Official Report
BUCK-TICK’s 35th Debut Anniversary 2-Day Concert at Yokohama Arena

Spice
27 September 2022

Text=Yuka Okubo
Photos=Seitaro Tanaka

 

We have received the official concert report of BUCK-TICK’s 35th debut anniversary concert, BUCK-TICK 2022“THE PARADE”~35th anniversary~ which was held on two days on the Friday and Saturday, 23rd and 24th of September 2022 at Yokohama Arena.

 

 

BUCK-TICK celebrated their 35th debut anniversary with no change in member line-up on 21 September 2022. On the 23rd and 24th, the held their 35th debut anniversary concert, BUCK-TICK 2022“THE PARADE” ~35th anniversary~ at Yokohama Arena in Kanagawa.

There were two main special characteristics for this 35th anniversary show. 

The first was dynamic light and video production which made use of 12 lasers and a large LED screen. Past anniversary concerts, named “PARADE” which came before were all held on outdoor stage like the special outdoor stage created at Yokohama Minato Mirai Shinko Pier in 2007, at Chiba Port Park in 2012, and Odaiba Yagai Tokusetsu Kaijo in 2017, making this the first anniversary concert being held in an arena. At an outdoor venue, lighting and visual effects don’t come into play until the sun sets, so this time, the band was able to construct their world right from the very start.

There is one fixed screen on each side of the stage, plus one giant screen at the back of the stage and one more large screen in front of the stage. The screen in front of the stage could be moved which meant that while there were some sets there the screen remained in front of the stage like a faded filter over the band members, there were also sets when it would be raised up, removed to create a three-dimensional effect with the depth of the screen in the background. 

If I were to pick the most impactful scene among the songs performed on both days as an example, it would be the second song they performed, BABEL, which has a story which pulls you in its euphoria and deep heavy groove. The Tower of Babel was shown against a bright red background on the screen behind, while the screen in front which previously concealed the band slowly rose up as if illustrating the disquieting building of the Tower of Babel.

What left a truly strong impression on me was the performance of Aikawarazu no `Are’ no Katamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari (2022MIX) around the middle of the show that had a languid jungle beat and saw Imai Hisashi (on guitar) taking on the role of lead singer. The sight of Sakurai Atsushi’s (singer) face on the back screen coalescing with the numerous writhing hands on the bright red screen towards the front of the stage inspired the same creepiness you would get in a horror movie.  

During the mid-tempo Guernica no Yoru which tells of the tragedies of war, we saw an amusement park under the stars, crumbling with the passage of time. At Aku no Hana during the encore, red, blue and green lasers were shot from the stage into the audience. During Yume Miru Uchuu in the second encore, the screen in front of the stage rose almost to the ceiling to combine with the back screen and create what felt like the endless void of outer space.

The visuals and lighting used to further develop the world of the songs sometimes drowned out or silhouetted the members, and if one were to say that live performances are about enjoying the playing style and facial expressions live, then this choice of production might have seemed rather bold. But when we consider the fact that BUCK-TICK made their video debut 35 years ago as “visual artists”, one can also say that this time, they were being conscious of their “origins” on stage.

And the second special characteristic was how the set list wasn’t comprehensive of their 35-year career or brimming with a festive mood even though these concerts were in celebration of their 35th anniversary. 

This year, the first show was named “FLY SIDE” and the second was named “HIGH SIDE”, just like their shows at Odaiba in 2017. But while the Odaiba setlist looked back over their 30 years with a collection of songs that covers a relatively complete range of eras, from the indie era and early numbers such as Fly High, this year’s set list seemed to focus on where the band is now and where they’re headed towards in the future while incorporating the messages they want to convey at this point in time. 

That said, BUCK-TICK thus far tends to decide on their set list based on the songs that each band member suggests. But the set list this time around appears to centre around CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv., their best-of album collection that was recently released on 21 September.

They also appear to have worked with the stage production team to focus it all around Sakurai too. As a result, the show’s content was saturated with his message. Which was especially conspicuous when they performed Rakuen, REVOLVER, Guernica no Yoru and, live for the first time, their new song Sayonara Shelter on both days.

Shrouded in a black veil from his head, Sakurai sounded the tingsha in his hands during Rakuen’s cutting narration of a war-torn country looking upon a conflagration on the opposite shore as an opportunity.  During the highly aggressive and fast-paced REVOLVER, he puts his finger to his temple, shouting, “Shoot the child’s future!”¹. In the last part of Guernica no Yoru, a song where he sings from the perspective of a young protagonist about the devastation of air strikes, a brief respite came after he sang “After seeing such a dream, I woke up”². But brief it was, before they dove into a song inspired by the current state of the world, Sayonara Shelter which illustrates the madness of reality amidst a gentle melody.

Another thing I want to highlight is their performance of Kinjirareta Asobi -ADULT CHILDREN- on the first day. This song tells of traumatised grown-up children (adult children) who have closed themselves off going through the process of stepping outside and saying “I’m leaving of this room”³. During the performance, a large white wall appeared on the screen in front of the stage with a black, gaping exit painted right where Sakurai was standing and at the end of the song, Sakurai said, “This is dedicated to all the adult children.” All of it left a deep impression on me. 

It would appear that Sakurai, who channels his thoughts and feelings into stories and puts them into his lyrical world, was very determined to strongly lay bare his message through this set list. For his gaze was sharp, his singing was strong and powerful, and filled with compassion too.

Of the 21 songs performed on each of the two days, ten of them, or half were fixed songs but the eleven alternated songs added to the set list provided different sides of the band.

The first day started with the industrial-sounding EDM track ICONOCLASM. Hard hammer beats, edgy guitar riffs and a deep mechanical-sounding voice are unleashed with lasers from behind a screen that remains down in front of the stage. The glorious BABEL came next, followed by Uta which started with Yagami Toll’s (on drums) tight drum intro that led into a robust groove which then flowed into the melancholic Gekka Reijin

“Welcome. Do enjoy yourself,” was Sakurai’s short coquettish MC that served as a lead into Maimu Mime. In a video which moves from a street which looks like Jiufen, Taiwan to a close-up shot in a room, Sakurai makes use of his black wide-brimmed hat, a chair, and glimpses of his thighs as puts on a one-man performance of the bewitching games between men and women. 

During Kyoki no Dead Heat, which feels like running at hyper speed, cameramen with movie cameras went on stage to capture the aggressive members strutting up and down the stage extensions on both the left and right side. 

To close off the main set were three songs brimming with hope. Go-Go B-T TRAIN’s performance was spectacular with light shining on the large mirror balls on either side of the stage. The colourful graphics reminiscent of CD jackets, smoke billowing like steam from a steam locomotive, and a lively ensemble that nimbly runs through the heavy, creaking locomotive adds to the electricity in the arena. 

The stage lit up with flames for the next song, Memento Mori with tribal rhythms, Okinawan-sound scales, and shouts of “Wooha!” echoing. And finally, they ended with New World, leading us out of darkness and into a bright future.

The encore began with Django!!! -Genwaku no Django-. A rich groove was produced by Imai’s exotic guitar sounds coupled with Hoshino Hidehiko’s (on guitar) light acoustic guitar and the bass notes of Higuchi Yutaka (on bass), who came to the front of the stage during the bridge. As for Sakurai, he wore a silk hat on his head, had black feathers around his neck, and hot shorts and knee-high stockings, essentially dressing burlesque-style as he showed off his thighs and sways his hips as he sang.

Following the heaviness of Aku no Hana, Sakurai said, “Please have a listen to a nostalgic song from the album we debuted with 35 years ago.” With that, they proceeded into ILLUSION. The oldest of the songs performed over these two days, it evokes nostalgia with its lyrics that seem to bring up old memories.

In the second encore, they performed a graceful rendition of Koi, a requiem that combines fragility and strength. After that came Yume Miru Uchuu which was performed on a stage with the cosmos unfolding before it. Then, the big finale, Solaris. The macrocosmic cosmos and the microcosmic cells of a random person. The beautiful soundscapes created by the band and Sakurai’s enchanting falsetto, set to a moving visual image that evokes this connection, left a lasting impression.

Opening the second day the straight rock song Elise no Tame ni created a sense of unity from the start. The band was less tense with their singing and playing than the first day, and they looked relaxed on stage. With Sakurai’s slow swaying rope-crossing performance of TIGHT ROPE created a floating sensation, followed by the chunky bass riffs and the guitar’s rigid cutting in Mienai Mono wo Miyou to Suru Gokai  Subete Gokai da, and finally MOONLIGHT ESCAPE’s singing so carefree that it feels like we’re flying over the moon, there was even an emotional moment where we saw Imai strumming his guitar while lying on the floor in the outro.

Sakurai seemed to mimic David Bowie’s voice as he said, “Let’s Dance〜” before they dove into Dance Tengoku. Then, starting with an interlude from Imai’s guitar was BOY septem peccata mortalia where the members of the band were freely roaming all over the stage, being chased by the camera crew or staring into a camera while crawling on stage; so much was going on that we could barely keep up with our eyes.

The stage was set aglow by the flames in ROMANCE, where we got to hear Sakurai’s beautiful falsetto and after that, came the last song, same as the first day’s; New World. Powerful vocals pushed forward with clean-toned riffs that seemed to burst with light and the powerful 4/4 rhythm. It’s a song fit to end the set for these five who are taking a new step forward.

The first encore featured the newly remixed ANGELIC CONVERSATION (2022MIX) from their best-of album, Aku no Hana, and the dramatic pop ballad HEAVEN. In the second encore were the heartfelt ballad Boukyaku, Yume Miru Uchuu, and finally, Kodou (2022MIX). BUCK-TICK’s magnificent paean to humanity, dedicated to all life was sung in high spirits, bringing the two-day festivities to a close.

Despite celebrating their 35th anniversary on the big stage, BUCK-TICK had already entered a new phase. Furthermore, it looks like they’re already headed in a certain direction. 

“Since our 35th anniversary year has just begun, there’s a lot for us to do, and a lot for us to be happy about. After we’re done with today, Anii and Yuta will begin rehearsing for the tour tomorrow. And Imai-san and Hide will compose new songs. And I…… will sleep (smiles).”

While listening to this MC by Sakurai, I recalled a time in their early days of exhausting work where they were going on tour for their second album right after they concluded recording work for their third album. Finding out that there were some things that still haven’t changed since those days made me laugh a little. 

I’ve been hearing that the new release slated for the coming spring will be based on a new, never-before-seen concept. Expectations are high for the future of BUCK-TICK, who continues to avariciously evolve even past their 35th anniversary.

<Set List>

■BUCK-TICK 2022 “THE PARADE” ~35th anniversary~ FLY SIDE
Friday, 23 September 2022 | Yokohama Arena

SE. THEME OF B-T

M1. ICONOCLASM
M2. BABEL
M3. 唄 [Uta]
M4. 月下麗人 [Gekka Reijin]
M5. 舞夢マイム [Maimu Mime]
M6. 狂気のデッドヒート [Kyoki no Dead Heat]
M7. 禁じられた遊び -ADULT CHILDREN- [Kinjirareta Asobi -ADULT CHILDREN-]
M8. 相変わらずの「アレ」のカタマリがのさばる反吐の底の吹き溜まり (2022MIX)
[Aikawarazu no “Are” no Katamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari (2022MIX)]
M9. 楽園 [Rakuen]
M10. REVOLVER
M11. ゲルニカの夜 [Guernica no Yoru]
M12. さよならシェルター (新曲) [Sayonara Shelter (New song)]
M13. Go-Go B-T TRAIN
M14. Memento mori
M15. New World

EN1-1. Django!!!-眩惑のジャンゴ- [Django!!!-Genwaku no Django-]
EN1-2. 惡の華 [Aku no Hana]
EN1-3. ILLUSION

EN2-1. 恋 [Koi]
EN2-2. 夢見る宇宙 [Yume Miru Uchuu]
EN2-3. Solaris

 

■BUCK-TICK 2022 “THE PARADE” 〜35th anniversary〜 HIGH SIDE
Saturday, 24 September 2022 | Yokohama Arena

SE. THEME OF B-T

M1. エリーゼのために [Elise no Tame ni]
M2. BABEL
M3. Tight Rope
M4. 見えない物を見ようとする誤解 全て誤解だ [Mienai Mono wo Miyou to Suru Gokai  Subete Gokai da]
M5. MOONLIGHT ESCAPE
M6. ダンス天国 [Dance Tengoku]
M7. BOY septem peccata mortalia
M8. 相変わらずの「アレ」のカタマリがのさばる反吐の底の吹き溜まり (2022MIX)
[Aikawarazu no “Are” no Katamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari (2022MIX)]
M9. 楽園 [Rakuen]
M10. REVOLVER
M11. ゲルニカの夜 [Guernica no Yoru]
M12. さよならシェルター (新曲) [Sayonara Shelter (New song)]
M13. Go-Go B-T TRAIN
M14. ROMANCE
M15. New World

EN1-1. ANGELIC CONVERSATION (2022MIX)
EN1-2. 惡の華 [Aku no Hana]
EN1-3. HEAVEN

EN2-1. 忘却 [Boukyaku]
EN2-2. 夢見る宇宙 [Yume Miru Uchuu]
EN2-3. 鼓動 (2022MIX) [Kodou (2022MIX)]

 

 

 

 

Notes:

¹ あの子の未来を  撃て / Ano ko no mirai wo   ute

² そんな夢見て  目覚めた / Sonna yume mite   mezameta

³ この部屋を  出て行くよ / Kono heya wo   dete iku yo

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Spice, JVC Music

 

 

BUCK-TICK Holds 35th Anniversary Concert
“We’re still moving forward. Wishing blessings upon everyone too.”

Sports Hochi
23 September 2022

 

 

 

5-piece rock band BUCK-TICK held their 35th major debut anniversary concert, The Parade on the 23rd at Yokohama Arena in Kanagawa.

They performed 21 songs like their signature Aku no Hana and for the first time, Sayonara Shelter, their new song that was included in their best-of collection CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv. which was recently released on the 21st. They also mesmerised fans with light performances that made use of 12 laser machines, and a giant LED screen.

“We’ve been doing this for 35 years. I would like to express my gratitude to all of you; thank you. We have more new recordings too. We’re still moving forward. Wishing blessings upon everyone too,” thanked Sakurai Atsushi who wore beguiling outfits, like jet black shorts and black knee-high socks that show off his “absolute territory¹”.

They’ll perform on the 24th at the same venue too. They will then kick off their first national tour in 3 years on 13 October, starting with a show at Tachikawa Stage Garden in Tokyo to play a total off 21 shows in 20 locations. Sakurai rallied, “You all still can’t take your masks off and scream for us, but we hope you’ll come and join us on tour too in good health.”

 

 

Notes:

¹ Absolute Territory (絶対領域 / zettai ryouiki) describes the amount of bare thigh skin between the shorts or skirt and stockings or socks.

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Sports Hochi

 

 

BUCK-TICK 35th Major Debut Anniversary Concert
Sakurai Atsushi: “We’re still going!!”

Sanspo
23 September 2022

 

 

 

5-piece rock band BUCK-TICK who celebrated the 35th anniversary of their major debut on the 21st of September has begun their two consecutive nights of concerts at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama’s Kohoku Ward to celebrate this milestone on the 23rd.

This is the 9th time they are performing at Yokohama Arena and 6 years since their last. With a 12,000-strong audience in attendance, they started off the show with ICONOCLASM from their album TABOO which became their first number one ranking album on the Oricon Chart in 1989. Vocalist Sakurai Atsushi (56) greeted the crowd with a, “Welcome. Do enjoy yourself,” turning them into a bubbling pot of excitement.

It has been 35 years since they debut in 1987. Their ingenious brand of music which blends a variety of genres started the “BUCK-TICK Phenomenon”, and these five long-standing members of the band have been at the forefront of Japan’s rock music scene with successes like performances at Nippon Budokan and Tokyo Dome in 1989 to back them.

On tonight’s stage, they performed 21 songs from their entire career’s discography including their signature song Aku no Hana, their first number one on the Oricon singles chart in 1990, and for the first time, Sayonara Shelter, their new song that was included in their best-of collection CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv. which was recently released on the 21st. They also delighted fans with flashy performances that saw 12 laser machines, and giant LED screens and lighting.

Their concert DVD of last year-end’s Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara~SHOW AFTER DARK~in Nippon Budokan was also released on the 21st. They will also be kicking off their first national tour (21-show run) in three years on 13 October.

Sakurai thanked the audience, saying, “We’ve been doing this for 35 years. I would like to express my gratitude to all of you; thank you.” Then, he declared, “We’ve got our tour in October, and another show tomorrow. There are still more new recordings to work on. We’re still going!!” Unstoppable is the momentum of legends who are celebrating their anniversary year.

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Sanspo

 

 

Concert report of Yagami Toll’s (BUCK-TICK) star-studded 60th birthday celebration

OKMusic
20 August 2022

Text=Yuka Okubo
Photos=Seitaro Tanaka

 

The report covering Yagami Toll ~60th Birthday Live~ IT’S A NOW!2022, the birthday concert celebrating Yagami Toll’s 60th birthday which was held at CLUB CITTA’ Kawasaki in Kanagawa on Friday, 19 August 2022 has arrived.

While Yagami Toll is drummer to the band BUCK-TICK, who will be celebrating 35 years together with no change in member line up in September later this year, he also carries out solo activities under the name Yagami Toll & Blue Sky and has released an EP, WONDERFUL HOME -Thunder & Cold wind- in 2019.

This event was in celebration of Yagami Toll’s 60th birthday, and was held on 19 August, the actual day of his birthday. Apart from the Yagami Toll-led band, Yagami Toll & Blue Sky, there also were performances by BUCK-TICK and D’ERLANGER, and he also shared a stage with guest musicians like his close friend Miyako Keiichi from SOPHIA/Rayflower, drummer Minato Masafumi, Der Zibet’s ISSAY, his mentor-figure Takahashi Makoto, and singer Yoshida Minako whom Yagami has admired since childhood.

 

 

On 19 August, stalwart drummer Yagami Toll of the band BUCK-TICK, who will be celebrating their 35th anniversary in September, celebrated his 60th birthday at CLUB CITTA’ Kawasaki in Kanagawa with the show, Yagami Toll ~60th Birthday Live~IT’S A NOW!2022.

This birthday concert has become an annual event ever since the 2012 show at the very same CLUB CITTA’ Kawasaki celebrating his 50th birthday. Subsequent shows were held at Shimokitazawa’s live house with the Yagami Toll-led Yagami Toll & Blue Sky as the main act performing their original compositions and covering Yagami’s favourite songs. But this year, they decided to throw a big celebration for Yagami hitting the big 60 and had performances by BUCK-TICK, D’ERLANGER, and special guests like Miyako Keiichi (SOPHIA/Rayflower), Takahashi Makoto, Minato Masafumi and Yoshida Minako joining Yagami Toll & Blue Sky, as well as ISSAY (Der Zibet) taking part in BUCK-TICK’s set. 

During transitions between sets, congratulatory video messages from musicians of all genres of bands were shown too, a testament to just how large Yagami’s circle of friends is. Even the audience’s faces burst into smiles as they watched all the sincere comment videos from stand-out individuals and groups, like the 5 members of Kishidan exclaiming “We knew Anii would be a-okay even at 60!” together, Nishikawa Takanori, fellow Gunma-ite Kanagawa Macoto, his musician seniors Uchiumi Toshikatsu and Nakano Shigeru (亜無亜危異 / ANARCHY), his drummer senior Tsunoda☆Hiro, drummer junior Shinya of DIR EN GREY, Sakiyama Tatsuo from Spitz, and BRAHMAN’s RONZI, just to name a few.

Actor Kuroda Takaya was the backstage announcer for this event, calling in the first batter of the night, D’ERLANGER. As all four members faced each other, they kicked things off with BABY. And Angelic Poetry followed, flaunting the way each and every note could be heard clearly while coming together in the satisfying explosive sound that is unique to D’ERLANGER. Waves alternating between quiet and intensity came and went in Romeo&Juliet, and after performing their hit songs LULLABY and CRAZY4YOU, drummer Tetsu who is Yagami’s close friend said, “I’m glad that we can throw a grand celebration for you in such a large venue today. May our friendship continue into tomorrow, and the day after, and even longer!” 

Singer kyo then said, “To commemorate this day, we’ll be performing a song that everyone is familiar with.” Following that, they performed Oh! My God!; a rock’n’roll song from Yagami Toll & Blue Sky’s discography with lyrics written by Yagami himself. It was a surprise for Yagami too, and when the excitement in the hall was at its peak, the band performed SADISTIC EMOTION, a fiery song that perfectly led back to what kyo said in his very first MC: “Do allow me to properly warm up the stage.” And with that, they departed from the stage.

Up next was Yagami Toll & Blue Sky. The drum stand on the stage took on a special look with a display covered in deep red roses. Once Yagami, Harada Kenta (guitar & vocals), KANAME (bass & vocals), Yagi Masato (guitar), and Miyako Keiichi (keyboard) took the stage wearing red t-shirts, they started their session with the instrumental track WONDERFUL HOME -Thunder & Cold wind-. After drawing the audience in with the mellow performance, they got the crowd going with upbeat rock ‘n roll songs SODA ROCK!! and ROCK’N ROLL STAR.

There’s one more person who is integral to these IT’S A NOW! birthday events and that is SHIME, who passed away in March this year. As a tribute to his memory, they covered SHIME’s own song, Top of The Mountain Bar. Footage of SHIME performing with the band was shown on screen, and at times, Yagami could be seen watching it as he drummed.

Next came a twin drums session where they were joined by guest drummer Minato Masafumi in performing CAROL’s Funky Monkey Baby and Good Old Rock’n’Roll, and then by Takahashi Makoto in their performance of Larry Williams’ SLOW DOWN which The Beatles once covered, and BOØWY’s DREAMIN’. Then, Yoshida Minako, who Yagami has professed to being a huge fan of, joined them on stage for a heartfelt rendition of Yagami’s song requests, Toki yo and Yume de Aetara

While still immersed in the afterglow of her groovy singing, Yagami’s biological younger brother, Higuchi Yutaka (bassist/BUCK-TICK) brought cake onto the stage with Tetsu (D’ERLANGER) who carried a large bouquet. All at once, the hall switched into a festive mood. With the celebratory mood in the air, the band then closed off their set with the mid-tempo Blow Wind, the one and only song that the sharp-tongued SHIME ever praised.

SE THEME OF B-T resounded through the hall as the final act of the night, BUCK-TICK took the stage. We departed from the lull with Go-Go B-T TRAIN, the up-tempo number that was a combination of speed and force. With a whine from guitarist Imai Hisashi’s instrument imitating the pressure of steam blowing out, Higuchi rocked backwards, lifting the neck of his bass guitar up high. Guitarist Hoshino Hidehiko’s strumming was sharp and cutting too as the band went in hard and heavy from their very first song.

Vocalist Sakurai Atsushi causally introduced the band as, “Yagami Toll and his trusted associates,” and then continued his MC with, “I’m straying into personal matters on this happy day, but I fell sick with COVID-19 despite everyone’s cautioning to be careful. Zero powers of persuasion there.” 

This day marks the very first show that Sakurai is having after his falling ill and recupertion last month. But not even a shred of evidence of that was left in his powerful yet delicate voice as the band went on to perform GUSTAVE and then, Baby, I want you.

“Let’s call on our lovely guest,” Sakurai said before singing, ♪‘Radio kara no Transmission〜’ from Der Zibet’s Shizumitai. A delightful scene followed when ISSAY came on stage singing the next part of the song. Then, Sakurai and ISSAY dueted in their first performance of Itoshi no Rock Star together after close to 27 years.

Following the emotional Koi and everyone throwing up peace signs in Eureka,  Sakurai began a humorous introduction with, “This [next one] is on request by our Anii-san from Tokyo.”

Yagami then announced, “We’ll be performing the title track from our debut album!” which led into their last song for the night, SEXUAL×××××!. Just as they jumped into the intro to Yagami’s count, red and silver streamers flew into the air and the audience went wild from this surprise that felt like a return gift from Yagami; a fitting, euphoric end to the night.

After the performance concluded, Yagami remained on stage to tell the audience, “Thank you for coming to celebrate my 60th birthday today.” And finally, to the rest of his bandmates who will in turn hit 60 in future, he added, “I hope we’ll be able [to celebrate like this] three and four years later too.”

The audience gave a rousing applause throughout the performance, and showered love on Yagami, the star of the evening from start to end. The hairstyle that he has kept upright throughout BUCK-TICK’s 35 years of activities is like a symbol of the determination he has had since day one and his love for the fans.

What especially struck me was how quickly they changed the angles of the cymbals for Yagami Toll & Blue Sky’s set. As the drum stand was higher up than usual, the audience wouldn’t be able to see Yagami from where they stood if the cymbals were set at certain angles. For this reason, the cymbals were almost horizontal. Such attention to detail is probably one of the reasons he is so loved by many. I hope that to continue seeing his reliable self as the supporting backbone of BUCK-TICK not just three or four years from now, but far into the future too.

 

<Set List>

■D’ERLANGER

  1. BABY
  2. Angelic Poetry
  3. Romeo & Juliet
  4. LULLABY
  5. CRAZY4YOU
  6. Oh! My God! (Yagami Toll & Blue Sky cover)
  7. SADISTIC EMOTION

■Yagami Toll & Blue Sky

  1. Mandom—Lovers Of The World
  2. WONDERFUL HOME -Thunder & Cold wind- / with Miyako Keiichi
  3. SODA ROCK!! / with Miyako Keiichi
  4. Fire Girl / with Miyako Keiichi
  5. ROCK’N ROLL STAR / with Miyako Keiichi
  6. Oh! My God! / with Miyako Keiichi
  7. Top Of The Mountain Bar (SHIME cover) / with Miyako Keiichi
  8. Funky Monkey Baby (CAROL cover) / with Minato Masafumi
  9. Good Old Rock’n’Roll (CAROL cover) / with Minato Masafumi
  10. Slow Down (THE BEATLES cover) / with Takahashi Makoto
  11. DREAMIN’ (BOØWY cover) / with Takahashi Makoto
  12. 時よ [Toki yo] / with Miyako Keiichi & Yoshida Minako
  13. 夢で逢えたら [Yume de Aetara] / with Miyako Keiichi & Yoshida Minako
  14. Blow wind  / with Miyako Keiichi

■BUCK-TICK

  1. THEME OF B-T
  2. Go-Go B-T TRAIN
  3. GUSTAVE
  4. Baby, I want you.
  5. 愛しのロック・スター [Itoshi no Rock Star] / with ISSAY
  6. 恋 [Koi]
  7. ユリイカ [Eureka]
  8. SEXUAL×××××!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: OKMusic, Lingua Sounda

 

 

BUCK-TICK’s Only In-Person Concert in 2021 at Nippon Budokan
『魅世物小屋が暮れてから』Official Report

SPICE
January 2022

Text=Yuka Okubo
Photos=Seitaro Tanaka

 

On Wednesday, 29 December 2021, BUCK-TICK held their concert Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara ~SHOW AFTER DARK~ in Nippon Budokan. BUCK-TICK’s performances at Nippon Budokan started in 2000 with TOUR ONE LIFE, ONE DEATH, and since then, the only time they performed elsewhere was in 2019 when they moved their venue to Yoyogi First Gymnasium because of refurbishment works at Nippon Budokan. In light of the spread of COVID-19 in 2020, they also made their one and only in-person concert that year a Nippon Budokan show. And this year, their national tour which was supposed to commence in October had to be cancelled due to Imai Hisashi’s injury, making this show the one and only in-person concert for them this year too.

The concert Blu-ray & DVD release of the concert they performed last year at Nippon Budokan on 29th December, ABRACADABRA THE DAY IN QUESTION 2020 went on sale on the same day as 2021’s performance and along with it was the announcement of their upcoming first release for 2022, the concert Blu-ray & DVD release of Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara ~SHOW AFTER DARK~ on Monday, 7th March. Adding on, they announced their activities planned for 2022 after the concert ended with a fan club-exclusive concert in July, the Yagami Toll ~60th Birthday Live~ on 19th August, the 35th Anniversary Special Live on 23rd and 24th September, a national tour which begins in October, and finally, their annual concert at Nippon Budokan on 29 December.

They also further announced that in spring of 2023, a new album is going to be released. With a teaser website set up for their 35th anniversary too, expectations are high for BUCK-TICK’s activities in 2022.

Below is the official report from 29 December 2021’s Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara ~SHOW AFTER DARK~ in Nippon Budokan.

 

 

Come, come on over and have a looksee”¹

The curtains were raised on BUCK-TICK’s Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara ~SHOW AFTER DARK~ in Nippon Budokan with that beckoning call on 29 December 2021 in Nippon Budokan, Tokyo.

A buzzer signalling the start of the show resounded around the hall and as the instrumental piece played, a video leading us to the back of a circus tent played on the gauze screen which hung at the front of the stage. This is the same introduction from their Streaming Live Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara ~SHOW AFTER DARK which happened last July. 

Just as the show title suggests, today’s concert is billed as a two-part show that would follow in the footsteps of the Streaming Live and up until the end of the introduction, I’m sure everyone, myself included, was expecting to see the same bewitching, alluring, and salacious worldview we witnessed in the real world. There was no time to waste. 

BUCK-TICK is holding this 29th December concert for the 21st year in a row, but it was only around a month and a half ago when they announced that it will be happening. Having had to cancel their national tour because of Imai Hisashi’s (guitarist) leg injury, they had been debating whether or not to do this until the very last minute. If they decided not to go ahead with this concert, it would mean that they’d have had zero in-person concerts in 2021. That would be a first for them since their debut. Even in the COVID-19-dominated year of 2020, they had just one in-person concert on 29th December. Their strong desire to see [their fans] altered the course of their decision of whether or not to hold the concert. It’s easy for us to imagine that  preparations kicked off at a rapid pace once the decision was made.

When that same introduction as the Streaming Live ended, the band could just barely be seen behind the title logo, inducing a huge round of applause. Then came the booming of the timpani sounding high. With a “Come, come on over and have a look-see”¹, DIABOLO marked the start of the show.

Lively circus visuals coloured the gauze screen with images of trapeze artists flying through the air and bears on bicycles, and behind it, the band played on, swaying their bodies, relaxed. Entertaining the audience with a silk hat in hand, Sakurai Atsushi (vocalist) wandered the stage, going from right to left and back. When he theatrically sang, “Adieu, goodbye”², the screen fell away and the band was unveiled. I could feel the spike of excitement in the hall at that moment under my skin. The audience can’t be vocal with their support this year too, so they responded with a loud and extended applause. We could see Imai lying on a chaise lounge kicking his legs up in the air. And on his feet, he clearly wore high-heeled boots.

“Welcome, it’s great to see you. Please enjoy yourselves.”

Following this short greeting, they kept the excitement going by treating the audience to Muma -The Nightmare. All at once, we were transported into the underworld.

In hindsight, this was impulsive. If they kept with the format they had in the Streaming Live, which had an acoustic set for the first act, then it’d be a little more reassuring that Imai’s still-healing leg wouldn’t be overstretched, and at the same time, we’d still be able to enjoy a similar worldview that of July’s. But hasn’t BUCK-TICK always been one to entertain us with possibilities and potentials far beyond what we imagined?

In reality, the expressions of the audience who have raised their two hands to the provoking Muma -The Nightmare with its high tension song and ensemble, was filled with ecstasy. Imai strut around the stage with his cane as he played his guitar. When I laid eyes on him, I had probably already fallen truly and deeply into the dream bestowed upon me by the incubi³.

Following DIABOLO and Muma -The Nightmare, there wasn’t a single title track that was performed in the first act, but it was a lineup of highly intoxicating songs that immerse you in their world when you listen to them. It felt as if each song took us on a trip to a foreign land.

Led in by the jingle of Sakurai’s ghungroo⁴ was Rakuen, then torches were lit aflame during Shanikusai -Carnival-. Just those lights alone made for a mesmerising performance. Imai played a tune from Erik Satie’s Gnossiennes in a short interlude that led into Lullaby-Ⅲ, where Higuchi Yutaka (bassist) played a jitterbug rhythm on his upright bass and Sakurai played the role of the foxy madame of a bar as he swayed with his rouged lips and black feather boa. 

Claps sounded to the beat of Hoshino Hidehiko’s (guitarist) Spanish guitar in Zekkai, and in Living on the Net -Acoustic Ver.-, two acoustic guitars strummed at a 16-beat rhythm reminiscent to that of Kecak⁵. Yagami Toll (drummer) drummed a tight beat as they brought us into a neo-futuristic world in Hikari no Teikoku, and then took us on a jaunt through outer space in Eureka. Then came the final song for the first act, Boukyaku. The emotionally rich soundscape and song drew us into a realm of nothingness. Sakurai’s haunting humming to the outro of the song made it linger all the more.

The second act opened with BABEL. With up-tempo tunes from recent years like Kemonotachi no Yoru and Datenshi YOW-ROW Ver., along with acoustic arrangements of certain numbers, 8 out of the 11 songs performed were singles.

Compared to the first act which was dominated by songs that sang of scenes, the songs in the second act painted emotions. Sakurai and Imai’s duet in Villain depicted outright hatred. The nihilism lying hidden beneath the negotiation took centerstage in Maimu Mime where Sakurai performed both the man and woman roles with differences in his vocal tone and gestures. MOONLIGHT ESCAPE was sung with flowing and elegant vocals released from stress. And in this act, they performed an absolute gem of their arrangements, Keijijou Ryuusei -Acoustic Ver.-. Between the interlude into the next song, Imai’s plucking of the Kagome Kagome⁶ melody was exploding with lyricism. Sakurai’s voice was also even more vulnerably beautiful than usual. 

Bringing us nostalgia by the buckets was JUST ONE MORE KISS Ver.2021. I believe there’s probably a good number of people who remembered the thrill of hearing the whispers of “I want you, I love you.” and “I‘ll kiss you.” added arbitrarily at the end. It was refreshing to hear the jazzy acoustic arrangement of Uta Ver.2021, and Sakurai sounding lascivious as he exposed his thighs during the performance of ICONOCLASM Ver.2021 arranged to a shuffle beat. Basking in the afterglow of that, the booms of a timpani sounded once again, signalling the end of the show as it woke us up from this long dream we’ve had.

The last number of the second act was Alice in Wonder Underground. The light-hearted number brought us back to reality and yet, the intro of that same thundering timpani brought back the memory of DIABOLO, the first song in the first act and Imai singing the line “Come, come on over and have a look-see”, leaving us stuck with the strange feeling of having wandered into a parallel world where the show was just beginning now.

Although there was a 15-minute ventilation break for infection control between the first and second acts, the esoteric worldview that we were constantly immersed in from start to end left me in awe.

In the encore, they performed their latest single, Go-Go B-T TRAIN and its B-side, Koi live for the very first time. A requiem for dearly departed loved ones, the performance of Koi saw Sakurai dressed in a long, red satin kimono as his ephemeral yet beautiful and strong voice sang in the graceful ensemble woven from the silence.

Following that, they dove into Go-Go B-T TRAIN with Sakurai beating on his red tambourine. Higuchi’s bold bass sounds and strong presence, Yagami’s heavy and tight drumming keeping the foundations strong, the heavy riffs born of Imai and Hide’s two guitars, and Sakurai’s steady voice all came together to sprint forth powerfully as one. 

In light of the cancellation of their autumn tour also named Go-Go B-T TRAIN, Sakurai said, “At last, we’ve boarded the B-T TRAIN. Here and now, I’d like for us to forget about what’s happened this year and look forward to doing lots of concerts next year.” 

During the members’ introductions, Imai said, “Thank you for waiting. It’s not the first time that I’ve somehow gotten myself into situations like this so, I hope for your continuous support.” He then stuck his middle finger up before turning it into a peace sign, tickling the audience. 

And closing off was the upbeat Dokudanjou Beauty -R.I.P.-. In the brightened hall with the lights turned on, the band and the audience celebrated the grand finale face to face with the strongest sense of togetherness they’ve felt on this day.

BUCK-TICK will celebrate their 35th anniversary in 2022. In July, they will hold a fan club & mobile website members-only concert. Yagami Toll ~60th Birthday Live~ will be held on Friday, 19th August. Their 35th Anniversary Project will commence in September. An Anniversary Special Live YOKOHAMA ARENA is planned for 23rd and 24th September, Friday and Saturday respectively. They will  go on a national tour in October. A concert will be held on Thursday, 29th December at Nippon Budokan. And finally, a new album will be released in spring of 2023. The band’s upcoming activities were announced one after another after the show, further exciting the audience.

Each member’s thoughts towards their 35th anniversary were actually already printed on posters by to the escalator at the Kudanshita underground station, the station closest to Nippon Budokan. The common message put forth by them was, “Let’s go  Let’s head into the future⁷.” These words were the same words from Sakurai’s powerful statement during the MC right before New World, the last song they played at 29 December 2020’s Nippon Budokan concert. 

The B-T TRAIN has just started running again to cut through this infinite darkness and head into the future. I hope that you won’t miss out and will have fun on this train ride through a year to remember.

 

 

SETLIST
Misemono-goyaga Kurete Kara 〜SHOW AFTER DARK〜 in Nippon Budokan
2021.12.29 Nippon Budokan

Act I  SE [Instrumental]

  1. DIABOLO
  2. 夢魔 -The Nightmare [Muma -The Nightmare]
  3. 楽園 [Rakuen]
  4. 謝肉祭 -カ-ニバル- [Shanikusai -Carnival-]
  5. Lullaby-III
  6. 絶界 [Zekkai]
  7. Living on the Net -Acoustic Ver.-
  8. 光の帝国 [Hikari no Teikoku]
  9. ユリイカ [Eureka]
  10. 10. 忘却 [Boukyaku]

Act II

  1. BABEL
  2. 獣たちの夜 [Kemonotachi no Yoru]
  3. 堕天使 YOW-ROW Ver. [Datenshi YOW-ROW Ver.]
  4. Villain 
  5. 舞夢マイム [Maimu Mime]
  6. MOONLIGHT ESCAPE  
  7. 形而上 流星 -Acoustic Ver.- [Keijijou Ryuusei -Acoustic Ver.-]
  8. JUST ONE MORE KISS Ver.2021
  9. 唄 Ver.2021 [Uta Ver.2021]
  10. ICONOCLASM Ver.2021
  11. Alice in Wonder Underground

ENCORE

  1. 恋 [Koi]
  2. Go-Go B-T TRAIN
  3. 独壇場Beauty -R.I.P.- [Dokudanjou Beauty -R.I.P.-]

 

 

【35th Anniversary Teaser Website】
https://www.jvcmusic.co.jp/linguasounda/b-t35th/

 

 

 

Notes:

¹ First line of Diabolo

² Line from Diabolo: 御機嫌よう さようなら (Gokigenyou  Sayounara)

³ 夢魔. Apart from being the word for “nightmare”, it’s also what an incubus or succubus is called in Japanese. Quite literally, it’s meant to be a demon that appears in/through a dream, or torments you in your dream.

⁴ It’s supposed to be a musical anklet of many small metallic bells strung together. It’s usually tied to the feet of classical Indian dancers but in the show, Sakurai holds it in his hand.

⁵ Kecak is a form of Balinese Hindu dance and music drama that was developed in the 1930s in Bali, Indonesia. Since its creation, it has been performed primarily by men, with the first women’s kecak group having started in 2006.

⁶ Kagome Kagome is a Japanese children’s game and the song associated with it. In this game, one player is chosen as the Oni and sits blindfolded. The other children join hands and walk in circles around the Oni while chanting the song for the game. When the song stops, the Oni tries to name the person standing directly behind them. Here’s a… not creepy version of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4vPvzX9PMM

⁷ The line “行こう 未来へと、行こう。” [Ikou  Mirai e to, ikou] that is found above the words NEW WORLD for YOU. See all the “posters” here: https://www.jvcmusic.co.jp/linguasounda/b-t35th/

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: SPICE

 

 

27 November 1991  Shibuya CLUB QUATTRO
Live Report

Fool’s Mate
February 1992

Text=Iwamoto Miki (岩本美紀)
Photos=Ikeda MIchihiro (池田倫弘)

 

Thrown back in time in one night’s dream

It was a truly abrupt move by them. Just when we thought that they would go off to work on their own projects after their tour ended, they suddenly announced that they would be performing at live houses. Scheduled were performances at Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya’s QUATTROs for one night each. Since it’s been a while since their last performance in a live house, this has gotten us wondering what it’s going to be like. Hearts pounding with anticipation, a crowd gathered at the venue.

 

 

Wednesday, November 27. BUCK-TICK performed at Shibuya QUATTRO. How many years has it been since they last stood on the stage of a live house? Naturally, tickets were extremely difficult to get. Whether they were the lucky fans who cleared the tough obstacle of a lottery, or fans who unfortunately didn’t get a ticket, there is no doubt that people of all walks of life and with all sorts of emotions were gathered here.

Entering the venue was the familiar sight of a horizontal black curtain hanging over the stage, something that you’d often see back when they used to run the live circuit. The white “BUCK-TICK” text against a black background brings back a wave of nostalgia. Compared to large venues, this small set in a cosy space offers an intimate view no matter where you stand. Waiting for the show to begin, a man’s cheer of “Atsushiー!” came from somewhere in the audience, leading to the crowd’s ‘whoo’s and laughter and applause filling the venue. The fans’ desire to see the band as soon as possible was manifesting in a number of different ways.

Then, the lights went out. To the backdrop of Theme of B-T and the club illuminated in red light, the band appears. Last to come on stage was Sakurai holding a cigarette by the corner of his lips. The light at the end of that cigarette looked even redder than usual on the darkened stage. Then, a spotlight shines on Sakurai. He’s wearing brown sunglasses!

The opening song was Taiyou ni Korosareta.

Only in a live house will we get to see U-ta and Yagami positioned a little lower instead of being on their usual platforms. With Sakurai’s forceful gesture, the sunglasses flew. Imai and Yagami were dressed in red while Sakurai, Hide, and U-ta were dressed in black; outfits which created a simple and unusually unified image.

In the second song, TO-SEARCH, Imai went from the left side of the stage to the right, lining up with U-ta while Hide moved to the left. This feeling that they were all focused on the same thing was not something that could have been felt if this was a bigger stage, and it’s probably another one of those things you can only see in a live house setting.

“Now, then, playtime ends here!” Following Sakurai’s words, Aku no Hana begins. There was even a fleeting moment when Sakurai joined Imai under his spotlight and hugged. The mood of the audience shifted along with the songs; they sang along when the band continued into HURRY UP MODE, the club sang in symphony, but when they went on to perform MY FUNNY VALENTINE, the audience listened quietly. Then came the second MC.

“It’s been a while. It’s been a while since everyone’s this excited.”

In response, the audience replied with the words, “We aーre.”

“Well, then, please fall deeply and descend on behalf of the tens of thousands who didn’t get selected.”

Blue and yellow lights set the mood to the song that started, VICTIMS OF LOVE. During the interlude, Sakurai sucked on another cigarette as he drew close to Hide’s face, then, changing spots, he plastered himself to Imai. Sakurai displayed his emotional expressions with subtle hand gestures like running his fingers through his hair. With his blond hair, Imai looked like a foreigner too. Then came a rare number; MISTY ZONE. Fans jumped up and down to this lively, bouncy song, and clapped in time during ICONOCLASM. They were, in short, beyond fired up.

At the third MC, Sakurai appeared to respond to the calls of the grooving audience with,

“Seems like I don’t have to talk today.”

“Keep it coming.”

It was a comfortable, friendly vibe. As if we were having a casual conversation.

“And now, for the first time,” JUPITER began with an air of melancholy and the atmosphere in that space turned hushed as people quietly listened on. When the song ended, Sakurai gently clasped his hands to his chest and they proceeded into Sakura. Two heart-aching songs, back to back.

From LOVE ME, they continued on into Speed and the audience was once again fired back up. Then, as if seeing the audience through to the climax of it all, the members left the stage. The applause for an encore echoed endlessly……

“I aren’t even tired at all.” Those were the words that Yagami said into the center mic when he came back out for the encore. A searchlight was hoisted up, shining down at the audience who laughed at this unexpected MC. The song which started was HYPER LOVE. it was then followed by an extremely nostalgic song; PLASTIC SYNDROME. When the song was over, Sakurai closed with a deep bow.

In the second encore, they played IN HEAVEN, and the very last song which capped it all off was MOON LIGHT.

Somehow, it felt as if the members of BUCK-TICK and everyone in the audience slipped back in time together to the wonderful memories of “those days” that have been etched into their hearts. Those were a warm and pleasant few hours that allowed us to experience the impossible; to relive precious memories that we don’t ever want to forget. A dream within a dream…… And now, this one night’s dream has probably also turned into new memories that are now carved into the hearts and minds of everyone who was there.

 

Setlist
Shibuya CLUB QUATTRO  1991.11.27

—Theme of B-T—

  1. Taiyou ni Korosareta…
  2. TO-SEARCH
  3. HURRY-UP MODE

—MC—

  1. Aku no Hana
  2. M.A.D
  3. MY FUNNY VALENTINE
  4. Angelfish

—MC—

  1. VICTIMS OF LOVE
  2. MISTY-ZONE
  3. ICONOCLASM
  4. PHYSICAL NEUROSE

—MC—

  1. JUPITER
  2. Sakura
  3. LOVE ME
  4. Speed

—ENCORE—

E1. HYPER LOVE
E2. PLASTIC SYNDROME TEPE Ⅱ

E3. …IN HEAVEN 
E4. MOON LIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: Morgianasama on LiveJournal

 

 

Somewhere Nowhere 1995 Live Report

Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll
July 1995

Photography by Inoue Seiichi
Text by Oshibe Keiko

 

At long last, “Six/Niɴe” begins!!
Breaking report!! 2 Days’ Concert at Budokan

The curtains have finally been raised on BUCK-TICK’s tour, Somewhere Nowhere 1995 with their 2 days of opening concerts at Budokan on May 16th and 17th. Their sound becomes ever more experimental with each new release. But even as their staging becomes less appealing to the general masses, the band’s collective power remains unparalleled. Now, we’ll tell you all about what the concert was like, ahead of everyone else in this ultra breaking report that made our printing company cry.

 

 

Their continual search for sonic innovation while maintaining a pop presence is even more poignant

BUCK-TICK’s long-awaited album, Six/Niɴe was released on May 15th. They kicked off their tour, “Somewhere Nowhere 1995” with 2 days of opening concerts at Budokan on May 16th and 17th.

This tour will go on for a period of approximately 2 months, ending with their final 2 days at Osaka Koseinenkin Hall¹ on August 2nd. As this magazine will go on sale when the tour is still in its first leg, I will do my best to refrain from spoiling the setlist in this report.

Two days before the start of the tour, the band played at Shinjuku LIQUIDROOM².

Compared to an auditorium, the ambience of a live house makes it easier to bring out a sense of euphoria and a particular communal sense of unity. And I frankly think that more often than not, the closer you are [to the performers], the more tangibly thoughts and feelings can be conveyed.

However, after watching these two shows, I realised that in the case of BUCK-TICK, it was easier for them to get their message across when there’s a certain amount of distance between them and the audience.

Because their show isn’t the type where the energy gets amplified by getting the audience involved. Instead, I feel that it draws you in with a deliberately constructed overall mood on top of an increasingly unique ambience in terms of sound. Coming too close will contrarily make it difficult for them to convey this ambience, as if in a bid to create some kind of distance.

For example, in a live house, Sakurai’s lines in Somewhere Nowhere or even his screams sound like a script from an avant-garde play with a rawness that left me at a loss as to how to react, but in Budokan, it came across with a poignant effect instead.

If musicians innovated without losing their inquisitive spirit with each new work they put out, just like BUCK-TICK, then oftentimes, the range of audiences they can reach narrows. That is to say in other words, the factors of the greatest common denominator, or their mass appeal, diminishes.

But BUCK-TICK’s audience have always been flexible in accepting whatever they release. I think that is in part a result of giving typically-passive audiences a sense of autonomy through the process of them evolving their sound all while compellingly drawing in listeners. Because of that, even songs like Uta can be classified as pop as long as it is being performed by BUCK-TICK.

Personally, it’s BUCK-TICK’s band power of randomly shifting values that intrigues me.

This new album appears to be an attempt to rebuild using new elements after demolishing a certain level of mastery they had attained in their last. It is exceptionally proper of them as artists to disregard the pursuit of any sort of “likeness” or anything like that amidst the pre-established harmony. This stance along with their consistent ability to draw in an audience makes for a simply gratifying tale.

But how does the audience view this present album? While there is an increased sense of “better conveyed from a distance” in their pursuit of innovation, I also got the feeling that there was diminished connectedness with the audience. Watching the arena from the second floor, I could see that although the audience understood the band’s stance, they yearned for moments when they could somehow connect with the men on stage somewhere.

Like the tune hummed after the Uta’s break, or Sakurai’s short emcee. In those moments when it felt like there was some way to connect with the stage, the audience felt as if they were groping around trying to find it.

The main set comprised only songs from the new album, arranged such that it would bring the singular flow to a close at the end.

Caught up in such a flow, I think the audience felt that it was easiest to eke out those “moments” during the song from Kurutta Taiyou, which the band played in the encore. But that connection was severed all too soon the moment the song ended and the auditorium light up. While there might be those who simply enjoy this set up or who get some sort of masochistic pleasure from this, I’m sure there are also those who were left feeling like there’s unfinished business.

However, this concert was held the day following the release of the album which also means that not everyone was familiar with the music yet.

Taking that into consideration, at this point in time, it is still a mystery as to whether the uncertainty exhibited by the audience was because of that, or due to the confusion around the band’s direction in the new album.

It will be interesting to see what the mood in the various tour venues will be like as [the audience] soaks in the album.

At the same time, it is as Yagami Toll said during his interview for the new album; the band’s principal stance is to disregard their audience and do whatever they want.

How “pop” of an existence will this piquantly self-seeking band who hurtles headlong into going their own way continue to be for their audience from now on? Will their sound evolve as they figure out how to keep up their centripetal force so strong that it transforms their worth?  Looking at the way they’re going recently, I personally feel that there’s a lot we can expect from them in this respect.

 

 

 

Notes:

¹ Now known as Orix Theater.

² First opened in July 1994 before shutting in January 2004. Later that year in July, they moved to Shibuya and reopened.

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: Endless Dei (@DeiEndless on Twitter)

 

Related articles:

[Jun 1995] Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll: Six/Niɴe Feature — Double-Edged BUCK-TICK

[Jul 1995]  Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll: Outpouring from the heart — Part 2 of Sakurai Atsushi’s interview in the Six/Niɴe Feature

 

[Live Report] 魅世物小屋が暮れてから〜SHOW AFTER DARK〜

Pia
18 July 2021

Text = Okubo Yuka
Photos = Tanaka Seitaro, Watanabe Reina

 

 

This Depraved Dream World BUCK-TICK Invited Us Into

At 21:00 on July 17 was when BUCK-TICK began their streamed concert Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara 〜SHOW AFTER DARK〜. This is its official report.

This show is BUCK-TICK’s first concert in 2021 and their second concert stream without an in-person audience. At last September’s ABRACADABRA LIVE ON THE NET, they performed the songs from their latest album ABRACADABRA according to the CD track order on the day of the album’s release. It was a straightforward livestream that delivered the band’s zeal but this time around, as the title suggests, a conceptual set that brought their audience into a salaciously beautiful world of mellifluous intoxication unfolded.

9 p.m. is usually the time we expect for a usual concert to end. In this day and age where we joke about “shady dealings” and the sort which comes alive after 8 p.m., there lies a tent that quietly puts on a light. It is time for BUCK-TICK’s streamed concert Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara 〜SHOW AFTER DARK〜 to commence.

Enticed by an introduction that invokes a sense of guilty pleasure, we dive in deep, going through the curtains and continuing until a circular stage lit up by strings of electric lights appears before our eyes. Dressed in outfits oozing with personality, the band looked like a troupe belonging to this “Circus of Oddities”. Giving the audience no time to mentally prepare themselves, they immediately began their song. It was a familiar melody but with a completely different groove. This new sensation brings about the awareness that we have stepped into a whole other world.

Today’s show was split into two parts; the first being an acoustic set, and the second, the band set. In the first half, the acoustic set not only consisted of already existing acoustic songs, but also songs which have been specially given newly arranged acoustic versions just for this show.

Highlights among those are Uta which had transformed from garage rock to swing, and JUST ONE MORE KISS which had turned into a refreshing mid-tempo song. The simplicity of this ensemble elevated the songs, making them stand out even more and letting them convey each of their individual “fragrances” through the screen.

In addition, the cabaret box seats set up by the stage, the flames surrounding the stage, the lighting, the camerawork and all that were unlike what you would see in large productions on a big stage. All these minute staging details were what vividly reflected the storytelling of this particular stage.

The band set in the second part was their conventional concert setup, but even here, they’ve added songs with new arrangements that continue to surprise. They’ve said from the very beginning that the setlist for this show was specially selected to match the atmosphere of this stage which looks like a “Circus of Oddities”. And it feels especially so in this second half with a setlist steeped deeply in a world of depravity and fantasy.

In our daily lives where all kinds of exhausting news keep flying at us, this moment alone allows us to forget that reality. It’s like they’re granting us a dazzling, or perhaps a soothing dream to dream. I believe that this is precisely the true value of entertainment.

Their persistence with the concept of putting on a performance of mesmerising songs without speaking even once so as to not dispel this dream for the audience truly left an impression. Yet in spite of this, the message that the band wanted to convey through all of this was clearly told through the show.

Throughout both the first and second parts, Sakurai Atsushi (vocals) crossed his index and middle fingers time and again, displaying the hand sign for “Good Luck”. For those who will be enjoying the archive, do certainly pay attention and look out for this.

It had been showtime that will make us want to keep coming back for more even after the curtains have been drawn. The archive period for this stream will end on Friday, 23 July at 23:59. There is no doubt that you will most certainly get to meet a whole new BUCK-TICK in this show.

Yesterday, after the stream concluded, BUCK-TICK announced that they will be releasing a new single titled Go-Go B-T TRAIN on Wednesday, 22 September. They also announced that they will be going on a national tour starting Monday, 3 October along with the tour schedule.

I suppose the audience who have been immersed in the afterglow of this “Circus of Oddities” must have also been talking about the title of the single which appears to hold the destructive power to break down the image of BUCK-TICK that we’ve held thus far. Next year, in 2022, BUCK-TICK will be celebrating the 35th anniversary of their career since their major debut and yet they are still on the attack. It is truly admirable. Let our hearts swell with the anticipation of looking forward to what kind of new world will be the next one that BUCK-TICK shows us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Pia

[Live Report] The Day In Question 2020

Pia
31 December 2020

Text = Okubo Yuka
Photos = Seitaro Tanaka

 

 

The parade of hope starts again with BUCK-TICK at Nippon Budokan
“Let’s go! Into the future”

【LIVE REPORT】
BUCK-TICK〈ABRACADABRA THE DAY IN QUESTION 2020〉
2020.12.29 at Nippon Budokan

 

 

 

BUCK-TICK conducted their annual December 29 performance at Nippon Budokan, Tokyo. Because they shifted venues to Yoyogi National Stadium First Gymnasium in 2019 in light of renovation works, this was their first performance in Nippon Budokan in 2 years. This is also the 21st time in a row that they have performed on this particular date. Nippon Budokan is most certainly the most fitting venue for this “annual” event to keep going.

This show was entitled “ABRACADABRA THE DAY IN QUESTION 2020”; a sign that this was to be a one-night-only special event where fans can enjoy both the world view of ABRACADABRA, their latest album which was released in September, and the special feeling that the annual year-end THE DAY IN QUESTION brings.

“Let’s go! Into the future. Let’s go!” Sakurai Atsushi’s (vocals) powerful declarations came after he sang the second song of the second encore, LOVE PARADE which was reminiscent of the closing of a show, and right before their last number, New World.

After BUCK-TICK released their album, ABRACADABRA, they were supposed to go on a national tour, but after taking the COVID-19 crisis into consideration, they held the film concert tour “TOUR2020 ABRACADABRA ON SCREEN” and added more dates to their original tour schedule. This tour was an experiment like no other. Although it is a film concert, the same sound systems and lighting as an actual live show were used to create a sense of realism for the audience. That along with the spirited performance by the band and an audience who kept up the applause as if it was an actual concert fulfilled the holy trinity that makes a live show, but despite it all, there was, inevitably, a loneliness that couldn’t be dispelled.

Following in the footsteps of “ABRACADABRA ON SCREEN”, this Nippon Budokan performance was to be the last in-audience show of the year 2020 with thorough COVID-19 prevention measures taken including the introduction of a face recognition system for entry, temperature checks, disinfection, and limiting the audience to about 5,000 people; half of the usual capacity. The event was also streamed live on the internet, responding to the wishes of fans around the world who could not make it to the venue.

This performance is the culmination of the band’s activities with the album, ABRACADABRA in 2020 which kicked off with their online no-audience live broadcast performance “ABRACADABRA ON THE NET”. I had thought that this show is the one that would be where the parade ends, but that thought was kicked to the curb by Sakurai’s earlier words. The band was welcoming everyone to this Budokan show, saying, “The parade goes on. Come, let’s go!” And at the same time, they pointed to the future which lay just beyond our outstretched hands. After the performance ended, the band announced a national tour for  fall of 2021 plus the next December 29 show at Nippon Budokan. In a world that has yet to see light, they have once again brought us shining hope.

Peace signs held up, voiceless excitement turning to conveyed zeal

A little past the scheduled start time, a clip of the world of ABRACADABRA’s album jacket played, with a blue butterfly fluttering above crystals and diamonds, on the screen in front of the stage to a new arrangement of the SE, THEME OF B-T. When the tour title turned to dust and scattered away, Tsuki no Sabaku began. Visuals of a desert unfolded in front of the band, linking their performance with the oriental music. The clear tones which rang out with Sakurai’s occasional ringing of the tingsha bells felt as if they cleansed the air of the venue.

When the screen fell away to reveal the band members during the intro of the next song, Que Sera Sera Elegy, I could feel the excitement in the hall rise two to three times higher. The band truly was standing before our eyes. The voiceless excitement turned into an zeal which we managed to communicate to the band. Kemonotachi no Yoru YOW-ROW ver. was truly thrilling with an edgy, cutting beat and the union of Sakurai’s singing with Imai Hisashi’s (guitar) playing. And on the imposing beat set by Higuchi Yutaka (bass) and Yagami Toll (drums) in SOPHIA DREAM rode Sakurai and Imai’s free-floating twin vocals, leading the audience into a psychedelic world.

As if acting out the worlds of each song, the singing Sakurai’s performances were brilliant. The sight of him lying down on the floor lit in red during URAHARA-JUKU was breathtakingly beautiful, while the way he folded his arms, as if cradling a child while he swayed to the chilling intro plucked by Hoshino Hidehiko (guitar) was filled with compassion. Right after applying red lipstick himself, he began to sing Maimu Mime, dividing his performance between the man and woman characters with facial expressions and deliberate hand gestures in the backdrop of a drinking district scattered with titles of BUCK-TICK’s old songs on the signboards.

During the techno number, Villain performed with the twin vocals of Sakurai and Imai, the audience’s clapping became part of the rhythm, creating a sense of unity. The four-on-the-floor dance tune Datenshi YOW-ROW ver. evolved into an even more solid performance and turned Budokan into a dance hall, pumping up the intensity with Dance Tengoku which followed.

Imai’s solo performance of gentle harmonies led into MOONLIGHT ESCAPE. Sakurai’s unconstrained vocals sounded almost like a prayer. Then, they continued into the lively 8-beat song, Eureka. The audience held up peace signs together with Imai and Hoshino whenever they did it. This was the one scene that I wanted to see the most on the ABRACADABRA album tour. Sakurai walked from the right side of the stage to the left, watching this scene before him. And to culminate it all, Boukyaku. This ensemble of equal parts painful sorrow and kindly warmth along with the emotionally charged singing permeated deeply into my heart. Leaving these emotions lingering deep in the audience, the main set came to an end.

The most impressive thing in this show’s live re-enactment of a setlist which was pretty much the same as that of “ABRACADABRA ON SCREEN” was loud, thunderous round of endless applause which started up everytime a song ended. This was the audience conveying their feelings to the band in this situation where voices could not be used.

The reason why there were uncharacteristically long breaks between songs must be because the band members wanted to take in those feelings with their whole being. This reciprocal interaction between the performers and the audience is something that we only feel more acutely after having experienced no-audience live shows. A live show is built up on the enthusiasm and passion from these two sides. I believe the audience’s zeal must have been well conveyed to the band. Whenever a song ended, Sakurai would say, “Thank you.”

Sharing the desire to protect others, a space filled with kindness

After 15 minutes of intermission, the “THE DAY IN QUESTION” part of the show title begins. Welcomed by the impatiently-waiting applause that had started up 5 minutes before intermission ended, the band arrived on stage. It was at this moment that we found out that the words on the back of Yagami’s jacket said, “FUCK OFF!! COVID-19”.

During the future-illuminating FUTURE SONG-Mirai ga Tooru- and Luna Park, and even the mid-tempo Sekai wa Yami de Michiteiru sung against a starry sky, the band brought power and healing to the hearts that have become a little exhausted by the unstable situation. During ROMANCE, we were intoxicated by Sakurai’s dramatic performance from the start when he lit up the candles of a candelabra, to the end when he pierced his chest with his stick.

And before their next song, LOVE ME, this was what he said:
“The next song is about how you’ll be able to cherish the people you love when you cherish yourself. I would like to dedicate this to the medical professionals.”

The sight of the members putting their utmost respect into the song and music along with the audience waving their arms from side to side as best they could for those who couldn’t make it to the brightly lit hall is seared into my memory. Come to think of it, during the typically bustling pre-show wait and even enroute from the nearest train station to Budokan, the attendees observed good manners; they were quiet. Everyone shared the notion of thinking for and protecting others. This was a space that was filled with such kindness.

The second encore started on a high note with Alice in Wonder Underground. Receiving the neverending applause after LOVE PARADE, Sakurai spoke words of gratitude for the staff who helped to make this show a success and to the fans, he also thanked them saying, “Thank you for all your applause today. Your hands must be sore, aren’t they?”

There was also a moment when he eased the atmosphere in the hall by mumbling to himself, “I guess it must be boring to hear me talk only about serious matters. Shall I tell a dirty joke……”

“May the next year be a good one. I wish you all happiness,” he said with a deep bow, as if in prayer. Afterwhich, he said, “And now, let’s go! Into the future. Let’s go!”, leading into the last number, New World. “Cut through this infinite darkness and head into the future.” The powerful message that is embedded in this song turned into a light of hope and rained down on the audience.

Thank you for tonight
It was an unforgettable night
May the new year bring
much happiness to everyone
I hope you have a Happy New Year With love
BUCK-TICK

It is said that since ancient times, firecrackers (爆竹 / bakuchiku), which are read the same way as BUCK-TICK (バクチク / bakuchiku), were set off to dispel plagues and evil spirits while ushering in good luck. ABRACADABRA, which BUCK-TICK played with great pomp and splendor at the end of the year to close of 2020 is a spell to ward off the plague. Therefore, we can say that BUCK-TICK’s existence is as good as hope itself.

When they announced that they would be holding a tour in autumn of 2021 along with a Nippon Budokan performance at the end of the show, the audience broke into another huge round applause. BUCK-TICK’s parade has started off once again from here as we head into 2021. I can’t help but hope for a future where we can all shout “PEACE” together in high spirits.

 

 

 

 

Setlist
1. 月の砂漠 (Tsuki no Sabaku)
2. ケセラセラ エレジー (Que Sera Sera Elegy)
3. 獣たちの夜 YOW-ROW ver. (Kemonotachi no Yoru)
4. SOPHIA DREAM
5. URAHARA-JUKU
6. 凍える (Kogoeru)
7. 舞夢マイム (Maimu Mime)
8. Villain
9. 堕天使 YOW-ROW ver. (Datenshi)
10. ダンス天国 (Dance Tengoku)
11. MOONLIGHT ESCAPE
12. ユリイカ (Eureka)
13. 忘却 (Boukyaku)

Encore
1. FUTURE SONG – 未来が通る – (FUTURE SONG -Mirai ga Tooru-)
2. Luna Park
3. 世界は闇で満ちている (Sekai wa Yami de Michiteiru)
4. ROMANCE
5. LOVE ME

1. Alice in Wonder Underground
2. LOVE PARADE
3. New World

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Pia

[Live Report] The Day In Question 2019

Ongaku to Hito
31 December 2019

Text = Kanemitsu Hirofumi
Photos = Tanaka Seitaro (★), Tatewaki Taku (▲), Watanabe Reina (■) (Tanaka Seitaro Photo Office)

 

 

Even though the dream will end sometime, it is for certain that here, they have friends and everyone who loves them.

【Live Report translation】
BUCK-TICK THE DAY IN QUESTION 2019
29 December 2019 at Yoyogi National Stadium First Gymnasium

 

 

「No matter how lovely my dreams    When I wake up, I’m always alone*」

The lyrics of their last song, LOVE ME, resonated in my heart. This was a song that they have always sung, but for some reason, on this day, it was especially significant.

This year, BUCK-TICK’s THE DAY IN QUESTION 2019 was held as a tour, making stops in Takasaki, Osaka, Nagoya, before playing the final show here in Tokyo. For almost 20 years, they have been performing in Tokyo on 29 December at the Nippon Budokan every year, but this year, the Budokan was undergoing refurbishments and could not be used, so their venue was shifted to Yoyogi National Stadium First Gymnasium.

I remember this same day last year. After they postponed a few (4) performances when Sakurai Atsushi fell ill, the place where he made his comeback was the Nippon Budokan. It has been one year since that day when, in an instant, we realised that nothing lasts forever and were made to feel that we should treasure our present moments more than ever.

This year, aside from performing the rescheduled concerts for the postponed lives, Locus Solus no Kemonotachi at Makuhari Messe, and after that, this tour, the rest of their time was spent in production. The number of lives they performed was few. Because of that, it felt as if there was an especially strong desire for the band.

The setlist remained more or less the same for all 4 venues. With a keen awareness, they opened with Muma 〜The Nightmare, and until the last song of their first encore, Mudai, the performance felt like a quixotic circus of darkness. It was as if we had been dragged into someone’s nightmare. As a spirit dressed in burial garb, the Fool follows. Until the very end, this worldview held fast.

Until the end of the first encore, the songs they played were mostly from their days following the move to BMG Funhouse (now known as Ariola Japan) with the exception of Uta, SILENT NIGHT, and Speed. Considering the fact that a snowy performance created a flow which led from Snow White to SILENT NIGHT, it was, in essence, two songs.

This is because the members acknowledge the worldview that BUCK-TICK possesses, and I believe that it was during the time of their move when they dared recognise it and let it take shape. As a result, the songs that were selected is close to the tone of their world and in line with for THE DAY IN QUESTION’s concept of “performing nostalgic songs which won’t be played during a regular tour”.

The only change for the main set was that the first day’s New World had been switched for Dokudanjou Beauty-R.I.P.-. On the other hand, with the second encore, they switched around between a total of six songs including the four listed below and two others; MISS TAKE -boku wa miss take- and GLAMOROUS.

Within such a set, they performed their new song Datenshi in the encore. This song, which started with a glam rock-like guitar which sounds like something you would’ve heard somewhere before, feels like a rock-and-roll song with a simple beat, but something about it leaves behind a strange sense of discomfort. Imai talks about it in the headline feature interview of the next issue of Ongaku to Hito, but perhaps that comes from the composition of the song.

We were once again surprised by the avant-garde ideas of the inscrutable Imai, but no matter what song it is, (it works because) once these five play together, they possess an implicit value that makes anything become BUCK-TICK’s. And because of this, Imai is allowed to write unabashedly strange, “anything goes” type of songs. And this trust didn’t come about just because they have been playing together for 30 years or have been friends since their high school days, but it is something that exists because the five of them have been working hard and thinking about the band every day.

Many call this band a miracle, but that is not what they are. These five have been working hard every day to make sure that this band continues to thrive. This tough band vibe that can be felt from the stage is the gift that comes from their ongoing devotion to betterment.

 

The main set of this show followed the setlist of “ABRACADABRA ON SCREEN”. With the exception of Luna Park, which was performed in the encore rather than the main set, the song order did not change and their outfits were the exact same too. This is the ABRACADABRA album tour part of today’s show and it let the audience feel their will to make the show feel as if it was their usual tour final. Doing nothing special and going about with things as per normal might just be the biggest show of rebellion in these present times. And that attitude was what accompanied the thoughts of the fans who attended “ABRACADABRA ON SCREEN” which ran 26 shows in 23 locations all over Japan.

「We’ll meet again, for sure」

After Sakurai said those words, he sang LOVE ME. When it was first written 30 years ago, they may have woven the words and melody without thinking too much into it, but the footprints that they have left behind through this time has turned those words into something heartfelt. And they knew that although a person is always alone, that’s not the case in a band. Even though everyone is on their own, even though the dream will end sometime, it is for certain that here, they have friends and also, everyone who loves them.

In the summer of 2020, they will release an album and after that, they will go on a national tour. Furthermore, they have also announced THE DAY IN QUESTION on 29 December to be held at the Nippon Budokan. Such promises made ahead of time become hopes for the future. It was a great concert.

 

 

 

 

【SET LIST】

01 Muma -The Nightmare
02 Uta
03 Kemonotachi no Yoru
04 Jonathan Jet-Coaster
05 Hamushi no You ni
06 Zekkai
07 Cyborg Dolly: Sora-Mimi: PHANTOM
08 PINOA ICCHIO -Odoru Atomu-
09 Gekka Reijin
10 Snow white
11 SILENT NIGHT
12 Alice in Wonder Underground
13 Speed
14 Dokudanjou Beauty -R.I.P.-
15 FLAME

ENCORE 01
01 Datenshi
02 RONDO
03 Mudai

ENCORE 02
01 Coyote
02 Dress
03 Aku no Hana
04 LOVE ME

 

* All song title and lyric translations come from This is NOT Greatest Site.

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Ongaku to Hito