After a long world tour, the GazettE made their way back home. Fans in Japan had been awaiting their return and were graced with the rare opportunity of participating in a standing live tour. Due to popularity, the band played two consecutive lives at Shin-Kiba STUDIO COAST naming it their semi-final. The grand finale will be held September 27th with tickets drawn in a lottery for those who handed in their Golden Ticket from the deluxe version of DOGMA.
The semi-final on August 2nd 2016 started with some friendly housekeeping rules from the staff. It has been years since the GazettE has played in venues for standing audiences, and it was beautiful to see the genuine care between fans, the band and staff.
It was a full house that evening and the audience clapped slowly but eagerly to welcome in the members. Before the live, the room was filled with energies of excitement, love and anticipation. By the time the band had made their entry, which was true to their style with dramatic lighting and a smoky stage as NIHIL played in the background, fans went wild with deafening screams.
Fans immersed themselves into DOGMA with slow head banging, as red and purple hues illuminated the stage. Combined with the band’s sound, the GazettE gave an enigmatic air as the livehouse started vibrating with everyone’s energy and enthusiasm.
Regardless of which stage these five men stood on, they were always able to showcase their absolute best by working the stage in cooperation with the stage set and lighting. RUKI made a very impressive display of moving in stop motion as the lights flash periodically.
It was clear from the start that RUKI’s voice was not hundred percent, but the audience didn’t care as he put in more passion to compensate. It was magnificent of him to do two high-energy performances consecutively, which most vocalists would avoid at all costs. Yet this man’s drive is the reason why he and the band have been able to push through this far.
Fans continued to push harder as RAGE and DAWN played, with the strings team screaming for backup vocals. With both the stage and audience mutually giving the live everything they have, the atmosphere became hotter on top of the summer heat.
As the band took their first breather with an MC, RUKI mentioned that even though it was the last live of the tour, it wasn’t the final. Even though it was the only the semi-final, he said that they would treat it as the final and go all out. Fans responded eagerly and showed that they were willing to give it everything.
As they played DERANGEMENT, the livehouse was shaking thanks to all the moshing from fans. The song was also a perfect example of the the GazettE’s skill in merging genres, with the song having a rock meets hip-hop and EDM vibe. As the red lights beamed down on the stage, which also emanated a disco feel at times, each of the members worked the stage really well, especially KAI who showed his enthusiasm clearly in the back.
Each member was highlighted throughout the night. URUHA’s solo for the beginning of BIZARRE being particularly memorable, as he played under the spotlight.
In between songs, screams filled the air as the audience beckoned the band for more. But respectful silence swept over the audience as OMINOUS started. Five spotlights highlighted each member as they stood in the darkness, playing on the title of the song and giving the stage a mysterious vibe. The lights slowly moved as RUKI’s passionate voice filled the ears of everyone in the room, while AOI and URUHA played acoustic guitars. The flickering lights timed with the music gave an even more dramatic feeling as the song played out. The song was filled with an incredible amount of emotion, and was definitely one of the standouts of the entire night.
One of the most beautiful and enjoyable things to watch about the GazettE live performances is the perfect harmony that exists between members. Despite everyone being in their own zone, each member works perfectly in sync with everyone else. REITA has a tendency to groove and get lost in his own world, while AOI keeps a very cool demeanor. RUKI works the stage with great skill as their front man. URUHA has an unmistakable appeal, which he uses to lure in the audience, and KAI shines through from his drum set as he radiates pure joy and enthusiasm.
In INCUBUS, both REITA and AOI moved forward, with URUHA joining them in the chorus. The friendship between members showed through as they interacted and played together. RUKI and REITA especially looked like they were having the time of their lives as the two headbanged together.
Just when it seemed like the excitement in the room couldn’t go any higher, the pace picked up even further with HEADACHEMAN. With an abundance of red illuminating the stage, there was a sense of intensity as REITA moved to center stage and encouraged the audience, while RUKI worked the fans on the right.
As the final songs of the set played, the atmosphere became even more emotive and soul-stirring. UNDYING was a powerful way to draw the main set to a close, with RUKI showing his love and affection to fans by thanking them in between. KAI finished the song off with a solo, and with some theatrics with the lighting, the GazettE gave the illusion that they had all disappeared off the stage magically.
Shortly after they left the stage, fans quickly started called for an encore. It wasn’t too long until they were reunited with the members on stage, and after KAI spoke briefly to the audience, they dove right into the encore set list, starting off with INSIDE BEAST.
The members showed off their more fun-loving side and affectionately interacted with the audience even moreso. Fans decided that they wouldn’t hold back at all, and many started moshing heavily and crowd surfing. Everyone worked together despite going hard at their partying, and managed to hold each person up with good support throughout the remainder of the encore.
As they approached their final song of the night, TOMORROW NEVER DIES, the audience pushed even further forward and continued with the crowd surfing. It was quite a sight to behold from the second floor, and from observation, those who wish to participate on the first floor nearby the stage should be prepared for the extremes.
Once everything had come to a finish, the band members threw picks, drumsticks and water bottles into the audience before making their farewells. The stage lights dimmed but the crowd roared for more. As they all continued to scream for a second encore, it was great to see cooperation from the fans as they handed over shoes that had fallen from the crowd surfing to the staff at the front.
To everyone’s delight, their efforts paid off and the GazettE came out once more for an unplanned double encore. The band played KANTO DOGEZA KUMIAI, in which AOI’s solo was particularly catchy and fans enjoyed the last song with the remainder of their energy.
The band said their words of thanks to the audience, joined hands and bowed together. The sense of companionship between these five musicians is incomparable. It is evident that each of them respect each other, which allows them to create such wonderful stages and music.
The band’s next performance will be September 18th at Kishidan Banpaku, followed by their grand finale September 27th at Makuhari Messe. the GazettE will tie up the year with an appearance at KNOT FEST JAPAN 2016 November 6th, which is also held at Makuhari Messe.
This is a band that you should have on your list to see at least once in your life, but will also discover shortly afterwards that once is not enough. Their energy and music is almost like an addiction, but of the best kind–music.
- VENOMOUS SPIDER’S WEB
- HEADACHE MAN
- SLUDGY CULT
- INSIDE BEAST
- THE STUPID TINY INSECT
- TOMORROW NEVER DIES
- KANTO DOGEZA KUMIAI