LUNATIC FEST. at Makuhari Messe: Part #1

live report - 07.21.2015 20:01

LUNA SEA unites J-rock bands and fans from all generations. LUNACY, 9mm Parabellum Bullet, the telephones, TOKYO YANKEES and coldrain take to the stage in Part #1 of JaME's live report on LUNATIC FEST.

LUNA SEA hosted a two-day festival at Makuhari Messe Convention Center on June 27th and 28th as the finale project of their 25th anniversary. Bands from all generations who deeply revere LUNA SEA participated in LUNATIC FEST. not only to celebrate the anniversary, but also to vitalize Japanese rock culture. LUNA SEA understood that the band is capable of playing a significant role of bridging younger and older generations in the Japanese music scene. Indeed, LUNATIC FEST. on June 27th was a showcase of the heritage of Japanese rock music. From ambitious youths to living legends, 12 bands performed on three separate stages named FATE, SHINE and MOON, all of which were named after LUNA SEA’s popular songs.

Performing bands in order: LUNACY, 9mm Parabellum Bullet, the telephones, TOKYO YANKEES, coldrain, LADIES ROOM, SIAM SHADE, Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas, DIR EN GREY, DEAD END, X JAPAN, and LUNA SEA.

LUNACY — FATE STAGE

LUNACY was the band name LUNA SEA used during their indies period. Five members, who were all dressed in a decadent fashion, appeared on the stage to a huge ovation. The band played CHESS as an opening number. The bewitching beauty and lunacy of RYUICHI’s vocals was at its best from the beginning. The vocalist sung with full intensity, sometimes shouting strongly. The band continued to show their dark side during the next song MECHANICAL DANCE, in which J and SUGIZO wowed fans with dazzling solos.

“Welcome to LUNATIC FEST. We are LUNACY. Our good friends and great seniors gathered for this occasion, so please enjoy,” RYUICHI greeted.

A relentless drum beat and cutting guitar riffs then started the rage-filled number, SHADE. SUGIZO played a deranged guitar solo during the song, and he left his mark on his fans’ hearts with a prolonged choking guitar sound at the end.

Set list

01. CHESS
02. MECHANICAL DANCE
03. SHADE

9mm Parabellum Bullet — MOON STAGE



Rock band 9mm Parabellum Bullet appeared on stage, and they made a confident start by playing their major debut single, Discommunication. The catchy melody with sweet, melancholic and addictive guitar riffs of the song immediately caught the attention of fans. During the song, vocalist and guitarist Sugawara Takuro urged fans to clap with him. The two other guitarists moved around freely while sometimes swinging their guitars about.

Later, the band delighted fans by inviting a surprise guest to the stage: J. In response, fans gave a huge ovation to the unexpected appearance of LUNA SEA’s bassist. Shortly after, the song Cold Edge started to play. J moved closer to each band member as if he was loading them with more gun powder. J’s igniting bass line ran through the melodious hard rock number, and it drew out maximum zeal from the band and fans.

“9mm Parabellum Bullet!” J shouted the band's name as the song ended.

J! Thank you very much!” Sugawara yelled, saluting his hero.

Later, the band blasted their raison d'etre by playing Seimei no Waltz. During the song, the lingering melody of Sugawara’s vocals swept fans away all the way up to the point guitarist Taki’s guitar solo made a dramatic finish of the song. 

the telephones — FATE STAGE



the telephones turned the rock festival into a disco party. With rays of lights beaming from a mirror ball, the band had fans dancing freely from the first song, Monkey Discooooooo. During the song, vocalist Ishige Akira amazed fans with his high-pitched voice, however, he also proved his profound guitar technique. In the meantime, the band and fans enjoyed letting go of themselves in the groovy beat of drums and a bass as well as psychedelic rhythm of synthesizer.

“Just for now, it’s not LUNATIC FEST., but it’s LUNATIC DISCO! Could you shout ‘Disco’ when I say ‘We are’ ?" the vocalist asked fans to do the famous call and response of X JAPAN in his own fashion.

Much to the delight of Ishige, the fans gave him a huge shout of “Disco!” The crowd sung along with the band when it played I Hate DISCOOOOOOO!!!. During the song, synthesizer player Okamoto Nobuaki danced around and shouted as if he was in a trance. Finally, the telephones filled the venue with peaceful unity by playing the last song, Love&DISCO.

TOKYO YANKEES — SHINE STAGE



TOKYO YANKEES have always been big brothers to LUNA SEA. Vocalist and bassist yoshimura, guitarist NORI and drummer U.D.A appeared on the stage, whilst an event staff hung on the microphone stand the jacket the band’s original vocalist UMEMURA, who passed away in 2007, used to wear. Wasting no time, the band hammered out a rage-filled hardcore rock number, Pre-emptive Strike. The beastly shout and vocals of yoshimura, fiery guitar riffs and masculine backing chorus of NORI, and the explosive drum beat of U.D.A blasted forth from the stage. TOKYO YANKEES continued to play top speed metal songs and filled the venue with their overwhelming manliness.

Later on, the band actually covered Motörhead’s classic Ace of Spades, which would bring back old memories for some fans who had seen the band play it alongside X JAPAN’s HIDE and PATA back in 1991.

Huge shouts of excitement filled the venue when PATA himself appeared on the stage to join the band for the last song, Hollywood Heartbreaker. During the song, PATA and NORI played thrilling yet precise guitar riffs whilst U.D.A’s aggressive drum beat literally shook the venue. Sons of a gun yoshimura and NORI's compelling twin vocals introduced the younger generations to real, hardcore metal music. Having knocked fans out with loudness, TOKYO YANKEES left the stage.

coldrain — FATE STAGE



It would take a fearless rock band like coldrain to perform after slobber-knocking TOKYO YANKEES. The bold, young guns blasted fans with their opening song, The Revelation. During the song that had both hard and melodious parts, vocalist Masato showed off intense shouts and high-pitched vocals while sometimes headbanging along with roaring guitar riffs and a pounding drum beat.

A sheer amount of energy was released by Masato through his vocal cords, wowing older generations in the venue during the following song, No Escape. Later, fans cheered when they heard the intro of popular song, Die Tomorrow. A sing along by fans naturally arose when the band got to the chorus.

“We would like to be able to host our own festival like this. Respect LUNA SEA!” Masato shouted before the closing song The War is On, which unified rock fans of all generations with its sincere message and beautiful melody.

“The festival was so meaningful. We are coldrain!” Masato shouted again at the end.

Part #2 and #3 of JaME's LUNATIC FEST. report will be coming soon, so stay tuned.
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