DaizyStripper’s TRAGUS TOUR final at Akasaka BLITZ
Since they first came out in the visual kei scene back in 2007, DaizyStripper has proven their skills with a vast array of different styles. They are regular participants in a whole string of different visual kei events and tours taking place in Japan every year but while they put on a great show every time, it is not until experiencing them at one of their own oneman lives, when the stage is all theirs, that one can truly understand what DaizyStripper is all about. This band is so much more than a fun and upbeat filler between the hard rocking bands; they rock it just as hard themselves, and anyone who is not soaked in sweat and about to drop after their show is not doing it right. Vocalist Yugiri, guitarist Nao, bassist Rei, and drummer Kazami all made sure everyone knew that from the very moment they stepped onstage.
The night was kicked off with “G.Z.S.K.K” and “Missing,” two fast paced songs from the new album. Heavy riffs and a series of impressive drumrolls had the energy level skyrocketing from the very start as the crowd was put on a hard rock rollercoaster ride that was not about to end anytime soon. Nao and Rei both joined in on the vocals, shouting out with Yugiri as they all encouraged the crowd to raise their fists and move. On one side of the stage, Nao was smiling and nodding along, clearly pleased and not afraid to show it, while on the other side, Rei kept it cool, flicked off the audience, and took an impressively wide stance, clearly saving his approval until everyone had shown that they were truly up to scratch. Kazami was all smiles as he carried on into “Mannequin.” Colorful lights flashed overhead as Yugiri jumped up on the front speakers and called out a ringing “Hey, Akasaka!” before he draped himself over Rei’s shoulder and let the bassist growl into his microphone. The crowd responded with fervor and shouted out in response every time the vocalist called for them, and no one stood still for even a second. How could they, when Yugiri himself was dancing up onstage, genially moving along to Kazami’s kickass drums?
The whole venue came to life with just those three songs, but it certainly did not slow down from there. Every single member of the band gave it a hundred percent for the groovy “Risou” and vigorous “Zero Crysis” and the crowd followed along perfectly, jumping, dancing, and working up a sweat. They certainly weren’t alone, though. Yugiri kept dancing and did nothing but smile when his shirt slipped off his shoulder, giving everyone a teasing glimpse of sweat-glistening skin.
Colorful lights spilled from the stage and into a sea of dancing hands during “Uso to kagerou,” when the crowd finally got a break from the intense headbanging and instead picked up on the characteristic choreography familiar to all live-attending visual kei fans. Rei set the mood with a jazzy bass line while Nao dropped to his knees to play from the floor, and Yugiri got to show off the range of his voice a bit more. For the next song, he picked up his own guitar and stayed only partially on vocals while Kazami sang parts of “Shooting Star.” Even so, Kazami’s amazing talent was only truly put on display during “MOONLIGHT of JAIL” where he proved that he is not only a very accomplished drummer but also a skilled pianist. The crowd got to watch in awed silence as he bent over the piano, completely lost in music as his fingers danced over the blank, polished keys, until Yugiri joined him for the piano accompaniment arrangement of the beautiful “SMILE WORLD” and they sang the song together. In the end, though, it was Yugiri’s sweet whispers and soulful cries to the heavens above that sent shivers down the spine.
Kazami was back behind the drums, twirling his sticks and kicking the bass drum at breakneck speed again for “Majime complex” and “PRIDE,” and both Rei and Nao were back, calling out to the crowd, encouraging them to join in again, to dance along and to rock out to the cool riffs they kept pulling from the strings. Yugiri got progressively more and more playful throughout “Seaside Avenue,” and “QUALTIER LATIN,” when he first surprised Rei with a sweet little kiss on his nose, and then bumped Nao on the shoulder, all with a silly smile on his face as he kept singing, dancing, and playing on the tambourine he had picked up for the sweet and swingy Parisian song. His happy, vibrant mood was contagious and even cool and composed Rei ended up at the edge of the stage, nodding and smiling as he watched the crowd closely.
“GIRL HUNT” and “BLACK DROPPer” brought both fans and members to the final test of endurance. The whole venue was set in motion as the crowd started head banging, moshing and throwing themselves against the stage with near unmatched ferocity. After the crowd fulfilled Yugiri’s request for them all to face the back of the venue and scream their hearts out in the former number, the latter steamrolled in without mercy. Yugiri and Nao emptied copious amounts of water bottles over both themselves and the crowd, all until Nao seemingly decided that the riot going on down on the floor in front of the stage was too much fun to miss out on. The guitarist handed his guitar over to his technician and threw himself head first into the crowd again and again, riding across the sea of hands eager to keep him up and throw him about. In the meantime, Kazami finally wore himself out and all but collapsed over his drums. Luckily for him, Yugiri had no reservations in switching places with him and the vocalist got to show his versatility once more as he pounded the drums while Kazami got to play with the crowd for a bit, taking the mic to rile them on and on. When finally every single person in the venue was swaying on their feet, ready to drop, Yugiri crawled out from behind the drums and picked up his microphone again.
“We started DaizyStripper as five people but wrote this album and went on this tour as four people,” the vocalist said with a slight tremble to his voice, clearly moved by the strong response from the crowd. “I think it was an amazing album and an amazing tour but it was also a difficult tour and I am so grateful to all of you who supported us during this time,” Yugiri said sincerely, before raising his voice and crying out with all the power he could muster up, “Can we blast out one more song for you on this tour? Thank you so much for being in our lives!” The crowd, of course, responded with a roar, and were rewarded with the new song “Kyuusou Nekokami,” before the members all waved and left the stage together.
The call for an encore was loud and steady and the volume only grew as DaizyStripper came back and played another three songs from their 2013 single melee. “Derringer” was upbeat and cheerful and went well with the following “Stargazer” that had the crowd dancing and headbanging once again. For the final “HELLO, again,” however, the crowd fell silent to listen as Yugiri raised his voice to new heights and sent chills shivering through everyone present. Of course, the night did not end there. As soon as the band left the stage again, the crowd called out once more and the band came running back in only a few moments later. This time, they started with a very old, very beautiful song, that had everyone singing along either out loud or in their hearts. Yugiri’s unique voice rang out clearly in the a cappella opening verse of “Dandelion” but soon enough he fell silent to listen as the fans raised their own voices and sang along. “Treasure” was another song just made for Yugiri’s sweet voice but while the song was sweet, Rei’s deep, heavy bass line added in a little something extra. A sea of hands held up high to show the fans’ appreciation met Nao as he stepped up to the front to play his solo, and he, along with everyone else on the stage, could not have hid his smile even if he had wanted to.
The well-known “decade” became the final song of the night and it made for a perfect ending. The crowd was once again dancing and holding hands as they moshed back and forth in the cutest manner. Yugiri was dancing again while both Nao and Rei went to the back to play with Kazami who sang along with the brightest smile on his face. The feeling of happiness that spilled from the stage and into the audience as the band finally collapsed in a heap of limbs on the floor stayed with everyone, even after the members all said their goodbyes and left the stage together.
Everyone knew, however, that the band had something special to announce that night, and a palpable silence fell over the crowd as words flickered across the closed curtains. Everyone held their breaths, hopeful and nervous at the same time as they waited for what most had already guessed would come; news about Mayu, the fifth and missing member of DaizyStripper. The cries of relief and the tears shed in pure happiness when his name did appear on the screen, along with the promise that he was indeed coming back, and that DaizyStripper would never leave anyone behind, was indescribable. Then, from behind the curtain, bright lights shone again and the shadows of all five members were cast in giant scale. The crowd cheered and many more burst into tears as the words they had just read were confirmed. Though the four members who had stuck it out together had proved on this night that they could hold their own and then-some, there was no doubt that Mayu was back where he belonged, and all five members of DaizyStripper were ready to continue on together on another tour already. No fan of DaizyStripper could have asked for better news, and surely everyone returned home that night with that warm, fuzzy feelings of happiness and relief wrapped tightly around their hearts.
- ~EMBLEM of JAIL~
- Zero Crysis
- Uso to Kagerou
- Shooting Star
- MOONLIGHT of JAIL
- SMILE WORLD
- Majime complex
- Seaside Avenue
- QUALTIER LATIN
- GIRL HUNT
- BLACK DROPPer
- Kyuusou Nekokami
- HELLO, again
There are 44 photos in this visual kei exclusive.