Visual kei bands of all generations gathered at Nippon Budokan for a special event called Do you know visual kei?
on December 27th, 2022. The fact that all tickets for the concert were sold out showed that visual kei still has a strong fan base,
and the presence of many overseas fans at the venue made it clear that the scene is still appreciated worldwide.
"Respect and revival of visual kei" was the theme of the event, which consisted of two parts. The first half featured live performances from six bands: Arlequin
. The second half consisted of special sessions featuring various visual kei musicians covering songs from their favorite bands from the scene.
was the first band to perform at this historic event. The band started the show with PICTURES
, which featured vocalist Aki
both monologuing and singing.
"I hear a lot of people say 'today's visual
kei is not as good as it used to be'. I am angry with myself for not being able to prove that wrong. I will prove it wrong. Let's talk about future!", Aki
said during the performance. Accompanied by the band's uplifting melody,
sang with determination.
"You are little bit crazy because you love visual kei. I love visual kei myself too. We are all 'Dame Ningen'. We are all Lovable Dame Ningen!". Aki
led the fans into the band's killer
number Dame Ningen
. The blasting sound from the band and Aki
's death voice made the fans headbang.
"Visual kei lit up my life a lot. I want to light up someone's life. All the darkness in my heart was
for this very moment," Aki
spoke to the fans again before the last song Sekai no owari to yoakemae
sang his heart out in his powerful high-toned voice. The band's heartfelt performance surely brought light
to some fans' hearts that night.
"We will come back to this place for a one-man show in the near future. Please come and see us again when that time comes. See you again in the grand future!", Aki
said at the end.
4. Dame Ningen
5. Razzle Dazzle
6. Sekai no owari to yoakemae
's vocalist Dancho
appeared during the intervals of the event,
entertaining the fans by singing karaoke. He sang popular visual kei songs that were requested by fans through SNS, such as
Gekka no Yasoukyoku
, Janne Da Arc'
, SIAM SHADE
's 1/3 no Junjo na Kanjo
and X JAPAN
. Fans enjoyed his humorous talks and powerful singing
while the event staff changed the stage set for each band. During his last appearance, Dancho
sang his own band's song Kamikaze
. "I will come back to this stage with my band members next time!", he stated
returned to the stage after six years just for this event. Their set started with Break Down
. The hard-hitting music and vocalist Satoshi
's fierce vocals heated up the
The second song Drain
fully exhibited the band's signature heavy guitar sound, aggressive drum beats, and enrapturing melodies. "Clap your hands!", Satoshi
stirred up the audience and girugamesh
performance united visual kei fans of all generations.
After the song, Satoshi
's drummer SORA
for inviting them
to the event. The band's full force performance of the last song evolution
was met with enthusiastic
fist pumps from the audience.
1. Break Down
started their set with the popular song Ranchu
. The band's hard-hitting sound immediately struck the fans, and vocalist Tatsuro
had the audience sit down in the middle of the song so they could jump up together.
The band continued to exhibit killer numbers from their 25-year career, such as the second song, Bouzenjishitsu
, which got fans headbanging. The fans also enjoyed the strong personalities conveyed by guitarist Miya
The band changed the atmosphere in the venue with following song ku
dramatically described feelings of brokenness and loneliness through a mixture of monologuing and singing.
"We are happy to be able to join this great event together with our wonderful senior and junior bands. We are happy to be able to perform in front of you who love visual kei. Thank you," Tatsuro
said to the fans after the song.
The band brightened up the audience's mood with one of their classics, Namonaki yume
. "Thank you for your support throughout 2022! Please continue to support MUCC
and visual kei!", Tatsuro
said to the
The band then performed the last song Kugatsu Mikka no Kokuin
's dynamic singing and shouts seemed to resonate deeply in the fans' hearts.
4. Monochrome no keshiki
5. Namonaki yume
6. Kugatsu Mikka no Kokuin
Flames emerged from the stage as the members of KIZU
appeared. Vocalist LiME
held up a black flag with white letters reading "VISUAL" as the band started with the first song Strawberry Blue
skillfully switched back and forth from whispering to his signature mesmerizing high-toned singing. The impressive musicianship of each member of the band enhanced the vocalist's powerful performance.
Later, the heavy and melodious Kizuato
followed. The blasting sounds from the band and LiME
's strong high-toned voice had fans headbanging along to the song. The band continued to rock the fans
with shredding guitar and pounding drum beats in the next song, Jigoku
Next, the band delighted the audience with a special performance of Jyusei
, a duet
that fans first enjoyed watching during KIZU
YouTube project "ICHIGEKI". LiME
played an acoustic guitar and sang alongside Tatsuro
, a vocalist he had
always looked up to. The beautiful contrast of LiME
's high notes and Tatsuro
deep voice enhanced the haunting feel of the song. "The vocalist who gave me a dream, MUCC
said at the end of the song, showing his respect for his senior.
"Can you burn your life with me!? Are you ready to burn your life for visual rock!?" LiME
stirred up the fans before the last song Little girl wa yandeiru
sang out the words from the bottom of
his heart, as if he was leaving everything on the stage. "Did my voice reach you?!" LiME
's shout was met with enthusiastic applause from fans.
1. Strawberry Blue
4. Jusei (with Tatsuro
6. Little Girl wa YandeiruD'ERLANGER
The legendary band
completely changed the atmosphere of Budokan. The charismatic band, which was formed in 1983, started the show with DARLIN’
's glamorous and powerful vocals immediately captured fans' attention. Guitarist CIPHER
's sharp and melodious guitar riffs, SEELA
's groovy bass line, and Tetsu
's skillful drum playing
also amazed the fans. "Thank you!" kyo
shouted at the end of the song, and fans applauded in response to show their respect to the band.
The next song LULLABY
had fans swaying along to its pleasant beat and groove. "Are you having fun? Do you know visual kei? Do you know D'ERLANGER
? Let's enjoy together," kyo
said to the audience.
"Girls, let's get a little wild, shall we?" kyo
said before the third song, INCARNATION OF EROTICISM
showed off his seductive vocals and powerful shouts, sometimes swaying to the intoxicating groove
the three instrumentalists created. The intensity of each sound during this performance astonished the fans.
The band closed the show with the alluring rock number Love me to DEATH
, leaving some fans feeling almost intoxicated.
3. INCARNATION OF EROTICISM
5. Love me to DEATH
was the last band of the first half of the event. They started their set with The Walker
, which saw vocalist Chiaki
passionately singing out the band's raison d'être. A heavy sound took over during the
After the song, Chiaki
bared his heart to the fans. "Visual kei inspired me during my youth, and it helped me in my life a lot. But, things are different today. People no longer think visual kei and rock are cool.
Yet, I still have a great admiration for visual kei, rock and music.
Could we just stop saying things like 'revival of visual kei'? I don't care about those who say 'are you still listening to visual kei?'. I don't have time to deal with such
people. What we need to do is not hold onto the past glory, but pass the music we love to the next generation.
We will do our best to become a band that people look up to because that is the best we can do to give back to the music we love.
day, we will have our own one-man show here at Budokan. Please come and see us when that day comes," he said
At the end, the band showed their determination to overcome the gap between dreams and reality with an emotional performance of TODAY
1. The Walker
3. Anokazeno mukoue
4. Kimi no shikyu o sawaru
Later, during the second half of the event, various session bands covered popular visual kei songs.
Kagerou Respect Session
Kagerou Respect Session
consisted of vocalist Chiaki
, the god and death stars
and gibkiy gibkiy gibkiy
, and KIZU
The band played Idol gurui no shinrigaku
paid homage to the obsessive singing style of the original vocalist Daisuke
, while the bass line of Kagerou
's original bassist kazu
led the younger musicians.
"We can only
play one song today. I was wondering which Kagerou
song to play in order for us to pass on our music to the next generation. I was thinking about which song would be best suited for a special place like Nippon Budokan, since
's songs have a lot of dirty words. After a long period of thought, I chose this song. One day I will invite kazu
to play another Kagerou
song while I am still alive," said Chiaki
1. Idol gurui no shinrigaku
SID Respect Session
SID Respect Session
consisted of Arlequin
, and Shintenchikaibyakushuudan- Zigzag
The band played Hitsuyouaku
's transparent-sounding high-toned voice was a great fit for the dark and haunting number, and Kagemaru
's drum beat also controlled the band's groove well.
"2023 is the 20th anniversary of SID
. I would like to congratulate them. With all due respect, I would like to celebrate my senior band in advance," said Aki
. Set list
ZI:KILL Respect Session feat,deadman
is a popular band that L'Arc-en-Ciel
both used to be part of, and they
actually had two successful
shows at Nippon Budokan in the past.ZI:KILL Respect Session feat,deadman
consisted of deadman
, The god and death stars
gibkiy gibkiy gibkiy
The band started with DEAR JUNK
's powerful singing and shouts rocked the audience together with the band's edgy guitar riffs and relentless drum beats. The thrilling drum and bass rhythms of ROUND AND FATE
followed next. aie
excited the fans with their superb guitar solo battle during the song.
"Greetings. We are deadman
, a rookie band from MAVERICK DC GROUP," aie
said after the song. After, the band surprised the audience by playing deadman
's song lunch box
, during which
the vocalist showed off his signature zombie-like dance moves.
1. DEAR JUNK
2. ROUND AND FATE
3. lunch box (deadman
DIR EN GREY Respect Session
DIR EN GREY Respect Session
consisted of MERRY
, and DEZERT
The band started off with -I'll-
, but suddenly switched over to ZAN
. The performance was intended to pay homage to the memorable set DIR EN GREY
played at OSAKA-JOHALL back in December 1999.
During the performance, Gara
stirred the fans up with frenzied shouting and headbanging. The brutal sounds coming from the band had fans headbanging.
At then end of the song, as he always does with his own band, Gara
set a study desk on the stage and did a headstand on it.
1. -I'll- 〜 ZAN
GLAY Respect Session
GLAY Respect Session
consisted of LM.C
guitarist Sakai Mitsuki
and drummer Allen
The band entertained the audience with a medley of Yuwaku
, Kanojo no "Modern..."
and Ikiteku Tsuyosa
. The instrumentalists seemed to enjoy playing GLAY
"'The strength to live' is the core message of visual kei," maya
said before the band progressed to Ikiteku Tsuyosa
. The singer brightened up fans' spirits with his clear and powerful vocals.
the end of performance, YUKKE
revealed that he was playing a bass he had borrowed from GLAY
's bassist JIRO
kissed the bass before he left the stage. Set list
Yuwaku 〜 Kanojo no "Modern..." 〜 Ikiteku Tsuyosa MUCC Respect Session
MUCC Respect Session
consisted of KIZU
They started with
Kokoro no nai machi
, which saw LiME
emotionally sing out his respect for the band and
amaze the fans by playing harmonica.
joined the band
for the next song, Zetsubou
shook the venue with their powerful shouts at the start of the song. The two vocalists' high-toned voices made a powerful duo. The explosive sounds coming from the band,
coupled with Sacchan
's skilful bass playing, made the audience headbang. Set list
1. Kokoro no nai machi
2. Zetsubou LUNA SEA Respect Session
LUNA SEA Respect Session
consisted of lynch.
, ALICE NINE.
"Here we go Budokan! Bring it on everybody! Next song ROSIER
stirred the fans up with the signature line LUNA SEA
showed his deep respect for LUNA SEA
by powerfully singing in the midst of the band's raging playing.AKi
also excited the audience with his fiery vocal interlude, and he threw the mic stand
into the air just like LUNA SEA
's bassist J
's guitar solo took the fans' excitement level up even higher.
"Stand! Arena! Nippon Budokan, let's go full throttle!!", Hazuki
another of RYUICHI
's signature lines. The frenzied sound of both the music and vocals brought the song to an explosive finish. "I am the trigger!!", Hazuki
shouted at the end. Fans applauded the great cover of LUNA SEA
classic song. Set list
1. ROSIER BUCK-TICK Respect Session
BUCK-TICK Respect Session
consisted of MUCC
, and SID
joined the session band on behalf
, who could not attend due to a health condition.
The band played Akunohana
articulated the song well with his deep and glamorous voice. Hitsugi
sharp guitar solo also provided a fitting homage to the playing of the band's guitarist Imai Hisashi
, and fans really appreciated Shohei
's fierce bass line as well.
"I am so happy to be able to sing BUCK-TICK
song at Budokan at the end of the year!", Tatsuro
shouted out his joy at the end of the song. Set list
1. Akunohana hide Respect Session
participated in hide Respect Session
. The rest of members were KIZU
The band started with DICE
. As footage of hide
performing was being played on the stage screens, LiME
sang as if he was singing together with
played the guitar solo together beautifully and LiME
ran freely around the stage, sometimes singing facing PATA
. The band conveyed their love and
respect to hide
with their performance.
"I don't know why, but I really feel hide
may be in here somewhere today! Let's show our love and respect to him! I hope he feels it!" LiME
said after the
The band then played TELL ME
's powerful guitar riffs deeply resonated with the fans. The band's heartfelt performance united the fans together. "Give hide
a big round of applause!",
shouted at the end. Applause filled the venue. Set list
2. TELL ME D'ERLANGER Respect Session
D'ERLANGER Respect Session
and THE LAST ROCKSTARS
, DIR EN GREY
and bassist Tetsu
The band's set started with an aphrodisiac
thrilled the fans with his fierce and glamorous voice, performing in the midst of the band's sharp guitar playing and the aggressive rhythms of
the bass and drums. The charismatic singer paid homage to D'ERLANGER
's concept of "SADISTICAL PUNK".
Fans cheered when Die
played his fiery guitar solo while kneeling and facing HYDE
delivered a powerful shout while he held Die
Next, the band played the alluring rock 'n roll number LULLABY
really made the song his own and, at the end, he
up from the drum set. The joy he felt performing D'ERLANGER
's music was clear on his face at the end of the song. Set list
1. an aphrodisiac
2. LULLABY SADISTICALPUNKERS
The event closed with a special session from SADISTICALPUNKERS
, who performed D'ERLANGER
's classic song LA VIE EN ROSE
' line-up included the following members:
Vocals: kyo (D'ERLANGER)
, HYDE (L'Arc-en-Ciel/THE LAST ROCKSTARS)
, Tatsuro (MUCC)
and Chiaki (DEZERT).
Guitar: CIPHER (D'ERLANGER)
(DIR EN GREY
) and Miyako (DEZERT)
Bass: SEELA (D'ERLANGER)
and Sacchan (DEZERT)
Drums: Tetsu (D'ERLANGER)
This dream session of visual kei rockstars from all generations excited the fans. The two iconic vocalists Kyo
sang while facing each other. The distinct sounds of each guitarist created dynamic chemistry
while the veteran musicians SEELA
skillfully kept all the musicians together. Fans cheered when they saw HYDE
on the cheek. Set list
VIE EN ROSE
After the memorable event finished, the organizer SORA
spoke to the fans. "Thank you for coming to this event. It is very overwhelming and I don't know even know what to say. I developed my admiration for visual kei,
and started playing it with DEZERT
. My band members and I will do our best to inspire the next generation," he said
All of the musicians then gathered on the stage and took a group photo with the fans behind them.
The musicians and audience made one loud clap at SORA
's call to bring the successful event to a close.