girugamesh Live in Chiba

live report - 25.02.2011 00:01

girugamesh returned triumphantly to their hometown in Chiba for a concert that retold their history as a band.

Ichikawa City Cultural Hall is not a place where you usually go for rock concerts. But if you happened to grow up in the little Tokyo suburb of Ichikawa in Chiba prefecture, and then went on to become famous, what could be better than to hold a rock concert right there? This is exactly what girugamesh did for their special concert Gaisen kouen "CHIBA" ("Gaisen" means "triumphant return"), and hordes of fans and old friends assembled in the hall to see the band on their home turf.

When the white sheet in front of the stage fell and the four band members dressed in black suits as in the old days were revealed, the roar from the audience was deafening. The 2007 song Volcano opened the set, and the crowd went crazy to the heavy beat. This was followed by yet another song from the same era, Omae ni sasageru minikui koe, also a really heavy number that showed that Satoshi still remembers how to growl. Actually, everything was just like those earlier times, and even the band logo displayed behind the stage was the one used in 2006.

The band looked a little small on the big stage and the metal sound seemed slightly out of place in the hall, but girugamesh continued to play one after another of their old numbers, and it didn't take long before they had everyone convinced. The hard but bouncy CRAZY-FLAG had the crowd jumping enthusiastically and the slow, heavy beat of Zero really showcased the nu-metal sound that girugamesh were once known for.

After the popular Owari to mirai, the band took a short break, and then Satoshi announced that the band members all attended their coming-of-age ceremony (a yearly public ceremony in Japan for all citizens turning 20 that year) in this very hall, but Nii was absent on that day. As a present he then offered the diploma that Nii never got that day, drawing lots of laughter from the audience when reading the text on the diploma aloud: "Dear Nii, you have now become an adult."

A few classical girugamesh songs followed, even older than the previous, and it was obvious that the band had fun on stage. The crowd loved it, and when at last the first chords of Kaisen sengen, the band's very first maxi-single, were heard, the happiness in the hall knew no limits. After this, although they were only halfway through the concert, the band waved to the audience and left the stage.

The white sheet was again put up in front of the stage, and on it a video showing the history of girugamesh was projected. It started out with a comical dramatization of the band formation, with the 16-year-old band members jokingly played by adult foreigners. After young ShuU had succeeded in dragging an unwilling Nii and the yankee Яyo into his band project, and then managed to find a singer in Satoshi (played by a bald old man), the video went on to present the band's released albums. The old releases were accompanied by equally old photos of the band in visual kei outfits, which caused great merriment in the audience.

When the video reached the present time and the album Go that was released the week before, the sheet fell once more, drawing a gasp from the audience. During the time the video was displayed, the stage had been rebuilt to a much more advanced level with ramps and background displays. The band members, now dressed in their present, more casual style, came out on stage again, except for Satoshi, who was raised up through a hole in the stage floor to everyone's surprise. When the new song destiny started, it was also clear that they had upgraded the lighting system. The advanced lighting effects and the background displays made a real difference, and suddenly the band didn't seem that out of place anymore and the big stage seemed just the right size.

Several songs from the new album followed, and although the audience might have been hearing them for the first time, they jumped and waved their hands in the air to show their appreciation. With the exception for the popular live hit evolution, all the songs played after the break were from 2009 and later, and the colourful lighting and psychedelic patterns shown on the displays changed the atmosphere completely. The show was rounded off with an encore featuring only one song, the slow ballad Saikai from the new album. It felt like a rather weak finish for such a powerful show, but the meaning was obvious since the band had announced their new Japan tour just before ("Saikai" means to meet again).

When the show was over the crowd realized that the concert itself was like a band history, and it was indeed impressive the way girugamesh made themselves appear. The audience started by wondering what this little group was doing on such a big stage and ended up being awed by such an amazing band playing in this insignificant hall. The light effects blended very well with the new songs, and it felt like a sort of "disco metal" that was both very catchy and quite unique. After this show, girugamesh can indeed return to their hometown with their heads held high.

(Part 1)
01. volcano
02. Omae ni sasageru minikui koe
03. Decieved Mad Pain
07. Dance Rock Night
08. Zero
09. Owari to mirai
10. Jarring fly
11. Shadan
12. smash!!
13. Kaisen sengen
(Part 2)
14. destiny
15. EXIT
16. Endless Wing
18. Calling
19. Mienai kyori
20. I think I can fly
21. Break Down
23. evolution
24. Never ending story
25. Saikai
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Ichikawa - Japan
Ichikawa City Cultural Hall
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