Live Report

by Kellie Lacey, posted December 12, 2014

Photographs by Yukihide "JON..." Takimoto and Yasuyuki Kimura.

On September 23, MUCC finished their marathon SIX NINE WARS-Bokura no Nanakagetsukan Sensou- tour at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium. Our seven month long war tour—as it translates to in English—saw MUCC perform 55 live concerts that were separated into seven different themed sections, all devised and named along the theme of their current album, THE END OF THE WORLD. This show, the tour final, was subtitled as Final Episode “THE END” and was a suitable finale for an ambitious and impressive project.

An apocalyptic video showing the end of the world played to open the live and when the video screen covering the stage disappeared, it revealed five banners. Each banner had a single word written on it and together they spelled out the title of the opening number, “THE END OF THE WORLD.” The music started and slowly and, one by one, each banner was consumed by controlled fires to reveal a member of the band, from singer Tatsurou through to guitarist and leader Miya. It was the first of many impressive tricks that MUCC had in store for their fans.

MUCC’s stage was deceptively simple but impressive. For songs such as “Tell me,” lasers shot across the heads of the fans in the arena seats and drew patterns on the stands and roof.  During “999-21st Century World-,” Miya and bass player Yukke were raised high above the stage on a rising platform as they bounced their way through the middle of the song.

The stage had been constructed on one of the stands of Yoyogi instead of in the usual stage position. This cut down the capacity of the venue a little but gave MUCC more leeway with visuals which became evident during a spellbinding performance of “JAPANESE.”  The backdrop of the stage was pulled back to reveal an orchestra sat in the stand behind the stage as the song lyrics were projected onto the roof of the arena. The stage was bathed in red light and Tatsurou’s performance was mesmerizing, making “JAPANESE” a real highlight of the set.

When the fans found their seats in the arena, they had found a plastic wristband waiting on their seats. It wasn’t until “Shinde Hoshii Hito,” the final song of the main body of the live, that the purpose of the wristbands became clear. Each wristband was a light that was switched on in unison during the song and the colors changed from white to blue. The backdrop at the back of the stage was opened again to show that every seat in the stand behind the stage also had a wristband light placed on it, meaning that all 360 degrees of the arena was lit to create the effect of thousands of stars in a black sky.

As the song progressed, MUCC made use of the gymnasium ceiling again and projected seemingly random words of English. After the song had reached its climax and the final guitar sounds had faded away, those random words disappeared letter by letter to leave seven remaining: “FUTURE”. That same word could be seen spelt out by the lights on the seats behind the stage. While the lights continued to glow, the crowd waited patiently for the encore.

A week before the concert, MUCC decided to add a second, smaller stage at the back of the arena seating and to add standing pits next to it. The fans in that area had been far from the action for most of the show but they made the most of having the band up close as this stage was put to good use for the first of the encores, MUCC tearing through a five song set list that had been suggested by the fans. The encore was closed by “Daikirai,” an eternal favorite of the fans—who became part of the show when the wristband lights came back into play. This time, the colors changed from red to blue in waves, starting from the stage and moving back through the crowd, row by row, until reaching the highest row of the stands.

For the final encore, MUCC were back on the main stage and the members expressed their thanks and feelings at closing the show at Yoyogi in their emcees. They were also joined onstage by Mukku, the big red wooly character from Fuji TV’s kids programming. Mukku, the character, presented MUCC, the band, with a certificate to celebrate the tour and a group photo was taken to include the still red-hot crowd.

The songs that were included in the final encore were well chosen and staples of MUCC’s live repertoire. The standing section came alive with circle pits for “MAD YACK” and the entire arena sat down on cue for “Ranchuu” before jumping to their feet in unison. The final song, MUCC’s latest release “Yue ni Matenrou,” was a fitting end and saw the National Gymnasium transformed into a snow globe full of confetti so deep that at times it was impossible to see the stage. Hidden amongst the regular confetti were multi-colored butterflies and the staging of the song was meant to represent that after the end of the world, life would begin again.

It took MUCC 55 concerts and several months to make it to Yoyogi. Their hard work was easy to see in the closing credits of the concert and the fans all stared at the ceiling spellbound as photos from the tour were projected onto the roof of the arena. After a mammoth 28 song set list, the crowd were tired but the enthusiasm and happiness that still lingered in the arena made it obvious that the fans would have eagerly jumped, moshed, and sang along to another 28 songs.

Set list

  3. Ms. Fear
  4. G.G.
  5. Utagoe
  6. Gerbera
  7. World’s End
  8. Tell me
  9. 999 -21st Century World-
  10. WateR ~369-miroku- WateR
  11. Mikan no Kaiga
  12. Media no Juusei
  14. Nirvana
  15. Hallelujah
  16. Kaze to Taiyou
  17. Houkou
  18. Mr.Liar
  19. Shinde Hoshii Hito

Encore 1

  1. Orugooru
  2. Sora to Ito
  3. Horizont
  4. Ryuusei
  5. Daikirai

Encore 2

  1. Mae e
  3. Ranchuu
  4. Yue ni Matenrou

Kellie Lacey was born into a family that loves, plays, and staged live music and is proudly carrying on the tradition. While studying psychology in the heart of England and attending the lives of every obscure metal band that came her way, Kellie was given a DIR EN GREY CD and has not looked back since. A short vacation to Tokyo in 2009 and tickets to see a couple of lives while there convinced Kellie to abandon the steady government job she had and move to Japan for some excitement and an rapidly emptying bank account.

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