Stepping up the STAIRWAY TO FLOWER OF LIFE with SUGIZO in Taipei

live report - 03.14.2012 20:01

After playing in Taiwan with LUNA SEA and X JAPAN, SUGIZO returned for a solo live show, and gave his fans a heartfelt performance of psychedelic, electro, and rock masterpieces.

Described by fans as "an artist for whom words just cannot express how and why he’s admired”, SUGIZO returned to Taiwan on December 15th and danced with all his soul’s mates (what he calls his fans).

Despite the chilly weather and a bit of rain, fans were still enthusiastic while waiting outside of Legacy Taipei, the same place where SUGIZO last came to Taipei to hold his personal live. It was just like going back home for the fans and also for SUGIZO, who always says,“Taiwan is just like my second hometown.” Upon seeing the staff write down “Today's show: SUGIZO TOUR 2011 STAIRWAY TO THE FLOWER OF LIFE” on the bulletin board of Legacy, fans started to get wild and couldn’t hide their excitement about meeting the legendary SUGIZO in just a few more hours.

SUGIZO! SUGIZO! SUGIZO!” The cheers for him filled the air just before the curtain revealed the talented artist. Showing up with his fire-like red hair, his similarly fiery power soon sent all the fans' coldness away and drew out their enthusiasm. SUGIZO made his special hand gesture with all the fans and announced that the psychedelic night was starting. Dressed in all black as usual, our elegant SUGIZO was definitely not going to let any fan down tonight. Igniting the craze with his new explosive song CONSCIENTIA, he confidently presented all his new works to the long-waiting fans. Two years since the live on Christmas 2009 in Taipei, SUGIZO returned and led all his fans to explore his music with him.

“Hello, everyone! I miss you!” Speaking in Chinese, SUGIZO expressed his feelings to his soulmates with his charming smile. “Come on, Taipei!” The night was just getting started. SUGIZO told all the fans in the pre-show message: “Let's dance through the night.” And indeed, he brought the dance souls out. Fans automatically moved their bodies and sank into his psychedelic, electro, guitar instrumentals, loud rock, funk masterpieces. SUGIZO himself also enjoyed the music and atmosphere as he danced with them.

The faces of Dr. Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Gandhi and Che Guevara appeared on the back screen, moving the fans’ hearts. That’s SUGIZO, who also devoted himself to meaningful works such as world peace and environmental protection. Not only delivering music, he also wants to deliver love and peace to the fans, and to the world, through his songs and actions. SUGIZO led the fans to pray to the portraits of the peacemakers on the screen. The usual heat of a live show was not enough for SUGIZO; touching his fans' hearts like this is one of the things that makes him different.

And of course, SUGIZO played his one of a kind violin. All in the audience held their breath listening to his intoxicating playing. As always, the ambiance was one of peace and serenity when he played the violin. He played both the beautiful MIRANDA and also the famous Chinese love song Xin bu liau ching, which he performed as a secret gift for Taiwan fans at X JAPAN’s live in Taiwan last month. The seagull-like, beautiful, distinctive notes successfully caught all the fans’ hearts again.

SUGIZO performed with extraordinary members. He and guitarist Takumi battled each other and then worked together, delighting the fans with their interactions. Introduced by SUGIZO as “My Partner”, the cute guy who handled programming and keyboards, D-kiku, held the atmosphere perfectly. Although the bassist, TOKIE, was absent, the band still proved that their abilities are beyond imagination. Drummer Motokatsu lifted the fans’ mood to one of the highest peaks during the live by changing positions with SUGIZO while the brilliant song COSMOSCAPE was being performed. SUGIZO moved to the drums and then tried his best to play them. Although his drumming skills are not as splendid as his guitar and violin skills, fans were still once again amazed by his effort and how he put himself into it. He’s always willing to try, explore, and bring new surprises into his music and eagerly lets his fans embrace these with him.

The classic SUGIZO spin was certainly not absent in this breathtaking live. SUGIZO spun and spun while playing the songs. He swept all the fans off their feet with his unique charm. All in the crowd were addicted to him and were deeply caught by his storm without any regrets.

Ending his live with the powerful song Do Funk Dance, SUGIZO waved goodbye to the fans and left the stage. Instead of yelling “Encore”, the fans yelled “SUGIZO” while clapping their hands in the regular tempo. Then, responding to his fans’ calls, SUGIZO showed up on stage again. He smiled while receiving the beautiful banner handed to him by the fans. After opening it up and staring at it, he bowed wholeheartedly to express his appreciation to the fans. As usual, our considerate SUGIZO carefully put away the modest yet meaningful gift from the fans he cherishes. All the touching movements let the fans know that he truly received the love from them.

“Hey, Taipei! Last year I came back as LUNA SEA, and last month I came back as X JAPAN. Finally today, I come back here as-” he paused, letting his fans finish the sentence for him, “SUGIZO!” all the fans answered excitedly. “SUGIZO. Thank you so much!” he smiled. Staring at all the fans standing there for him, he continued the moving atmosphere with some sincere words, “This year, on March 11th, a serious earthquake shook Japan. We did suffer a lot from the horrible disaster. But you, the Taiwanese people, sent us your help. Thank you, for your strong support. Thank you!” After listening to this heartfelt message, the fans applauded to send courage and love to him, and to Japan. “Thank you! I love you!” SUGIZO said in Chinese. SUGIZO then gave the fans the encore they'd been waiting for. “Come on, let’s dance!” Every movement he made seemed to affect his fans' emotions. The temperature of the party was still so hot that no one could resist it.

“Okay, truly one last song!” He picked up his beautiful violin again and played the pure Synchronicity. Fans were intoxicated by his superb, emotional performance. Time seemed to stop during this surreal moment as fans peacefully sank into SUGIZO’s world of music. After the intense, hard songs that were performed, SUGIZO chose to end his live with this masterpiece which was able to calm the fans down and bring them peace. Then SUGIZO and his members bowed and waved goodbye to the audience once again. “Thank you so much! I will come back again," SUGIZO promised with appreciation and emotion before leaving. The moving and fabulous atmosphere lasted a while longer for the fans.

Attending SUGIZO’s live was like attending a divine and dreamlike ceremony of music. With his astonishing music which combines psychedelic, trance, electro, ambient, dub, guitar instrumentals, loud rock, funk, improvisational, and contemporary music mixed together according to his unique viewpoint, it turned out to be a way for the audience to forget the common turbulence of everyday life and enter the mysterious yet gorgeous castle built by SUGIZO’s music. SUGIZO created truly sensual soundscapes and brought something spiritual to the venue. Although there are few lyrics in his music, he can still communicate to the world by expressing his pure music, which always consists of his spirits and beliefs.

After receiving the one of a kind music from SUGIZO, fans felt rejuvenated and fortified to face the future. We are now left to wait for the next time SUGIZO will come back with his efforts and accomplishments that rock our world yet bring peace and satisfaction to us again. After all, he’s an artist for whom words just cannot express "how and why he’s admired.”
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