Dir en grey Live in New York
A live report of the last New York show during the band’s 2009 US tour.
It wasn’t too long until the lights in Blender Theater, a considerably smaller venue compared to where the band has played before in New York, dimmed and out came the opening act, SUICDE CITY. The band pumped up the audience with their high-energy stage show. After stage diving and encouraging the crowd to shout out for Dir en grey throughout their multi-song set, the tension had only grown as chants for Dir en grey circled throughout the venue.
One by one, the members came out from the right side of the stage and picked up their instruments as SA BIR played in the background. After getting their gear ready to go, SA BIR ended and the band went right into playing OBSCURE. Die and Kaoru remained in their spots, occasionally throwing in a head bang while Toshiya proved to be the most energetic from the start, twirling around onstage, flaring his kilt-like outfit out to his sides as he harshly shook his bass with his hard playing.
Merciless Cult was next. Shinya’s drumming was as impressive as always and throughout the chorus of the song, the band members all thrashed, bending at their waists throwing their whole bodies into brief head banging. Kyo called out “New York!” and let the audience sing a few lines before he resumed singing. Kaoru and Die watched each other from across the stage, keeping their guitar playing in perfect sync. The temperature in the venue was rising and after a few songs, Kyo pulled his shirt off, sweating from the intensity.
With a mix of head banging, dancing and jumping throughout RED SOIL and STUCK MAN, REPETITION OF HATRED raised everyone’s energy higher. Toshiya continued to bound about the back portion of the stage in a mix of jumping and dancing. Kyo and Kaoru mostly remained in their places, head banging, while Die strummed his guitar so hard it seemed his strings would snap.
THE DEEPER VILENESS only built up the tension as the whole crowd worked itself into a frenzy. Screams were heard from all over the venue as Kyo worked himself into contortion, casting his arms above his head as he looked down towards his feet and twisted his arms about in the air, as if he were strangling and then hanging himself. Then taking a moment for himself, Kyo let out a guttural hum that turned into a chant reminiscent to the feel of the band’s UROBOROS album.
BUGABOO was next, opened by Shinya’s drums. The audience sang along in some areas, while Kyo threw himself into the song. He sang with all his might through the next song,Toguro, which gave the audience a chance to settle down and watch the power coming from the vocalist as his stomach flew in and out with each breath. GLASS SKIN and Inconvenient Ideal built the energy back up and Vinushka drove it even harder with Shinya’s intense drumming. Kaoru and Die had completely submersed themselves into their playing while the energetic Toshiya continued to move about the back half of the stage, crossing between Shinya and Kyo but never quite heading to Die’s side of the stage.
Kyo called out once more “New York!” as DOZING GREEN started. Going crazy, both the crowd and band alike went nuts, head banging and thrashing about the venue with Toshiya’s continued constant encouragement. Reiketsu nariseba turned the venue into a sea of flying hair through to the end when Kyo stopped center stage and stretched his arms towards the audience as the blue stage lighting shone down on him like something from the sky. Without one further word, he left the stage, immediately followed by the remaining members.
With the stage lights dimmed, chanting rose from the crowd for an encore. Some dabbed at their faces with towels taking a moment to attempt to cool off before clapping their hands together. Chants of “Dir en grey!” and “Encore!” rose from all over the venue until finally, the lighting switched once more and out came the members looking refreshed.
Coming back out for an encore, the fan response was incredible. One could only speculate which of their older songs would make their US début tonight. With Die setting his beer down on his amp, it was clear the band was ready to start. AMBER sounded through the venue, causing the crowd to go nuts. Kyo threw himself into the catchy beat of the music and once again found himself dancing, raising his arms above his head and twisting his hips to the side. The song wound into Kodou, to which the audience and band alike took a short breather from the intensity of the show.
Not calm for long, the band began to play UGLY for the first time ever in the US. The crowd went absolutely wild, the song proving to be the night’s favorite. Feeding off the excitement from the audience, Kaoru and Die played together side by side, exchanging a sight rarely seen as the two were unable to hide their smiles. As the four front members approached the edge of the stage, the atmosphere in the smaller venue grew even closer as Toshiya reached out to slap the hands of excited fans, grinning ear to ear. The whole band had soon been completely taken over by the excitement and even found usually stoic and solitary Kyo smiling and egging the crowd on to shout out by yelling himself. He gave into the mood and reached downward a few times, high-fiving a few of the hands that eagerly reached out towards him.
Closing out the concert, Gaika, chinmoku ga nemuru koro sounded. The harder song summoned up the last bit of energy left in the audience as the band and their fans rocked out together as a whole. After the last few notes of the song played, the band left the stage one by one, chucking various things like water bottles and picks out into the crowd before departing. Toshiya was last to leave, giving one final wave goodbye. The show definitely lived up to and surpassed any expectations its attendees had. Once again, Dir en grey proved themselves to be unforgettable.
1. SA BIR
3. Merciless Cult
4. RED SOIL
5. STUCK MAN
6. Agitated Screams of Maggots
7. REPETITION OF HATRED
8. THE DEEPER VILENESS
11. GLASS SKIN
12. Inconvenient Ideal
14. DOZING GREEN
15. Reiketsu Nariseba
19. Gaika, Chinmoku ge Nemuru Koro