Three bands bring three brands of unique music to one of the best sounding clubs in Tokyo. Headliners DIAWOLF bring support from LOKA and MAKE MY DAY, creating a set of unique energetic performances at Shibuya Vision on November 29, 2015.
At around 16:15 the line of fans who had been waiting for some time in the chilly winter air were called into underground club SOUND MUSEUM VISION, in an area of Shibuya that has become the heart of the city’s nightlife. The back wall of the venue was filled from floor to ceiling with mirrors, giving the appearance of a much larger room. The crowd gathered in front of the stage, which was concealed by a thin curtain like a veil, while to the right guests and press lounged in a small roped-off area.
Soon after five, opening act MAKE MY DAY took to the stage and did a fantastic job of immediately bringing energy to the proceedings, with harsh vocalist Isam directing the crowd in clapping their hands and pumping their fists while guitarist and clean vocalist Julian belted out the surprisingly catchy chorus of Full Of Lies between the heavy guitar riffs. Isam united the eager crowd in raising their hands together in a triangle shape. The most traditional metal band of the night’s short set ended with memorable lead track What Are You Fighting For from their album Relentless, with new drummer Kyotaro’s bass kicks supporting the downtuned guitar chugs as band and crowd as one threw their heads back and forth.
After a short break it was time for LOKA, marking the transition between the hardcore MAKE MY DAY and the electronic-heavy DIAWOLF, to entertain their fans. After an electronic intro of their own, they launched straight into their own brand of “sexy, bad and heavy” rock with SLICK. It was immediately apparent that frontman Kihiro brought a different energy to the crowd, commanding their attention as they performed their newest digital single Calling. He remarked that he was sad the short tour, which LOKA had supported DIAWOLF on since the beginning, was coming to an end.
After a short MC in which Kihiro talked about what it takes to change oneself, he announced ballad EDEN and, interestingly, called for the crowd to make a circle pit. While it was entertaining to watch the eager fans comply despite the more sedate mood of the upbeat ballad, this didn’t stop the empowering message from being conveyed. Then the band switched gear by launching into electro-fuelled, catchy riff and snare-powered CLUB ROCK SHIT, which had the fans moving and screaming the song’s vulgar title along with Kihiro as he jumped around on stage and leaned out over the crowd. The set ended with TSUBASA TRIGGER, an energetic song alternating between heavy screams and softer verses, with a powerful chorus. SIN too leaned briefly into the fans’ supporting hands, and then raised his guitar as he performed his solo to the crowd’s delight.
The final act of the night was of course tour holders DIAWOLF. Guitarist Tora emerged in a khaki camouflage shirt and shorts which were entirely at odds with the rest of the band’s casual visual kei appearance. Once vocalist Show took to the stage they opened with catchy debut song Rebellion and the atmosphere changed to one of a nightclub, albeit one filled with fans of hard rock music. The A9 solo members’ heavy electronic influences came especially to the fore in Everlasting Flavor, where the crowd threw themselves into forceful headbanging despite the complete absence of guitar in what I can only describe as “moshstep”.
Soon Show stripped off his leather jacket to expose his new ink, and the group launched into new EP title track and lyrical source of the tour’s title, Turbulence. The combination of pounding drums, catchy synths and flashy guitar solo, along with the venue itself which doubles as a live house and nightclub and boasts one of the best sound systems in Tokyo, made for a euphoric atmosphere where you couldn’t help but get caught up in the energy. The fans eagerly supported Show for a few brief moments as he threw himself in among them to surf the energy like a wave.
It turned out DIAWOLF had a big announcement to make at the end of this short tour: they have decided to hold their first one-man show to celebrate the band’s anniversary on March 29, 2016! After this exciting news, the band closed their set with INFERNO, and at the end Tora threw his guitar into the crowd as he walked off stage saluting his fans. Immediately staff began ushering the crowd out of the venue as the band and guests retired backstage to prepare for the After Night show, where both Show and Tora were set to present as DJ to a very different kind of audience.
Show and Tora’s new band has been going from strength to strength in the short time since they started their activities. A one-man show already is fantastic news, so let’s continue to support them and see what’s next from DIAWOLF!