The party started with “PARTY PARTY” as the audience clapped along and Shun encouraged the fans to have fun and clap along while white and red lights danced to the beat, both vocalists joined in with the fans and Bunta signaled his excitement by twirling his drumsticks to the beat. “Dirty Party” and “Ashtray” followed after an equipment change by both bassist and guitarist, the excitement continued as both front members guided the audience, waving their arms from one side to the other and clapping to each song’s rhythm. Shun cheered and praised the crowd’s movements before starting “晴天” (Seiten) in which the fans hummed alongside the vocals (because of Covid restrictions during live events). Everyone jumped along the revitalizing beat as Bunta showcased his drumming skills once more.
An MC followed, and Shun told the audience how 10 years ago they were asked to do a cover for the “L’Arc-en-Ciel Tribute” album released in 2012. He now wondered if he would be able to perform said song live in front of the person that asked for the cover (HYDE), The covered song was “Driver’s High“. Their version had a nice punk feeling to it, true to their core sound it added excitement and it was reciprocated by the fans fist pumping in the air. Mid-song and out of the sudden HYDE appeared from the left side of the stage wearing a short-sleeved white hoodie, a black cap; and a TOTALFAT T-shirt. The three vocalists sang along and shared the remainder of the song, finishing it with a group jump. As sudden as his arrival, HYDE left the stage for TOTALFAT to process what had just happened on stage, an emotion certainly shared by the audience as well. “Welcome to Our Neighborhood” was the perfect song to follow as the cheerful mood from the last song carried on and the lyrics of friendship and support washed everyone’s worries away, this feeling prevailed with “Smile Baby Smile“.
“夏のトカゲ” (Natsu no tokage) reminded everyone this was a summer tour and the matsuri vibe filled the venue as everyone spun their face towels around to the beat as they danced and fist pumped while lights happily flashed over everyone. The popular “Place to Try” (Naruto’s Shippuden 19th ending song) exploded with Jose’s lead as fans waved their arms slowly before the red and purple lights flashed faster as the beat escalated.
For the final MC the band reminisced on their early days as musicians, Bunta told the audience that the first song he played as a drummer was a L’arc~en~Ciel cover (“Flower” and “Blurry Eyes”), some 22 years ago or so. Shun agreed that as long as they keep doing what they love they will be able to stand on stage. The fans cheered in agreement as the final song “ONE FOR THE DREAMS” was signaled by the members as they made a sign of “1” with their hands and fans copied this gesture, after an MC that reflected on achieving their dreams this brought the perfect closure for their set.
While waiting for the second half to begin white and red lights shone over the Rumble Fish flags that hung from the walls on both sides of the venue. When the time came and HYDE’s set began, everyone was back in their seats brimming with excitement. After the intro music, HYDE arrived on stage being carried on a metallic throne by ominous-looking hooded men as red lights shone over him contrasting with his full black attire and half mask that covered his face. The first song “LET IT OUT” sounded more like a command from his vantage point and the fans obliged. For the second song, HYDE came down from his throne as smoke filled the stage he jumped towards the center raiser while getting closer to the fans as he performed “AFTER LIGHT”, near the end of the song he kneeled on one of the raisers to convey the energy of it.
“DEFEAT” (The theme song of Devil May Cry 5) was anything but, soft white lights combined with red followed the beat of the song as HYDE interacted with the audience while squatting to the left side of the stage and playing with his gloves; besides the audience, these interactions extended to the members of his band as well: he kneeled in front of the guitarist and the keyboardist headbanged along the song while the bassist pointed his bass towards the crowd.
Before the next song, “SET IN STONE” HYDE welcomed everyone to Rumble Fish, while red and blue lights turned into purple for a UV light effect as red LED strobe lights twirled on stage. The UV effect made HYDE’s eyes glow and as the fast-paced song progressed he would target the audience with his mic symbolically as if it were a gun, when the song reached the end he turned the mic around and pointed it at himself and pulled the trigger in his mouth as he looked up. The unreleased song “THE ABYSS” brought a moment of calm after the round of fast-paced songs, as to calm the fans before what was to come with its mesmerizing piano melody. Enough calm, “INTERPLAY” followed, red and green lights filled the stage once again as all the members bounced to the beat and headbanged along the catchy song, fans followed with claps and nonstop jumping, mirroring the musicians on stage.
HYDE followed up with an MC about TOTALFAT’s previous set, especially the cool punk arrangement they did for “Driver’s High”. He was grateful for the admiration the fellow band had for his music. He also lamented the pandemic as fans cannot yet express their emotions during a live show as he set the tone for the next song “MAD QUALIA”, smoke and red lights take over the stage, from singing to the crowd while lying on the floor to climbing a big speaker on the right side of the stage to continue the song from there, HYDE had energy to spare while the keyboardist points a smoke cannon to the crowd and the other band members headbang to the beat, the song ends with HYDE back on stage throwing a kick to the air.
Holding a megaphone and covered in purple flashing lights HYDE signaled the start of “SICK” singing through the megaphone in parts of the song the song really conveyed its title as HYDE laughed in a maniacal way towards the end. Before the next song, HYDE mentioned it was his mentor’s birthday, and as a representation of him, he was holding a guitar with one of his illustrations, certain that he would be watching over him while he played “LOVE ADDICT” as fans and band members clapped to the beat and HYDE danced along while strumming the guitar, by the end of the song he kissed the guitar as he raised it toward the lights with reverence.
Changing the guitar for a bat and a metal keg, HYDE continued with “DUALITY”, a Slipknot cover, the audience raised their fists to the air with every hit of the bat as the electric song had everyone on and off stage riled up. Announcing a new song for this tour “6 or 9” began, as fans raised their arms holding face towels and shaking them to the rhythm, during the choruses HYDE signaled at the audience before jumping off the middle raiser with a twirl as the drummer threw his drumsticks to the air.
As HYDE tried to settle the score between both bands the members of TOTALFAT came on stage as the lights bathed it with red and blue lights on each side, mirroring the tour logo of the fighting betta fishes. HYDE congratulated the band for their cover arrangements once again, this time in person; and announced the next song to be played by both bands: “HONEY”. TOTALFAT’s drummer Bunta played the tambourine while the other two members joined the vocals. They took photos together with HYDE and jumped off the middle riser at the height of the song. The song had a punk feel to it due to the new arrangement, the stage was filled with smiles from both bands. Sadly, the following song would be the end of the evening, “BELIEVING IN MYSELF” brought a hopeful end to their exciting set, as HYDE left the stage reminding everyone that they would meet there again the following day for the next battle.
The RUMBLE FISH tour is far from over as they just added 2 more dates to it in September at Zepp Haneda well as 5 dates as part of a new tour HYDE LIVE 2022. And as a treat to the overseas fans, one of the dates will be live streamed worldwide on Stagecrowd. Tickets are on sale here now.