Umbrella celebrated their 7th year anniversary on a rainy night at Zirco Tokyo on March 14th.
The live opened with an illustration of an umbrella projected over the closed curtains as orchestral music began to play. The curtains opened as Gene Kelly’s jolly voice performing “Singing in the Rain” filled the venue. Drummer Sho danced out onto the stage followed by bassist Hal, guitarist Shu and finally vocalist Yui. Once the band was in position, they immediately started playing an upbeat melody that got the audience throwing their hands up and jumping at Yui’s request.
Just before the end, Yui screamed “Welcome!” and then they moved seamlessly to the next song, “ヨルノカーテン (Yoru no Curtain)” where the fans whipped out towels and waved them in circles in the air. They followed immediately with “風見鶏 (Kazamidori)” which had deep purple lights flooding the stage as Hal opened with a strong bass riff. The band members let loose a bit more as they got caught up in the heavier beat of the song. They all urged the crowd to follow suit and towards the end, Yui switched from his clear vocals to a rougher scream, matching the intensity of the melody.
Without dampening the energy, “掌ドロップ (Tenohira Drop)” was next. It had a solid rock beat that was interlaced with the sounds of a shamisen. The performance was enhanced by red lights and had the audience pumping their fists sharply in the air. There was an instrumental break where Sho’s drumming echoed throughout the venue then Hal and Shu jammed along as Yui vocalized in a high tone that sounded almost ethereal. His voice together with the rough riffs made for a stark but beautiful contrast.
“軽薄ナヒト (Keihaku na Hito)” was next, opening with a jaunty beat and cheery lights. The crowd swayed along happily and applauded heartily when Yui ended with a perfectly executed falsetto note. “微熱 (Binetsu)” opened with Shu playing gentle scales on his guitar, surrounded by sunset-colored lights. He continued along for a moment before Yui joined in, singing softly. The lights transitioned to a brighter orange, and they were joined by Sho and Hal. The audience was still this time around, watching the stage intently. Like the title, the music stayed at a mellow pace, with each instrument weaving into each other and highlighted by Yui’s emotional but soft vocals.
After that was “レクイエム (Requiem)”, then it was back to full speed with “構想日記 (Kousou Nikki)” and Yui got the crowd pumped up screaming, “We still have energy, let’s go!”. The room sprang into action as the crowd began pumping their fists in the air. Hal started headbaging wildly on stage, hair flying every which way.
He and Shu were constantly moving around as they played, practically overflowing with energy.
There was another pause where Yui asked the crowd if it was still raining outside (it was).
“I was talking to Hal earlier and the fact that we came to Tokyo for this and the rain is falling is quite nice. We’re a band where the rain falls whenever important things happen so I’m happy.”
The live was reaching its peak energy and the continued non-stop with “非「情」階段 (Hi “Jo” Kaidan)”. Yui prompted the crowd to start clapping and kept them moving and engaged throughout the entire song. The lights were deep red alternated with flashy laser lights. It was the most frantic performance of the night and Shu brought it to a peak with a wailing guitar solo. At the end, Yui was just screaming and the audience screamed right back at him from pure adrenaline.
Once the stage was empty, the crowd began calling for an encore. They were interrupted by a video announcing the band’s upcoming single Frontier, set to be released on May 17th as well as a fan meeting and a release tour with other bands like Chanty and Liraizo. The band’s new look was also revealed, prompting even more cheers from the happy fans.
The band came out right after and each member said a few words to the crowd then. Not one for much words, Sho introduced himself in English, to the fans’ amusement and then earnestly thanked the fans for their continued support.
Shu also thanked everyone and added, “We’ve always had a strong image of how we want to do our lives and we’ve managed to make this possible thanks to you.”
Hal pointed out Shu’s new guitar, a flashy red model which earned appreciative cheers from the crowd. He added his own few words, “The members said earlier that we’re really happy about reaching 7 years. Thank you for coming. We keep saying thanks but what else is there to say? It’s like if you receive a text from a guy you like, you’re super happy right. So we’re happy like that. Also Yui has been doing his best for 7 years.”
This earned more applause and then it was back to Yui, “Thank you. I didn’t have any intention of doing music in a band and for the first couple years I was wavering, not sure if to go left or right. Honestly, I never had any desire to do things like ‘release a single’ or ‘book a livehouse’ so I’m glad these guys joined the band.I plan to do music until I die. That’s why I’m here. To become a salaryman at this point is pointless so please continue to support us!”
When the applause died down, Yui began strumming a gentle melody. He asked the crowd to listen as they played their upcoming single, “Frontier”. Shu joined in with his guitar and Yui started singing. The melody started gentle and continued to build in intensity, pulling in the crowd who were beginning to move around more as they got used to the beat. It alternated between heavy riffs and gentle melodies while keeping a classic rock sound.
The final song was “アラン (Alain)” and everyone added their voices to the chorus, guided by Yui who was waving a drum stick around like a conductor’s baton. The energy was light and fun, bringing the live to a satisfying close and they left the stage to a chorus of screams and cheers.
2.ヨルノカーテン (Yoru no Curtain)
4.掌ドロップ (Tenohira Drop)
6.軽薄ナヒト (Keihaku na Hito)
9.構想日記 (Kousou Nikki)
12.非「情」階段 (Hi “Jo” Kaidan)
14.レッドシグナルデイ (Red Signal Day)
Photo credit: Chi-yow Lee (https://inkstained-rain.com/)
Thank you to umbrella and staff for this opportunity.