Over The Edge ’10 [New Years Party] December 31st

live report - 03.03.2011 08:00

Pandemonium strikes at midnight.

The audience filtered into C.C.Lemon Hall in the early afternoon, eager to get their new year's eve on the way. Everyone was excited to see their favorite bands and looked forward to hearing some new ones as well.

Golden Bomber

For those unfamiliar with Golden Bomber, there was no warning at all as they exploded onto the stage.

Who would have expected the wildly energetic vocalist, Kiriyuin Sho, to run around with a sign reading ‘HEAD BANG’ whilst the remainder of the band – without instruments – led the charge for Kirei ni naritakute? Or expected to see almost every known conventional and unconventional example of visual kei choreography stuffed into Doku gumo onna, up to and including Daigo Star’s infamous "wish?"

Kiriyuin lamented that Golden Bomber would not be present for the countdown later that night before introducing himself, bassist Utahiroba Jun and guitarist…X JAPAN's drummer YOSHIKI, who had come in to "replace" Kyan Yutaka. Despite Kiriyuin’s fears that YOSHIKI fans would be flaming mad at the blatant impertinence of Kyan’s cosplay, shrieks of laughter insisted otherwise. Also ringing false was Kiriyuin’s following prediction that Golden Bomber would never be called to participate in Over The Edge again. At last, he completed the introductions with drummer Darvish Kenji, who promised to make not the traditional new year soba but instead the new year udon for everyone.

The madness only escalated throughout Dakishimete Schwartz as Kyan disappeared, only to reappear being carried through the seated rows spraying smoke from a canister. Then, the band initiated their own countdown, streamers exploding on the mark as the vocalist cried, “Yes! I’m satisfied!” The Vkei poi kyoku lived up to its title by sounding very visual kei-like indeed, and it had Kiriyuin condemning the crowd for not practicing the lyrics well enough before the band danced about amidst a chorus of ‘Golden Bomber, play music!’; insinuating that the real slackers were the ‘air band’ themselves. Then, Utahiroba picked up a guitar, followed by Darvish, and Kiriyuin appeared with violin in hand, whipping up a lovely melody that had the three guitarists staring in disgust and disbelief until Kyan jumped up on the drum kit, posing elegantly.

Tossing sticks, picks and bottles, the band at last abandoned the stage, but vocalist Kiriyuin wasn’t done. “Shibuya! Can you do one more?” he called while the others tore back onstage in a panic. “Last! Memeshikute!” The four abandoned all pretense of playing, ignoring their instruments and instead leading the headbanging. Whilst Kyan held a hand to his braced neck with a faked pained expression, Darvish did a backflip to wild cheers. The four held a final pose with blinding grins, then Kiriyuin began to take on a look of panic. “Quick! Close the curtain!” Unfortunately, Darvish was stuck out front, lights finally going down on his frantic search for an exit.

Set List
01. Kirei ni naritakute
02. Doku gumo onna (moe moe hen)
03. Dakishimete Schwartz
04. The Vkei poi kyoku
05. Memeshikute

DaizyStripper

Pausing at centre stage with arms spread, vocalist Yu-Giri sprayed a mouthful of water over the front rows. “Thank you, Over The Edge! C.C.Lemon Hall, shout for me!” he cried, kicking off the set with Shikisai Vivid. The band was in diva mode, guitarist Nao taking over the stage with his exaggerated playing during his solo whilst the vocalist further riled the crowd. “Sing,” he commanded, and the fans complied valiantly whilst the band played on. Yu-Giri’s cry of “Jump!” rocked the hall as bodies dove into the air to match the vigorously bouncing guitarist Mayu, who shattered his stoic imagine throughout DIRTY STARRY. Joining with Nao for a bout of headbanging, bassist Rei proved he was a hardcore soul at heart. Amidst the combined growls of those three, the vocalist threw in high pitched screams that fried the atmosphere with an almost electric current. He then showed off that rare but delicious jewel of a growl that spurred the crowd into desperately thrashing.

“At our first Over The Edge appearance, this is DaizyStripper!” Yu-Giri yelled before pitching their new live CD. The band then played two songs included on the live album as a present to the fans. The upbeat Shikisai no hanataba wo had the crowd clapping under Yu-Giri’s direction whilst the musicians sang a heartfelt chorus. “Let’s clap into 2011!” The clapping continued until the very end amidst the vocalist’s floating falsetto and a sweet cymbal roll from drummer Kazami . STAY GOLD had the band in high spirits: Nao messed about with the crowd while Mayu danced an exchange with the vocalist, complete with a courtly bow. Finally, decade took off with “Over The Edge! Mosh this way!” As the crowd did exactly that, Yu-Giri egged them on. While the guitarists and bassist wreaked havoc across the stage, Yu-Giri climbed up behind Kazami and extended the mic for him to sing into. The vocalist then changed the lyrics to “Thank you 2010” before crying “Shibuya! I love you!”

Set List
01. Shikisai Vivid
02. DIRTY STARRY
03. Shikisai no hanataba wo
04. STAY GOLD
05. decade

Mao Session
Vocals: Mao (Sadie)
Guitar: Nao (DaizyStripper)
Guitar: ryuto (Shoujo Lolita 23)
Bass: ryosuke (Shoujo Lolita 23)
Drums: Kazami (DaizyStripper)

The all-diva, all-outgoing, all-the-time first session of the evening produced squeals of shock as DaizyStripper’s Dandelion began with the darker tones of Sadie’s vocalist. However, the captain went down with his ship as it struck a lyrical iceberg. “Stop! Sorry. Shut the curtain,” requested Mao with a bashful grin. The second time around, the crowd applauded to fortify the vocalist and sang along to stave off any further lyrical mishaps. From that point on, the blunder was forgotten in a flurry of excitement as Nao and ryosuke skipped and danced about the stage front whilst ryuto went nuts, contrary to his usual character. “Sing!” Mao cried as Nao conducted the enthusiastic crowd-choir.

“Welcome to today’s first session!” the vocalist yelled before introducing each of the members. “Shall we forget that first accident and move on? Let’s hear your voices!” ryuto and ryosuke prowled the stage front, signaling for bigger reactions. The two Lolita 23 members lost their heads in a flurry of headbanging, and the sight of Mao leading Nejidokei Libido's choreography both unusual and refreshing. The crowd and session members let loose throughout the thoroughly enjoyable number. Sadie’s Meisai wound up the set in full swing. All of the members exhibited some vicious thrashing at one point or another, but Nao was certainly a sight to see as he threw his whole body into it. ryosuke even performed the obligatory wave of the arm usually attributed to Sadie bassist Aki.

“Have fun! Bye bye!” Mao called before being hugged from behind by Kazami. A kiss from Nao then knocked him into a dead faint before they all fled the stage.

Set List
01.Dandelion (DaizyStripper)
02.Nejidokei Libido (Shoujo Lolita 23q)
03.Meisai (Sadie)

Moran

The curtains opened to a tableau of guitarist Sizna and support bassist Shingo facing inward while vocalist Hitomi posed with arms outstretched and head back. As the intro to Kimi no ita gosenfu picked up, he raised a hand. Dancing under the raised lights, he ran his hands up and down the mic stand, his smoky voice weaving a spell. Drummer Soan exhibited little head flicks, and Sizna kept up a series of spins and shakes. “Hey, Shibuya,” Hitomi called. “Have fun till your necks fall off!” Hameln kicked up the pace with the vocalist and guitarist leading the headbanging as it suited them. Sizna was constantly in motion. The number evolved from ambient guitar and soft drums into a heavier affair as Hitomi released his death voice before grooving up front with Shingo.

Hitomi then intentionally poured cold water over the warmed up crowd. “We’re Moran. We only perform depressing songs. We’re basically negative. Sometimes I get very down, but when I think ‘it’s all over’ or when everything seems painful and I don’t want to talk to anyone, I’ll write a dark song to present to you all. I’ll be satisfied if you remember us as ‘That Depressing Band.’” The somehow oddly touching MC wound up with, “On that note: Kakutasu aka.” Well composed, each sound was easily distinguishable without actually clashing and Soan kept up a cheerful face, flicking his head about and singing along despite the previous talk. Hitomi whipped out a special mic stand to be swung about like a cane throughout the bass-driven number. The crowd danced around, and despite his earlier words and morose tone, Hitomi insisted, “Let’s have a joyful party here today.” Party Monster really got the crowd going. Hitomi skipped about with his portable stand as Sizna thrust his hips in a carnal display.

“This is today’s last song. Listen and overcome the darkness in your hearts,” Hitomi murmured. Gorgeous pink and green lighting set the mood of Onaji yami no naka de before the stage brightened for the chorus. When Hitomi let out a passionate, raw scream, it extended to the far reaches of the hall. He sank to his knees, head cradled in his arms before throwing his head back to sing out in falsetto. One final mic-less scream and then he muttered, “2010. May that song reach you.”

Set List
01. Kimi no ita gosenfu
02. Hameln
03. Kakutasu aka
04. Konya, tsuki no nai kaigan de
05. Party Monster
06. Onaji yami no naka de

AYABIE

AYABIE’s sound check left no doubt as to who was appearing next. “Jump, jump, jump!” cried vocalist Yumehito on his way in, with Smile.Smoke.Keeper already in motion. Throughout the cheerful number, bassist Intetsu could be seen headbanging in his own little world, while the vocalist rushed about with bright spins and unrestrained dancing. “Can you jump even more than that?” he pressured. Hi:Fi proved that yes, the dutiful crowd could. When the bassist broke into headbanging after their insipid bopping, Yumehito found a new partner in Takehito. Kenzo earned a glance as he threw his stick high, catching it and playing on.

“Are you enjoying yourselves for AYABIE’s first hall live? We’re very nervous,” Yumehito half joked. Those familiar with the band’s complicated history muttered “liar” with a grin. The vocalist then ordered the crowd to be excited about the important visual kei event before snapping out of a trance to tell a visual kei story resulting in the unfortunate conclusion that he has “no band-man aura.” He then mentioned the new CD to be released on February 23rd, 2011 and introduced Melody. The fun atmosphere kept the crowd dancing; Takehito’s solo was no exception. Then, the slightly heavier mood of STAR PLAYER wound up the set. Yumehito pointed to Intetsu, who reacted dramatically before diving into some more headbanging. The Disney-ish melody lifted with a key change as the song came to a close. Intetsu gestured to the crowd, grinning wildly whilst Yumehito expressed his gratitude. Finally, Kenzo tossed a bottle through the rapidly closing curtain, earning a cheer.

Set List
01. Smile.Smoke.Keeper
02. Hi:Fi
03. Shinkiro
04. Melody
05. STAR PLAYER

Yoshihiko Session
Vocals: Yoshihiko (heidi.)
Guitar: Kazutaka “Jill” Toyota (SOPHIA)
Guitar: Yusuke (lynch.)
Bass: Kohsuke (heidi.)
Drums: O-JIRO (PENICILLIN)

Amidst a ridiculous cacophony of Disney-ish yodeling, vocalist Yoshihiko danced onstage. He spread his arms wide as the remaining members entered. “Shibuya! Let’s fully enjoy Over The Edge!” he cried, suddenly launching an a cappella entry of SOPHIA’s Believe. Dancing and wandering about with excitement and confidence, he sang smoothly, sporting an odd tuxedo with glittery red lapels. “Let’s go, everyone!” he cried, facing bassist Kohsuke and then throwing an arm about guitarist Yusuke. The two wandered back to O-JIRO on drums. Singing and pointing at the crowd, Kohsuke wandered over to guitarist Kazutaka, the two facing off coolly before the guitarist stepped up for his solo. Yoshihiko led the choreography before the band turned to O-JIRO for the last few notes.

“Welcome to the Yoshihiko session. Having fun, Shibuya?” Yoshihiko began, sporting the world’s biggest grin. “As you can see, my band is made up of my admired artists and Yusuke from lynch., who is always joining us for Counter Culture so I’m the happiest person here!" Introducing the other members, he pronounced himself more nervous than ever before. “I’ve been excited about talking to you here on stage, Jill-san.”

“Really?” the guitarist interjected, fulfilling the dream. “You’re totally cool, and O-JIRO, too. Thank you so much for today. Now let’s make this the best day ever!” he cried, turning back to the audience. “Can you do it!? DEAD or ALIVE!” The band took off all over the stage, members facing off, playing about and sneaking up on each other. Meanwhile, Yoshihiko’s vocal style skipped back past heidi., bringing in a sound from his old band, Sics. Like a schoolboy with a pocket full of candy, he flung his arm about Kazukata, his brightly ringing voice disintegrating into a growl before he whipped the crowd into yelling.

“Shibuya! THANK YOU!” he growled with a final, spinning jump. Many hugs and handshakes were exchanged as the session band made their way offstage, a brilliantly grinning Yoshihiko eventually leading Kohsuke off.

Set List
01. Believe (SOPHIA)
02. DEAD or ALIVE (Penicillin)

Dog in the Parallel World Orchestra

“Let’s hear those loud voices. Go!” cried vocalist Haru. The band jammed a short session to pump the crowd up before Halcion Candy. Up on his podium, Haru’s command of “Clap!” got them going. Haru bent his fingers into a dog head, literally barking out the typical death voice. During Mei’s bass solo, guitarist Junjun entertained the audience by making dog ears as he danced about. Aozora Halation kept up the hi-jinks with a fast pace and bright sound. Haru wiggled his rear at the crowd on the intervening drum roll. “We’re proud to participate in our first countdown!” Haru announced. “Yesterday we were watching from up there thinking that we’d be doomed if we screw up!” he said, only half laughing. However, the number continued smoothly with another solo courtesy of Mei whilst Junjun jumped in circles, headbanging all the while. The vibrant number ended with a jubilant response to Haru’s cry of “I wanna hear your voices!” Then, the guitarists switched sides. “Can you keep it up? Try,” Haru teased before adding in a cute voice, “POCKET ROCKET.”

Short barks from the vocalist were offset by long shouts from guitarist Mizuki. Mei was down on his knees at the front whilst Junjun clapped with the crowd. After an intense section of music, Junjun rolled backwards onto the floor, lying there and fixing his bedraggled hair before popping back up and bouncing low over the half moon guitar held by his feet. “Three, two, one, let’s go!” Haru’s cry kicked the pace up a notch, driving the piece to a wild finish. Crouched down on his speaker, Junjun made lazy hearts back at the elated crowd. Wrapping up with WONDERxWONDER, Haru led a round of action featuring more of those trademark ‘dog hands’ throughout the exciting number. “That was fun!” he yelled, inviting the crowd to come play at their oneman on March 4th in 2011.

Set List
01. Halcion Candy
02. Aozora halation
03. POCKET ROCKET
04. WONDERxWONDER

Awoi

After stalking onstage darkly, Suzumushi had vocalist Otogi in a rampage from the get-go. It was like an explosion after the calm between sets. The whole hall was headbanging wildly, hair flinging about without a thought for neighbours. “Keep it up!” Otogi roared amidst the awesome sound. Sunday featured a sweet riff, and the bright, melodic chorus was just as satisfying. Throughout, guitarist Shu’s long growl expressed a tone different to Otogi’s. When the vocalist ordered, “Shibuya, headbang!” to kick-start abelcain, the crowd did so at once.

Otogi’s come hither gestures had the fans more than ready for beauty, enticing them to clap and chant along with the vocalist. Meanwhile, drummer Ryo had it tough, hands flying throughout the number. “Last one! Come on!” Otogi called. The triple S: Shu, Saki and SIN, lined up along the front of the stage to give the fans a good show. Setting his mic off-centre at the stage-front, Otogi backed up and then leapt at it, growling into it as they both went down. “Thank you, Shibuya! Come see us at our oneman on the 29th next year!”

So the straight-forward set ended, no strings attached.

Set List
01. Suzumushi
02. Sunday
03. Abelcain
04. beauty
05. Kodama

Matenrou Opera

The band each entered with some acknowledgment of the crowd, vocalist sono yelling, “Ready, Over The Edge!?” A short riff reset the crowd into Opera mode, rescuing them from falling over backwards when anzi’s INDEPENDENT opening guitar solo ripped impressively through the hall. With anzi and bassist Yo on death voice between sono’s vocals, the number had a powerful effect. Then, bassist and guitarist joined keyboardist ayame in headbanging through the melodic gothic tune. anzi’s over-the-shoulder guitar loops added entertaining theatrics even as his next solo blew the crowd away. Murder Scope began on a vocal high. In the background, Yu’s exaggerated expressions caught everyone's eye whilst he drummed vigorously away.

“Are you worked up? This is our first appearance at Over The Edge so we’re finally showing our faces at a countdown event!” sono announced proudly. “Having just released our major debut album, we’d like to perform the representative piece for you now.” Mou hitori no hanayome featured an opening duet between sono and ayame, the vocalist under a spotlight until the instruments kicked in full force for a powerful piece of music. Hiai to Melancholy brought ayame out on his portable keyboard once more, with sono leading the crowd in an extensive series of yells complete with swinging towels. Throughout, the band kept up entertaining antics, such as anzi’s over-the-head guitar playing and yuu’s one-handed drumming. At last, sono sang the last round. Taking over the first chorus, the crowd proved they had been listening. sono skipped about, energy wavering at last as he sank to his knees. “Last one!” he cried. “Let’s do it, Shibuya! Alkaloid Showcase!” The awesome melody interspersed with growls and fortified by a great musical line kept the crowd going flat out until the very end.

Set List
01. INDEPENDENT
02. Murder Scope
03. Mou hitori no hanayome
04. Hiai to Melancholy
05. alkaloid showcase

YUKI Session
Vocals: YUKI (Mix Speakers, Inc.)
Guitar: TERU (Versailles)
Bass: Rame (Vidoll)
Keyboard: DIE (Ra:IN)
Drums: Kiri (heidi.)
(6 Dancers)

Decked out in white shirts and black vests or jackets with varying ties, the session band came out looking like schoolboys and the crowd screamed as they began a set full of L'Arc~en~Ciel. Far removed from his usual character, YUKI sang in a deep, dark voice whilst DIE crouched menacingly about with his portable keyboard. TERU executed a spin to end the first verse. Bassist Rame swayed gently in the background and Kiri grooved happily away on the drums. Of all the night’s sessions, this one felt most like a tried and tested band.

“We’re the YUKI session. Are you all having fun?” the vocalist called. “There were no sessions yesterday, but plenty for you today. Since it’s so rare, let’s introduce ourselves.” He then cycled through the members and their bands, kicking off the Fourth Avenue Café as soon as he was done. TERU sang along passionately, one hand to his chest before stepping up for his solo. Escalating into a heavier mood, YUKI bent into the lyrics, yelling “Jump!” It gentled again at the last, with Kiri capping it off with a light cymbal roll.

“Sessions are short so the next song is the last one. It’s very energetic, so let’s enjoy it!” YUKI warned. “Come on C.C.Lemon! STAY AWAY!” The crowd loved the energetic number and danced as all but the vocalist and drummer shed their jackets. DIE and the crowd backed YUKI up when required, the vocalist then surprising everyone with a deep growl. A group of dancers appeared during the climax to pull into a V with YUKI at the tip. With a final jump, the band rounded things up, thanking the dancers. DIE tickled YUKI on his way offstage, and Kiri gave a deep bow before waving good bye.

Set List
01. Drink it down (L'Arc~en~Ciel)
02. the Fourth Avenue Cafe (L'Arc~en~Ciel)
03. stay away (L'Arc~en~Ciel)

Tatsuro Session
Vocals: Tatsuro (MUCC)
Guitar: aie (The Studs)
Guitar: kenichi (MERRY)
Bass: seek (Mix Speakers, Inc.)
Drums: Kei Kashiyama (TRICK/ex-MOON CHILD)

Given away by a sound check of “Yeah yeah yeah!” Tatsuro’s session still held a kernel of mystery until the members entered to ecstatic screams. The vocalist, heavy circles painted around his eyes and long hair straightened to perfection, wandered forward. Without a word, he launched Kuro no hana. The whole band had a dark, dangerous edge. Bassist seek, wandering constantly throughout, circled about guitarist aie before the two faced off. Hands to his eyes during the instrumental, Tatsuro surveyed the crowd before swinging his long hair about loosely. “Shibuya…this is a session band!” he called before introducing the members and their respective bands. “We’re gonna do a song I love, right Kashiyama?” he asked the drummer. “MOON CHILD’s Escape.”

Even seek kept still through the number, letting Tatsuro bask in the song. However, nothing could curb the dark, emo presence of aie at stage left; the guitarist was truly in his element. Finally, seek met Tatsuro at centre stage for the finale. Bowing once before the final chord, Tatsuro mentioned, “We weren’t able to get together to practice, but please listen to the last song of this session band." aie played soberly whilst Tatsuro kept very still, and the session performed Nawa for the captivated crowd. The bright melody of the chorus was dampened by the dark timbre of Tatsuro’s voice, and seek’s prowling movement somehow fit the undercurrents of the tune. When it was over, Tatsuro bowed with a fist to his chest. “Thank you.”

Set List
01. Kuro no hana (BUCK-TICK)
02. Escape (Moonchild)
03. Nawa (kagerou)

Nero Session
Vocals: Kyo (D’ERLANGER)
Guitar: HIRO (Creature Creature)
Guitar: Reo (lynch.)
Bass: YUKKE (MUCC)
Drums: Nero (MERRY)

To the delight of many a fan, the session began with an immediate solo from Nero. The crowd picked up the rhythm and shouted along until the drummer jumped to his feet, flashing a peace sign. Going solo once more, he proved his dexterity by introducing the band even as his hands flew. One by one, bassist YUKKE, guitarists Reo and HIRO and vocalist Kyo entered amidst thrilled cheers. Even the rest of the band clapped for Kyo who toppled the mic stand yelling, “Tokyo! Let’s have fun!” The two guitarists settled at stage left together, getting into the music while the crowd was immersed in the retro tones of Kyo singing out TRAGEDY.

“I’m totally floating up here! I’ve gotta calm down!” Nero exclaimed. “This session is awesome! Thanks guys! It’s the first time to have a session named after a drummer, but people kept telling me to do it, so thank you all for saving me at the last second. However, that bassist didn’t give me his number!” Laughing, YUKKE explained that he was drunk and gave the wrong number, but he didn’t have Nero’s contact details to call back. The crowd was forgiving, but whether Nero was as benevolent remained a mystery as the drummer pressed on, insisting that Kyo looked bored with such a story. Hitting nine cymbal smashes whilst Kyo riled up the crowd, Nero got things back on track with Tell Me. The musicians came forward to enjoy the number with the crowd.

Tossing a bottle during the outtro, Kyo called one last “Thank you!” as YUKKE held up his bass and Nero launched his sticks into the air. Stopping at a mic on the way out, the drummer added as if in retrospect, “Happy new year!”

Set List
01. TRAGEDY
02. TELL ME (Hide)

DINNER BREAK

Hazuki Session
Vocals: Hazuki (lynch.)
Guitar: Nii (girugamesh)
Guitar: Mizuki (Sadie)
Bass: KYO (Uchusentai NOIZ)
Drums: MANJ” (Sel’m)

“Let’s go, Shibuya!” cried a voice that startled the crowd. “It’s Hazuki!” many screamed, rushing to their seats. The opening number, endless loop, fit the vocalist so neatly it could have been his own song, perhaps explaining why he chose to fill the set with tracks by ROUAGE. Meanwhile, guitarists Nii and Mizuki took over the stage during the bright chorus. When Hazuki cried “Nii!” to initiate the guitar solo, said guitarist played it cool with Mizuki’s back pressed up against his. Meanwhile, drummer MANJ” kept up his amazing energy throughout. Obligatory introductions preceded the next piece, JESUS PHOBIA. Whilst Hazuki danced about freely, the rest remained mostly sober. The sudden end came too soon and shouts for Hazuki rang out from the crowd.

“Last!” he called, raising disappointed protests. Whatever he had held back in the previous number, Mizuki released in Shiroi yami, living it up on the stage. Nii and KYO both grooved up to centre stage, meeting behind Hazuki for only a moment before grooving away again. First Mizuki approached the vocalist, then Nii stepped up, sang at him for a moment and fled back to stage left. Hazuki, meanwhile, was still throughout the number, dancing with hands only even as Mizuki zipped here and there about the stage. However, his pleasure was evident in a final little “Whoo!” and “Thank you!” He seemed content to leave the hi-jinks to the guitarists. Nii danced about, earning a kick from Mizuki until the latter spread his arms wide and Hazuki dove towards him for a hug, nearly knocking them both down. With that moment a lasting memory of their fleeting collaboration, the stage was cleared once again.

Set List
01. endless loop (ROUAGE)
02. JESUS PHOBIA (ROUAGE)
03. Shiroi yami (ROUAGE)

the bullet

With an undeniable air of cool, the bullet was revealed by the opening of the curtain and a kranze banner hanging above. Vocalist KENzy sang out the first chorus of my pain mic-less with arms spread wide. Then, he bent down to headbang, easily setting the atmosphere of the set in those few actions. “Hi! We’re the bullet! Nice to meet you! Let’s enjoy today together!” he called. The cool rock mood stepped up a notch with Ashita wo ninau mono. Guitarists RYOKI and YUKI supported the growled lyrics with long, menacing snarls. After a solo by bassist TOMO at centre stage, KENzy cut off, allowing the crowd to sing in his place. The number ended with the visual effect of all outstretching one hand. “Hi, we’re the bullet,” KENzy repeated. “I think most of you don’t know us, so let me introduce the members.” He even included support drummer Teruki, claiming, “We’ll be borrowing his strength today.”

ONCE AGAIN began on a gentle note, but the instruments came in full force when KENzy cried, “Raise your hands!” In fact, TOMO was so moved that he hopped straight into an amp at the back of the stage. Then the atmosphere turned heavy under KENzy’s skilful influence before Teruki struck up double time and the crowd danced into the night. “Please clap your hands!” KENzy requested during Rakuen. Before anyone knew what had happened, KENzy was off the stage and running between the rows, jumping back up to initiate a member role call. Organized chaos reigned until the number wound to an exhausted close. “Ready for the last one?” KENzy then shouted. “Put everything into it!” Rife with headbanging, even the melodic chorus of Forbidden Colors entertained a steady rhythmic growl beneath KENzy’s rich voice before he bent back into a scream. “Let’s go, RYOKI!” he yelled, causing the guitarist to growl into his mic. With a final flurry of heads and fists, the set came to an end. the bullet left behind a strong impression that only a band of experienced performers could produce.

Set List
01. my pain
02. Ashita wo ninau mono
03. ONCE AGAIN
04. Rakuen
05. Forbidden Colors

Doremidan

Following a count-in courtesy of drummer Reika, vocalist Makoto let out a passionate cry. “Shibuya!!!” Guitarists Ken and Ryu, along with bassist Yuu, moved to spice things up for the lively opening instrumental of Time Machine before stepping back to let Makoto have his way as the crowd moshed. “Let’s go! Don’t let me down!” he cried. The darker timbre of chou featured Makoto dancing in puppet-like fashion, then bopping along with bass and guitars to the rhythmic music. The Faust got the crowd responding to the band’s charismatic efforts along the front of the stage. Kei’s repeats of the chorus lines had the crowd spreading their arms each time before Makoto embarked on a rapid, angry rap. A sudden roar from puppet-Makoto preceded a shout of “Tokyo!”

Sitting, he yelled “We’re Doremidan! Are you tired? Not long now till 2010 ends! This is our first Over The Edge! Yay! The opportunity to stand here prior to the countdown in spite of that is very special, so let’s have a great time!” The awesome opening riffs of Kuroi kasen to ichiru no nozomi made that an easy feat. Makoto flung his arms out; showing off some dancing talent, he twirled across the stage whilst the wholesome but entertaining guitar line kept things at a constant high. Flopping down on his box once more, Makoto outstretched his crossed legs, singing “lalalalalala” and looking like a child without a care in the world. Before the number ended, he hurried over to Yuu for a hug.

Keeping the upbeat, party feel, Koisou yuugi exhibited much of the same fun before coming to a premature end. Reika twirled his trademark red sticks overhead to start off Aozora generation. “Thank you, Shibuya! This is the last song of 2010!” Makoto cried. So it was that 2010 ended with unrestrained moshing and waving. The guitarists jumped up on the central platform, Yuu coming up beside them whilst Makoto messed around behind. Then he took the spotlight for an a capella rendition of the chorus, though he was soon accompanied by Reika and a light guitar melody before the number came in full force once more to end the year. “Thank you!” Makoto yelled. “Happy new year!”

Set List
01. Time Machine
02. Chou
03. The Faust
04. Kuroi kasen to ichiru no nozomi
05. Koisou yuugi
06. Aozora Generation

Count Down

The curtains opened to reveal the countdown clock ticking steadily away. On the drum platform sat YUKIYA. “Am I going to ring in the new year alone?” he asked in confusion. “I’ve been drinking since midday. My hand’s trembling. It’s times like this one needs…bandgirls!” The statement earned the expected screams. “Yet bandgirls are not enough. I wonder if Tatsuro and seek might come out?” Not one to disappoint, Tatsuro appeared a moment later, tequila bottle in one hand and a pile of ashtrays in the other. “I’m Ichikawa Ebiro. I brought the biggest ashtray I could get my hands on!” he announced. YUKIYA’s drunken request to a girl in the front row to tweet from his iPhone earned another round of laughter and applause.

Then, the stage was full of bandmen, all eyes drawn to a massive poster of Daisuke carried out and settled. A barrage of voices was raised to the beloved vocalist as YUKIYA tried to feed the poster. Meanwhile, Tatsuro busily filled ashtrays with tequila. All around, bandmen wreaked havoc: taking photos, messing with the crowd, chatting and commenting on outfits and hair, and in the background, the clock tick-tick-ticked away. “Two minutes,” announced the clock with an annoying electronic voice. Nii dove to the floor for a round of push-ups, and ashtrays sloshing with tequila were held up to Daisuke. Amidst it all began a chant for seek, who took several long pulls straight from the bottle. “One minute.” Tension thickened as the onstage chaos continued. At ten seconds, seek initiated the countdown, and the whole hall raised their voices unanimously. The clock struck 12 and streamers and shouts filled the air. Bandmen waved to celebrating crowd members, grinning and bouncing about.

“It’s 2011!” seek announced redundantly. Then Tatsuro brought forward Mizuki of Dog, claiming he looked like a member of itinerant band 12012. His suggestion for the crowd to request a speaker resulted in Teruki, but the drummer was spared by hiding until Tatsuro reminded the crowd that “Daisuke’s here to play!” seek then announced wanting to smuggle Tatsuro back to the dressing room, herding everyone off with, “Next is YUKIYA’s session.” At last, all but the session members wandered away.

YUKIYA Session
Vocals: YUKIYA (kαin)
Vocals: AGEHA (kαin)
Vocals: KENzy (kαin and the bullet)
Guitar: SANA (kαin)
Guitar: YUKI
Bass: TOMO (kαin)
Drums: ATSUSHI
Cello: TAIZAN
Violin: Sachi
Piano: Yuka

Clutching a beer, YUKIYA waved the can about explaining, “My session will start just like this.” He then called out two adorable girls in big white wigs and tutus. Sachi took up the violin whilst Yuka perched behind the keyboard. “Let’s make this first song of the new year a fun one,” he decided, kicking off with the oldie Can’t take my eyes off of you. Joining him on vocals were AGEHA and KENzy; the three wandered about and traded off lines. The final “I love you so~” had the three harmonizing deliciously. However, YUKIYA then threw a curve ball. “I’m tired, so I’m taking a break for the next song. No, not ‘eh?’ I’m your papa so you’ll listen to me!” He then ordered the session to scatter, leaving the stage to the two girls and cellist Aotsuki Taizan. “We were called upon by big brother YUKIYA and this hall is like a fantasy to us.” The girls launched into an upbeat classical number titled Kuroiro sumire no kyoku, Yuka’s sharp voice unusual but well trained as she sang and played. When the vocal line came to an end, the number segued into the more familiar tune of Ode to Joy. “Thank you,” Yuka chimed amidst a loud cheer. “We’ll hand it back to YUKIYA now.”

When YUKIYA finally deigned to return, he muttered, “Dirt like me has no right to play after such a lovely performance, but please hang in for one more.” Changing the mood, he touched on a nerve of tension. “A lot of terrible things happened this year. For example, Daisuke couldn’t be here." In response, a voice screamed, “Daisuke!” From the second floor came an answering scream of “ZILL!” in respect to Moran’s late bassist. YUKIYA then said, “You listen to our songs and enjoy them and even when we grow old and pass away, our songs will live on. We leave these songs behind for you. That is all we have to give. For some reason, this year started with my session and now this is the last song.” Despite the casual manner of his speech, YUKIYA sang out the gentle portion of the song wholeheartedly. Then KENzy led the charge, yelling as the number turned heavy. The set wound up on a high, a long drum roll underscoring many expressions of gratitude. The final image was of YUKIYA holding up a plate of food with a nod before he casually strolled off.

Set List
01. Can’t take my eyes off of you
02. Kuroiro sumire no kyoku
03. Akashi

Over the Edge ALL STARS

Curtains opened to a dark stage. Eventually, seek wandered out. “Still awake? This next session will be the last.” As he spoke, noise filtered in from offstage and he yelled for those in the wings to be quiet. “It’s been a big year for us all and for you, too. Very tough, I think.”

seek!”

seek rolled his eyes, muttering. “aie…” in exasperation.

SEEK!”

“Shut up, Tatsuro!” seek retorted. “Now let me introduce the last session,” he continued. “From MUCC: SATOchi.” As the drummer entered, an undefined missile flew at seeks’s head from offstage. “From heidi.,” the bassist forged on valiantly, “Nao! From girugameshSatoshi!” The vocalist appeared for the first time that night, dressed from head to foot as Plastic Tree’s Ryutaro. “So let’s end with a grin, okay?” seek finished at last, taking up his bass. “These are two songs by a band we love.”

Vocals: Satoshi (girugamesh)
Guitar: Nao (heidi.)
Bass: seek (Mix Speakers, Inc.)
Drums: SATOchi (MUCC)

May Day,” seek announced. The opening riff featured Nao with his head bowed over his guitar. “May,” Satoshi sang. “DAY” he growled, his loose air in total concept with the cosplay as he, seek and Nao bounced around, totally rocking out. Tatsuro snuck onstage, keeping out of the way for the time being and wiping sweat from SATOchi’s brow. Before kicking off the last song, Tatsuro came running back on stage with Kiriyuin from Golden Bomber, followed by the rest of the gang. Yoshihiko sauntered over to Nao, thoughtfully serving the hardworking guitarist some beer before he, Kohsuke and lynch.’s Reo claimed him in a group hug.

“Last!” Satoshi cried. Unrestrained chaos swept the stage. Those who could focus on the music would have recognized the number as another of Plastic Tree’s: Psycho Garden. Nero, Reika and Kiri gathered behind SATOchi, and heidi.’s drummer somehow got his hands on a pair of sticks and began tapping the cymbals on occasion. However, Tatsuro wanted in on the fun and began stripping down the drum kit, pulling cymbals and bits and pieces down to the front. Ignoring the pandemonium, seek and Nao continued as if only the session members were tangible; something about their single-minded focus protected them from all the interference. In fact, seek wandered straight into Tatsuro’s cymbals and just kept on walking.

Decked out in a Gachapin costume, Darvish identified himself with a back-flip. Fellow Golden Bomber member Kyan’s pants were unabashedly yanked down, much to the crowd's shock. The vocalist’s final “thank you” got him pushed right off the stage by Tatsuro. However, Satoshi didn’t go down lightly, climbing back up and backing heavily into the trouble-maker. Guitarist Nao held up the beer in his hand and high-fived his own vocalist and bassist. As all bowed and waved and threw various items, Tatsuro appeared with a video camera in hand. seek thanked the session members while eyeing the rogue vocalist nervously. “Thank you all! Bye bye!” Satoshi called, wrapping things up before anything more decidedly catastrophic could occur.

Set List
01. May Day (Plastic Tree)
02. Psycho Garden (Plastic Tree)

Before the crowd could recover their wits, YUKKE appeared on the lighting fixture to the left of the hall. Meanwhile, onstage, Kyan crawled back out only to be dragged off by the staff. As attention went back to YUKKE, the bassist grovelled on the ground in either gratitude or apology before disappearing. In his wake, background music began to play, sounding surreal after the insanity in the early hours of 2011.
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