July 7 is a date to note in your Japanese calendars; it’s the holiday called Tanabata. It’s based on a traditional story (which we won’t go into detail here), but in essence, it’s a holiday in which wishes are hung on branches of young bamboo, and lovers, friends, and family hope that two celestial lovers can meet in the night sky. vistlip has transposed this concept onto the relationship between band and fans. While bands like LUNA SEA and A9 have Christmas lives, vistlip has an annual Tanabata live in which fans can be sure they can meet vistlip.
So on July 7, 2018, fans packed into Zepp Tokyo. This year’s Tanabata live was special in that it marked the band’s 11th anniversary. That gave this show the title, “Seventh Eleven.” Haha, that sounds like 7-11, the convenience store! You may be thinking. Yes, that was on purpose. When the lights went down, a remix of “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees (7-11’s theme song in Japan) played in the background. Fans applauded the humorous and creative entrance of the members dressed in their artist photo outfits.
Fireworks set off the mood (literally) as the first song, Jack, began. Fans waved their hands in rhythm. White and yellow lights created a bright mood. Sara provided a heavier contrast to the opening. Fans shouted at vocalist Tomo’s encouragement. Guitarist Yuh and bassist rui danced around the stage barefoot.
Tomo welcomed everyone to the “Seventh Eleven” show and asked everyone to help celebrate the band’s 11th anniversary. Yuh showed off his guitar technique in SINDRA while Umi lent his shouting vocals to the mood. The energy skyrocketed during My Second B-Day. Fans clapped and headbanged, and the band members constantly moved around the stage.
The second MC was more casual. Tomo started off by pointing to the Roman numerals “XI” written on the banner flanking the stage. “This says 11,” he informed the audience, who laughed in response. Yuh broke a nail playing guitar, so he used the MC time to clip his nails. Tomo scolded him for his behavior and changed the subject.
“We’re not using video footage during this show because I wanted it to feel like a real concert,” he explained. “So don’t say ‘I liked the old way better!’” He also thanked the fans that showed up to the show. “Unfortunately, this show isn’t sold out, but there are about 2,000 fans in here. Venue staff told me that it’s becoming rare for one band to draw in that many fans for one show, so thanks.”
“This next song is one I wrote when I was young, so it might seem a little wimpy,” Tomo explained. Now he’s more confident – in both himself and in vistlip’s identity. That confidence attracts love, he claims, and so the band played Yoru to return that love to fans. For Mob Character, Tomo asked fans to make a circle mosh with Umi standing in the middle of the crowd. While Umi made his way back to the stage, fans enjoyed a drum session by Tohya.
Golden streamers showered the audience during Hameln. HEART ch. and GLOSTER IMAGE brought out the band’s heavy side, with Umi once again lending his shouting and screaming vocals to the background. The set closed out with LION HEART.
During the first encore, the band made a number of announcements. One was that vistlip’s character would finally be made into a plushie and sold as band merch. The character doesn’t have a name, so they may accept votes for names. The second announcement was their series of two-man shows with A9 this fall. When fans cheered, Tomo said, “Don’t sound so happy!”
The first encore kicked off with – OZONE and Idea. Then came another MC. Tomo thanked fans once more for making it tonight. He explained that they hold to their promise of having a Tanabata show every year, so it’s easy for fans to plan ahead for it and make sure they can go. He was a bit sad that some fans couldn’t make it, especially with the show being on a Saturday. This was due in part to torrential downpours that hit Western Japan and caused fatal landslides and flooding. Because of this, transport became difficult. He asked fans that were able to make it today to tell their friends in affected areas that today’s show was fun.
That led in to July VIIth [Re:birth]. Tomo talked about how long 11 years felt, and how hard it is to be in the music industry lately. He said the band is doing a lot of thinking about what to do from here on out, and they’re working really hard. He asked for fans’ continued support, and for everyone to join as one in a jump to end the show.
Fans started to trickle out, but the members came back for a surprise second encore. “You’re going home already? We want to keep playing!” Fans ran back in to jump and dance to FIVE BARKIN’ ANIMALS. Aya and Under World made a crazy ending to the set, and so vistlip’s “Seventh Eleven” show came to an end.
3. Hoshi Hitotsu Tomoranai Konna Yoru ni. (星一つ灯らないこんな夜に。)
4. THEATER OF ENVY
7. My Second B-Day.
9. Yoru (夜)
10. REM SLEEP
11. Mob Character
13. Dead Cherry
14. HEART ch.
15. GLOSTER IMAGE
16. LION HEART
17. – OZONE
19. July VIIth [Re:birth] -Encore 2-
20. FIVE BARKIN’ ANIMALS
21. Aya (彩)
22. Under World