Jrock pioneer and international legend YOSHIKI unveiled his momentous 2023 roadmap at the LA GRAMMY Museum on May 5. Commemorating the 10th anniversary of his classical piano album Yoshiki Classical, the superstar will embark on an orchestral world tour starting this October. Titled Requiem, the concerts will be held in dedication of YOSHIKI’s late mother.
This marks the first time a Japanese artist headlines Royal Albert Hall in London, Dolby Theater in LA, and Carnegie Hall in New York. The program will consist of both works by classical composers Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff as well as orchestral performances of YOSHIKI’s chart-toppers, with several special guests to be announced. Ticket sales began on May 16.
Additionally, YOSHIKI plans to release the titular piece REQUIEM on July 21, followed by X JAPAN’s single Angel on July 28, the rock band’s first song in eight years.
YOSHIKI began the evening with a heartfelt yet somber remembrance of his mother’s loss.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day… Last year in May I lost my mother. At that time, I couldn’t do anything. I had to cancel my live TV shows, and I actually went to see a doctor. The tears kept coming for days. Then I started composing this song called REQUIEM. I thought I should move forward. I shouldn’t give up. To move forward and to really thank my fans who supported me, I decided to do this tour.
Still, YOSHIKI found plenty of opportunity to reveal his endearing whimsy. In the conversation with GRAMMY Museum Chief Curator Jason Emmons, he recalls quitting the trumpet after seeing a photo of himself holding one, being confused as a child when spotting KISS’s Love Gun at a vinyl store, and learning English during pre-Internet times.
The special event ended with an intimate recital, accompanied by LA-based Orchid Quartet on strings, and singers Beverly and Ashley Knight. YOSHIKI gifted the audience with even more laughter by accidentally starting the program without pausing for the ensemble to tune their instruments.
Once things got started, guests indulged in classical versions of X JAPAN hits Tears and ENDLESS RAIN, past collaborations Miracle, Imitation Rain, and Red Swan, and abridged teasers for Angel and REQUIEM.
REQUIEM follows a despondent melody played to dissonant arpeggios that keep the listener desperate for a resolve. Almost as if YOSHIKI’s own imagining of a Chopin prelude, the piece translates brimming emotions into a delicate, understated soundscape.
The livestream of the entire event is currently archived on YouTube. The next several months are sure to keep Japan’s most famous musician busy.
YOSHIKI at The GRAMMY Museum, Los Angeles, Monday, May 15, 2023
- Angel (with Beverly)
- Miracle (with Ashley Knight)
- Imitation Rain
- Red Swan (with Beverly)
- ENDLESS RAIN