Creature Creature - Purgatory at Shibuya O-EAST

live report - 06.28.2010 20:01

Creature Creature kicks off its Purgatory tour by taking on the creatures of Shibuya O-East.

Sunday was a busy day for music in Shibuya. By 5:00pm, three separate crowds had formed within the Shibuya O-Group area. The Tokyo round of the Teenage Lock Fest competition lured fans to O-WEST, while the nearby DUO Music Exchange played host to a group of R&B musicians. To DUO’s left stood a horde of black-clad rockers, easily blending in with the O buildings’ all-black décor. A walk up the flights of stairs led to the ticket desks, followed by O-EAST’s unobtrusive goods counter and, upon turning right, even more fans in black. Where did they come from?

A small drink bar left of the standing room entrance provided some color to the pre-show atmosphere. The view from the second floor, however, saw this color drowned out by the cosmic blackness of O-EAST and its hundreds of minions. How so many fans could have waited outside at once – rather, how the staff could manage such a lot without incident – remained a mystery. One theory, that the fans were in fact all shadow doubles of the same person, was quickly discounted.

In a rare feat, the live started precisely at 6:00pm, the lights dimming to somehow allow even more darkness to fill the room. The Creature Creature creatures - guitarists HIRO and Shinobu, bassist Hitoki, and former L'Arc~en~Ciel drummer Sakura - walked onto the stage to gradually escalating applause, with frontman MORRIE receiving the loudest roars. As the band began to perform Dream Caller, and as the spotlights shone onto the stage, the room was at last blessed with color. However, the band was dressed in all black, with hair of varying lengths and shades of black - yes, there's a trend here - all standing behind their fearless leader.

To be fair, MORRIE wasn’t entirely “fearless” during the first third of the set. In fact, he seemed reserved, waiting for a certain moment to let loose. Even mandatory hip thrusts during Maboroshi and Zone felt like he was conserving energy, preparing for something explosive. The band took the briefest of breaks during the set, with MORRIE saying either very little or nothing at all. One MC was nothing but a spotlight shining on MORRIE, who hid behind his right hand to the audience’s amusement.

Suddenly, the bomb MORRIE and his audience had been waiting for dropped in the form of Gone By Rain, written by Shinobu. The track proved itself to be the most spirited and, strangely, nostalgic song from Creature Creature’s new album, Inferno, out July 21. What once was an audience satiated with simple head-swaying turned to full-blown fist-pumping in the span of 90 seconds. Bright spotlights complimented this sudden burst of energy – eventually mixing in red, green, and blue hues that came two notes shy of evoking Powerpuff.

In promoting new albums, countless artists have toured across the country, their sets largely based off of their upcoming works. Creature Creature was no exception, with almost half of the evening’s set coming straight from Inferno. New songs Koku-ningyo Es and Hien were balanced out by older works: here, the eerily gentle Tensyu-Ranman and the unusually Mansonesque Cosmos Blackness – a fitting title, really.

What made Creature Creature successful on Sunday was, among other things, that no matter what the song was – soft, loud, slow, frantic – the audience remained captivated. Maybe it was MORRIE’s star power, the former DEAD END singer’s influence seen in several bands today. Or maybe it was the band itself, working together to get the crowd on its feet. To this effect, there were no solos last night, something of a rarity for Japanese lives.

Whatever the reason, MORRIE and his creatures clearly had the power to control their audience as they saw fit, demonstrated during the last MC prior to encore. Here, MORRIE stood at center, raising his hands for applause and screams, getting exactly what he wanted. The fans, as well, got what they came for, especially women, and especially during the encores, when MORRIE re-appeared in a furiously translucent white shirt and black “Tetsuo” cloak. Two hours of rocking will cause anyone to sweat; feel free to finish this equation on your own.

At the live’s close, a PV for the band played on the projectors at both sides of the room. Then, in bright red kanji, breaking news: the Purgatory tour would expand, with two new dates added for July: the 25th at Kichijouji Seata and the 30th at Meguro Rockmaykan. The crowd roared in approval as the announcement closed with a final message: “SEE YOU IN HELL.” An unusually dark way to close a live, but fittingly, no one in the audience complained. For the fans of Creature Creature, black was their white, their God was in Hell, and all was right in the world.

Set List:
01. Dream Caller
02. Amor Fati
03. Maboroshi
04. Hoshitsuki (Star-Possessed)
05. Cluster
06. Zone
07. Black Hole
08. Gone By Rain
09. Koku-ningyo Es (Puppet of Emptiness Es)
10. Hien (Secret Garden)
11. Tensyu-ranman (Heavenly Ugly Blooming)
12. Cosmos Blackness
13. Paradise
14. Red
15. Swan
16. Lights
17. Haru no kikai (Spring Machine)

Encore 1
18. Kaze no tou (Tower of Wind)
19. Sen no yamiyo ni (For a Thousand Dark Nights)

Encore 2
20. Red
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