Yoshiki/Sugizo Dahlia Solo Intro

Looked at this while video-surfing for work and had an impossible urge to share it.

When this happened that night, my heart throbbed so much in exhilaration I almost couldn't breathe.

Sugizo's violin's always so tragic, so beautiful. There's a certain haunting beauty in the despair and tension of the sounds that I really love. To experience it live was something so incredibly amazing it's indescribable in words.

Back to work

Been curling up in bed for days way too many.

Enough is enough. Can't angst forever.

Despite doing practically nothing the past week, it had been a lot of shallow sleep and nightmares which had me more worn out than rested. I was so tired today I actually contemplated sleeping on the floor after my shoot. It was some awesome willpower that dragged me off the floor to pack up the studio (which is a damn freaking huge place for packing up when I'm all alone, gah).

Anyway, under Arissa's prodding I started listening to Jrock again (online via JSHOXX). I'm so outdated it's not even funny. There're like gazillion bands out there now that I'd totally not heard of before. =_=

Oh well, it is nice to hear some old tracks once in a while, and definitely pleasant to find out that Ruki's voice has improved drastically from the days when I used to buy Gazette's albums (circa 2004? wow, been quite a while). Aside from that I'm kinda digging Acid Black Cherry and Abingdon Boys School right now~

Revamped my homepage last night, works in Safari now, also updated with some works that ought to be there but weren't.

Dominance War's main competition is gonna start very soon. Oh man I'm so excited~!!

PS: Some of you may have noticed that I'm on Twitter now (because njoo wouldn't stop annoying me to). Recent updates can be found on the right hand side column of my blog, but you can also follow me on Twitter itself. :3

Tokyo Day34: Alamode Night

Wonderful experience... my ears are ringing nonstop again. Worse than the nights at the X Japan concerts because I was right next to the speaks today. =_=

Met some wonderful people. And the greatest thing... ahh I will write about it next time.

Opening was Rose de Reficul et Guiggles. I couldn't understand much, but they were awesome.

Totally love this guy.

The kid was awesome too.

This one was playing guy on this side, and woman on the other.

The setlist alternates between performances and DJs. I'm not sure who were the DJs in between, sorry XD

Next was Blood.

Ummm. Fu~ki is cool. But he was facing the other side mostly, if not his bangs just blocked his face every time he turned over.

Only 3 shots. The one of Kiwamu was actually taken during GPKISM's slot. ^^;

One more DJ, then came The Candy Spooky Theater.

He was so fucking beautiful (pardon my language) I could have cried. He was almost the best thing about tonight. And he wears Auaa. My perfect muse.

Oh and I thought this was super super cool too. Their stage presence was so good.

Then there was DJ Sisen~ *forgot to take photos*

GPKISM next.

Ryonai from Blam Honey as guest. I love all the stuff from his line Suppurate System so much. ;_;

Followed the guys up to the backstage area afterwards and hung around with GPK, missed a bit of spectrum-x and I was too lazy to run back to grab my camera. They were pretty good. Nice stage presence, all of them had, actually. It's been a while since I'd been to gigs back in Singapore... I hope streetfest promises a good startlist.

Ah well, so, yes, good day. *happiness* I even dressed up a little for the occasion. It also makes the most expensive set I'd ever gone out with. Na+H top, h.Naoto blood skirt, Laundry coat. =X

Awesome day, though I'd just remembered that I'd missed the last chance to see Harajuku on a Sunday this trip. Ah well~ next time I guess.

It's been a long long time since I'd taken any event photos. The last time I was in Tokyo was thanks to The Arts House (covering Spotlight Singapore in Tokyo). And thereafter they would call me for dates I'm away, just when I'd booked my air tickets. Always. It's been happening so many times I begun anticipating it even. Booooo, such is life. T_T

Tokyo Day21-22

Sleep, eat, read. That about summarizes most of the past 2 days. XD

Today's evening was spent with fellow photographer ND Chow.

Very fun and easy to speak to, talked random stuff and also a bit about photography, shooting, travels, lighting, and how his recent Shiseido shots used 30+ lights. He said it's nothing compared to this other guy who used 120 brons. =_=

Ordered delivery for dinner~ my first time in Tokyo. :3 I was too hungry to take a picture because I didn't eat the whole day, also had some expensive chocolates from Jean-Paul Hevin...

ND was really encouraging and reassuring, something I really need at the moment. I may seem like I'm doing a lot right now but some days I'd still feel utterly useless and lost and confused. It was wonderful company. *n0ds*

Some photos done for Smitten in the current issue.

Nothing much these 2 days. Now back to a few backlog photos from before the days of the X Japan concerts from last weekend.

The epic queue for merchandise:

It comes in from futher than where the center arrow's tail is.

The below shot is from the right corner of the above:

And the below one while standing on the left side, the line that was opposite me:

And taaaa, it leads to the merch booths finally~! It was about 2hours of queuing or so.

And oh oh, my ticket. :3

My seating on the first night. Pretty far back, had to look at the screens most of the time to see what's going on stage.

From my seating on the 2nd night, B block~ This is the right side of the stage. There was only A block in front of us. I could see the stage, I could see it~!!! *weeps*

X Japan: Night of Creation @ Tokyo Dome 30th Mar 2008

Well, the most epic yet.

I'm sure you can find the setlist online elsewhere, so I'm just going into points I noted. I think it lasted 3.5hours or more. Awesomeness.

Unlike the previous 2 nights this one opened with Tears.

The acoustic wasn't Say Anything, but Forever Love. Toshi cried. It was so... painful. I don't think it's something that'd be able to be related to and felt if it's only seen on DVD later...

Without You was still really the most beautiful to me all 3 nights. Yoshiki had a few misplayed notes... more than the previous nights, probably a little shaky...

Orgasm was... unexpected. If we went back to the old songs, I'd probably have wished to hear a few others. Then again I guess because it hypes up things a lot, only wish it didn't last -that- long.

After Violet UK + h.Naoto show followed by Yoshiki's drum solo again, this time the ballad that followed was Endless Rain.

Endless Rain, ahhh it was like The Last Live. After the song ended and band members retreated the audience continued singing the chorus until the next song began. It must have lasted for about 15min. Almost surreal.

Art of Life continued from where it left off on the first night.

Sugizo was still really really awesome, I was so entranced by his stage presence. And Sugizo by far throws water bottles the furthest.. 3 blocks~!!!! *_*

The end was wrapped up with the throwing of random stuff, and at the very end the biggest Hide plushie was brought onto stage. I saw other band members' plushies too, near the back of the stage, but I guess they decided only to bring out Hide's in the end.

A giant pick someone a few seats away from me managed to get.

The flyers from the concert. Also some random eyeliner stuff I bought during those few days, and a Samurai 7 Artbook I received as a gift in the mailbox. X Japan tumbler and handphone straps, merchandise merchandise~~ I wish I'd gotten the hoodie but I really didn't want to queue for so many hours again ;_;

Overall I'm very happy with the 2nd and 3rd night. And thank you JRock Revolution for giving us overseas fans the chance to purchase the tickets.

Moving on to shopping.

I gave in and bought the Na+H top. 450bucks. D: I don't know what I was thinking, it was totally under Kagetsuki's influence. The h.Anarchy top was nice, and, not expensive. XD

And this pendant too. The Moi-même-Moitié's finally gotten to me. Arghhh. Luckily she didn't stay longer, or I might really go broke. Wahahah. *has weak resistance to Kagetsuki's influences*

Well that's it for now. Hope everyone's having fun. :3

Tokyo Day20

Consisted only of X Japan: Night of Creation, because I was so tired I couldn't get out of bed in the morning despite my repeated ringing alarms.

Although it would still be consisting only of that even if I did get up, because I was intending to buy the hoodie. XD It was sold out on the first day by the time I got to the front of the queue. Ah well~ too bad.

But today was epic.

Toshi cried during Forever Love. ;_;

I'll really blog it about tonight's concert tomorrow, whatever I can remember of it.

The chorus of Endless Rain was repeated for at least 15min until Art of Life picked up from where it left off on the first night when Yoshiki collapsed. It was just so overwhelming hearing some 50000 people together. Ahhhh~

And I know I'd said it in the previous entry, but I can't seem to emphasize it enough, Sugizo was so awesome I want to cry.

I'm thinking perhaps I'd come back for the Hide memorial concert.

I could really just extend my stay here since my ticket's open jaw... and I've got a place to stay, but if I don't go back to Singapore I think I'd really end up not working at all, and probably be spending all my savings before I know it.

Ahh ahhhh sleep calls for me, will update tomorrow.

Day18-19: X Japan, 28&29th Mar 2008, Tokyo Dome

X Japan: Night of Destruction

I didn't want to write an entry yesterday because the concert ended on a note that wasn't extremely pleasant, I got home really late, missing my last train I had to take a cab. Pretty much crashed as soon as I got back.

As many would already know, Yoshiki collapsed into the drumset after a good deal of Art of Life. It's not the full 30min version, probably ended somewhere before he was supposed to go on to the piano.

I reached Tokyo Dome at 2+pm.

At the ticket pick up I saw someone I knew, so I smiled and was about to wave hi when she caught my eyes, glared daggers and then looked away. I probably grew a dozen question marks out of my head but for certain had a feeling that it wasn't going to be a great day.

Long story short, the gig was delayed by 2+hours and started around 8.30pm. I stood for about 6+ hours of waiting in bleak wind, an empty stomach, and a freezing drizzle.

I'm sure enough people have reviewed and talked about the set, so I'd go to the end. I dare say the final collapse wasn't the intention to end the concert. There's a word going around that it's confirmed Art of Life was the last song on the set, but they didn't finish playing.

I was skeptical when one of the model agencies I visited told me that there would be a fashion show at the X Japan concert. I was like, really? He laughed. I turned around and said, right, you were kidding, and I actually believed you. Just because I believe people easily, such jokes are not funny. Then he went on trying to convince me he said the truth, in laughter. How could I believe something like that?

Later on the 27th I received an email from a major fashion magazine's chief editor saying she would be at 28th concert for the h.Naoto show.

I think it's a bit early for April Fool's joke to be cracked by different people at the same time for the same event. Unless they all just wanted to pull my legs only because of how serious I was when explaining the main reason I am in Tokyo this time was for X Japan.

So, when h.Naoto really showed today, I think it's safe to assume that it was supposed to be yesterday, or all 3 days...

It wasn't a terrible night, in fact, after the curtains dropped, Rusty Nail was so epic I could feel it. The abrupt ending just didn't leave a good taste...

X Japan: Night of Madness

My ears are ringing from the aftermath of tonight's concert. It hasn't happened since I stopped jamming years ago.

It almost started on time today. Commendable.

There wasn't any trashing of drums. I'm totally happy about that.

I was seated in the 3rd row in block B-13, I could see the stage. Awesome.

Most songs were the same as yesterday, but it's totally different being able to see Toshi running on the stage as compared to having to look at the screens. A lot more touching being able to see them when Without You was sung.

I was a little sad there wasn't Silent Jealousy today. It holds some memories to me, as much as I am over it.

Someone a few rows behind me in my block was fortunate enough to get Yoshiki's drumstick after it flew over my head, ah well.

The encore was a long deal, probably to make up for yesterday.

h.Naoto any day is a bonus.

After the Violet UK/h.Naoto's opening for encore, it was an extremely long drum solo.

Yoshiki double-paddled nonstop for a very, very long time. Even when he turned around to play the keyboards he was still double-paddling. I feared that he would collapse from exhaustion and fall off the platform, which was raised dozen meters high into the middle of everything in the center of Tokyo Dome.

But he played, and played.

It didn't make sense to me, but it was grand.

At that point of time I realized the impact of it all, the experience from watching a live up close.

Where Yoshiki was, what Yoshiki was, was screaming to be worshipped. I mean it no lesser than the word's exact meaning.

And then there were Tears, World Anthem, and X.

I like Sugizo, I love his presence on stage. (Random note, Heath reminds me so much of the early days of Toshiya diru it's not even funny.) I'm not big on the idea of using western guitarists, whether it's someone I like or not. I just don't like it... It was like tainting something holy, sacrilegious. I didn't habour any negative feelings when the rumours were spreading but suddenly when I saw it unfold before me I was upset before I even realized it.

I have mixed feeling about using Hide's images so much, but I don't wanna debate about it, so let's not.

Both nights, yes, the vocals certainly strained in some songs, but I find Toshi's voice more refined than before.

Yes, Yoshiki wasn't perfect on the piano, but I could feel from his playing. And that is enough for me for the experience.

Really really tired, I'd not been so worn out from photoshoots before, then again I hardly have to do them for consecutive days, and the way I'd been living here's totally taking a toil on my body.

Will probably post some photos after tomorrow's concert.

I know this entry is totally fragmented, but I don't feel like pouring out my feelings about how I felt about each and every song for a review, alas, my talent does not lie in writing. XD