On March 10th 2017, legions of black-clad fans made their way to Yoyogi stadium for the GazettE’s 15th anniversary concert DAINIPPON ITANGEISHA「BOUDOUKU GUDON NO SAKURA」. There had been an endless stream of bodies heading there since around 5 am, as everyone tried to grab a spot in line for the latest series of RAD MARKET goods. Fans were taking photos with the larger-than-life portraits of the members that were set up at a nearby tent and if they got hungry, there were even festival-style food stalls selling snacks that matched the theme of the event.

Just before the start, a staff member came out to remind everyone about the safety and manner rules. He petitioned the crowd to “not get a bloody concussion” and of course, to have fun. Then the venue went dark and everyone began clapping and screaming in full out anticipation.

From the stage, red lasers pierced the dark and confetti began fluttering down from the ceiling, mimicking sakura petals in the breeze. Four banners slowly rose up, two on each side of the stage, bearing the title of the concert in bold kanji lettering. The banners loomed over the crowd and the screams grew even louder. There was another brief moment of laser light and then an explosion of red, white and blue lights. The members came into view on a platform at the back of the stage, glowing in their all-white outfits. A flag with the Heresy logo was displayed high and proudly behind them.

They all moved down to the main stage amidst and took their usual places: guitarist AOI and bassist REITA to the left of the crowd, guitarist URUHA to the right, drummer KAI on a raised platform at the back and vocalist RUKI front and center.

Immediately, a spotlight focused on URUHA as he strummed the opening of the first song, “貴女ノ為ノ此命。(Anata no tame no Kono Inochi.)”. Another spotlight went to RUKI who began singing while the crowd continued to scream in excitement. The confetti continued to fall around them and the pink lights during the chorus made them even more beautiful. At the song's final chorus, the crowd sang along with RUKI who raised his middle finger defiantly into the air.

Right after, there was crash on the drums from KAI followed by the riffs of “舐~zetsu~”. RUKI yelled at the crowd to get them riled up and they responded easily, chanting and pumping their fists in the air. AOI moved up to the front of the stage and took full advantage of the spotlight, gesturing dramatically and twisting his body in time to the music. After URUHA’s solo, RUKI counted down, “3, 2, 1!” and the whole room began jumping with their hands in the air. There were glowing triangular panels set up above the stage that flashed red and blue in succession.

At the end, the stadium went dark again and then KAI began drumming prompting the audience to clap along to the catchy beat. It switched to REITA’s bass solo and the intro of “十四歳のナイフ (Juuyon sai no Knife)” took shape. The crowd took the opportunity to perform furitsuke, gesturing with their hands and waving in unison as they danced. The members were moving around more and URUHA walked the length of the stage which brought him right in front of the crowd on the right side of the stands.

Back at the center, RUKI yelled, “On bass, REITA!” and moved aside for REITA to hop onto the platform for a solo as the crowd cheered. The lights dimmed to a deep, pulsing red for the bridge of the song before brightening towards the end.

With the lights still bright, they began “センチメンタルな鬼ごっこ (Sentimental na Onigokko)” another nostalgic song. RUKI pulled out a red megaphone, talking and singing rapidly into it while crouched on the platform. Compared to the original recordings, songs like this really showcased the ways in which the band had improved. The instruments were much richer and the guitar riffs were sharp and clear. RUKI hopped onto the platform, stretching his arms out and gesturing sharply while singing the “itsumo, itsumo” lyrics of the song then joined the crowd in headbanging during URUHA’s solo.

When it was over, RUKI addressed the crowd, “Oi Yoyogi! You having fun?!” and got a chorus of cheers and screams in response.

“It’s a festival tonight so keep up with us!”

He did a call and response, getting the crowd to scream louder and louder then REITA led in with a solo that had everyone dancing.

Then he stopped suddenly and in the silence, RUKI hopped up on the platform, screamed “ARE YOU READY!” and began to sing, “Sakura~ sakura~” as vivid pink lights flooded the stage. The audience went wild, immediately recognizing the beginning of “Back drop Junkie[nancy]”. Lasers lights pierced through the venue and the band sprung into action, getting the crowd hyped. URUHA ran to the far right of the stage, spinning and twirling in his flowing coat and RUKI was on the other end, screaming “Can you fly?! Let’s go!”. The crowd started jumping and AOI yelled in time with the jumps, bringing up the energy even more.

At the end, the stage went dark again and the venue was filled with screams of the member’s names. Suddenly a deep red spotlight lit up over AOI and a sharp ripple of anticipation went through the audience as the first distorted notes of “Sugar Pain”. AOI continued his dramatic display, curving his spine as he played, then blowing a kiss to the crowd who was enjoying every second of it.

Then the rest of the band came in and the lights started flashing frantically as everyone leaned over to headbang. RUKI continued where AOI left off, playing up the sensual nature of the song, dragging his hand down his crotch before swaying his hips. Both the band and their fans continued to go hard then the single spotlight switched back to AOI at the end. Bathed in red light, he drew out the last of the notes before cutting it abruptly and crumpling to the ground as the venue went pitch black.

The crowd remained in stunned silence and then a red light switched to RUKI who started singing “Gururi gururi” acapella in the dark, then the rest of the band began the harsh riffs of “蜷局 (Toguro)”. Even with the heavy sound, the atmosphere was a bit more subdued and there was a lot less movement on stage and in the crowd. Despite that, the members still managed to convey the dramatics of the song with more subtle movements, twirling and gesturing on the spot.

It ended with RUKI falling to his knees and immediately, an orange spotlight came on over KAI. He drummed out a solo where you could hear the intensity of the double bass drums. In the dark, RUKI sang “Oh yeah!” and then the stage exploded with blue and white light for “飼育れた春、変われぬ春 (Kawareta Haru, Kawarenu Haru)”. This time the crowd was perfectly still, soaking up the performance. Flower-shaped lights swirled across the ceiling, adding to the atmosphere.

“Last bouquet” continued with another acapella opening. This time with just a simple white light shining out into the audience. Although there was still minimal movement, the crowd pumped their fists in time with the music.

There was a quick pause before the next song, then RUKI stepped forward with his guitar. This could only mean “Cassis” was next and a murmur of excitement ran through the crowd as the new piano intro played over the speakers. The lights stayed soft and scintillated all over the audience who were giving the band their undivided attention. A simple spotlight shone on URUHA for the first guitar solo, then RUKI during the bridge and finally AOI for the final guitar solo. The lights faded and the venue was dark again.

Tall columns of lights began to light up red and then green, in time to the beat of “ザクロ型の憂鬱 (Zakurogata no Yuutsu)”. It had the crowd moving again and the band members all dancing on the spot. A myriad of lights shone on the banners, alternating pink, blue, red then yellow. The song ended with a single green laser pointing out towards the crowd.

There was another break to talk to the crowd. RUKI moved around the stage, asking each part of the crowd if they were having fun and getting them to scream in response.

“Today we’re doing songs totally different than usual. You guys can’t keep up right?! You think you know what’s gonna happen but we keep going.”

It was definitely true that with all the older songs they were performing, it seemed that some of the fans weren’t too sure exactly what to do or what was the best way to move. That detail had certainly not slipped past the band.

“Use your heads!” RUKI said, referring to headbanging.

“This is not like you guys! We can go a lot crazier right?!!”

With that, the entire stadium was ready to rise to the challenge. RUKI continued calling out to them, getting them riled up until the entire venue was a writhing, screaming mob. It was the perfect atmosphere for the next song “COCKROACH”. The energy was wild and it felt like no-one was holding back anymore. During the riffs the band all threw their heads forward, headbanging in perfect circles.

At the end, RUKI screamed “Kakatte koi!! (Come on!!)” over and over. URUHA began throwing his body around, moving recklessly as he played the opening for “ワイフ (Wife)”. He continued running around the stage during the entire song, getting the crowd hyped. REITA and RUKI shared the platform with RUKI throwing an arm around REITA’s shoulders. When the song slowed down, the lights dimmed to deep red and pink. Then it was a brief switch to KAI before the chorus. The song ended with RUKI on the platform drawing out a guttural scream.

Without waiting for the excitement to ebb away, RUKI began screaming, “I am...!! I am....!!” and the crowd yelled “A RUDER!” together with him. URUHA hopped on the platform starting the quick riffs, followed immediately by KAI then the band burst into action. RUKI ran to the far right of the stage and REITA to the left. It was a battle of the intsruments from there. It was a solo from REITA followed by URUHA, who was back on the platform. AOI went over to URUHA and joined him on the platform. He punched URUHA playfully in the shoulder before leaning over to kiss him on the cheek, causing the crowd to scream even more.

With the final notes of the song still fading out, RUKI began a sinister cackling laugh and the lights burned red for the start of “THE $OCIAL RIOT MACHINE$”. There wasn’t a moment to take a breath. Everyone was headbanging and screaming at the top of their lungs. RUKI was back on the platform, thrusting his hips sharply for the chorus and whipping the crowd into more of a frenzy. Then without warning, RUKI started calling “LAST!” signalling that this was the final song of the set.

As soon as he yelled the word “KANTO”, the entire stadium dropped to their hands and knees for “関東土下座組合 (Kanto Dogeza Kumiai)”. This was particularly impressive since the stadium was full of seats. From there it was round after round of all-out headbanging. The members all scattered across the stage, hopping on platforms and trying to get as close to the crowd as possible to keep everyone moving. As the song reached the frantic end, KAI went all out on the drums, AOI started spinning and then everyone headbanged for the final notes, ending in a scream.

The band left the stage after taking their bows but it wasn’t over yet.

After screaming for an encore for 20 minutes, the band (without RUKI) returned to the stage. KAI led the way, settling at his drums and grabbing the mic.

“Are you guys having fun?!” To which the audience screamed their agreement.

He joked, “Everyone’s faces look like they’re having fun but their bodies don’t.” Yet despite being worn out at this point, the crowd yelled that they were ready to go.

“I think you’ve realized it but the real fun starts from now.”

WIth that, KAI led them in a call and response screaming “Let’s go!” before putting down the mic and bellowing, Kakatte Koi!! (Come on!!)” at the top of his lungs. He began beating the drums and RUKI danced out, moving his feet like he was dancing a salsa. “泥だらけの青春 (Dorodarake no Seishun)” was next and the band was free to move around even more, now that they were in comfortable t-shirts and sweaters.

URUHA had switched his long, flowy costume for a sweater over tiny shorts and garters. He sauntered over to RUKI who lifted the sweater teasingly to peek at his shorts causing them both to burst out laughing. REITA’s strong, catchy bassline was the highlight of the song and had everyone dancing. He brought the song to an end with a final solo and then the music switched immediately to the unmistakable drum riffs of “赤いワンピース (Akai Onepiece)”.

The band were all getting the crowd excited and everyone was already clapping and jumping. Then all the music stopped, save for URUHA who had the spotlight on him as he played the intro. Then the whole room began to dance. RUKI did the furitsuke together with the crowd, waving his arms back and forth during the chorus. There was a pause before the final chorus, and the band riled up the crowd before URUHA grabbed the spotlight again.

At the next MC, RUKI expressed their gratitude towards everyone for celebrating their 15th anniversary with them. They had all been extremely nervous about the setlist as well.

“The songs for today were all from 10 years ago!” He mentioned that for some people it would be very nostalgic while for others it would be the first time hearing them.

“How many of you had heard ‘Sentimental na Onigokko” before?” and most people put up their hands. When he asked who had heard it live, the numbers got much smaller. What’s more, he mentioned that songs like that weren’t even in digital format but still on tape.

“Still, it’s been a while since we’ve been in such a big venue. It’s made us feel surprisingly cool! We’re having fun though.”

With that, they continued with “「春ニ散リケリ、身ハ枯レルデゴザイマス。」(“Haru ni chirikeri, mi wa kareru de gozaimasu.”)”. RUKI went all out, doing the dance moves and swinging his body from left to right. The energy was high and everyone was having fun. When the guitar riffs began, the whole room fell forward headbanging. During the bridge, RUKI dropped to his knees and a spotlight shone on him as he put his all into his vocals.

At the end, RUKI goaded the crowd, “Come on Yoyogi, you can still go right?!”

The next song was “☆BEST FRIENDS☆”, a real treat for everyone since the entire band joined in to sing the final chorus together. True to its name, the members were having fun with each other, AOI and REITA were dancing silly together and then jumping around.

The last song of the encore was “LINDA ~candydive Pinky heaven~” and the whole room clapped together in perfect unison. Then the audience all started jumping and moshing in circles with huge smiles on their faces. It quickly changed to intense headbanging with the band and the crowd going all out.

Thanking them over and over, the band bowed once again and left the stage.

This time, the crowd clapped and called for an encore as “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” blasted over the speakers. As the song came to an end, the band were back on stage.

The members were all in high spirits and were joking around with each other. AOI kicked playfully at RUKI and then teasingly grabbed at URUHA’s thighs.

With mic in hand, RUKI told the crowd,

“First of all, we’re so grateful to have been able to spend 15 years with you like this. We’ve lived life as the GazettE for 15 years and we’ve gained alot of experience from that. This feeling that we have of ‘Dai Nippon’ haven’t changed. We won’t stop being visual kei and we’ll always be proud to be visual kei. It’s been a very long road with lots of uncertain moments and times when we didn’t know why or what we were doing but it’s thanks to you guys that we’ve been able to reach this. Also, we still have dreams for the future of the GazettE. We’re not done yet!!! We love you!!”

The weight of those words could be felt in the entire room. It had definitely been a rough couple years for visual kei with many bands breaking up so hearing a statement like that would have definitely put the fans at ease.

The final song of the night was “Miseinen”. Silver streamers exploded out into the crowd as the guitars began playing and the audience all began grabbing handfuls and waving them in the air. The crowd gave the band their undivided attention as they all poured out their feelings in the music. From the ceiling, shimmering confetti also began to fall to the floor, creating an almost magical atmosphere. At the last chorus, RUKI got choked up and had to pause for a moment. Without missing a beat, the crowd picked up where he left off, singing at the top of their lungs.

The song ended and everyone was overcome. AOI was visibly crying and the band all grouped together for a heartfelt hug, teasing him in the process. Each member had the chance to say something to the crowd, starting with URUHA.

“Aoi crying is typical,” he teased. “Thanks for letting me such an amazing scenery.”

Next was KAI, “We were really looking forward to this. Among all the things that we did, ‘Dai Nippon’ was the first page of an era. As RUKI said, we were able to do everything because of you guys. We will continue to hold the GazettE dear to us.”

KAI handed the mic to REITA but it was swiped by AOI who quickly told the crowd, “I wasn’t crying!!”

He continued, “I was just thinking about how much I love these guys. Being able to do this for 15 years has really made me happy.” He bowed to the crowd and grinned, “Please continue to support these useless assholes. Also I wasn’t crying!”

REITA finally got the mic but surprised everyone when he couldn’t say a word because he was crying too hard.

“I can’t talk...just...THANK YOU!” he quickly sat in the corner as all the members patted him on the back and gave him bracing hugs.

Last was RUKI.

“My chest is really tight right now.” He looked over to REITA who was crying even harder, “Oh REITA...he’d been weird since earlier. He was way too quiet.”

Turning to the crowd, “They’re cute right? It’s already been 15 years but I want it to be 15 more. Nothing’s changed. Since there were probably people hearing these songs for the first time, we have alot and we’ll have alot more cool stuff coming so please stick with us. Thank you.”

They were about to leave but REITA whispered something in RUKI’s ear and RUKI told the crowd, “REITA says he wants to do a jump.”

Everyone held hands and at the count of 3, jumped into the air, bringing the live to a perfect close.


  1. 貴女ノ為ノ此命。(Anata no tame no Kono Inochi.)
  2. 舐~zetsu~
  3. 十四歳のナイフ (Juuyon sai no Knife)
  4. センチメンタルな鬼ごっこ (Sentimental na Onigokko)
  5. Back drop Junkie[nancy]
  6. Sugar Pain
  7. 蜷局 (Toguro)
  8. 飼育れた春、変われぬ春 (Kawareta Haru, Kawarenu Haru)
  9. Last bouquet
  10. Cassis
  11. ザクロ型の憂鬱 (Zakurogata no Yuutsu) 
  13. ワイフ (Wife)
  14. Ruder
  16. 関東土下座組合 (Kanto Dogeza Kumiai)


  1. 泥だらけの青春 (Dorodarake no Seishun)
  2. 赤いワンピース (Akai Onepiece)
  3. 「春ニ散リケリ、身ハ枯レルデゴザイマス。」(“Haru ni chirikeri, mi wa kareru de gozaimasu.”)
  5. LINDA ~candydive Pinky heaven~

Encore 2:

  1. 未成年 (Miseinen)

Thank you to the GazettE and staff for this opportunity!
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