X JAPAN ～破壊の夜～ (Night of Destruction) Tokyo Dome live report
…remember, when you want something,
the whole Universe will facilitate
your wish come true…
© Paulo Coelho “O Alquimista”
…Десять лет, ten years, dix ans, juu nan kan…
And so on – in hundred languages, that exist in our world. What does it mean, this “ten years”? It’s ten years of constant waiting of more than a million people, only keeping up with a shadow of hope and belief that someday all of us can see the Great Legend, named X-JAPAN again…
…Forever Love, Forever Dream…
Dreams come true!
It’s hard to believe, but it’s really so. And now after all of those long 10 years, we are opening a new page in the history of the Great Legend, all together we start writing the next chapter, which is called Reunion 2008…
We are YOSHIKI, TOSHI, PATA, HEATH, HIDE and all those, who made the Great Hope out of hope, who turned a dream into Reality. All of us, WE ARE X!
I think, there’s quite enough affectedness, so I can begin the story of “as it was”.
The first part, introductory: We had been waiting for 10 years, it’ll count for nothing to wait for 2 hours!
At once it might be said, that heath[er] and me saw tickets to the concert only on arrival to Japan on 26th of March. So up to the last moment we had no idea of our seat layout. This is how the lot fell – 28th at tribune, 30th at arena. Unfortunately, the tickets to the concert held on 29th slipped away from us just as a ghostly tail of the Blue Bird of happiness. But it is much better than nothing! I think, you’ll agree with me.
Had hidden 30th concert tickets for a while, joyous we ran to our hotel Japanese speaking staff to carry out, where exactly at tribune we would be lucky to find ourselves, as we couldn’t get through the secret of several hieroglyphs either with a help of our knowledge nor with a dictionary. All the same it turned out something obscure, because an official Tokyo Dome seating map and info indicated at tickets didn’t match each other. Nevertheless we felt rather happy then upset – everything was in X that is absolute uncertainty up to the end. We decided, we’d sort it out at the place.
I’ll miss the description of our adventures from 26th of March to the morning of 28th for a while, I shall tell it in another story. And now as if by magic we’ll travel in our imagination that sunny morning of March 28th, Friday, Tokyo, Tokyo Dome City, the square in front of Tokyo Dome.
In order not to miss something interesting, we rushed to the concert place long before the time by 12:00 o’clock. Had decided to prolong the pleasure and prepare ourselves morally, we were coming up to the stadium in the rear. At the Metro and on approach to Tokyo Dome we often met people in cosplay – red hair, brightly colored skirts and lacy cloaks flickered in the crowd. The feeling of anticipation of something grandiose, festive and magical was in the air so evidently, that it seemed, you could touch it.
On our way we came across a stall with X goods. Had standed in a queue, pleased and loaded with souvenirs we directed our steps towards the central entrance and the main square of Tokyo Dome City.
It’s worth saying a word about the stadium itself. It is rather big, but it doesn’t make an impression of a bulky building, which can seat more than 60 thousand people within its womb. It can be circuited at a rattling pace in 7-8 minutes. A bottom of the building is sunk into the ground. That’s the reason of layout irregularity of tribune. Historic note: firstly Tokyo Dome was built as a sports stadium for holding baseball matches. The musicians of X were the first to use it as a concert hall.
But let us return to our story.
Had rounded the building on the left we came to the central entrance. Here a real party started! To our surprise the square appeared to be not as large as it had seemed at photos. It was rather cozy than representative. There had been a large crowd already, but people kept on coming. A fact that stroke us was that all of them were of different age. There were people of elder age than the X themselves, many young people, who got to know the group after their disbandment, families with little children. Some families were in cosplay. Just imagine such mummy in Yoshikis costume doing side by side with a little daughter of age 4 in coslpay as well, two princesses in blue, both heads wreathed with crowns. There also were whose, who had passed all the way with X from the first day of their existence. It seemed to me, this band is loved by the whole of Japan independently of sex and age. And the presence of senior generation inspired us with awe. Can you imagine a hunched old man with a walking stick who slowly comes up to the entrance proudly carrying a bag with the X-JAPAN inscription on it? But we saw it! Later on his wife joined him… it was such an aged couple of admirers. There were many foreigners, who irresolutely but with great diligence tried to communicate with their Japanese friends, that they had met in Internet. As for us we were not an exception. Yoshiki is the great human being, his music is the language that is available for everyone, and it helps to erase borders among different nations, assist in communication. This music units us, making us forget everything. It’s a genuine art. It’s a sea of smiles, plenty of joy, an ocean of happiness. That’s what X-JAPAN is about, that’s what their music brings to the audience. There, at Tokyo Dome, among shouting crowd, it felt especially sharp.
It felt particularly pleasant when two Japanese girls came up to us and asked where we had come from. They were shocked to find out that we had arrived from Russia. We met another people who were afraid to come up to us and talk, but we exchanged smiles and nods instead of words. We are X, all of us, it was clear without any words.
The cosplayers should be mentioned separately. Frankly speaking, we didn’t expect such a verity in costumes! They were of all kinds to fit any taste. Among the cosplayers were not only girls and boys but sometimes elder men and women at the age of the X musicians as well. When I was running around the square with my camera, breaking my neck, trying my best to see as much as possible, suddenly the truth on this traditional Japanese phenomenon came to light to me. The cosplay is not an end in itself; it’s not even a goal. The cosplay is a tribute, a way of expressing an admiration, love and gratitude in means you can do it. It’s a fans message to their idols just saying “look at us, we love you!”
And everybody tried his best to participate in that activity, it didn’t matter whether it was perfect make-up with a costume blamelessly recreated to the last neck or a simple diadem crowning one’s head or pink-tinted hair. All those people welcomed each other with open arms; old friends were happy to meet again, supported novices, introduced them to others. I still have got such a feeling that a spirit of competition is alien among Japanese cosplayers, as a slim Japanese ideally maked-up girl in a costume of Yoshiki from Celebration PV with cheerful scream throws herself into arms of rather stout Japanese boy in cosplay of Hide from Last Live. You could see they were good friends and were glad to meet each other. And after that they sit to the cameras together confidently in equal manner. And how did they smile!
I think that scene shows never better the true spirit of such thing as cosplay.
By this time yours truly came in a view of camera’s objective and were interviewed by one of Japanese beautiful woman that introduced her as “X-JAPAN staff”. We honestly informed against ourselves at all points: who we were, where we were from, who were our favourites among X and even named our favourite X song. Who knows, whether this tape had been shown anywhere? May it be it was shown to the X themselves… (That’d be great, ne?)
Being tired of taking pictures and running around we decided let our nervous system have a little rest as up to that time our emotional experience was strong. We had to keep strength for the concert. That’s why we left the Tokyo Dome square for a while and directed our steps towards the garden Koorakuen which was situated nearby. (Later I’ll tell you about this magic place, too.)
While we were walking the sounds of rehearsal reached our ears time and again. If it would be judged by trembling earth under our feet because of bass and drum parts, the work was in full swing inside the Dome. It could be understood – last live, the band performed all together, was 10 years ago! It was an incomparable amazing feeling to recognize in these sounds painfully beloved songs. WEEKEND, Rusty Nail… and every new wave of sound was met with a joyful cry of gathered crowd. All this in the whole impressed much.
Several times we could hear a piano solo, during one of such it started raining and we hurried back to Tokyo Dome.
This time there was not just a crowd, but a huge cheered hubbubing throng which was hard to get through. We struggled to the square centre and saw an unusual act. Many of fans had stood in a circle making thereby a spiral consisting of 20-25 turns. This living construction had occupied almost a half of the square; in its centre somebody shouted in a definite rhythm: “WE ARE, WE ARE, WE ARE” and the others answered bending synchronously towards the centre: “X, X, X”. And so on at an ever-increasing rate, faster and louder: “WE ARE – X, WE ARE – X, WE ARE – X, X, X!” The unity was so strong that it all lasted for a long time in spite of the falling rain.
Meanwhile we hurried to get closer to our ladder that led to our 40th gate. The staff started to prepare the entrances, from that time in the crowd uniform-dressed people with loudspeakers could be noticed. They lined fans in queues according to their tickets. The time was passing; the long-awaited hour was drawing near… Then it had come at last, but… Nobody was going let us in. We thought everything was taking its normal course as the concerts of X had never started in time. Well, we had been waiting for 10 years, right? So we’d wait a while longer.
The rain became stronger. We felt really sorry for all those who continued standing at the square without an opportunity to hide under a roof as we were lucky to do. Not many people had umbrellas and in addition a wind was far from being warm. But nobody expressed his displeasure, no one left.
At last after about 2 hours we were let inside in.
The second part, the main one: Night of Destruction.
Check-out of our bags was insignificant, but it was. Service staff at Tokyo Dome was very polite; they showed our seats immediately and described how to find them. On our way we bought some snack and then climbed almost on the top of tribune and started to wait patiently for a beginning.
How would I describe our seats? “Ass of the world” could define it exactly. Behind ours there were about 10 rows and beyond them was the famous tarpaulin ceiling. You may think, “That is terrible!” But in fact in was not so as it had seemed to us in the beginning. Though there were not much place for our legs and it was scaring to look at a steep ladder, which climbed down at angle almost of 45 degrees, the whole Tokyo Dome was spread before our eyes. It was a completely unmatched feeling as we had seen this place on video many times before and that day we were inside there at X concert. A stage was viewed perfectly. Decorations just in traditional X style consisted of the letters “X”, twined around by thorny stems of roses, on each side of the stage. A central part of the stage was hidden for a while by white translucent curtain, which kept on illuminating from inside. The last preparations went on. Then a music which was playing all the time as a background loudened, smoke-machines started to work. Right after that tribunes that were situated a little bit behind the stage exploded with screams and applause, light died out and the prelude of Last Song started.
The thing, that happened with the audience was beyond any description, our language is too poor and imperfect to tell you all those emotions we experienced at that moment. Everybody jumped up; at that moment it didn’t matter that we were standing nearly on nothing and there was only a concrete step 30 centimeters broad under our feet. I don’t know by using what architectural standards Tokyo Dome was built, but when the light was turned off, it seemed, a distance between us and the stage decreased. Owing to this fact we could feel ourselves closer to musicians. A lonely searchlight has highlighted the dark Toshi’s figure and Tokyo Dome filled up with voice of vocalist of X-JAPAN.
The audience howled so that the floor shook under feet.
The curtain was removed and Rusty Nail stroke up. There all my connected thoughts vanished somewhere into thin air. Guitar riffs and fire streams, crossings of dazzling floodlights and crazy dance of laser beams, fantastic show that could be compared with nothing, true magic of X, the X are the only who are able to perform like this.
In response the hall lightened up with thousands of glowing luminophors; it was like colorful fireflies lightened at black velvet, dancing in a single rhythm with music. Then the Hide guitar solo started and he appeared at the screens. The audience started to groan and scream, because His name has burned out in our hearts forever. He is the part of X, the part of us. He is alive in music and in our memories. And this place belongs to him unconditionally.
There are 5 of them. They have proved it to the world and to themselves as well. It deserves a profound respect. I can remember not a single similar occasion in the history of music. It is nobody but X, the unity of opposites, combination of inconsistent.
Toshi was “in good voice”; and though after all they said he had problems because of a cold, we didn’t notice anything. May it be it’s an effect of live concert or something else? I can’t tell you. But the sound was perfect. The energy of music can be felt even while watching the video, so imagine how it was at the live! It gave such an impression, that you found yourself into a stream of charged air. So strong was the influence that you could even feel occasional pain in your skin.
The show was thought out to small things. The sound went strikingly synchronous to the lighting and montage effects. Fanciful designs, lightened up with the searchlights on the Dome, reflected emotional meaning of the songs.
I shall not describe the costumes. Though the screens were rather large, it was hard to take the small details. The only thing I can tell you Yoshiki, Pata and Toshi stayed at their style of 1997. What about Heath, he looked more visual, his appearance was closer to that 1994-1995.
And yet we had a strong feeling that there was no those 10 years of silence, and the ideally selected video of Hide assisted this feeling. Several times I caught myself on thoughts that I was looking for Hide’s figure at the stage. But there was only a big column at his place, showing the video… It was heavy but at the same time bitterness and recognition of this loss helped to look at the new rebirth X from an opposite.
The fact, that all of them could make it and, at the first place in remembrance of their friend, made us glad.
Indeed Hide lives with the music that had sounded under the Dome, he was present there on the stage, he stood by the side of each member of X. His name was screamed out equally with the others, and sometimes even often, the audience warmly and gratefully met every of his appearance on the video.
Toshi held the audience of Tokyo Dome completely as he used to do before. He is a real professional, the true front man of the band. After years had passed he became more confidence and calm, it was well noticeable. Indeed he had found his own X and the X inside of himself. What about Yoshiki he furiously trashed drums like crazy, he was far and far from calmness. It seemed he tried to give way out to all of the pain and rage, that had accumulated in his heart during these years, all of it at once, to the end. This time his carefully thought-out stage image became one with his true self so it was impossible to understand where that thin verge was, separating real Yoshiki from that stage Yoshiki. I personally consider that he doesn’t know no longer himself where is that verge. But today we can see the united alloy of band new Yoshiki with his band that has risen like Phoenix from its ashes.
Pata… Well, Pata is always Pata. Though he had changed, too. Have you ever seen him smiling so often? As for me – no. Yet his Buddhist unruffled calm was within his as always, it’s his main weapon and strength.
Heath looked much more confidence as well and behaved in a relaxed manner I’d say it was quite sexy. I guess he has got over some inner borders that had been controling him before.
The next song to play was WEEK END. The first uncertainty had flown and everything was done perfectly. For us it was beyond belief hearing these legendary guitar riffs and feeling that incredible drive and energy of music.
At once without any break laser rays struggled through the darkness of the hall, the screens flashed out and Hide played for us his prelude to SCARS. At that moment I personally gave up and burst into tears, and not only me. A youth which was standing nearby sniffed obviously and so did his friend. That fact doesn’t surprise me anymore; I know that it is acceptable and noble for the Japanese to show emotions in such a way, all the more so the moment matches the importance.
We hadn’t come to our senses when Toshi started singing the beginning to Silent Jealousy a cappella, and then Sugizo appeared on the stage. We’ve got to hand it to Sugi, he had played Hide solo excellently. I was glad about Yoshiki’s choice as Sugizo had always been friends with Hide. This fact that Sugi rendered homage to “his elder brother” in such a manner touched me deeply. Above all he had to show courage to do that, because Hide has so many fans as Yoshiki does. But all of the fans welcomed Sugizo with shouts of approval and applause. And after Toshi had hugged a support-guitarist in a familiar way and that had placed his head on Toshi’s shoulder with pleasure, people received him like their folk.
And then… Yoshiki smashed up a drum set. But this time it wasn’t grandstand play; such a fury couldn’t be performed. His last throw and a jump right at his drums made the audience exclaim because not only me felt frightened at the moment. Indeed it was destruction that rose from the bottom of his soul.
Before the audience had recovered from a shock the screens flashed again and Hide’s solo song started. It was POSE of 1996th from DAHLIA Tour Final.
People were driven into ecstasies!
Then Say Anything followed performed by Toshi, Pata and Heath. But before that Toshi cheered up the audience in a good way, got his lumps from a fingerboard of Pata’s guitar and then sang so that everybody dropped his jaws. During these years Toshi had learned to use his voice to perfection. How he can play with a key now is simply beyond the description. Toshi was singing and we were singing with him. Everybody who was there at the concert sang with him, everybody knew the words with an exception of new songs of course. Though most presented people had never been to the X concerts, the old favourite songs were sung without a pause. It felt so joyful and pleasant that the X were loved. And the lyrics of the songs sung all together served as the best proof of that.
A little break – and Yoshiki appeared on the stage. The hall died away in anticipation. Yo-chan came up to the piano, sat down and then turned towards the audience with a playful smile. People just had been waiting for, as such a howl I’d never heard before. Thousands of male and female voices united in the single impulse expressed their love and adoration.
And then Yoshiki started to play Without You… Those who courageously stood without tears until that moment gave up when Toshi started to sing in a little bit hoarse, anguished voice. It was an emotional catharsis, like a cleansing, forgiveness, liberation! I was at the loss, whether to look at the screens showing Yoshiki and Toshi or at those showing Hide. At that moment a wordless dialogue took place between those two – Yo was playing for Toshi, Toshi was singing for Yo and all together they were performing for Hide and for all the people who loved and now loving this pink-haired wonder. Meanwhile the big screens were showing rare videos of Hide which nobody had seen before. There were parts from backstage, rehearsals and live videos, much shots of smiling Hide, the X musicians all together. Scenes of Yoshiki carrying Hide changed into scenes of Hide jumping around the stage, and then followed next video from DAHLIA tour, where Yoshiki hung on guitarist’s shoulders and they both laughed. The X making a general bow at Shiroi Yoru concert… I couldn’t see anything else as my eyes were clouded with tears.
The song was over and Yoshiki started to play prelude to a new one. It was I.V., I recognized it at once, ‘cause this melody had eaten into my skin as a real injection, it had spread in my blood and had become a part of me.
I.V. is an anthem of the new X, it’s the song that symbolized their return, and it is a real injection of belief.
At first the hall was singing a chorus with Toshi uncertainly, but with every new line the voices grew stronger and louder and at that time Yoshiki gave the musicians a beat with drums, Sugizo, Pata and Heath took up the melody and the sounds of new X song filled up the whole Tokyo Dome. That played I.V. had other lyrics, a little bit different arrangement, harder but open, less nervous and more positive at the same time.
In the rain,
I’m calling you dear.
Find the way.
Can’t you see me standing right here?
In the rain…
Find the way…
After 10 years they have found their way again.
Light even weightless chords of Hide ment the beginning of Kurenai. The hall groaned nearly at the top of orgasmic pleasure. By strength and drive this song can be compared only with X or Orugasumu. Toshi set his face towards the screens and Hide smiled at him with that last smile he used to give at Last Live.
And after that fire columns shot up to the dome and the stage turned deep red, a colour of madness, a colour of the Night of destruction.
It’s impossible and useless to describe Kurenai in words; you have to feel it for at least one time. It might be felt with your skin and heart, this song changes you once and forever, it reduces you to aches and it revives you again. It’s Kurenai.
They finished us off with Art of Life. It was an absolute knockout. If previously there were only videos of Hide, this time at the right of the drum set his hologram appeared on the stage. For a second I thought that I had gone mad and I was seeing hallucinations, so realistic the vision was. Of cause high technologies have made a great progress now-a-days and the recent achievements and modern equipment were used for this concert. But nobody expected such performance. It was not enough that the composition itself was rather symbolic; it was not only semi-rock and semi-classical masterpiece in miniature, it’s a kind of story of the whole life and several destinies. This was the verge where the threads of past, present and future had interwoven. The last sounds died down and Yoshiki felt through his drum set down on the floor being utterly exhausted. That was how the first night in Tokyo Dome ended. As it had to be with X it was unexpectedly and with a note of drama.
| Категория: Miscellaneous | Translated by XMoonlightX | 2008.05.17
| Author: His Majesty Queen
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