LIVE REPORT: MeteoroiD 2nd Oneman 「死華ノ花」 @ Takadanobaba AREA 15.10.10

It’s been a year since VKH Press saw MeteoroiD live. Since then, the band has undergone multiple changes. From losing a member, to adding new guitarist Mikado and then revamping their sound and image into something much darker and heavier. Needless to say, we were more than excited to see the results of their ongoing evolution at their 2nd Oneman “死華ノ花 / Shika no Hana” held at Takadanobaba AREA.

At the start of the show, the curtain opened before a crowd bursting with anticipation and without any delay, all the members of MeteoroiD entered the stage. Standing at the very edge before the crowd (guitarist Machi holding a delicate, black lace umbrella), they soaked up the cheers from the audience, urging them to scream louder. The venue at Takadanobaba AREA was full and the excitement was intense as the band took their places and launched into their first song of the night “鳥籠ノ沙羅双樹ハ死華ノ花 / Torikago no Sarasouju wa Shika no Hana”. As the first single to be released after the band underwent major changes, it was the perfect start to the show.

Because it had been quite a while since we heard MeteoroiD live, it was like hearing the band for the first time. The first thing you noticed was the power of their performance. The band went full force from the beginning, sucking the crowd in without any time wasted on buildup. The audience went wild headbanging and flailing as if possessed as the band kept the energy at top level with “racrimosa” right after.

When the intro for the third song “バレリナ / Ballerina” started, the crowd couldn’t stop themselves from jumping and squealing in excitement. As one of their most fun live songs, the energy was electric. When Genki sang “spin around like a ballerina” the crowd all jumped and spun in a circle, smiling and laughing the entire time.

In addition to their new songs, MeteoroiD also revamped their older songs, adding more complex instrumental arrangements and intros. It was especially evident during “この愛を手放せば自由だろう / Kono Ai wo Tebanaseba Jiyuu Darou” which had a much darker tone, punctuated by Genki’s guttural screaming and much more headbanging. The song felt more alive and there was definite improvement.

Once the music ended and the stage went dark, the cheers from the crowd was instantaneous with fans screaming the name of their favorite members over and over.

When the lights came back on, Genki had left the stage leaving the other members to get the crowd pumped with a call and response. By the time Genki returned on stage, the live house was vibrating with energy once again.

The fast-paced metal sound of “chocolate” had the audience dropping to the ground and headbanging on the floor. Genki switched between dark growls and high pitched squeals offset by the harsh riffs of the guitars. The other members moved around the stage during the more upbeat chorus and Ral and Mikado got a turn in the spotlight with solos.

There was an instant transition to the next song “ 慟哭の間 / Doukoku no Aida” and towards the end of the song there was sudden darkness and total silence as the music abruptly stopped. Genki’s voice echoed through the dark as he sang the last few lines of the song and the fans all clasped their hands as if praying. The song ended with all the member’s heads down as the lights dimmed again.

“背徳者に敬礼を / Haitokusha ni Keirei wo” opened with a loud blast of static, then Genki sang through a megaphone, voice distorted as he commanded the crowd to “salute”. While the guitars played a heavy riff, the fans held their hands in a salute, swinging their bodies violently in a circle.

The song ended and then there was the sound of a crying baby, leading us into the opening of “醜い家鴨の仔 / Minikui Ahiru no Ko (Ugly Duckling). Genki had a large book in front of him and he sang as if reading a story while the crowd looked on in silence. The slow pace of the song and the subtle pain conveyed in Genki’s voice as he sang about questioning your parents love was contrasted with a solid beat from Tomoya’s drums and raL’s bass which thumped to a crescendo before the lights faded to black.

The crowd was plunged into darkness and silence that was punctuated only by the sounds of birds singing through the speakers. The air was expectant when suddenly the silence was broken by the crash of the drums. Genki entered the stage holding a single lantern which illuminated the darkness of the stage as the band began to play “いばら姫 / Ibarahime”. The song began with a military-style drum beat and was more instrumentally complex overall. There was an extra layer of vocals giving it a more dramatic effect. The fans accompanied the music with elegant furitsuke. Immediately transitioning into “脈時計 / Myaku Tokei”, the band continued their high-powered performance which featured a dual guitar solo highlighted by raL’s strong bass playing. The song ended with the sound of a clock ticking through the speakers as the lights and music faded to a dull red.

From this point on, the atmosphere returned to being full of frantic high energy and the excitement of the fans was amped up even higher when the band began to play “タランチュラ / Tarantula”. Genki’s vocals were especially prominent during this song as he sang with more power during the more frantic moments, causing the fans to go even crazier. “Dracula” had a jazzy intro that got the crowd swaying from side to side before launching into the main song which made them cheer in excitement.

Still continuing without a pause, both the band and the audience continued to play and enjoy themselves. During the chorus of “Mr. Famous”, the laughing, shrieking mass of fans ran from one end of the venue, hit the wall and then ran to the other end. On stage, raL followed suit, running from one end of the stage to the next while still managing to play. Finally there was a pause and the lights faded out to black and the crowd began cheering.

A dim red light illuminated the stage again and a WWII bomb announcement blared through the speakers. The harsh guitars during the opening gave the song an even darker feel and the atmosphere was heavy during the performance of “リトルボーイ / Little Boy”.

After that it was the dreaded announcement of the last song for the night “呪殺 / Noroi Ya”. The band got the crowd hyped up and then the venue broke down into a frenzy as the band put performance on the back burner in favor of interacting with the fans. The fans all scrambled to run up to the stage and grab hands with the members who all crouched on the edge waiting for them, sometimes toppling over their fellow bandmates as they tried to keep from falling in the crowd. Everyone was excited and everyone who wanted to try got a turn.

When it ended the band stayed onstage and had the first MC of the night. Genki gave a heartfelt thanks to the fans for coming and for supporting them. He then asked the crowd, “Even though you’re alive, is there a reason?”. The crowd was silent as they pondered the question and he answered by saying that his reason for being alive was to be on that stage with everyone.

He continued to ask the audience, “When you’re headbanging and screaming, it’s not only for MeteoroiD is it? You do this for other bands. Is there a meaning to that?”

“It’s because it’s fun right? I've been in the front of the stage for bands that I like making weird faces and it's so much fun.I want everyone to have that much fun. It’s a command.”

He then jokingly added that “We didn't decide what to do for this MC so it's a bit all over the place isn't it?”. Despite the lack of finesse, it was clear that his words were heartfelt and when the band played one more song before exiting the stage, the cheers were loud and the fans immediately began screaming for an encore.

Before their wishes could be granted, a screen lit up at the back of the stage and a video began playing announcing MeteoroiD’s upcoming activities. This included a three man birthday live with Sick2 and Blitz, a free nationwide oneman tour titled “BULLETMARK”, a best album Bullet Box to be released on February 10th, 2016. Finally, they announced their upcoming live "MeteoroiD vs METEOROID" to which the fans began to scream even more excitedly.

With that, the curtain opened once again and the band returned on stage for the encore. Returning to their origins, MeteoroiD sent the venue into a frenzy with “DIVER”. When the song ended and everyone was panting from exertion, Genki sheepishly admitted that although the live was a bit rough around the edges and they’d probably get scolded by the staff, the fans helped to make it into an amazing experience.

“In this past year we've achieved a lot. Mikado joined and lots of new things happened.”

“I think the new MeteoroiD is really cool.”

To commemorate the end of the live and the start of new things for the band, everyone held hands for a jump (not without some silly flirting and antics from Machi and raL who pretended to be a couple holding hands).

After everyone jumped, the band left the stage amidst applause. Only to have Genki run back on stage saying “Wait! Let’s take a picture, we totally forgot.”

Everyone arranged themselves one last time, the picture was taken and then the curtain closed.

In only a year, it was evident that the band has grown immensely both as performers and as a single unit. What the band lacked in finesse, they made up for in dynamic energy on stage. Old songs were more musically complex and intricate, while new songs showcased their improved power (both vocally and sound-wise).

Although the band still has a few rough edges to smooth out, judging by the enthusiasm and support of the fans, their benchmark 2nd oneman was a success.

1. 鳥籠ノ沙羅双樹ハ死華ノ花 (Tori Kago no Sarasoju wa Shika no Hana)
2. racrimosa
3. バレリーナ (Ballerina)
4. この愛を手放せば自由だろう (Kono Ai wo Tebanaseba Jiyuu Darou)
5. chocolate
6. 慟哭の間 (Doukoku no Aida)
7. 背徳者に敬礼を (Haitokusha ni Keirei wo)
8. 醜い家鴨の仔 (Minikui Ahiru no Ko)
9. いばら姫 (Ibarahime)
10. 脈時計 (Myaku Tokei)
11. タランチュラ (Tarantula)
12. ドラキュラ (Dracula)
13. Mr.famous
14. リトルボーイ (Little Boy)
15. 呪殺 (Noroi Ya)
16. anticlockwiseの心臓 (anticlockwise no shinzou)

Thank you to MeteoroiD, their staff, management and Marinovich PR for making this possible!

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