Highly respected band in the rock and visual kei scene, girugamesh went out with a resounding bang during their final show at Zepp DiverCity Tokyo on July 10th. They played a gargantuan setlist of 38 songs, showcasing some of the best accomplishments over their impressive 12-year career.
Before the live began, a projection of the girugamesh logo loomed over the stage as red lights swept over the restless crowd.
The band entered to a chorus of screams and cheers. The members all threw their hands in the air before launching into their first song of the night, “chimera”. The venue instantly exploded with energy as the crowd began writhing and headbanging to the aggressive riffs.
“wither mind” was next and the music video was projected onto the screen behind the stage. The crowd had already progressed into full out moshing. Satoshi threw his arms out wide and everyone screamed “WE DON’T STOP!” before headbanging again. ShuU and Nii were moving back and forth on the stage while Яyo pounded away on the drums, red hair flashing like a siren light. Satoshi held out the final note of the song then yelled at the crowd, “Let me hear your voice!” and the room erupted into a chorus of yells and screams.
With that energy sparking through the crowd, “Omaeni sasageru minikui koe” was up next. Everyone started clapping and chanting frantically. Fog began creeping over the stage and the atmosphere was charged and intense. ShuU and Nii were perched on top of platforms getting the crowd riled up. No-one held back and the entire performance was chaos. You could feel the screams echo around the room when everyone yelled in unison at the top of their lungs.
Naturally, there was a break after the song. Satoshi thanked everyone for coming and introduced the band, “We’re girugamesh from Chiba”.
“Today, with all the members let’s go until you lose your voice and can’t move tomorrow.”
Standing on the platform and surrounded by rapidly flashing lights, Nii kicked off the next song, “ROCKER’S”. With less screaming required for this performance, Satoshi put extra emphasis on his melodic vocals, holding out notes and letting his voice ring out through the venue. They immediately followed with “Dance Rock Night”. The crowd was screaming in anticipation when ShuU opened with his bass solo. This time, the mood was lighter and the whole room was dancing to the beat.
Satoshi called for a circle pit during “VOLTAGE” and the front of the stage quickly opened up for a group running in a circle in time to Яyo’s rapid fire drumming and Nii’s guitar. The instruments were so intense the sound could be felt vibrating across the walls. Bright lights flooded the room and everyone raised their hands into the air in unison. The band refused to lower the intensity and continued with “CRAZY-FLAG”. Both the stage and the spectator area was a flurry of movement and energy.
“slip out” was the last fast-paced numbers before the lights dimmed and the stage went quiet. In the darkness, Nii began a slow guitar melody that echoed throughout the room. Images of clouds began floating across the screen as “crying rain” began. The performance was enhanced with multiple layers of sound effects but they never once obscured the emotions in Satoshi’s voice or the richness of the instruments. The image on the screen changed until it looked like you were standing in a thunderstorm looking directly up at the clouds. The final image was that of being peacefully submerged in water.
The performance ended and the room was heavy with awed silence as the crowd waited for the band to continue. The intro of “suiren” emerged from the silence and slowly grew intensity. A colorful flower mandala swirled on the screen, punctuating the darkness. The band remained mostly still and let the music speak for itself. Nii’s guitar solo was set against the backdrop of abstract rainbow flowers as he stood atop the platform.
At the end, there was a pause for an MC. Satoshi talked about their European tour and the huge amount of backstage footage they took for the DVD. He and ShuU mentioned that in Holland, Nii and Яyo had a huge sibling fight over who should go out on stage first. Then in London, a fan had brought a horse to fuel Nii’s “horse mask fetish” as Satoshi called it. Nii had played for a while with the mask on, much to everyone’s amusement, before throwing it back to the fan.
Satoshi mentioned, “When the fan took out the mask, my first thought was ‘how did you get that past security?!’”
The band all agreed that the European tour was a really good one without any major problems.
“Drain” was up next and it got the whole room dancing and headbanging again. They followed with the intro to “Horizon” but before Satoshi could start singing, he announced that with that song, they would be granting a wish from one of the members, drummer Яyo. Since he was always in the back of the stage, he really wanted to be right in front of the fans. With his phone in hand and filming every moment, Яyo gleefully jumped into the crowd. He climbed back onto the stage and Satoshi asked him, “Яyo how is it?”.
He responded with a shout of, “It’s so much fun!” before moving to the other side of the stage and diving back in. When he had his fill and all the members were back in their places, they began “Horizon” with even more energy than before. Pausing the song halfway, Satoshi thanked the crowd for taking care of Яyo in the beginning. Now, the band needed the crowd’s voices. Satoshi sang first and everyone repeated. When they had done this a couple times, ShuU, Nii and Яyo resumed the melody and Satoshi threw his arms wide as the whole room began singing at the top of their lungs. The energy and love flowed through the room and it was hard not to feel emotional despite the upbeat tone of the performance.
An intense circle mosh pit started at the front of the crowd when the heavy riffs of “gravitation” began. When the song was over, the lights dimmed to darkness and a hush fell over the crowd. A weak blue light spilled over the stage and red columns of light appeared on the screen. The red light morphed into flames that glowed in the dim room as the band began to play “END”. ShuU’s bass vibrated throughout the space and Satoshi poured his power and strength into his vocals. Toward the second half of the song, the girugamesh logo lit up behind the band. It grew brighter until it drowned out all the other lights on stage. At this point, the band was going all out with their playing and Satoshi was screaming intensely, like each sound was being ripped from his throat. Then with the music still playing, Satoshi left the stage quietly. The rest of the band continued to play then left one by one
The curtain closed and a video played announcing the band’s final DVD release. When it was over, words flashed on screen:
“Time for the second half. Are you ready?”
The curtains opened and the band was already on stage. The layout of the stage had changed completely with banners on either side of the stage proclaiming, “THX 4 ALL THE XXXXXX”
“Volcano” kicked off the second half, pulling the crowd into another merciless performance. The screen showed images of fire, falling meteors and lava, adding to the intense atmosphere of the song. Continuing with “Vermillion”, the opening notes of the song sent the crowd into a frenzy. Everyone was singing and dancing and continued to go wild as the band seamlessly transitioned to “ULTIMATE 4”.
After that, there was another break, “Hello, we are Chiba’s stars girugamesh.” Satoshi grinned at the crowd, “Did you guys think this was the encore? It’s not. Earlier was part 1 and this is part 2!” Then he announced that part 2 was going to be even longer than part 1 and with that, the crowd went wild.
Satoshi talked a bit about the DVD and then commented on how his parents had come all the way from Osaka that day to see him. He pointed to them in the seated area on the second floor,“They always complain that their backs hurt during lives, so I made sure they had seats this time.”
They continued with “Shojo A” followed by “FREAKS” which had the whole room chanting as one. Till now, despite the intensity of each performance, neither the band nor the crowd seemed to be in danger of tiring out or slowing down. girugamesh and their dedicated fans were determined to go hard until the end. “crime” came next, followed immediately by “DIRTY STORY”. The lyrics to “DIRTY STORY” flashed on the screen and the crowd was singing along. Яyo’s skillful drumming shone through in this performance, as he pounded away with high energy.
Purple and green lights flashed through the room as the band began “INCOMPLETE”. Satoshi yelled out, “You guys aren’t tired yet are you?!”, to which the whole room responded with a defiant roar. They were ready for anything.
Putting that determination to the test, what followed was a medley from the 13’s Reborn album. The lights dimmed to a deep, thrumming red and smoke cannons fired into the crowd as the band performed a whirlwind of songs. Without a second’s pause between numbers, they pulled the crowd through an intense set of “Jarring fly”, “Shadan”, “robust conviction”, “Deceived Mad Pain” and “Kaisen sengen”.
girugamesh’s fans gave it their all, though. They followed their band’s unforgiving pace without a moment’s hesitation and continued to headbang, mosh and scream as a unified mass.
When the medley was over, the room was plunged into darkness and the audience held their breath for what was coming next. The sound of Nii’s guitar rang out in the darkness, playing the slow, melodic intro of “Fukai no yami”. Still in the dark, Satoshi began to sing. His voice was filled with the emotion of the lyrics. A dim purple light illuminated the stage and shadows of trees passed across the screen. The sound of each instrument was rich and pronounced and when Nii took the spotlight for his solo, his skill was undeniable. The crowd was entranced and gave their undivided attention as they continued with “enishi”.
Then without warning, the trance was broken when the opening notes of “shining” began. The room immediately burst to life as the crowd started pumping their fists and singing the chorus at full volume. Slowly but surely, the live was coming to an end. Before they moved to the next song, Satoshi talked to the crowd while the rest of the band played a slow melody.
“Are you having fun?! When we announced our disbandment on SNS, everyone was surprised. The day we announced it, the Zepp tickets sold out instantly. Thank you so much. Yesterday I was thinking of what to say and what kind of style to perform in but girugamesh is always simple.”
“We joined a company and we were a band with no friends. But we slowly made friends and began to feel a sense of responsibility for our music. We’ve had a lot of hard times, lots of fights between us but on this stage we’ve seen so many smiles and that has been a treasure. Thank you. Thank you for 12 years. This band has been my reason for living. Thank you.”
“Go ahead” was next but for the first time that night, Satoshi’s vocals were less than perfect. The emotions from before had affected his voice and the raw emotions could be felt throughout the whole room. They continued to play and “Zan tetsu ken” allowed the fans to shake off some of the heavier feelings as they continued to put out all their enthusiasm. “driving time” put everyone back in a good mood. ShuU got the crowd dancing and clapping while Satoshi and Nii were goofing off on stage, striking silly poses that the other would mimic.
Satoshi screamed out “Never ending story” and the room dissolved into chaos. The fans began to mosh in a wild tangle of bodies and limbs. On the screen overhead, clips of all the band’s past PV’s flashed in succession. Just when it seemed like the crowd couldn’t go any crazier, the last song of the night “evolution” began and the whole room went out of control. The band members themselves were throwing themselves around the stage, dancing and getting the crowd even more energized. It was one of the most enjoyable performances of the night. Then it was over.
The band left the stage and ShuU threw his bass into the crowd, much to the surprise of the fans.
There was no way the fans were going to let their beloved band go that easily. As soon as the stage was clear, they began calling relentlessly for an encore. The members came out after a while. Nii commented that he had been doing this for 12 years but this was the most tired he had ever been. He also mentioned that all the other members had been crying backstage.
“Onii-chan didn’t cry, though!!”
The crowd laughed along but the mood was bittersweet. Eager to shake off the heavy feelings, the band kicked off the encore with “Zecchou BANG!!” and the venue exploded with life once again. The nostalgia was high when they continued with “Owari to mirai” and “arrow”. Then the room faded to black and the unmistakable drum riffs of “Kowareteiru sekai” echoed through the venue. Beams of light danced across the stage and Satoshi was bathed in a warm, orange light when he began to sing. The audience were practically holding their breath as they soaked up the emotional performance. ShuU and Nii threw their entire bodies into playing as the music crescendoed. The entire performance was heartbreaking in its intensity and felt entirely too short.
Satoshi faced the crowd at the end, “girugamesh ended today on July 10th, 2016. Thank you for the 12 years.”
Then it was time for the final song. The band didn’t leave room for sadness when the punchy riffs of “Break Down” vibrated through the venue. Shiny streamers burst out over the crowd and everyone was singing and smiling. The song ended and girugamesh took their final photo with their fans. Satoshi left the stage first. The rest of the band continued throwing their picks and drumsticks into the crowd. Then they each gave a final message to the crowd.
Nii: “See you again. We’re not quitting music.”
Яyo: “We’re not quitting music!”
ShuU: “Did you have fun? Thank you!”
The stage was empty and panic set in. Not wanting it to end, the whole room started yelling for another encore. After what felt like forever, the band came out for the final final time. True rockers till the end, girugamesh were going to go out screaming. They began “Omaeni sasageru minikui koe” once again but Nii’s guitar got unplugged and they were forced to stop. Satoshi looked over at him and started teasing,
“The music gods say we’re ending, but IT’S NOT OVER YET!”
The crowd screamed their agreement and once Nii was plugged in, the band began getting them hyped for the final performance. The result was absolutely mind blowing. Everyone screamed their throats raw, moshing and flailing with everything they had. They truly gave their all and when it ended, ShuU pulled all the strings off his bass, tossing them into the crowd.
The rest of the band looked on in amusement and Nii commented, “Now it’s definitely over.”
They left with the screams of the crowd ringing behind them. Then the stage was empty and the screen overhead flashed the words:
- wither mind
- Omaeni sasageru minikui koe
- Dance Rock Night
- slip out
- crying rain
- Another way
- ULTIMATE 4
- 「Shoujo A」
- DIRTY STORY
- 13’s reborn medley (Jarring fly, Shadan, robust conviction, Deceived Mad Pain, Kaisen sengen)
- Fukai no yami
- Go ahead
- Zan tetsu ken
- driving time
- Never ending story
EN1. Zecchou BANG!!
EN2. Owari to mirai
EN4. Kowareteiku sekai
EN5. Break Down
EN6. Omaeni sasageru minikui koe
Thank you to girugamesh and staff for this opportunity and for 12 years of amazing music!