D’ERLANGER is by no means squarely in the field of visual kei, but there are some who will argue until they’re blue in the face that they were one of the founding fathers of the genre.
They certainly didn’t start out that way. D’ERLANGER first began in 1983 with guitarist Cipher and bassist Seela as more of a power metal group than anything akin to what visual kei would later be known for. It wasn’t until vocalist Kyo joined for the release of their first album in 1989 that they switched to a more alternative rock style with flashier looks. The title track of that first album “LA VIE EN ROSE” is indisputably their most famous song and has been covered by numerous bands. The album was sold out and reissued three times even though the band was still indies.
It wasn’t long before they joined the major leagues, though. Their fame skyrocketed. At the peak of their popularity (and, arguably, the start of the rise of visual kei in Japan), D’ERLANGER announced their disbandment on Christmas Eve 1990.
They returned a staggering 17 years later with the release of “Lazzaro” in 2007 and have been going strong ever since. They’ve released a few more albums and have managed to perform overseas successfully–mostly in Asia.
By the time D’ERLANGER was ready to take the Shine Stage, it was hard to pull the crowd away from the Moon Stage. Of course, D’ERLANGER had no problem doing just that. They opened their set with their 1989 track “SADISTIC EMOTION,” throwing the audience back in time. They fast-forwarded to their 2007 revival with “dummy blue,” Kyo taunting the crowd with the shouts and growls of his signature raspy voice. They hopped back again with one of their more famous and upbeat tracks “LULLABY.”
Kyo took a moment to give D’ERLANGER’s only MC of the night. “I wonder how many hundreds – how many thousands of people are here tonight? I only hear about 50 of you!” he told the crowd, goading them into a more satisfactory reaction. If Kyo’s encouragement wasn’t enough, the next surprise was more than enough to put the fans into a frenzy.
INORAN joined the band on guitar for “LA VIE EN ROSE.” The LUNA SEA guitarist took the lead on the twangy guitar solo, and left the stage for D’ERLANGER to close out their set with one of their most recent songs “CRAZY4YOU.” Their short but sweet set was enough to showcase their entire career from past to present and highlight how well even their older tracks have aged.
This article was written in cooperation with artistsounds.asia.