RAINDIA is still a fairly new visual kei band that formed in 2014. The band consists of five members: Ken Miyoshi (Vocalist), Takahiro (Guitar), S (Guitar), Ryu (Bass), and Tsubasa (Drums). They held a live concert at Ikebukuro Edge on Saturday, February 25th.
The Ikebukuro Edge venue was very small and intimate. The band could clearly see the audience and the audience could clearly see the band, even from the back of the venue. This allowed for easy fan interaction, which occurred often during the course of the live.
Before the live began, the crowd relaxed and chatted on the floor of the venue, since it was standing only. Most of the crowd consisted of young adult women, though there were a few men as well. A number of fans were donning RAINDIA T-shits, which were black, had a large blood splatter in the middle, and had RAINDIA written across it in bold black letters. The shirts helped to illustrate image of the band and the nature of their songs.
As the band took to the stage in complete darkness, the relaxing atmosphere disappeared and an excited buzz crackled through the audience. There were quite a few photographers and two or three individuals with video cameras. As the sounds of a piano and drums drifted from the stage, the fans bounced on their feet in anticipation, while the photographers and camera operators readied their equipment. It was a very organized live event with a very eager audience waiting for the band to finally make their appearance.
A cacophony of sounds: piano, drums, nonsense noise, and static filled the venue as white strobe lights flashed in blindly quick session. When the strobe lights faded away, the band stood still for a very brief moment. In that moment it was easy to take in the sight of the band. All of the members were dressed in black, with the exception of Ken Miyoshi, the vocalist, who wore a long white shirt and had scarfs tied around his wrists. The contrast in colors made his appearance eye-catching and cemented him as the vocal point of the group.
Appearance-wise the group did not have one cohesive look or theme, rather each band member showed their own sense of style. S stood out as having the most visual kei inspired look. His hair was dyed and spiked up, while he wore make-up around his eyes and lips in order to give his face an exaggerated cheerful expression, which resulted in an intentional creepiness. The rest of the band maintained a more traditional hard rock style.
This blended appearance of the band reflected the two genres that the band performed during the live: visual kei and hard metal/screamo. The pounding of the drums and the deep reverberations of the bass and guitars encompassed the heavy metal aspects of the band, while Ken Miyoshi’s vocals and slow methodic gestures reflected the visual kei influence.
At the onset of the live, Ken Miyoshi stood upon the elevated section of the stage in a Jesus pose. He stared upward and outward with dead eyes. This was a pose that he took often as he commanded the fans from one side of the room to the other. The fans thoroughly enjoyed that routine, laughing and smiling as they rushed left and right. The Jesus pose was the stance that he often took when he lead the fans through an elaborate set of hand movements as well, and which they mimicked flawlessly.
The band did not move around much during the live, mostly keeping to their stations. Ken Miyoshi mainly stood atop the elevated section of the stage. His lifeless eyes and languid movements and gestures were meant to reflect the morbid nature of the songs he sang. Many of the songs had lyrics that focused on misery, pain, blood, and death. And though it was sometimes hard to make out the lyrics over the thrumming of the music, Ken Miyoshi’s use of gestures made it easy to figure out the themes and ideas of their songs.
Large portions of the songs that the band performed placed importance on heavy metal and head banging. Those moments felt like a cathartic release that was built up in the slower tempo sections. It was in those moments that Ken Miyoshi and the other band members would really “come alive.” Ken Miyoshi would crumbled to the floor screaming and the other band members would play their instruments hard and loud while head banging themselves. Sometimes the other band members would even try to rally the crowd up even more.
Stylistically RAINDIA is a band that knows what it wants to be. The tone of their performance matched the tone of their songs. They also had a good stage presence, which they spiced up every once in a while with a little hugging and cuddling between the band members. As the live progressed and they reached the encore the band let loose a bit more. This more relaxed air came with a change of clothes. During the encore, each member of the band donned a RAINDIA T-shirt, which instantly made the encore feel far more casual than the rest of the live had been.
It was also during the encore that each of the band members had a chance to stand up on the elevated section of the stage and show off their skills and talents with their respective instruments. In the case of Tsubasa, who plays the drums, his section of the stage was elevated from the start, but it was during the encore performances when he got some solo moments. Those moments were highlighted by a white light shining down on him. Ken Miyoshi also made it a point during the encore to run all over the stage. He clung to one of the large speakers on the side of the stage. It was during the encore when Ken gave hugs to the fans and even jumped down into the crowd and took part in the routine of running from one side of the floor to the other.
Musically speaking, many of the songs flowed right into each other. This made for a concert that came off feeling seamless, but at the same time made it so that very few songs stood out. RAINDIA shows skill and talent with their instruments; however the music compositions were very similar. One song had a segment that was a bit funky and almost reminiscent of an old 80s or 90s video game like Donkey Kong Country. It was an interesting and noticeable change in the tempo and tune. Two or three other songs also had moments where there was an electric or even a pop-ish sound to the music. Those were refreshing and shows the real potential that the band has to grow and find a style musically that can make it stand out from the rest.
Vocally, Ken Miyoshi is a very talented singer. His vocals stayed strong and steady during the harsh screamo sections of songs, quick and stammer free during quickly spoken or rapped sections of sections, and quite lovely and unbroken during the sections of the songs that required slow singing. He was able to hit quite high and impressive notes.
At the end of the live, when all of the band members left the stage and the stage had gone dark, the fans got in line to purchase merchandise. They did so with laughter, smiles, and excited chattered. It was an overall successful live for the band.
RAINDIA brought a downpour of cleansing heavy metal music, which the fans enjoyed, and which showed some real promise for their future.
TreasureBox PRESS would like to thank Chaotic Harmony and RAINDIA for this opportunity.
1. Aurora (嘔漏羅)
3. Mechanic CHACHACHA (メカニックCHACHACHA)
4. Zangyakuteki kyoshi kyoku (残虐的狂死曲)
5. “Doukesi” (『毒疑師』)
6. Hekiraku no higanbana (碧落ノ彼岸花)
7. Akitsuiri (秋入梅)
8. Kaigisei paranoia (懐疑性パラノイア)
9. Kokai shazai aa yuukai (後悔謝罪嗚呼融解)
10. Hidari tekubi to cutter knife (左手首とカッターナイフ)
11. Tanpopo batake (たんぽぽ畑)
12. “Akibin” (『空瓶』)
13. Zetsubou inferno (絶望インフェルノ)
14. Flashback the Complex
15. NEO PSYCHO
16. Yūutsu (幽鬱)