YOSHIKI Classical Tour 2023
Live Report Exclusive


18/09/2023 2023-09-18 02:00:00 JaME Author: LuCioLe


ASH DA HERO set the stage on fire at the "SUMMER STATION" event in Roppongi Hills on August 6th.

© Vanessa Aubry
On August 6th, rock band ASH DA HERO held a concert in Tokyo as part of the SUMMER STATION event organized by TV Asahi. The event is an open-air music stage in the Roppongi district where several concerts are held each day throughout the months of July and August. Thus, the concert took place on a day when it was 34 degrees Celsius in the shade, with 50% humidity, accompanied by the sound of cicadas. While these challenging conditions likely had an impact on the group's performance, the stage was spacious enough to allow a rock band to move around and it was adorned with the colors of Coca-Cola, the event's sponsor. The audience was seated in about ten rows of chairs, totalling around 500 people.

The concert started with the sound of Dhalsim, the DJ, and strings. Fans in the audience quickly rose to their feet and remained standing throughout the show. The sound of the guitar and bass were clearly discernible, indicating that the concert benefited from good sound production. This opening provided an opportunity for vocalist ASH to introduce each of the band members, before the audience used the first song to engage with the group through headbanging. The speed and energy put into the performance of the song One Two Three immediately made the temperature seem to rise even higher.

Then, they moved on to Avengers, a song with rap passages interspersed with short guitar riffs. This blend of styles showed hints of the group's influences, which include artists like Eminem and Green Day. It was followed by a moment of interaction with the audience, where ASH thanked TV Asahi for the invitation, also noting the sweltering heat that everyone was enduring.

Next was Jibun Kakumei, which featured heartfelt emotion put into the rap parts of the song. The audience clapped their hands, and the DJ interacted well with the singer from behind his turntables. There were passages where the bass and guitar were more prominently featured, however, the band's mix of rap and rock styles has the disadvantage of breaking up the predominant rock atmosphere during live performances.

The more punk-oriented track WARAWARA followed closely, and its recognizable chorus worked very well live. The audience waved the giveaway towels enthusiastically, particularly the many women present. The musicians kept the atmosphere on the stage lively, and the duo of ASH and guitarist Narukaze stood out with numerous back-and-forth movements.

The drummer, WANI, led the transition into the song Merry Go Round. The most appreciated aspect of this rendition was the role of the DJ. The alternating mixes of turntables and rap over a rock background helped to solidify the melody of this track, and it worked very well.

After this fifth song, the band members were already showing signs of exertion, presenting a perfect opportunity to slow things down with three ballads: Hakuchumu, Raison d'être, and Kinmokusei. The atmosphere became airy and pleasant and ASH's vocal range was showcased during these songs. From the very beginning of the set, there were no mistakes in his vocals for the rock, rap, or ballad passages. The calm style of these songs was well suited for this smaller audience setting, which offered an almost intimate atmosphere. While the event is held outdoors, it is not a festival. The performances of the more "rock" songs from the set were solid from the start, but weren't quite able to reach their full potential. The ballads found a more fitting place on this stage, and they were performed with plenty of emotion. WANI's performance on the drums, in particular, shone towards the end of Raison d'être.

The eighth song, Kinmokusei, was preceded by a discussion with the still standing audience. ASH took the time to showcase his voice, holding the microphone between his hands, sending out emotion-filled waves. This sequence also included a gentle guitar solo. ASH transitioned to the next song with what looked like almost a tear in his eye, but it was quickly wiped away during the exchanges that followed, which made the audience laugh. He then announced GIANT KILLING, one of the new songs from the band's latest album HUMAN, which was just released on September 13th.

Finally, they switched to rock mode amid the rhythmically applauding spectators. The lyrics "born in the ring" were repeated between the group and the audience and this rock song seemed to energize the singer, who twirled his microphone stand and jumped on the stage platform before a guitar solo ensued. The refrain was sung by not just ASH but all of the members of the group.

The audience was then fully awakened for Judgement, a song featuring elements of a funk style. The drummer, who had given his all throughout the concert, was shirtless at this point. Despite the members' very breezy outfits, the heat showed on their faces.

The concert concluded with Sekai wo Bunnagure, which let the audience witness a final demonstration from the band that had managed to set the stage on fire in just an hour. From the emotional ballads to the rock crescendos of the last pieces, the concert's sound quality was very enjoyable. We can only look forward to seeing this group again at a festival or on a large stage overseas where charismatic singer ASH can truly shine.

Set list

01. One Two Three
02. Avengers
03. Jibun Kakumei
05. Merry Go Round
06. Hakuchumu
07. Raison d'être
08. Kinmokusei
10. Judgement
11. Egoist
12. Sekai wo Bunnagure

ASH DA HERO's new album HUMAN is out on digital platforms worldwide now. Links to download and stream the release can be found here.

Music videos for One Two Three and Persona, two songs featured on the album, can be viewed below.


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Date Event Location
Roppongi Hills Arena