OBLIVION DUST "Zodiac Way Tour 2017-18" at HEAVEN'S ROCK Saitama VJ-3

live report - 06.15.2018 20:01

OBLIVION DUST mixes over twenty years of music for the benefit of their fans.

OBLIVION DUST had a zodiac themed tour in Japan after their return from the USA. Properly named Zodiac Way Tour 2017-18, the tour attempted to mix over twenty years of music for the benefit of their fans. The tour had several stops in live houses around Japan, which served for an intimate setting between the audience and the band.

As fans filled the HEAVEN'S ROCK Saitama VJ-3, lights shone over the stage. Arimatsu’s drum set was illuminated from above by red lights while the rest of the microphones had white spotlights. The stage was slowly filled with smoke, and purple and fuchsia lights were added to the mix. One by one the band members entered the stage. First Arimatsu on drums, followed by K.A.Z on guitar, Rikiji on bass, Yuji on second guitar, and finally Ken on vocals.

Ken wore a black long sleeve shirt with a dark pink tie, black pants, and the tour bracelet with all the zodiac charms, while K.A.Z wore a black T-shirt with a sheep design, and leopard print pants. Rikiji, on the other hand, wore a white shirt that had “Love thy Neighbor” written on it, while Arimatsu’s accessory of choice was a grey headband; Yuji had on a black shirt as well.

With K.A.Z and Rikiji playing on right and left raisers respectively, Sink The God marked the start of the night. With a mix of green, red and blue lights, Ken got on the middle riser as lights flashed to the rhythm of the drums. To the excitement of the fans, K.A.Z stretched towards them while playing.

Remains followed suit, but not before K.A.Z did a guitar change to an ocean blue and black colored guitar. White intermittent lights danced over the stage as more haze filled it. Rikiji did a bass-as-gun stance during part of the song, with Yuji to the left corner of the stage next to him. Lights went from red to blue to white.

Syndrome began with cutting lights alongside red spotlights. Vocalist Ken and guitarist K.A.Z shared one of the risers during the song, and K.A.Z bounced over to his own riser later on. The crowd raised their hands in the air at the beat of the song.

After the third song, Ken did a short MC for the attending fans. “Saitama! I love you all,” he said, which brought forth more excitement from the crowd, but then he interrupted with, “Now really, why do you get excited over me saying that?! It’s weird. Thank you for coming today, have fun!”

In Motion got the audience moving to the point of having them crowd surf towards the front, under the blue and green lights. Because of the size of the venue, the crowd surfers ended up really close to the stage members, and it seemed a little dangerous. While on his riser Ken promptly noticed this, and moved Rikiji’s microphone stand so it wouldn’t hit the crowd surfing fans. Rikiji sang during the chorus and Ken threw some water to the fans after the hectic performance from both the band and audience.

During DESIGNER FETUS, Ken got rid of the cable from his microphone for more freedom during the song. Red and blue lights covered the stage at the same time, eventually changing to yellow. Later on he ended up with two microphones, one with a cable and one without, so while standing on his riser he stuck the wireless microphone on his belt.

NO REGRETS brought on a bass change for Rikiji. Under the yellow stage lights, Ken walked from one side to the other singing next to each band member before eventually moving back to his center riser, inclining his mic stand towards the fans. Rikiji leaned in as well and threw one of his bass picks to the crowd, as Ken danced around in circles with the mic cable while continuing to sing.

As if to give a break to the audience, Sail Away followed calming the fans’ spirits. Ken sat on his riser with his back to the crowd at the start of the song, and later turned around to lean towards K.A.Z’s side, who played his guitar solo from his own riser.

After the song Ken spoke to the audience again, and noted that this date was the Canis Major Constellation live, so he went on with the next song Caprice. When the song began, at the start of the music rhythm Ken literally barked the lyrics — he replaced the lyrics with "wan", the Japanese onomatopoeia for barking. Everyone, including members and staff, was taken by surprise, and laughed. After that initial surprise the song was restarted for real, and fans clapped along per Ken’s request.

The deep blue lights filling the venue turned white and the crowd started to relax. BLURRED was the next slow song, and the lights went from white to purple to match the ambiance created by the smoke on stage. The vocalist held the microphone stand during the song. Next they transitioned into Gateway, keeping the white stage lights while K.A.Z climbed on top of his riser, instructing the audience to clap along. Rikiji and Ken traded positions on stage, taking over the risers as well. During the song Ken leaned towards the fans on the left side of the stage.

Never Ending had the spotlight on Ken while the rest of the band members had blue lights shining on them, along with the yellow lights over the entire stage. Evidence changed the atmosphere as bassist Rikiji removed his shirt and a disco ball came down to shine with bouncing yellow, blue, and pink lights. At this time was a highlight moment for guitarist K.A.Z, performing his solo part as noted by a spotlight overhead, and ended with him pointing at all the cheerful fans.

As pink and white lights fill the venue and the disco ball left, the song Lolita started. With the band members covered by red spotlights, Rikiji used his bass pick to play and goes on to do his gun-bass stance. Rikiji and K.A.Z then played over their respective risers, and when it was time for K.A.Z’s guitar solo, the lights turned red and he did his signature jump.

For Death Surf, Ken did a barking-singing start again, then asked everyone to sing along normally. Yuji and Rikiji helped with the chorus, while Ken jumped around and went in circles across his stage area, finally stopping to support himself on the microphone stand. Under My Skin started with K.A.Z over his riser, clapping at fans to get them to clap along with him. During this song Ken pulled up his shirt sleeves and undid his tie, leaving it hanging around his shoulders.

Haze had fans still clapping while the disco ball lowered again, and the lights over the stage turned blue. K.A.Z and Rikiji switched places on stage, and Ken squatted over his riser and sang. For the next song, Nightcrawler, red lights joined the blue ones and Ken began throwing water at fans from a bottle he was drinking, as Rikiji sang the chorus parts that said “water”. During the song, K.A.Z took over the left riser while Ken continued drinking water and throwing some of it at fans while singing. When the bottle emptied he threw it out to the audience as well.

For the last song, OBLIVION DUST played 24 HOUR BUZZ as lights turned a deep blue and green. This finale brought out a passionate solo from Rikiji, as well as an intense solo from drummer Arimatsu. Fans took this last chance and went all out by forming a huge mosh pit.

As usual there was no encore, but the band members lingered around long enough to say goodbye to everyone. K.A.Z gave away his remaining guitar picks and Arimatsu threw his drumsticks.

OBLIVION DUST will continue their activities across Japan in 2019, with tours announced during summer and fall. Check them out if you have the chance!

Set list

01. Sink The God
02. Remains
03. Syndrome
04. In Motion
05. DESIGNER FETUS
06. NO REGRETS
07. Sail Away
08. Caprice
09. BLURRED
10. Gateway
11. Never Ending
12. Evidence
13. Lolita
14. Death Surf
15. Under My Skin
16. Haze
17. Nightcrawler
18. 24 HOUR BUZZ
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