Correction 09-30-2014 09:40 EDT: We mistakenly reported that the Kodoku no Kakera single was sold out, when in fact it was only the souvenir “Kodoku no Kakera” towel that is out of stock. Please be aware that the actual single is in fact still available for purchase through various retailers. We apologize for any confusion this has caused.
LOST ASH SUMMER PARTY 2014: LIVE
Shibuya Rex – August 3rd, 2014
As the curtains rose and the lights dropped, the SE music began to flow, and immediately hundreds of fists pounded the air in rhythm, many lit by whimsical flashing LED rings. Throughout the evening, the occasional silence-piercing scream or guttural growl created a stark juxtaposition against the traditional and demure silhouettes of yukata and hair decorations.
Within literally seconds of ascending the stage, the four members of LOST ASH launched into the thematically appropriate “SUMMER,” during which the audience waved LOST ASH uchiwa – some even waving multiple fans in each hand -, creating a soothing breeze in tune with the beat. From that point on, fans diligently followed the prescribed furitsuke, pounding, jumping, and moshing in unison when the notes called for it. The layers of “SUMMER”‘s harmony seemed to reflect the layers of a summertime yukata, and the cheerful synthesized melody appropriately evoked that giddy feeling of rushing to soak up all the sun on the first day of summer vacation. Given the theme of the live, it was absolutely the perfect starting point.
The futuristic-funk of “ROYAL ORDER,” introduced and accented by a jazzy sax, brought on a hell of a light show, in a small way mimicking the fireworks every prefecture in Japan puts on once a year, as fans tossed, waved, and spun their towels together with the jump, sway, and flourish of the song. There was a sudden shift in mood after the final towel toss as the band transitioned into the sorrowful “Remain,” which begins with something of a diluted Latin ballad feel blended in a classic rock ballad, with sweet classical strings and a romantic piano on the backing track. Vocalist Daiki demonstrated his reach as he ascended the peaks of his modal register, his voice remaining rich and full until he transitioned into a soft – neither shrill nor fragile – falsetto, leading into guitarist Show‘s solo, pulling the song back to LOST ASH’s heavier rock roots.
After drummer Dye‘s crescendo, Daiki grabbed the opportunity to quickly thank the audience for joining in their summer festival. “The truth is this is the event we were most looking forward to this summer. We want to have a blast together to the end – to the very end! From beginning to end, we’re gonna blast off!” implored Daiki, at which point he got distracted by how cute he thought the members of the audience looked – even the boys, he added as a quick after thought, making sure nobody felt left out.
Before moving on to the next song, Daiki had a request for the audience: grab hold of your neighbor’s hand and bring your hands up together. He was quite stern about this request, even lightly scolding fans for being timid, as it turned out to be vital to the choreography of the upcoming song, “KEEP ON,” which began with a pizzicato electronic back beat, a soaring guitar, and a pounding bassline. The string-heavy arrangement persisted through the breakdown, when Show and bassist Sai had a fierce face-off where the latter finally had a chance to showcase his skills.
When Daiki had entreated fans to keep their energy up, they took the request to heart, and even those shy fans who were hesitant to engage their neighbors quickly adapted to the new choreography once the beat took hold.
With hardly time for another breath, LOST ASH launched into “ENDLESS LOVE,” their take on D-SHADE’s original hit, which they had covered in 2011 for the first CRUSH! -90’s V-Rock best hit cover songs- omnibus. Just as D-SHADE’s, it’s a powerful but upbeat tune that deceptively begins as if a ballad, then abruptly transitions into a fast-paced blend of alternative and pop metal. What LOST ASH brings to the mix is a shock of electronic synthesizers that tips this turn-of-the-millenium border guard firmly into the 21st century. Show never misses a note in the drop-tuned solo, demonstrating once again that LOST ASH is not just another studio band.
Next came “twilight,” another ballad, but one that got off to an awkward start as the audience did not initially follow Daiki’s lead – a fact he visibly observed but casually shrugged off, never allowing it to break his rhythm. Once again, Show played such a clear and consistent solo that it was almost robotic, with nary a slip. During the subsequent bridge, the fans and Daiki reached for each other as if in desperate longing, “koishisugite” – “I miss you too much.”
“ID” brought out the most spirited reaction from the audience, who began chattering excitedly as early as the first few notes of the intro. Fans jumped with such intensity and frequency that the very floor and walls of the venue shook, and as fans launched over the retaining bar towards the stage, Daiki reached out and pulled them closer. As the song progressed, some fans towards the back seemed to lose the beat and jumped out of sync with the rest, but rather than discordance, it created the impression of a wave, once again bringing the feeling of summer to the forefront.
“Are you all having fun?” called Daiki. “The first half is over. It’s stoppage time – not stoppage time, halftime. Halftime! I’m not tired yet! I’ve got more!” as he gasped for air. He asked fans to keep going with all their strength, as slowly he regained his.
He turned to the rest of LOST ASH. “How’s it going, members?”
Daiki then, in his own devilishly designed oni-patterned yukata, asked Show how he felt playing dressed as they were.
Show responded that “I was worried about what would happen if I spread my legs, but I guess it’s fine, even if you can see…” to which Daiki responded, “I always wear a bathing suit underneath.”
“You can probably see. What color am I wearing?” asked Show cheekily, and Daiki bent down as if to confirm but decided it was better to do it later.
“I’m going to do my best to reveal it.”
“What? The color, in these lights – I don’t know, maybe rainbow. Not black?”
“They’re riding up though.”
“Are you wearing a thong?”
“It’s not that. I bought these 4 years ago, so they’ve kind of shrunk.”
(Dye made a play at a rimshot as the audience cheered.)
Daiki moved on to Sai.
“Sai, what color are you wearing?”
“What do you mean, of course they’re grey.”
“Because we’re LOST ASH, right?” The pun did not go unappreciated. “How has the live been?”
“It’s been fun!”
“Is it hard to move?”
“Well. To a degree, yeah.”
“But it’s refreshing, right?”
“Yeah, it’s refreshing around the thighs. I want the heat from this live to reach the fans watching the live stream, too.”
At which point, Daiki took over and asked the audience for help getting the power of the live across to even the fans watching the JAPAN VISUAL.TV livestream at home, in a classic game of call and response that got his own voice to start cracking. And althou
gh the fans all put in 100% of their energy, Daiki climbed onto a small platform and chided them, saying it was no good at all and reprimanding them – “stop using your yukata as an excuse, we’re all wearing yukata!” – before starting the second half of the performance with their newly released single, “MESSAGE“.
The crowd and band both seemed recharged after the MC – and by Daiki’s motivation – and turned it up to 11 throughout the whole song, which nostalgically recalls a summer chasing dreams. Halfway through, Daiki pulled his yukata halfway off to reveal his chest, a habit he adopted for the rest of the night, which rallied the fans into a frenzy and became a talking point on the ‘net in the following days.
Next up came “MASK,” with that sexy, burlesque-like sound reminiscent of Janne Da Arc’s classic “BLACK JACK.” And yet despite the generally sensual feel of the song, as Daiki made love to the mic stand, Show, Sai, and Dye still managed to incorporate one of the faster, heavier, more metal breakdowns of the night, bringing attention once more to LOST ASH’s self-described charm point: their arrangement. The song ended with a flourish by Show, and promptly moved on to “EGOIST,” a punky, uptempo song released as a bonus track on the May 2013 album THE REAL, that plays hard and low on Sai’s bass and features Daiki’s scream more prominently than any other, with a chorus that tells fans to “BE MORE SELFISH.”
The last song of the proper set, “Deadly444,” so called as the song itself is 4:44, pumped the crowd up as much as the very first, getting fans ready for the inevitable encore as Daiki towered over them and let out his raspy scream, “Get away from the dark right now!”
The moment the band departed the stage and the lights went down, the fans already began chanting “one more song!”, slowing down and petering out once they noticed the projection screen descend and a video begin to play.
As the video, which was also given as a bonus to all fans wearing yukata, began, the four members of LOST ASH stood outdoors at night, the sound of cicadas almost drowning out their introduction. Dye, in deadpan, said “there is no encore,” and walked off screen but returned as Daiki began to explain how they wanted to make even the intermissions fun for the fans. The video itself went on to show Daiki as the challenger in a “pin the tail on the donkey” type game called suikawari (lit. “watermelon splitting”). The point of the game was for a blindfolded and dizzy Daiki to split a watermelon with an umbrella, with Show’s help as the navigator.
Astoundingly, not only did Daiki split the melon in the first attempt, he split it nearly perfectly in half, although considering his blindfold was no more than a plastic bag, it’s suspect just how blind he was. Regardless, the whole band was able to enjoy a delicious summertime fruit in their hometown due to Daiki’s efforts. And while Daiki, Show, and Sai are all a bit more reserved, Dye dove face first into his portion.
When the screen and curtain rose, Daiki and Show stood on stage and immediately began performing the first encore song, “DEEP XXXX,” following which Dye took his place at the drum set, and Sai emerged on stage, singing and holding a cake decorated with Show’s own face to celebrate his recently passed July 23rd birthday. When expressing his thanks to the audience, ever the professional, he remarked that he’s been spending more time focusing on guitar, and he wants fans to look forward to the upcoming fruits of his labor with Sai. While looking for what to do with the cake, Dye started asking Show how he feels about comedian Ken Shimura, leading to some confusion (but possibly a reference to Ken Shimura’s old “cutting the wedding cake” sketch).
Daiki then, after thanking the audience for calling for an encore, bragged a bit about his performance in the suikawari video. “You saw me go thwack. You saw it, right? I couldn’t see it because I was blindfolded.” But in some last minute humility, he did thank Show for his good navigation. The two playfully continued brushing off their own contributions while getting closer and closer until… Daiki stepped back and said “Nah, I’m not gonna,” and the tense audience once again erupted in laughter.
Sai took this chance to inform the audience that, on the DVD gift, in addition to the suikawari clip, there would be another summer event movie they hadn’t yet seen, and Show really worked his body for it, so they should look forward to it. After some more playful banter, Daiki asked Sai for his impressions of this live, to which he replied “I’d like to do it again.”
“From the very beginning?”
“From Sai’s Kitchen,” he admitted somewhat dejectedly, “I’d like to at least include something people think is delicious, like a Neapolitan flavor.”
Daiki returned to Show and asked if he’d had his fill of summer, to which he replied, “For me, summer just started today. Performing live like this.” Daiki teased that’d they had appeared together in an acoustic live the day before, but Show admitted, “It’s not the same,” and Daiki agreed.
“It’s a completely different landscape,” opined Daiki. “We sat in chairs on stage… I kind of tensed up, got really nervous.”
“It was a good experience,” admitted Show. “We’ve been playing together, just the two of us, a lot lately, haven’t we?”
The conversation turned to Sai, who said he wanted to join in, too.
Some brief ribbing about bathing suits ensued and as accompanied by a promise they’d make an appearance next time – next year – although Show revealed his guitar would block most of his. Daiki moved on to Dye and apologized for neglecting him so far as he squeezed in, uninvited, behind the drum kit, remarking how narrow the space was. When Daiki tapped a cymbal, Dye politely told him not to mess around with his kit lest he mess something up.
“You’ll break it.”
“Ah, so this is how it looks from here. So what are your thoughts on today’s oneman?”
Continuing from his previous theme of obsession with the yukata factor, Dye replied, “I didn’t think there’d be so many in yukata. I’m really glad, of course. Like, ‘This can happen just by my making a request.’ It feels good.”
“Like we’ve got good, understanding fans.”
“Yeah. Wait, what? I didn’t catch that.”
“Even when we’re this close? I said “like we’ve got good, understanding fans.””
“Oh yeah, yeah. Exactly.”
Daiki then took a moment to remind the audience of LOST ASH’s upcoming monthly consecutive free oneman lives, starting in September.
Dye expanded, “LOST ASH has added so many songs to our repertoire lately that we can’t play them all in one night. So if we do a series of consecutive onemans, you have a chance to hear the rest of our songs. I’m really looking forward to that, and maybe there will be people who didn’t know “oh they have these kind of songs, too.” Like tonight’s “ENDLESS LOVE.” Oh wait that’s not our song, haha. Sorry.”
“We want you to know the real LOST ASH.”
“Exactly, that’s why the title is “GET TO KNOW [LOST ASH].”
Show then asked if it was okay for him to speak seriously for a moment, too. “Even now, having toured like this, we’ve had some fans say it’s their first time seeing us, and we want to reach out to more people like that. Well, I want them to first listen to our music and come to our lives, so I was thinking of an event that would let them do that. And of course I want people who already know us to come out, too. Even if you do know us, it’ll be fun all the same.”
Daiki took control of the mic one more time to wrap up the MC in a sincere and heartfelt way. “Well, it’s not over yet, but I’ve already had such a blast. From the moment we climbed on stage, from the moment we played “SUMMER”…” he stuttered trying to find the right words.
“My heart has been pounding. Yesterday’s acoustic live with Show, I thought it was so difficult. An arrangement of just singing and guitar, it’s a different genre completely and I was worried, but it was a good learning experience. I started to think we should take our life experiences and create even better songs. So from now on, I think I want to turn our level up. I want you to come out to see our new turned up LOST ASH, so starting next month, please come have fun at our three consecutive lives in September, October, and November.
“Well, looking back on the first half of the year, we took part in a lot of event tours, and we visited various places we’d never been, and in the end, lives are something we all share. Screaming “Raa! Raa!” with all your hearts, it’s like… Kind of like, a bond. I don’t want to make this too embarrassing, but it feels like we’re strongly connected, heart-to-heart. Like we’re getting closer. Maybe it’s just my own view, but from now on, I really want all of us here to feel like good friends, to understand each other, to see each other as important and support each other. Always, let’s have fun together!
“Hm, I guess I’ve spoken too seriously for too long. Everybody, can you keep going? Oi, can you keep going?! CAN YOU KEEP GOING?! Let’s get pumped for the encore! Let’s make this a night to remember to the very end! Gimme a break!”
Nearly four hours into the event, LOST ASH had yet to miss a beat, launching into hard rock “Gimme a break!,” which caused a frenzy in the audience, transforming them into alternating pistons and then a whirlpool of human energy. “Gimme a break!” was Sai’s chance to bask in the spotlight again, with another twangy, percussive solo.
Next up was the upbeat and up-tempo “REALIZE,” followed by “Avalanche,” the high energy, digital zenith upon which the live was meant to end.
“We are all one!”
The four members exited the stage, tossing their water bottles and picks into the crowd, Show sticking around to distribute high-fives, as Daiki finished off a farewell message, “Thank you, everybody! It was the best summer!” and the house lights came on.
Completely drained of all energy, some fans half-heartedly called for “one more song,” but were resigned to the fact that the show was over. They began shuffling their way towards the merchandise table and the exit until, suddenly, the lights went out once more and the curtain snapped up.
LOST ASH had returned for a second, unplanned encore to finish the live on the note where it had begun: a final rendition of “SUMMER.” The same fans who, a moment ago, seemed relieved to have a rest, were now re-energized, running on fumes but gunning it nonetheless.
Perhaps LOST ASH couldn’t drag themselves away from the stage because, as the lyrics of “SUMMER” say, “Watching the fireworks together, you in your yukata, I fell in love all over again. I can feel the season’s end. Why does it hurt so?”
The biggest disappointment – the only disappointment – of the now-decisively finished night was the stark and noticeable absence of “Kodoku no Kakera,” LOST ASH’s immensely popular winter single that shined a special spotlight on drummer Dye’s jazz piano contraposed against Show’s distorted rock guitar. But, as a wintry mix itself, it just may not have fit in with the sweet summer theme, in which case the exclusion was not an oversight but a deliberate and wise decision.
This time as they departed the stage, Daiki and Dye both began to disrobe, signaling the real, permanent end to the night’s activities.
As Daiki noted at the very end, it really was the best SUMMER.
August 3, 2014 (SUN) LOST ASH PRESENTS SUMMER PARTY
Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
- ROYAL ORDER
- KEEP ON
- ENDLESS LOVE
- DEEP XXXX
- Gimme a break!
Autograph Board Raffle
S-T.net readers! LOST ASH – whom we interviewed for you last month – graciously autographed three signboards, just for you! Want a shot at one of these priceless mementos? Get in on our raffle for your chance! Simply follow the steps outlined below to enter; on September 21st, we will randomly draw the winners and notify by e-mail. Best of luck to all of you!
Tags: LOST ASH