Versailles World Tour - Holy Grail in Japan

live report - 10.18.2011 20:01

Versailles set Shibuya C.C. Lemon Hall ablaze at the start of their world tour.

Versailles kicked off their world tour with a live that set C.C. Lemon Hall on fire! On July 17, the seats were filled with a wide variety of people from younger fans to wizened women and a high percentage of male fans. Versailles tour shirts and towels were a common amongst the crowd with Lolitas in their pretty dresses and puffy bows standing next to cosplayers and metal fans.

The stage reflected the band’s style with two long platforms in the back, one leading to the drum set and another up higher leading to a central white gate decorated with red roses and a giant V in the center. A blood red carpet adorned the center of the stage and the words “Versailles World Tour 'Holy Grail' 2011~Japan” were written in silver letters on the central podium.

The fans waited patiently for the beginning of the show to the sound of Beethoven on piano. Suddenly the lights went down and far in the distance church bells began to ring. Without a warning two torches placed on each side of the white gate lit up. Red lights helped set the mood as the SE started. The fans stood up in anticipation, and gasps and approving cries filled the room as the gate opened for TERU and HIZAKI. MASASHI and YUKI were next followed by KAMIJO. The vocalist didn’t move, waiting in front of the gate while the other four men went down the stairs and approached the end of the stage to greet the audience. Each member held a rose and in cue TERU, HIZAKI, MASASHI and YUKI threw theirs in the air, delighting the fans in the front.

Under a thunderous ovation MARQUERADE started, KAMIJO slowly coming down the stairs and taking the central podium. They started off with literally a blast as fire was spit from the ground with every beat of the drums. Hell broke loose as white lights flashed like machine guns to the music. The light works and pyrotechnics helped set the mood while the swift guitars, thunderous drums and deep bass did the rest. Visually the effect was stunning with the 4 men in the front twirling around in unison while the fans followed the sometimes complicated hand movements. As the song reached the end, the vocalist bowed to the crowd who replied with an enthusiastic round of applause.

An explosion of pyrotechnics introduced ASCENDEAD MASTER. Red lights started spinning across the room as more lights flashed rapidly to the beat of the drums. KAMIJO moved his hands to the song and immediately the fans started doing the same, following the hand routines. TERU moved around stage maneuvering his guitar like a machine gun pointing its neck to the audience. It seemed as if we were in the middle of a battle filed with the cannons and machine guns going off in the background. As the vocalist called HIZAKI for his solo the fans raised their arms in the air welcoming. Still all arms in the air, it was time for TERU to take the spotlight with his own solo, HIZAKI soon joining him in the front as both men shared the podium for a fierce guitar battle. With the audience on fire, KAMIJO challenged the fans to head bang and they immediately complied.

The song ended, giving the audience a few seconds to breathe and to admire the band’s attire. Both guitarists were clad in white and gold, HIZAKI with an XVIII century inspired dress that matched his blond locks. The drummer and the bassist wore black and so did the vocalist who topped his black shirt and pants with a long crimson coat. KAMIJO slowly moved forwards delighting the fans as he yelled “We missed you!” The fans barely had time to reply as he shouted “Let’s go!” for Judicial Noir.

The crowd followed the vocalist pumping fists in the air to flashing blue lights as they shouted “Hei! Hei! Hei!” It was time for the band to move around and interact with each other and with the audience. HIZAKI approached MASASHI and the two guitarists played back to back to the enjoyment of the fans. The powerful drums set the beat for the fans, who like a giant black&white wave – that mirrored the men on stage in color – moved back and forth to the heavy beat.

Fast guitars and more head banging were brought on by Flowery. Visually it was quite an interesting performance with HIZAKI twirling around the stage, his dress floating like a white rose with every move. Meanwhile KAMIJO posed dramatically as he danced around. As the song ended the lights went down, the fans yelling out their favorite member’s name.

Soft purplish blue lights danced around smoothly, suddenly replaced by strong crimson ones that gave a somewhat gothic look to the stage quite suitable for Thanatos. MASASHI took the lead with a powerful bass intro. The guitars then took over, HIZAKI's fingers flying over the strings as his guitar seemed to cry, adding intensity to the imposing ballad. YUKI's drumming was impressive as he tirelessly pounded the drums, adding fire to the performance. KAMIJO sang earnestly, falling on his knees as the song reached an end.

With the vocalist still on his knees, the next song started and immediately hundreds of colorful roses were raised in the air. Death (Thanatos) gave way to love with DESTINY – The Lovers –, a sweet ballad where the passionate bass stood out. The crowd waved their roses from right to left with the song, making for an imposing scene. The song built up for the bass and guitar solos after which KAMIJO introduced the members, one by one - “On bass MASASHI; On guitar TERU; On guitar HIZAKI; On drums YUKI!” The fans were all familiar with the song and raised their roses as the drummer marked the end of it.

Between cries the four men left the stage, leaving KAMIJO behind. The vocalist slowly sat down on the steps in front of the drum set as a melancholic piano whispered in the background. The piano was then replaced by a sweet acoustic guitar as Love will be born again took over.

KAMIJO showed impressive voice control and presence as he stood alone on stage. Half way through the song he stood up smoothly moving forward. The song built up and an orchestra accompanied the vocalist for the last part of it as KAMIJO continued his solemn performance. For the grand finale he bowed, kneeling on the floor, before leaving under a thunderous ovation.

Sounds of wind blowing and water dripping filled the venue that was illuminated by dim lights. Without warning bright lights started flashing continuously from blue to red and then green. HIZAKI, MASASHI and YUKI came back, the fans yelling out their names at the top of their lungs. The three men on stage started clapping, encouraging the audience to do the same. The instrumental piece - Desert Apple was heavy and powerful, allowing the three men to show their impressive skills and to interact with the fans. MASASHI did a great job head banging earnestly to the beat always with a historic look. HIZAKI threw his head back and forth, completely drowned in the song when a curtain of fire raised suddenly from the ground, signaling the end of the song.

TERU came back taking the central podium and incited the crowd to raise their hands. In a Phantom of the Opera-like atmosphere with church bells ringing in the background along with a church choir, KAMIJO made his entrance.

Rolling fists filled the floor for Vampire and the fans paid no heed to the heat as they yelled loudly “Oi” Oi! Oi!” The heavy song was accompanied by powerful drums and fiery guitars. KAMIJO head banged energetically and immediately the fans followed, the crowd moving their bodies back and forth at the vocalist’s command.

“Are you having fun?” KAMIJO asked, but the reply didn’t seem to satisfy him. “It’s not loud enough!” he added. “You know, there are many ways to show affection. A hug,” he added as he hugged TERU, loud shrieks coming from the audience, “a pat on the head” and he patted HIZAKI on the head despite the guitarist’s attempts to move away. “But if we like someone we have to say ‘I love you!’ I know Japanese are very shy but when I say ‘Ai shiteru yo!’ (I love you) the men have to reply ‘Ai shiteru yo’ and the girls ‘Ai shiteru wa yo!’ (note: the ‘wa’ is usually used by women and makes the statement cute). KAMIJO yelled ‘"Ai shiteru yo!" a few times and the fans replied with earnest shouts of ‘I love you!’ as they grinned happily. The vocalist didn’t stop there though and repeated the statement in English and French ending with a “Bonjour” that made the audience laugh. “I know the meaning is different,” he added with a smile.

Libido was next, followed by the heavier song DRY ICE SCREAM!!, which brought back heated head banging. Unfortunately the lights were at times too strong and distracting, preventing us from concentrating on the men on stage. KAMIJO did an awesome job controlling the crowd while striking dramatic poses that contributed to created the perfect atmosphere.

Male voices took over the room as the fans yelled out the members' names before the room went silent and KAMIJO addressed the crowd once more. “I want you to feel it with your hearts because there are things we just can’t see with our eyes!” he said as he announced Remember Forever. A giant mirror ball started spinning, the light blue lights twirling around slowly. The colorful roses were also back, creating a beautiful scene in a performance that was visually stunning with the fans singing in unison to a tearful piano.

The night was reaching an end and Versailles graced the fans with two more songs from the new album Holy GrailPhilia and Faith & Decision. The fast songs were warmly welcomed with the fans receiving the guitar solos with (literally) open arms. The band moved around head banging passionately, completely lost in the beat. KAMIJO was very energetic, tirelessly dancing and interacting with the other members.

For the first part of Faith & Decision the vocalist left the stage. The crowd didn’t dare to breathe as the remaining four sped away with an amazing seven minute long instrumental intro. One by one they took the lead for their own solos, first HIZAKI with a sweet slow solo followed by TERU’s powerful and fiery one. It was then MASASHI’s turn with YUKI joining him for a passionate duet reminiscent of a war cry.

The white gate opened once more giving way to KAMIJO who solemnly moved towards the central platform. The sweet ballad was intoxicating with the powerful instrumental composition giving it an outstanding strength and passion. As if to materialize this fierceness, balls of fire were shot from the ground. All hands rose for the grand finale as the vocalist sang a cappella before the other four marked the end of the song.

The band left the stage and immediately the audience started shouting with half the audience saying “We are!” and the other half replying with “Versailles!” The chant went on for a while but the band didn’t make the fans wait long, coming back soon in reply to the encore demand.

Red lights flashed for the old favorite The Red Carpet Day. The crowd cheered as the five men came back, all hands rising in welcome as the crowd shouted “Versailles.” KAMIJO took the mic shouting “We are Versailles!” and was greeted by a massive ovation. Powerful drums and feisty guitars accompanied the furi (hand movements) as the guitarists and bassist moved around the stage, inciting the fans to yell louder or to head bang more fiercely. Hell again broke loose as the vocalist, still not satisfied, demanded more and the fans complied, a massive growl filling the room as the crowd pumped fists in the air to shouts of “Oi! Oi! Oi!”

“Did you notice?” KAMIJO asked the fans during the short MC. “HIZAKI and TERU’s guitars are now Custom Models!” The crowd cheered loudly before KAMIJO then spoke about the upcoming world tour - “Our tour starts now! Thank you all for your support! We will go to Asia, Europe and South America this time. Some of the places, like Uruguay and Venezuela, will have a Japanese band like us performing there for the first time! We are honored. And…” the vocalist added with a smile “the EU final will be in France!”

With the audience more than fired up the band got back to business head banging heavily to Aristocrat’s Symphony. Like a wave the crowd moved back and forth giving all they had as the show approached the end. Between applause and cheers KAMIJO bowed, blowing kisses to the fans before leaving the stage, the other following right behind.

The crowd was not ready to go home yet though and before the last of the five men left the stage shouts of “We are Versailles!” restarted. The band soon came back announcing their participation in V-Rock Fest and talking about their contribution for Vampire Stories.

Sympathia was the song chosen for the second encore. The multicolored roses took over the room again. This time the members also held their own roses, throwing them to the crowd. It was beautiful the way the fans earnestly sang the chorus and the band seemed moved by the fans' support.

“We will go on a world tour but will be looking forward to seeing you soon!” the vocalist said reassuringly before announcing the last song of the night - The Revenant Choir. While the fans head banged, thousands of silver stripes fell from the skies, the eager fans jumping to catch them in the air as surprised gasps echoed throughout the venue. The four men in the front twirled in unison moving around to the beat. It was a great way to end the night with the fans singing as one to the chorus.

As the band was about to leave, “Happy Birthday” started playing in the background. Some staff members brought a cake, surrounded by red roses, and huge panel with postcards from fans. KAMIJO seemed honestly surprised looking around at the other four men who grinned happily. The crowd immediately started singing Happy Birthday to the vocalist who blew out the candles and thanked the fans, the staff and the other four members. TERU took the mic and with a grin yelled “KAMIJO -san, Happy Birthday!”, hundreds of voices following his lead with shouts of happy birthday filling the room. KAMIJO seemed very touched as he replied “Thank you!” While the vocalist walked away, HIZAKI approached the cake, grabbing a strawberry and putting it in his mouth with a childish grin. TERU soon followed him, being surprised by KAMIJO who ran from back stage and took a strawberry himself. Versailles left the stage under cheers and laughs with the promise of a fiery world tour as the fans in Japan look forward to their safe return.

Judicial Noir
DESTINY – The Lovers –
Love will be born again
Desert Apple
Remember Forever
Faith & Decision
Encore 1
The Red Carpet Day
Aristocrat’s Symphony
Encore 2
The Revenant Choir
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Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet- 07/17

Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet-
Tokyo - Japan
Shibuya CC.Lemon Hall
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Versailles World Tour 2011 -Holy Grail-

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