Fans of all demographics and hair colors filed in to the Public Hall, wearing everything from band t-shirts to large dresses, mostly in black. The large, comfortable hall was buzzing with chatter as fans found their seats and turned excitedly to the stage.
The stage was set intimately with carpets spread across the floor and candles lit up on the amps and equipment. Although the lights were on in the venue, there was a light smoky haze coming from the stage that helped to set the mood. The anticipation continued to build as the start time passed.
After about a ten-minute wait, the lights went out and an upbeat pop song began to play. The stage lit up with bright yellow string lights, snaking across the stage and wrapping around the amps, setting a soft glow. The crowd jumped up and went wild as the band took the stage.Inoran and his support members — Yukio Murata on guitar, u:zo on bass and Ryo Yamagata on drums — waved and smiled as they walked out, clad in fashionable but casual clothes; hair styled, but not too made-up. They picked up their instruments, and dove right into the first song.
“No Name” opened up with hard guitars, and red stage lights, bringing the crowd into the show with the same heavy, intense energy that would carry it through most of the night. The band covered the whole stage as they played this exciting track, running across to every corner, waving their arms and riling up the crowd. This song did not slow down once, finally closing out heavy on the drums.
The band continued with hard, driving guitars and upbeat tracks. During a break, Inoran greeted Tokyo, commenting on the crowds, the hotter weather, and the hotter people. He encouraged the crowd to have fun before going on.
The lights dimmed for track “smoke”, and a video of a thin line of smoke rising came up on screen. It began with heavy bass, leaving the audience hushed and riveted. The drums came in, followed by the rest of the band. There was then an intense build up, the music getting louder and louder before a pause in which Inoran was hit with a spotlight and began to sing. At that moment the song truly broke out. It continued with the low, driving bass line, now accompanied with catchy guitars. The vocals were husky and passionate, and emotions were high through another large and loud outro.
The crowd went crazy from the first notes of fan favorite “no options”. This track also featured very catchy bass and guitar, the two melodies answering each other as if in a conversation. The verses stayed calm and almost contained, emphasizing the choruses which were loud and wild, throwing the stage into rainbow lighting and the crowd into collective high energy. The solo was also fast, hot and exciting, and the song finished suddenly with a bang.
One of the clear highlights of the night was track “Home”, an entirely instrumental piece mostly on acoustic guitars. Black and white videos appeared on the screen, showing images of travel. Long roads of mostly landscape with the odd small town passed by, as though viewed from a car window. However, it was the melody of this song that took the crowd’s breath away, acoustic mixing with electric to produce dissonant, harmonic chords that truly struck the heart. This melody can only be described as haunting, sad and lonely. Inoran continued playing this melody for most of the song, often with his back to the crowd. It grew faster and louder at some points, returning to quiet at others, finally fading out very softly.After this intense, moving piece, there was a drum and bass solo, bringing the show back to being loud and heavy. The other members then returned to the stage and Inoran gave a long talk discussing his tour and a special guest who they then invited out on the stage. This was in fact u:zo, disguised as ‘shiko:zo’ with a sheet on his head. His identity was given away by his bare feet, visible throughout the whole course of the show.
He was carrying a birthday cake, decorated and complete with candles. The crowd broke into cheers and laughter as the band continued to joke around together, and Inoran blew out the candles on the cake. He went on to thank everyone for joining him on his last night as a 43 year old. He stated how much he loved rock music and live shows. “When we play live shows, the body temperatures of everyone in this room come to be the same,” he began. “It creates a special bond that only exists here and now. Today what we are making together is something that cannot be put into sentences or even words, but it is special.”
Inoran introduced the next two tracks; most of his project members are in their own bands, and he passed the spotlight over to Yukio Murata and u:zo in turn, joining them in performing a track apiece from their personal projects.
The band then went into “One Big Blue”, a very fun, upbeat song. The fans bounced up and down in time during this almost pop punk track. There was a break in the middle and the fans were very loud in encouraging the band to continue. The band themselves were bouncing around as well, big smiles on their faces, clearly having a great time. The chorus featured background vocals, coming together for a nice melody. The track sped up as it approached the end and went out rather suddenly.
The last song of the night was another fan favorite, “Get Laid”. It started out just on the drums with Inoran warming up the crowd. First he got all of the men in the audience to yell, “Get laid, oh yeah!” The crowd clapped along as he then called to the women and had them yell the same. Finally he brought the audience together and everyone yelled it at once. The guitars began, and the band went into this fun, fast, rhythmic song. The audience sang along loudly and happily with the chorus, carried by the upbeat tune through the loud, dramatic ending.
Inoran finished up the night by introducing his support members, thanking the audience, and promising to see them next time before saying goodbye and leaving the stage.
What happened next was a statement to how great the night had been—the concert was performed in a different structure, with a short break in the middle with the cake, and did not have an encore. Afterwards the lights came on and the announcement ending the show played. It was certainly the end, but the fans did not leave. They stayed and called for an encore for a solid 5 minutes. Eventually security guards came in and started to wave people out, confirming that the show was over, but many people stayed calling insistently for an encore.
Unfortunately, the band could not come out and play, but the fans’ feelings certainly spoke to the effect of such a show. It was quite a birthday bash.
- No Name
2. Hide and Seek
3. A Day Goes On By
4. Super Tramp
7. no options
9. Joshua ~ Sakura
11. Drum & Bass
12. BRAQUE (my way my love)
13. African Hardcore Samba (Sonz of Freedom)
14. One Big Blue
16. REDISCOVER ON ANOTHER
17. grace and glory
18. Get Laid