LIVE REPORT: MERRY, Sukekiyo and Metronome - “3Gatsu ni saku gudon-domo ni yoru sabita hasami to kaigenrei no amearare sanrinsha no hanazono nite, yurushite okunna hareya”

It had been a rainy, cold day on the last day of the 「三月に咲く愚鈍共による錆びたハサミと戒厳令の雨あられ三輪車の花園にて、許しておくんなはれや」(“3Gatsu ni saku gudon-domo ni yoru sabita hasami to kaigenrei no amearare sanrinsha no hanazono nite, yurushite oku n'na hareya”) tour. The tour consisted of MERRY, sukekiyo, Metronome, and Inugami Circus-dan. March 21st showcased MERRY, sukekiyo, and Metronome respectively. The day had the type of weather that beckons for people to stay indoors, not fitting for a matsuri of any kind. Yet this was what the bands delivered.

Once the doors opened for merchandise, people filed in neatly to get their goods and find shelter from the cold until the live began. This tour had fun merchandise fit for a festival such as gag knives, gag gum, and a sticker drawing that put you in a lottery to win one of two pillows, one of which was a body pillow in the likeness of MERRY’s drummer, Nero. Discussed in an interview for T-SITE (link: ) the merchandise was mostly thought up by sukekiyo’s Kyo, who wanted the merchandise to have a fun and nostalgic type of feeling. Even the gum, mischievous as it is really a mouse trap, has a cute design with drawings by Kyo of sukekiyo and MERRY on the sides.

After a 2 hour break, fans came back to line up in the rain, and go into the venue. Inside, scrolling on LED screens were the names of the bands as well as the tour name. The stage was obscured by various colored lights and a large red velvet drape. The first band to start off the night and matsuri feeling was Metronome. It was clear from the beginning that this band still knows how to put on a show.

The band’s performance showcased a typical VK style with a focus on cyber style in black and yellow as their signature colors. It was interesting to see the mix of the three band’s fans. You could clearly tell Metronome fans by the way they knew the perfectly choreographed furi to each and every song the band played. Full of energy, they made me believe in them. I didn't go in as a Metronome fan, but as their live went on, it was hard not to be taken up in the action and energy of their showmanship.

After a short MC by vocalist Sharaku in which he admitted surprise and gratefulness at Metronome being asked to play this tour, the band proved song after song that they were meant to be on the same stage as they heavily interacted with fans and kept the feeling of a Japanese matsuri high.

After Metronome, the curtains closed, so fans weren't sure what to expect next. A lot of fans were surprised when the curtains drew back in a billow of fog to reveal a heavily bloody bandaged figure looming at the mic stand in a red and black gradient furisode. Tied at the middle was a men’s obi, implying the blending of gender, neither male nor female.

That night Kyo took on the persona of Kunisaki Soan, a figure who has a bandaged head, bloody and bruised with their hands also bandaged in disarray. The only things visible were piercing eyes, crimson lips, and a haphazard lock of black hair escaping from the bandages.

sukekiyo shows are always a pleasure to watch because they are different each time you see them. Each time is a new stage play, a new performance piece, a new world view. Kunisaki Soan dragged us deeper into their world, with Kyo wailing and pulling from his chest as if to present to us a piece of his soul, only to take it back at the end. The smile on his face, usually genuine, now twisted into one of malice and horror.

This paired with the use of a new microphone, one that made it seem as though the singer’s vocals were under water made a lasting impression. Fixing the audience with a pointed glare, Kyo dropped the mic with a loud burst and left the stage without so much as a ‘goodnight’, taking Kunisaki Soan to the next level as some sort of malicious figure.

Takumi, U-ta, and the others stayed on stage as the curtains closed to wave at fans, and we were left to ponder whether or not we had just witnessed the changing of seasons for the matsuri, from spring festivals to Obon, MERRY was sure to pull us back into the summer setting.

Coming on stage to cheers, this time it was MERRY’s turn to organize this even so naturally they were the headlining act. The band wore a bit of costume, but were mostly stylish in black, while Gara wore a school boy’s cap and mantle along with silver glitter cascading over his right eye, the left painted in red. As the lights shone on him, the glitter caught the light beautifully, as though it were pieces of shattered glass.

This was a change from sukekiyo for certain as the fans pushed closer to the stage, now able to move freely. A lot of older songs were played which had me pleasantly surprised. The band continued the festival with energetic performance mixed with comedic acts for the fans’ enjoyment.

Even more surprising was during the encore where fans were allowed to film, a rare occurrence in Japan. It is still unclear why the particular song was chosen or what they might use these for. Even so, the band gave it their all and passed expectations as Gara playfully joked with his band mates and during one segment appeared to serenade a red light.

This was one of the most pleasant live shows I have been to in Japan, by far it helps that two of the bands are on the same label, and a lot are friends. I think the tour was a success in getting fans to have fun and let go of expectations for a while. From merchandise to show, it was truly a wonderful matsuri.

Set Lists:

1. 解離性同一人物 (Kairisei doitsu jinbutsu) 
2.世界はみんな僕の敵 ( Sekai wa minna boku no teki)
3.ギミックス (Gimmicks)
4.アリガト (Arigato)
5.強くてNEW GAME (Tsuyokute NEW GAME)
6.コンピュータ (Computer)
9.絶望さん (Zetsubou-san)

1.されど道連れ (Saredo michidzure) 
2.死霊のアリアナ (Shiryo no Ariana)
3.12時20分金輪際 (12-Ji 20-fun konrinzai)
4.斑人間 (Madara ningen)
5.elisabeth addict
7.襞謳 (Hida uta)
9.leather field

1. 不均衡キネマ (Fukinkō kinema)
2.自意識過剰型木偶人間 (Jiishiki kajō-gata deku ningen)
3.絶望 (Zetsubō)
4.Zombie Paradise~地獄の舞踏曲~ (Zombie Paradise ~ jigoku no butō-kyoku ~)
5.東京テレホン (Tokyo Telephone)
6.傘と雨 (Kasa to ame)
8.ジャパニーズモダニスト (Japanese Modernist)
10.千代田線デモクラシー (Chiyodasen democracy) 
EN1. Happy life 
EN2. ロストジェネレーション -replay- (Lost generation -replay-)
EN3. バイオレットハレンチ. (Violet Harenchi.)

Live report by Kala Dunaway
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