sukekiyo 02.19.2019 “Mikka Okure no ‘Junkoku no Rashomon’ -Kahou no Gi-”
On February 19, 2019 at Akazaka My Navi Blitz, sukekiyo fans’ voices were heard for the first time. Where fans are normally instructed to remain silent throughout the show—no cheering or applause whatsoever between songs—this show simply instructed fans to “enjoy it however you want.” As the band revealed in our interview with them, many fans said they liked the “no talking” rule, so we were curious whether they would really speak up on this day.
The show opened with an almost comical video that advertised the show “Mikka Okure no ‘Junkoku no Rashomon’ -Kaihou no Gi-” like a movie preview. The performance to come promised “love, insanity,” and more. Not only were fans excited to let loose, but they were also excited to participate in this show meant to celebrate vocalist Kyo’s birthday.
Members took their place on stage and opened with naburi. A thin screen set at the front of the stage separated the band from the audience and projected abstract images to fit the dark and complex composition of the song. Fans pumped their fists into the air and provided back vocals for parts of the tune. The effect of spotlights switching on and off along with the full-screen visuals made it seem like the members disappeared momentarily.
Next was a new song, waizatsu. Where sukekiyo shows were previously dominated by black, white, and single bold colors, this show was saturated in rainbow-colored visuals, offering a new and vibrant side of the band. waizatsu included the growls and shouts that vocalist Kyo is so famous more, along with a peal of insane laughter. Guitarist UTA, with hair styled high and rocking, performed a solo under a purple spotlight.
Classic tracks scars like velvet and hidden one followed, with the crowd joining in to sing the chorus “closet child.” During shiryou no ariana, Kyo turned his back to the crowd to make use of a voice modifier. One camera centered on each member to be displayed on five screens on the back of the stage. Member Takumi swapped his piano and guitar to play bass for a few moments while Yuchi played a small set of drums.
junboku, muku de arouga started off with visuals of snowy scenery, but turned into a bright red screen with static during the breakdown. Takumi showed off his piano skills. rongai na ikimono to shite, another new song, featured ghostly vocals and a beat that fans enjoyed headbanging to. Yuchi alternated between playing bass and using a small DJ set.
saredo michizure was a chance for Kyo to make use of the sound-changing effect machines lined up behind him. UTA also used a small DJ set and turned the song into a sort of DJ session. Mika‘s crisp percussion quickened until the song came to a close. Next came dunes, a song where the crowd and the band got the chance to go crazy. This energy intensified for fan favorites vandal and madara ningen before cooling down with the melodic and catchy beats of en and anima.
sukekiyo’s set came to an unexpectedly melodic and emotional end with one final new song, tada, mada, watashi. The lyrics were displayed on screen and told the story of someone who, despite still being in love with their partner, has decided to leave and forget them for the sake of their love’s happiness.
The set ended with thunderous applause and cheers, immediately followed by calls for an encore. The band had never done an encore before, but apparently they made an exception for this special day. When the band returned, the crowd’s screams were absolutely deafening. It was perhaps the first time the band members got the chance to hear the intensity of their own fans. Kyo spoke to the crowd briefly, saying, “Thank you. Are you ready?” They kicked off their first encore with aoguroi hysteria. Kyo asked fans to sing the chorus in their loudest voices possible. After the song ended, Kyo whispered briefly to each member and then addressed the crowd again. “Since today is special, we’ll play something a bit more crazy.” The crowd shouted their approval and fans got the chance to hear dunes one more time, with about ten times the intensity as the first time. With both fans and band members satisfied, each member took a bow before exiting the stage.
1. naburi (嬲り)
2. waizatsu (猥雑)
3. scars like velvet
4. hidden one
5. shiryou no ariana (死霊のアリアナ)
6. junboku, muku de arouga (純朴、無垢であろうが)
8. rongai na ikimono to shite (論外な生き物として)
9. kubitsuri yuugu (首吊り遊具)
10. saredo michizure (されど道連れ)
13. madara ningen (斑人間)
14. en (艶)
16. tada, mada, watashi (ただ、まだ、私)
En-1. aoguroi hysteria (黝いヒステリア)
Photos by Takao Ogata