This was the first time that OLDCODEX was having a concert at the Nippon Budokan. Previously, they had been performing at live houses across Japan, so “Capture” 2015 in Budokan was a very memorable event for the band, their staff, as well as their fans, some of whom came from other prefectures to watch them. The sale of concert goods began on February 10, 2015, the day before the concert, and the response was so tremendous that the staff set a rule for the next day of concert goods sales, to limit each person to a maximum of two pieces of each item. Some of the fans queued overnight just to be the first to buy the concert goods.
The backdrop of the stage was made up of about 20 different paintings arranged like a collage, all done by Yorke (painter) himself. Specially for the Budokan concert this time, OLDCODEX also prepared not one, but four canvases spread out across the stage, for Yorke to do his live painting on. He would then move from canvas to canvas to paint, so that everyone in the audience have a good view of the paintings.
The audience erupted with loud cheering and screams when the lights finally dimmed in the Budokan, and Ta_2 and Yorke appeared from the side of the stage to take their positions on the stage. The band members filed shortly and they began with the song, Cresc. It was a number with a strong beat, and got the audience into the mood, punching their fists in the air to the beat. This was followed by Now I am and SWAMP, both coupling tracks from the single, Rage on. Like most of their songs, these two songs showcased powerful guitar sounds. Next was Ignite, another strong and upbeat song, also a favourite among fans, who started jumping to the beat from the beginning of the song. After that powerful introduction to the concert, the band rested for a while, leading on to the first MC of the night. Ta_2 introduced OLDCODEX, and then went on to start introducing the band members.
First up was the drummer, Ryo. He said that all the members were really nervous about this Budokan concert, and 30 minutes before the concert, no one said a word to each other. He also felt very happy to be able to perform in such a venue. Next up was bassist, Taizo. Ta_2 asked him how did he feel to be playing his bass at the Budokan. As a man of few words, he just said that it was awesome and he felt great. Next was guitarist, Shinji. Ta_2 decided not to introduce him, but let him do the introduction himself. Shinji was the newest member of the OLDCODEX band, and his father had actually played performed in the Budokan previously.
Next was painter, Yorke’s turn. He took the chance to show the audience his cool new canvas, which could split into 6 parts, and join back together. It was an idea OLDCODEX had pitched to their staff at first, but the staff members were puzzled at that idea and were wondering whether it could be done. Yorke said that he had prepared many things to say during the MC, but had forgotten most of it due to nervousness. Cheers of “Ganbatte” came from many fans, as he tried to remember what he wanted to say. Yorke expressed that he was hesitant at first, when he was asked by vocalist Ta_2 to join OLDCODEX. He was unsure whether he could put down whatever he was doing at that time and put his soul into OLDCODEX. However, he was glad that OLDCODEX could come this far. He said that seeing the fans all powered up gave him the energy to get through the concert. Yorke got the audience very fired up, asking them to scream as loud as they could. Hearing that the audience was screaming even louder now than during first few songs of the live, Ta_2 got a little jealous and remarked, “So you guys weren’t shouting your loudest just now eh?! Give us your loudest from now on!” With the strong beat of the drums, the band began their next song, AWKWARD, which was from their debut album, OLDCODEX. The band brought even more energy to the hall by continuing on with 2 songs from their popular single, Dried up Youthful Flame, from the anime, Free! Eternal Summer. Yorke’s painting for the song, Dried up Youthful Flame was particularly memorable, as he drew a beautiful motif of a bird on the canvases on both sides of the stage.
During the concert, Yorke would be painting of different canvases on stage, in order for the fans at all sides of the audience to be able to see the paintings. Sometimes he would paint the same motifs on the large canvases on both sides of the stage, and sometimes he would paint them on the smaller canvases that are nearer to the center of the stage. He did all this while rocking to the beat of the songs, and also picked up his own microphone at times to shout out a few lines.
After all the hard rock numbers, the band toned down and moved on to a few soothing songs, comprising of How Affection, Elephant over, and Abendsonne. These songs showed another soft side of OLDCODEX, as they serenaded the audience. They broke for another MC, before continuing on with several hard rock tracks again. Night Flight was one of the highlights of the concert, with its upbeat introduction, which got the whole Budokan jumping and dancing along, even those sitting on the second and third levels. This was followed by WALK, another popular track from the anime Kuroko no Basuke, which made the fans’ spirits even higher, and this lasted all the way to the last song. After that, the band members said their goodbyes and exited the stage, but obviously everyone would be waiting for the encore. The lights dimmed and the audience gradually echoed with chants of “OCD, OCD, OCD!” The fans patiently waited and chanted the band’s name, until they appeared good five minutes later. They came out in red, donning the official tour hoodies, and kick started the encore with a nostalgic song, スクリプト (Script). Ta_2 began with “You wanna have a good time, don’t you want it?” and the fans would continue by singing the next line “今以上欲しいのなら (ima ijou hoshii no nara)” . They did a total of 3 awesome songs for the encore, including the song Rage on, from the anime, Free! which brought them into the spotlight in 2012.
OLDCODEX, their band members, as well as the staff were very excited, although nervous, about their first concert at the Budokan, and worried whether they could handle the venue, which was much larger than their usual livehouse. However all in all, they managed to pull everything together smoothly and create the same powerful livehouse atmosphere for their fans at the Budokan. Ta_2 expressed that although he was happy to be given the opportunity to perform at the Budokan, and having this opportunity may mean that OLDCODEX is their peak right now, but no matter where they may be performing in future, whether it is at a livehouse, or at a large venue like Budokan, they would give it their all, enjoy to the fullest.
After the encore ended, the stage darkened again, and this time, all eyes were drawn to the two screens on either side of the stage. A message appeared, which said, “OLDCODEX 2015 Japan Tour has been scheduled!” Yes, they are going to go on a nationwide tour again! This led many fans to screen with excitement. One by one, the respective tour dates and locations appeared on screen, increasing the excitement further. Last but not least, they announced that their new single, Pledge would be released on the 1st of April, 2015, and that they were going to screen the new promotional video, Eyes in chase, right there at the Budokan.
I was very happy I had the chance to see OLDCODEX live for the first time. Even though they are a band that pride themselves in performing mainly at livehouses with the capacity of around 300 or less, I was glad that they performed at the Budokan, in front of 9000 people, 30 times the size. Although the audience was not forced to stand, nor was there any mosh pit, the energy that OLDCODEX brought and the fans brought were no different from a livehouse show. Most of the fans stood throughout the 2.5 hour concert, and I am sure most of them had the best time of their lives.
Tour dates OLDCODEX’s Nationwide Tour 2015:
30 Apr & 1 May 2015: Tokyo, Toyosu Pit
8 May 2015: Miyagi, Sendai Rensa
15 May 2015: Hiroshima, Hiroshima BLUE LIVE
17 May 2015: Shizuoka, SOUND SHOWER ark
22 May 2015: Toyama, Toyama MAIRO
24 May 2015: Fukui, Fukui Ken Min Hall
30 May 2015: Okinawa, Music Town Otoichiba
6 Jun 2015: Sapporo, Zepp Sapporo
12 & 13 Jun 2015: Osaka: Zepp Namba
18 & 19 Jun 2015: Aichi, Zepp Nagoya
26 & 27 Jun 2015: Fukuoka, Zepp Fukuoka
3 Jul 2015: Kanagawa, CLUB CITTA’
10 Jul 2015: Ehime, Matsuyama Multi-purpose Community Centre
11 Jul 2015: Okayama, CRAZYMAMA KINGDOM
OLDCODEX’s setlist 11022015
- Now I am
- Steal Mine
- Dried up Youthful Flame
- Sad day in the sunlight
- How Affection
- Elephant over
- Massive act
- Mono frontier
- Meteor Train
- night flight
- kick out
- Harsh Wind
- Rage on
Text and photographs, unless otherwise credited, by Elenaril
OLDCODEX will perform in Anisong World Tour: Lantis Festival 2015 in Singapore on March 28, 2015 alongside Azusa Tadokoro, ChouCho, JAM Project, Kenichi Suzumura, Kensho Ono, and Minori Chihara. Catch Lantis Festival at The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre.