Just a few hours ago I saw my first live of my favorite japanese metal band, Onmyouza. You can read about them here. Onmyouza are a great metal band with traditional Japanese vibes, evident from the Heian-period(japanese historical period, around 794-1185 AD) clothes that they wear to the theme that their songs have. Moreover the female vocals combined with the metal music give them a unique style that sets them apart from most other bands.
Today they started a new tour from Yokohama. A rough english translation of the tour name would be: “National Onmyouza tour 2010 [Continue, Ikiru koto to mitsuketari] “. With “Ikiru koto to mitsuketari” being the title of one of their songs, which means finding out how to live. They started today from Yokohama, will go all around Japan until September when the tour will end in Tokyo.
Even though Japanese consider Yokohama to be another city, and not Tokyo I spent around the same time going there as I need to get to my university..go figure! Yokohama Blitz is the name of the venue that hosted the event. It was a nice looking place and comparatively big if one compares it to other Japanese venues I have seen. The gates open at 17:00 and the show starts at 18:00, quite early as that’s the way they do things here in Japan.
Here is a view of the stage as you enter from the right entrance. As usual they are quite strict with the use of cameras so I had no other good photos to show. The onmyouza logo can be quite clearly seen basking in the center as usual 🙂
The onmyouza fans are pretty good chaps. In the little time I had before the show started I met some of them and even got the chance to make some friends. Japanese or what not, when you have such good music connecting you making friends is only natural.
When Onmyouza came into the stage the crowd went berserk. They really are a much loved band. Their performance was invigorating, full of energy, spirit and of course endless headbanging 😀 . You can get a feeling for how the live was by seeing videos of their lives such as this or this one. I don’t know of any website to check (maybe one of the readers may know of a japanese one?) the order of the songs played. So I will try to list as many as I can from memory. Of course not being japanese means that sometimes I even forget their titles since it’s all based in japanese mythology and is naturally written in japanese. I will give the titles in english letter so that all readers, even those without japanese can read it. So here we go:
- Ikiru koto to mitsuketari, as expected they started with the very same song that the tour is named after
Unfortunately I don’t remember songs 5-9. They did play one song which as they said was in a demo before their first album. Hey I did not even recognize it and I should…since I know almost all of their songs by heart. Which means that it really was a really old song. They continued with:
- Oni hitokuchi,extremely good headbanging here, hyper song
- Aokidokugan, seeing this song performed live was great
- Homura no tori, I started getting extra-hyper here since I knew what was to follow. This song is an introduction to…
- Hoyoku tenshou,which happens to be one of my most favorite onmyouza songs. I really wanted to listen to this live and I did 🙂
- I no kouta, This is the usual song they use for closing with lots of headbanging and the usual swinging of fans by the crowd. They also took the chance at the stops of the song to throw in many jokes, comments about yokohama and thanks to the people for coming. Something like what can be seen in this video.
- ??Ninpocho,it was definitely one of their ninpocho songs but I don’t remember which one it was.
- ??,then they performed another ballad which I don’t remember and closed again.
- Onmyouji,we all went hyper at that song…performing it after an encore was great
- Gainagateya,and they kept talking at the pauses of the song about their t-shirts. Since at the 2nd encore they changed from heian period clothes to t-shirts. They made fun of themselves for performing a traditional song like onmyouji with t-shirts.
- Kuraiau, after which they started talking about the world cup and how they would make it so that we don’t get to get back home in time to watch it, since they like baseball more than soccer
- Waira, not 100% sure it was waira but anyway
And then they went off the stage. Of course everyone knew that they would come back with an encore so they kept calling the name of the band. Not wanting to dissapoint the band came back and performed
After the ballad ended and lots of “Arigatou” they went off the stage and for good this time…or so we thought. People kept asking for encore..and onmyouza did come out once again and performed:
And then once more they leave the stage, and the lights open and music plays. The que for people to leave. Still we all asked for encore as it is customary. And they came again! They started speaking about the spirit of the crowd and how they were tired but the spirit of the people who came to watch and their spirits are getting combined and this gives them power to play more, as if our spirits “Kuraiau” , devour each other. And as expected they performed:
But after that they left the stage. Okay this time everyone said it’s over. Lights open, official announcements through the speakers that today’s show was over, people leaving. But some people were still asking for encore. And after 1 minute onmyouza came out again. And performed:
After lots of “Arigatou Yokohama” and lots of praising the spirit and power of the crowd they left again. People kept asking for encore, with a big part of the crowd having already left. After getting called back so many times you can never know.
After waiting for 5 minutes with them not coming back I left. I still am not sure if they came back a 5th time. I mean after 4 encores you can never know if there will be a 5th 🙂 . They also addressed the question in many fans’ minds about a new album not being announced for this September as they are used to doing every year. The reason they said is that they want this new album to be one of their best and that’s why it will take more time than usually,
My assessment of my first Onmyouza concert is overwhelmingly positive. As expected they are a powerful band which can make the crowd move. Not to mention that their songs and music in general is just great. They played 24 songs including many of my favorite ones. And they came back 4 times after the crowd asked for it. What else can one ask for from a band, right? It’s one of the few times I am so damn happy I am in Japan and nowhere else in the world. I will DEFINITELY be at Tokyo JCB Hall, in September where they will end their tour.