Mix Speaker’s,Inc. Summer Pandemonium “MSI & 2 Guest Vocalists”

Live Report

by Chika Yoshizawa, Mio Nagasaki, posted September 17, 2014

Mix Speaker’s, Inc. have been traveling across the country with two guest vocalists, ANGEL-TAKA of UCHUSENTAI:NOIZ and Baku (ex-Hana Shounen Buddies) since YUKI’s departure from the band. The finale of this special tour was held at Shibuya WWW on August 10. The venue was packed out with fans of MSI as well as fans of ANGEL-TAKA and Baku despite a typhoon that raged that day.

A gentle harp melody began as if revealing a door to a dream world. Soon, this gentle music became a Disney-like, dreamy tune for the members to enter to. The five entered in a line with guest vocalist ANGEL-TAKA wearing seek’s costume with a sunflower in his mouth, prompting big cheers and laughter from the floor. The live started with “ONE STAR,” all of the members singing and dancing without their instruments. The crowd warmed up with the dance music, waving special MSI penlights that shone in the darkness. ANGEL-TAKA took to the stage immediately, playing a conspicuous part among the members as he swung his hips voluptuously in his very own way.

“Hey, Tokyo! Let’s get started!” “Death Parade” followed after MIKI had riled the crowd a bit. The red lights added intensity to the music. Guitarist AYA, who ordinarily wears a dress, moved around freely thanks to his boyish costume while the two vocalists led the crowd in a dance with small MSI tambourines.

Following this, the fans responded to the members for the call & response time in the energetic and cute “Yuu Waku Sei Rhythm.”

“Good evening! It’s been a long time!” MIKI spoke up first.

ANGEL-TAKA followed with, “It is the final show of the tour today. Thank you for the wonderful memories of the tour!” He began speaking in a serious tone yet became more lighthearted after MIKI said, laughing at ANGEL-TAKA’s costume, “You are making a complete ass of yourself today as well.”

The guest vocalist answered, “I am in completely normal operation today. I really like this costume. This is perfect for rockers because of the breathable material. Cheers to the miracle that we could meet today.” The laughter at his straight-faced pick-up line was loud throughout the floor. “This group consists of six creative people who came from each house to protect the peace in Tokyo! And now, we have come to Shibuya WWW tonight! We are Mix Speaker’s, Inc.,” he cried, amusingly changing the slogan for UCHUSENTAI:NOIZ to one that fit Mix Speaker’s, Inc.

With the light mood in full swing, the music resumed with “Sentimental Drop Kick” which started with cymbals and finely played guitar from keiji while seek beat the bass rhythm, jumped to the pop-fed song. Then, arcade game sound penetrated the venue along with intense strobe lights for “YOU♪Ai♪Message;” the five front members gathering during the guitar solo.

ANGEL-TAKA left the stage at this point as it was time for MIKI’s solo section came. A heavy sound filled the space in “Secret No,5,” and S created a quick rhythm. Despite the hard aspect of the music, MIKI sang in a cuter voice than usual, sporting a pair of glasses. Although “A devilish teacher MIKI Voice” was dark and suitable for the black-loving MIKI, the number also had a cute side peculiar to MSI. seek changed from picking to plucking, taking the rhythm in with his whole body as MIKI sang with his all strength, mixing groans and using the mic stand as a prop.

He joined in the choreography with the audience in “THIRTEEN.” The song was an energetic number good for headbanging and jumping. “No,5 COASTER” then started with a quick rhythm and the crowd waved their hands to the catchy and melodious chorus as AYA pranced around like a mischievous boy throughout his guitar play.

seek took the mic. “We are having fun! Thank you very much. We had a nationwide tour with these guests and now we are accustomed to it. We found that ANGEL-TAKA should do things his own way. If so, then we are happy and ANGEL-TAKA is happy as well. That is the best way. But actually, I think this is our first tour where we laughed so much. Isn’t it?”

“It’s ANGEL-TAKA’s fault, isn’t it?” MIKI replied. “His ability to make the mood is so amazing! But I don’t think we can learn from him.”

The bright, laughing mood was interrupted by a mysterious, dark-voiced seek making an announcement, “Welcome to Urameshi Yashiki.” Baku, wearing one of MIKI’s costumes, came onstage and the pair led the audience in swinging Japanese paper fans to the rhythmic intro of “Urameshi Yashiki.” Baku fit into the MSI groove with no sense of discomfort and harmonized well with MIKI. He even ran over to hug seek. The band’s well-acquitted Sailor Moon cover song, “Moonlight Densetsu” then followed with technical drumming standing out after the vocalists struck poses. Baku’s style and hair were quite similar to that of MIKI and they appeared like twins in the last chorus, singing as they stood face to face, enjoining in clear harmonies.

Baku was introduced as the second guest vocalist, to which seek said shyly, “I was so happy that you hugged me tightly.”

Baku happily informed the audience, “I hugged seek after receiving everyone’s power!” Baku clearly fit in well with MSI

The vocalists had prepared toy guns for “Space Hunter” in which heavy guitars overlapped with the quick rhythm and vocals stood, crooning the extending melody. keiji strummed his guitar on the platform for “Pandora,” looking toward heaven in this number, MIKI sang in falsetto for the harmony as Baku sang the main melody, their vocals mixing as one before Baku ran to hug keiji from behind. The last song of main set, “SCREAM go AROUND,” began with S’ powerful drumming. The twin guitarists came together in the center during the bridge and both held up their guitars in unison for some theatrics. The fans were content moshing and jumping until the end of the set.

The five original members who came back to the stage responding to the encore call talked about their memories of the tour and their respective feelings about it. S and keiji revealed their next goals: a barbecue for S and climbing Mt. Fuji for keiji, even though neither of them likes outdoor activities much. MIKI was inspired and tried to ask AYA and seek to do something together. Various ideas came out but AYA suggested that they go surfing in the end, and joked to seek, “You should go surfing wearing your octopus!”

The first encore song was the well-known “MONSTIME.” MIKI sang both parts by himself although it wasn’t long before the guest vocalists joined to support him. The stage became chaotic with seven members as ANGEL-TAKA tried to play AYA’s guitar and seek kissed Baku.

While the two guests expressed their gratitude, the MSI members stood calmly at their different positions until MIKI suddenly announced, “There is a band called ‘S with Mix Speaker’s, Inc.’ It appears when there is a member whose birthday is coming up…” Baku was kicked off the stage to stand down in front where he could see the performance well. “Happy Birthday” began with an echoing guitar solo from seek and S sang the vocal line, pointing to Baku. keiji supported the deep sound via seek’s bass and AYA controlled the rhythm on drums from a fast rock version of the song to a slow and gentle version. Baku returned to the stage after the song ended and MIKI handed him a birthday cake, teasing, “You are almost crying, aren’t you?” Baku revealed that his hands and legs were trembling, proving that it was a successful surprise.

The last number was the popular, “Shiny tale” which Baku had wanted to sing. The guests sandwiched MIKI as tour concluded with the touching number. All seven lined up, raised their hands, and bowed for the finish.

It was clear that Mix speaker’s, Inc.’s trial of a guest-vocalist tour was successful. The various tools prepared by both band and fans added, as ever, a unique sense of enjoyment and afforded the crow a sense of achievement for following along.  There is no doubt that the band’s continued activities will always provide high entertainment, and Baku said it best with his final words, “They look their best smiling!”

Set list

  1. ONE STAR
  2. Death Parade
  3. Yuu Waku Sei Rhythm
  4. Sentimental Drop Kick
  5. YOU♪Ai♪Message
  6. Secret No,5
  7. A devilish teacher MIKI Voice
  8. THIRTEEN
  9. No,5 COASTER
  10. Urameshi Yashiki
  11. Moonlight Densetsu
  12. Space Hunter
  13. Pandora
  14. SCREAM go AROUND

Encore

  1. MONSTIME
  2. Shiny tale

VK Exclusive

There are 64 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Chika has been interested in visual kei music since VK bands first began holding free lives the Hokoten area in Harajuku. She was too young to go watch them back then in the early 90s, but the scenes on TV caught her eye. Since then, she has loved the passion of VK music and, of course, music in general. She majored in English literature in Japan and learned to speak English in the UK. After graduating from university, she has worked for both American and Japanese companies in IT and as a translator and continues various translations today.

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

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