You read that right. It has been about four years since DIR EN GREY last toured North America, so as soon as the group announced their 2019 North American tour along with ticket sale dates, fans snatched tickets as soon as possible! The band kicked off their TOUR19 This Way to Self-Destruction at the Regent Theater in Downtown Los Angeles on December 5. Just before entering the venue, the words “SOLD OUT” appeared above in bold red letters. That sight gave a strong start for the band’s tour.
Fans circled the theater block and once inside the venue, an additional long line was in view for buying merchandise. The theater gradually packed up with fans ecstatic to see DIR EN GREY bring life to their latest album, The Insulated World. At around 20:30 PST, the theater lights dimmed and glowed a soft red color. The crowd began to cheer as gentle electronic music began echoing throughout the room. Drummer Shinya was the first to enter the stage, followed by rhythm guitarist Die, bassist Toshiya, lead guitarist Kaoru, and then vocalist Kyo.
The band commenced their show with Zetsuentai. Fans waved their hands along to the slow melodies and headbanged when a heavier pace picked up in the middle of the song. Next up was Ningen wo Kaburu, to which Kyo motioned for the crowd to sing along at several points. More heavy tracks followed, but the band made room for more mellow songs such as Aka and Ranunculus.
In all honesty, the audience was not very active this time around, but there were points that sparked excitement, such as when Merciless Cult played. The band members themselves did their best in stirring responses from their crowd. Die’s movements were elegant and mesmerizing, Kaoru smirked handsomely at fans, and Toshiya played as if he was having a passionate waltz with his bass. Shinya, with his gentle appearance, turned everything around as he slammed his drums with intense energy. It was especially fitting when the band performed Keigaku no Yoku, one of the eeriest songs off of The Insulated World. Kyo contributed to the show with hand gestures, dances, and intimidating glances. Each moment of the spotlight for the members yielded cheers from the crowd. Macabre graphics on the theater screen added onto the sinister aura captured from their latest album.
DIR EN GREY finished the first part of their performance with The World of Mercy. Not long after the band members left the stage, the audience began chanting for an encore. After about ten minutes, the members returned on stage. When the mood was just about right, the band kicked off the encore with Followers and Sustain the Untruth. Afterwards, Kyo spoke with the fans to get them pumped up once more. The show was concluded with a heavy and exciting track, Utafumi. Several fans formed a mosh pit in the front crowd, while others head banged again.
As the concert ended, Kyo looked at his fans with gratitude, waved to them, and exited backstage. Die and Kaoru grabbed some water bottles and splashed water onto the crowd. Toshiya joined alongside them when they began throwing their guitar and bass picks for fans to catch. Shinya took part in the souvenir spree by throwing out his drumsticks. Each member waved to their audience with smiles on their faces before following each other backstage, signaling the end of the show.
Overall, the concert was a delight and worth the wait. In fact, the merchandise at the venue was sold out at the end of the show as well! When attending a DIR EN GREY show, prepare yourself to be impressed with the band’s ability to be both brutal and elegant with their diverse songs and captivating theatrics.
Did you attend DIR EN GREY’s show at the Regent Theater? If so, what did you think of it? For those of you who will be seeing them in other cities, feel free to express your excitement and thoughts with us!
- Ningen wo Kaburu
- Rubbish Heap
- Keibetsu to Hajimari
- Devote My Life
- Celebrate Empty Howls
- Merciless Cult
- Values of Madness
- Keigaku no Yoku
- Sustain the Untruth