I went to my first ever live concert in Japan last week, and a 13-hour one at that. That was also just a day after I was down with cold and fever and barely had any rest. I had doubts on whether I could survive the day especially when all plans to take a break in between and have lunch were aborted in order to avoid losing our great spot near the stage against the barricade where no one can nudge us away. Well, at least not until Luna Sea blasted strips toward the audience and people were fighting to grab it. We were caught unaware as we were suddenly pushed backwards (funny how we weren’t pushed forward).
So the event I was at was Visual Japan Summit 2016. It was a three-day event but we only went for the first day, which was enough. I don’t think I can survive three days of 13-hour concerts consecutively. And I probably don’t ever want to attend such an event anymore. The next concert I attend shall be a regular concert with one single artiste. So there were three stages namely, Visual, Japan, and Summit. Not very creative but apt. Visual and Japan were the smaller stages while Summit is where all the top bands perform. There was this lady in front of us who went by herself and had the three-day wristband, and was headbanging occasionally. She must be a great fan of visual rock. She looks pretty attractive and when I glanced at her ring finger, it had a ring on it. I wonder why the husband didn’t turn up together. But it was a Friday, so not many adults could attend. While searching on the #visualjapansummit hashtag the next day, I happened to find the Twitter account of a lady who looks like the lady in front of us. The owner of the Twitter account was an SM Queen though =/ Anyhow, the client who got me the ticket (there were three of us) was very kind and told her that we can help hold her spot if she needed a toilet break.
So, that day, apart from the opening act by X-Suginami, an X Japan copy-band, I didn’t really enjoy much of the first half of the event at the smaller stages. I was waiting by the Summit stage after the opening act and things only started getting exciting when Psycho le Cemu came on and everyone started pushing forward (but our great spot by the barricade prevented us from getting pushed to the front). Psycho le Cemu was pretty interesting with great sound. Unfortunately, the sound became horrendous when Kamaitachi and By-Sexual came on to perform. Whoever adjusted the bass guitar amp messed up big. Probably bad enough that sound engineers couldn’t salvage it. The bass guitar was so loud throughout the whole show, it cut off all other sounds. You couldn’t hear the vocalist, the guitarist nor much of the drum except for the bass drum that was on a similar frequency as the bass guitar. The sound was tearing up and all you could hear was BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM. After that, my left ear was ringing.
Then the time came when Glay came on. Suddenly the event became a festival. It was so fun although I barely knew any Glay songs. The guy standing next to me seems to know everything. He wasn’t just singing along to the songs, he was also speaking along to the vocalist, Teru. Glay must have some kind of routine in their live concerts such that this guy knew what he was going to say and what songs they were going to do next simply by watching what Teru was doing on stage. The night started getting exciting but thirst and hunger were paring me down during the break between the bands. Being still in the recovery-from-cold mode didn’t help. I was trying hard to sleep and forget my thirst and hunger until Luna Sea came on. Then I simply forgot everything else. They came on late (as usual) and did one too many songs which I’m not complaining. Most of the songs were from the album Period, the last one before their official disband, so I knew every one of it. Following that, X came on and it was the best night ever.
Watching bands like X, you’ll start to feel sad about the current state of music. Nobody writes songs like that anymore. Not even the other visual rock bands. Some of them even sound like bubblegum pop songs except with electric guitar and distortion. And some of these bands aren’t even visual. I mean Keyakizaka 46 could do a better job dressing up and call themselves visual rock band, too.
At the end of Lynch’s performance, the vocalist said that they were there to take their seniors’ thrones (referring to Glay, Luna Sea and X). But when you watch through the show, you’ll find that they are way too far behind to even smell their fart. The quality of the songs just isn’t there to match up to these bands.
To be honest, every now and then, I feel thankful to be born in the early 80s. The era when great artistes like Michael Jackson, X, Beyond (yes, the Hong Kong band), etc. are around. I sometimes feel pity for the future generations that such great musicians may never exist again.
I’ve applied for the Xmas Eve live ticket of Luna Sea’s concert this year. Results are coming in tomorrow. Pray that I get it.