Kaya – Bara no Souretsu: Vampire Requiem at Shibuya REX

Live Report

by Kate Havas, Mio Nagasaki, posted February 10, 2012

“Funeral of the Rose” was the title of the live Kaya produced to accompany the release of his new single, Vampire Requiem. Kaya opened the show corseted in black Victorian mourning garb, his face obscured by a heavy black veil. “Every day I continue to die,” he said before leaving the stage to Inugami Circus Dan, S.Q.F, and Art Cube. The other bands took the theme of the day to heart, each expressing the concept of “vampire” in their own choice of garb and music. When Kaya took the stage again, the mourning veil was gone but the black dress and somber tone remained. The stage filled with fog and a bell chimed ominously.

“God, please tell me. What am I?” In his hands he gripped a rose, kissing the petals lightly. Electronic music twined with violin began to play for “remains of mind” as blood-red light shone on stage. Kaya’s voice was deep as the song picked up a dance beat, the artist moving with the expressive melody. His voice changed to plaintive screaming that electrified the live house before he sank into a curtsy.

Curse of Rose” opened with dramatic white light that left Kaya in silhouette as the song began with piano notes. Kaya danced with sharp movements, his expression sensual as he twirled with the music. The lights made the sequins on his corset sparkle as the audience was dazzled by the scene and Kaya screamed over the operatic chorus to powerful effect. He then left momentarily, fans calling his name.

“Thank you for coming today. I’m Christina.” He said upon returning with a smile for the audience. “Thank you for staying until the end. [The other bands’ performances] were eulogies… This is a funeral.” He looked out over the elegant crowd. “Why are you all dressed like this for a funeral? Some are in all red. Where are you from?” The fans gave answers varying from Disneyland to Saitama. “Saitama? Why, that’s practically Europe,” Kaya joked. “This is a funeral, but please do as you like.” He continued to look over and comment on the crowd’s appearance, pointing out one girl with platinum hair. “I was blonde like that once,” he said, and the audience laughed as he did a bit of the dance from Chocolat, implying that was his former self. “It was when I could be under the sun. I had friends then. When I met her…”

His voice trailed off into powerful organ beats of “Paradise lost,” a song whose melancholy feel was juxtaposed with quick-paced circus music, creating an eerie carnival atmosphere. A single beam of red light illuminated the stage, and Kaya walked and danced around it before stepping in as the music shifted to electronic darkwave sounds. He spun in the light, the lyrics changing from sung to spoken, and ended the piece with a maniacal laugh. Electronic static picked up, a sound like a warning message on an old-time radio. Fans screamed for Kaya as he sang against a recorded echo of himself in a different key for vocal contrast in “Pourriture noble.” Lights flashed in time with the music, and Kaya had enough stage presence to fill a much larger venue as he bent close and reached out to the fans. Thrumming techno bass and a scream–first from Kaya, then from excited fans–led into “Rose Jail.

“Come here!” Kaya’s voice was demonic as he grabbed fans and kissed their hands. The crowd threw themselves forward with the sharp peaks of the music and Kaya threw his skirts over the bar to lean into the crowd and call them closer. “Let’s fall! Let’s dance!” The beat and energy increased to ever more frantic levels. “I can’t hear you! What’s my name?”

“KAYA!” fans screamed back as he held the microphone out. As the music hit its zenith, the singer collapsed dramatically.

Heavy chimes picked up again as he moved to the side of the stage. “I will continue forever. I die every day.” He covered his face for the intro of “Vampire Requiem.” The lights rose and fell with the verses as Kaya sang expressively, the performance pained and beautiful. He turned to show his profile then raised his hands above his head, clasped in prayer. The disco ball lit up and shone silver light on the audience as Kaya pleaded with God, the instrumental music making a strong backing to his voice. He sang a powerful note with the song’s Spanish guitar and posed under the spotlight as the number finished.

A soft, sad, chorus chanted in Latin picked up as Kaya turned his back on the audience and the black curtain fell.

There was no encore, funerals are exactly that, after all, but fans in both Japan and Europe will be able to see more of Kaya soon as he’ll be having a mini tour in Japan with Art Cube and Inugami Circus Dan, then will join Satsuki for their European coupling tour in February.

Set List

  1. remains of mind
  2. Curse of Rose
  3. Paradise lost
  4. Pourriture noble
  5. Rose Jail
  6. Vampire Requiem

VK Exclusive

There are 8 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Kate Havas first became interested in Japanese fashion and culture in college when manga, anime, and visual kei were just beginning to make their way to America. An art and English major with a love of clothes, Kate signed onto ROKKYUU in order cover fashion and report on Tokyo trends, but was quickly also recruited to the music side of things and has been having an adventure expanding her knowledge of all things VK since. Follow her on twitter at keito_kate!

Mio Nagasaki is a freelance photographer lending her time, skills, and love for the genre to ROKKYUU Magazine.

Post Comment