X JAPAN LIVE IN JAPAN 2018 Kurenai ni Somatta Yoru at Makuhari Messe - Day 2

live report - 05.12.2018 00:01

A live report covering the second day of X JAPAN's "Kurenai ni Somatta Yoru" at Makuhari Messe.

X JAPAN held a spectacular three-day event at Makuhari Messe, with around 30,000 fans celebrating the long-awaited one-man experience. Before the show started, the audience could enjoy spending time at the drink and food stalls, the goods stands and various booths, where one could, for example, take photos with YOSHIKI’s model crystal piano or drum set.

The main venue was filled with a mixed crowd consisting of people from different generations. Ranging from young children to older couples, they were all eager for the show to start, chanting “We are X” together. Clips of the YOSHIKI CLASSICAL preview and other documentary and advertising clips were shown, and after a wait, the beginning of the live was announced.

Accompanied by an operatic SE, the crowd raised red glowsticks in an “X” shape. As clips of overseas performances were shown on the big screens above the stage, the members appeared. The show kicked off with the famous RUSTY NAIL, the crowd going wild and being egged on by ToshI. As the song quieted down, the whole of Makuhari Messe sang in unison. For JADE, YOSHIKI slid behind the piano, which was set up close to the drum set, and the song started off with a smooth piano intro, then taking a turn when YOSHIKI jumped back behind the drums as the song developed in a heavier direction. Towards the end, flames lit up the stage and the song concluded with a fire show.

Next came one of the group’s newer songs, BENEATH THE SKIN. Starting with a sad guitar melody and ToshI’s unusually soft voice, the song switched things up by transitioning into heavier bits and going back to quieter melodies in waves. The song definitely had a more modern sound, but it still carried the essence of X JAPAN in its live performance.

YOSHIKI and ToshI greeted the crowd, drawing enthusiastic screams in response. They discussed this event being their first one-man show since their gig in 2010 at Nissan Stadium, and how the members were very excited to perform in front of everyone. YOSHIKI went on to introduce the next song HERO, which is another newer track, but one that was familiar to the audience. It is a song about the biggest fight one has in life, the fight with oneself. He said that he wrote this song when debating whether to take his own life, but that its message is positive, and as everyone gave strength to the band, they wanted to give it back to everyone. HERO started with soft piano and singing, developing more upbeat melodies, and the lyrics were shown on the screens so that the fans could sing along with the strong message of the song.

Next came the heavily electronic DRAIN, which had a very different vibe from the other songs. It was performed by the trio of ToshI, PATA and HEATH, with the strong bass lines coming to the forefront. As the lights dimmed and dark background music started playing, SUGIZO’s atmospheric, captivating violin solo followed.

The big screens showed hide’s face, and the fans screamed his name. An excerpt of a documentary was shown where the guitarist talked about how he joined the band because he just wanted to have fun with YOSHIKI. The drummer was then shown saying, at a later time, that had he not asked hide to join, he might still be alive. The show continued with the hide with Spread Beaver song HURRY GO ROUND, played by a piano and a string group. hide’s voice was played and clips of him were shown in the background, moving some fans to tears. This was followed by the famous FOREVER LOVE, which saw ToshI’s strong voice move the audience even more.

A documentary about YOSHIKI’s struggle with neck damage was played, showing times where he had to travel in a wheel chair, followed by his glorious comeback. Thunder sounds and lightning announced the beginning of a drum solo. YOSHIKI got into position and took off his classy red jacket, ready to get down to business. The lengthy drum solo started gently, and as the drum set was raised higher and higher up in a cloud of smoke, the drumming got faster and more violent, culminating in the drum set reaching its highest position and YOSHIKI climbing on it once again, towering over the crowd. He was visibly tired, but did not stop, and he finished his show with a final energetic lap as fireworks lit up the venue.

LA VENUS started with ToshI performing acapella, and it was slower paced, but with an intense, saturated sound. In the following MC, YOSHIKI talked about how he never thought he would be able to play this way again, and he tearfully admitted that he drew the courage to do so from everyone. He stated that “X” is meant to signify infinite possibilities, and that nothing is impossible. He introduced the next song as one about endless opportunities and as one where the fans’ voices play a big part. During KISS THE SKY, ToshI sang along to the piano and string instrumentals before passing the baton on to the audience, who backed him up. The darker I.V. brought out some classical rock vibes, and the members moved around the wide stage, interacting with each other.

All of the fans raised their glowsticks into the "X" shape, and then hide was once again shown playing his guitar on the screen. ToshI started singing together with him. “It’s KURENAI!” screamed the singer. Cannons shot out strips of glitter foil and the fans reached out to grab them excitedly. As PATA and SUGIZO played together, ToshI ran around the stage, urging the fans to continue going wild and moving behind the drum set to playfully harass YOSHIKI. All of Makuhari Messe sang along to the chorus, concluding the set with an amazing atmosphere of unity and passion.

After the audience screamed for an encore, their calls of “We are X” accompanied by an epic SE, YOSHIKI came running down from one side of the stage to the other. He greeted the fans as they screamed the members' names, including TAIJI and hide. Fast drumming led into WEEKEND, one of the band’s classics that everyone was visibly excited to hear. SUGIZO and PATA’s guitars united in a fluid twin guitar solo.

During an MC, YOSHIKI teased ToshI and the vocalist parodied him in return, making the audience laugh. They talked about how they met when they were four years old, and how they never thought that they would stay together this long. They stated that believing in dreams is important and that miracles do happen. They went on to say that X JAPAN is not just the seven members, but the 30,000 people in the venue are also a part of the band, and they thanked everyone for staying with them even when the group had split up. With gratitude, the band proclaimed their endless love for the fans, going into the beautiful ballad ENDLESS RAIN. As old photos of the members were flashed on the screen, the fans united in singing along to the heartfelt song.

ART OF LIFE followed, starting with SUGIZO’s violin and continuing on with piano. The upbeat SILENT JEALOUSY brought a change of pace, as YOSHIKI’s incredibly fast drums and HEATH’s prominent bass lines moved the audience. The members ran around the stage interacting with each other to the catchy melodies of BORN TO BE FREE. SUGIZO went up on the drum stand and sang together with YOSHIKI, the two smiling happily at the cameras.

Concluding the set was the iconic X. The fans once again raised their glowsticks in the “X” shape, and the members ran from one side of the stage to the other accompanied by the speedy drumming of the song, cheering on the crowd. Following ToshI’s screams of “X!”, the audience did the famous “X” jump over and over again, making the floor of the giant venue shake. After introducing all seven members of the band, ToshI moved behind YOSHIKI to let him sing into his microphone.

The show ended with smiles on both the members and the fans’ faces, and the members thanked the fans and each said their goodbyes in their own unique ways over the final SE, SAY ANYTHING~FOREVER LOVE~TEARS. ToshI exclaimed that the fans were great tonight, as YOSHIKI crawled out from behind his drums looking exhausted. PATA greeting the crowd, casually drinking a beer, which the other members also stole some sips of. Having taken the time to thank the audience and to take pictures with them, the members ended the show with a last jump and a message stating that they want to continue doing their best together with all the fans, and that they love them.

Set list

02. JADE
04. HERO
12. I.V.

06. X
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