Today, we bring you the finale.
Here’s a band you’ve never heard of with some of the most obscure member names you’ve probably ever heard. But kiss my way was merely a session band – and we say ‘merely’ in the lightest sense. You’re probably more familiar with them than you know. Primarily, considering the Chemical Pictures tie-ins sprinkled into the event, it should be no surprise that Shiratori Yuuichi, also known as Taira Kazuhiro, is also known as Tenten of Chemical Pictures fame. And, it was his birthday.
There was a bit of theatrics when the group took the stage. In coordinated suits, ties, and shutter shades, they entered marching in a row and put on a little show of robot-like choreography. It was short and sweet, though, so the band could launch into their first song.
The first two songs, covers of SiM and KuRt tracks, were expectedly heavy and fit in beautifully with the ongoing theme of loud, hard rock for the evening, with one difference: Yuuichi’s voice was phenomenal. He simply blew the other vocalists out of the water in terms of power and charisma. It was difficult to watch the other members on stage even though they were thrashing and bobbing right along with the music, too. Yuuichi just has too much power and command.
Absolutely reveling in his stage time, he threw a long MC into the middle of their set during which the audience sang happy birthday to him and the birthday-boy venue staff. He spat water at his band mates, danced around, and did nothing less than make a good time of it for everyone.
Largely uncommon for session bands, the next song, “Jisaboke”, had been written fresh just for this live. The song was starkly different from anything heard so far in the entire lineup as it was emotional but not a ballad; mellow but not slow. Simply put, it was shades tamer than the raucous tracks laid out the rest of the live.
It was the performance of “Doubutsu Party”, however, that made this night – and this session – one to remember. Yuuichi paused halfway through the song to separate the crowd right down the middle, half and half, facing each other with a considerable gap between sides. Anyone who has been to a metal show in the West might be familiar with this move, the “wall of death”.
But virtually a split second before the command to have the walls collide, the instrumentalists cut the music, and from the side of the stage a man dressed as the Grim Reaper brought Yuuichi a birthday cake. He was quick to smear it on his band mates’ faces before thanking everyone—and the song continued.
On cue, Yuuichi had the two sides of the crowd run at each other in something resembling a scene from Braveheart, slamming wall into wall. He did it again. And again. At times, he all but dragged in members from other bands had them stand in the center while the walls collided with and around them. After making the frenzied audience crash into one another several times, they concluded the song, and everyone was able to take a little time to breathe.
The encore calls began quickly, however, encouraged by the Grim Reaper as well, and it took very little time for kiss my way to return.
“Pretty Joke” was something to write home about, a number that began deceptively upbeat only to fly into loud, harsh, screaming insanity – with a pretty, melodic chorus. The crowd ate it up and even Death was grooving along at the side of the stage.
When it was all over, finally all over, the band aptly took their time clearing the stage, just as the fans took their time getting in their last-minute merchandise buys and clearing the venue.
1. キリングミー (Killing Me) / SiM
2. さらばバンビ (Saraba Bambi) / KuRt
3. 時差ボケ (Jisaboke)
4. どうぶつパーティー (Doubutsu Party)
En.1. プリティージョーク(Pretty Joke) / hone-kari
This has been your look into the world of visual kei event lives! As you can see, there’s a lot to look forward to and a lot to learn. If you’re ever over in Japan with an evening to kill because none of your favorite bands happen to be playing, it’s worth the time and money to go scope out one of the many, many event lives that happen every night all over Tokyo – and other major cities. You never know what you’ll find.