The Tokyo leg for SUGIZO Tour this year was held at Zepp Diver City on September 11. With a thematic image of phoenix wings displayed as the backdrop of the stage, not less than 14 songs were played within two hours that night. Starting with the SE, Replicant Decaying, SUGIZO greeted the audience with his guitar and violin bow while going around the stage before then pumping up the beat with 禊 (Misogi). Some fans could be seen jumping and moving their bodies following the rhythm. SUGIZO performed harmoniously with the percussion player in this song. They played head-to-head and showed off the impressive charm from their respective instrument play. The electronic beat then continued with TELL ME WHY NOT PSYCHEDELIA? The archetypical tempo of drums at the beginning, the intense beats that grew throughout the song, allowed the drummer to dominate the stage with his solo that SUGIZO complimented with his guitar play. SUGIZO truly charmed the audience with his stage acts and of course his awesome guitar flair.
The tension went up that night with fans clapping and SUGIZO moving to the beat at the beginning of FINAL OF THE MESSIAH that was played back-to-back with FOLLY. Next, in NEO COSMOSCAPE, SUGIZO stepped back to start playing percussion for a while before resuming his position under the spotlight at the front for his guitar solo.
Proxima Centauri then plunged the venue into a deep silence that coated an intensive wave of emotions with the magnificent violin performance by SUGIZO. Green lights flashed on the stage with images of galaxies shown at the background. The audience was completely hypnotized by SUGIZO’s violin play. It went deeper and deeper with 絶彩 (Zessai) when a female performer appeared and presented an amazingly emotional drama of despair and hopes. The darkness descended further as SUGIZO again played his guitar with a violin bow in Lux Aeterna. Three songs went on without a break, flooding the hall with a solemn and deep atmosphere, hypnotizing everyone who was now wordless.
Next was the song featuring recorded fabulous female vocals, ENOLA GAY RELOADED. The tension rose again with the heavy guitar solo in this song. Here, SUGIZO waved a flag with “NO MORE NUKES” written on it. DECAYING followed, burning the air with rock music as small flames went ablaze on the stage.
The phoenix theme of the tour finally was shown in PHOENIX-HINOTORI-, a very powerful song with a taiko performance from a female performer. Fans raised and moved their hands in unison with the rhythm of the song. The phoenix image was also displayed at the background during this song.
A disco ball lit up and funky/electro DO-FUNK DANCE ended the main setlist of the live in a high tension. Again, the female performer came on stage and this time she wore a similar costume like what SUGIZO was wearing. She acted with a guitar, approaching the fans, moving around the stage as if she was SUGIZO. SUGIZO then closed the main part by calling all the supporting artists, and they bowed together before leaving the stage.
For encore call, fans were clapping instead of calling with their voice and SUGIZO came with a different costume for the encore. Before starting the encore, SUGIZO expressed his empathy towards the people affected by natural disasters that happened recently in Japan. He talked about his thoughts on having tour in such conditions and pointed out that playing music is what he has to do to bring happiness. He also revealed about the upcoming release of his new best of album, “COSMOSCAPE II” in December and mentioned about the merchandise of the current tour.
SUGIZO then took the microphone and started singing TELL ME WHY? He spun his body, making fans scream. All fans raised their hands and the special finger sign showing their love to SUGIZO. Inevitably, they had to arrive at the last song for the encore, The Voyage Home, which was performed with a special guest piano performance. The image of the sea and photos of Syrian and Japanese children on the background heightened the emotions during the song.
That night, the audience were taken into the phoenixes’ dream of electronic music through various colors and emotions, from solemn depths to soaring heights, on the invisible wings the superstar guitarist SUGIZO gave them.
As reported by Opi
Photos by Keiko Tanabe and Yusuke Okada