japanesedream_72: (kyo-love)
[personal profile] japanesedream_72
The subject line is Latin, meaning, "through the thorns to the stars" - http://www.latinsayings.info/search/label/Page%206.

Okay, you know how this stuff usually goes, but I'm gonna keep to the basics this time, skipping over the personal aspects in favour of covering the show itself, with a little of the fan experience thrown in.

Suffice to say, on the personal front, things ran pretty smoothly. I actually saw/spoke to several friends throughout the day/evening, & very much enjoyed being in the presence of each of them.

I got there really early, around 10-ish. Of course, that's nothing compared to the front-liners, who started lining up with their tents & sleeping bags on Saturday! I was surprised there wasn't much of a line, considering there had been a weekend preceding the show. I'm assuming that had a lot to do with the weather, or people not being able to get off school/work & having to come later on the Monday of the show. It was pretty cold in the morning. I'd brought blankets & my fold-up travel chair, along with some trail mix bars & a book. I hadn't felt all that well in the morning, so I didn't eat or drink. And I never like having to ask or figure out where to use the lavatory during my time in line, so I didn't drink anything the rest of the day, either. This would give me a bit of trouble later on, but we'll get to that.

Mostly, I just tried to get comfortable & keep warm. Tried to nap, to little avail. After a while, my toes lost their feeling & my back was bothering me a bit. I had 2 blankets with me & used one for a while, but later had to use both. It warmed up in the early afternoon, but the sun seemed a bit intermittent & sometimes there was a breeze. Later on, tho', closer to the time they let us in, it wasn't as cold. I was able to feel my toes by then, but my back was still bugging me (& I'd gone to my chiropractor over the weekend, so I dunno what was up - maybe next time I should stick my Total Pillow in my bag).

Got the requisite 500 passersby asking, "What are you all lined up for?" I just said, "A Japanese rock band," & they seemed satisfied with that. One guy said we had "balls" for sitting/sleeping out in the cold like that.

Oddly enough, just as I was taking out my book to start reading, the line moved up. They'd already taken the VIP ticket-holders - one of these days, I'm gonna shell out for that! Started talking a bit more to the people in line around me. There was a couple in front of me that I'd been speaking with on & off throughout the day, & they were kind enough to let me listen to some Diru (the guy had an iPod or Zune or one of those gadgets) & help dream up the ultimate Dir en grey setlist of epicness, & share their big, soft pretzel. ^_^ There were a few people behind me that I got chatty with, as well, once the line moved up, including a couple of girls that ended up in the pit with me.

But I'm ahead of myself.

I'd been to this venue before; it was actually the place where I'd seen Vamps the first time (http://japanesedream.livejournal.com/310947.html). Once I'd gone to coat check, & hit the restroom, I stationed myself in the pit area. Probably should've gotten something to drink, but I didn't want to run the risk of having to go during the show. Found a couple of the folks from the line stationed around me, as well as a couple of new-to-me folks I got into conversation with, one of whom was from Melbourne, Australia, & had traveled 34 hours, landing just that morning, solely to attend this concert!

The stage was taken up by a large projector screen, tho' we could see around the sides a bit. On this screen were strange, psychedelic images, lots of swirling colours & weird, animated shots. I mean, bizarre stuff. Like repeated outlines of naked ladies, human figures doing aerobics, a city-scape of NYC. Fish. Clouds. A refrigerator in someone's kitchen. An oddly-coloured waving flag. The words "Imprison Your People". The Hamburglar! We were perplexed, to say the least. Some of the stuff, we were mocking good-naturedly, associating it with metal music. Fish Metal! Cloud Metal! That sort of thing. There was music playing over the speaker system, but I didn't recognise any of the songs. Normally, there's a Linkin Park or Marilyn Manson number, but not at this particular show.

After a while, they finally raised the screen so the opening band, The Birthday Massacre, could come out.



source - http://photos.mindviz.com/photos/tg/tbmofficial_30_500.jpg

We could see Shinya's drum set behind The Birthday Massacre's drummer's. There's kind of a joke that Shinya's set gets larger every tour. It did pretty much dwarf the other set.

Still, I have to say, I think this was probably one of the best, if not the best, of the openers I've seen Diru play with to date. Kind of pop-goth with a goth-punk vibe, this band, based out of Toronto, Canada, was well-known to some; one of the people I'd been in line with said there were folks who'd come to the show specifically to see them.

If you want to read more about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_Massacre. Someone at the show said that they are fond of Japanese music & such, & once opened - & it's confirmed in the Wiki article - for Aural Vampire! (http://youtu.be/XEkwyRDqdXs) It also makes it quite amusing that The Birthday Massacre's vocalist is called Chibi, a Japanese term that's come to denote small, cute characters (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chibi).



source - http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/11257587/Chibi+Ch_7.jpg

She is definitely cute! She's like a goth-cheerleader doll, very animated & seemingly sweet. She'd point at people in the audience, make little hearts with her hands, & tease the guitarists with funny faces & little touches. I thought she was gonna swipe the one guitarist's hat at one point! Of the other members, one had a very punk look, one looked a bit metal (I think this was the bassist, who kept jumping off the amp or whatever it was over on that side), the one with the hat was pretty straightforward, & the keyboardist was a trip! He kept climbing up on the keyboard & jumping about with his key-tar.

Here are some samples of what they played:

http://youtu.be/tLOfluH8mgQ - In The Dark

http://youtu.be/FWJ3_1oU7Uo - Always

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1H99SclU9c - Control

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHwjp8p5o84 - Red Stars (from the show)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5PDf6fx5xM - Blue (from the show)

http://youtu.be/0h1Xid6TNJo - Pins & Needles (from the show)

At the end of their set, they had us make some noise for Diru, & we certainly did, but we gave The Birthday Massacre a good bit of appreciation, too. They deserved it.

Back to the weird psychedelic images for what seemed a very, very long time. More pit conversation, & watching the techs bring out Die & Kaoru's mic stands, each with a line of picks (Die's being the traditional red, & I think Kaoru's are blue this tour). I was about 6 or so people deep, pretty much in the middle but slightly toward stage left, or Die's side, so I could see around the side of the screen the line-up of Die's various guitars.

The crush began as people from the back started pushing forward. And somebody said they were starting a mosh pit behind us.

I found the setlist on http://diru-tabloids.livejournal.com/ (credit to [livejournal.com profile] wickedteletubby; I just put in the Romaji for the Kanji titles & noted that some of the songs were played in their new version as opposed to the original renditions):

01. 狂骨の鳴り
Kyoukotsu no Nari
02. 激しさと、この胸の中で絡み付いた灼熱の闇
Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami
03. OBSCURE (new)
04. 獣慾
Juuyoku
05. LOTUS
06. THE FATAL BELIEVER
07. ROTTING ROOT
08. Mazohyst Of Decadence
INWARD SCREAM
09. THE BLOSSOMING BEELZEBUB
10. 蜜と唾
Tsumi to Kisei
INWARD SCREAM
11. 「欲巣にDREAMBOX」あるいは成熟の理念と冷たい雨
"Yokusō ni Dreambox" Aruiwa Seijuku no Rinen to Tsumetai Ame
12. DIFFERENT SENSE
13. GRIEF
14. 冷血なりせば
Reiketsu Nariseba
Encore
15. HYDRA -666-
16. THE FINAL
17. 羅刹国
Rasetsukoku (new)
18. Outro - VANITAS (Instrumental Mix)

I'm not gonna go over every song Diru played once they took the stage, just a note here & there. Rather, I'm gonna pepper this with video clips - none of which I took - just to help you get the feel of this. Such experiences speak for themselves.

I didn't even hear Kyoukotsu no Nari (the instrumental that opens the new album, Dum Spiro Spero - for those who don't know, the album's title is a Latin phrase that translates to, "While I breathe, I hope"), I just suddenly heard people screaming, & then...

Shinya! Looking beautiful as ever in a gauzy, long-sleeved, white shirt (I couldn't really see what anybody was wearing on the bottom).

Die! In a white shirt with a dark jacket.

KYO! Wait...Kyo? He usually comes out last. Which means I missed Kaoru & Toshiya! Looking to the far end of the stage, there they were, both dressed in black.

Actually, Kyo didn't come out so much as he appeared, wearing a sort of greyish overcoat & dark pants. And that look. Steely. Piercing. Powerful.

I was a little surprised they started with something fast, as opposed to slow & pulsing, but the familiar riffs of Hageshisa began, & the whole pit was jumping! Of course, we sang along with the title line, & the "other side of death" bit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YsTepnX0rA - Kyoukotsu no Nari/Hageshisa

The next couple of songs were rough. The crush was prob'ly the worst yet. I'm happy to say, tho', that there didn't seem to be any violence going on, which is a nice turnaround from the things I heard about last year's tour (I didn't go in the pit last year).

I love how, right before they went into the new Obscure, Kyo pulled his coat over the lower half of his face, like you see cowly-caped vampires do in old movies. (Pretty sure that's when he did it.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckIKrBrN1VQ - Obscure (new)/Juuyoku

During the early part of the set, I lost track of myself a bit. Whilst reveling in the awesomeness of the band members on-stage before me, I was trying to deal with the lack of saliva in my mouth. Sorry if that sounds gross, but I was losing my ability to swallow. I would debate with myself for some time, whether or not to abandon the pit. I was hoping I could just muddle through it. But I was also a bit light-headed from the lack of oxygen, & very little food.

With Lotus, the crush seemed to let up somewhat, & we once again sang along, with the chorus. (We sang along with a lot of these songs.) I was happy to hear The Fatal Believer, which I'm pretty sure they played at my first Diru show in '07. I was also happy that Kyo decided to ditch the coat at this point. Sorry, I gotta fangirl - boy looks damn good shirtless.

http://youtu.be/qyecIrK1BrQ - The Fatal Believer

After this...the gem. Back to the first album for one of the most amazingly poignant songs this band has ever done: Mazohyst of Decadence.

http://youtu.be/yT6oV481HcY - Mazohyst/Inward Scream

It was at this point that I broke out the camera. I usually never bring my camera to shows (the venues technically don't allow it), but I did this time. Thought I was gonna take photos of/with friends, but I ended up not doing that. Managed to snag a couple of stills & a few video snippets of the Diru set.



Kyo during Mazohyst. I love the colours!



Kyo. Those tattoos never cease to fascinate me.

I couldn't get any stills of Toshiya or Shinya, but I got them on my video clips. Those really aren't so hot, so I'm not including them here. I have to say - & this will prob'ly make me sound very old - although the band sounded great, I think everything is way too loud. It distorts the music so much, there are times when you have to be halfway through a song before you realise which one you're listening to. I have no idea how some of these cameras or phones were able to capture the sound without it sounding like a lot of fuzz. Of course, I'm glad they did!

Rotting Root was one of those numbers that I dig, but hadn't seen them do live. Kyo seemed to be dancing quite a bit, which made me happy. He, of course, did all his fantastic, twisting body-movements, too, like during the Inward Scream segments (I'm really glad the clip I found on-line of the I.S. after Mazohyst didn't pick up the people behind me that were laughing during part of that, 'cuz my own clip did). Those contortions are amazing (as are the facial expressions & other assorted motions), but when he gets into the rhythm & dances, you can tell he's not only into it, he's enjoying it.

As were we.



Kyo (& a teeny, tiny bit of Shinya on the lower right). I really like the way my camera caught the lights.



Kaoru.



Die.

Other shots from the show (much better than mine) can be seen here:

http://fuckyeahkyo.tumblr.com/tagged/Irving-Plaza

http://rottingcomplex.tumblr.com/tagged/irving+plaza

http://patrikbataar.tumblr.com/tagged/Andrei%20Khashan

http://www.flickr.com/photos/35520766@N07/

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2864102164125.152648.1306888548&type=1#!/media/set/?set=a.2864102164125.152648.1306888548&type=1

http://www.flickr.com/photos/53465909@N08/sets/72157628520310183/with/6552475707/

http://carouselstreet.com/2011/12/dir-en-grey-irving-plaza-12122011/

Unfortunately, after Rotting Root, I was feeling seriously dehydrated. I had completely lost the ability to swallow, & just couldn't take any more. Lack of air, I can handle. Crush, I can handle. But not this. I tried, I lasted half the set. I lamented terribly having to leave the pit, but I needed to drink something. Went to the bar & got a soda. Overpriced, but necessary.

I hadn't noticed it the last time I was at Irving Plaza (maybe it's a new feature), but - much like the first Moi dix Mois show I attended - there were monitors (& not just at the bar, there were more on the upper level where the rails were) showing the concert. I drank 'til I got brain-freeze & watched on the monitor as they perform Dreambox.

http://youtu.be/AjZsBJZddc8 - Inward Scream/Dreambox

I was a little miffed, tho', that it wasn't until AFTER I was out of the pit that the other guys started coming forward, switching positions, & doing other cool stuff. I was relieved to have had my drink, but now I wanted to get back into the pit! Seriously! I was missing it. The back is cool 'cuz you can see everybody pretty well, & it's nice to be able to breathe when you want to, but there's something about being in the thick of it, being that close, being in the midst of all that life, all that energy, that is unmatched by simply being a distant observer.

Note to self: next time, drink an hour or 2 before door-opening time. And bring something like Life-Savers or cough drops to stimulate saliva when in the pit.

http://youtu.be/SYfprUPq_jQ - Different Sense

What? No tentacles? (Just kidding!) Ah, Different Sense. One of my favourites of the new lot. I'm surprised Kyo didn't come out in the Noh mask, tho', at any point during the show. Many of the photos I've seen from this tour feature him wearing it (when he isn't wearing his tracksuit - & we didn't get the tracksuit). Not like it's a big deal, it just would've been neat to see.

Anyway, as I was saying, I was singing along & jumping about, but it's really not the same, being in the back as opposed to the pit. I must say, tho', that this crowd was quite gracious. There was more than a bit of looking out for each other in the pit, & when someone needed to get out, people cleared the way very quickly.

Now, if only they could invent a way to let someone back in...

They played Grief! I love Grief! I've never had Grief! Live, I mean. I also love that quite a few of the songs (including Grief) had Kaoru, Toshiya, & Die all doing back vocals. I really enjoy that. Die is still wind-blown, LOL. Toshiya didn't jump about as much this time. Still ultra-cute, tho'. I wish I'd seen more of Kaoru.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTy8QV_yMKg - Reiketsu Nariseba

Astounding moment when Kyo gets up on his box & displays his tattooed back to the audience in Reiketsu Nariseba. Just breathtaking.

Then they were off.

A few minutes of our cheering & the customary chants of, "Dir en grey! Dir en grey!" & "Encore! Encore!" brought them back out.

What got me, when they re-emerged, & I mean moved me, was the way Kyo beat the mic against his heart, before they launched into Hydra 666.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfUa13N_Xx4 - Hydra 666

I'd never had the chance to hear Hydra 666 live, tho' I've preferred the live version (there was one on one of the DVD's they released - was it with one of the singles? I think so) ever since I first heard it. Not that the recorded one isn't good, there's just more power to it when they do it live.

The Final has become a familiar favourite, kind of like an old friend, something nostalgic (even tho' it was only a couple of albums ago - certainly not as far back in their repertoire as something like Mazohyst). It's a real "bonding song" of sorts, with the entire room singing the chorus with - or to - Kyo. And wow, did he ever hold that note in the last line!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgYGUjParHs&feature=related - The Final

"New York!" Kyo shouted out at us a few times, eliciting cheers & howls. "Last song," he says. "NO!" we shout. "Last song!" he shouts. "NO!" we scream.

This goes on for a bit. Finally, "New York!" again a couple of times, one more "Last song," we're all screaming, & Rasetsukoku began pounding through the theatre.

http://youtu.be/wE7DZzoIR2Y - Rasetsukoku (new)

I wish I could've filmed the ending, but the on-stage lights were really bright & my camera wasn't picking up the boys so well. But they were lovely to watch as they gave their thanks & little tributes to the audience. Kyo even seemed to stay out a tiny bit longer than usual, spitting water on the audience & clapping. Die, Toshiya (I think Toshiya), & even Shinya were throwing water on the audience, & I'm guessing Kaoru, too (I really didn't see a whole lot of him this time around). I know the 3 guitarists threw picks out. I saw Die's water bottle go into the audience. Shinya threw drumsticks & tossed out his drum-head like a frisbee. It hit the wall & went off to the side somewhere. I wish I'd been in the pit, to see him that close! (Not counting that meet-&-greet I was able to get with him & Die 2 years ago.) Die was sweet as he gave the audience the finger, like his way of saying, "I love you." Toshiya clapped & did his little Namaste-esque thing. He always looks very grateful.

Soon they were gone. I'd looked for my pit-friends, but didn't see them. My friend that lives a few towns over was kind enough to go to coat-check for me whilst I went for merch. Caught up with a couple of the ladies I'd chatted to in line, tho' I lost track of my long-distance friends. A couple people I knew were going on to the next show (Boston), so I guess they all left quickly to get some rest for an early start.

Got my merch - t-shirt & poster - & OMG! There was a charity jar marked "The Puppy Fund". I had to donate to the puppies. How can you not donate to puppies?! It's also well-known that Shinya has quite an affection for dogs, so I'm hoping that elicited some extra charity from fans willing to shell out for all that merch.

I took photos of the stuff I bought - you can see them on my Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2262953823846.2098834.1548491398&type=1&l=b1db3a10f6

Incidentally, you'll notice on the poster & tour shirt that this tour is known as "Age Quod Agis" - this is Latin for, "Do what you do, & do it with all of yourself."

After a brief snafu (there'd been some chaos at coat-check & they forgot to give my blanket bag & chair to my friend, only giving her my coat) & security seeming to really wanna rush us out of there - even locking the front doors & making us go out the back! - we were outside in the cold again, & I got a can of soda at a nearby food & drinks cart 'cuz I was still pretty dang thirsty.

My friend & I made our way back to Penn Station, but had to wait nearly an hour for the train. We got into conversation about the show & the band & it spiraled from one topic to another, as conversations do, even merging a few topics here & there. A woman came up to us & said she'd been having a crappy day, but hearing us chatter & laugh really cheered her up & made her evening. Then she said something about having some people she might want us to beat up - ??? It was a bit weird, but pretty funny.

At long last, the train came, & my friend & I chatted all the way back. At my stop, so late at night, it's a bit scary. Not only 'cuz it's not the greatest area, but because I'm reminded of my return from Japan last year, when I got stranded there. Luckily, our December so far has been snowless, so I trekked up to where I'd left my car in the now nearly deserted parking deck, paid my parking fee, & hustled on home.

It was somewhere around 3 in the morning, or pretty close to it, when I got back. Wanted to pass out, but I was still excited! Looked at my pics & clips again. Drooled over my merch. Watched some tv. Zonked at around 4:00.

Maybe it was sitting on a cushioned seat for close to an hour on the train from NY, but my back had started to feel better. Slept on & off quite a bit the following day.

And started writing this. ^_^

Date: 2011-12-16 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] el-jefe59.livejournal.com
I don't think I could wait in line like that, as I am too addicted to comfort! But I'm glad it was a good show, Koi, and that you got to go! Great pictures, too!

Date: 2011-12-16 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] japanesedream.livejournal.com
Thanks, koi, on all counts! Yeah, I'm a big fan of comfort, myself, but it actually ends up being fun, & it's a small price to pay to be that close. ^_^ Perhaps in better weather, & for the right act, you might be persuaded? ;)

Date: 2011-12-16 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] el-jefe59.livejournal.com
Perhaps.....

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