The night before the concert, the band got to meet their fans in a fun "RIR Let's Play" session at the convention. The band members faced off against their fans in a series of fun competitive games like arm wrestling and hot potato. Some of the most hilarious moments came from two of the zanier games. In "Suck It Up", a band member and a fan would compete with straws to suck up and move pieces of construction paper from the center of a table to their side. "Honey, I Love You" required a band member to attempt to make a fan laugh by standing very close to them and goofily (or in some cases seductively) stating the phrase "Honey...I love you!" It was a fun night that the fans in attendance thoroughly enjoyed. The following day the band hosted a fan panel, where they answered questions about themselves and their music. The members were very open and entertaining while answering the questions, and everyone in attendance had a good time.
That night, a decent-sized crowd gathered in the Thurgood Marshall Ballroom, inside of the Washington Marriott Park Hotel where the convention was taking place. Although the majority of the audience members were curious convention attendees looking to check out a new band, the front rail was lined with dedicated fans. This took me by surprise: it really speaks to the band's appeal and the effectiveness of their global-facing image to already have such dedicated fans on the other side of the world, ready and waiting for them to come and perform.
After mixing things up with the energetic "RAIN" and the slick "Close.", the band paused to address the crowd. "Hey Anime USA! What's up?!" shouted vocalist KuRo. "We are Rides in ReVellion from Japan! Everyone will love Rides in ReVellion tonight!" Since the concert was being hosted by an anime convention, the band made sure to include a song to fit the event. "Are you ready?! We'll play our favorite anime song from Japan!" As soon as the song began, delighted cheers rang up from the audience: they immediately recognized the melodic opening of "A Cruel Angel's Thesis", the theme of the anime Evangelion. Rides in ReVellion's rendition fit perfectly with the theme of the song: elegant and energetic. Ame and Nagisa stoked the energy of the crowd throughout the song. KuRo passionately sang as blue lights flashed around the room, lighting up the fans as they clapped and sang along to the lyrics of the famous song.
At this point, the instrumental-backed MC session had reached a crescendo, and the band used the momentum to transfer into their most popular single. "Eternal ~Katsubou no Sora~" may seem like a relatively light song, but when Rides in ReVellion began to play it live the audience energetically jumped and clapped to the hook. With the exception of some volume distortion, the live performance of "Eternal ~Katsubou no Sora~" sounded exactly the same as the recorded version. Flashing blue lights accompanied the dubstep-drenched breakdown, which sent the band and crowd into a headbanging, fist-pumping frenzy. TaJI's expertly-executed guitar solo brought the audience back to earth before reintroducing the chorus. It really was a high point of the concert to see the band and audience full of energy and joy throughout this song.
As "Rosé" ended, KuRo stoked the audience a bit more with a brief call-and-response ("RIDES IN?!" "REVELLION!"), before announcing the last song, "Seirios". Anxious to hear the band's latest single, the fans in the crowd cheered as Rides in ReVellion transitioned dramatically into the song. As the crowd jumped and danced to the elegant song, the spotlight highlighted the individual band members for their solos one last time. Nagisa and TaJI stood back-to-back in a small guitar/bass battle during the climax of the song. The band closed out the song with intense screaming and instrumental thrashing. KuRo repeated his earlier call and response with the audience, then shouted: "Thank you so much! We'll definitely return so we can meet again. THANK YOU!" before throwing up a pair of devil horns. Clearly thrilled with how the concert went, the band members gracefully walked off stage to the sound of cheers from the audience.
Rides in ReVellion really came into their own that night. On a stage on the other side of the world from home, they enchanted their fans and made new ones out of the rest of the crowd that attended. Despite being such a young band, their stage presence was well executed. It also was clear that the band members had the time of their lives. Ame in particular could be seen making a variety of playful and joyful expressions throughout the concert. With a bright smile and puffy cheeks, he put all of his emotions on display, and drummed with an air of excitement that enhanced the mood of the show. The audience seemed to be quite blown away by the performance; I don't think a lot of people (even the fans) expected such a full and engaging set from such a new band. Rides in ReVellion is a band that places a strong impression on engaging their global fans, and by making such a strong first impression here in the U.S., they've taken the next step on the long road to global recognition and acclaim.
A Cruel Angel's Thesis (Rides in ReVellion Version)
Sense (unreleased track)
Eternal ~Katsubou no Sora~ (Eternal~渇望の空~)
MIRAGE-toxical love story-