[MU:]'s first anniversary: ACOUSTIC UNIVERSE and MASTER OF UNIVERSE

live report - 12.06.2013 01:01

[MU:] celebrated their first anniversary with two impressive gigs in one day.

For their first anniversary, [MU:] offered their fans a double treat—an acoustic and a regular one-man show, the two concerts taking place in one day at Takadanobaba Phase.

For ACOUSTIC UNIVERSE VOL.01, seats were placed among the audience and on the stage, making for a comfortable show setting. To the quiet opening SE, the members took their places on stage and the live started with Esperanto, DAISHI supporting AIKA with his soft vocals in the chorus. CARNAVAL's dynamic, jazzy bass lines brought a charming new touch to the acoustic version of this moving song.

AIKA thanked the fans for coming to the show and announced that during the MCs he will give a chance to all members to record a video message to themselves a year later, so that on their second anniversary the "tami" ("people" or "nation", as the band call their fans) could check if all promises were kept. The summary of these messages will be given later in this report.

Souseiki was a song performed for the first time in acoustic arrangement. Its moving beats with a slight Spanish flair made a interesting mix with AIKA's peculiar Japanese singing manner. The soft, slightly melancholic Shiawase no daishou was even more delicate and touching in its acoustic version. The gentle Subaru, which started with AIKA playing a tin whistle, had a peculiar middle-age touch to its sound. ALMA in this acoustic arrangement presented the listeners with some groovy sounds, warming the atmosphere in the live house. The last song of the set [Rama:yana] brought more motion into the crowd as all fans clapped in unity to the dynamic, moving beats of this intense song even in its acoustic interpretation.

The video messages: Starting the video message series in the first MC, AIKA said that his year since [MU:]'s formation had been a year of challenges, with laughter and tears, and that he will fight even more the next year. USHI gave an amusing message to himself a year ago, proclaiming that this year was one during which he drank huge amounts of alcohol. On a more serious note, he noted that there were many new people and places he saw, and learnt things he didn't know before, and there would be a new him next year too. JET stated that there were many things achieved this year, and many things that they could not complete yet, and that there will be many fun and many painful memories that will have to be made in the future. "To the second year's JET, I hope you made it," he concluded. Finally, DAISHI recited the history of [MU:], starting with when AIKA called him and said that he wanted to challenge something new, through inviting JET to join, who agreed straight away while eating fried chicken in Shibuya, up to when USHI was introduced by a friend, just two months before the band's first live. It was a difficult start from nothing (corresponding with the band's name, as "mu" in one of its readings means naught), but the band tried out new things, coming to this year's conclusion. DAISHI admitted that there are some songs that he wanted to write that are fantasy-like next year, and he hoped that next year they would be able to present the fans with a number of new songs.

Set List

Opening SE
01. Esperanto
02. CARNAVAL
MC
03. Souseiki
MC
04. Shiawase no daishou
MC
05. Subaru
MC
06. ALMA
07. [Rama:yana]
Ending SE

MASTER OF UNIVERSE Vol.03

The second show started with the new opening SE, the band appearing on stage cloaked and urging their fans on with their fixed choreography, ending with a flag show. The set started aggressively, kicking off with the heavy [Rama:yana] and making a speedy transition into the energetic [inno:vator] with is speedy, vicious drumming. AIKA welcomed the crowd to [MU:]'s first anniversary, and screams of "Congratulations!" were heard in return. "Let's have fun together!" and the show continued with the dark ALMA with its heavy electronic beats and strong guitar lines. Distorted, calm but hard Shinsekai with its irregular rhythms cast a sinister shadow over the live house, with rays of light brought in by AIKA's bright voice in the chorus. The fans went crazy in the fast Souseiki with its intense metal sounds mixed with Japanese harmonies, and the members moved around the stage firing on the already boiling hot crowd. More head banging and towels spinning in the air came for the melodious but intense Esperanto.

Hoods covering their faces, AIKA and JET spoke of esperanto, the language of the old that was understood by all civilisations, but that was lost, buried in the history and forgotten. It was brought back in a new shape and shared now by [MU:] and the tami, and for such irreplaceable things, a price must be paid. But for that moment, with those bonds that were given to them, there was no price that would be scary to pay. The members announced the next song, Shiawase no daishou. Starting with an acoustic guitar and vocals with a rhythm and blues flair to them, the band took the listeners through a kaleidoscope of more intense electronic and moving, bright acoustic sounds in this powerful song. AIKA sung his heart out in the calm, touching Subaru.

Next, in their speech, DAISHI and USHI spoke in the name of gods of Sky and Earth. No matter what it is that you see at the end of your life, time flows equally, but your hopes spring life that is timeless, becoming the World Tree. The two urged the listeners to face the horizon and sing together, blooming flowers on the World Tree. The fans jumped and stretched their hands out towards the members to the bright and happy melodies of Yggdrasil, a warm atmosphere filling the live house. The whole crowd all the way to the back of the live house united in moshing to the dynamic melodies of Yumemigaoka, USHI's deep vocals adding new colours to the song's catchy sounds.

The band greeted the fans and thanked them for their support during the year, adding that although the band's followers are being called "the people," they are more like "gods" to them. The positive electronic sounds of GOD CHILD with a slightly medieval flair to them brought more light into the hall, the fans waving their hands together with the members. AIKA's operatic falsetto made an impressive conclusion to the song. The crowd screamed together with the members to the heavy but bright melodies of CARNAVAL, DAISHI making a memorable performance with his speedy flawless solo of almost one minute's length. Starting with heavy drums and USHI viciously swinging his hands up in the air, ENCOUNTER⇔INFINITY took a rocky turn and the fans united in dancing to the song's choreography along to the positive beats, concluding the main part of the live. The band thanked the audience for that day and promised to keep growing and walking forward together with everyone, asking their followers for continuous support.

Soon after the band left the stage, screams for an encore brought them back out. "Happy first birthday tami, can you walk straight on both legs already?" USHI greeted the crowd. He said that he fought for 365 days to improve himself for this day. JET said that it had been such an intense time that he couldn't believe it'd been only one year. Known for being a "rain-man" (in Japan, people who are believed to cause rain are labeled this way), he presented this title to the tami, whom he henceforth was going to blame if it rained on days of the band's lives, but also whom he asked to rain on the band for its growth. AIKA confessed that he laughed and cried a lot in this year when challenging new things in the band, but the members and the fans always supported him and he felt that he couldn't have been here without them. He thanked everyone and asked for continuous support. DAISHI stated that [MU:] had been challenging chromatic, celtic sounds recently and that they have had many heavy songs in the past, but from now on he wanted to create more fun songs both for the fans and the members that were not a fairytale but fantasy.

Since the band can't use the acoustic guitar at event lives and can't play Shiawase no daisho much, they took the chance to play this beautiful, touching song one more time. The fans united once again in GOD CHILD, smiles filling the audience. "Thank you, you are the best!" the band thanked the fans and left the stage.

The crowd quickly called them back for another encore and the band used this opportunity to explain to the fans the choreography for their new opening SE. The fans knelt down so that everyone could see AIKA and USHI who climbed off the stage and, pretending to be part of the audience, cheered as DAISHI and JET went out on the stage imitating the beginning of a show. Fooling around and having a lot of fun, the members seemed to destroy the boundary between the floor and the stage. "This is really the last song, so give us your best voice!" AIKA urged the crowd on, and the audience danced together to the fast, energetic beats of ENCOUNTER⇔INFINITY as the band members happily put arms around each other, smiling brightly.

"We are going to do our best to play in bigger venues!" the band promised, and joining hands they jumped up in the air together with the crowd. To the loud cheers of the fans, the members took time to say their goodbyes and left the stage. As always with their shows, the [MU:] created a distinct world with their powerful performance, giving their fans a lot of warmth and energy, leaving a long-lasting impression on everyone present in the live house.

Set List

Opening SE
01. [Rama:yana]
02. [inno:vator]
MC
03. ALMA
04. Shinsekai
05. Souseiki
06. Esperanto

~AIKA and JET's speech~
07. Shiawase no daishou
08. Subaru

~DAISHI and USHI's speech~

09. Yggdrasil
10. Yumemigaoka

MC
11. GOD CHILD
12. CARNAVAL
13. ENCOUNTER⇔INFINITY
Ending SE

Encore:
14. Shiawase no daishou
15. GOD CHILD

Encore 2:
Entrance SE explanation class
16. ENCOUNTER⇔INFINITY
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