DaizyStripper BIRTH or LOVE? One-man Live

live report - 12.11.2010 19:01

Reliving three years of songs more often than not heard only live, DaizyStripper gave an exciting and emotional performance of the tracks adorning their first album and those defining their beginnings.

Reliving three years of songs more often than not heard only live, DaizyStripper gave an exciting and emotional performance of the tracks adorning their first album, BIRTH and those defining their beginnings on September 30, 2010, the first of their two-day one-man lives.

On a rainy day to end September, hundreds of DaizyStripper fans filled the seated rows of Nihon Seinenkan, excited to enjoy the first of two days celebrating the band’s dual first album release. When pre-show background music gave way to the opening instrumental of the BIRTH album, KAMAKURA, the crowd sacrificed the comfort of their seats and took to their feet, anticipation rising as the members could be barely spotted entering amidst an array of bright blue search lights.

An impactful opening, Trigger took off with the focus on Yu-Giri’s strong, clear voice. The band was fully illuminated at last to coincide with the opening instrumental. “Thank you, Tokyo!” Yu-Giri cried, cuing the beating of hundreds of fists in the air. At the end of the cheerful opening verse, drummer Kazami raised his sticks in an ‘X,’ bringing them crashing down into the chorus as both band and crowd exploded into action. The second chorus wound down into a smooth instrumental and bridge, Yu-Giri reaching out a hand to compliment the lyrics at the climax. It was then guitarist Mayu’s turn to shine during his spotlighted solo, the remaining members washed in red – a dark atmosphere that was blown away by the final energetic chorus, Yu-Giri’s voice ringing true as he held the final note.

Pink and green lighting set the scene for the next piece, launching with Yu-Giri’s whisper of “Lyrical Night.” Leading the crowd in cute little hand flicks from side to side, the vocalist took on a jazzy persona, dancing like a diva and executing little spins. To finish the groovy number, he held the scarves tied about his waist like a dressy skirt, issuing a tempting little sigh. Continuing the jazz theme, tsumi na batsu followed on with a lively little dance led by Yu-Giri. Meanwhile, guitarists Nao and Mayu and bassist Rei all jumped on each of the four accents of the chorus, following up with well-synched spins. The bassist added his own edge to the piece with a little body roll as he sensually raised his arm into the air. The number finished with a series of drum beats from Kazami and Nao’s fist raised high.

Greeting the crowd, Yu-Giri informed them that the concert was being professionally recorded. “And that includes all your voices, got it?” he warned, securing a resounding acknowledgement before continuing the set. Juliet no Knife took off heavily with a growl from Yu-giri to set off the headbanging. The members went at it fiercely, with Kazami tossing his head even as his arms flew amidst cymbal crashes. Continuing in similar fashion, the crowd went nuts moshing on the spot and Nao sunk down on the floor, fully investing himself in the wild atmosphere. The final chorus brought about an even heavier turn, Yu-Giri’s voice turning darker to match the musical rhythm. Holding the final note, he broke off only to scream and fall into a bout of headbanging. One last, wicked scream brought the number to a close as he viciously punched the air. There was no rest for the wicked, and Yu-Giri wrung screams from the crowd, his own cutting voice well applied to Jiiteki Showtime. Mayu joined him at centre in the verse and instrumental – a particularly heavy affair. The vocalist bounced to the hip-hop rhythm prior to the chorus which then saw the crowd diving to the music at his encouragement. Nothing spared vocally, the instrumental outtro was punctuated with screams, screeches and dirty growls. Shirochou rappu ~White Butterfly ~ had the crowd raising their arms, wrists colliding in time to the fast-driven rhythm. Nao was responsible for spurring them on through the instrumental, growling rhythmically into the mic, both band and fans jumping on cue. The final verse blurred with thrashing heads, Yu-Giri throwing in growls between the lyrics. While the end of the song turned gentler, Mayu dug into the guitar solo and Yu-Giri’s vocal improvisation climbed higher and higher, the vocalist showing off his range like never before. “Thank you,” he breathed into an awed silence.

When the lights came on again, all five members sat downstage, acoustic instruments adorning the guitarists’ and even drummer Kazami’s lap. Some light discussion gave way to a sentimental hope that in troubled times the fans could listen to the following song and gain the courage to overcome their trials. “Please listen. Rude boy.” The lovely ballad made all the more beautiful for the team-work evident in the four-man acoustic version, there was an emotional vibe in the air throughout. Then, into the following darkness rang tell-tale piano chords and sure enough, Kazami was soon revealed at the drum-side piano to present his solo, -absolute-. A sweet piano version of the opening theme dissolved into a deep, dark chord. A deep breath, and then more of the ominous sounds came forth from Kazami’s fingers, contrasted by irregular, high running notes. The ticking of a metronome introduced -absolute-, thunder and chimes interspersed throughout the constant piano melody creating a sense of tension which only escalated in a change of theme well suited to the most dramatic scene of a fantasy epic. Sweeping runs and one final, deep chord brought the solo to an end, the sound of a heartbeat continuing on into the darkness.

Silence until the catchy tune of BLACK DROPPer began with a sudden a cappella entrance, Yu-Giri exposed under a spotlight. “Hey, Tokyo. Don’t hold back!” he cried as the lights came on for the remaining members and the number took off for real, Kazami back on drums. Taking his own advice, the vocalist issued a screech worthy of a horror-house, the crowd thrashing about with abandon, hair flying in all directions. Getting right down and dirty, the members ensured that the stage was as hot as the hall, Rei making his mark up on the centre stage platform. Nao shredded a heavy solo that had necks snapping, Yu-Giri passionately breaking off mid-lyric to scream out. The crowd played their part well in Little Ballerina, raising their voices as prompted. The number varied between the darkly heavy and a more laid back atmosphere, members making their way about the stage, touching fists as they crossed and gathering downstage for the chorus. “Come on, Tokyo,” Yu-Giri invited before letting loose a raw screech to drive the number to a hot and heavy close.

Beginning with a loose, “One and two, a-one two three!” Baby Kingdom only upped the ante, the whole hall filled with recklessly jumping bodies throughout. The mid song guitar-off had both Mayu and Nao getting down, Yu-Giri signalling to each guitarist in turn. Then Rei appeared at centre stage, allowing his fans a full viewing of his stylish attitude. “We can’t finish with that!” Yu-Giri scolded as the song seemed to come to an end. Picking up the pace, the final instrumental made a brief comeback, but Yu-Giri still wasn’t satisfied until he had the fans bouncing at speed through a last, rapid refrain. “Yeah, that’s it! Thank you!” approved the vocalist.

A light MC gave the crowd time to catch their breath as each of the members greeted the crowd in turn with plenty of jokes and laughter. The discussion took a serious but pleasant turn with Yu-Giri’s celebratory declaration that a couple who met as DaizyStripper fans had announced their engagement, inciting a round of applause and expressing his delight at such a turn of events. After wishing them joy, he expressed that they would have a lot to face in the future, as would everyone, but that he hoped the following song could grant all a little solace when needed. “Shikisai no hanataba wo.” Lively for a ballad, the melody was punctuated by a slow clap as the fans grooved on the spot. The instrumentalists provided backing vocals in the form of a soft “Oooh” and the piece wound up with focus on the Nao/Yu-giri duo, vocalist himself leading the applause before the number even came to an end. “Thank you.”

A simple opening, the ballad, Akanezora ni saku gradually escalated before simplifying once more in the verse. Beneath a gorgeous but fascinating melody, deep drums contrasted light guitar, creating an emotional piece further inspired by tasteful lyrics and Yu-Giri’s clear voice. The final guitar solo featured a Mayu pulling out all the stops. Shaken then from a pleasant stupor, the crowd came to life for Shikisai vivid, fists flying. The second verse brought Nao to centre stage, playing with the vocalist who looked away whenever the guitarist faced him. At the end of the verse, Nao wrestled the microphone away to plant the customary pre-chorus kiss. Then, utilizing a convenient opportunity to express his feelings, Yu-Giri bowed gratefully on the lyric “Thank you for today, too.” Next up, TRUTH began brightly, but soon dissolved into intense screaming and headbanging. Entrusting the second half of the lively chorus to the fans, Yu-Giri positively beamed, joined up front by the instrumental section. The highly energetic number wavered constantly between exuberance and darkness, featuring a rare view of Mayu spinning out of control. The number ended on a high that resulted in Yu-Giri riling the crowd even further. “Are you fired up!? Are you in love?!” he cried.

The atmosphere took a slight detour then, as Yu-Giri talked seriously about the long struggle to release an album, a feat finally achieved with BIRTH. He explained that the songs found on the album, and making up the majority of the evening’s set, had all been raised and evolved over the last three years with the love and care of both members and fans, each one becoming an important item of DaizyStripper’s repertoire. “Now I’d like to sing this song from our beginning here with you all. Please listen to Dandelion,” he said. The slow, poignant opening chorus ringing clearly throughout the hall, he then cried, “Tokyo! Let me hear how strong your love is!” The crowd cried out loudly in response, raising their voices in a series of yells that resumed throughout the instrumentals. The bridge saw Yu-Giri bent over the microphone, singing out emotionally. Then it was the crowd’s turn to prove their devotion, hundreds of voices blending prettily to sing the chorus in the vocalist’s absence. “Seinenkan!” Yu-Giri cried, the remainder of the piece a blur of pumping fists and thrashing heads. “Hey! Hey!! Seinenkan!! We’re on the last song!” Regardless of seating, the crowd moshed across the floor according to Yu-Giri’s orders, Decade lit with strobing white light that sent the frantic piece over the edge. “It’s okay if you’re strangers!” the vocalist exclaimed as bodies collided in the dash from one side of the hall to the other. “Just don’t fall over!” The crowd weren’t the only ones all over the place, the band constantly switching positions and taking their turns in the spotlight whilst Yu-giri traversed to the very edges of the stage, continuing to encourage the audience to careen either towards or away from him. He then climbed up behind Kazami, holding his microphone down for the drummer to sing along with him. The break-neck pace of the song had the hall in high spirits to finish, long drum rolls and many cymbal crashes dragging the excitement on as Yu-Giri blew kisses to the crowd, screaming “Oi, oi, oi! Seinenkan, thank you!” Nao seemed on the verge of breaking his guitar out of sheer excitement until one by one, the band took their leave, Kazami last to farewell the crowd, clapping as he went.

However it wasn’t long before DaizyStripper returned. Taking their time to push new goods and reveal upcoming events such as a trip to Okinawa for Christmas and the possibility of a pyjama party, they reminded the crowd that their yells of support were being captured in a recording. “Shall we go on?” Yu-Giri teased eventually. Dearest instantly recaptured the blissful atmosphere previously invoked by Decade, Mayu dancing about cheerfully. With unbelievable energy, the crowd jumped away throughout the chorus, Mayu and Nao then meeting centre stage for an uplifting guitar duet whilst Rei’s territory was invaded by the vocalist. Once again, the fans provided vocal relief during the bridge, spreading their arms wide overhead in a bodily expression of appreciation. “Thank you so much for gathering here today,” Yu-Giri began, addressing the crowd one last time. “You’ve probably cried many tears in your lives so far but we will become umbrellas for the rain in your hearts. When you’re cold and shivering we’ll become the sun. When you’re down, we’ll uplift you through our music. This is the last song, Smile World.”
The piece opened with Kazami on piano, only he and Yu-Giri visible under selective lighting. Revealing yet another skill, the drummer sang harmony even as he played, the beautiful ballad a fitting choice to express the band’s feelings and hopes for their fans. Pure white light shone bright despite the misty stage as the remaining members joined in, the melody carried out with chaste simplicity. The final chord was held by the guitars as Yu-Giri sang out a softly sweet “I love you.” Then he issued a deafening scream of “Thank you!” The fans applauded mightily as the band turned their backs, taking a moment to recover before facing their audience. A backing of piano music played as they thanked the crowd, hugged each other, and tossed out picks, bottles and drum sticks. Meeting at centre stage to hold hands, they waited for the crowd to join hands as well. Sans microphone, Yu-Giri nevertheless cried out clearly, “Theatre of Love, Nippon Seinenkan – Thank you so much! 1 – 2 – 3!” and band and crowd jumped as one.

One by one, the band took their time leaving the stage until only Kazami remained. “Thank you!” he screamed, barely audible over the applause as he tossed a drumhead. “I love you!!” One final clap saw Kazami too offstage, and the first instalment of the two-day celebration came to an end. As the opening number Trigger played in the background many fans lingered, chatting, mingling and reminiscing, reluctant to leave. The evening was a brilliant showcase of DaizyStripper’s first album and a tantalizing taste of things to come.

Set List

01. Trigger
02. Lyrical Night
03. Tsumi na batsu
04. Juliet no Knife
05. Jiiteki Showtime
06. Shirochou rappu ~White Butterfly ~
07. Rude Boy
08. Piano Solo ~-absolute-
10. Little Ballerina
11. Baby Kingdom
12. Shikisai no hanataba wo
13. Akanezora ni saku
14. Shihikisai vivid
16. Dandelion
17. Decade

01. Dearest
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