LUNA SEA AT THE PALLADIUM
You guys. You guys. I can't. even. say.
I have been dreaming of this concert for over a decade. I have a savings account named "Luna Sea Emergency Fund". I love these guys so hard. I still can't believe they came to America, and I got to be a part of it.
Special thanks to MAC for their very excellent makeup that didn't budge when I cried, and also the red lips that allowed me to have eye-sex with J for the entire concert.
I took Thursday off work to do laundry and pack and breath into a paper bag. I picked up Aya and it was OFF TO THE AIRPORT OH GOD SHIT IS REAL.
Aya was on a different airline, so we parted ways til LAX and I met up with Lauren who tried her best to keep me from hyperventilating. She was very reliable with that all weekend. <3
The flight was uneventful; I had a margarita.
It did not calm me.
We met Becky pretty easily at LAX (wut!) and cabbed it to the hotel.
Traveling for work may have been hell, but damn if I'm not fully enjoying the perks from it while I can. ;) We stayed at the Renaissance in Hollywood, on the top concierge floor, and the view was just amazing. The room was pretty average, but hey, top floor! You could see the Disney theater, with Rapunzel's castle on top, and the very corner of L Ron Hubbard's Winter Wonderland. (We missed Scientology Santa. What does he look like? I am still curious.)
Most of Friday was bumming around Little Tokyo and sightseeing. I was remarkably restrained at Kinokuniya (by my standards) and we ate lots of amazing things :3
Like mochi! ... did I mention I dyed my hair? Um, I dyed my hair!
My god, the ancient Purikura outside the mall were HILARIOUS. Alas, they did not work. Also, they were probably powered by waterwheel.
I suppose it goes without saying that the concert ads everywhere did not help my temperament. I ate Beard Papa creme puffs to calm myself. Then we did karaoke, because [sniffles] Japanese system! So wonderful! Why cannot we have in Denver T_____T
After dodging the Rape Bus on our trip home (srsly, who would get in a creepy schoolbus at midnight, even if it stops for you? i was surprised eerie smoke didn't emerge), our hotel was full of Caricature Pimps and Russian Mobsters. I've seen that episode of South Park! But our floor was pretty much empty, so nice and quiet. Lauren kept quietly asking me if I was okay. I think I just moaned in growing panic.
Saturday, we met up with the wonderful sakurae and singingraisin for more fun downtown times. I really have to apologize to them, because I was so fucking out of it. I wish I had been more engaging, but I was really focused on just not throwing up. How embarrassing. #-_-# Dinner is on me next time, guys <3
We got dolled up in the hotel room, to go line up outside the venue.
Then sound check starts, and I have to go change my panties.
("End of Sorrow? Okay, that's not a huge surprise... holyshit, is that some Providence violin solo? what the hell is happening?? OH GOD THAT'S RYUICHI SINGING DEJAVU [SPLOOOOSH]")
While we waited, we witnessed a car accident, and saw lots of Slave staffers taking photos and videos. A girl driving by was hanging out her car window yelling "WHAT SHOW IS THIS?" (as if the marquee reading "Luna Sea" was some sort of diversion). I yelled back "YOU DON'T KNOW THEM", which seemed to amuse the rest of the line. ;D
I am solely concentrating on Not Throwing Up, Not Peeing my Pants, and Not Passing Out.
The doors opened pretty close to on time, it seemed... the line started lurching forward around 7:30, and we made it in before 8pm. I ignored the merch (BUY ALL THE THINGS) in favor of staking out a good spot. Sugizo's side was packing up pretty well (and of course the middle was crowded) but we were able to manuever up nice and close on the Inoran/J side! YES. DAISEIKOU.
The stage was small but they had a great setup. Lots of recording, apparently for their intended movie release. Great lighting, enough room for the guys to run around a little bit but really, I don't know the last time (well, before this tour) that they played a venue that was not a stadium. So this was INTENSE. Even as of Monday, my ears were ringing a bit, but honestly, there is nothing I'd rather lose my hearing to. (There was a point during Shinya's drum solo when it burned your chest, the thumping was so intense. SEXY.)
While we're waiting for the start, Lauren gasps that I shouldn't turn around, because I think she's honestly concerned I might pass out when I see Sugizo's three-necked guitar. I begin shrieking that this means there will be Genesis of Mind OMG OMG. The girls next to me begin wondering if they should be afraid of me. Rightly so.
As for the concert, I will not be objective so you don't have to believe anything I say. But IT WAS AMAZING. They sounded SO GOOD.
LA Weekly's photos are here.
I had a feeling this would be the opener, it was prominently featured in the youtube Reboot videos and it's a great way to kick things off. I wished I'd gotten some Inoran-German, but I can't imagine his Super Introvert Powers letting him do that. XD
SO MUCH ENERGY. I think this is when Ryuichi realized this was going to be wild, as everyone could sing along to this one. God, J's bass line! GOD.
Ryuichi says a few welcoming lines in English, which was so great! Thanks, Ryuichi-san #^_^# We love you too!
... okay, Slave has never been my favorite track, but when two busloads of fanclub members come over from Japan for your US concert, you should play the fanclub song. [thumbs up]
"End of Sorrow"
I screamed the girl's part so loud, lol. This song is just so Textbook J-Rock. Love.
<3 <3 <3 Oh god, they played so much off of Mother! The tempo was FLYING and it was perfect. Some assholes tried to link arms and push their way to the front; Lauren puts on her Teacher Face and shoves them back. Evil Thwarted! (I mean, really. Over half the audience is small Asian girls. You have no right to crush them, big bearded dude. Someone could legitimately get hurt.)
"Face to Face"
AHHH MORE MOTHER
It was slow and sensual, but unfortunately the sound mix was pretty bad (did I mention the LOUD) and Ryuichi sang most of the song in the wrong key. He fixed it during the moans towards the end, but obviously it was very NOT RYUICHI RASHIKU. Of course, the mistake made the ending all that more dramatic, so hey!
AAAAAAAANNNNNND CUE WATERWORKS.
I'm serious, I was sobbing. Not just "oh, waah, good song", I was SOBBING. The sweet little girl next to me patted me on the shoulder and asked if I was okay. NO, NO, I WILL NEVER BE OKAY AGAIN. ((@_@))
Lauren hands me some napkins from the coffee place we went to earlier. I destroy them.
If the cameras were on me, Minako-chan, you will not see Pretty Girl Crying. You will see WRETCHEDNESS. XD
Anyway, it was better than any therapy session. My life started anew from that moment.
WTF, REALLY GUYS? I was so surprised! The earlier weirdness was totally redeemed by a kickass round of Rasen, even if it is a little hard to dance to. Shinya, as usual, looked like he was In The Zone. The breakdown in the middle was extended so Ryuichi could wail some more, it was deliciously intense. Perfect to rock out and recover my gravity-lost composure.
Somewhere in here, Ryuichi realized that it is stupid hot in the hall and he takes his trench off. It looks cool, Ryuichi, but damn. (The guy next to me kept his leather jacket on almost the entire time. I'm sweating in my spaghetti-strap dress, I don't know how this dude didn't just straight-up pass out.)
Another surprise! Not a lot of love for Eden at the show, so this was a nice touch. Sugizo was his usual flamboyant self, this song is really All About Him and he should do whatever he wants.
(Lauren noted that he pointed his bow to Yoshiki, up in his Super Special Shielded Box. I find that an interesting gesture.)
Beautiful. I loved how gentle Shinya was, as though the song itself were fragile.
"Genesis of Mind"
This suite is such a masterwork, and obviously they performed the HELL out of it.
(Inoran holding his pick in his mouth was unnnnnnffff)
I had shivers the whole time. The build was perfect. Honestly, I thought for sure they'd choose a different longform song, so this was like a special treat just for me <3
Fun times with Shinya!
God, he's adorable. And still so energetic. Chasing those kids around has done him well.
A roadie hands him a headset mic at one point and he yells awesome things at us and I can't possibly yell loud enough back <3
Fun times with J and Shinya!
Aaaaaaand this is what makes Luna Sea special. Sugizo is crazy talented and artsy, Inoran is a quietly skilled craftsman, Ryuichi is the perfect frontman. But it's the strength of their rhythm section that makes them exceptional.
... wait, Fate? Off their Indies? That's a flashback.
The next day, it made sense, when I read that they're re-recording their Indies album. Interesting!
Lots of good crowd interaction on this one, it's an easy part to sing along with. A rare Luna Sea song with a key change.
yes i like it rough
This was clearly a favorite, the guys liked it, the audience liked it. Way energetic, GREAT guitar solo.
I don't remember if this was the song or not, but a girl was wearing a paper mask of Ryuichi's face on her forehead, and a cape (I like to think of her as J-Rock Quailman). It was totally hilarious. But at one point, Sugizo came over to our side to schmooze, and you can tell the exact moment that he sees her because he loses his mind for a second. It was PRECIOUS.
(The girls and I have decided that, should Juno Reactor come through Denver again, we shall all wear cutout faces on our heads. ... of Ryuichi, of course.)
Ha ha, the perpetual Luna Sea fanservice song, aka "Sugizo runs around and messes with everybody". Even Inoran tolerated it well. They really missed each other, didn't they [sniffles]
"Time is Dead"
Inoran's mic was so adorably loud on this one! I'm glad I knew the callback, because I don't know the lyrics to this one very well. I swear I'll learn it on the new recording <3
Another total surprise song. Maybe J's pick? I would have thought Precious, or Shade, or even Blue Transparency. I enjoyed it, though, with a whole new appreciation after the live.
LOST MY SHIIIIIIIIIIT
Pretty much the best thing ever. Running out of ways to say "THIS WAS PERFECT" but Rosier was PARTICULARLY perfect. <3
About 2/3rds of the way through his spoken part, J just goes "FUCK THIS" and flips the microphone (and the stand!) over the back of Shinya's set. IT WAS SO DAMNED HARDCORE.
Since J had flipped his mic (hilarious!) he shared with Ryuichi on the shouts, which was way hot. As expected, this song is FAST and EXHAUSTING and DAMN.
After a crazy song like Tonight, everyone needs a break. The guys head backstage to wring the sweat out of their clothing and come back in all black (i was so worried sugizo wouldn't wear his sequined suit! phew!), as is the Dress Code for the Dome shows. ;)
"I for You"
Awww, a sweet choice. Lovely.
"In My Dream"
Hmm. I was expecting a very Thoughtful choice for next-to-last (last has to be Wish, natch), so this is intriguing. It's not the most... optimistic track? I'm probably reading too much into it, of course, but... anyway, a lovely, soaring song regardless.
BAWWWWWWW LOVE FOREVER.
Okay, WOW this is long, I'll probably go back and add bits if I remember things, but this is at least a start. XD
After crying my eyes out on the concert floor afterwards (because I'm an Adult), I bought ALL THE THINGS at the merch counter. With glee.
Sunday we said goodbye to Becky :( and bummed around Hollywood. I was mostly in a daze (and all of our ears were ringing) so we played it pretty calm and committed Total Carbicide. The plane ride home was bumpy, but who cares, LUNA SEA. BEST TRIP EVER.
I'm still totally joygasm-high, and next time I will wear a wedding dress to the concert so J knows my intentions are clear. Yes. That is a good, sane decision. [nod nod]