Setlists (both around two hours)
01 INSIDE OF ME
01 INSIDE OF ME
Well, where to start? This was an interesting weekend to say the least. Both days I arrived about 11.30 in order to watch the band come in (and taking pictures with / of the tour truck). In all honesty, I’m only aware of seeing HYDE coming in. On the first day he was being a brat and sticking his tongue out, and on the second he just waved. Both times the band came in around 12.20, just before the goods opened at 12.30. Both times I dashed the three floors up to the NAMBA Hatch entrance to get in line. On Saturday I was lucky enough to get the limited bracelet, but that was it. Both times I was out of the goods shop around 13.20, so you can calculate how fast things sold out. Aside from the published goods, they were selling HYDEs Vaseline and several K.A.Z. items. I decided that both @CarmenPilar26 and myself needed K.A.Z. wristbands, just because I find the whole “parental advisory” slogan hilarious.
The first day I had an arena ticket, I got in, bought my mandatory 500¥ drink, and had the misfortune of ending up behind a bunch of tall people. But that’s life, I guess （≧∇≦）. We had the usual countdown projected on the curtain, only instead of counting to 6.66, it was counting towards 16.66. When the count hit 16.65.00, the seconds dropped (and the one could be ignored anyway) so we could count to 666.
The curtain opened to a background that can only be described as… a mix of goth, graffiti and futuristic. There were barrels to the sides of the stage, a gas like lamp next to Ju-ken’s position and a gargoyle like one on K.A.Z.’s. Behind that there were the areas for Jin’s keyboards and Arly’s drums. The concert opened with “INSIDE OF ME”, the new single A side, and it is not bad. I haven’t listened to the studio version radio edit out there, but my bet is that it’ll will lose when it is not live (it sort of gives a “BLOODSUCKERS” feeling – much better live). However, I am not really sure of what HYDE was yelling back there at the chorus. In theory it could have been “inside of me” but I swear I heard “it’s Saturday” at least three times.
Then there was “LIPS”, and an old favourite from HYDE’s solo times, “COUNTDOWN”, whose arrangements K.A.Z. did anyway, as we’re talking the album Faith (anyone ever noticed that there are pictures of K.A.Z. already in that album? No? Shame on you XD).
“SIN IN JUSTICE” is not my favourite song ever, but it improves live. How not? （＾ν＾）. I’m used to VAMPS concerts not really kicking up for me up until a few songs in (like K.A.Z., it feels. Sometimes I think that the man only wakes up for the third song (⌒▽⌒)), and this time the high came with “AHEAD”, which gave way to “ANGEL TRIP”. By this time, my whole row had moved a good couple of metres to the right. By “BLOODSUCKERS” the jumping was going out of place, and “MIDNIGHT CELEBRATION” was just as crazy.
We had the break then, and the restart was announced by the off beat of “LOVE ADDICT”, after which came the first live of “RISE OR DIE”, the side B of the new single. I liked it better than “INSIDE OF ME”, because it is a song written for HYDE to show off his incredible vocal range, and boy did he (((o(*ﾟ▽ﾟ*)o))). The highs and lows are pretty crazy over there. It has a little aftertaste of classic heavy metal, but it makes sense considering whom they had been mixing with lately…
We had a short MC then, with HYDE mentioning that Osaka was home, and that he wanted to eat takoyaki and something with strawberries. The audience offered food suggestions and he was like “y’all eat whatever you want, I want my takoyaki”. Then he rapped “大阪 ブラサカ” you are the best (Burasaka = bloodsuckers) for a bit (this is a thing from the Joint 666 with Derailers) which had everyone very amused. There was a lot of conversation going on, much more than in the Tokyo scenes, and that surprised me.
Finally we moved on to “TIME GOES BY” to warm up for the final combo of “DEVIL SIDE” and “SEX BLOOD ROCK’N’ROLL”.
Throughout the concert, HYDE took pictures of us, and K.A.Z. was his usual self, being amazing with his guitar and all those things he does so well. The light play was amazing, as was the use of smoke and fire.
I stayed to watch them leave, and by 20.20 they came out. Someone had given HYDE a blue lightsabre and he was brandishing it outside the window of the van ╰(*∂∀6)つ-]═──. Seriously, I want images of what went down with that sabre in the backstage.
On Sunday the routine was similar – stay to watch them come in, dash for goods, but this time both day-only items were sold out by the time I made it up front. This time I had a second floor ticket, which gave me a different view of the stage and yielded to many thoughts. One of them is that Ju-ken seems to have a blast whenever he is on stage.
This time I was able to see much more as I had nobody in front of me. The stage had also graffiti on the ground, and it seemed to be like a street crossing, with a scratched out stop sign, a pedestrian crossing and so.
There was a special going on and there were cameras, and HYDE played them for all that they were worth. He did not move as much as he had done the previous day, choosing to tease the first row to hell and back and flirting with the camera, to the point of lying down on the floor to sing on his back. To show off and stuff, we know how he is. We got “HUNTING” this time and of course that is always a blast, but the combo “HUNTING” > “AHEAD” > “ANGEL TRIP” > “TROUBLE” > “BLOODSUCKERS” > “MIDNIGHT CELEBRATION” was exhausting (no wonder VAMPS is banned from Zepp Osaka, which was hosting something Exile, by the way. I know because I was having breakfast with the crew at my hotel (^_^;)). It was during this high that I swear I saw K.A.Z. doing a double guitar twirl (take that, Sato). Also, during the whispering bit in “ANGEL TRIP”, HYDE reminded us of Beast Party happening and invited us there. Just us two, of course.
Then we had the break and the ending this time was signalled by the first chords of “THE JOLLY ROGER”. While I don’t have with VAMPS the same connection I’ve got with GACKT (don’t get me wrong here, I love VAMPS to pieces, but I’m yet to break down in one of their cons) , there are two songs that always get to me in special ways. One is the English version of “ANGEL TRIP” and the line “scream a little louder”, and the other one is “THE JOLLY ROGER”, so this made me very, very happy. As they were entering the stage back, HYDE decided to pour water on some poor Security staff-san from his bottle, and was very determined to get a reaction, to the point that he dumped half a bottle on him. The cameras were gone by now, so HYDE was back to run around the stage like the Duracell bunny he is sometimes.
We got “RISE OR DIE” again and then an MC that started with K.A.Z. asking who was going to Beast Party and asking who had tickets and such. HYDE could not Japanese and tripped over his own tongue enough so he sent the MC to hell and moved on to “MEMORIES”. You could read in his face the moment he lost the grip on the lyrics and basically “nananana”ed a line (which made me wonder, has he been doing the English version lately?.)
One of my favourite moments of this concert was a stand off between Ju-Ken and HYDE, when Ju-Ken (aside from crouching not to tower over HYDE, unlike K.A.Z. who is fuck this shit yo) turned his bass upwards so HYDE could reach and play it. What really had me frowning was the amount of times a few of the girls rolled over the crowds. I found it obnoxious, and a couple of times, I did think that they should be kicked out.
At the end, they promised to be back got Beast Party (duh) and threw stuff to the arena. There was a ruckus trying to catch the rose petals HYDE had thrown out, and he pointedly avoided that area the couple of handfuls that he had left. He made gestures with his arms for the crowd to disperse, and they did.
After the band had left the stage I once again found a nice spot to watch the band depart, and there went HYDE with his lightsabre again, off to the NAMBA night.
And that was it, I think I’m not forgetting anything, although I probably am… thank the Kami for editing functions (⌒▽⌒). I leave you with some pictures now, and apologies for any weird typos that escaped me…