido in the heart of Tokyo hosted the show, its wide stage and superb acoustics allowing the band to show their full force in almost three hours of music where the band graced the fans with old and new songs filled with rich guitar and bass pieces, fast drums, and dramatic vocals.
The show started with pomp as one by one the members came in to the dramatic “Prelude.” Wasting no time, the band fired up the hall with “MASQUERADE.” The doors to Versailles epic world opened with the intro’s dramatic chorus and the hall embarked on a fast ride through music. “Yokoso! Welcome to Versailles! Bonjour!” A loud “Bonjour!” was the crowd’s reply to the vocalist’s greeting. With the crowd cheering, a stylized “V” appeared on the huge TV screen behind the drums and “Philia” followed in the same heavy and fast fashion. The theatrics grew graver with KAMIJO moving to the beat and exaggerating each movement to emphasize the lyrics before stepping out of character for some light headbanging.
“Judicial Noir” summoned pumping fists, the extremely fast drums and guitars setting the pace for the crowd. As the song built, the venue became one, bending forward in unison to the heavy beat. “Thanatos” brought a darker tinge to the live with its melancholy lyrics and powerful instrumentals. It was a remarkable piece that allowed the bass to shine, MASASHI digging into the bass lines with confidence to produce some haunting sounds that gave depth to the strong ballad.
The mood lightened up through “Libido.” The title itself was a promise of things to come and the crowd wasn’t disappointed. Sensuous dancing between KAMIJO and TERU made the fans delight. Fists rolled in the air for the warmly anticipated new song “Illusion.” Building up and slowing down in a spiral, the song testified the band’s versatility and allowed the hall to appreciate the elaborate instrumental compositions. KAMIJO’s voice shone particularly with this number as it went from sweet to strong with grace.
Two epic haunting ballads followed. If for many bands the slow part of the live can be dreaded, for Versailles it was the exact opposite. Melancholy piano announced “DESTINY – The Lovers –” and the hall went silent. Colorful light roses illuminated the venue for the stunning number. The song started out tentatively with almost shy guitars making their way over KAMIJO’s tear-jerking lament. Gradually, the song became more demanding until the guitars and drums were set free, speeding away in a fierce instrumental momentum. Those who might have thought it couldn’t get more dramatic than that were proved wrong when KAMIJO was left alone on stage for “Love will be born again.” A sympathetic piano accompanied the vocalist, illuminated by two lonesome white lights. KAMIJO’s performance was impressive and not even the English lyrics stood in his way. Every word carried longing and determination, hauntingly embracing the hall. Despite the mournful start, the song brought a ray of hope with it materialized through the bright white lights that shone for the finale.
The remaining band members returned and then it was the vocalist’s turn to exit, giving way to the new instrumental, “Holy Grail – Amoroso.” It was interesting to hear the guitars speak in this sad song, fingers flying over the strings at impressive speed while YUKI struck the drums incessantly with vigor. The instrumental numbers continued through “Threshold,” giving each member a chance to take the spotlight before KAMIJO returned, full of energy, for the next number.
With powerful yells, the front man fired up the crowd for the heavy, “DRY ICE SCREAM.” The venue rang with shouts and KAMIJO set an example, letting his hair fly right and left to the beat between powerful growls. With KAMIJO on his knees headbanging frantically to YUKI’s thunderous drums, HIZAKI took it home with an ardent solo. An electrifying guitar solo opened “Flowery” and the catchy beat got the hall dancing while the band made full use of the stage, twirling and moving around constantly. The fast drums/guitars and sweet vocals made for a powerful combination that eased the transition to the heavy “Glowing Butterfly.” The song ignited the fuse with its deep growls and the crowd showed their appreciation following the hand-choreography.
The wicked solos continued through the yet unreleased new song, “Rhapsody of the Darkness.” Red-clad belly dancers took the stage for the number, moving their hips to the beat and making for an entertaining number. “Vampire” and the classic “The Red Carpet Day” closed the set with full force and drove the fans into a frenzy. The visual impact of the last number was indescribable and showed the band’s amazing stage presence and crowd control, all while delivering imposing instrumentals.
After a characteristic encore demand during which the crowd yelled out “We are Versailles,” the band returned. Colorful flowers in hand, the fans waved their arms slowly for the ballad “Remember Forever.” The tune itself, the lyrics and the plain sight of the fans moving to the beat and singing in one voice made for a powerful combination that could bring you to tears. “Aristocrat’s Symphony” eased the mood and brought out the heavy artillery with fast guitar riffs, strong bass lines and thunderous drums. Versailles bid their farewells, returning shortly after for a final encore.
The next two songs needed no introductions and as one, the crowd moved to the familiar beats, a shower of shinny silver tape adding fire to the grand finale. “Faith & Decision” with its long instrumental movements was followed by the thunderous “The Revenant Choir” that got the hall shouting in unison as they pumped fists to the vigorous drums. The band gave it their all, completely drowned in the tune. With a loud, “We are Versailles!” the show ended and the band thanked the crowd once more for their unconditional support. A collective jump ended the show and testified the close connection between the band and the crowd.
Opening : Prelude
- Judicial Noir
- Illusion (new song)
- DESTINY – The Lovers –
- Love will be born again
- Holy Grail – Amoroso (new song)
- DRY ICE SCREAM
- Glowing Butterfly
- Rhapsody of the Darkness (new song)
- The Red Carpet Day
- Remember Forever
- Aristocrat’s Symphony
- Faith & Decision
There are 52 photos in this visual kei exclusive.