HYDE ACOUSTIC CONCERT 2019 Kuromisa BIRTHDAY -TOKYO- at Makuhari Messe - Day 2

live report - 02.27.2019 19:01

HYDE celebrated his memorial birthday through a series of acoustic concerts in Tokyo and Wakayama. The evening of January 24th was filled with important songs from his career, beautifully arranged to fit the acoustic theme, and held many surprises for his fans.

HYDE celebrated his birthday month by having two special Tokyo lives before his special birthday live in Wakayama, the town where he was born. The name of these special occasion lives was “Kuromisa”, which means “Black Mass”. True to its name, the venue was arranged as if a cathedral mass was going to be held, with a red carpet on the front for the closest seating area and beautifully lit candles glowing on standing chandeliers.

On the center of the stage in front of a chord and percussion orchestra waited an empty chair next to a light post shaped like a bird cage, known to be a trademark on HYDE’s website since his early solo years. The audience had a big vertical rectangular screen reminiscent of a picture frame over the orchestra as a main screen as well as a smaller side screen on each side of the stage. While the fans waited for the show to start, Gregorian-like chorus music echoed in the arena — it truly felt like attending a religious affair.

An instrumental version of the song UNEXPECTED signaled the start of the evening and the light bulb inside the cage-like light post lit up when HYDE took the stage. A beautiful arrangement for JESUS CHRIST was the first performance of the night, the chosen arrangement giving more feeling to and highlighting the meaning of the song’s lyrics. Next up was A DROP OF COLOUR from HYDE’s first solo album ROENTGEN, with more percussion than the original version that matched perfectly with the added piano chords.

For the first MC of the night, HYDE told the fans that for these birthday lives he had chosen the dearest songs from his career and made orchestra arrangements for them. He also pointed out that fans would have to remain seated due to the type of event, so he asked them to enjoy the live sitting until the end.

The following song EVERGREEN had the theme of eternity. It was the first solo single HYDE released, and its Japanese version was performed this time. Green lights filled the stage to set the tone of the song, a song of sad goodbyes and love for those you leave behind after death. Following right after was the Japanese version of SHALLOW SLEEP, HYDE’s third solo single. It had an additional violin arrangement, a backup chorus and beautiful guitar solo, making the song even more entrancing.

After a pause it was time for a cover song, DEPARTURES, from the tribute album to globe. The beauty of the violin sound took over the song. HYDE spoke about how much he liked it and how surprised he was when he was chosen to take part in the globe tribute album. He couldn’t wrap his head around why they chose him for such an important song.

Announcing the name of next song, ZIPANG, a newly released single, HYDE explained it was made to transmit the essence and feeling of Japan. The orchestral arrangement gave it a more epic sound. An instrumental arrangement was played as a bridge before the next song, an orchestral version of L’Arc~en~Ciel song Jojoushi. HYDE covered the first vocal part fully acapella before the instruments joined in, riding the wave of emotions the song conveys.

A chord interlude followed and molded the intro of what would be the next L’Arc~en~Ciel song, LORELEY. The introduction fully took shape when HYDE started playing the iconic saxophone part of the song. Keeping with the L’Arc~en~Ciel songs, a bass intro gave the cue for In the Air from their debut album Tierra, which was missing from their set lists for a long time. Every note was reached masterfully and the feeling of the song soared with every violin note. The often forgotten songs and their arrangements were refreshing to hear live.

During the following MC, a cake was brought on stage and the fans sang Happy Birthday to HYDE. The white frosting covered cake had a drawing of “Chupacabra”, a character created by HYDE. He thanked the fans and promptly cut his creation’s lower part, much to his fans’ dismay.

A piano intro continued the event and it evolved into flower, with a slower and more melodic acoustic arrangement than the traditional version that showcased the power of HYDE’s voice. Right after that came the newly released Red Swan, a song composed by YOSHIKI for the anime “Attack on Titan”.

HYDE left the stage and the keyboardist played an entrancing piano solo that would eventually tie in with VAMPS’ song VAMPIRE'S LOVE. The main screen at the center of the stage showed a coffin that would get filled with red roses as the piano solo progressed and then show the song’s love interest inside by the time HYDE returned to the stage to start singing, enveloped by deep purple lights. After commenting on the sad ballad and how the protagonist of the song suffers after losing his loved one while being immortal, HYDE introduced the next song: HONEY and its new acoustic version.

HONEY was followed by a more recent L’Arc~en~Ciel song, X X X, and an older song that was initially hinted at only by an image of the sea on the main screen and the wide blue lights that expanded over the arena seating area to complete the feeling of being at sea. HYDE then showed up on the upper half of the screen, while the bottom completed his image with the previous sea image. The song was forbidden lover and it successfully transmitted the intensity and desperation of the lyrics through the lights and images reminiscent of the original music video.

After these three often played L’Arc~en~Ciel songs came another surprise for the fans, a beautiful acoustic version of Eien from the album SMILE, which kept the eternal love theme going. The next song MEMORIES, a single from VAMPS, was the most touching song of the evening. As the song reached the final part HYDE’s voice stopped, the spotlight left his face and he took a moment to compose himself while grabbing a small black face towel. The music stopped and everyone clapped in encouragement. After a bit he apologized for stopping and announced the last song, asking everyone to take out their phones to use as lights. He also thanked everyone deeply for these birthday memories.

Hoshizora, the last song of the night, shone brightly thanks to all the fans and HYDE’s powerful voice. HYDE and the orchestra left the stage to the tune of the instrumental version of EVERGREEN, and after a few minutes HYDE returned on stage quickly to deeply thank everyone again for coming.

Although his birthday celebrations are over, HYDE will continue to tour in Japan and overseas this year with his latest solo project. Tickets are on sale now for his US tour coming up in May.

Set list

07. Jojoushi
09. In the Air
10. flower
11. Red Swan
14. X X X
15. forbidden lover
16. Eien
18. Hoshizora
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