Merry live in Paris

live report - 12.07.2006 07:00

Live report of Merry's concert on December 3rd at La Maroquinerie in Paris, France.

Merry's long awaited concert took place at La Maroquinerie in the evening of December 3rd. The hall was full of excited fans and people were already screaming and shouting for Merry. Even the roadies got cheered on! The concert hall was small but it had a very nice atmosphere and it was nice to see all these people who came to see Merry. There appeared to be roughly 300 in attendance, filling the concert hall.

Merry was the only band that played that evening so the concert started on time. The audience didn't have to wait very long before they got to see the five members of the band. They came out on the stage one by one, dressed in suits and the fans were going crazy!

They started off with Kyousou Carnival, which got everyone dancing. Gara really showed the audience what he coul do; his voice sounded as good live as it does on the albums. Nero was wearing glasses as he usually does but after about a minute they flew off as they tend to as he got into the music. That man just can´t keep his head still! It was amazing to see how energic they all were. Kenichi and Yu were standing on each side of the stage, and Tetsu was mostly standing on the left side. None of them moved very much, perhaps because the stage was small or because Gara tends to take up so much space with his antics.

The vocalist, Gara, was really amazing to look at. He was all over the place, giving the fans exactly what they wanted. Not only was he full of energy, he also got rather intimate with the microphone and the fans seemed to eat it up.

It seems like they chose the perfect songs for the concert. Everyone was dancing and jumping and it got hot really fast. It's surprising that no one fainted because people were pushing and sweating and the air got thick. It was hard to say who were there because they knew Merry and who was there just to see a new band, because every single person got into the music. Everyone was dancing and a lot of people were singing along with Gara. It gave a great feel to the whole concert. It almost felt like Gara was a teacher and we were his students doing exactly what he wanted us to do; go crazy. It was like a theatre. During Sayonara Ame (goodbye rain), Gara would look up, like it was raining, and he was rub his arms as if he was cold and wet, then suddenly the rain was gone and he looked relived. It was almost as if he made us believe that it was actually raining inside the concert hall.

After a few songs they took a small break but they didn't leave the stage. Instead they played some slow typical Japanese music and Gara wrote calligraphy, not only on a paper but he also painted on his chest. "Merry - go - mad" was what he wrote on one paper though in fact it was only he who went mad. He was hanging from the ceiling and everyone wanted a piece of him. Many fans brought gifts for the band members but they didn't accept anything. Only Tetsu, Yu and Kenichi threw their picks to the fans. Nero threw his drumsticks behind him instead of to the audience.

As always, Gara didn't speak at all. Nero had a paper on which he'd written down a few sentences in French. It seemed like no one really understood what he was saying so he tried mixing his sentences with English, Japanese, and French. The audience responded much better and everyone was happy; laughing and cheering for more. After thirteen songs or so you could see that the crowd was getting tired and it was getting even harder to breathe in the hall. I think we all hoped that Nero would talk more because it cooled everyone down and it gave us a small break before Merry gave us another reason to go wild.

Merry played Lost Generation and Japanese Modernist before Nero spoke again. It seems like Japanese Modernist was the song that everyone was waiting for as the crowd was singing so loudly that even Merry looked surprised. Yu had a pleased expression, like it was the first time he was hearing the fans singing this song. Gara really poured his soul into every note. Tetsu, Yu, Kenichi and Nero played their instruments with all their heart.

Seeing how the band interacted with the fans was great. Just like Merry wanted, everything was understood through the music. As Kenichi has said, they would play if it was only for one fan, and it really felt like they were playing for every single person in the hall. There was nothing shallow about the concert. The band members seemed very comfortable with the audience and they seemed very happy to be playing in Paris.

The concert seemed to be over very quickly because there was not one dull moment and, after nearly twenty songs, they left the stage. It didn't take very long before the fans called for an encore. They kept us waiting for a few minutes and they they returned in new outfits. None of them were wearing suits any longer, aside Gara who was also wearing his famous hat from the SCI-FI nu Chemical Rhetoric DVD from their show at Hibiya Yagai Ongakudo.

They started the encore with the song Ringo to Uso and again, people danced and sang and it was very beautiful to look at. Some in attendance even cried. Perhaps it was because they were just happy to see Merry or because the whole atmosphere of the concert was so lovely. They played six songs for the encore but unfortunately, everything has to come to an end. Before they left the stage for the last time, Nero thanked everyone who came and said "See you again soon."

The concert was absolutely mind-blowing. They didn't play their new song, Calling, but the setlist was amazing - I was really struck by the fact that they played so many "well known" songs! They sound amazing, they look amazing (the glitter!); the only word for it is amazing! Nero is hilarious and if you've ever watched his face during a live before, you'll understand why and he´s such an amazing drummer. Tetsu played his bass wonderfully as he always does. Yu and Kenichi put their soul into their guitars and they sounded great.

Hopefully Merry will return to Europe again sometime in the future. Their almost magical way of seducing the audience is enough to make anyone want more.



Setlist

01 Kyousou Carnival
02 Sentimental New Pop
03 Dekiai no Suisou
---
04 Meisai no Shinshi
05 Misemono Tengoku
06 Kimatteru Taiyou
---
07 Sayonara Rain
08 Kousoubiru no Ue de Last Dance
09 Bara to Katasumi no Blues
10 Refrain ~namida no doyoubi~
--- Calligraphy
11 Deji Note
12 Kubitsuri Rondo
13 Retro Future
14 PLTC
--- MC: Nero
15 Lost Generation
16 Japanese Modernist
--- MC: Nero
17 Nameless Night ~na mo naki yoru~
18 Freaks A GO GO
19 Mousou rendez-vous

--- Encore
E1 Ringo to Uso
E2 Mado Kara Nigeta Love Song
E3 Omoide Sunset
--- MC: Nero
E4 Hi no Ataranai Basho
E5 T.O.P
E6 Violet Harenchi



Pictures by Niok- and Ayou.

Thanks to Ganshin/JVStore and Merry.
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MERRY 12/03

MERRY
Paris - France
La maroquinerie
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