SUGIZO Closes 2013 in Shibuya AX

live report - 01.12.2014 19:01

SUGIZO gives his last concert of the year on December 29th in Shibuya AX, accompanied by three special guests.

SUGIZO gave his last concert of THRIVE TO REALIZE in Shibuya AX, closing 2013 with a bang. Both those in attendance at Shibuya AX and fans around the world could enjoy the concert, thanks to it being broadcasted live on niconico.

The doors open almost an hour later than planned. People enter the building around 5 p.m., and in no time the hall is filled, waiting for the show to start. After the opening band, the stage is rebuilt for SUGIZO’s performance. It doesn’t take long before the intro starts playing and percussionist Kenji Yoshiura and programmer and keyboardist MaZDA enter the stage and take their places before SUGIZO does the same. The audience then starts cheering immediately and SUGIZO grabs his guitar and starts playing straight away.

While walking around on the stage, SUGIZO points to the crowd, and they start shouting out of joy, stretching out their hands, trying to reach the guitarist. He knows how to make a show; with big and exaggerated gestures he shows the fans what he’s capable of. Being in the spotlights quite often, there’s no doubt he’s the star of the show.

Kenji Yoshiura and MaZDA also show what they can do. They aren’t as much in the spotlights as the guitarist, but they are talented players. They lay the base for the guitarist to play on but also gave it playful twists. Percussionist Kenji Yoshiura leaves his spot and enters the stage with a djembe to play alongside SUGIZO. While playing the djembe, he’s jumps up and down, enjoying all the attention as he stands in front of the stage. And adding the djembe is a good choice: the members start mixing genres and styles and it’s proving to be a great success with audience.

After a guitar switch, SUGIZO starts ARC MOON, a song that features female vocals. It is the first song that is not completely instrumental, even though the vocals are programmed. SUGIZO shows what he can do on his guitar, playing his parts with ease. His fingers glide over the frets, knowing exactly what to do, and the audience listens with utmost interest. A few hands are in the air, but the crowd seems mostly quiet.

Before the concert, three special guests were announced. When the song FATIMA starts, the first of the three enters the stage dancing. Mary chocho, wearing white clothes, has a quite modern and experimental way of dancing and gives a new dimension to the concert. She dances from the left to the right side of the stage so everyone will have had a chance to see her. SUGIZO remains in the middle of the stage. Sadly, there is no real interaction between the two.

Mary chocho stays also for the next song, FATIMA QUEEN, in which SUGIZO plays on the violin instead of the guitar. This time there seems to be interaction: the dancer moves on the melodies SUGIZO plays on his violin. The atmosphere then changes with the use of instruments and Mary chocho’s dancing style. Kenji Yoshiura and MaZDA, the backbone of the music, know how to respond to each other and together with SUGIZO, they show that they can play together really well. When the song ends, the violinist thanks Mary chocho when she leaves the stage.

The guitar replaces the violin, and on a strong beat the audience put their hands in the air. Some even jump up and down, clearly enjoying the music. SUGIZO is headbanging to the music at some point, encouraging the crowd to join him. The visuals shown in the background match well with the style of music, giving the audience always something to look at.

The second guest enters the stage: it’s the saxophonist Shinji Takeda. His clothes are a bit extravagant but mostly glittery. He likes being in the spotlight, and in no time he has the crowd shouting for him when he starts playing, dancing and jumping around. Guitarist and saxophonist play together, showing lots of interaction, giving the atmosphere a boost. Then, after DO-FUNK DANCE everybody leaves the stage.

It doesn’t take long before the members show up onstage again, ready for the encore. SUGIZO grabs the Flying V and is ready to play. The last of the three special guests enters the stage: vocalist tezya joins for one song. He’s energetic, and like the saxophonist, it doesn’t take long before he has the audience enthusiastic. His voice contrasts with the programmed female vocals during the first part of the concert and gives a shift onstage; the song is rougher, matching the vocal style perfectly. This time tezya is in the spotlights for the whole time, giving his all during that one song. The audience appreciates it and jumps up and down with their hands in the air. After giving SUGIZO a high five, he leaves the stage. SUGIZO starts the MC with “It’s dark, right?” and then talks to the audience for quite some time.

The concert ends with the last song, Rest In Peace & Fly away, which SUGIZO plays on his violin. Like the title already suggests, it’s a peaceful song. The background screens show feathers dangling in the air, moving slowly with the dreamy music. When the song is over, the room is quiet for a bit, but then the crowd starts applauding and cheering. SUGIZO, MaZDA and Kenji Yoshiura subsequently walk to the front and take a bow, and the guests appear, too, joining the other three and receiving more applause. SUGIZO thanks everybody and is the last one standing on the podium. He bows for a long time, receiving even more applause and cheers before he leaves the stage, blowing a kiss to the audience before he disappears.


Set List:

1. MESSIAH
2. NO MORE NUKES PLAY THE GUITAR
3. NEO COSMOSCAPE
4. ARC MOON
5. FATIMA
6. FATIMA QUEEN
7. ENOLA GAY RELOADED
8. TELL ME WHY NOT PSYCHEDELIA?
9. SLEEP AWAY TO SHINNING
10. DO-FUNK DANCE
Encore
11. BLACK OUT
12. Rest In Peace & Fly away
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