Live Report

HYDE at Japan 2019 presents Japan Night in New York City

08/06/2019 2019-06-08 00:01:00 JaME 2712 views Author: Miyabi_Na

HYDE’s highly anticipated solo album and tour is definitely one for the books.

© Mayumi Nashida
At the end of his Zepp Tokyo 20th Anniversary HYDE LIVE 2019 concert on March 24th, HYDE announced the release of his highly anticipated fourth solo album, ANTI, and immediately launched the HYDE LIVE 2019 U.S. tour to accompany it. The tour, spanning 13 major cities, included several headlining and festival performances, and saw HYDE joining In This Moment for a series of dates.

As part of the official Japan Day @ Central Park 2019 celebration, HYDE was invited to perform on May 12th at PlayStation Theater in New York’s Times Square for an exclusive one-night event, Japan 2019 presents Japan Night. A celebration of contemporary popular Japanese music, it featured four successful artists – HYDE, WagakkiBand, MISIA, and Puffy AmiYumi – with special performances in two separate venues across New York City.

Despite cold and rainy conditions fans turned up by the hundreds, completely packing the floor and mezzanine levels of PlayStation Theater. Throughout the day people had gathered together not only to stay warm, but also to share their best memories of HYDE over the years, and their collective energy continued to accumulate as the evening grew closer to show time.

Twirling rays of white light brought forth curious murmurs from the crowd while fans collectively chanted HYDE’s name in hopes of encouraging the show to begin. Suddenly the bright lights dimmed to purple, revealing a gigantic ANTI-themed banner and neon graffiti walls as the masked members of the band settled into their places on stage. A mysteriously shrouded figure sauntered across a few moments later, dressed in a black jumpsuit and utility coat with the phrase “DO NOT DWELL IN THE PAST” decorating the back. The eccentric phantom-like presence perched ominously on the center platform, bathed in a blood-red backlight. Like a supernatural prince upon his musical throne, HYDE quietly surveyed the boisterous crowd with mask-veiled eyes before opening the performance with the hauntingly beautiful vocals of FAKE DIVINE. The song immediately erupted into the heavy and powerful refrain, and the audience couldn’t help but throw their hands up and bounce along to the enthralling chorus straightaway.

Without losing any momentum, HYDE charged directly into the plangent and aggressive AFTER LIGHT. Unrelenting drum beats, piercing guitars, and an alluring chorus continued to draw in the enthusiastic crowd as he danced and swayed around the platform, while the pulsating energy of the song rumbled on.

HYDE took a moment to collect himself as blaring red police sirens introduced the next track. The band members’ masks began glowing, their twisted features and luminous words displayed prominently in the red lights. Moving out from the shadows, HYDE revealed one of his most popular stage props: the mini megaphone.

“New York City, HYDE is here! We want to see you all going crazy as fuck,” he yelled out, pacing from one side of the stage to the other. “Are you fucking ready?” he asked in a sultry tone. The crowd responded with whoops and cheers, raising their hands in true rock and roll fashion. “Are you ready New York?!” HYDE demanded again, raising his voice while drums joined the commotion. “This song is called, INSIDE OF ME,” he finished, holding up the megaphone.

Red and blue lights flickered in time with the song. Clouds of fog billowed from the sides of the stage, giving the entire band an eerie glow while HYDE bounded back and forth holding the microphone over the crowd so they could echo his chorus. In closing, he stood on the center platform and swept his arm across the venue, growling out lyrics and other monstrous noises into the megaphone as the fog and lights tapered off.

A quarter of the way through the gruff and provocative track OUT – a hard-hitting anthem that conveys a strong message regarding individuality – HYDE tossed away the dark mask in a symbolic gesture, smeared red lipstick becoming even more prominent once the veil was removed. After spitting out the impassioned lyrics while grabbing at his hair, HYDE began throwing wide punches and spinning across the stage to the pounding finale of the song.

In an unusual but welcomed change of tempo, lights dimmed as two spotlights zeroed in on the double keyboard, and the pianist began to deliver a soothing interlude. The venue fell completely silent as his fingers danced effortlessly across the tilted keyboards, followed by a moment of distortion that signified a break between the interlude and the beginning of the electrifying ballad, ZIPANG. Beams of slowly circling yellow spotlights lit up the platform before HYDE seemingly manifested center stage behind a microphone stand that had been fashioned with a dark ANTI-themed pirate flag. He began to sing the intensely dramatic piece, a solo single he collaborated on with YOSHIKI, which is meant to convey the essence and beauty of Japan to the world. One by one the other band members slowly joined in for a theatrical climax, stage lights going from yellow to a striking red as they played through the thunderous bridge of the song. Audience members continued to ride the epic waves of emotion, and after HYDE’s breathy and passionate conclusion they erupted in praise, stunned by the masterpiece they just witnessed.

From there, HYDE effortlessly navigated the audience between a variety of both new and old crowd-pleasing hits, including DON’T HOLD BACK, WHO’S GONNA SAVE US, the customary flag-waving edition of UNDERWORLD, and finally SICK – a rousing song that opened with the unnerving warble of a guitar, reminiscent of a horror movie track. His emotionally charged vocals and fiercely intense stage presence throughout the entire performance was both infectious and mesmerizing.

“Hey, New York City, can you sing?” HYDE curiously asked. “Woah! Sing it!” he demonstrated, to which the audience echoed on beat. He then moved to each side of the stage asking, “Sing and jump! Can you sing and jump? Three, two, one, sing it!”

Once he practiced a few times on each side – the crowd growing louder with every iteration – HYDE requested for the entire venue to sit down so they could collectively jump at the explosive opening of ANOTHER MOMENT. Needless to say the energy was at an all-time high due to the full participation of the audience for this vivacious song. Throughout the track he teasingly toed the edges of the stage, drawing fans towards him as they continued to sing “Woah” on cue until the end.

HYDE concluded his set with MAD QUALIA, the image song of Capcom's new video game “Devil May Cry 5”. Fog and lights flashed vigorously as he thrashed his head around. Halfway through the track, HYDE jumped down from the stage to greet fans at the barrier, causing them to surge forward as they screamed and reached for his attention. After spending a few a moments on the rail, he returned to his platform, rambunctiously head-banging and bowing his way off the stage while the band wrapped up the song.

Following a brief intermission, HYDE returned to the stage to deliver a final farewell, “New York City! Did you all have fun?” The crowd answered with cheers and declarations of affection. “I’m so happy, thank you so much! So guys, this is the last song,” he proclaimed as he brought his ANTI-flagged microphone stand to the front. “Turn on the lights, please?”

Despite most of the audience respectfully refraining from taking photos and videos as requested, by way of example HYDE asked everyone to pull out their phones for a very special encore. “Ah, it’s so beautiful!” he commented, putting his phone away and pulling on a black leather glove. “Thanks for being here with us tonight! Hope to see you soon. This is called, ORDINARY WORLD.”

Phone lights illuminated the entire venue like a sea of stars, and the band settled in as the opening of the track began to play through house speakers. Keyboards led into the familiar 90s tune, quickly followed by HYDE singing his own unique hard rock version of the classic Duran Duran song. Fans swayed their lights while he slowly built up to the exhilarating chorus, and many couldn’t help snapping a few photos of the iconic moment, especially as HYDE blew kisses towards the audience. With all the grandeur of a true rock star, HYDE leapt high off his platform and growled out, “Thank you so much! We’ll be back New York City!” as the last notes reverberated through the venue.

With countless performances under his belt, HYDE consistently proves that he has the right combination of splendor and finesse that continues to captivate audiences worldwide. The HYDE LIVE 2019 U.S. tour is a total knock-out, and as one fan commented at the end of the New York concert, “This show is definitely one for the books – he was amazing!”

Set List

04. OUT
10. SICK

Check out HYDE’s ANTI album here:

Read our interview with HYDE at Japan 2019 presents Japan Night here:


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