This is a live report from Rokkyu magazine at Ikebukuro EDGE (in English!)
OROCHI Welcomed Home at Ikebukuro Edge
by Kate Havas, posted May 17, 2013
Having just returned from a second tour of Europe, OROCHI said, “We’re home!” to Japanese fans with a double performance at Ikebukuro EDGE. Signed flags from fans across Europe decorated the hall while a Japanese-inspired electronic tune played as the crowd gathered, giving the event an international atmosphere. The first show, held in the afternoon, also served as a showcase for the band’s current music with more than half of the set consisting of new songs.
The opening number, “Fushicyo,” was kicked off by USHIWAKA’s dragon flute and fans rocked back and forth as he sang in a deep voice. SHIN gave a cute salute as the fans held their arms up and even the support members got calls and cheers from the crowd. “Welcome. We’re OROCHI,” USHIWAKA greeted as they moved into “Hyakkaryoran.” Multicolored lights flashed on the stage as the fans held hands and stepped together to the measured beats. The crowd
continued to be active for “Kono Hana Sakuya Hime,” though the back and forth moshing was more of a slow gallop than a frantic race. The band performed confidently, swinging to the festival-inspired beat as their elaborate costumes dazzled under the lights. In contrast, “Princess Kiyo” had a darker, more intense feel with red lights blazing from above as the fans pumped their fists. The drums kept a nice, tight pace and when the song finished, USHIWAKA graced the crowd with a rare smile.
“We’re back! Please say ‘Welcome home!’” he instructed. “We haven’t done a show in Japan in two months. We’re happy you came to see us.”
The second half of the set was designed to show off OROCHI’s new music, mixing up their Japanese style with more visual rock arrangements, including fresh and funky bass riffs and stronger reliance on the guitars that was apparent in “Ran.” “Kiraboshi” sounded different enough from the band’s previous sound that it felt like a cover of another group altogether while “Akikaze” was intense and rambunctious—contrasting quick, strong drumming with scratchy falsetto.
“Can you do more?” USHIWAKA pointed around the room, riling the crowd with guttural barks for “Rakuyo.” The mood shifted as he was then lit under a spotlight with his dragon flute, playing a sharp, elegant melody as the instruments gradually joined in for “Kasuga.” The fans waved their arms as the band gave a smooth performance, utilizing stillness. The earthy bass and airy flute created a pleasant atmosphere and a rest from jumping and headbanging.
“You need to call out,” USHIWAKA told the audience. “And pump your fists like this: Try to hit SHIN!” He demonstrated, jokingly taking a swing at the bassist. SHIN got his revenge, whacking the vocalist when USHIWAKA wasn’t looking as they performed the surprisingly gothic “Oniura.” The band posed dramatically, matching the dark sound with their postures and SHIN, especially, pulled out some sexy dance moves. “Rinne” was more upbeat with pop guitar lines and chimes that prompted the fans to make hearts with their hands. The song was catchy and bright and both the members and support showed personality in the performance, smiling and getting close to the audience.
“Who knows which songs were new?” SHIN asked of the crowd.
“Today we did eight new songs,” USHIWAKA explained. “We wrote the new songs while on tour. Studios overseas are really different. There’s nothing there. You even have to bring your own drum kit.”
SHIN wanted to talk about his own experiences overseas. “When we were in Europe, we had a few days off so USHIWAKA and I decided to go to Holland. But we just went there together, then we split.”
“He doesn’t even leave Tokyo,” USHIWAKA pointed out.
“Tokyo is too convenient so it’s boring. I wanted to see how I could do, even though I can’t speak English. I didn’t know anything. I couldn’t even tell what was for sale! I got thirsty so I tried to buy some water. I put it on the counter and the clerk said [English] “no.” I asked [English]‘Why no?’”
“Maybe they just didn’t want to sell it to you,” USHIWAKA teased. “And don’t they have their own language? Not English?”
“No, I could understand a few English words the clerk said, but the explanation was long and I didn’t really get it. Still, I think that with this tour, we grew as a band and I grew as a person.”
USHIWAKA nodded in agreement. “Now, the last song.”
Fluttering notes of traditional Japanese music created an acoustic feeling for “Tenkujyo.” The song gradually built up in strength and the fans swung their arms, dancing to the end. SHIN high-fived a few in the front row as OROCHI finished on a big note, arms in the air. The crowd came together for a big final jump to close out the show and the band took their leave, ready for a short break before their evening performance where they would offer up a new set of music and more stories from their European tour.
Kono Hana sakuya Hime
Source: ROKKYUU MAGAZINE
|Vocal: Ushiwaka (宇獅和歌)
- Gt. Yukimura → OROCHI → Xrista → Synk;yet(support) → Synk;yet(Yuiha)
- Dr. 源氏蛍 → OROCHI → VIRGENOW(support)
- Ba. mitsuhide → OROCHI, Raddoc(support) → Raddoc(Kyoto) → ?