Fans of Kaya were shocked in 2014 when, after 8 years of solo activity, the iconic vocalist of Schwarz Stein fame formed a new band: Femme Fatale. This group, made up of VK veterans, came onto the scene swinging and turned heads almost immediately. The band was also an evolution for Kaya himself, who despite now sharing a stage, became better than ever. It was to everyone’s great disappointment then, when the band announced their sudden disbandment at the end of last year. All of their plans for the future would be suspended, save for one final tour, the conclusion of which took place on Friday, January 15th at Shibuya WWW. Entitled “Rendezvous before Metamorphosis,” it represented one last time for Femme Fatale to share their unique sound with the world before going their separate ways.
As the night began, men and women of all ages crowded into the venue. Accounting for the other line of people- those hoping to get same-day tickets to the sold out show – the venue quickly became full to bursting. The hall was tiered so that everyone could get a good view of the show, and for those of us in back, we would be practically at eye level with the band members. Eventually, the sound of violins could be heard all around and the curtains rolled back to reveal the stage. With the fans clapping to the opening instrumental, the band entered slowly, giving time for the fans of each individual member to savor this moment. Each member got a huge round of applause: first support drummer Yamato, then Iori looking very dashing in a long black cape, bassist Toshi in a vest and tie, and Tana with black and pink hair and matching dress. The biggest reaction was saved for vocalist Kaya, who entered in a voluminous black dress with a matching black corset, and a big black flower attached at the hip.
Immediately the fans got stoked for a night of fun. The first song of the night, Freya, was, poetically enough, also the first single from the band. Kaya played the part of the director as he pointed first to Iori, then to Tana, as the two guitarists dueled with equal parts precision and raw emotion. The fans themselves began headbanging almost immediately; there was nobody in the whole venue who was sitting still save for Yamato, whose lightning fast drumming would keep the tension up for hours to come.
“Shibuya! Let’s have fun!” shouted Kaya as Femme Fatale began their next song, Akai Hana. Kaya danced around the stage as if in a trance while both guitarists headbanged with the fans. The spotlight, quite literally, was on bassist Toshi this time. His spiffy attire and cool demeanor was matched by his groovy bass style.
Afterwards, the band paused for a quick MC, and Kaya thanked fans for coming to Femme Fatale’s last show. They then segued into Faust, a very epic and majestic tune very representative of the Femme Fatale sound. The spotlight alternated between Iori and Tana’s equally flawless performances. Tana’s initial shyness allowed his screeching guitar to speak for him.
This energy continued through the band’s set. During their song Digitalis, Iori held his guitar upright as if he were playing a violin, and acted the part of a mad maestro, directing the fan’s movements. Kaya once again showed his vocal prowess, and his impressive range, including some truly delightful screaming. As the song came to a close a light show began behind Toshi and Yamato, making their quick playing seem even more unreal.
The crowd’s screams were deafening until Kaya started his first full MC of the night.
“Thank you all for coming. It’s only been a year and a half but it feels like a really long time. In that time we were able to make over 40 songs. I wish I could play them all for you today.”
The fans responded their willingness to hear all of Femme Fatale’s catalogue.
“Really? Well, I don’t wanna!” Kaya smiled, clearly basking in the love of his fans.
“Give me your voices!” he said, and the band began their next song, the single Kodou. This, as Kaya phrased it, was a “hot song” clearly intended to up the ante even further. The spotlights flashed around the room before settling on Kaya, who, with his hands at his sides sang his heart out, assisted by Tana, who in between guitar solos mimicked Kaya’s hand motions from the left side of the stage.
The explosive aura of the band never lagged for a moment, not even when Kaya left the stage. As the other members stood motionlessly in darkness, Kaya re-emerged carrying a rose. During the song Amai Shisuu, as the song got more and more crazed, Kaya went from sniffing the rose to violently tearing at it. Iori and Tana headbanged in unison as Kaya let out a long scream and the broken flower fell to the floor.
Kaya began the next MC relaying a message from the venue staff. Apparently, the hall was so packed that there were people being forced to wait outside. Kaya directed, cajoled, and ordered around fans until there was enough room for everyone. They announced all of the sales and goods available for the day. Though the last live wasn’t recorded, it seems there will be a photobook including photos from the last show and previous tour pamphlets.
Perhaps having been re-energized after the latest MC, the mood onstage was especially joyous for the band’s next song, Powder. Kaya and Tana danced and clapped to the beat, provided by the steady hand of Yamato. Toshi once again became the focus as Kaya moved to the back of the stage to serenade the bassist, who showed no sign of betraying his cool demeanor. Femme Fatale’s versatility was amply demonstrated by this more poppy number that got the fans dancing. Iori and Toshi stood close together towards the front, like two friends engaged in conversation, and showed off their impressive abilities.
Next, Femme Fatale played an old favorite from Kaya’s solo repertoire, Salome. Here is one song that benefitted from having a full band: Iori’s death vocals were a great complement to Kaya’s powerful singing, and Tana’s picture-perfect solos gave the song even more depth. As Tana and Iori switched places on stage, Kaya took advantage of a pause in the song to give Iori a kiss! Afterwards, as Kaya held his hands out to the adoring fans, Tana, Iori, and Toshi bunched together in the middle, and with their backs turned, had a group jam together with a smiling Yamato. Taking a bow, the band exited the stage, and immediately cries of “encore” rang through the hall.
Their wait was cut by the toll of a bell, triggering applause. Tana sat at the drumset, while Yamato ran to the center, and said “YEAH, LET’S ROCK OUT!!” to which everyone laughed and cheered. Once again Kaya gave the mic to the reticent Toshi, who gave a short speech.
The band made good on the promise for an encore by playing The Fatal Day. Kaya flounced around in his giant dress, and made no effort to hide his glowing smile in between screams and shrieks. They continued with the even heavier Grim Reaper, and both the members and fans gave their all until the last note rang out.
“My MC’s are rather long, aren’t they?” said Kaya. For his final MC of the night, Kaya talked about the formation of the band. At first, Kaya had no intention of forming a band, but he wanted to play specifically with Tana and drummer Chargeee. Aside from being in Kaya’s solo band, they agreed to form a separate band together, and with Iori and Toshi’s support, Femme Fatale was born. Though the member’s future activities are undecided for now, Femme Fatale will always live on through their music!
The final song of the night was Judgement; and for one last time, until the curtain fell, everyone reveled in celebration of a very unique band. Whatever the future may bring for Kaya, Toshi, Iori and Tana, their time together will be remembered by their fans as something truly special.
2. 緋い花 (Akai Hana)
5. 眩く太陽 (Kurumeku Taiyo)
7. 鼓動 (Kodou)
9. L’Oiseau Bleu
10. Perverted Martyr
11. 甘い死臭 (Amai Shisuu)
18. The Fatal Day
19. Grim Reaper