Editor’s note: This live report was translated and published with permission from Vkei-Guide. You can read the original event report in Japanese here.
Starwave Records 6 Anniversary Label Event: the Starwave Elections!
The highlight of Starwave Records’ 6th Anniversary Event was the Starwave Elections, in which fans were able to select their favorite Starwave band out of 9 bands. Who took first place? Read more to find out!
Starwave Records presents “Starwave Fest vol.13” at Shinjuku ReNY
Shinjuku ReNY is located a 10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station in a brand new, circular building.
On March 29, Starwave Records held their 6th anniversary label event here.
Upon entrance, fans received a free DVD and a ballot sheet.
The ballot sheet was, of course, for the main event – determining the popularity ranking of Starwave bands.
There was a space for fans to write their personal ranking of each of the 9 bands playing that day (not including guests).
The band who won first place would get a cash prize courtesy of Kiwamu, the president of Starwave Records.
Among all the bands playing that day, who took first place??
The first band up was MAJOLICA, who, in addition to only being on the label for about a year, also disbanded on the day of the event.
Despite the fact that it was early in the day on a weekday, a gathering of fans showed up to support them.
Their set started with Masquerade, then moved to Majo-gari (魔女狩り), and then to Silent Killer. They expressed their style through their unique voice, movements, and red-and-black based costumes.
The instrumentalists in the band were more the type to perform expressively than to go crazy on stage.
Fans leaned over the barriers for oritatami and headbanged for Harushigure (春時雨), the final song before the curtain closed.
It was the kind of live that you wouldn’t think would be their last.
We’re looking forward to their next moves in the music industry.
Vo. Kyohei, Gt. hisana, Gt. Lulu, Ba. Haren, Dr. Nachi
03. Silent Killer
04. 春時雨 (Harushigure)
Calmando Qual was next up, donning their own personal styles and far less elaborate costumes.
Their songs are relaxing, making their set one to lose yourself in watching rather than rocking out.
But fans did some headbanging during Ibitsu (歪) and Hitoshizuku no Eien (一雫の永遠), the second and third songs of their set.
In their signature style, the curtain closed before they even finished performing their final song of the day, Kurai (クライ).
Unfortunately, Calmando Qual will also be disbanding on June 9 at Takadanobaba AREA.
Vo. Hibiki, Gt. Tak, Dr. MAYA, Support Ba. TILL
01. 抜け殻 (Nukegara)
02. 歪 (Ibitsu)
03. 一雫の永遠 (Hitoshizuku no Eien)
Fixer, who just joined the ranks of Starwave Records recently, had a set that got fans moving from start until finish. They really heated up the venue.
The members moved around on stage a lot, approaching the edge almost close enough to touch fans in the first row.
They were dressed in stage costumes that were uniform throughout the band, making it easy to understand their kotekote kei concept. If you want to rock out at a show, we’d recommend going to see Fixer.
Before they joined Starwave, they weren’t a particularly stand-out band by any means. Now you can see how much they’ve grown not only in terms of appearance, but also in terms of performance ability.
The vocalist’s charm and their gyakudai-inducing Ignited was enough to make even fans of other bands smile.
Every member had an equal chance to appeal to the audience, giving them an edge over some of the other bands.
They paused their rocking antics for the final track, which brought their set to a low-key ending.
Their curtain fell to the shouts of fans.
Vo. Jey, Gt. Yuma, Gt. Aika, Dr. Korey, Support Ba. Yutara (ex. Zillapark)
01. 孤慟-into the vortex-
02. Ignited (Jey solo)
03. 深淵 (Shinen)
The fourth band to take the stage that night was Scarlet Valse, a band whose concept is probably the easiest to figure out: aesthetically pleasing.
Their costumes were white-based with each costume personalized for each member, ranging from dresses to more princely outfits.
When vocalist Kakeru saw that fans were holding back a little bit, he successfully urged them to get their energy up even more.
His voice is a unique one that you could picture singing popular anime songs, not just visual kei.
From start to finish, it was easy to see Scarlet Valse’s beautiful world and their synchronization with their fans.
Fans practiced gyakudai and headbanging during the medley, their tossing hair creating a vivid and lasting impression.
The members smiled laughed off the minor technical difficulties they experienced. The fans weren’t worried, either.
At the last moment, fans threw white rose petals onto the stage, a beautiful ending for a beautiful band.
Vo. Kakeru, Gt. You., Gt. Jun, Ba. Takuya, Dr. Hiroki
01. Virginal Blood
02. Medley (Voyage in Chronos~The Name of Valse~揚羽蝶乃夢)
03. Secret Eden
THE SOUND BEE HD
The Starwave Anniversary Event had reached the halfway point. Even more fans were making their way into the venue.
THE SOUND BEE HD made their appearance at this halfway point, bringing with them an atmosphere that hadn’t been felt at the show thus far.
With the crown-like ornament and heavy costume that the vocalist wore, it was hard not to compare it to something religious.
The bassist dressed like something straight out of the 90’s v-kei scene.
Compared to most visual kei songs, THE SOUND BEE HD’s songs had more of a western sound to them.
Their English lyrics were clear and easy to hear. It was easy to imagine them starting as a band overseas.
The audience’s rocked out nonetheless, even headbanging at times. One of their songs in particular—Darkness World—while mellow, left a distinctly dark impression.
Vo. DaISUKE, Gt. Yuu, Ba. YOU, Dr. HIRO
03. Darkness World
Next up was nüe.
Surprisingly, their set made us forget we were at a visual kei event.
They look somewhat like a visual kei band, but interestingly, their instrumentalist’s calm composure and the vocalist’s free use of the stage might have made you think otherwise.
During the song Suicide Honey, the vocalist jumped on the stage platform and attempted to ante up the crowd, but wasn’t successful.
He did, however, perform a successful cartwheel off stage.
He used his MC time following their set to talk about their failed attempts to rile up the crowd. It revealed a lot about his personality, and the audience laughed along.
The lights dimmed for the fourth song, its darker key a contrast to the rest of their set.
The orange lanterns dangling from each member’s mic stand flickered under the blue stage lights like in a stylish bar. The curtain closed quietly.
Vo. Taketoshi Tajima, Gt. Ine, Ba. Tsuyoshi, Dr. Umeda Kazuya
02. 甘い蜜 (Amai Mitsu)
03. スーサイドハニー (Suicide Honey)
04. 深海 (Shinkai)
Next was Tokami, whose set was crazy from start to finish.
They blazed through all of their heavy songs and the fans gave them back just as much energy. Their all-black costumes gave them the opposite of a colorful and cheery act.
Their intense energy made fans have even more fun.
During the last song, Vendetta, fans in the middle moved to the sides of the floor to form a circle and everyone headbanged.
The vocalist jumped off stage and into the crowd, approaching every fan he could until they responded with zeal. Fans jumped around, mixing together naturally and freely.
His energetic antics went even as far as into the lobby. While he made his way back to the stage, another male fan jumped into the middle of the circle and they both headbanged together. Then he successfully returned to the stage and the curtain fell on their fiery act.
Vo. Agato, Gt. K, Gt. Kazuha, Ba. Reno, Dr. 1000 (Sen)
Synk;yet was the 10th band of the night to take the stage.
Despite the length of time that had passed since the beginning of the show, there wasn’t a trace of fatigue on the audience’s faces. In fact, most of them looked even more pumped up.
The vocalist wore a chic outfit while the instrumentalists wore more flashy costumes that reflected their personalities. The contrast was interesting to look at.
Both the band members and audience enjoyed the bright and face-paced songs.
When they approached the edge of the stage, they made everyone smile. Their music brought everyone together as one until the end.
Synk;yet has a one-man show at Ebisu Liquidroom in May. Stop by and experience them live for yourself.
Vo. Liki, Gt. Yuiha, Gt. Rino, Ba. Shiori, Dr. Kouji
02. インナーチャイルド (Inner Child)
03. タルペイアの崖 (Tarpeia no Gari)
The last and final band of the night was Misaruka.
Vocalist rui had been appearing at MC’s throughout the show, so he’d been a part of the show since the beginning.
Though he appeared cool at first, he pointed out individual fans and shouted “I see you, and you, and you!” in an attempt to get the crowd going.
Fans edged closer and closer at his beckoning.
Their costumes were fascinating. Each one looked like it had been taken from a different era or style of visual kei.
Misaruka’s performance not only showcases rui’s wide vocal range, but also the beautiful sound that its instrumentalists give to their music.
When the final song ended, members from every band came onto stage and had a huge jam session. It was a tiny stage for such a large amount of people!
Everyone enjoyed the performance in a different way in this unusual staging. All of them gathered together to represent the label they all shared.
They all relaxed. During the session song “My Dear Rose,” you could see members that were performing music, members that were performing fanservice, and members that took selfies with each other on stage.
Some members jumped into the crowd to mix in with fans and even went as far as performing gyakudai with them. The show had reached its climax.
Rui took the mic and thanked everyone for coming, as well as his label, and with that the curtain closed. It seemed like not only the bands had fun, but the audience had a good time as well.
Vo. rui, Gt. rin, Gt. sawah, Ba. azami, Dr. vetchie
03. –What do you want?
05. My Dear Rose (session)
Starwave Records’ 6 Anniversary Show was a huge success.
It was hard to tear your gaze away from any of the bands performing that day, and the fans didn’t stop participating for even one song. Unfortunately, the election results weren’t announced until the following day.
We look forward to seeing how rui, who took first place, pulls off his VAMPIRE CAFE event.
1st Misakura Rui (Vo.)
2nd THE SOUND BEE HD Yuu (Gt.)
3rd Synk;yet Shiori (Ba.)
photography by Takuya Orita
report by Vkei-Guide