Live Report Exclusive

STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION “STEREO DIVE 02” Commemorative Mini-Live

13/07/2022 2022-07-13 02:00:00 JaME Author: Ruchesko

STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION “STEREO DIVE 02” Commemorative Mini-Live

One man, two keyboards, and more lasers than the average Star Destroyer.


© STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION

As the old cliché goes, music artists have their whole life to write their first album and a few months to write their second. Composer and producer R·O·N managed to get his solo project STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION’s sophomore effort STEREO DIVE 02 out on April 13th, a little over two years after its full-length debut. In support of the release, Lantis streamed a pre-recorded ‘mini-live’ at the end of June.

Like the album it was promoting, the mini-live opened in dramatic fashion. The electro-symphonic intro to #02 blared as geometric patterns flickered across a transparent LED screen, suspended in front of a raised stage. Meanwhile, a storm of flashing blue strobes raged behind it. Suddenly, a wall of virtual fire filled the LED screen.

The flames parted to reveal R·O·N in silhouette, an electric piano to his right and MacBook-connected keyboard and sampler to his left. Wearing a white sweater, jeans and black Converses, he cut a slightly subdued figure as he jumped on the spot, mic hand in the air, while ALPHA got underway.

The light show that accompanied this ending theme to “Moriarty the Patriot” was anything but subdued. Blue and green lasers crisscrossed the stage, seemingly fired from every corner of the venue. In the split-second pause before TRISTAR, R·O·N introduced himself as the transparent LED screen in front of the stage was raised and dancers took up positions either side of the main man.

The lighting rig stayed in overdrive, bombarding the stage from every angle with a full spectrum of colours. On the stage itself, the black-clad dancers spent most of the “Muv-Luv Alternative” theme song alternately busting moves and standing perfectly still, depending on who R·O·N was singing at. This rule was relaxed in the infectious choruses when the duo moved in perfect synchrony.

In the outro, nearly all the lights suddenly went out, almost as if a fuse had blown. Meanwhile, R·O·N turned to his sampler, tapping away as he smoothed the transition into the far mellower STORYSEEKER. With a click of his fingers, a bank of stark white spotlights reilluminated R·O·N. The dancers had vanished in the near-blackout.

Shades of blue and green gradually seeped back as R·O·N wandered the stage, singing his “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” closing theme. The lasers held their fire, though, just as they did during Neon Soda. Here, the pulsating yellow/purple lights and feverish clips of carbonated water on the venue’s backdrop were augmented by four strategically-placed disco balls below the grated stage.

For Daisy, the transparent LED screen reappeared in front of the stage. Unlike earlier, when its framework made R·O·N appear to be performing behind bars from certain angles, a downpour of virtual rain transformed it into a not-unconvincing window. Paired with the permanently-eclipsed sun on the venue’s backdrop, it set an appropriately pensive mood for the ballad.

In a nice touch, the LED screen-turned-rainy window rose out of frame as R·O·N belted out the final chorus of his debut single. Simultaneously, the eclipsed sun behind him flared. The moment the backdrop cleared, smoke machines beneath the stage started belching out dry ice by the cubic meter. Meanwhile, R·O·N sat down behind his Yamaha CP5 electric piano for (appropriately enough) Pianissimo.

Courtesy of some post-production magic, colour gradually drained from the stream until R·O·N was performing his perky ballad – produced for sports anime “Futsal Boys!!!!!” – in grayscale. Cometh the guitar solo, cometh the lighting director. Spotlights above the venue’s backdrop blazed with the colours of the rainbow and lit up the smoke cloud beneath the stage like the Bifröst (of “Thor” fame).

Despite this over-the-top finale, Pianissimo's – and the mini-live's – conclusion were remarkably dignified. Rising from his piano, R·O·N crossed the stage to his Macbook-connected keyboard and cued up an instrumental piano version of Pianissimo. As the meditative piano track played, he lingered for a moment before turning towards the backdrop, walking in slow motion as the credits rolled.

Set list

01. #02
02. ALPHA
03. TRISTAR (Japanese ver. -Muv-Luv mix-)
04. STORYSEEKER
05. Neon Soda
06. Daisy
07. Pianissimo
ED. Pianissimo (Piano ver.)

 Download or stream "STEREO DIVE 02"
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