DaizyStripper’s 5th Anniversary at Shibuya Koukaidou
On June 3, blue skies broke through for the 5th anniversary of one of VK’s sunniest acts: DaizyStripper. Capping off their Dreamer tour of sold-out shows all over Japan, they took the stage at the venerable Shibuya Koukaidou.
The show opened on a classic note with the band’s first single, “Dandelion.” Fans screamed as Yugiri sang the opening unseen, before popping up on a platform at the back of the stage and strutting to the front. A shower of lasers streaming from above launched “Juliette no Knife,” guitarist Nao skipping exuberantly across the sizeable stage. Light flared and dimmed with the warm and cool tones of the song, Yugiri’s voice ranged from a deep growl to Mariah Carey soprano.
Fans screamed for the pretty intro of “Tsumi na Batsu” as the song quickly spun into a fun rock number, Rei’s sexy bass line keeping it cool as the band headbanged in impressive unison. “This is the tour final! Welcome to Shibuya Koukaidou! There are people who came here alone, people who are here for the first time, parents and kids, all kinds of people, and some of you might be uneasy about the show but we want you to enjoy it!”
“Seaside Avenue” is a song to put any ease with its friendly and soothing feel. The bassist came forward to play nose-to-nose with the vocalist before they hopped down and let Nao have the spotlight. He took the moment surprisingly seriously, playing like a dedicated rock star. The charm continued through the equally positive “Sunday Driver,” everyone dancing and grooving with the cheerful beat. Yugiri tried to pass the microphone to Mayu, only to have the guitarist shy away. Yet it was Mayu who lead the softer, jazzy opening of “Shikisai Vivid.” Delicate notes lead into a powerful pickup and strong performance and Yugiri’s voice was full of sweetness and emotion and nicely accented by Kazami’s cymbals。
“Get ready to take your pants off and shake that thing butt naked,” an English voiceover introduced as Kazami stood for his solo spot. “It’s gonna get fucked up, motherfuckers. You’ve got to feel it… it’s KAZAMI!” The drummer set right into a breathless, hard-core drum routine, his kit tricked-out with more than just the new logo. He played a rollicking staccato run on timpani-style drums then offered up a surprise: Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” on xylophone. Next was a heavy yet nuanced solo at the drum-kit proper, fans yelling louder and faster as Kazami brought the rolls to a crescendo. Kazami isn’t only a drummer, however. He took a seat at the piano and began to play a familiar tune and Yugiri emerged to perform a stripped-down rendition of “SMILE WORLD.” Yugiri’s voice projected naturally throughout the livehouse as he held the mic away. “Aquarium” followed as a serious performance, and blue lights swirled like waves across the stage. The vocalist took on a guitar, and the layering of three guitars and soft background vocals gave the song a dreamy air which trailed off in a soft exhalation.
“Some of you may not know what kind of people we are, so let’s hear from everyone!” Yugiri suggested.
First up was Kazami. “Up until now this has felt like a dream, this ‘Dreamer’ tour. Even my elementary school principal is here today for the first time! A lot of people have supported me in my path to becoming a musician. This has been five years of fun, smiles, tears, and hardship, but’s it’s been a precious time.”
“It’s been five years, but I still think this is great,” Rei said, taking a moment to thank all their staff and supporters. “We only have today for Dreamer so I want you to shout from the heart and get violent!”
Mayu was reflective. “Five years, huh. As we continue, we need power, we need your energy. Looking at all of you out there, I’m really happy, but we need you to help us keep on. Take us to Tokyo Dome!”
Everyone then began screaming for the next to speak, guitarist Nao. “I love your voices! When we started this tour, today was so far in the future. It feels weird to be done with the tour. Well, it’s been five years and I pull a lot of pranks. If I had to apologize for all of it, it would take like a hundred letters.”
“Please tell me this is just for this tour, right? You’re not apologizing for the last five years?” Yugiri begged. With a few bad puns on “apology letter,” dramatic music started and Nao unfolded his traditional speech. “Dear DaizyStripper members. Hello, members! Is the live exciting? Kazami, are you feeling well? Mayu, are you smiling?” He then read out a litany of his transgressions, including using Rei’s towel as a tissue and not telling him, forwarding perverted junk mail offering underage dates to Kazami’s cell phone, and a whole host of annoying things he did in the car that prevented the other members from sleeping. “Yugiri, do you remember when you were half-asleep, and I kept baby-talking at you? And then you had this nice smile, like a baby. I thought that was really weird. But anyway:From Nao, with love.”
Yugiri took the microphone back. “We want to deliver our music to everyone. Please listen to our ‘Endless Song.’” The piece had measured beats delivered with impact, the performance intense following the comical interlude.
For “Setsubou no Freesia,” the lights came up to brightly illuminate the stage, giving the audience a chance to see every member’s expression and personality as they came to the front. “Today is our fifth birthday!” Yugiri called and the crowd cheered in response. “Anyone else celebrating a birthday today? Congratulations!” His present was a mega-watt smile followed by the swingy “BIRTHDAY SONG,” Mayu on acoustic guitar as the band stepped together with the melody. The crowd joined hands to sway and sing as well, and the hall filled with a cheerful, celebratory atmosphere which continued in “SHINE” with its upbeat, raucous energy.
“Maybe you’ve had some hard times, so let’s squash the troubles out of your chest! I love you!” Yugiri cried. “BLACK DROPPer” opened with a light atmosphere that quickly dropped into a heavy melee. Yugiri practically doubled over to the floor as they headbanged amid heavy plumes of dry ice. The vocalist lead a rowdy chant, pounding his chest and giving the finger to the crowd as Mayu showed his own rock-star style, jumping up on top of the piano to pose and play. The band screamed and barked to the end of the urgent, wild song with no pause leading into “Little Ballerina” and fans jumped with the beats for another feral number. The final song of the set was “Bremen,” up-tempo and bouncy, and the fans raised their arms as the band waved and shouted “Thank you!”
A sparkling waterfall of tinsel and light made the backdrop shine as DaizyStripper returned for the sunny “Torezoa.” Bright yellow stars spun on the stage and ceiling and Yugiri sang in a breathy upper range. “Thank you for the encore! We have an announcement. Next year, we’re doing music for a movie: Tokyo Teiande! And, this is embarrassing: I’ll be in it.”
Daizy’s new song, “Kanojo wa Emerald” was spacey and cool, with a hot, bass-driven beat and standout guitar from Mayu. Yugiri’s passion spilled over into the expression of the performance. “Five years. Let’s make it ten!” he cried. “Fifteen!” The enthusiasm carried into “decade,” in which the band took turns riding a rolling platform that appeared between the stage and the crowd and being wheeled back and forth in front of the fans. Yugiri used the closeness to high-five the front row and Nao scrambled up onto the rails to perch precariously as they took him across.
Left behind again, the fans took it upon themselves to sing “KISS YOU” until the band returned with another big announcement. “On December 28, we’ll be playing Zepp Tokyo!” Yugiri exclaimed. The crowd’s prediction was spot on and the band shone with love for their fans throughout “KISS YOU.” The song suited Yugiri’s range perfectly though he choked up a few times during the heartfelt performance.
“Last Dreamer! Thank you!” Gold streamers exploded for “STAY GOLD,” and fans caught and waved them with the rhythm. Though both Yugiri and Mayu were reduced to tears, Nao remained unmoved and gave Mayu a playful kick as they finished the song side by side with smiles.
“Thank you so much!” Yugiri yelled. “I love you all!” Nao’s enthusiasm resulted in an explosive kick that somehow landed him face first in stage equipment but after a quick exit, he somersaulted back onstage making “I’m okay!” gestures despite a swelling eye. Mayu provided ample distraction by stripping off his shirt and throwing it to the crowd and the band then joined hands. “Thank you!” Yugiri yelled, and they jumped and fell down together.
After a group picture, blown kisses, and a certain troublemaker’s guitar was hung from the microphone stand, Kazami stepped up for the final word. “This was an amazing Dreamer tour! Thank you!”
DaizyStripper’s catchy music and charismatic personalities continue to win fans. While 2011 was a big year for them, 2012 looks to be even bigger as they continue with successful releases and sold out shows. Zepp Tokyo looms before them, and the five stars show no sign of burning out any time soon.
- Juliette no Knife
- Tsumi na Batsu
- Seaside Avenue
- Sunday Driver
- PSYCHADELIC HEAVEN
- Shikisai Vivid
- Hoshizora to Kimi no Te
- SMILE WORLD
- Endless Song
- Setsubou no Freesia
- BIRTHDAY SONG
- BLACK DROPPer
- Little Ballerina
- Kanojo wa Emerald
- KISS YOU
- STAY GOLD
There are 37 photos in this visual kei exclusive.