HYDE’s concert was a delightful fall down the rabbit hole, to rock out where the dark and wild things are.
On a damp and dreary Sunday in the seedier side of Los Angeles, a long line wraps around the outside of the 1720 club. The crowd features a wide range of gothic, lolita, and punk fashions, and as fans pass by, blonde haired likenesses of HYDE gaze seductively from all forms of paper and fabrics. Legendary singer-songwriter HYDE inspires a variety of individual fashion senses that complement the wider range of nationality, age, and gender mixes within his fan-base.
As the fans filtered into the venue, a pre-show playlist included a selection of hard metal tracks guaranteed to pump up the audience. However, as time passed, the playlist was not enough for the restless crowd that craved a musical escape only HYDE could offer.
Lights fell and the neon letters glowed brighter, signaling that the master of dark ceremonies had finally arrived. Mischievous, cat-like smiles glittered and glowed brightly in the darkness as masked figures took the stage. Radioactive green eyes stared intensely into the audience as HYDE’s silhouette appeared from the shadows. Hands blanketed the sky as HYDE took center stage, leering at the crowd like they were prey. The individual echoes of fans shouting "HYDE! HYDE!" could be heard sprinkled throughout the cries of excitement.
Opening with the song FAKE DIVINE off his latest album, ANTI, HYDE's soft melodic vocals weaved over the dark electro sounds of the intro chords. Smooth melodies cranked into heavy rock as HYDE growled into the chorus and stage lights blindingly flickered to percussions. HYDE’s image is striking: a black half-mask covering part of his face, smears of red all over his lips which may signify either rouge or blood, and fluorescent splatters glowing from the fabric of his shirt.
The edges of HYDE’s leather trench coat billowed in the air as he swayed to the music and drove into the heavier hitting punk-metal songs AFTER LIGHT, followed by INSIDE OF ME. AFTER LIGHT invoked the anthem rally cry of the audience as HYDE led them on. The roar of the guitar and HYDE's vocals washed over the crowd in an electrifying rumble. As he sang the lyrics “Can’t escape, the monster inside of me,” the dark soundscape was made complete with the imagery of HYDE’s underworld.
Tearing off his half-mask as if finally unleashing his inner monster, HYDE launched into TWO FACE and proceeded to showcase the heaviest rock tracks from ANTI. The song selections ranged from punk metal anthems to the elegant orchestral melodies of ZIPANG, each track leading the audience through the torrential roar of HYDE’s masterful vocals, straight into the eye of the musical storm.
HYDE slung his microphone stand over his shoulder, signature banner flowing freely from the ends, as the backing instrumentals of UNDERWORLD grew heavier in the background. HYDE challenged the audience to get louder and they accepted with thundering, melodious chants of “Yeah!” for the chorus.
Track after track, the crowd continued to lend their voices to the crescendos and rally cries of each song. HYDE beckoned fans to jump high and go wild, and the fans obliged. His blond tendrils flew free as he rocked out with the audience to the music. The energetic communion between the fans and artist was palpable as HYDE dashed into the pit for a closer encounter, much to the crowd’s delight. He bathed the audience in a shower of water before launching into the fan-favorite solo track, MIDNIGHT CELEBRATION.
At the height of the song, he indulged in a full rock-star level smashing of his flag decorated mic-stand. Few words were spoken by HYDE, other than to excite the crowd into further fervor. However, as the end of the show approached, he asked the fans to turn their cell phone lights on and took a moment to speak his mind.
“We achieved a lot with our first US tour," HYDE spoke softly. “Thanks for being here with us tonight. I love you guys. Hope to see you soon!" He then introduced their final song, ORDINARY WORLD, an atmospheric and orchestral heavy-rock cover of the Duran Duran classic. HYDE’s voice enfolds into the soft, mournful melody effortlessly.
By the second verse, his punk vocals reemerged with the heavier guitar chords and thundering drumbeats, packing an emotional wallop as his vocals soared into the crescendo of the lyrics “Every world, is my world.” While the ending guitar chords rang through the venue, HYDE showered the audience with roses and departed from the stage with his final words, “Thank you so much! We’ll be back! See you soon.”
Out of a decade of HYDE solo and collaborative projects, this may be the hardest rocking of all his tours stateside. This concert was HYDE’s most English language dominant, and the raw emotional delivery was skillfully composed while preserving the clarity of the song’s messages. His show flew by like a monsoon, leaving many fans looking disheveled and drenched, with grins adorning their blissed-out faces. HYDE’s concert was a delightful fall down the rabbit hole, to rock out where the dark and wild things are.
02. AFTER LIGHT
03. INSIDE OF ME
04. TWO FACE
06. SET IN STONE
07. DON'T HOLD BACK
09. WHO’S GONNA SAVE US
12. ANOTHER MOMENT
14. MAD QUALIA
15. MIDNIGHT CELEBRATION II
16. ORDINARY WORLD
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