On March 14th 2015, Luna Sea performed the grand finale of their 36-stop national tour, “THE LUNATIC -A Liberated Will-” to a sold-out audience of 12,000 at Osaka-jo Hall. Fans crowded in from all over the country and the world to celebrate this final culmination of Luna Sea’s 25th anniversary tour—a testament to the legend that this band has become.
The sounds of rhythmic clapping could be heard around the hall before the show even began. The crowd’s excitement continued to ring through the air until all the lights went out and the slow, echoing notes of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” faded in with soft, blue lights.
Each member was greeted with shouts and applause as they made their entrances, and then all at once the entire venue exploded with white lights as the first chords of “Anthem of Light” resounded throughout the hall. The uplifting track immediately got everyone jumping out of their seats, hands raised into the air. Ryuichi finished off the opener with a reminder that every fan is a precious member of the band, and asked the crowd to sing along with him as fan-favorite “Dejavu” began. The wild energy continued as Shinya bashed his drums to “JESUS,” and then took a turn into more sultry territory with “Rouge.”
The crowd was further enamored by the slow, dramatic melodies of ballads “Gin no Tsuki,” and “Glowing;” Sugizo then hypnotized the crowd with the sounds of his piercing, haunting electric violin, soon followed by Inoran on acoustic guitar to make a unique and beautiful jam session that kept the audience on the edge of their seats. Shinya entered with dramatic bass drums as the song swelled up to a climax and soft, blue light gave way to a warm, glowing orange, signifying the rising sun giving birth to dawn.
Everyone but Shinya disappeared; all eyes fell to the drummer on his giant platform center stage where he wowed the audience with a haunting, tribal drum solo, steadily building up inertia until finishing in a frenzy of snares and cymbals. With a final bang and a loud “Ha!” Shinya’s drumset exploded with fireworks and the exciting solo came to a dramatic close.
The rest of the band joined Shinya on stage for another crowd-pleaser, “BLUE TRANSPARENCY,” followed by popular ballad “I for you,” which saw lots of fan service from Sugizo and J who spent most of the song at the edges of the stage, right up against the arena seats. In his next MC, Ryuichi expressed that even after 25 long years together, Luna Sea is still evolving. Each time the curtain closes they move toward bigger things, and it’s all thanks to the support from their loyal fans.
“Thoughts” then brought the crowd’s energy back up just in time for J to take the spotlight with his solo. The charismatic bassist soon had everyone in the venue pounding their fists and shouting with him as he displayed his talents. The dynamic chemistry between the members and fans alike shined on for another few songs as huge hits like “TIME IS DEAD,” “ROSIER,” and lastly, “absorb” struck everyone with waves of nostalgia as the main set came to a close.
Almost immediately, shouts of “encore!” echoed throughout the hall, and after a short break each member was soon back on stage again, grinning ear to ear. At this point—at risk of severe wrath from upper management—Ryuichi invited everyone in the audience to take out their phones and take pictures. The crowd gasped, ecstatic that they had been given this rare opportunity to immortalize the night’s memories into a photo of their own. The members then lined up at the front of the stage with the audience in the background to take a commemorative photo themselves. But the real treat would soon follow.
Ryuichi introduced the first song of the encore as something very precious that they had prepared specially for the tour final. The crowd hushed into silence as he whispered the title, “LOVE SONG,” and Sugizo entered on acoustic guitar. The dark hall then lit up as the audience took a time warp back to 1986 when Luna Sea first began their career together. The audience was struck with feelings of nostalgia as images flowed across the huge LCD screen above the stage, progressing over the many incredible years they shared together. But there was also the lingering, bittersweet thought that the final show of their long anniversary tour would soon be coming to an end.
The next track, “Metamorphosis” served as a symbolic transition of old to new as its edgy guitar riffs and punching rhythm section brought the crowd to a slow and steady boil. Shinya’s rapid-fire drumming rounded off the track and launched straight into an explosion of energy as “Tonight” amped up the heat even further.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any hotter, Ryuichi cried out “Last song!” and cued and blast of smoke and silver streamers to shoot out over the audience. The set then sprinted into its final climax with the highlight of the night, “WISH.” The beaming crowd waved their streamers in the air, their unified devotion never once faltering.
Before the event came to a close, Ryuichi took the opportunity to do a final member introduction, starting with himself. As to be expected in Osaka, his short MC focused on none other than everyone’s favorite Osaka street food—takoyaki. His comment received a few giggles from Inoran, who Ryuichi then stated that he really adores in true Osaka dialect, “Meccha suki ya nen!” which triggered a bout of laughter from the crowd.
Ryuichi passed the baton to Sugizo who continued the joke, this time aimed at the audience. “Meccha… (dramatic pause) suki ya nen!” Even more laughter ensued. Inoran then took the spotlight in similar fashion, pausing at first, but then giggling as he couldn’t keep a straight face. J was next, and he took the joke a step further, repeating the same line in that deep, husky voice we know and love. Shinya then stood up on his drum platform and initiated a final call and response with the crowd—“I AM!” – “LUNA SEA!”—which we repeated three times before he finished it off with a giant explosion of drums.
The lights faded for the final encore of the night, “Grace,” as a giant disco ball rose up behind the members, bathing the entire hall in shining silver light. The atmosphere was reminiscent of a starry night, and the air was heavy with emotion as the final notes faded gracefully into silence.
As is Luna Sea’s tradition, they finished the night by asking everyone to hold hands with their neighbors across the aisles and jump one last time together. The audience obliged and Ryuichi led them into the final leap of the tour, ending in a huge round of applause as each member waved their last goodbyes and left the stage.
Unwilling to let the night end, the audience once more sent out unified cries of “encore!” but got a rather different response than they were expecting.
All at once the hall went pitch black as red text flashed over the LCD screen above the stage, announcing “LUNATIC FEST.” The only details revealed were the dates and place—6/27 and 6/28 at Makuhari Messe, but that was enough to get everyone excited for what’s to come.
In all of their 25 years together, over 8 studio albums and dozens of country-wide as well as international tours, Luna Sea has proven to the world that they are not a band to disappoint. As Ryuichi stated early on in the night, with each performance they feel stronger and even more compelled to continue evolving as a band together. And if immediately selling out tours and events is any indication, the fans will be waiting eagerly for announcements about the next big step—LUNATIC FEST.
1. Anthem of Light (2013)
2. Dejavu (1992)
3. JESUS (1993)
4. Rouge (2012)
5. 銀ノ月 (Gin no Tsuki) (2013)
6. Glowing (2013)
7. Violin A.G. Jam
8. BLUE TRANSPARENCY (1991)
9. I for you (1998)
10. Thoughts (2013)
11. TIME IS DEAD (1991)
12. ROSIER (1994)
13. Absorb (2013)
EN-1. LOVE SONG (2000)
EN-2. Metamorphosis (2013)
EN-3. TONIGHT (2000)
EN-4. WISH (1992)
EN-5. Grace (2013)
Tags: Luna Sea