It's about time I start talking about some of the experiences I had during my trip to Japan last month!
The last time I went to a J-Rock concert was quite a while back...and it was here in Toronto. Dir en Grey had a North American tour and I jumped at the chance to see them live. Fast forward a couple years...
Bossu had brought up the idea that we could go to a Live in Japan, and I totally jumped into it saying I was in! I was really excited to see any J-Rock group live in concert! Just so happens that our trip coincided with some of the tour dates for The GazettE. To cut some details short, Bossu & Keiko's friend in Japan, Becca, (who I had never met..but kind of knew who she was), got us 4 tickets for one of their Lives. The nice thing about the ticket system in Japan is that it's randomly assigned, so you pay a base price, but your seats can be anywhere.
Imagine our surprise when Becca told us, WE HAD FRONT ROW TICKETS!! I think I had a heart attack...and then the pressure was on. I was forewarned ahead of time that rock concerts in Japan were a bit different than the ones here at home. No moshing, which is good! But there are these special furi moves you should know that go with the music. At first it wasn't a big deal since the likelihood that we were going to be behind someone to follow the movements was very high. However, when you're front row...you don't have anyone to follow!
Begin the hardcore GazettE boot camp! Becca took the time to make video tutorials for us to learn the moves to the music. Three weeks before the concert, we lived, breathed and committed ourselves to GazettE. We couldn't be 'dead fish' in the front row! Had to make Becca proud! Keiko came over a couple times to practice with me. Gosh, I am horrible when it comes to head banging, my neck muscles are so weak, it's not funny. \(>__<;)/
The video above is a great example of audience participation, a lot of it is head banging though. I just remember going into work after practicing one weekend, and I felt like I was paralyzed from the shoulders and up.
The morning of the concert, we still did a run through of the potential set list. I think I had two fears. One was flinging my neck off...and the other was getting tired quickly. I wasn't remotely bothered about the moves or freaking out about it...because if we didn't know them by then...well, it's kind of a lost cause. You can't do anything about it. I figure...as long as you try, and just look to your neighbors, you can figure out the motions...right? Right?!
|A picture of us. Me, Bossu, Becca-san, & Keiko|
What I found really interesting is that the girls were various fashions. Some are in very trendy clothes that you would probably see in Nonno magazines or somewhere in 109 Ladies, some are in Gyaru styles, Punk, GazettE cosplay, etc. There were 4 girls behind us dressed up as maids, they were really cute! However, they did so much head banging, I though their extensions/wig were going to fall off!! O__O! Before the Encore started, they stripped out of their maid outfits and underneath was a whole new set of clothes. I thought it was really funny... :)
|Venomous cell tour '11. Stage. Photo Credit: Bossu|
We don't have any decent pictures of the concert. Taking pictures during a Live is a big no no in Japan. Bossu just managed to sneak pictures of the stage and the venue before the guy holding the sign for 'no pictures' walked by.
|The concert venue. Photo credit: Bossu|
Ruki commented how he quite liked this venue for it's unusual layout and how it was all black.
We were so close to the stage...if I just bent over the seats that were blocked off in front of us I could have touched the stage. Maybe, if I had wanted to get mobbed by a bunch of fangirls and the security staff...I could have climbed over the seat and knocked out Aoi and kidnapped him. HOWEVER, my conscience said, "Don't do it, for you'll disgrace yourself and your peeps." LOL
It was probably one of the best concerts I've ever been to. The energy was electric and it was really fun. I thought I was going to pass out after the 6th or 7th song because I was still sick, but I fought through it. Towards the end I definitely ran out of steam for headbanging, so I did the simplified moves and watched the band (Thankfully, the girls next to us stood around a lot too, so it wasn't just me standing while everyone else was head banging). It's really neat seeing the band head bang in sync with the audience!! And the hair that flies around..! Keiko got me in the eye a couple times... :P
|My ticket. Front row baby!!|
|Booklet and mini promo-posters handed out to us, and some merchandise.|
The experience is so hard to describe. There are hardly words because it was just so amazing. Definitely a great experience to have gone through, and I have to say, if you ever get a chance to see a J-Rock concert in Japan, do it!
♥ ♥ ♥ An Awesome THANK YOU to Becca!!
For without her, we would not have experienced this!! ♥ ♥ ♥