The JROCK NEWS team headed towards the east of London last month towards Tobacco Dock where this year’s summer HYPER JAPAN event was held. This venue would set the stage for Sengoku Jidai -The age of civil wars-‘ (戦国時代) first ever performance since their debut in early 2017 and we were excited to see the faces behind this band of ancient warriors.
London took a break from the unbearable summer heat, thanks to the gentle gray overcast, as crowds streamed in and out of the venue. We waded deep into the Tobacco Dock building whilst the sweet scent of yakisoba and takoyaki circled around us. We entered the dimly lit HYPER LIVE stage area, illuminated by a changing glow of colorful lights on the stage. When the well-dressed MC announced the band, traditional Japanese instruments blared from the speakers and the lights glowed to fiery orange and crimson as though the stage was set ablaze.
Two members—vocalist Nao-A and guitarist Kz—stepped onto the stage in full traditional warlord attire, looking exactly like their illustrative avatar. Donning impeccably fashionable armor from head to toe, Nao-A wore a studded leather shoulder pads, a long white coat and a metal plate with the Japanese character for “Love” on the buckle and Kz was dressed in a crimson and black jacket made with patchwork pieces of differently textured leather. Japan enthusiasts from across the UK cheered as the two pointed towards the sky and screamed: “Are you ready?!”.
The intro for Kyouka Ranbu (狂歌乱舞) began to play and the large screens on both sides of the stage flickered to life with the music video and English translations of the lyrics. The crowd waved to the beat of the song as Nao-A elegantly swayed on stage Kz span into action.
The second song Tsune Shou (常翔) combined both voices of the members in a duet and we could see the audience was starting to warm up to them. Jumping accompanied with fierce headbanging to the command from Nao-A, the crowd were rocking the room. Taking a short break to introduce themselves, Kz shyly spoke in English “I love you” to the crowd who cheered and applauded. One gentleman from the crowd replied “We love Kz!” to the amusement of Nao-A. “I like anime” claimed Nao-A to the audience who responded with enthusiasm. The crowd cheered louder with each famous title he mentioned—”Dragon Ball… Naruto… Evangelion”.
Quickly switching the pace up again, they followed up with their latest romantic title track Lonely, a dishearting love story about two lovers across different time periods. “Here we go!” roared Nao-A as the fans excitedly applauded, they ended the show with Rinne no Hana (輪廻の華) as the audience clapped in unison and cheered. After the show, Nao-A commented, “I’m really happy with the first live in London and I want to come back with all four members next time!”.
Read the exclusive interview we had with Nao-A and Kz from HYPER JAPAN, the first ever interview they have had worldwide, to find out their favorite track to perform and their choice of animal or demon to accompany you into a battle. For readers on the internet wanting to see their faces, we’re sorry to say that you will have to attend their performances to see them!