DIAURA’s special live on gumin’s day
The crowd that filled Shinjuku BIRTH on the night of September 3 was thoroughly excited as they waited for DIAURA. It was a special guerilla live, announced only a few hours before during a short set at the station-front outdoor stage in Shinjuku, and only a lucky few hundred had gotten inside before the venue was completely full and the doors were closed behind them. The occasion was the release of DIAURA’s new single, blind message, released that very same day.
Luckily, the fans had had enough time to listen to the new single to know what was coming when the first tell-tale guitar riff from “blind message” ripped through the venue. No-one hesitated to throw themselves head first into some proper headbanging. Vocalist Yo-ka pulled himself up by the bars in the low ceiling as he called out encouragement to the crowd and watched the sea of hair whipping about at his command until he raised his voice to sing and the crowd fell into intense, anticipatory silence. Bassist Shoya played with a customary, quirky smile and a pick caught between his lips, but he dropped it soon enough to add in his raspy growling vocals. On the other side of the stage, guitarist Kei continued to pull heavy notes from his guitar but his smiles were hidden by a black scarf for the entire first song. Behind them all, drummer Tatsuya was singing along in between his fast drum rhythms and unrestrained headbanging—clearly not the least bit challenged by multi-tasking.
Darkness descended over the crowd for a moment before flashing lights and leaping guitar prompted the crowd to jump along to “Code:0.” Yo-ka, however, simply stuck his hand in his pocket and started moving on the spot, knees bending and hips twisting in time with the music. Shoya’s bass in particular was loud and heavy in the tightly packed space and gave the crowd a deep, solid melody to follow as they took Yo-ka’s lead and danced with him. As the number came to an end, the vocalist called out for the crowd who responded immediately, and a woosh of excitement spread through the whole venue as Yo-ka breathed out a haughty introduction of the next number; the current favorite at DIAURA’s lives, “Akai Kyozou.” The crowd’s response to the number was nothing less than perfect as they threw their fists in the air and doubled over the barriers, ruled and commanded completely by their dictator, Yo-ka, who had stepped up on the front barriers to watch them go.
Everyone got a moment to breathe and realign their brain cells as Yo-ka greeted the audience properly and said a few words about the unexpected turn of events that had taken place earlier that day. The band had meant to throw a free surprise live in the streets of Shinjuku as a gift for their fans but had been forced to end it prematurely, resulting in the reconvening at Shinjuku BIRTH. He kept the mood light, joked around, and thanked everyone for having bought the new single then finally announced that they wanted to play a song chosen by all of the fans watching the live that was also broadcasted on Nico Nico. Crouched in front of a small laptop, Yo-ka then started reading the titles suggested and listened to the crowd’s response to each song. The overwhelming roar that sounded when he read out “Imperial Core” was impossible to deny and it near doubled when he nodded and said, “Alright, let’s play that then!”
With no preparation beforehand, each member needed a moment to make sure they knew their parts and had everything set up right. Shoya immediately started plucking at his strings while Tatsuya looked for the right backing track and Kei helped Yo-ka to recall the right choreography for the song. Their random mumbling, talking, and flailing caused much giggling among the audience but the vocalist just kept talking and laughing with them, not minding to be the cause of their entertainment at all. As soon as the characteristic sound of a piano played in the background, he was ready and guided the crowd perfectly through the moves before demanding some proper headbanging again. Kei and Shoya each took a wide stance as they played, while Tatsuya sang along with a contagious smile.
It was hard to tell which of the next numbers caused the biggest riot on the floor as the band launched straight into “Beautiful Creature” followed by “Juusankai ha Zetsubou.” The crowd was dancing and moshing tirelessly under the flashing lights, ignoring sore arms and backs as Yo-ka kept encouraging them until even he was on the floor, exhausted. Kei and Shoya kept on their feet, changing sides and crawling up on the barriers—instruments still strapped to their shoulders as they played from there. By the end of it, even Tatsuya stood up behind his drums to just watch the crowd as they danced and rocked out to the live-orientated fast and heavy songs.
Not surprisingly, the members were all soaked in sweat as they came to a crashing finish and nearly stumbled offstage. The calls for an encore picked up immediately though, and they did not let the crowd wait for long before they came back out. Even so, the show was limited to one hour due to its broadcast on Nico Nico and the band only had time for one more song. They chose “Horizon,” their single released before blind message, and with that they picked up the mood again perfectly. The audience all sang along, lending their voices to Yo-ka while each member gave it everything they had left for that last song. Shoya pulled out his longest, deepest notes, Yo-ka raised his voice to match, and they blended perfectly towards a beautiful solo from Kei to finish. Once again, Tatsuya was all happy smiles as he hit every single drum and cymbal he had and almost collapsed with the last few beats on his bass drum.
The ending was kept short and sweet after Yo-ka declared it the end of “gumin’s day” (a holiday for DIAURA fans alone to celebrate) and all the members agreed that their fans were nothing less than awesome. Luckily, such fans will have much to look forward to in the coming months with the release of the band’s third full album, Triangle, on November 26. The band will also have many chances to prove themselves over and over again during the following tour. There is no doubt that those present—as well as online viewers and those whose feet had not delivered them to the free show fast enough to make it inside—will continue to follow the talented young band as DIAURA continue to march toward new heights.
- blind message
- Akai Kyozou
- Imperial Core
- Beautiful Creature
- Juusankai ha Zetsubou