The 15-stop tour “Umarenaoshi” took Black Gene For the Next Scene around Japan beginning April 29th, largely to commemorate the release of “Uragaeri.” Weeks later, the tour made its only stop in Tokyo for the final on July 11th at 800-capacity Shinjuku ReNY. The high attendance was a good indication of how the band’s popularity is only still growing.
Inside the modern, round-walled venue, LED strips along the upper walls formed screen-like displays on which the letters “BFN” cascaded in red light. Though the curtains opened a little past the planned start time, what was in store surely was worth the wait.
Rame, Toki, and San took the stage all at once to the excitement of the crowd and built tension for Ice to enter last for the conclusion of the SE. They wore new costumes, each member bringing his own style to the very distinctly different new looks. The entrance was not dragged out — they jumped right in to “Uragaeri.” The lead track off the newest single of the same name, Ice’s guttural and growled vocals threw the venue right into head banging. San’s arguably short solo gave his side of the venue a bit of a break: hands could be seen raised to saku — a sign of praise — all along the right side of the venue.
Rame gave us almost jazzy bass lines with “Kokuen no Uneri, Doro ni Kaeri, Subete wo Hai ni.” He wore his bass guitar stylishly lower than the hem of his lolita-like dress, low enough that he played largely over the base of the neck rather than along the body. Like a gunshot blast “Piglect” began next, Ice riling the crowd into shouting “Hey! Hey! Hey!” back at him on cue. The audience was only given a short break during an MC to welcome them to the tour final before it was head first back into the set.
Notably during the earlier half of the set, Ice shone in the way he projected his powerful singing voice to the back wall. Beloved support drummer higiri stole his spotlight for just a moment during “Yojigen Mushroom,” as he took to playing one-handed so he could lead the fans in a salute.
The intensity continued on through impressively heavy songs, until a change of pace for stand-out song “Gekkou no Yoru, Tokoshie ni Yami.” Despite containing Ice’s signature growling, this track has a slower tempo and strong melodies which captivated the audience. Ice held an impressively long note. San provided crisp backing screams, and Toki’s showy guitar lines shifted the focus to his side of the stage on several occasions.
San’s ’80s-style riffs gave us a change of pace going in to “Light is there” and led into an encouraging MC. Ice urged the crowd to rock out without being self conscious. “Lemme hear even more of your voice! Are you ready?” he called out to a responsive crowd.
“Grow Test Kraken” brought out moshing in the audience with a quick beat and an oddly upbeat chorus compared to the rest of the song. Toki’s solo even cranked up the tempo and suddenly thundering double bass kicked in. While Rame and Toki spent part of the song playfully spinning in circles together, San took to hopping in circles alone on his side of the stage. This kind of high energy continued up through the “last” song of the set: “Tenkyou no RobEr.” Toki and San (and sometimes Rame) ran back and forth across the stage to lead massive migrations of sideways moshing. By the end of the song, Ice had lost his jacket and was performing unabashedly bare-chested as he is generally known for.
Of course, this couldn’t really be the end. There were no cries for encore, because a projector screen was lowering in front of the curtain before anyone could react to the empty stage. With this came a PV preview of “<Gyakumanji yori, Ai wo Komete>” as well as tour dates — with a final at TSUTAYA O-EAST, another large venue, that blew the crowd’s minds.
When the band reentered, it was to treat everyone to the first live performance of “<Gyakumanji yori, Ai wo Komete>,” featuring an uncharacteristically melodic chorus and heavy breakdowns. But that wasn’t all: a B-side from the new single, “SHOOTING STAR,” was next on the list with equally melodic parts. We saw particular enthusiasm from San during the performance in his constant swaying and grooving, even when the others were still.
“Namida-kHz” and “Fear Dance” were the other real highlights of the encore. For the former, the members played with high energy, especially Toki and San who hopped around with high energy and eventually sneaked up behind Ice on his platform to snake an arm each around his waist and playfully startle him. For the latter song, nearly half the venue’s worth of fans piled against each other at the front of the stage while the members leaned over into them to pull more and more people in. higiri lead the crowd in clapping when they weren’t crushed up against each other.
This time when the curtains were drawn, the adrenaline-pumped audience began calling them back by chanting “BFN!” They returned dutifully to play one final song, half out of their costumes and instead in band t-shirts. The techno-style intro cued “CHANGE TO CHANCE” and brought out the towels for twirling. San spent part of the song between the stage and the rail closer to the crowd. At center stage, Ice put out strong, synthesized vocals.
Though the song was quite an upbeat choice for the closing track of a brutally heavy set, it seemed to leave everyone in a good mood, members included.
Black Gene’s “next scene” will follow the September 2nd release of their new single in three types, with the nationwide autumn tour “Gyakumanji Kaihou System” beginning September 12th. The one-man tour will span 16 shows and wrap up at TSUTAYA O-EAST on November 1st.
01. 裏返り (Uragaeri)
02. 黒煙のうねり 、泥に孵り 、全てを灰に (Kokuen no Uneri, Doro ni Kaeri, Subete wo Hai ni)
04. シニカルワー悪 (Cynical Work)
05. D.D.D ~Dead.Devil.Dancing~
06. 四次元マッシュルーム (Yojigen Mushroom)
07. 王家に潜むモンスターパーティー (Ouke ni Hisomu Monster Party)
08. se ~月光の夜、常しえに闇 (Gekkou no Yoru, Tokoshie ni Yami)
09. Light is there
10. グロウ・テスト・クラーケン (Grow Test Kraken)
11. 廃憶のdance (Haioku no dance)
12. 闇夜に咲く華 (Yamiyo ni Saku Hana)
13. 癲狂のRobEr (Tenkyou no RobEr)
En1.1. ≪逆卍より、愛をこめて≫ (<Gyakumanji yori, Ai wo Komete>)
En1.2. SHOOTING STAR
En1.3. リミットオーバー (Limit Over)
En1.4. midnight coaster
En1.5. 涙-kHz (Namida-kHz)
En1.6. Fear Dance
En2.1. CHANCE TO CHANCE
This live report was written in cooperation with artistsounds.asia.