X-Japan at Madison Square Garden: October 11, 2014

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X-Japan has made a fantastic comeback in the past few years, with the release of new singles, “Scarlet Love Song –Buddha Mix-“, and “Jade”, along with releasing a “best of” album to international distributors, “THE WORLD ~ X-JAPAN Hatsu no Zensekai Best~”.  When Yoshiki performed at Otakon in August, he promised that there would be a great show for his fans at the October concert.  And he did not disappoint.

The line for general admission wrapped around the building, with fans in full glam outfit hoping for a spot closest to the stage.  Upon entry, everyone was handed a bracelet with a small in-line device, and was told that we should keep it in a visible location.  There were also signs that announced that the concert would be filmed.  Upon first glance of the stage, it was clear that there was to be a grand show, with large backdrops behind the stage, Yoshiki’s Kawai piano on a platform next to his drumset, and a large catwalk that extended beyond the bounds of the stage, into the crowd.

If anyone has had doubts about whether or not X-Japan still has the mojo to put on a show, this was by far the answer to their questions.  Along with amazing visuals projected onto the giant backdrop, there were some candid moments of the crowd being surprised when the pyrotechnics went off, with the heat being felt all the way to the back of the arena.  Old recordings of past performances, along with plenty of footage of the non-present member, hide, drew the emotions straight from the members and poured it directly into the crowd.  The duel between Pata and Heath was one to remember, each time providing a fantastic display of musical prowess.    As with every X-Japan concert, glowsticks were in abundance, yet halfway through the show the bracelets given at the door began to blink, flutter, and generally pulse with its own color.  This only added to the crowd light show, and was something of a wonder.

When the time came for Yoshiki’s drum solo, the crowd was awed as it seemed the drumset moved.  It took a little time, but eventually, the platform that contained the drums made its way to the end of the catwalk, all the while supporting a constantly playing Yoshiki.  If that wasn’t enough for the crowd, the set eventually began to lift in the air, with Yoshiki never missing a beat.  Briefly, he stood and shouted to the crowd, and began playing his way back to the stage.  But that wasn’t the last we saw of a mobile Yoshiki, with another moving performance, this time while playing his piano.  It didn’t make the journey down the catwalk, but it did lift into the air, much to the delight of the crowd.

Delivering two encores was a definite plus, with walks down the catwalk, tossing roses into the crowd only serving to increase the crowd’s applause.  Yoshiki, to the surprise of everyone, even jumped into the outstretched arms of his fans.  The night finally ended with Toshi getting a piggy-back ride from Yoshiki back down the catwalk to the stage.

A few days after the concert, X-Japan’s facebook page announced that there would be a Madison Square Garden DVD released, will update when that becomes available.

Link to bracelet site: Xyloband

X-Japan Setlist – Madison Square Garden Oct 11, 2014

  1. Miracle (YOSHIKI)
  2. Jade
  3. Rusty Nail
  4. Silent Jealousy
  5. Beneath the Sun
  6. Guitar and Bass Duel (Pata and Heath)
  7. Drain
  8. Sugizo Violin Solo
  9. Kurenai
  10. Hero (YOSHIKI)
  11. Born to be Free

Encore:

  1. Yoshiki Piano Solo
  2. Yoshiki Drum Solo
  3. Forever Love
  4. I.V.
  5. X

Encore 2:

  1. Endless Rain
  2. Art of Life
  3. Forever Love

Source: X-Japan setlist

Written by Christopher Shelley

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Long time film lover and occasional writer. I watch anything and everything though I have massive love for the works of Shunji Iwai, Jackie Chan, Johnnie To, and Kinji Fukasaku. POP! POP!

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