Everyone who reads this blog, should know about X Japan, after all they are trying to make it big in the United States, as they are enormous in Asia. X Japan has one song that was taken as an movie anime theme, “Forever Love” is CLAMP’s 1996 movie version of X. In fact they are as I like to call, Japanese ‘KISS’ since they are the band credited with popularizing the wave of Visual Kei.
From, Sugizo and Yoshiki’s appearance at Otakon, to them officially debuting at this past summer’s Chicago Lollapalooza. X Japan launched a North American Tour, that had them going from the West Coast, to Canada to Chicago and finally at their last stop in New York on October 10, 2010 at the Roseland Ballroom.
The previous night on October 11, 2010 was also VAMPS 2nd New York concert, where I saw Hyde of La Arc En Ciel for the very first time in concert. FYI, VAMPS is a new band that Hyde is part of, so there was unfortunately no anime song as of yet covered by VAMPS, but I am still as impressed as I was with Hyde. I am guessing if anyone seen my rapid Tweeting, you can see what I was thinking more of… mostly on the various reactions I saw of Hyde. Also there was really cool guitar swinging and head swinging action by K.A.Z.
I was not as familiar with VAMPS music as I was with X Japan’s music, so I really can’t comment on it per se. One thing I can comment on, was how there was actual space to move and breath at Saturday’s concert. But fast forward to the next night.. it was a completely different story all together….
Both concerts were on the Saturday and Sunday of NYAF/NYCC 2010. This was a concert filled weekend, that probably had music fans like me gasping out “why oh god why.” Mainly, because I was also also attending the NYAF/NYCC as well. GendoMike, and some other friends can attest to the stress I was feeling last weekend. Prior to the convention, I had already given up going to go see VAMPS in concert, since I knew what a very packed weekend the convention promised to be. But at the very last minute, I was notified that I won concert tickets to see VAMPS. I was at my wits end, thinking about what to do. So I was even contemplating on skipping VAMPS, until a friend pulled me aside and told me to definitely go. I went and certainly enjoyed myself. Hyde was fantastic to look at in person.
Just so many music opportunities to either hit or miss this past weekend. Starcreator, and other friends I know were at Irving Plaza watching Puffy Ami Yumi, Boom Boom Satellites and other acts that were part of the Far East to East Showcase.
Back… back to X Japan Concert though!!!! This is a highly memorable concert experience. Once I heard that they were going to come to New York, for a concert, I literally had my eyes set on news of when to purchase tickets were available. I do believe the venue was sold out. From my cousin’s experiences to the band’s first stop in California, and the continual live tweeting/blog reports from JRockRevolution.com. I was definitely ready to be as what Yoshiki said, “X-ed!”
New York City is definitely a city of many events, and opportunities. However, other than seiyuu, mangaka, or Japanese singers appearances, there is rare opportunity for me to enjoy seeing an actual Japanese concert appearances. To have two rock concert experiences of this nature is like mana from heavens above.
Now back to Saturday night… first thing I got to say, was that right after I came out from the VAMPS concert. I saw the line for the X Japan concert, and learned that some hardcore X Japan fans were waiting since Thursday, which was around the time I picked up my badge for NYCC/NYAF. I quickly took a very short video of the line on Saturday, and uploaded it on Youtube. A friend of mine in Tokyo, told me that her friends were already waiting on line, so I knew some line tidbits. The line was filled with fans of several nationalities, as I tweeted I heard Spanish, Chinese, English, Korean.
By the time Sunday rolled around, the line eventually went to wrap around the city block twice. On that time.. I was walking to the line with another friend at 5:52pm, and we were waiting on the line at 6:04pm. Thankfully at that time, I was only on the second corner slightly, so I was waiting mostly on Broadway, and West 53rd. The Ballroom is on West 52nd. Yoshiki as my other concert going friend told me, loved his fans, so he treated fans to hot chocolate and pizza!
During the concert,I stood on the stage left, and was eventually pushed over to around stage center of the room, there were at least probably 7-8 people that stood before me though. Let me say that for a majority of the concert, I really really hated taller people. They blocked all great views of the stage, so I definitely was watching parts of the concert from between the shoulders of many. Still the excitement of just being in the same room as X Japan! I can remember how I heard music, the excitement and energy of the crowd.. and how my arms and legs were so sore from when the concert started to the end.I didn’t even realize that Yoshiki threw himself off the stage, for a bit of crowd surfing until my friend told me after the concert.
It was all quite scary for some parts, for the crush of people was quite immense and overwhelming. At moments I felt very claustrophobic. I have never experienced a mosh pit like this, parts of it felt like a living roller coaster, trying to keep my balance and not fall. There were times of not being able to breath or even be able to move – due to how much people were crammed in one space. Everyone was fighting to get to the front, I actually saw someone faint, and later I read that people who fainted were brought over to the side. When there was a pause between songs or the crush was particularly overwhelming I heard Japanese fans asking if everyone were all right.
I definitely saw people around me filming the concert with their cameras. I was sadly mistaken when I mention I’ll try to actively tweet, or take much pictures, since the crush of people was that extreme. I feared for my main camera, but I still had my Droid camera, which was running out of battery. I did get some decent cell phone shots though.
At some points during the concert, I noticed that Toshi was trying to prompt the crowd to sing lyrics after him, but I believe everyone was a bit too excited. I definitely knew that I cried when “Endless Rain” was sung, since it is my favorite X Japan song. There was a lot of fans who sang the chorus:
Endless rain, fall on my heart 心の傷い
Let me forget all of the hate, all of the sadness
One really memorable fact, on 10-10-10 was vocalist, Toshi’s 45th birthday, so prior to the show, fans on line were asked to throw confetti, onto the stage and sing “Happy Birthday.” The area where I was, was literally peppered with confetti.
X Japan members are also like a a lot of rock groups, drinking, and spraying water into the overheated crowds. I was ecstatic when I caught the maybe first or second bottle to be thrown off the stage by Toshi. The bottle came flying , I held my hand up, and just caught it. When I told GendoMike about what I caught, he happened to mentioned about another incident with a bottle of water, in this case it was Chihara Minori’s bottle of water. But unlike that incident, that bottle of water is a souvenir on my bookshelf.
I definitely knew I lost my voice, I had limited speaking from the VAMPS concert the night before, it was further gone when it was the X Japan concert. I can’t imagine how many time I definitely shouted, either lyrics, “X” or “WE Are X.” As I also mention arms and legs were so very sore, just how many times I threw up my arms?
Still the memories of this concert will remain. I am actually waiting for the new CD that will be out next year. There are some talk on the net, not confirmed about X Japan having a Europe Tour, a second North America Concert Tour, and South America Tour. All this is quite exciting. One last note, actually pretty sad I wasn’t able to get a Concert T-Shirt.. now I can only be on the search for someone/somewhere to sell it. Also if you what to see more pictures from this concert, be sure to check out Anime Diet’s Flickr page.
X Japan’s New York Set List
-Violin and piano interlude-
Born to Be Free
Art of Life
Forever Love (end recording)