Hisashiburi, ne? As some of you already know, I’m currently studying in Japan, and while that makes my usual activity pretty limited, it does have some perks. One of which is obviously being able to actually go and see bands that I like live. So here’s a little ‘exclusive’, if you like – I think it’s the first report of last night’s Sadie tour final to make it onto the internet. So if you’re interested, have a read; and if not, well, I’m not forcing you to. Enjoy, I guess.
MADRIGAL de MARIA
At just after 6pm on a cold night somewhere between Harajuku and Shibuya, the doors to Shibuya-AX opened and the gathered fans of visual kei band Sadie started to enter the venue in its final year of operation. The largest purpose-built concert hall in the metropolitan area of Tokyo was decorated with a huge three-tiered chandelier hanging above the centre of the stage. Shortly after 7pm the lights dimmed and the opening SE announced the arrival of the band, who took their places in front of a series of strange imagery projected onto the back wall.
Sadie kicked off their tour final with the titular album’s opener, Demons cradle. The dark atmosphere was quickly set but it soon became apparent that there was a problem with guitarist Tsurugi’s equipment. As the others continued the show, he relieved himself of his instrument and emulated vocalist Mao’s dramatic movements as the crowd got into the mood of the concert. He continued this act through the next song, Jealousy, after which he was finally able to continue playing with the rest of the band.
The now almost nine year old band were not afraid to perform their older hits too, with the next heavy track 心眼 from their first album MASTER OF ROMANCE leading the now excited crowd in synchronized head banging and fist pumping. They continued to play tracks from their latest album, including the energetic 雪月花and viper. Fan favourite Ice Romancer also made an appearance and was met with great enthusiasm. The eerie piano tones of 斑 -まだら- set an altogether different mood and the chorus sounded particularly unsettling with the dischordant guitar work.
The concert took a quieter turn with softer tracks 嘘にまみれた真実の底 and 優シク殺シテleaving the crowd in appreciative silence. With the main set drawing to a close the band led their fans back into energetic furi and head banging to tracks like face to face, STARRING and the popular single クライモア from their 2011 album COLD BLOOD. Ending with MADRIGAL de MARIA’s lead track THE REQUIEM, Sadie left the stage for the first time.
After a short period of encore calls, the lights brightened and the band returned to the stage for an MC from vocalist Mao. Special guest comedians Bust Rib from the TV show BREAK OUT were welcomed to each attempt to play a different instrument, to a mixture of horror and amusement from the crowd. The MC ended as Sadie struck up the opening of METEOR and the comedians rapped over the verses, with Mao joining to sing the first chorus. After thanking the guests, the song started for real and began the first encore.
Next came the sexy riffs of Rock’n roll stinky people, with the crowd enthusiastically joining in this old song from 2007 single a holy terrors. The song was brought to a halt after the first chorus for a special surprise. It was guitarist Mizuki’s birthday and a cake was wheeled out onto the stage to the screams of the fans. Mao led the crowd in a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ while Tsurugi snapped pictures on his phone. After a brief MC from Mizuki in which he stuck his face into the cake for a bite, he took centre stage to resume the song and received an unexpected kiss on the lips from Mao before the concert got back into full swing.
The encore concluded with favourites from MASTER OF ROMANCE. First the energetic 陽炎 led the crowd in well-practiced furi and they eagerly sang the chorus back to the band. Finally came Grieving the dead soul, another fan favourite, to end the show. Once again Sadie left the stage to the screams of their gathered fans. However, it was the tour final, and the crowd was not yet satisfied. After another encore call, the band re-emerged and wasted no time leaping into what Mao announced as the final song, a holy terrors. Hot and exhausted, the fans gave their all to end the night with a bang.
As the soft piano SE was played over the speakers, Mao gave an MC reflecting on the band’s career and the importance the venue, Shibuya-AX, has had to them. The live house will be closing its doors for the last time at the end of May. This is not the only tour final Sadie have performed here. After reminding fans of their upcoming schedule, Mao left the remaining members to throw out picks and drum sticks to the excited crowd. Tsurugi lingered to give his last thoughts too, after which Mizuki took the microphone to thank everyone for both the live and his birthday wishes. With a last cheeky grin he too left the stage and the fans spilled out into the cold Tokyo night.
As an afterthought to anyone who made it this far, firstly thanks for reading, and secondly, would anyone be interested in seeing more reports, if and when I happen to go to any more one-man shows?