After almost a year of hiatus, Alice Nine was ready to come back with a blast for their 11th Anniversary Live 「Re:birth –飛翔–」at Toyosu Pit on the 23rd of August, 2015. There was a FC member priority time to purchase goods which starts at 13.00 pm while the normal queue started at 14.00 pm. However, fans were there even before 12.00 pm, queuing under the hot sun just for their beloved band. There were four booths; one was for the fans to exchange their purchased ticket for a picture ticket, another for those who had purchased the NUMBER SIX. START UP JEWELRY- [Phoeni6] limited for fanclub members only to get the [Phoeni6] PREMIUM CD which includes the piano and the music box version of Phoenix. The line next to it was for fans to exchange their FC magazine which was not received in a good condition; while the other line was for fans to purchase the band’s goods, CD and magazine which featured Shou.
With Michael Jackson’s songs playing as the background music, fans started to fill up the hall from 16.30 pm. Finally, at 17.30 pm, the hour had come. It began with the instrumental track from their latest mini album, PRAY. As the beautiful music filled the hall, one by one, each and every member’s silhouette danced over the white backdrop; then the lights went out and the white cloth fell and was pulled away, revealing the members dressed in their white Spiegel outfits.
Phoenix was played, officially kickstarting the long-awaited live. Just like how it was done in the MV, projection mapping was beautifully displayed as fans enjoyed the very much improved sounds of the band. Much to everyone’s joy, they did RUMWOLF as well, which was a song from their album Gemini which was released back in 2011. Keeping the atmosphere going, the band moved onto Daybreak; where fans all jumped in unison during the chorus.
The band’s frontman, Shou greeted the crowd. “I finally can say this, ただいま (we’re back),” and the fans immediately replied, “お帰り！ (welcome back).” Firing up the crowd even more, they launched into a series of back to back headbanging-worthy songs; 百花繚乱 (Hyakka Ryouran), 道化師 (Dokeshi), 闇ニ散ル桜 (Yami ni chiru sakura). Even though Dokeshi is one of their new songs, the fans easily picked up and did what they did best.
When Saga, the band’s bassist, started strumming to the intro of Scarlet, fans took the opportunity to calm and enjoy the hauntingly somber song. As the band lightened things up with ハイカラなる輪舞曲 (Haikara naru rinbu kyoku) after that, fans shouted each member’s name in the order of Nao (drums), Saga (bass), Tora (guitar), Hiroto (guitar), and Shou (vocals). During Saga’s solo, Tora handed his guitar to a staff, pulled out a drum stick, and went to hit one of Nao’s cymbals twice. He then stuffed the stick back to its place and did a little dance before getting his guitar back from the staff.
Next up was Shou’s solo section where the vocalist did his thing with the DJ set. The electrifying digital images running over the background set the mood well. Hiroto joined in and played the guitar along with Shou’s DJ-ing. Tora came in soon after; joining them. When they finished this session, both Shou and Hiroto left the stage, leaving Tora to his solo section. His section was actually this really stylish song, where he played his guitar along with it, going from one end to another end of the stage. After Tora’s session came Hiroto’s solo section, in which the guitarist showcased not only his skill but what effects his effectors could do. While Tora’s solo was bright and almost Texas-like kind of rock, Hiroto’s solo was sensual and almost calming, perfected with purple lights washing the stage and the man.
Contrary to fans’ expectation for the next solo section, the band instead all came back together and they started to play フリージアの咲く場所 (Freesia no saku basho) with Tora on the acoustic guitar. Images of nature, in the form of water flowing, greeneries, and flowers, danced across the background, accentuating Shou’s flawless vocals over the majestic song.
Right after this song however was Saga and Nao’s section. Saga had a floortom, a snare, and a cymbal beside Nao’s drum set and when the bassist started playing, fans were overjoyed to see this side of him as this was probably never seen before in the previous lives. The cutest bit of this section was that Nao would peek randomly under the cymbal at Saga, seemingly to check on him and the timing as there was a bit where they would play against each other. When this drum session ended, Saga threw the drum sticks high up into the air, started to work up the crowd and then launched into his usual sexy self of bass playing.
The rest of the members came back on and they did the romantic song Tora composed, 流星群 (Ryuuseigun). This was a towel-twirling song and fans sang along with the WOH–OH–OH bits. The next song was Spiegel and they then stopped for an emcee.
This time the band decided to leave the talking to the band’s frontman so apart from Shou, none of the members spoke; expressing themselves only through their instruments and happy smiles.
Shou mentioned how when he was on the way to Toyosu PIT in a cab, the driver asked if he was going to do a BBQ and he was like, ‘No! No! I’m going to do a live,’ he said and the driver was like, ‘you mean you’re going to cook fresh stuff?’. This of course drew laughter from attendees.
Then the band played one of their masterpieces, RAINBOWS with everyone doing the A jump during the chorus. DEAD SCHOOL SCREAMING was up next and it was a whirlwind of crazy hair as fans headbanged vehemently. It was as if the year-long hiatus barely existed; it was an amazing sight to see that the furitsuke (coreographed moves done in a song by fans) was not forgotten. Alice Nine then did another new song, 銃弾 (Juudan) and then wrapped it up with 開戦前夜 (Kaisen zenya) symbolizing that this was the eve of war; a battle that was going to start.
Fans immediately cheered for encore and the band came out shortly; all but Tora dressed in the 0823 limited t-shirt. Tora had his left sleeve rolled up all the way to his shoulder; revealing his whole arm tattooed. Alice Nine started the encore by playing Heart of Gold where Shou started to get emotional and fans quickly took over to sing.
Right before the final song, Shou took the time to address the attendees once again. “Thank you so much. Those feelings of waiting eagerly for today… you guys really conveyed it to us. We are really the happiest people in the universe. Feels like… there was nothing that was wasted, because each and every one of you were here, we can continue walking from now onwards too. We made you worry a lot, but up till now, thank you. Please be with us from now on too. I am unable to say everything I want with words, so this is a song that fits our feelings now.” Shou then asked fans to sing together for the song: it was すべてへ (Subete e). The lyrics to the song appeared on the backdrop and everyone sang the first part together while the members grinned proudly. Some fans started to cry. Saga mouthed the lyrics together with us. It was a beautiful scenery.
Even after the live had ended and the members thanked the fans, left the stage, and the highly anticipated announcement of future live dates didn’t happen, fans did not give up and chanted for an encore over the ending announcement. Only when the ending announcement was repeated, then people started to slowly leave the hall.
Knowing that this is only the beginning and apart from their upcoming tour, there will be many more to come. Let’s look forward to see what this band has in store for us!
See our sidebar for the complete schedule of Alice Nine’s upcoming Japan and Asia tour!
Report by Mish. Pics Mish, official
Alice Nine’s setlist 23082015
- Hyakka ryouran
- Yami ni chiru sakura
- Haikara naru rinbu kyoku
- Shou section
- Hiroto & Tora section
- Freesia no saku basho
- Saga x Nao section
- DEAD SCHOOL SCREAMING
- Kaizen senya
- Heart of Gold
- Subete e