28 October 2018

TOUR No.0 at Tokyo Kokusai Forum, 2018.07.26 [LIVE REPORT]

After almost 5 years since I discovered BUCK-TICK, I had the chance to go to their concert, so it was like a celebration of my personal anniversary. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to make my dream come true, but sometimes... your dream is so big that it can never truly become reality. Even if you make it happen, you just can’t believe it...

Me and my cousin Kika arrived to Tokyo on July 24th 2018 and we nervously waited a whole other day for the tickets to come to our hostel. It was such a relief and a feeling of ultimate happiness when we finally  got them a night before the concert!

Btw, out of a pure coincidence, we discovered this little punk&visual kei clothes shop called "Yellow House" at Takeshita Street, Harajuku.

I found a little info about it at these sites:



It is owned by an older goth lady :) She showed us some costumes she designed especially for Atsushi (Cayce from blog-tick said, that she's been selling clothes to most of the Japanese rock scene since the 80's) and we saw her collection of private photos with B-T's members! We were not allowed to take a picture of it though.  Atsushi was super cute  there, maybe around 40+ years old, I'm not sure.
On Thursday 26th we spent half a day exploring Senso-ji temple and searching for Sakurai-san’s handprint at the Stars Plaza in front of the Asakusa Public Hall until I found out it’s located at Nakatsugawa Station, Gifu prefecture (oh silly me :D *facepalm* ).
Gates to the venue opened at 5.30 pm. We managed to get there in time and when we saw all those ladies in black clothes it was a sign that we are in the right place :D I was quite confused about if I’m allowed to bring the things I carried with me throughout the day (e.g. a camera, a water bottle etc.). Kika asked people from staff and they said it’s ok. They didn’t check our bags. Also I knew the rule that photography is not permitted at Japanese concerts so I was afraid to take photos even in the entrance hall! (In fact, the rule applies to the concert hall only. Again, silly silly silly me *headdesk*).  So, this is the only proof I was there :D Anyway, it was sooo exciting to stand in the crowd of dressed up people and waiting for the greatest experience of my life! :)

in front of the Tokyo Kokusai Forum
*trying to look goth af*
*ended up looking like potatoes*

We were seated on the main floor, almost in the last row. The only thing we are sad about is that we were so far away from the stage. Fortunately I brought binoculars, so we were able to enjoy the show a bit more.   (Later I realized we  were actually very lucky to be allowed to stand and dance in front of our seats.)
Before the show started, we had been sitting comfortably, listening to some background music (Cocteau Twins maybe?) and enjoying the anticipation of great things to come. I was suprprised that the space was not as capacious as I thought it would be. These concert halls always look so magnificent in the videos. An older lady who sat next to us obviously fell asleep but she immediately woke up with the first guitar sounds. All fans stood up as if it was for a national anthem.

Here I quote this blogger, because I couldn’t describe it better
http://kurumeki.tumblr.com/post/176264604356/buck-tick-tour-2018-no0-in-ntk-hall-in-nagoya  (I really recommend you to read her live report from Nagoya ;) 

„The stands for musicians, except for Sakurai, were covered with white cloths. When the live begun, first we saw an introduction video on the big screen. The white cloths were illuminated and we could see Toll, U-ta, Imai and Hide underneath. When the first song started these fell down and Sakurai appeared on the stage out of nowhere, as if he just materialized in the darkness.“

No words could ever describe the euphoria I felt when the majestic Sakurai-san appeared on the stage in his elegant black uniform. I shouted at Kika „Look! Look at him, I haven’t been hallucinating for 5 years, he’s real!“ :D She laughed but she clearly paid much more attention to her idol Imai-san! :D
Kokusai Forum has perfect acoustics. Not only the each instrument’s sound quality was good, the power of Sakurai’s voice was equally enjoyable.
For me the whole concert was a trippy experience. That’s why I hardly remember a lot of details, but I’ll try to write down some of my observations :

I was absolutely mesmerized by Sakurai’s flawless singing and dance moves during the first four songs, but after the initial fascination phase, the crowd went crazy.
As the atmosphere was overflowing with good energy, we were dancing wildly to Hikari no Teikoku and cheering on members  afterwards. Kika wanted to express her deepest admiration for Imai-san’s work so she shouted: „Imai-samaaaaaaaa!!!“ and some fans behind us laughed, honestly amused at her enthusiasm :)

source: https://okmusic.jp/news/283768

Although Nostalgia –Vita Mechanicalis- is not one of my favorite songs, it ended up being one of the most impressive moments of the show. The stage lightning and special sound effects made me feel trapped in some kind of steampunk fairy tale. 

 I was genuinely happy that they chose to play Melancholia –ELECTRIA- , not only because it’s surprisingly easy for me to sing along with this song  in a low voice, but also to these days I wonder what’s the real meaning behind the lyrics.
Everyone enjoyed jumping to the rebellious beats of ZANGAI and then we switched into more contemplative mood.

During Rakuen I increasingly found myself approaching a trance-like state as if I was attending some kind of shamanic ceremony. I remember a peace and tranquility of Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete and how the audience behaved in a deeply respectful manner towards the band playing Guernica no Yoru.
 The main set ended with the magnificent melody of Tainai Kaiki and I was honestly scared that Sakurai may be having a heart attack while singing. He put so many emotions and a tremendous physical effort into it.
The first encore started with GUSTAVE. I have to quote Kurumeki again, because I’m running out of ideas  haha :D „Sakurai was wearing the long kimono and loose pants, hiding the lace stockings underneath. He meowed at first, in a very slutty way. At the chorus he was teasing us with showing off the stockings and meowing real loud, dancing in that sexy way that I don’t even know how to describe.“
ROMANCE was simply beautiful. It’s always surprising how Imai-san makes a different arrangement everytime they play it live.

It was quite interesting noticing that people were rhythmically chanting for Encore in a monotonous harmony. It seemed like the particular groups of people in the hall unconsciously agreed that they will regularly alternate between chanting and remaining silent.

Before the last song started, Atsushi stuttered a bit when saying the word „atatakai“ (which means“ warm“) during his thank you speech. Awww. that was the cutest moment of the show :)

It was impossible not to contemplate the meaning of existence when we let our minds get carried away by the lovely tune of Solaris. The images on a projection screen looked absolutely beautiful, as if the stage was immersed in the colourful ocean of stars. With the approaching end of this mysterious journey we could see some kind of holographic celestial objects disappearing into an infinite nothingness.

We had to collect ourselves and run to the entrance hall quickly, otherwise no merch would left for us :D  I bought some lovely things - a bag, bracelets, tour cards ...t-shirts have been already sold out, but Kika asked a saleslady if I can buy the last displayed piece and surprisingly, she said yes! What a great bargain! I was overwhelmed with joy  so I hugged my cousin and some member of staff smiled when he saw our emotional outburst :D
After we left the venue, we were wandering throughout Tokyo streets for a few hours , trying to process what just happened.

BUCK-TICK at Tokyo Kokusai Forum- SETLIST

Fun fact: We met a guy, maybe 35 years old, who offered to help us find a path to Sumida river and he was curious about our purpose for visiting Japan. When we told him that we've just attended Buck-Tick's concert, he said: "Wow, so cool! Are they still active? I used to listen to them when I was 15!" I strongly recommended him to rediscover their music :D

By the way...

Two days later we went on an adventurous trip to the Imai’s father’s shop "Imai Shouten" in Fujioka, Gunma


We arrived at lunchtime so we met Imai's obasan instead of him! She was really nice and patient. There were some older magazines and tour pamphlets and I asked maybe 3 times if it's for sale and she said no, they were for display purposes only :D so when she saw I'm such a big fan, she looked for something she could give me as a gift. Also she allowed me to take photos there and yay! Look what I got- a B-T tissue box and a paper folder for free! ♥


Our mission in Japan has been completed.

Kika's masterpiece, written in the sand on beach at Miyajima