Music: PIERROT’s 2 Day Reunion Live DICTATORS CIRCUS FINAL

© J // Washing Rice Blog

PIERROT’s announcement on Shinjuku ALTA’s big screen.
© J // Washing Rice Blog

Earlier this year on April 12th at Shinjuku ALTA, visual kei band PIERROT announced a two day reunion raibu (live/concert) for October 24th and 25th at Saitama Super Arena.  The crowd that gathered at ALTA was huge, especially considering 8 years had already passed since their break-up, an eternity in the music industry world.  But this, as well as the announcement of the reopening of their fan club, Arlequin, through 2014-2015, were welcome news for people like me who never got the chance to see them perform live before their split.


So I went ahead and joined the fan club and reserved a fan club area ticker for the first show, and since Mr. J is a casual fan of PIERROT himself, I reserved regular seat tickets for the both of us for the second.  The half-year wait was pretty grueling, but I think that made the experience all the more worth it!

Last Friday it was finally show time, so I took a bus/train out to Saitama and checked into the fan club area early so I could line up for goods.  Japan arguably has the best concerts goods, and PIERROT did not disappoint.  They had everything from t-shirts, phone jack straps, to logo wallets and boston bags that were over 10,000 yen ($100 USD) a piece and waaay out of my budget.

© J // Washing Rice Blog

I spent about 2 hours waiting in this cray cray line.
© J // Washing Rice Blog

Just looking at the picture you can probably imagine how insane the tour goods line was, even in the afternoon hours before the concert was scheduled to begin.  While I was in line I jokingly e-mailed a friend I’d planned to meet later in the afternoon for coffee that in the time I’d spent waiting, I could have rode Tokyo Disneyland’s Splash Mountain at least 2 times during the peak of summer, lol.  It was a good opportunity to people watch, though.  Fans were mostly women in their late 20s-40s, and in the time of PIERROT’s hiatus, many had gotten married (including me!) and came with kids in tow.  It was pretty strange and somewhat nostalgic to see older women donning past lolita and visual kei styles.  I myself came straight from work, so I was only wearing simple OL (office lady) attire.

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Although Saitama Super Arena is a huge venue, it’s located conveniently next to Saitama Shintoshin Station, and was built up into a quaint dining/shopping area during the years that passed since I’d last visited the arena for Janne Da Arc’s last live.  There was even a babysitting service for moms to leave their kids so they could go off and enjoy the concert without any worry.  (Although with the sheer number of screaming babies and toddlers left at the center, I imagine that had to have been the worst job ever. 😉 )  So after finally making to the front of the line and nabbing a scarf towel (called a muffler towel in Japanese) and an iPhone case, my friend had I had a nice pick of places for chatting and catching up.  The hours passed quickly and soon it was time to part ways and for me to make my way back to the arena.

At the entrance there were many bouquets the band received from music companies and other influential or popular visual kei bands like GLAY, Luna Sea, and The Gazette,  and it was easy to see how much of an influence the band had on the industry and how respected they were.

I really lucked out on tickets with PIERROT’s shows.  For the first show I was row 13, center stage, and on the second day Mr. J and I were in the 2nd floor stands, 9th row back on the left side of the stage with a great view and plenty of room behind us to put our stuff down and for me to take off my shoes.

If you’ve never been to a concert in Japan, the concept of coordinated hand movements or dances to songs, called furitsuke, may surprise you.  Concerts for bands visual kei bands like PIERROT are just as much about getting your groove on and head banging to the music as they are about hearing your favorites played live. Even though 8 years had passed, the fans around me were perfectly in synch and being my first time, I struggled a little to keep up!  But the momentum was amazing, and even by the end of the concert on the second day Mr. J was really into it.

Of course, being a reunion live, there were a lot of tears around us, especially towards the end of the second day.  The crowd was so restless (or crazy riled up, according to vocalist Kirito) that the band was persuaded into performing a second encore of “Kumo no Ito”.

Setlists for the two days were:

10/24/2014 – “I SAID HELLO”

  1. “HELLO”
  2. “PIECES”
  3. “AGITATOR”
  4. “COCOON”
  5. “Gerunika”
  6. “Neogrotesque”
  7. “MY CLOUD”
  8. “MAD SKY -Kōtetsu no Kyūseishu-“
  9. “REBIRTH DAY”
  10. “PURPLE SKY”
  11. “ENEMY”
  12. “PSYCHEDELIC LOVER”
  13. “Nōnai Morphine”
  14. “Adolf”
  15. “Kowareteiku Kono Sekai de”
  16. “screen 1. Torikago”
  17. “ATHENA”
  18. “CREATURE”

Encore

  1. “THE LAST CRY IN HADES (NOT GUILTY)”
  2. “Oni to Sakura”
  3. “Hill ~Genkaku no Yuki~”
  4. “Mangetsu ni Terasareta Saigo no Kotoba”
  5. “HAKEN KREUZ”
  6. “Kumo no Ito”
  7. “SEPIA”

 

10/25/2014 – “BIRTHDAY”

  1. “HEAVEN”
  2. “Shingetsu”
  3. “ENEMY”
  4. “Adolf”
  5. “Nōnai Morphine”
  6. “screen 1. Torikago”
  7. “Makka na Hana”
  8. “Fukai Nemuri ga Sametara”
  9. “ANSWER”
  10. “PIECES”
  11. “Shinkei ga Wareru Atsui Yoru”
  12. “Neogrotesque”
  13. “Yuuyami Suicide”
  14. “MAGNET HOLIC”
  15. “MAD SKY -Kōtetsu no Kyūseishu-“
  16. “Barairo no Sekai”
  17. “ATHENA”
  18. “Clear Sky”

Encore

  1. “Last Letter”
  2. “BIRTHDAY”
  3. “SUPER STRING THEORY”
  4. “Dracula”
  5. “SEPIA”
  6. “HUMAN GATE”
  7. “CHILD”

2nd Encore

  1. “Kumo no Ito”

 

As a whole, the band members didn’t have much to say and left Kirito do most of the MCing.  Kirito kept saying over and over how it didn’t feel like 8 years had passed, and that the crowd energy hadn’t changed at all from before.  He went on to say that they couldn’t promise there would or wouldn’t be another reunion in the future, but not to think of the end of the shows as goodbye, and that no matter what, we should remember to keep living our lives with as much energy as we’d displayed at the live.  I thought he handled the situation really well.

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

I hope that there will eventually be another reunion sometime on down the line, especially because they failed to play my absolute favorite song of theirs, “Dramatic Neo Anniversary”, but either way I had an amazing time both days, and it was one of Mr. J and I’s more memorable dates; we still can’t stop talking about awesome everything was. 😀

– J

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