girugamesh SUMMER TOUR 2010 Shibuya O-West – Grand Final

live report - 08.22.2010 20:01

girugamesh showed off the range of their talent in an explosive Grand Final and worthy climax of the summer season on August 12th.

Packed venue decked out in a stringed canopy of golden lights, the pre-set stage was complimented by a simple backdrop of mirror-image winged "g"s. Amidst an array of visual fashion, a soccer team of sorts seemed to be dispersed throughout the venue – revealed on closer inspection to be fans draped in sports-style band shirts. The moment the lights dimmed, the design proved fitting as the crowd released a roar more suitable for a football stadium than the modest live-house.

The band entered to a cacophony of clapping and shouts,with guitarist Nii instantly responding to the hype as he bounced, ready to go. Upon vocalist Satoshi’s entrance, the concert immediately kicked off with an old favourite, Real my place. The crowd needed no warm-up, diving head first into the opening song, voices rising clearly over the music of the instrumental as they yelled in rhythm. “On bass, ShuU!!” cried Satoshi, a thrilled response issuing from the crowd to welcome the bassist’s first solo. Kicking up the pace, ULTIMATE 4 had the whole crowd headbanging to the hot guitar line. The question “Is everybody going crazy?” was answered as Nii rocked out without restraint and ShuU led the crowd in a round of clapping. Following on with the classic Shadan, there was no time to rest, the venue rocking with the force of the crowd’s motion throughout the instrumental. With confidence that the next song would be thoroughly welcomed, Satoshi announced “Shoujo A” and sure enough, a thrilled scream greeted the exciting opening of the number. ShuU’s hair swung from side to side as he dug into the bass line just as the crowd dug into the instrumental, once more careening back and forth without restraint. At Satoshi’s request, they took up a portion of the lyrics, living up to his expectations as their voices roared impressively over the music.

“Today is the final final!” Satoshi announced, making a joke out of the two-day final at O-West. “The Grand Final, you could say!” This announcement was followed by a recount of various mishaps throughout the tour including an embarrassing incident where Satoshi hit his head on the stage roof and the unfortunate destruction of ShuU’s bass. Nevertheless, there seemed to be many fond memories as well and on a warm note, the MC wrapped up with the vocalist’s request of “Please listen to our August release single, COLOR.”

The light, summery chorus that opened the song gave way to an unexpectedly heavy instrumental. Meanwhile, drummer Яyo wore a brilliant smile, mouthing the sounds of his drums as he energetically struck away and the final guitar solo once more gave Nii a chance to shine. S.T.F.U. was introduced by the encouragement from both Nii and ShuU. “Tokyo! This is the last day!” “Tokyo! Go for it this last time!” Not about to disappoint, the crowd rose to the occasion, yelling loudly over the music as their fists pummelled the air. The song came to an end with Satoshi’s rock-hand aimed at the crowd. driving time opened with ShuU’s centre stage bass solo, the bassist seeming quite at home in the spotlight. The funky piece had both band and crowd bouncing about as well as ShuU and Nii approaching the front of the stage throughout the instrumental before they fell back towards Яyo where all three instrumentalists posed in superhero fashion. Satoshi took the focus during the rap section before the musically driven song was returned to ShuU for a final bass solo up on the stage's right speaker.

“Thank you! Having fun? How many of you came yesterday?” Satoshi asked. Over half the crowd seemed to respond. “Isn’t that too many?” Satoshi exclaimed with a laugh. He then pointed out the backdrop and overhead lighting which were added specifically for the Grand Final before going on to announce that the autumn tour final would take place in Yokohama where he hoped the Tokyo fans would come to take part.

“Next song, BORDER,” Satoshi announced. The whole house dove into the song, with Nii reacting to his loyal second floor fans. Satoshi’s rap was washed in red lighting, accentuating the heat of the piece. The instrumental saw the three downstage members jumping about, obviously feeling the music just as much as any of the fans. Following that, Flower proved unique to the set so far, a fascinating blend of jazz meets enka-rock. The jazz diva vocal interlude showcased Satoshi’s falsetto as his voice rang true from high to low, but the true highlight was the chorus, the gruff vocals providing a fresh sound when combined with the Japanese-style melody. The next number was a short instrumental, led in by loose digital music tempered with light piano. A lively drum solo and occasional guitar riff were littered here and there with faint scratching. This interlude flowed seamlessly into puzzle, a relaxing, laid back piece that had the crowd listening quietly even after the song finished until one, lone voice called out “ShuU” to renew the tumult of cat calls once more.

“Yay! This is girugamesh!” ShuU obliged. During the following MC, he renamed the tour "Summer Diet Tour" due to the weight loss he achieved and then went on to make excuses for an earlier botched bass solo, claiming that his bass was feeling unwell. Once more discussing incidents throughout the tour, ShuU took a moment to talk about the loss of an admired fellow artist and the support he received from the band, staff, and fans which allowed him to recover and see the tour through.

Resuming the set with the hardcore DEAD WORLD, Satoshi cried “Jump!” Bouncing all over the place, Nii certainly complied, as did the crowd in full. ShuU showed his enthusiasm by headbanging away as he played. The vocalist climbed up on the stage's left speaker, encouraging the crowd to raise their voices. Finishing up at centre stage, Nii played an additional little solo to end the piece, somehow waving to the crowd when his fingers weren’t glued to his instrument. An explosion of towels then met DIRTY STORY, Satoshi swinging about his own three toned band towel until it was time to take up the microphone. The audience joined in, deafeningly echoing Satoshi’s cries of “I wanna be a sincere man!” Clearly on a high, the vocalist bounced and spun, burning off excess energy and winding down only as Яyo finished the piece with an extended drum riff. sunrise, a fun number off the recent single, had the whole venue clapping and shouting whilst the vocalist and guitarist themselves jumped throughout the intro. Heavy but light-hearted, the song featured a wicked guitar solo and well received call-outs of “Woah-yeah!” All in all, sunrise was a brilliant build up to the final high of evolution, the last song of the set. It was nothing less than a party, the flashing canopy lights consolidating the celebratory atmosphere. Hips swaying to the music, ShuU cheerfully called “Ready go, let me go!” into the microphone. He was so wrapped up in the piece that he tried to steal Nii’s spot on the stage's right speaker, but the guitarist put him in his place and sent him off to stage left. Meanwhile, Яyo danced about behind his kit when he could take his sticks off the drums.

Deafening shouts and applause saw the band offstage, seamlessly segueing into an encore call that miraculously never faded until girugamesh returned. Another classic, Owari to mirai, had the crowd wasting no time to catch their breath as Satoshi’s voice soared. When he asked the audience to sing, they did indeed, their combined voices as loud as the vocalist’s. The song finished with an instrumental improvisation around the drum kit.

Яyo then greeted the crowd, he and Satoshi providing impressions of their staff and complimenting the enthusiasm of the fans before the drummer requested a photograph encompassing the members and audience. Nii had to silence the crowd in order to speak, expressing his wish to continue as four idiots making good music and holding good concerts. Then, as he began to hand it over to ShuU, he was cut off by screams for the bassist who extended a thorough thanks to everyone involved in the tour and the final before giving the second floor a chance to show off their enthusiasm. Satoshi explained that that the crowd had two options: between an impression of "Prison Break"’s T-Bag or a dark version of a Japanese anime character. The latter won a landslide victory, the following rendition achieving raucous laughter.

The next song was by far the heaviest, hottest song of the night. Fluctuating red lighting complimented the title, volcano, even as the piece itself replicated the volatile nature of an erupting, fiery mountain. The dark, heavy rhythm drove ShuU and Nii across the stage even as Satoshi’s nasty growl vibrated in the bones. omae ni sasageru minikui koe did nothing less than drive the crowd even wilder if possible. The two wingmen moshed about the stage behind Satoshi, the crowd’s overwhelming scream of “AHHH!!!” enhancing the fever of the band’s efforts. Providing air guitar to join in with the rest of the band at the last, Satoshi finished with a slowly raised fist, his eyes lingering on his girugamesh wrist band as it rose. Then he promptly turned and walked offstage as ShuU, Nii, and Яyo completed the number, each leaving with celebratory clapping, waving and pumping fists.

After finally taking a moment to recover, the crowd summoned the band back to the stage once more. The set unhesitatingly resumed with “New song. Please listen, inochinoki.” The light, poppy feel was accentuated by a catchy chorus melody and fitting pop/rock guitar solo, courtesy of Nii. The verse saw Satoshi’s voice tempered by sound effects whilst Яyo sang freely behind his kit. Following the piece, Satoshi thanked the crowd and announced that inochinoki would feature as the main song of their new fall single. The light atmosphere led into clapping and shouting that accompanied the introduction to smash!!. The instrumental once again saw ShuU and Nii bouncing freely about the stage, Satoshi clapping with one hand on his forearm as he sang. The crowd was a sea of movement throughout the fan-favoured chorus, though the atmosphere was certainly lighter than ever before as ShuU and Nii surrounded the vocalist who dodged a kiss on the cheek. Satoshi called out to the second floor, encouraging them to sing down to him – the small seated section proving just as reliable as the massive first floor crowd. Continuing the mood into Break Down, the overhead lights flashed playfully and a spot roamed the stage. At one point, Nii jumped up onto the drum platform, his foot atop the kickbass as he played to Яyo and one last time, Satoshi handed over to the crowd with the usual grand result, the lead-up to the final chorus seeing all of the instrumentalists in constant, frantic motion. “Kimi ga tsukamu mono!!!” Satoshi cried, abandoning the melody in a wild moment.

The band were reluctant to leave, tossing out picks and bottles for the crowd to catch even as their sweaty, satisfied rocker image clashed with the BGM that filtered through the fan’s adoring cries. At last, alone on the stage, Satoshi deeply thanked the crowd, putting on airs as he coolly announced “We’ll be waiting at the autumn tour.” and took his leave.

The venue was so packed and hot that the lack of casualties was a miracle, each and every fan showing their determination to support girugamesh until the very end. Not one soul showed a shred of dissatisfaction as the audience lingered long after the band departed for good. A Grand Final to be proud of, girugamesh wound up their summer tour with spectacular style, effortlessly capturing the festivity of the season.

Set list

01. Real my place
02. ULTIMATE 4
03. Shadan
04. Shoujo A
05. COLOR
06. S.T.F.U.
07. driving time
08. BORDER
09. Flower
10. puzzle
11. DEAD WORLD
12. DIRTY STORY
13. sunrise
14. evolution

Encore:
15. Owari to mirai
16. volcano
17. omae ni sasageru minikui koe

Encore II:
18. inochinoki
19. smash!!
20. Break Down
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