One of the best places to find yourself in October for spooky fun is at HALLOWEEN PARTY, organised and headlined by VAMPS every year.

After playing multiple shows in big cities across Japan, all the ghouls and monsters had gathered inside Makuhari Messe for the final day of festivities. The walls were haunted by ghostly projections and when the lights went dark, a flaming Jack-o-Lantern with the voice of HYDE welcomed everyone to the show.


First up were the “ghosts” of rock band BREAKERZ. Guitarists AKIHIDE and SHINPEI took the stage first. It took the crowd only a second to realize that they were both dressed as Shingo Fujimori from the comedy duo RADIO FISH. The crowd erupted into laughter as they began to perform RADIO FISH’s hit song “PERFECT HUMAN”. When it got to the chorus, DAIGO appeared dressed as Atsuhiko Nakata to complete the set. It got even better when DAIGO put on a mask of HYDE’s face, masquerading as the “perfect human”.

The crowd was going wild by the time they were done and the band used that energy to go right into their first song “BAMBINO”. It was a track designed to make you move and the dance was led by women in red dressed sashaying across the stage.

After that, DAIGO welcomed the crowd once again. He said that the band were quite bold when they decided to dress as RADIO FISH (since the latter had only performed the day before).

DAIGO told the crowd, “Applaud our confidence.” earning even more laughter and applause.

They continued with “Everlasting Luv” and then “REAL LOVE”. During the latter, DAIGO perched a military hat on his head and announced that this song was a love song from their super masochistic band to their super sadistic fans. The members all wore collars with chains hanging from them and the dancers this time were stern officers. The song was sultry with a nice jazzy beat that kept the audience dancing.

DAIGO set the crowd screaming again by pulling in AKIHIDE by his chain and ending the song with a drawn out kiss.

They paused again and DAIGO mentioned that next year would be the band’s 10 year anniversary, earning congratulatory cheers and applause. He got the venue pumped with a call and response before their final song “SUMMER PARTY”. Although a bit late for the season, the performance was fun and energetic. BREAKERZ ended with a final jump with the crowd along with DAIGO’s signature pose before the curtain closed.

Everlasting Luv


WagakkiBand were the second set of performers for the night. The band took the stage and began with “Strong Fate”, kicking off their performance at full power. Suzuhana Yuko’s voice was strong and echoed through the venue and the audience immediately gave the band their full attention.

“Ikusa” was up next and the stage lit up with bright red and orange lights. The members all spread across the stage and got the crowd even more energized, prompting them to pump their fists and shout.

Afterwards, Suzuhana Yuko admitted that the band had been a bit nervous before performing. Since it was their first time at HALLOWEEN PARTY, they weren’t sure just how many fans would show up. Luckily whether it was their first time seeing the band or not, the crowd had readily given their full support.

She commented on the band’s costumes, saying that the theme was “Traditional Japanese Horror”. Most of them were dressed in their usual elaborate stage clothes but with a twist. They all looked normal but with an addition of grotesque costume makeup and blood. Everyone except for wadaiko player Kurona, who was dressed in full Halloween wear as Sadako from The Ring.

“Senbonzakura” was next and the stage was bathed in soft pink light that provided a beautiful contrast to the intense instrumentals. The crowd was waving penlights and chanting along to the familiar beat. The instruments were even more spectacular live. Despite the large number of members, each instrument sounded rich and rang out clearly through the venue.

The shakuhachi opened the next song, “Shiromadara” which had a much heavier sound and had the band headbanging across the stage. The band’s energy was amazing to witness and despite their constant movement, their playing remained flawless.

Next up was an epic drum battle between drummer Wasabi and wadaiko player Kurona. At the count of three, they began pounding away. First they played together then one after the other. There was a voice shouting but the audience couldn’t tell who it was. After a moment, Kurona pulled back his long Sadako hair yelling, “It’s me talking!!”. He led the crowd in a lively call and response then the lights suddenly turned off on stage. The crowd gasped in surprise when the drumsticks began glowing in the dark. With that, both Wasabi and Kurona continued to drum, going faster and faster while being cheered on by the crowd.

By now, the whole room was buzzing with excitement and the energy was perfect for their final song “Kishi Kasei”. The whole room was fully sucked into WagakkiBand’s top-notch performance and when it ended, the cheers and applause followed the band until they left the stage and the curtain closed.

Strong Fate
Senbonzakura (千本桜)
Shiromadara (白斑)
Battle of Drums and Wadaiko
Kishi Kaisei (起死回生)


The special performer for the night was AKi, who had only recently launched his solo career. He took the stage with his bass in hand and began to play immediately, beginning his set with “JIU”. His support band were all dressed up as old-school horror movie characters like Freddy Krueger, Chucky and Pinhead

AKi himself was dressed as a classy vampire. The simple costume matched his stripped down performing style and made the audience focus on his voice and straightforward rock sound. He continued with “FAIRY DUST” which had the audience jumping during the chorus.

The last performance of his short but strong set was his newest release “STORY”. It was a nice and upbeat song that kept the crowd rocking out until the end.

JIU (ジウ)


Now it was time for the main ghouls to take the stage. A huge float appeared from offstage, being pulled through the crowd by multiple hooded figures. The float had massive purple bat wings and sitting inside were K.A.Z and the three support members of VAMPS in their monstrous forms.

The members stepped off the float onto the stage amidst the nonstop cheering and screaming of the fans. There was still no sign of HYDE until the stage was doused in a sickly green light and the opening notes of “HALLOWEEN PARTY” began to play. A table sitting on the stage was revealed to have HYDE’s severed head on it. Despite not having a body HYDE’s head sang the song in a creepy tiny doll’s voice as he was pushed around the stage.

Just as the song was ending, a headless body appeared from one end of the stage, groping blindly. It was HYDE’s body looking for his head. Eventually the two parts found each other and they retreated into a large coffin that had been looming in the middle of the stage.

Eventually, the coffin door creaked open and HYDE stepped up to the entrance, in his full form. The band began “KYUKETSU –SATSUGAI VAMPS Ver.”, the perfect song to get the crowd going wild. HYDE continued to lounge at the door of his coffin watching the crowd headbang and pump their fists.

When the song was over, HYDE stepped out and surveyed the crowd imperiously. He looked like a movie villain about to strike. There was a moment’s pause then K.A.Z began the aggressive riffs for “DEVIL SIDE”. The fans began clapping hen switched to headbanging, hair flying every which way. HYDE stalked around the stage and everyone joined him screaming, “DEVIL SIDE!!” and jumping into the air.

Ominous red lights started sweeping over the crowds and HYDE got the crowd even more hyped with a call and response. Bursts of white flame shot into the air as VAMPS performed their newest song “INSIDE OF ME feat. Chris Motionless of Motionless In White”. HYDE was singing into a megaphone, which turned his voice distorted and sinister. While he sang, figures started to make their way towards him. They were zombies, stumbling and dragging themselves across the stage. He continued to move away from them and just when it looked like they were catching up to him, a bicycle lowered from the ceiling. HYDE jumped on and got whisked into the air.

The music changed into the lazy beat of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. HYDE soared higher and higher in the air and began throwing candy to the awestruck crowd below. The bike took him away from the zombies and dropped him off on a walkway away from the stage as the song ended. “THE JOLLY ROGER” began and the venue exploded with activity.

A quick look around the crowd showed that the zombies had made their way into the audience.

Then without warning, 10 foot tall Jack-o-lantern men with glowing eyes stomped into the venue as well. The platforms that HYDE and K.A.Z were on got pulled away from the stage and into the center of the audience. The Halloween party had built up to a frenzy. There was activity everywhere. The crowd were screaming and dancing nonstop as zombies crawled up to them and the Jack-O-Lantern men bent over to look them in the face and grin with malice.

Eventually the monsters retreated and HYDE and K.A.Z were back on the stage. HYDE introduced the members properly. K.A.Z was a werewolf, Ju-ken a rendition of Frankenstein’s monster "FranJu-ken" with the skeleton of his creator strapped unfortunately to his back. JIN was the boogieman, his face distorted beyond recommendation and drummer ARIMATSU was a terrifying jack-o-lantern.

A staff member handed HYDE a bucket of ice and without warning, HYDE dumped it over his head. The ice bucket challenge perhaps? Shivering from the cold, he let out a scream and got the crowd hyped for the final song.

The zombies were back on the stage as the intro of “SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ ROLL” pounded through the venue. The lyrics flashed on the stage and the venue was filled with the yells of the crowd singing at the top of their lungs. The energy was infectious and aggressive with noone holding back. Towards the end of the song, the zombies finally got ahold of HYDE.

In a spectacular ending, they shoved him back into his coffin and carried him away, kicking and screaming.

INSIDE OF ME feat. Chris Motionless of Motionless In White
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds


The room went dark and HYDE’s disembodied voice floated through the venue.

“It’s almost time for the HALLOWEEN JUNKY ORCHESTRA!”

The crowd began to cheer in anticipation but HYDE interrupted them.

“What’s this? I hear a melody on the wind...”

HYDE’s voice faded out and a murmur of confusion ran through the crowd. Then in the dark, a piano began to play. The curtain rose and the confusion immediately turned into gasps of excitement when the audience realized that it was YOSHIKI himself. The tune became recognizable as X Japan’s “Say Anything” and the crowd cheered even louder when HYDE joined him on stage. The two of them performed a pitch-perfect ballad and the venue was completely quiet as all eyes fixed on the stage.

When it was over the two of them walked down the runway chatting casually.

YOSHIKI pointed to his makeup, “I’m wearing David Bowie makeup. What’s your costume HYDE?”

HYDE gestured to himself and grinned, “This is my true form.”

Apparently YOSHIKI had flown in from LA that very morning to be part of the Halloween festivities. The two of them had collaborated for the first time during X Japan’s Visual Japan Summit and decided to do the same for VAMPS’ Halloween Party.

They continued with a piano cover of L’Arc〜en〜Ciel’s“MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM”. This time, they let the whole crowd join in and everyone sang as one. The result was a definite change of pace but beautiful nonetheless.

Before he left the stage, YOSHIKI couldn’t resist screaming, “We are...” and the audience responded with a resounding “X!!!”

Say Anything


Members: AKi/VAMPS/Jun-ji (SIAM SHADE, BULL ZEICHEN 88)/Shinya (DIR EN GREY)/TATSURO(MUCC)/HITSUGI(NIGHTMARE)/ Booing!!!/BREAKERZ/WagakkiBand/Kanon Wakeshima/YOSHIKI (Secret Guest)

Finally it was time for the HALLOWEEN JUNKY ORCHESTRA. They all took the stage and most of them looked just as surprised to see that YOSHIKI of all people had come to play.

They were going to do a Halloween Name-The-Song Quiz. HYDE would play a song on the theremin and 3 contestants would have to guess what it was. The first 3 were TATSURO, DAIGO and Machiya from WagakkiBand. The first song was the Super Mario theme but although HYDE was deep in concentration, the contestants couldn’t figure it out. Eventually TATSURO got it right and the losers had to sing a song as punishment.

Since everyone was still excited over YOSHIKI’s appearance, they decided to make the song X JAPAN’s “X”. The band got geared up and DAIGO and Machiya took the stage, giving their best impression of Toshl’s unique voice. The crowd loved it.

The next contestants were Shinya, Kurona from WagakkiBand and AKIHIDE from BREAKERZ. The song was “One Night Carnival” from KISHIDAN which Shinya guessed. This time the punishment was guessing what was in a box without looking (a tiny hedgehog).

The last round was Kanon Wakeshima, HITSUGI and Suzuhana Yuko from WagakkiBand. The song was the infamous "PPAP". This time though, it didn’t seem like HYDE knew the song too well. So the HALLOWEEN JUNKY ORCHESTRA dubbed him the loser. His “punishment” was singing “X” like the other before.

HYDE started singing but without realizing it, YOSHIKI had snuck onto the stage and was the one playing the guitar. The other members all had surprised looks on their faces and HYDE himself was shocked to see YOSHIKI rocking away on the guitar. The two of them quickly teamed up again and the crowd got a trick that turned into a definite treat.

YOSHIKI decided that he wanted to join the quiz game and he was pitted against Jun-ji and Shinya. It was the battle of the legendary drummers. The song was “DEPARTURES” by globe and Shinya guessed it yet again. Only this time, it was HYDE and YOSHIKI who got the punishment and had to guess what was in the box (a dancing flower).

Then at long last, the HALLOWEEN JUNKY ORCHESTRA gathered up their bags of candy and began their trek through the crowd. The crowd sang along, at the top of their lungs as the spooky event reached its peak. The room was filled with screams of delight as that all received candy from their favorite artists, ending the night on a sugar high.

Penalty Waltz

Photo credits: 
Hideaki Imamoto
Toshiki Okumi 
Kazuko Tanaka

Share on Google Plus
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment