“Today is a day of celebration for LUNA SEA, but also a new beginning.” Ryuichi summed up the momentous occasion as LUNA SEA celebrated its 25th anniversary at Yoyogi National Gymnasium on May 29th. The concert, which sold out its 10,000-plus seats in a single day, saw fans of all demographics teeming around the venue in band t-shirts, ‘90s style visual duds, and even cosplay. Just approaching the area around the stadium was not unlike taking a walk back twenty years, with spirits high for the occasion. Needless to say, LUNA SEA and its fans celebrated through the evening in style.
In the venue, countless congratulatory bouquets from other industry members lined the entryway, and foreign bands popular around the time of LUNA SEA’s debut, such as AC/DC, streamed through the speakers. Though the concert got off to a late start – 7:30 instead of 7:00 – fans seemed not the slightest disappointed for the opening piece.
Before the members came out and before any live music was heard attendees were treated to a slideshow. As the years ticked by, beginning of course with 1989, images of LUNA SEA’s iconic looks appeared on two enormous monitor screens hanging over either side of the vast stage. After the image of LUNA SEA’s final performance in 2000, the numbers began to tick by without any images at all, which drew tickled laughter from the crowd. Ryuichi later fondly mentioned that this period was a “long break that was only supposed to be a short one.” Again in 2007 we saw a glimpse of the band, only for more blank years to run by until 2011. And when 2014 dawned, applause erupted in the venue, the overhead stage lights swept upwards in brilliant beams, and the jazzy SE beckoned the rock legends on stage.
Members of the band appeared in impeccable attire. Sugizo’s all-black getup juxtaposed Inoran’s dress shirt and vest combination, fitting for the man Ryuichi described during one emcee as “the man most perhaps most suited in the universe to white shirts.” J’s leather jacket gave him a youthful look bolstered by energetically bouncing with his bass lines, and Ryuichi and Shinya were the icing on the cake with their moderately ‘loud’ stylized suits serving as modern adaptations of an older – but not forgotten – age of visual kei.
The opening number was “Anthem of Light,” which also incidentally graces the first track on the band’s 2013 album A WILL. It was perhaps a symbolic opening both for celebration and for the next chapter of the band’s story, as members swung straight into a beautifully-arranged set. New and old songs were shuffled neatly together for a smooth and logical flow, with slower songs clustered near the middle of the set list like a cool-down period between more invigorating titles.
“Rouge” was a standout of the evening, suitably played on a stage washed in scarlet light. Its psychedelic guitar riffs gave away Sugizo as the composer, the song’s sound itself working as something of a bridge between the band’s and the lead guitarist’s solo works. Shortly thereafter, we travelled back in time for “gravity” to sweep chills over the crowd. The guitars sang in chorus alongside Ryuichi’s beautiful crooning “zutto” and froze the venue in the moment.
Further classics studded the set and led in to an energetic drum solo during which Shinya took pleasure in drawing shouts of his name from the audience, which was more than eager to oblige. Before long J joined the spectacle for a rhythm section duet and then launched the whole band back into swing with “Dejavu,” one of LUNA SEA’s most well-known songs. Fans were so excited that many even began head banging along with the heavier sections.
The remainder of the set list consisted almost entirely of tracks from before the band’s extended break in 2000. “STORM,” “TIME IS DEAD,” and “ROSIER” closed out the set with intensity, fervor, and effortless veteran showmanship.
The final song of the night was played by itself as the only piece of a second encore: “MOTHER.” The ballad brought the mood of the concert down into a calm; J’s acoustic guitar and Sugizo’s violin crooned sad melodies that resonated deep. Soft applause overcame the arena and during a final MC. “Wait for us around the country,” Ryuichi spoke of the nationwide anniversary tour, “for a tour where you’ll feel not the LUNA SEA that’s existed until now, but a new LUNA SEA.”
01. Anthem Of Light (2013)
02. TONIGHT (2000)
03. DESIRE (1995)
04. TRUE BLUE (1994)
05. Rouge (2012)
06. 乱 (Ran) (2013)
07. gravity (2000)
08. Glowing (2013)
09. Providence (1993)
10. MOON (1992)
-Bass solo/Drum duet-
11. Déjàvu (1992)
12. I for You (1998)
13. Metamorphosis (2013)
14. The End Of The Dream (2012)
15. STORM (1998)
16. TIME IS DEAD (1991)
17. ROSIER (1994)
En1-1. Thoughts (2013)
En1-2. IN MY DREAM (WITH SHIVER) (1993)
En1-3. BELIEVE (1993)
En1-4. WISH (1992)
En2-1. MOTHER (1994)