Tickets day: May 27th
The tickets were on sale through the Internet. Last year I had trouble getting them, so this year I met my friend Nemrac for getting them at her home with her, since I had to get both mine and Denise’s. In the back of my mind I had already planned what I would do if there was trouble with the Internet or the cards, because the shop I hit last year closed in the mean time. Not completely unsurprisingly, Ticketmaster decided to give us that trouble, and the plan was set into motion. No pains, no gains, they say. So we ran to the nearest mall with a ticket-buying service and got them:
Then we got the plane tickets and the hotel. Please to check and remember the date. May 27th.
So this year we were going to line up for a couple of days, taking shifts and make it into the first row in a group of 10. It’s a good idea, but has some downsides, i.e. other people. From the beginning Nemrac and I told the group that we had another person coming (Denise) and that we would take her hours (I wanted to take them, but Nemrac is too much of a mommy to let me do it alone XD). And then there was a huge chaos. Some people with zero orthography skills, other people threatening via email (what are you going to do, WRITE TO ME IN CAPS? XD) and people who did not really want to take shifts but were there… I’m not really sure why. In the end, the group was dissolved, but we were invited to a new, smaller group by the original planner of this all and managed to rebuild the shift schedule.
Pre-tour and tour kick off
Gackt has always been a solo artist since he left Malize Mizer. Well, Gackt and GacktJob, which meant Gackt has his vocals, You and Chachamaru on guitar and a supporting drum and bass (Damn, I miss Ju-ken and Ryu from the SDSN times). However this time he created a ‘different’ band, Yellow Fried Chickenz. He kept the Job, duh, and pulled in Shinya from Luna Sea as drummer, U:ZO as bass, Takumi as extra guitar… and Jon, a second vocalist. Boy, that had the fans in an uproar. That and that the Kick Off was in Europe, which apparently pissed the Dears off to no end.
When Yellow Fried Chickenz’s World Tour Show Your Soul I kicked off I was having a shitload of trouble at work, so I refused to listen, read, or be informed of other fans’ opinions, which most of the time have not been nice. Some said that he was damaging his career permanently, that the tour was too commercial or that the staging was ‘disgusting’. Thus, I decided I did not want to be informed, I wanted to enjoy my one break for this and not end up stressed over the tour. Thus I laid off the reports from Paris and avoided emails from the people I was lining with that mentioned them
Pre trip (Monday and Tuesday)
Hotel calls me on July 25th to cancel half of my reservation. I. Am. Not. Kidding. After having the reservation from May 27th they cancel half of my reservation two days before check in. Insert string of curses here. Be creative. You won’t even come close. Here I am, with a flight to Barcelona on the 27th, and without hotel for that night and the next. And with two days to fix it up. Incompetent reservation management had overbooked the hotel.
I managed to get a new hotel for those two nights ‘only’ 30% more expensive than the original one – which explains why we did go to the first one for the non-cancelled nights. Trouble over? I wish. The next day, one day before check-in the new hotel writes to me wanting to confirm my eight reservations. Incompetent receptionist had downloaded the same reservation eight times, making me call the reservation centre, spending a fortune on cell phone, only to have them tell me my confirmation email was correct and I only had one room (phew), two people, two nights.
Trip day and arrival (Wednesday)
Barely slept the night before the trip, I was too tense due to all the trouble plus things at work. I was up at 5 latest, I had to go to work, leave early, go to the airport and… can you guess? Plane delayed. You laughing yet? Fortunately it was not cancelled and we made it to BCN and the hotel with only a few hours. When we arrive to the pre-line to say hi and meet the other people we were going to line with, one of them (the one who WAS GOING TO WRITE IN CAPS) decided to change the whole schedule. Again. In the end, Nemrac and I spent the night queuing with the girl behind our group, who had come alone. We were in line that night from about 9.30pm to 7.30am, because that girl was late coming in to her shift *sigh*
Lining days (Thursday and Friday)
On Thursday we slept for a few hours and then went down to hunt down a Japanese restaurant that we had found last year for lunch. We enjoyed coming back XD
Then we found out that Friday concert had been cancelled. Scary shit. The reported reason was transportation, instrument and sound issues, but the suspected reason was not enough tickets sold. Advantages: half of our group was not available on Friday for line to go to Toulouse and now they were able to line.
My shift on Friday started at 7am. Unfortunately, the new hotel was too close to a disco, and we could hear the lows rumbling all through the night. Again, I did not sleep much. On top of that I needed to change hotels that day, meaning checking out from one before 12am and checking into the other after 3pm. When I arrived at the original hotel (after ‘asking permission’ to leave the line) I checked myself in, told them about Denise’s reservation, under my name too and told them that I expected them to compensate me for the extra money I had to spend on the other hotel. At first they refused. When I asked for the complaint form and told them I would make it official they changed their mind.
The day of the concert (Saturday)
The first thing that went well was Denise arriving without any trouble. The buses bringing the band in were late, but arrived by 4pm. Honestly, I got pics, some of them came awesomely cool (You made a LOLjump there) but I decided to show you the following instead. This video was made by the guy standing next to me. Bonus: you may hear me talking in the background XD
And then at 5pm all hell broke loose as we got hit by a huge thunderstorm (Spanish link, but you can see the pictures). The line disbanded and when the storm was over we had two huge problems:
- The venue had flooded . Check out the pictures from the inside in Takumi’s blog here (we did not see until later, though)
- Venue staff said they would not open the gates unless we reorganized the line.
So. Hm. Now, who was the one to start yelling at 1100 fans in hysterics, half of them in tears, after the thunderstorm and the ‘threat’ of cancelled concert? *scratches head* Anou… yours truly. I had not been next to not-sleeping on the streets for three days for a bunch of fangirls to get in my way. So I started yelling at the people mobbing the entrance to stop believing rumours of changing venues and rebuild the line. I appointed to the first of the line (the guy who took the youtube clip) and told them to line up finding the person in front of them. I don’t know how or why, but it worked. I had to leave Denise alone there with him for a while, and I feel awful for that ._. but something had to be done, and with the staff trying to empty the venue from water… well, there we went, Nemrac, Hinay (girl who was our group organizer), the girl who had come alone and was behind us, and myself. It took an hour and in the end the staff came out to help, but we managed. I don’t know how. I just know that once the line was formed and we were inside the fences again, and our group was once again the first I clang to Denise and had a mini-breakdown. Blame it on stress. Oh, and I had lost about 50% of my voice XD
The concert was late but… finally we went in.
Show your Soul I Live
First row. And when I mean first row I mean it. Denise and I were right between the central platform and You. We actually wrote You’s name with light sticks (here they are not common) and she put more light sticks in my hair, which eventually… got lost XD. Here light sticks are not common, so he had to see it XD
About the actual concert… I’ve heard lots, mostly that Jon was failing trying to imitate Gackt. In my opinion he was not imitating Gackt, he was mirroring Gackt and doing quite a good job out of it. While it is true that the guy does not have Gackt’s voice nor presence nor stamina, I think he did a good job. So no, don’t count me among the Jon haters. The con started with The end of the day, the band’s new single and some sound trouble that got better along the way, because some of the instruments had gotten wet.
There was fanservice. Lots of it. The only complain I got is that the Gackt/Jon fanservice left poor You unattended and lonely XD And once getting the fact of the guy doing a decent job… Fine, the fanservice was… fanservicing. Gackt did grab Jon’s ass more than once, but hey, why is that worse than riding Masa in the Kagen no Tsuki cons? Because he’s a gaijin? Because he’s a *le gasp* new vocalist? XD So no, I don’t think that was disgusting. And no, I did not hate the concert.
Episode 0 was better live than the recorded version I got. LU:NA is always impressive, and I take up close and personal any time before the 40 dancers version. Speed Master = ♥, same as JESUS, and Uncontrol… well. It’s Uncontrol, for me it’s impossible not to like it XD We got goodbye ballad too, which is something I missed last year. And this con made me… refind my appreciation for Vanilla – with the groping and the dancing around and the train hip moving ^^. An epic moment at the very end of it was You playing around with a pair of Spain-flag briefs someone had thrown to the stage.
I think last year’s concert was better, but I loved this one too. I guess I am not a bitter fan (maybe I am a bad fan?) I don’t really see why this is so ‘damaging’ to Gackt’s career as many say, and I don’t think Jon is a leech, I think he did what he was supposed to do. Gackt’s shoes can’t be easy to step in, and he held the fort.
BUT what this year had that the previous did not was company and… contact. Yours truly managed to touch Gackt (thrice), You, Chacha and Jon, was on first rows with Denise, died laughing a couple of times, managed to be there and survived. After most everything that could go wrong went wrong, we made it. I got a bunch of merch too: a T-shirt, badges, photobook, key ring, wristband and fan, and had a blast.
Oh, and btw. Gackt’s legs are shaven, imo with laser XD
“斬 ～Zan～” (intro)
1: THE END OF THE DAY
2: NINE SPIRAL
3: SPEED MASTER
4: LAST KISS
6: MIND FOREST
11: YOU ARE THE REASON
12: ALL MY LOVE