SuG celebrated 10 years as a band with a monumental live show held at Nippon Budokan on September 2nd. This show not only marked a major milestone in the band’s history, it was also the final show before the band went on an indefinite hiatus.

The theme of the live was the band’s motto, “HEAVY POSITIVE ROCK” which was displayed proudly on the large screen set up over the stage. The show began with a blast of catchy electronic music. The crowd immediately began clapping and the band appeared on stage amidst screams and cheers as they took their places.

They kicked off with “AGAKU”. Vocalist Takeru screamed at the crowd, getting them to pump their fists and sway with the music. The band delivered a visual spectacle with the combination of lights and video. Bright red lasers pierced out to the crowd and yellow/gold lights ran lengthwise across the stage at the start of “HELLYEAH”. It was accompanied by hypnotic swirls of occult symbols and imagery dancing across the video screen. The members were lively and energetic as they continued to build up the energy and encouraged the crowd to scream and shout with a call and response.

When they paused to chat with the crowd, Takeru talked about just starting out as a band and the feeling they had when they sold out a show with 300 people for the first time at Meguro Rokumeikan. This time, there was 7,000 people at the Budokan and that was beyond anything they’ve ever felt before.

Nonetheless, he told them, “The venue is big but we’re still united!”

They continued with “Toy soldier”. This time groups of dancers filed out on either side of the stage, dressed in purple t-shirts and black jeans. Behind Takeru were 4 separate dancers in purple waistcoats and matching trousers, dressed like whimsical toys. They continued with “小悪魔Sparkling (Koakuma Sparkling)” with the dancers still on stage. The members all broke off into different directions, interacting with fans and dancers alike. The screen overhead showed everything with an overlay of cute comic book effects, making it even more fun to watch.

“B.A.B.Y” featured a new group of all-girl dancers in crop tops and shorts, enhancing the summer feel of the song. The crowd was having fun jumping and waving from side to side and they all whipped out towels when the band began “無限Styles (Mugen Styles)”, waving them in the air. Chiyu and Takeru teased the crowd saying they could wave anything they wanted, even bras and underwear then got them even more hyped with another call and response.

The dancers left and Takeru told the crowd again just how happy they all were, seeing the crowd in front of them. The next song, “桜雨 (Sakura Ame) represented the band’s feelings towards their fans. The stage was illuminated in soft, pink, swirling lights and the crowd looked on in silence as they poured their feelings into the performance. It was followed immediately by “無条件幸福論 (Mujougen Koufukuron)”, another quiet performance with a mostly-dark stage, save for the screen overhead showing rolling shots of old, European-style buildings and landscapes.

The venue burst to life again with “howling magic” and then Takeru left the stage, leaving Shinpei, Masato, Yuji and Chiyu to show off their impressive skills with a series of fun solos accompanied by groups of dancers. The crowd loved it, cheering and screaming in support of each member.

Takeru returned and SuG continued with “sweeToxic” which kept the crowd dancing and energetic. Next was “契約彼女、生贄彼氏 (Keiyaku Kanojo Ikenie Kareshi)” which was accompanied by several dancing couples dressed in elegant outfits, red dressed for the women and black suits for the men. They weaved and twirled around each other while Takeru crooned along to the jazzy beat of the song, doused in moody purple lights. Double disco balls lit up during “FRIDAY!”, scattering beams of light all over the venue and creating the perfect party atmosphere.

Takeru mentioned that before the show, some people had felt that SuG would not even be able to get 3,000 people in Budokan. He jokingly asked, “There isn’t anyone using shadow clones right?” Shinpei told the crowd that they were not screaming as loud as they usually did and got them yelling at the top of their lungs with a call and response. Chiyu made them promise to have as much fun as he was having.

Takeru gave a special thanks to all the people who had come from overseas to see them. When they were just starting out as a band, their former drummer Mitsuru had sat them down and asked them where they saw themselves going as a band.From the beginning they had set their sights on venues like Budokan, with Yuji saying that they had to aim even higher like Tokyo Dome. At the very least they had made one of their dreams a reality and for that, they were extremely grateful to their fans and staff and everyone who got them this far.

Everyone sang along to the next song, “gr8 story” and during Yuji’s solo, the crowd all threw their arms wide in support. They continued immediately with “☆ギミギミ☆ (☆Gimmie Gimmie☆)”. The crowd was more excited than ever and the energy was electric and pure fun. Dancers filed out again for “SICK’S” and the screen showed a colorful, video game overlay with “kill stats” for all the members.

After one more song, the band surprised everyone with a “10th ANNIVERSARY MEDLEY” of 10 songs, tracing the history of the band and showcasing the positive sound that they had made their trademark over the years. Takeru blew on a whistle during “Alterna” and then for “Vi-Vi-Vi” the dancers returned in several groups and alternate groups danced for different songs. The mood kept getting more and more hyper as they played “Fast Food Hunters”, and everyone let loose headbanging.

They wrapped up the medley with “Crazy Bunny Coaster” and the last song of the night was “39GalaxyZ”, a fan favorite and an incredibly fun song at lives. They got the crowd raring to go first with a call and response and then everyone started clapping to the catchy intro. During the bridge, Takeru paused and let the crowd sing in his stead. Soon after, paper stars began fluttering from the ceiling to the ground, twirling around the audience. When it ended, the band lingered and soaked up the applause before leaving the stage.

The band returned and immediately began with another song, “dot.0”. Afterwards, Takeru thanked the crowd and passed the mic to the other members to say a few words. They started with Shinpei who echoed his previous statements on Twitter, saying that he really felt that this was the last for SuG. As such, he really wanted to give his all and make this live the best one possible.

“I’m really happy and for the first time in my life, this feels like real happiness,” he said before breaking down in tears. He paused for a moment and the crowd shouted words of encouragement and support. Giving one last “Thank you,” he took a bow and the mic was passed to Chiyu.

Chiyu expressed his gratefulness to all the people who supported them and got them to this point over the past year. He told the crowd, “I don’t want to say ‘sorry’ but rather, ‘thank you’.” Before making the announcement of their hiatus, they had consulted with a lot of more experienced musicians who had asked him constantly what he was planning to do.

“Honestly, I wanted to quit music but lots of people said they wanted me to keep going. So I decided to continue working as a bassist. I was debating whether to be a support member of something but I decided to treasure the name ‘SuG’ and keep making music as ‘SuG’s bassist’”

Next was Yuji, who immediately dissipated some of the heavy atmosphere with his usual outgoing personality. He said that he had just 3 things to say. The 1st was, “Thank you,” as he thanked the other members for 10 years of activity together. The 2nd was that for him, he felt that he hadn’t left anything unfinished. The 3rd one was that he wanted everyone to treasure all the connections and relationships that were made over the 10 years.

Masato told the crowd that at that moment, he was feeling a lot of things but the strongest was “frustration”.  They have so many memories as a band and the fact that he couldn’t push himself farther and the fact that they had to stop at Budokan was incredibly frustrating for him.

“There’s still so much I want to see and do with this back. There’s so many people that we’ve reached over the past 10 years. It’s like Shinpei said, ‘This is happiness.’ Not just people from Japan but people from all over the world. I’m so happy. There’s still so much I want to say but I’m really thankful to everyone. Thank you.”

Finally, Takeru gave a heartfelt apology to the crowd, breaking down as he said, “We’re really sorry for the things that we weren’t able to accomplish.” Even so, they had done their best not to let the fans down. He told them that 13 years ago, he saw HYDE’s concert at the same Nippon Budokan for the first time. He had just happened to get the ticket from a friend. At that time, he didn’t have any dreams or goals but from that day he started to gain motivation, and move and work. Now 13 years later, he had made it to perform at the Budokan himself.

“This is not some movie plot and I’m no main character but maybe this can motivate someone else too.”

The next song, “teenAge dream” was written as a letter from Takeru to his 17 year old self and he and he poured all his emotions into the performance, following the band’s heartfelt words. They performed “CRY OUT” and then Masato began playing the scales for “Smells Like Virgin Spirit”. Before the rest of the band came in, Takeru stressed that they didn’t get here all by themselves. It wasn’t just the band or just because of the fans or just because of the staff, it was a combined effort.

The crowd expressed their feelings as well, singing the chorus and dancing to the music. They sang the bridge together with Takeru then he and the band stopped, leaving the fans to continue acapella. At the end Takeru commented that thanks to the fans, it had become a really cool song.After thanking them some more, they waved goodbye and took their leave.

The fans weren’t ready for it to end and neither was the band. The crowd called for one last encore and they ended it in true SuG fashion with “LOVE SCREAM PARTY” and “ときどきすてきなこのせかい (Tokidoki Suteki na Kono Sekai)”. The band was smiling and running around the stage, which was a frenzy of lights and colors. Takeru ended saying, “Thanks for helping to bring SuG this far. We’re not going to end pretending to be cool. We’re going to end honestly and baring all so we can look to the future from here on out. To our staff of 10 years and all our fans, thank you!!”

03.不完全Beautyfool Days (Fukanzen Beautyfool Days)
04.Toy soldier
05.小悪魔Sparkling (Koakuma Sparkling)
07.無限Styles (Mugen Styles)
08.桜雨 (Sakura Ame)
09.無条件幸福論 (Mujougen Koufukuron)
10.howling magic
11.楽器隊ソロ (instrument solo)
13.契約彼女、生贄彼氏 (Keiyaku Kanojo Ikenie Kareshi)
15.gr8 story
16.☆ギミギミ☆ (☆Gimmie Gimmie☆)
・俺式Continue (Oreshiki Continue)
・Fast Food Hunters
・Crazy Bunny Coaster

02.teenAge dream
04.Smells Like Virgin Spirit

02.ときどきすてきなこのせかい (Tokidoki Suteki na Kono Sekai)

Photos via SuG Staff
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