Undivide is Leda's (ex.DELUHI) new project. I heard the announcement at Sujk's live and have been waiting to see them since then.
I was planning to go to their tour final on the 26th and group it in with Loud Park 12 but when i checked their live schedule and noticed that they were having a boys only lave the week before.
No freaking way! A chance to see (former) Visual kei artists without squealing hyenas!!! It was everything I had wanted since I went to my first ever VK show. On that night I trekked to the Nearest Lawson's and beat the Loppi machine till it gave me my ticket.
"For one night the despised hyena cancer was cut out"
The venue was Club Asia in Shibuya which is better known for its hip hop and wannabe gangsta jiggers in their NY Yankees caps with the stickers still stuck on them (W T F is with that?) but they do actually have a pretty decent live space with epic sound and lighting tucked away in the back.
The first thing I noticed was the lack of hyenas. The venue was not particularly huge but it was far from full. At best I would say we reached half the capacity. The second thing I noticed was the fact that it really was a "boys" only show. As in they looked a hell of a lot like my students. In truth they were old enough to get in but their faces and backpacks betrayed their inexperience in the ways of metal. Basically they looked like the bag boys at VK shows without their hyena masters to hold their leashes. This didn't bode well.
The band came on...
The lineup was as epic as they could come. Leda's guitar work is legendary and mentioned ad nausieum on this blog (even in lives that have nothing to do with him) Sujk's drums are beyond powerful. The wildcard was Kihiro (LOKA/ex.Supe) . I had never seen him before but when he came on stage wearing an in flames shirt, I knew he was coming from the right place. Bass was tied together by Shogo (from Garson) whom I knew and still know nothing about… apparently there is Aggy politics involved.
They started hard and played through basically every song on their album with a Nuno Bettencourt cover thrown in there. The start from the band was epic. There was none of the usual VK bullshit, they just played. The crowd however was not quite getting it and behaved like VK girls. apart from 3 or 4 of us. It did give me space to stomp but I was there for one reason and the lack of it from the get go was annoying. Thankfully things warmed up as the show went along.
"Undivide, though a project,
feels like a band in their own right.
I didn't find myself missing Juri or Aggy..."
The music was spectacular. Energy driven, loud and pretty hard. It followed the hardcore trend that is gripping Japan at the moment to a degree but there was something about this lineup that just clicked. Sujk's project was epic, no doubt but it felt more like a project. It felt like it lacked something (namely Leda). Undivide, though a project, honestly feels like a band in their own right. I didn't find myself missing Juri or Aggy (but then nobody misses Aggy). As for the new guy, Kihiro? HE WAS EPIC! Apparently he lived in yank land for 14 years which explains why he's bilingual but seamlessly using english and Japansese means nothing next to his voice. Clear, solid, full and yet capable of piercing brutal screams. He is a brutal legend… I want to see more of his work.
…Anyway as the songs continued I started to get anxious that the crowd appeared to be filled with pussies that shied away from all attempts to incite violence amongst them and was just starting to resign myself to writing off the male VK crowd when Kihiro came to my rescue. He started things off by diving into the crowd… then by surfing on (while singing) a cardboard sign that we held up. Then they got a wall of death in there and FINALLY we broke the bag boys free of their imagined shackles and they let loose. It was not particularly intense by my standards. Compared to my most recent Children of Bodom, I would say I used10-12% of my power. It was clear however that many of the guys in there were going like they had never gone before. Seeing them moving and feeling the music in their bodies and unleashing their energy back at each other was a beautiful thing. Their smiles, their screams their energy. It was spectacular.
"Yeah I touched leda in places fangirls can only dream of…
wait that sounds wrong"
And then it got better. For "Fireball", they started pulling random members of the crowd up on stage to scream while they played before diving back in. They did this for what felt like 10 minutes but was probably much less. Who cares. I got my 15 seconds of fame on vocals being supported by Leda on Guitar, Sujk on drums and Shogo on bass. I didn't dive back into the crowd though. that would have led to massive injury to myself and the poor sods under me ;)
It wasn't just us regular blokes who got our time to shine on stage. Other members of other bands who were there to support them got in on it too. Even Juri got in on it. Leda passed his guitar to one of his appies and he too dived into the fray. I even helped hold him up. Yeah I touched leda in places fangirls can only dream of… wait that sounds wrong... but hey such is the nature of the dive.
"I got my 15 seconds of fame on vocals"
the rest of the show continued at a pace that was more to my liking and you could see that the band were loving it and giving their all in response. The encore was the cherry on top with everyone going at their max (well I limited myself to about 20% lest I hurt someone but you know what I mean)
For one night the despised hyena cancer was cut out. It was sad that ladies who are in it for the music and passion couldn't see this show. They would have loved it. There was no facade. There was no lie. Only the band, energy and epic f***ing win.
It possibly was the best VK show I have seen, simply because it was in no way VK.