Opening act Zoro at JACK IN THE BOX
With the young but shining oshare kei band Zoro as the opening act, the festival started off with a variety of cheerful, up-beat songs that had the crowd moving from the start. The band kicked off the show with their fast-paced song PINK, and the venue was immediately filled with dancing and furitsuke (hand choreography) that carried on into Panorama HOP. With the words "We are Zoro!" the bright song Senkou - from their upcoming album - was introduced. Living up to its name, it stirred up the audience and created an immense heat - literally, as huge columns of fire exploded on stage. Followed by the energetic warp, the fans and band gained even more momentum; the crowd danced and waved enthusiastically. The brightly smiling vocalist Ryuuji replied to the audience by forming a heart with his hands during the last chorus. Finishing their performance with COSMO[S]Future, the band once more displayed great energy. Then they left what was probably the biggest stage they have performed on so far with large smiles on their faces.
2. Panorama HOP
girugamesh performing Suiren at JACK IN THE BOX
"Crazy boys, crazy girls. Are you ready?" Up next was girugamesh - first introduced by a computerized voice, then greeted by a happy scream from the crowd as soon as the lights went out and their logo appeared on the big screens located at both sides of the stage. Thanks to these screens, one could hardly miss what would make today's performance somewhat special: the great enthusiasm and immense joy the band showed, beginning with Break Down, lasted until the very end. Whether they were rushing over the stage and the catwalks or interacting with the audience, one couldn’t avoid the impression that the band enjoyed their performance as much as their fans did. The crowd continuously raised their fists, shouting along with the band and jumping like there was no tomorrow. As the band continued with Suiren, the fans became exceedingly quiet out of respect for this song about sorrow and despair - but as soon as the first chords of CRAZY-FLAG arose, hell broke out again! With their final song evolution, girugamesh had the audience raving and concluded their performance spectacularly.
1. Break Down
2. angry juice
Since the band’s six year hiatus that came to an end with their reunion concerts in Tokyo earlier in the year, fans were curious about what to expect from cali≠gari. The first song instantly showed why they are considered pioneers of the Eroguro style. Living up to its name, Erotopia was a prime example of the erotic and grotesque elements combined with unconventional melodies and rhythms that cali≠gari is well known for. Proceeding with -Tou- and School Zone, both songs off their upcoming album, the band not only continued their unique show, but also allowed a glimpse of their recent work. The ensuing was an enjoyable performance, as one could imagine from the well-known Maguro and the following Konton no saru that led to a vivid interaction between the crowd and the band. With the sound mixture of Siren, the audience was once again carried off into the chaotic, if not mad world of cali≠gari, who eventually left the stage accompanied by the ringing noise of sirens.
3. School Zone
5. Konton no saru
MUCC performing Fuzz at JACK IN THE BOX
As it might have been expected, there were quite a lot of fans eagerly waiting for MUCC to appear. But even though not all of the people could be considered their fans, one couldn’t help but be impressed by the audience clapping their hands to welcome the band. The instrumental introduction of the band’s latest album, Kyuutai, played just before the band members - first SATOchi, then YUKKE, then Miya - entered a stage done up with special décor, congenial to the setting of their recent tour throughout Japan. The dynamic drums and characteristic riffs of Houkou were already ringing throughout the venue as vocalist Tatsuro emerged at last, greeting the audience with: "Are you ready, motherfuckers?!" He cut loose what was sure to become a fast-paced, energetic performance. It no longer mattered whether one was a fan of the band or not - as soon as the powerful chorus of Houkou arose, one had no choice but to join in the chanting and waving. Through the following Ageha and Fuzz, the band kept up this rapid pace as well as the immense energy of their play, moving around the stage and its catwalks and firing up the audience again and again. With only one more song to follow - an outstanding version of Ranchuu - the band concluded their rather short, but exceedingly powerful performance and left a drained but satisfied audience behind.