It had been a long tour, and LUNA SEA had to put a closure on THE LUNATIC – A Liberated Will – with a grand finale in Osaka-jo Hall. Fans from all over Japan and even other countries poured into the concert that was held on this year’s White Day. Again, because of the very high demand of the tickets, even the seats behind the stage were open to attendees. Many people still didn’t manage to get tickets though – and we could see them standing from the nearest station all the way to Osaka-jo Hall, holding up signs asking for tickets from other fans who happened to have extras.
LUNA SEA members entered the stage from the shimote side, starting from guitarist SUGIZO, followed by the others. Ever since the start, vocalist Ryuichi already greeted not only the fans sitting to the front of the stage, but also those sitting behind it. Anthem of Light opened the show, as scaffoldings bearing lamps around the stage lifted up, and Ryuichi’s eyes sharp and glistening. Fans who had been waiting exploded with joy as the music they loved so much started blasting from the sound system that provided sharp, clear sounds to all ears present.
After the first song, Ryuichi asked the audience, “Osaka, genki desuka?” He expressed the band’s happiness that finally it’s the final of their tour, in Osaka-jo Hall. He also made fans elated by once again proclaiming the importance of the fans – who were more than fans; they too were members of the entity called LUNA SEA.
Feeling too hot already, Ryuichi took off his coat, as the band proceeded with the next song, Dejavu. SUGIZO actively went around the stage: he went far to the extended stage on kamite, then approached guitarist INORAN, and then Ryuichi, and stood in the center during solo. The fans also showed their might, singing the “anata sae, anata made…” part after SUGIZO’s solo together as one giant choir. INORAN, SUGIZO, Ryuichi, and bassist J stood together at the center of the stage, grinning widely.
Off the album EDEN, J’s song JESUS was chosen as the third song. At the beginning, the audience fist-pumped vehemently while shouted “Oi! Oi!” J’s distinctive bass lines in the song was greeted enthusiastically. The bassist also contributed his voice for the repeated line, “Jesus, don’t you love me?” Next was Rouge, which witnessed some fans putting their arms on each other’s shoulder, and doing oritatami together.
After a short talk from Ryuichi about the awesome live, INORAN took up an acoustic guitar, and the band launched Gin no Tsuki from their latest album A WILL. INORAN and SUGIZO joined forces providing the na na na chant for the haunting, heartfelt song. When the song was over, INORAN switched back to electric guitar, while SUGIZO showed off his guitar skill a bit to fans shouting his name, and glided into the sixth song from the same album, Glowing. At the end, Ryuichi on purpose stood a bit afar from the microphone, creating a natural sound effect of his voice coming from a distance.
SUGIZO then was left alone on the stage with his violin. He touched his bow to his forehead, as if deep in thoughts. With blue lights raining down on him, he started playing his violin elegantly. Lights behind him swirled, creating a mysterious atmosphere. INORAN joined him with an acoustic guitar, and later Ryuichi too appeared, chanting mystically “close your eyes”. The giant screens over the stage showed images of stars, as if deep in galaxy. Suddenly near the end, drummer Shinya jumped into the song by hitting his drums fiercely. The stars on the screens faded, replaced by the scene of an orange dawn. All the screens then showed close-ups of Shinya, ready for his solo drum, maintaining the mystical mood. He closed his eyes while playing his drums, knowing well where all the parts were.
The other members went back to the stage, and the five of them performed a song from their indie days, BLUE TRANSPARENCY. J went to the shimote extension stage, greeting the fans on that side, while SUGIZO did a similar thing on kamite, and INORAN and Ryuichi shared the central stage. Ryuichi’s voice was still fierce, screaming the lyrics of the song. At the end, he shouted “Drums… Shinyaaa!” and Shinya, full of energy, threw his drumsticks away.
Lights turned to purple, to suit I for you. Fans lifted up both of their hands, half-circling in a waving movement each time the refrain was reached. After the heartbreaking song, Ryuichi said, “Osaka, how nice you are.” Then he asked whether there’s anyone in the crowd who was watching LUNA SEA for the first time. As an indication of how their fandom is still growing, some hands were raised, and Ryuichi welcomed the owners of those hands.
Now the stage was awashed with rainbow colours as Thoughts was performed. INORAN walked all the way around the back of the stage, and he stood with his back on them, lining on the railing, letting fans pat his back (which they gladly did). J became the main star next, because it’s time for his funky, heavy, and fiery bass solo. As usual, audience responded energetically to his shouts. Near the end of his solo, other members joined him again, and SUGIZO’s guitar roared. J shouted, “Osaka! Final da ze!” and Ryuichi gestured as if introducing J to the audience, “On bass, J!”
Another song from their self-titled debut album was chosen to be the eleventh song performed that night: TIME IS DEAD; the audience did oritatami violently. During ROSIER, J still threw his mic stand to the back after he finished his semi-rap part, but he did it carefully so as not to let the mic stand fly to the audience sitting at the back of the stage. The audience were riled on as band members called them according to where they sat, “Stand! Arena!”
Now the light scaffoldings moved up and down, like dancing slowly for the last song in the main setlist, Absorb. Osaka-jo Hall changed into an ocean of tens of thousands of hands waving to the music. The band left the stage, and on his way out, SUGIZO splashed a bottle of water at the audience and threw the empty bottle to them. While the band took a break, the audience made a show of their own. They did a Mexican wave, first around the stand, then the fans sitting at the arena followed, from the front to the back, and then they clapped hands. As time passed by, the sound of their hand clapping and their shouting for encore grew louder.
Finally, J stepped back to the stage, bringing a LUNA SEA towel with him. Shinya, Ryuichi, and SUGIZO appeared with arms around each other. J covered a camera taking footages of the situation on the stage with a T-shirt he was holding, and which he took again and threw to the audience. The other members too threw some of the band’s towels to the waiting hands of fans.
SUGIZO and Ryuichi took a giant banner signed by fans, which they spread and held together so everyone can see. The banner was then put up under Shinya’s drums. Ryuichi thanked fans, then told them that they’re allowed to take their cellphones out to eternalize the moment with their cameras. Fans did not waste the chance; almost everyone quickly had their cellphones out and they were soon busy talking pictures. “Now let’s take a picture together,” said Ryuichi, and the band posed on the stage, with the audience as their background. After that Ryuichi asked fans to keep their cellphones away, and they duly obeyed. “This has been an awesome tour, we really really thank you.”
The band then started the encore with a song that rarely made into their setlist, and which has meant so much for a lot of people since it was released near the end of the 20th century: LOVE SONG. It is a heartbreaking anthem of love and dreams: “I will not forget this love.” On the giant screens, pictures and footages of LUNA SEA, starting from their livehouse days, on to the time when they ruled giant stages in Japan, to the the time when they ‘pulled the curtains’, to the time when they rebooted, and ended by footages from all concerts during the present tour and from the backstage. It was a tribute from the heart to all the fans who had attended the tour: and now the fans turned into a massive choir, singing “la la la la la la la la la, love together”, which filled the hall as the music died out. LUNA SEA’s concerts were indeed also the performance of their fans.
Their eyes might be glistening during LOVE SONG, but now the fans turned fierce again as LUNA SEA delivered another hard number, Metamorphosis. Ryuichi himself headbanged and hit his own head with his own fist. After the song ended he shouted, “Let’s go one more time! INORAN!” The guitarist responded to the call; he stepped to the center and began to play his trademark opening riff to TONIGHT. He then went to the back of the stage and played facing the audience sitting there. During bridge, he kneeled in front of Ryuichi, who proceeded to hug him. While J, with a wide grin on his face, gave the audience a thumb-up. INORAN then made the audience shout his name repeatedly first before he started playing again after the second refrain.
Rain of streamers, just like the tradition, signalled the start of WISH. Today’s streamers bore the logo of the band, the name of the tour, and the word THE FINAL. J, SUGIZO, and INORAN gathered at the kamite, then J walked back to shimote, while INORAN and SUGIZO walked together circling the back of the stage. Was it the end of the final concert yet?
Not yet; Ryuichi said now it’s time for the band to introduce themselves. “From me!” He said, making the audience laugh; because usually it’s the vocalist that will be introduced the last. “I am…!” “RYUICHI!!!” The fans answered for him. He then talked about Osaka, and how there were so many delicious food in the city, but still takoyaki’s the most delicious!
He then turned to INORAN, and he asked INORAN to say some things. INORAN refused to talk to the mic, and instead whispered to Ryuichi. Ryuichi, chuckling, conveyed his friend’s words to the audience: “Minna ga meccha suki da ne! (I really like everyone!)” Ryuichi then introduced SUGIZO, and the red-haired guitarist seized the chance to show off his guitar skills, before he shouted without a mic, repeating some of INORAN’s words, “OSAKA! ME…! cCHA SUKI DA NE!” Fans laughed and clapped their hands in delight. Ryuichi followed his step, shouting without a mic, with the exact same words and intonation. The vocalist then asked INORAN to do the same, and the guitarist finally was willing to step to the mic. “ME….!” He paused, laughing. “…ccha suki da ne…” with a smaller voice. Some of the audience couldn’t help but commenting “kawaii”. Next was J’s turn, and he said coolly with a low voice, “Osaka… meccha suki da ne.” Again this drew laughter from the audience.
Shinya then stepped down from his drumkit to the front. He said he couldn’t speak English, but he asked the audience to shout together with him, “I AM LUNA SEA!” and the drummer praised them in English, “Thank you very much!”
Ryuichi then announced, “One more song from us five,” and the band then performed the last song not only of the concert but of the whole tour that had taken them to many different cities in Japan: the elegant, aptly titled Grace. A giant disco ball right at the center above the stage began revolving, reflecting lights like a silver full moon. “Everyone, tonight, we really thank you very much.” It was a beautiful end for the final – but the audience was still not satisfied. They kept on shouting for encore while the band members were busy shaking hands with fans sitting closest to them. INORAN walked around the stage and met SUGIZO halfway; they both hugged. J again threw some towels into the audience.
Ryuichi asked everyone to hold hands for the final jump, but the audience wouldn’t stop shouting “Encore!” The members looked touched, smiling, but they really had to put an end to the night. Finally Ryuichi signed “sei….” and the audience obeyed, holding hands and regretfully stopping their request for encore, “…no!” and everyone jumped together. “I love you. Bye bye!” Thunderous hand claps accompanied LUNA SEA as they left the stage; INORAN, SUGIZO, and Shinya walked together with arms around each other. Some fans called the names of the members one by one, ending it with “THANK YOU!!!” and audience again When the lights were back on, the fans realised that the long dream they had been living up to that time had come to its finish mark; but it was not the end. LUNA SEA is ready to open a new chapter with LUNATIC FEST. But for the time being, it’s time for the lunatics to go home and be ready to live another dream.
LUNA SEA’s setlist 14032015
- Anthem of Light
- Gin no Tsuki
- Violin/acoustic guitar jam
- BLUE TRANSPARENCY
- I for you
- TIME IS DEAD
- LOVE SONG
LUNA SEA will hold LUNATIC FEST in Makuhari Messe, Chiba on June 27th and 28th, 2015. Visit lunaticfest.com for more info and update!