VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016 Day 2: Part 3

live report - 11.13.2016 22:13

Part 3 of JaME’s live report of the second day of VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016 held on October 15th.


The last band to perform on the VISUAL STAGE on the second day of VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016 was R-Shitei. The band members saluted when the intro of Gyokusai Melancholy started to play. “Hinomaru Banzai!” vocalist Mamo yelled with a loudspeaker, and the band members and crowd shouted “Banzai” three times. The ruthless hard rock song mixed with a haunting melody is about a melancholic state of mind of a Japanese suicide squad. The band’s addictive melody and Mamo’s vocals continued to fascinate the crowd during Yanderu kanojo. The band conveyed a message to live on to those who feel disturbed and marginalized in a society. The band’s fans relentlessly headbanged, sometimes even kneeling down on the floor, in the midst of explosive guitar and drum sounds of THE HAININGEN. “We will take the main stage one day!” Mao, who stirred crowd with his death growl, made a statement after the song.


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The capacity crowd awaited the arrival of GLAY, who has always been playing a leading role in Japanese music scene since their major debut in 1994. “Here we go, Makuhari!” vocalist TERU shouted, starting the show. GLAY’s powerful and mellifluous melody immediately captured the crowd when the band played their new single DEATHTOPIA. TERU confidently sang in his signature passionate high tone voice while playing a guitar. Alongside the vocalist, guitarist HISASH, bassist JIRO and guitarist TAKURO produced exhilarating sounds. The band, which consists of four distinct players and composers, played their glamorous visual rock song Freeze My Love. The crowd experienced a golden era of visual kei live through haunting guitar riffs and TERU’s vocals during the song.

Later, TERU shared about their past with hide and YOSHIKI. “hide handed our demo tape to YOSHIKI, and that was how YOSHIKI found us. And YOSHIKI actually came to a live house and we had a show with ten of his bodyguards,” TERU talked about a fateful encounter before their major debut. “We would like to cover X JAPAN’s song Joker to express our gratitude,” TERU announced, gaining a huge ovation. The rock ’n' roll number, whose lyrics and music were composed by hide, elicited a singalong from the crowd.

Surprise continued as the vocalist invited a special guest, DIE, to the stage. The keyboardist of hide with Spread Beaver was actually a supporting member of GLAY from the band’s major debut until 1998. “It’s good to be alive!” DIE said, overwhelmed by a miraculous reunion with GLAY. TERU continued to share about their history with hide. “I heard that our next song HOWEVER gave hide inspiration to create his song HURRY GO ROUND. We would like him to see how much we had grown over the years,” TERU said. A piano intro by DIE started one of the masterpieces of the Japanese music scene. TERU’s vocals conveyed strength and great love with the song’s grand melody, while TAKURO, a composer himself, sometimes provided him with a backing chorus. HISAHI’s guitar solo made a dramatic climax of the song and caused the capacity crowd to stand still.

“It’s hard to live strongly, especially in these days. But a rock band needs to accept the responsibility to communicate it through music,” TERU said before the next song Ikiteku tsuyosa. The reunion party with DIE continued in Kanojo no “Modern…”. The band actually had DIE stay on the stage by telling him he should still remember the song. JIRO expressed his joy of being able to play the band’s 1994 classic with DIE through the groove of his bass guitar. GLAY closed the show with a dynamic performance of another of their popular songs: Yuwaku.


© VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016 Powered by Rakuten.

LM.C took on the difficult task of performing after GLAY and before X JAPAN. The rock unit, who would celebrate their 10th anniversary the next day, started their show with DOUBLE DRAGON on the JAPAN STAGE. LM.C’s vivid sounds attracted the crowd from the first song. Vocalist maya sung with a tambourine in his hand, and he sometimes rapped while guitarist Aiji played lilting riffs. “What am I supposed to even sing after GLAY’s Yuwaku?! But I actually said to YOSHIKI that we would ginger up this event,” vocalist maya said after the song. The rock unit lived up to his words. During Chameleon Dance, the crowd clapped and jumped around to electro dance music with Aiji’s cutting guitar riffs. “Let’s liven up the visual kei scene!” maya shouted during the song and crowd joined him by singing along.

maya shared about his first encounter with visual kei. “There was this beautiful and kind lady in a fast food shop in Tokyo’s Harajuku when I was a junior high school student. She was a fan of X JAPAN. It made me think that I want to be a part of the world that fascinated a lady like her,” maya said. LM.C later dedicated their special song DREAMscape to a precious person they could no longer meet with. However, the rock unit seemed to be full of happiness for choosing and continuing with visual kei during the performance of their last song PUNKY ❤ HEART.


Finally, headliner X JAPAN took over the SUMMIT STAGE. The silhouette of YOSHIKI standing by his drums with his arms crossed in the sign of “X” signaled the beginning of the show. The complex harmony of rock, metal and classical music that YOSHIKI composed in JADE proved that X JAPAN is still a different level of rock band. A singalong filled the venue during the following number Rusty Nail. Guitarist PATA, who was now back in full health, brought fans relief and happiness with his skillful performance.

Later, vocalist ToshI, and YOSHIKI showed a special presentation of Forever Love. The friends for life talked about VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016 before the song. YOSHIKI recalled his memory of EXTASY SUMMIT 24 years ago when TAIJI and hide were around. “They are still here alive and well in all of us,” ToshI gently spoke to YOSHIKI. The melody of YOSHIKI’s piano and TOSHI’s crystal clear high-pitched vocals communicated strength and love that heal pain and sadness. The band’s music made its listeners conscious of life and death, but it also inspired them to have power to move forward.

“I wish I could show what I am seeing today to myself a couple years ago, and tell him there is such a bright future ahead. It’s so good to be alive. Let’s live freely no matter what comes along the way!” ToshI said, baring his heart before Born to be free. YOSHIKI, who was now back on his drum set, embodied his reckless will to live by every sound and movement of his body. Bassist HEATH and guitarist SUGIZO both passionately and precisely played out a musical life statement of YOSHIKI.

X JAPAN later revealed a teaser version of La Venus, which is featured in the music documentary film "We Are X". The show, which went on until late at night, climaxed with the band’s signature song X. “Jump! Jump! Break through the ceiling!” ToshI and YOSHIKI shouted out hide’s famous call during the song, and had the crowd jump up with their arms crossed over their heads, making the sign of “X”. At the end, the crowd shouted “X!” in response to YOSHIKI’s call of “We are!”

The second day of VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016 came to a grand finale with the performances of Sex Pistols' Anarchy In The U.K. and God Save The Queen by Muteki Band, which consisted of all performing artists of the day. “We will be invincible! Don’t give up!” YOSHIKI gave a powerful shout of encouragement during the session. It was already past 11pm when the festival ended, but all the artists and fans were happy to be able to share the time of their lives.

Read VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016 Day 2: Part 1 at

Read VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016 Day 2: Part 2 at
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