LUNA SEA Rocks Germany
LUNA SEA made dreams come true with a splendid show in Bochum, Germany.
When the doors finally opened and the people entered the Ruhrcongress, there was a mix of different nationalities and languages heard. Fans from all over Europe had come in addition to a number of people from Russia and die-hard fans from Japan that didn’t want to miss a single LUNA SEA concert. A few fans had even come from Brazil to see this unique concert! The majority of the fans seemed older than the stereotypical European visual kei fan, and were dressed more casually, though a few colorful haircuts and even a Pikachu suit could be seen.
A few thousand people filled the hall, which surprisingly was seated. The fans warmed themselves up, applauding and practicing a wave together, and were calling out for the band loudly as the the background music ended. The stage had a big LUNA SEA banner featuring the moon at the back, and two big screens on either side.
Around seven thirty, the background music stopped and a piano intro sounded. The fans jumped up, screaming for LUNA SEA as the classical piano intro soon became a more electronic sound. Suddenly, the music stopped and then the five members appeared one after one another, evoking even more earsplitting screams and applause. Without wasting any time, the five band members picked up their instruments, in SUGIZO’s case his impressive three-necked guitar, and immediately launched into LOVELESS. In a similar fashion, Deja vu followed, the fans shouting along with the “Déjà vu” lyrics.
After the explosive start, RYUICHI took a moment to greet the fans. Although his MC was almost entirely in Japanese, he still received a warm response from the audience. He announced the next song, SLAVE, and lights started to flash wildly as they began to play the renowned song. The band members moved around the stage to the upbeat melody; SUGIZO going down on his knees, and J jumping with his bass. You could definitely see that the bassist was having a lot of fun, he wore a big smile on his face, beaming as he played his instrument. INORAN however, was more laid back and concentrated mostly on his guitar with a serious face.
END OF SORROW came up next, RYUICHI’s voice sounding clear and pure, perhaps even better than the original 1996 recording. The vocalist was dressed in a rather classy style, black jacket, with a white shirt and tie paired with leather pants as a finishing touch. Barely giving the audience the chance to applaud between songs, they launched into TRUE BLUE, expertly weaving the songs together.
Another MC followed, in which RYUICHI tried out some German, such as the sentence “Ich liebe euch” (I love you) and received loud screams in return. Shinya, seated high on his drum platform then started the pounding intro of FACE TO FACE. He was dressed in a red jacket, and pounded away fiercely with his blonde hair flying around. Soon, J joined him with his low vibrating bass, moving towards the front of the stage and dancing along to the powerful rhythm. With his short haircut and bright smile, he gave off a boyish charm that made the women swoon as he swayed teasingly to the heavy beat. In the dark hall with red lights focused on the stage, the impressive song gained an even more intense atmosphere, which continued with gravity. As soon as INORAN started the characteristic guitar riff, the crowd yelled enthusiastically as they recognized the song instantly.
The intense mood continued with Ra-Se-N, the slow rhythm, deep bass and powerful drums giving off a mysterious and threatening vibe. SUGIZO, on the right side of the stage, gracefully moved to the music. He twirled around with his guitar as the music intensified, his arm following the rhythm. Although it couldn’t really be called a dance, the guitarist managed to add another dimension to the song, fitting his movements to the music perfectly.
As Ra-Se-N ended, the lights went off. Suddenly, SUGIZO’s silhouette could be seen in a dim light, this time holding a violin. The response he got was overwhelming, the fans calling out for him as he started the first violin phrases of Providence by himself, the sound filling the venue beautifully. Soon, INORAN joined him on an acoustic guitar for the characteristic waltz rhythm followed by RYUICHI, his vocals deep and touching. During the song, the audience was silent, as if mesmerized by the music and not wanting to miss a second of it. Afterward, the band got a loud applause from the deeply impressed audience.
After GENESIS OF MIND all the members except for Shinya left the stage. The spotlights focused on the drummer, sat high on the stage on his drum platform. Accompanied by an electronic backing track, the drummer started an impressive solo, hitting the drums powerfully and speeding up more and more building into a crazy rhythm. Shinya looked to have thoroughly enjoyed his solo, and now he took a microphone to call out to the audience, who responded eagerly. After some time, J suddenly popped up again, running to the front of the stage to play his red bass along with Shinya. The sounds vibrated low through the venue, first starting out slow but then progressing to a groovy rhythm that even got a funk edge to it. He too grabbed a microphone, addressing the audience in English and screaming: “Let’s go crazy!”
The other members appeared back on stage then for FATE. INORAN had changed to a different outfit, swapping his long grey coat for a black vest with a white shirt. The quiet guitarist finally seemed more at ease on stage, moving around more freely and looking into the audience, cheering them on. STORM was another highlight of the evening, the song making the fans jump and yell along with the lyrics. The band members rocked out with the heavier songs, moving around more freely and even goofing off during TIME IS DEAD. SUGIZO got onto his knees in front of INORAN, and the other guitarist promptly followed him, almost looking uncomfortable to have his fellow band member in front of him in such a position.
The audience and band heated up even further during ROSIER, with J taking care of the talking/rapping part and throwing his mic stand behind him as he finished and ran around the stage again. With TONIGHT the mood grew even more playful, the band members moving around freely as they played their instruments and cheered the audience on with gestures. The band members left the stage then, leaving the fans calling out for an encore, not wanting to believe it was over already.
After much ferocious clapping, yelling and stomping on the tribune, the band returned to the stage. SUGIZO grabbed a microphone and thanked the audience in English: “Thank you so much for coming today, we love you guys so much.” RYUICHI took his microphone then and offered it to J, but the bassist shied away with a smile. They started the encore which consisted of three more songs: I FOR YOU, PRECIOUS…. before it was time for the final song of the evening: WISH. Once again, the fans rocked out with the band, who gave their all in the final song. SUGIZO managed to drive the female fans crazy once again by suggestively shaking his ass as he turned his back to the audience and moved along with the music. As the song drew to its end, RYUICHI simply stood still in the center of the stage, gazing lovingly at the large crowd that had gathered for this special concert.
With the band members' hands entwined, they jumped together with the audience. All the members exuberantly thanked the fans, J and SUGIZO calling out in English, and promised to come back soon. SUGIZO was the last to leave the stage, snapping a few pictures of the audience for his own personal memories.
As a sweet piano version of MOTHER and PRECIOUS... was played over the sound system, the fans dazedly realized that the show was over for real now. The delicate piano songs even moved some to tears, as they slowly came down from a LUNA SEA high.
The evening had been truly amazing; a dream come true for many that had already given up hope on ever seeing LUNA SEA live after they halted their activities in 2000. LUNA SEA added another chapter to their already grand career with their fantastic concert in Bochum that was nothing short of breathtaking. Fans in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tokyo can definitely look forward to an amazing show in their country and we hope to welcome back the quintet back in Europe soon!
4. END OF SORROW
5. TRUE BLUE
6. FACE TO FACE
10. GENESIS OF MIND
11. Drum Solo
12. Bass Solo
16. TIME IS DEAD
19. I for You