PARADOX OF RETALIATION: DIR EN GREY in Cracow, Poland

live report - 23.09.2011 10:01

Kyo’s watching you!

Kyo pointed at his eyes with two fingers and then straightened his arm, pointing at the audience, still keeping the same gesture. Every part of the crowd he pointed at screamed deafeningly. Knowing that it was a sign that meant he noticed them, the audience showed their affection and appreciation towards the band even more fervently. For many, that was perhaps the most precious memory from DIR EN GREY’s live in Cracow, Poland. The gig, which was part of the PARADOX OF RETALIATION tour, took place on August 20 at club Studio.

It was DIR EN GREY’s third live in Poland. For those lucky enough to attend their live in Warsaw two years ago, they would have noticed changes in the band, the most significant change being the way the band acted towards their fans. In the past, the band members would merely carry out their performance and leave the stage. Kyo would scream a few times to the audience but it wasn’t anything significant and he showed no interest in communicating with the fans.

This time, it was different. The band didn’t take a 180, but their attitude visibly changed. It seemed like Kyo enjoyed the fact he could perform there, and already in the beginning he let the audience scream the title line of Hageshisa to kono mune no naka de karamitsuita shakunetsu no yami. A small smile appeared on his face but he was soon back to his professional self and stayed serious until the gig’s end. However, during REIKETSU NARISEBA, he stood with his arms wide open and forced the audience to scream their lungs out, nearly losing their voices to meet his expectations. Kyo yelled the name of the country many times, and every one of his screams was welcomed by a frenzied burst of happiness.

Kaoru also maintained a very professional look all the time. His emotionless expression and the attention he was paying to his work made him stand still most of the time. The music he created, however, was enough to compensate the audience for his stoic posture. His amazing solos and fantastic way of playing during new tracks could not be missed.

Die and Toshiya were fairly different from Kaoru as they were full of energy all the time. The small stage restrained the bassist from running about, but he still let himself jump wildly behind Kyo’s back. Die shook his short hair to the songs and sometimes head banged really hard. Both showed their enthusiasm at the end of the live when they put down their instruments and spent some time with their fans. Smiling, Die threw picks into the crowd and Toshiya took the bottle of beer prepared for him, shaking it and spraying it on the audience like a winner of Formula 1.

The fans tried to show the affection they had towards the band by screaming and chanting the band’s name. Calls for “DIR EN GREY” between the songs never lasted long enough because band was following the schedule really tightly and didn’t let any deviation from their plan occur. But the plan they had was great and very intense. They selected the heaviest songs from DUM SPIRO SPERO, impressive numbers from their latest singles and some of their older compositions, making a fantastic set which let the fans expand their energy and lose their voices from screaming.

Songs from their newest album were mostly violent and fast. The audience was enthusiastic about them, and deafening riffs as well as solid bass and fast drums provided the chance for everyone to let off some steam. During DECAYED CROW, Toshiya lent his voice to support the vocalist during the chorus. "Yokusou ni DREAMBOX" aruiwa seijuku no rinen to tsumetai ame required careful listening to Kyo’s psychedelic vocals. In some parts he sang in an almost-operatic voice, while in others he drastically changed the pitch. Together with parts resembling mantras, the band created one of the best moments of the live in terms of vocals.

Kyo's performance was particularly noteworthy. The incredible experience of the live could be attributed to the way he showed off his feelings and expressed them with his whole body. During INWARD SCREAMS, he not only made perfect use of his voice but also gesticulated in astonishing way. He also sang while lying on the ego riser or as he fell on his knees and squirmed on the floor. During Tsumi to kisei, he put the microphone on the ego riser and bent over it while singing with his arms twisted behind his back. Shokubeni let him show off his fantastic a capella singing. His voice resonated in the venue and left the silent listeners extremely impressed.

Shinya was another star of the evening. His amazing skills were attention grabbing and some moments were almost breathtaking. He pounded the drums with incredible strength but didn’t seem to be exhausted. One of the most impressive moments was during REIKETSU NARISEBA where Shinya played a short part on rototoms. Every song was amazing thanks to his speed and mastery, but also grace.

Finally, it was time for the encore. Chants of “DIR EN GREY!” were cut short by deafening screams when the band appeared on stage. They quickly started to play the first song of the encore, Zakuro. Some of the fans, moved by the lyrics and emotions hidden in Kyo’s voice, cried while others were more rockish in their reactions as they pumped their fists to the regular beat and flashing white lights. During this song, when the instruments were slightly put aside, fans could truly listen to Kyo’s voice. Until then, it was rather difficult to hear his voice because of the poor sound system in the venue.

The second song during the encore was C from the Withering to Death album. It was quite a surprise as it wasn't an oft performed song, but audience enjoyed it a lot, singing the lyrics "dead freedom" along with Kyo and jumping to the hard crashes of the cymbals. The last portion of everyone's energy was spent on Rasetsukoku. It seemed as if DIR EN GREY was willing to totally exhaust their fans and destroy the venue. The crowd did their best, aware that it was their last few minutes to spend with the band. Fans jumped wildly, urged by the frenzied beat that was accompanied by Kyo's growling and screaming.

The musicians took their time on stage before they left. When they disappeared, the crowd felt a bit confused, not willing to accept the fact that the concert had ended. Fans were still waiting in front of the empty stage even after the staff members started to disassemble the equipment. Although it was really difficult to fully enjoy the show when the vocalist could barely be heard, this live was without a doubt a success and technical issues with the sound system in the venue couldn’t spoil the impression DIR EN GREY made on everyone. This concert definitely surpassed the live played two years ago and if the band is displaying the upward tendency in terms of preparing the show and communicating with the fans, one can only wonder what will happen when DIR EN GREY next visits Poland again.


Set List:

01. Kyoukotsu no nari
02. Hageshisa to kono mune no naka de karamitsuita shakunetsu no yami
03. Obscure
04. LOTUS
05. Agitated Screams of Maggots
06. DECAYED CROW
07. DIFFERENT SENSE
08. The Deeper Vileness
-INWARD SCREAM-
09. "Yokusou ni DREAMBOX" Aruiwa seijuku no rinen to tsumetai ame
10. Shokubeni
11. Tsumi to kisei
-INWARD SCREAM-
12. Hydra -666-
13. REIKETSU NARISEBA
14. AMON
15. Zan

Encore
01. Zakuro
02. C
03. Rasetsukoku
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