live report - 16.09.2017 01:01

THE SIXTH LIE impress with their international debut at London’s HYPER JAPAN festival.

While they only formed in 2015 and are still relative newcomers, self-styled “future rock” band THE SIXTH LIE bring their fusion of EDM and rock music to London for their first overseas live. The HYPER JAPAN festival is the first stop on the SHIN x THE SIXTH LIE Europe Tour 2017 “The Inception”, which sees them join ex-ViViD singer SHIN for shows across the continent in Paris, Cologne, Munich and Hamburg. They aren’t shy about their international ambitions, and they take full advantage of the opportunity with a powerful performance in front of a new overseas audience.

With the backing of a synth-led intro, guitarist Reiji and bassist Hiroto take their positions while Ray, in his customary hoodie, sits at the drums. As the opener Another Dimension begins, Hiroto whips the crowd up shouting “Clap your hands!” before singer Arata joins the band on stage announcing, “We are THE SIXTH LIE!” Dressed in white, with a silvery grey jacket, the vocalist stands out against his black-clad bandmates, cutting a lithe figure and exuding an impressive stage presence as he launches himself into the performance. For a band that employs a lot of dance elements in its music, this number is actually heavy stuff live as they smash it out with a fierce drive and energy. Hiroto and Reiji even indulge in a spot of synchro headbanging.

The heavy rock sound continues with Wake Up Your Fire, and its stomping synth beats set the crowd off jumping and clapping. Midway through, a drum and synth crescendo is Hiroto’s cue to take centre stage for a slap bass solo, which he spanks out with one foot raised on the monitor.

With barely a pause for breath they’re into Stay Back, dialing back the hard rock sound for a brisk synth-emo number. In their videos and publicity shots Hiroto is often seen wearing a glowing digital mask, but it is not here today. Making the most of his freedom, he steps forward to the edge of the stage and leans right out to the crowd, flashing a cheeky grin that draws excited screams from some female fans.

Arata disappears backstage while a moody synth intro starts a brief instrumental interlude. Hiroto gets everyone going again by shouting “Clap your hands!” and throwing in a bout of surprisingly stylish headbanging. It’s pretty obvious from the way the members have attacked their set that they’re pumped to be here in London and Arata confirms as much as he returns to the stage, minus his jacket, admitting “I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time.” He goes on to announce the next number saying “This next song is a cover song. Next song is … ”, then he turns to drummer Ray who finishes, “Bring Me the Horizon – British band” and the British crowd cheer in appreciation. Arata continues, “I love this song and I respect them. Please listen!” Their version of Oh No is sung in a higher octave than the original, giving it a more sensitive feel and Arata gets the chance to display his vocal range. He’s already proved he can belt it out, but here he shows that he can tug on the heartstrings too.

They switch the pace up with The Walls, a synth-heavy, emo-rock number with a rousing chorus. Arata tells the crowd “You guys are so cool, thank you” before the final song of the set, Endless Night. Starting with gently chiming guitar and sensitive vocals it soon bursts into an anthemic, synth powered chorus that gets everybody jumping again. Hiroto treats the crowd to some one-handed bass playing, spurring them on with his fret hand raised, as they build to the big finish and the night comes to an end all too soon with the words “Endless night” ringing out.

While the members take in their well-earned applause, Ray comes to the front to give away one of his drumsticks, briefly teasing the crowd before choosing a lucky recipient and Hiroto flings his picks into the audience for souvenirs too. As everybody assembles for the obligatory HYPER JAPAN post-gig photo with the fans, a lone female voice cries “Ai shiteru!” (“I love you!” in Japanese) from the crowd, raising smiles from the band before the moment is captured. We know how at least one fan feels about THE SIXTH LIE, and if this show is anything to go by, their energetic brand of “future rock” will be winning more hearts in the years to come.

Set List

01. Another Dimension
02. Wake Up Your Fire
03. Stay Back
04. Oh No
05. The Walls
06. Endless Night
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