It hasn’t been long since we showed you LUNA SEA. We were fortunate enough to witness the beginning of the band’s tour “THE LUNATIC,” a countrywide tour meant to be a culmination of the 25 years LUNA SEA has been together.
The evening before Christmas Eve, over 15,000 fans made their way to LUNA SEA’s sold-out show at Yokohama Arena. This particular show was big for three reasons: celebrating the band’s 25th anniversary, the first performance at Yokohama Arena in 14 years, and the final show of 2014. But there was a definite Christmas spirit in the air. Fans dressed in casual clothing and fans with full-out 90’s style visual kei hairstyles alike were abound, but even more noticeable was the number of fans wearing Santa costumes or hats.
As seats were filled and 30 Seconds to Mars played in the background, we waited. The stage had more lights than you could count—including a setup of flickering candles in bassist J’s area—and five large screens set in the back that contributed greatly to the show’s visual aspect.
At 4:15, the venue went dark. Blue light and Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” filled the room. White light from the stage cut the room in half horizontally for an ethereal effect. The band members made their entrances, mostly clothed in black, save for INORAN in a leopard-print blazer.
The night started off with light, and lots of it. “Anthem of Light” opened the night’s set and fans were already in full swing. “Déjàvu” began with a burst of fireworks before “Rouge” bathed the arena with red light. Ryuichi began the first MC of the night. He thanked fans for coming to the last show of the year and to accompany them in preparing for next year’s shows, emphasizing the fans’ importance being paramount to “other members of the band”.
“Lost World” earned a few gasps from the audience as Ryuichi joined INORAN and Sugizo with a third guitar. Though this B-side track from “Thoughts” was only just released in 2013, the song had a definite 90’s essence to it that made one suddenly nostalgic.
Fans and band alike enjoyed a couple more songs before Sugizo brought out his electric violin. Clear, piercing notes were sustained with vibrato and tremolo; INORAN joined the melody with striking acoustic guitar chords. The acoustic and violin jam made for an interesting but ear-pleasing combination. Shinya’s following drum solo further stole the show, beginning with an eerie accompaniment to Ocean’s “Dead Can Dance” and developing into an impressive display of both speed-drumming and getting the audience to call his name.
The second MC revealed that very few people in the audience were seeing LUNA SEA for the first time that night. The well-practiced audience’s energy never faltered through the entire set. J amped up the crowd even further with his bass solo. The set rounded off with fan favorites like “TIME IS DEAD”, “ROSIER”, and “absorb” with a stunning visual display including red and gold lights and smoke columns.
It’s true that Christmas is celebrated differently in Japan than in many Western cultures. The holiday is more geared towards couples than family, but even Scrooge would be able to feel the Christmas spirit as thousands of people in the audience sang the Japanese version of “Silent Night” while waiting for the band to take the stage for an encore. Each round was punctuated by shouts for the band to come back.
LUNA SEA returned to the stage with towels to throw and Santa hats to wear. They dubbed the evening LUNA SEA’s “Black Christmas” and introduced each member. Ryuichi’s present to the audience was a cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy X’Mas (War is Over)” sung entirely in English. It made a smooth transition to the encore’s first official song of the night, “BREATHE”.
The recently-released “Metamorphosis” and old-time favorite “PRECIOUS” also graced the encore, but the most memorable song of the night was undoubtedly “WISH”. The song began with a burst of red, gold, and green streamers that covered the audience from front to back. After the chaos of scrambling to grab as many streamers as possible, fans waved them in the air in rhythm. “Grace” was the final song of the night, and though arguably one of their more low-key songs, the holiday atmosphere and the emotion conveyed in the song was the perfect way to end LUNA SEA’s last show of 2014.
1. Anthem of Light (2013)
2. Déjàvu (1992)
3. Rouge (2013)
4. JESUS (1993)
5. 乱 (RUN) (2013)
6. Lost World (2013)
7. MARIA (2013)
8. Glowing (2013)
9. Violin and Acoustic Guitar Jam
10. TONIGHT (2000)
11. Thoughts (2013)
12. The End of the Dream (2012)
13. TIME IS DEAD (1991)
14. ROSIER (1994)
15. absorb (2013)
En. 1. Happy X’Mas (War is Over) ~ BREATHE (1998)
En. 2. Metamorphosis (2013)
En. 3. PRECIOUS (1991)
En. 4. WISH (1992)
En. 5. Grace (2013)
The final performance of LUNA SEA’s 25th anniversary tour will take place on March 14th, 2015 at Osaka-Jo Hall. Fans currently residing overseas can purchase tickets exclusively through RESERVE TICKET.net (please note that if you are in Japan, you cannot purchase tickets regardless of nationality).
Tags: Luna Sea