miyavi Kabuki Rocking the USA
A live report of miyavi's second US show in the world tour at the Avalon in Hollywood, California.
When doors finally opened, anxious fans ran inside the venue to the performance area, where everyone was told to sit on the floor in attempt to advert the pre-concert pushing. After 45 or so minutes, the crowd let out a cry as security let everyone jump to their feet and rush towards the barriers that were set up about six feet from the stage. The show was getting ready to start.
The KAVKI BOIZ each filed out on stage as the crowds cheered, which only grew louder as miyavi appeared. Wearing his vibrant costume from his THIS IZ THE JAPANESE KABUKI ROCK CD, he shuffled his feet quickly to the front of the stage, a fan shielding his face from the audience. Standing there silently, miyavi dropped the fan as the KAVKI BOIZ fanned tissue paper sakura (cherry blossom) petals all around him. Jumping right into JPN PRIDE, miyavi kicked off the night's set.
Between the audience's joyous cries and the simultaneous jumping, the heat coming off the audience intensified as the next song, Kabuki Danshi -KAVKI BOIZ-, started. miyavi stood at his mic stand under the multi-colored lights while MC TYKO swayed side to side next to him, throwing his hands in the air as he rapped. Tap dancer Saro tapped away on his electronic dance board while bassist SHIGE and drummer RYO moved just as enthusiastically at the back of the stage. DJ Teddy Loid had his DJ table set up behind Saro and occasionally took out a camera and took some shots of the audience. The KAVKI BOIZ swung the signature miyavi towels round in the air as the song blared through the speakers, provoking those who had already bought their miyavi towels to take them out and do the same.
After a few more songs, miyavi adjusted his Neo Visualizm hat and spoke in clear English to the audience. "What's my name?!" he asked, to which the audience eagerly replied "miyavi!" The back and forth exchange lasting for a minute, miyavi cupped his hand to his ear, enticing the crowd to call his name louder. Each time miyavi spoke to the crowd throughout the night, a hush fell over the audience who were eager to hear what the unique artist had to say. "Uh... I forgot everything I had prepared to say again..." A mix of happy laughter and cheers swept the crowd as he continued. "I want to break all the barriers," he said, telling the crowd he wanted to smash the barriers between language, gender, race, religion and genre and create a whole new sound of the old with the new. Inviting his fans to come along on his quest, the show pressed on.
With all the KAVKI BOIZ minus Saro having left the stage, miyavi introduced the tap dancer, preparing for the guitar vs dance battle that was soon to ensue. With miyavi playing a lick on his guitar, Taro responded with tapping out the phrase miyavi had just played on his dance board. Although the dance board cut out at one point, a technician saved the day by providing a mic for the board. With smiles spread across both of their faces, the battle turned into a duet of Kimi ni Funky Monkey Vibration.
After the duet, TYKO joined miyavi on stage as Saro walked off. Just as Saro had mimicked miyavi's guitar playing with his tap dancing, TYKO did the same with his voice. Between imitating trumpet and beat-boxing, TYKO kept up with miyavi until their battle morphed into a mini-duet. The rest of the KAVKI BOIZ coming back on stage, miyavi left them to perform for the audience in his absence. Taking in TYKO's rhymes, miyavi soon returned after having changed his outfit.
BOOM-HAH BOOM-HAH-HAH sounded through the venue. TYKO initiated the audience to clap and motion their hands just like the rest of the KAVKI BOIZ were on stage. As the set continued into 21st Century Tokyo Blues, the hand-dancing continued. After playing Hi no Hikari Sae Todokanai Kono Basho de, miyavi and the rest of the KAVKI BOIZ left DJ Teddy Loid to display his talents on stage alone. Spinning a variety of miyavi songs, Teddy Loid threw his arms in the air, getting the audience to imitate him and wave their arms about to the on-the-spot unique remixes. The crowd's screams peaked as the young DJ mixed Señor Señora Señorita and the audience sang along to the popular tune. Before long, the DJ set was over and miyavi emerged with the KAVKI BOIZ once again. A large banner reading 'We love miyavi' that had been signed by fans in the line earlier had been tossed on stage and Saro picked it up, displaying the banner. Showing his appreciation, miyavi walked up to the banner and kissed it. Saro took the banner and stretched it across Teddy Loid's DJ table and smiled as the crowd cheered. Having staff come out with a mirror, a staff member tied a samurai band around miyavi's forehead and fluffed the artists hair before they broke into their next tune. After a few more songs, including the slightly older song Aho Matsuri, miyavi and the KAVKI BOIZ left the stage once again.
The sweltering heat that had filled the venue was unbearable to some fans who desperately had security pull them from the crowd while other fans who seemingly had endless energy stood and chanted "miyavi! miyavi! miyavi!" hoping for an encore. Never disappointing his fans, the KAVKI BOIZ and miyavi re-emerged, this time wearing tour shirts. Having already let down his hair, the chorus of Are You Ready to ROCK? grew frenzied as miyavi jumped off the stage between the barrier and the stage and shoved the mic into the first few rows, getting the audience to shout the chorus back at him. Not caring for his own safety, miyavi dove waist up into the crowd with his mic that was still attached to the stand. Security guards rushed to his aid, propping him up and holding him while he leaned out as far as possible into the crowd with his mic. Eager hands reach for his mic stand and him, helping holding him up while he continued to sing with nothing but pure content on his face. Lasting significantly longer than the recorded version, miyavi finally got back on stage with some assistance from security and finished up the song.
Thanking the audience for their support, miyavi spoke again, "If it weren't for you guys, I wouldn't be here," he said. Telling the audience he'd go anywhere if we gave him our voices, he said "but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end." A sigh resounded through the audience, as no one wanted the night to end. miyavi gave a smile and said "I love you! This is for you," and broke into Subarashiki Ka na, Kono Sekai -WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD-. Shortly after, the KAVKI BOIZ and miyavi waved, saying their goodbyes. The show had ended.