VAMPS rocked hard at Zepp Tokyo on June 24th. It was the 4th day of their 7-day consecutive performances at the venue and part of their bigger “LIVE 2017 UNDERWORLD” tour. The room was packed to bursting with fans and the stage was decked out with an impressive 3D projection of a looming, gothic-style castle. The castle flew the VAMPS flag from one of its high turrets and the background was set to resemble a moonlit night.

VAMPS kicked off the show with intense energy, starting with “UNDERWORLD”. Everyone screamed along to the song with their hands thrown in the air as the music echoed around them. HYDE wielded a megaphone for the next performance as he prowled around the stage, keeping the crowd engaged. The band immediately continued and rich, purple lights flooded the venue as the crowd began clapping in time to the beat of the third song. HYDE crouched low at the very edge of the stage, crooning through the first bars in low, sultry voice before switching to a shout and prompting the fans to yell and pump their fists in the air. The lights faded to darkness at the end of the song leaving just the projection of the castle, which glowed with an eerie light.

In the dark, HYDE’s voice rang out, “You guys ready? Give me all you got!” The crowd roared in response and the lights turned blood red, the perfect ominous setting. Using the mic stand this time around, HYDE stood still as he poured his energy into his voice while the crowd was throwing their bodies forward, headbanging in time to the music. After playing a few songs in succession, the room went dark and the ominous sound of church bells tolling echoed in the venue. HYDE told the crowd to just relax a bit and feel. Fog crept over the stage, shrouding the band in a haze of shadows and deep red lights. There wasn’t much movement on stage and the crowd was mostly still, soaking up the performance. The band created a quiet, yet emotionally charged atmosphere as they performed two ballads from the newest album. The stage was illuminated in alternating purple and white swirling lights and a milky-white full moon glowed over the castle projection. HYDE’s voice echoed across the room as he ended the song.

There was a moment’s pause and then the venue burst to life once again with “CALLING”. The crowd seemed happy for the chance to move around freely and they shouted the chorus at the top of their lungs.

“You having fun Bloodsuckers?!!” HYDE screamed at the crowd, getting excited yells and raised fists in response. He talked about being at Zepp Tokyo saying, “You guys are already used to this place. I can’t remember how often we’ve played here but we’ve played here the most. It’s like our home”.

K.A.Z and the other members nodded in agreement as the crowd cheered their approval. With that, HYDE began to get the crowd fired up with a call and response.

“There’s probably still some good little kids here. Soon you’ll be bad like the rest of us!” He teased.

He began to scream, “Are you all...?!!”

To which the crowd would roar, “BLOODSUCKERS!” in response. He continued over and over until the yells were deafening. They performed the song but at the end HYDE yelled, “Is that all?! That’s not enough blood!” So they started again. K.A.Z crouched low, leaning to the audience and shrouding himself in the fog that was covering the stage as he and HYDE  worked to make the crowd go past their limit and be as untamed as possible. They continued with a non-stop series of incredibly energetic songs and even while singing into the mic, HYDE’s volume was almost matched by the voices of the fans who were screaming the words with their hands thrown in the air.

There was a moment of darkness then the heavy beat of the drums opened the nest song, “AHEAD”. HYDE had his guitar slung over his shoulder and he stood at the microphone which had the VAMPS pirate flag draped over it. HYDE, K.A.Z and Ju-Ken all crowded together, jamming on their instruments on the center of the stage while the fans began to crowdsurf. During the bridge, HYDE stopped singing and let the crowd take over, watching them as they went all out.

They finished the set with a couple more songs, going hard without stopping. To keep the crowd from overheating, both HYDE and K.A.Z as well as several members of staff took turns spraying and splashing water and quick blasts of cool smoke over the audience who gladly soaked up the cool relief. HYDE left the stage first, leaving K.A.Z and the rest of the band to rock out for a while before they left the crowd cheering for more.

It wasn’t long before VAMPS heeded the endless calls for an encore and they returned, throwing water over the crowd. HYDE held a megaphone in one hand, getting the crowd riled up before the heavy drum beats of the next song began.

Afterwards, there was another pause where HYDE asked the crowd if they were having fun and made sure that no-one had gotten hurt in the mosh pit. The final song of the night was “SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ ROLL”. Everyone went as wild as they wanted to and it was clearly one of the most fun performances of the night. The crowd kept screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs while the band were moving around stage rocking out and interacting with the crowd. It ended with a bang and everyone threw their hands in the air, yelling and screaming until the stage was empty and the curtain closed.

Photo credit: Kazuo Tanaka

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