LIVE REPORT: umbrella - ONE MAN [Chapter.5 "Sekkai"] @ Takadanobaba AREA

In the dark space of Takadanobaba AREA livehouse, Gene Kelly’s “Singing in the Rain” began to play, signaling the beginning of umbrella’s one-man show. A scattering of white text was projected onto the black curtains which opened as drummer Sho entered the stage. Following him was bassist Hal, guitarist Shu, and finally vocalist Yui. The audience cheered and the stage lit up in hazy blue and green lights as they kicked off the show with “[Kuda]”, the band’s latest single.

“We are umbrella, thanks for coming,” said Yui after they had finished the first song. They immediately continued with “Yoru no Curtain” which had bright, flashing lights to match with the upbeat tempo. Yui screamed, “Jump, Tokyo!” and the crowd immediately threw their hands in the air and jumped with the music, bringing the venue to life. Shu moved to the edge of the stage for a guitar solo, and Yui and Hal followed suit, exciting the crowd even more.

“Tenohira Drop” was right after, and Yui asked the crowd, “Are you ready to go?! Let’s have fun and go wild!” The venue was dyed a deep red as the guitar riffs began. Yui kept encouraging the crowd during the performance saying things like, “First timers, don’t worry. Just have fun!”

“Skyfish” kept the audience dancing along enthusiastically but even so, the band still paused to get the fans even more riled up. The band kept them moving in a frenzy, jumping in time to Yui’s prompts. They didn’t pause for a break until after the 5th song, “Frontier” when Yui addressed the crowd again.

“Hello, we’re umbrella. You guys really turned up, thank you. This time around, we didn’t have any trouble figuring out how to do this show. We didn’t think about it too hard, we just want the people who are here to enjoy umbrella.”

With that, Yui began playing a series of slow, melodic scales on the guitar, leading into “Wasurenagusa”. The instruments were rich and poignant, bleeding into heavy riffs. This time, the crowd didn’t headbang or wave their hands but kept still and focused on the stage. Yui sang the last of the lyrics in acapella with a spotlight shining down on him then the rest of the band took over, bringing the song to an end.

“When we started this band, we didn’t think that the songs we made would come to be treasured this much,” Yui told the crowd at another pause. Then he asked them to listen as they performed “[Tsuki]”. Spotlights shone on each of the members and they all sang together during the chorus. They continued with “Bokutachi ga egaita panorama” which was a seamless blend of heavy riffs and calm instrumentals that was a treat to listen to.

They paused again and Yui put down his guitar and checked in with the crowd. “You guys okay? Not tired? Can you still go?” At the crowd’s cheer of agreement he continued, “umbrella doesn’t really have that kind of ‘we wanna take over the world’ aims as a band. We just like music and we want people to enjoy our music and worldview. A live house is a place where you can free yourself.”

Then putting their focus back into their performance, the band continued with “Slow Rain”. Hal and Sho’s bass and drumming were especially rich and reverberated throughout the venue. At the end, Yui told the crowd, “Please find the person you truly love,” leading into the next song “LoV’.

During the next song, “Android to kaijitsu”, Yui held up a glowing ball of light in his hands that resembled an apple and changed colors. He cradled it in his hands, turning it gently as he sang the verses. For the chorus, the venue lit up in corresponding multicolored lights and the crowd jumped and waved along with the music.The next three songs were a flurry of heavy riffs, shouts, headbanging and raw energy. The band kept the crowd in high spirits with lots of call-and-response chants and encouraged them to go wild. The members themselves let loose with dancing, spinning and frantic headbanging on stage.

Yui breathlessly thanked the crowd again afterward and asked them, “Did we exceed your expectations? If you thought we were only gonna do quiet songs then you were wrong. We want lots of different people to come see us so we have quite a range of songs. We want people to enjoy themselves so we try lots of different things.”

He continued to talk about how he’s been doing music for 15 years and still hadn’t found a reason to quit.

“I’m standing here just because I love music.”

He added, “I hope you like us and keep coming” before they performed “Requiem”. The stage was lit in soft blue and white lights making for an ethereal atmosphere and the instruments were rich and poignant. The last song of the main set was “Hakoniwa” and then the band left the stage after taking their bows and saying thanks.

They returned for an encore, appearing on stage again to screams of “Congratulations!!”

During the break, there was an announcement that the band would perform their anniversary live on March 14th, 2018 at the Tsutaya O-WEST livehouse and everyone was excited.

“LOOP” continued the show and heightened the bright atmosphere in the room with its cheerful and punchy energy. Afterwards, each of the members had a chance to address the crowd beginning with drummer Sho. He thanked the crowd and mentioned how much fun he always had. Hal told the fans how they’ve wanted to book Tsutaya O-WEST for years and they would not have been able to do it without the support from them.

Shu mentioned that lately, they’ve been spending less time in the studio simply because they’re working faster because they’ve been together for so long. Yui said that he’s scared of when what they’re doing becomes something run of the mill. However, since thinking about releases is always scary and exciting, he’s grateful.

“I always think about when I die, what’s gonna happen to the songs I haven’t released. I don’t know when I’m going to die.”

Shaking off the dark thoughts, he thanked the crowd once again and they ended with “Alain”. As the music started, Yui told them to save the happiness from today and keep it till they met again in March. Then the whole room was singing together at the top of their lungs and dancing to the music, ending on a blissful high.

1. 「管」([Kuda])
2. ヨルノカーテン (Yoru no Curtain)
3. 掌ドロップ (Tenohira Drop)
4. スカイフィッシュ (Skyfish)
5. Frontier
6. ワスレナグサ (Wasurenagusa)
7. 「月」([Tsuki])
8. 僕達が描いたパノラマ (Bokutachi ga eigaita panorama)
9. スロウレイン (Slow Rain)
10. LoV
11. アンドロイドと果実 (Android to kajitsu)
12. Labo
13. 黒猫が通る (Kuroneko ga tooru)
14. Witch?
15. レクイエム (Requiem)
16. 箱庭 (Hakoniwa)

EN2. アラン (Alain)

Photos by chi.yow @
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