DIV’s Second Anniversary Live in EX THEATER Roppongi 10052014

It felt like it was only yesterday when DIV emerged into the visual kei scene, not long after the official disbandment of singer CHISA’s former band, NEXX. Their debut mini-album was brilliantly opened by the song 215 (which is 2:15 long), strongly showing the music direction DIV was taking. Since that time, there have been ups and downs in DIV’s musical quality, but the overall trend shows that they are comfortably on a roll. Two years on, and their company confidently booked the brand new, beautiful, well-equipped EX THEATER in the hip Roppongi district area as the venue for DIV’s second anniversary concert, held on May 10th, 2014.

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Pre-concert goods sale was open for one and a half hour from 14.00, but even when the clock almost stroke 15.30, there was still a very long queue of fans wanting to buy goods. The line had to be cut anyway, and the staff asked the remaining fans to purchase the goods later inside the venue after the doors were opened.

Fans began pouring into the venue at 16.00. With a first drink charge of 500 yen, attendees could choose between bottled mineral water or tea, and they got a small chocolate cake as a bonus from EX THEATER. Some fans quickly lined up again for goods – but cheki were sold out. This had also happened during the previous one-man in BLAZE – at that time, it was worse though because only T-shirts were left. This time, at least fans could still buy the goods needed for the furitsuke, such as the earphone jack that doubles as a mini lightstick or the muffler towel, and some other goods such as rubber wristbands.

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Those who felt that they’re ready then went to the show hall, the entrance doors of which were located in B3 floor. Surprisingly, cellular phone signal reception was very good down there – usually signal reception is a problem in most livehouses that are located underground. There were three discoballs adorning the room – one hung overhead at the center of the hall, two more hung from the metal frames that together formed a giant X shape on the stage. Previously in BLAZE, DIV had used similar metal frames as their stage props too.

Maybe partly because the three members who were positioned at the front could not be considered as tall, each had a platform set up for him. The platforms were draped in black with white letters on it. The letters on bassist Chobi’s platform spelled PAST & NOW & FUTURE; on CHISA’s they spelled You can change your ‘Point of View’; while on guitarist Shogo’s they were telling a somewhat vague sentence but with a clear reference to the venue: ‘Drift to the EX’.

Fans waiting on the open deck on the second floor to enter the venue.

Fans waiting on the open deck on the second floor to enter the venue.

Shortly after 17.00, the opening instrumental track blasted through the speakers, and the disco ball above audience’s head began to spin and shine a blue light. A giant DIV logo made up of small lightbulbs slowly descended from the ceiling to the backdrop. Still in darkness pierced only by blue lights, DIV’s members appeared one by one, with singer CHISA as the last. The bright lights only began to reveal the stage in full when DIV launched into their first song, which was their debut single, ANSWER. The song quickly ignited the audience, who now could see that although the band members were wearing Hyouryuu Kanojo outfits, their hairdos were different. Chobi, for instance, now sported blue-grayish hair.

They then played two songs from their first full album (released last year), Sekirararara and ASTERIOS, before playing an old favourite, Dokusai GEEK. As always, Chobi was full of smiles and energy; he cheerfully took his usual role in leading the audience to yell “Oi! Oi!” before ASTERIOS. While on the right side of the stage, Shogo kept a calm smile on his face, while his fingers nimbly walked up and down his guitar frets. Shogo doesn’t seem to be one with an agressive personality, but his guitar play was fierce. While aloof drummer satoshi as usual was like a rock; steadily, powerfully keeping the rhythm. Although it’s been about a year since he refused to talk much to cameras and in lives, it doesn’t mean he just went up the stage and robotically performed. He seemed to be really immersed in the music, sometimes mouthing the lyrics as CHISA sang them. While CHISA… we are happy to say that he sang even better that night, compared to his performance during their previous one-man in BLAZE.

The front doors on the first floor were only open after the live when fans left the venue.

The front doors on the first floor were only open after the live when fans left the venue.

After a trio of three songs released this year were performed, DIV caused fans to scream excitedly when the intro to Golden Kinema Gekijou was heard. As the jazzy opening part filled the air, only orange lights illuminated the stage, making it look like in an old sepia film, just like the beginning of the music video. The song was still one of DIV’s best, with lyrics that linked experience in cinema with the loneliness due to a non-existent lover, and music that seamlessly stitched several genres together into a song that bore DIV’s mark. Fans clearly loved this song as they moved their body to it.

Although of course CHISA took care of most of the singing job, Shogo and Chobi often helped him with the vocal sections. For instance, during hungry soul – a new song played right after Golden Kinema – it was CHISA who did the screams while Chobi and sometimes Shogo sang the lines. This song was followed by DIV’s rendering of NEXX’s song, SEASONS, their single for winter of 2012. CHISA was especially emotional during the song, so was satoshi. All in all, they performed the song beautifully. At the end of the song, satoshi drew his drumsticks close to the center of his body and hung his head deeply, as if in sadness and pain. His friends too were bowing their heads. A moment of silence was spared for the attendees to let the melancholy seep into their hearts too.

But after that, DIV took their fans to the imaginary Tokyo in the future with Tokyo Necropolis Hakubutsukan. Originally in the recorded version, Necropolis is a chiptune track; but for the live version, they stripped off most of the synth sounds, replacing them with Shogo’s guitar and satoshi’s thunderous drumming, turning the song into a rock number one can dance to. The warm feeling continued with Shogo’s PieceS – a feel-good song that apparently bore the composer’s personality and shone in its simplicity.

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A bit surprisingly, DIV omitted the single Taste of Life, but still opted for an old song, Taiyou no Uta from their mini-album Mudai no Document. Somehow the choice to put Taiyou right after PieceS managed to create a bridge between it and the next song, Natsu no Yukue. Evoking memories of childhood and summer, and again connecting it to loneliness, Natsu no Yukue still guarantees some of the most enjoyable moments during any DIV’s live. Some unexpecting attendees were surprised as they were crashed by waves of fans moving to the right and the left during the beginning of the song. Hands then were raised, swirling muffler towels overhead during the refrains. Some people will forever associate this song with summer.

JUSTICE came next – Chobi and CHISA took turns growling “We do the injustice!” Then it’s time for the latest single Hyouryuu Kanojo and the sweet rainy,rainy,smiles. During the two songs, actually the earphone jack/mini-lightstick was supposed to be used too like during Necropolis. But since the two songs were still relatively new, most fans did not seem to really know what to do, and although during Necropolis CHISA had given instructions of what to do with the lightstick, now he did not do so anymore.

Everyone knew it was not the end, but still the way DIV closed their main set was a bit surprising. Chobi and Shogo did not say much and just left the stage, CHISA following after a short ‘arigatou’. The only one remaining on stage was satoshi, who continued with a fierce drum solo as a closing. Without smile, without even looking at the audience, he walked off the stage. No hard feelings, it’s just the way satoshi was.

The stairs attendees walked down from the 2nd floor to 1st floor. There were cushions that people could use to sit on.

The stairs attendees walked down from the 2nd floor to 1st floor. There were cushions that people could use to sit on.

After some minutes of fans shouting for encore, DIV returned, wearing their maxsix-collaboration T-shirts (the 17,000 yen type, by the way). Now during encore, they talked a bit more, thanking fans who had made their second anniversary possible. They also expressed their hope for more anniversaries! Two singles were performed during the encore; first this year’s you, followed by last year’s ZERO ONE. Golden and silver confetti rained from the ceiling – it was a beautiful closing. Water bottles, guitar picks, and drumsticks were thrown to the audience, DIV said goodbyes and disappeared, and a screen descended from above.

It is usual for film of announcement to be shown at the end of a concert, but DIV’s fans who decided not to leave the hall so fast that day got a very fascinating bonus. First it was announced that DIV would release another summer single, Point of View, in August. Tonight’s audience was the first to see the promo pictures of DIV with the outfits and hairdos for the song. Now fans began to realise that DIV’s hairdos shown in the promo pictures were the same with their hairdos that night. And now fans too understood what the words on CHISA’s platform meant. The next announcement was that DIV would hold a national one-man tour, Change My Point of View, starting in September, closed with a final on November 3 in AiiA Theater, Tokyo. (ZERO ONE was held on November 3 last year, by the way.)

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Then to everyone’s surprise, DIV re-appeared wearing the new outfits for Point of View and performed the song! Not only the attendees got to become the first viewers of the song being performed live, they also witnessed how DIV’s old logo was replaced by a new one. Now on the backdrop, there’s a black sheet with the new logo on. POV was upbeat, promising to make a fitting summer soundtrack. CHISA also taught the audience to do furi with the muffler towel. It was a glorious way to end the second anniversary gig! “Let’s meet again,” said CHISA; he must have the upcoming one-man tour in mind. As the leader, Chobi, a wide smile on his face, left the stage last. His last words were the straightforward “Mata ne!” (See you!)

Fans began to leave the hall, many hoping that cheki were available again on the goods table. But now everyone might only buy two cheki at the end of the concert, to ensure as many fans as possible get them. Even only two was clearly better than none. A staff, in trying to direct fans who wanted to buy goods to line up, had to shout “There are a lot of cheki, so please don’t worry!” To shorten the time each fan spent at the goods’ table, they might not draw the cheki themselves – the staff would do it for them. And as promised, everyone who came to the live got a free cheki, showing the members in their Point of View outfit. A nice present, a memento for the night!

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With the clear development they have been showing, DIV’s further steps are worth anticipating. Now on to the third year, and cheers for more good records to come!

DIV’s setlist 10052014

1. ANSWER
2. Sekirararara
3. ASTERIOS
4. Dokusai GEEK
5. BUTTERFLY DREAMER
6. Cocktail Color
7. Cinderella
8. Golden Kinema Gekijou
9. Hungry soul
10. SEASONS
11. Tokyo Necropolis Hakubutsukan
12. PieceS
13. Taiyou no Uta
14. Natsu no Yukue
15. JUSTICE
16. Hyouryuu Kanojo
17. Rainy,Rainy,Smiles

Encore
18. You
19. ZERO ONE
New song bonus
20. Point of View

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It was CHISA who answered the question. He chose ‘summer’!

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