Date: May 2nd 2007
Venue: Takadanobaba AREA, Tokyo
Event: X-Day "Node of Scherzo II"
Bands: Juka, Sugar, AILE, Like Absolue Myself, Hitotsume
After arriving in Takadanobaba early, and waiting for our ticket numbers to be called, my friend and I went into AREA. We were given lots of flyers and asked which band we were there to see (Sugar) and given a questionnarie about them. We waited a while longer in the main hall, which was pretty much all girls, the majority of which were dressed lolita or gothic, and listened to some rock and industrial music that was playing.
Then the first band, Absolute Like Myself, came out - their vocalist holding some balloons - and began to play. They weren't bad, but they sounded like a lot of other bands and weren't really that interesting to listen to. Having said that, they had a good stage presence and their fans seemed to enjoy their performance a lot, but I personally didn't like them.
Hitotsume were the next band to perform, and although they had quite a "typical" visual kei sound, I was quite enjoying their music, as their singer had an interesting voice. Unfortunately, they then stopped and their vocalist began talking for a really long time and I felt it took away a lot of time that they could have been playing more songs in. Perhaps if they wouldn't have talked for so long, it would have been better, but I did think they were quite good before that.
The next band out were AILE, who wore matching white outfits and were very bouncy. I had been quite looking forward to them as I liked a few of their songs and they seemed quite good. I was, however, in for a disappointment. Their singer couldn't hit his high notes, or any of his notes for that matter, and the band's performance just annoyed me for some reason. They kept grinning and doing parapara, which their fans seemed to enjoy a lot actually, but I just really didn't like their music at all. Of course the fact that the next band were the band I'd been waiting to see didn't help either.
After that was Sugar. I really love this band, but had never seen them live before, so I was excited to see them. Quite a few boys suddenly appeared in the audience and stood at near the back and the gothy girls went to the front. Sugar were wearing their outfits from the current website photos and looked great, but of course, that wasn't the reason I was there to see them, it was just a bonus and what I noticed when they first came out. They then began to play and their first song was "Dry Flower", which is just a beautiful song. Loki's vocals were just amazing; he hit both the low and high notes, put so much emotion into his performance and his dancing wasn't choreographed, just natural and fitting with the music. He really made the other singers seem like amatuers.
Sizna, Koto and Atsuto also played their parts flawlessly, and had so much energy on stage. Sizna in particular was very into the music, especially during his solos. Sugar really showed that they are talented musicians and sounded even better than they do on their CDs.
They played 6 songs altogether, "Dry Flower", "Aku no hanasaku, yume no mata yume", "Hone to shi", "Toikimeku Shitsudo", a new song (I think it was "Yakusou") and "Dokuhaku". They played more songs than the other bands because they didn't stop and talk for a long time, but it seemed so much shorter because I enjoyed their music so much. I can honestly say they're one of the best bands live I've ever seen. I definitely want to see them again, and really recommend going to one of their lives as their music really comes alive on stage.
Next to perform was Juka, who I had been wanting to see as well. The boys and gothy girls who had appeared during Sugar's live disappeared and were replaced by more lolitas and cutesy VK fans. It was always going to be hard for him to follow after Sugar, in my opinion anyway, but he did quite well. He had two other members of Hizaki Grace Project on stage with him (Jasmine You and Hizaki) and a drummer as well. I couldn't help thinking Juka sounded like a cross between Gackt and Moi dix Mois (his ex band), but he had his own style at the same time.
His voice was a little pitchy during the first 2 songs, but he sounded a lot better once he got warmed up, hit his notes and sang with a lot of power. He did forget his words on one song, but he picked it up again and made a joke of it with the audience, who found it amusing. He stopped to talk for a little while and actually interacted with the audience, unlike the other bands who had talked, which was more fun and interesting to listen to. After that, Hizaki, Jasmine You and the drummer left the stage and Juka performed a song on his own, before leaving himself. The four of them then came out for the encore song, which was "Avaresque". Overall I found Juka's set quite entertaining and enjoyable and I'm glad I stayed to watch him instead of leaving after Sugar.
x-posted on grave_of_mind