[Live Report] Locus Solus Bestia
Ongaku to Hito
text by Ishii Eriko
photographs by Tanaka Seitaro, Tatewaki Taku, Watanabe Rena_tanaka seitaro photo office
Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall 9・10・11
2019.5.25 (Sat) ／5.26 (Sun)
Their first-ever live performance at Makuhari Messe throughout their long career. Here, they’re not looking back at the path they have walked and neither are they firing things up with a festive mood. Instead, they put on a stage which shared their feelings with each and everyone one of their fans who has gone through all the varied moments in their 31-year long career with them.
The songs they picked were inspired by the event title, “Locus Solus Bestia”, so there were many which were influenced by goth, decadence, and new-wave, but there was also a strong consciousness of “discordance” which stuck out from this ordinary world. All these individuals gathered in such a place triggered a groundswell which brought them pride in being nonconformists. And today’s report is of precisely such a wonderful night.
01 Kemono-tachi no Yoru [獣たちの夜]
03 PHANTOM VOLTAIRE
05 Shanikusai -Carnival- [謝肉祭 ‐カーニバル‐ ]
06 Kirameki no Naka de… [キラメキの中で…]
07 Aikawarazu no “Are” no Katamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari [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]
09 Future Song -Mirai ga Tooru- [FUTURE SONG ‐未来が通る] (25th)
Thanatos [タナトス] (26th)
11 Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete [Moon さよならを教えて]
12 Misshitsu [密室] (25th)
Tight Rope (26th)
14 THE SEASIDE STORY
15 BRAN-NEW LOVER
01 Suzumebachi [スズメバチ]
02 BOY septem peccata mortalia
03 Keijijou Ryuusei [形而上 流星]
01 Ai no Uta [愛ノ歌]
02 Sakura [さくら]
Gothic and decadence, immorality in fantasy
From the stage comes the heavy fragrance
Something that is less than welcome under a vibrant blue sky
What rang out at the end was a certain affirmation. That staying like this is fine. That they want to go on, or perhaps, live on like this. That is the magnitude of the scale which accepts this world as it is; this world that we, that these people in this venue has been pulled into. Everything is alright. Perhaps, this may even be a new frontier for them.
Locus Solus Bestia; held at Makuhari Messe over two days. The opening song was “Kemonotachi no Yoru”. This song can be said to be the main theme of this one-man, and to suddenly start with the core of it shows their strong drive. With a “Yeah”, Sakurai Atsushi boldly reaches out both arms, and as he sings, “That’s how you are,” he points to himself. Interpreting this, it sounds as if he’s saying, “Welcome to the circus’ big top, I am your harlequin”. Imai Hisashi, who added in guitar riffs which were not part of the studio version of the song, had the charm of an adept pierrot.
During the interlude of the next song, “GUSTAVE”, the sight of Imai, Hoshino, and Higuchi walking down the stage extension in a line was the best. As if saying, “Now, go!”, Yagami Toll watches the pierrots dashingly parade before him without losing his smile. Is his (?) true form the Pied Piper of Hamelin* who whisks children away into another world? True or not, that’s alright. Now, take us with you.
This wish was soon granted. From the 4th song on, the atmosphere sank low and “Lullaby -III”, which hasn’t been performed in a long while, began. It’s a fabled song of history and materiality and delusion in perfect harmony which they have brought to completion bit by bit through this long career of theirs. Yuta switches from an electric to a double bass, while Sakurai sings as he holds a peculiar mask of gold in his hand.
The melody and the lyrics entrance the mind, while the heart gets enthralled by the guitar riffs which pull the rug out from under our feet ever so often. What country is this? What era is this? At the very least, the salty tang of the sea that can be smelt at Kaihin Makuhari Station has completely disappeared. Imagine; it feels as if we were in a thick dense forest on a mountain lush with trees. A remote secret place…… Ah, I see. So this is “Locus Solus”.
It may feel as if we were being taken, but nay, everyone wanted to be here. It was gothic and decadence, immorality in fantasy, eroticism and surrealism. Any superficial word would do. From the stage comes the heavy fragrance of something that is less than welcome under a vibrant blue sky, something that is richly rotting and fermenting in the basement. It is a pleasure which intoxicates and fills your body, that exists only here.
“Kirameki no Nakade…”, which has the famous refrain from “Swan Lake “ included in it, was so devilish that it felt as if we lost our sense of reality at the start and at the end. With this performance, it is nigh hard to believe that this song was written in 1993. It’s not that I want to say that it’s old, but the more time passes, the more it feels like a classic that has been handed down since the 18th century, like they have unknowingly created a myth. The legend of BUCK-TICK continues to endlessly distend underground, in a place unknown to those who dwell under clear blue skies.
Whether this is a “world being born” or a “world going mad”, it’s a “wonderful” one
The phrase “soar holding all of heaven” are words both directed at the band and at the gathered fans
Usually, this would end with them being described with a single statement of, “They’re underground”. But, instead, the fun of BUCK-TICK lies in their suddenly breaking barricades with pomp and circumstance as they sing, “Out of the way, out of the way”, “Moving on, the future is here”. As if waking us from the illusion, the middle of the concert turned aggressive but in there, their impressive rock-band dynamism and pop-ness are reflected.
Like the imposing single, “BABEL”. It’s a world apart from how songs that hype the audience up typically sound, but it is a song which nullifies the subservience that whispers from the beyond and instead has us feel a toughness that makes it feel like it is even possible to grab hold of the sun. Tough and gothic; although they may sound like conflicting words, there was no such contradiction on stage. Whether they get called unorthodox or whatsoever, what they have obtained is the unwavering strength of those who truly believe in their path. Raising his right up straight towards the sky, Sakurai was representative of this.
But those weren’t the only contradictory words. While tough and unwavering, the present BUCK-TICK also laments the transience of life at the same time, thoroughly washed in the quivering heart of a lady. Following this was a song of farewells, a confession of mercy and forgiveness, and a fanciful mermaid’s love song. All of it, including their performance, is part of the conscientious manner that they perform their work with. During the performance of “Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete”, a remarkably brilliant full moon was projected onto the screen at the back of the stage; it was perfectly fitting. This must be the world’s most beautiful lie.
Tonight I’ll stay on that stage till the end. That was what Sakurai declared at the start. In other words, he was going to create the perfect fantasy. Originally, the moon waxes and wanes regardless of sentiment, and the night sky will never always be clear. There are cloudy days and there are rainy days. It is our reality that we won’t be able to see the night sky so clearly, to begin with. With the ideal full moon floating on the stage, what this perfect farewell song sings of is the ardent expression of yearning for this moment, at least, to be as beautiful as a dream. May this lie light up your life if even just a little.
The hierarchical relationship between the performers and the audience blurs even further and right before the last song of the main act, Sakurai seemed to say spontaneously, “Thank you very much. You’ve all been lovely.”
It was amusing considering the fact that we felt that it should be our line, the audience’s line instead. But once again, we could really feel that this was his heartfelt emotion. It is the same for us, the audience. To love and to be loved, the save and to be saved, to forgive and to be forgiven. After a tremendously long amount of time, an irreplaceable locus for both parties has been forged. That’s why, soon, there will be no need for walls. As if inviting us to a faraway place, the beasts leapt into the audience seats as well. The highlight was the first encore.
From the cross-section of the stage extension rises a cylindrical stage from which their first centre stage performance and their first acoustic set would be performed. That, in itself, is exceedingly rare and the way they got to the stage extension wasn’t one that you would normally expect, but putting on such a spectacle is probably something that only their present selves could do. Looking at the 5 of them seated in a circle, it’s as if we can almost imagine this is their usual position in the studio with how comfortable they look. But unexpectedly, the first song that they started with was the ultimate erotic song, “BOY septem peccata mortalia”. I couldn’t help but laugh, but this, too, is aptly BUCK-TICK-like. It is the work of professional harlequins. That, and adding Sakurai’s rather dangerous smile as he sang “You look delicious baby” an octave lower than usual.
They continued playing nostalgic songs in the second encore. It was especially surprising that “Sakura” showed up here. It was the requiem which Sakurai dedicated to his mother. Although it’s unlikely that the pain would have completely healed, it would also be unnatural if things have remained the same throughout this time. Be it a sense of loss which makes one wail, or regret which rends one’s heart, he sang on, drinking all of it down. As blood ties and emotional connections grew, everything was channelled into the song. He finds joy in performing, has overcome the reality of being held back by illness while celebrating the band’s 30th anniversary, and hopes that the band will still continue on. That is himself. The professional harlequin. The melody which was once his mother’s song now resounds as “Sakurai Atsushi’s song”. The flurry of falling cherry blossoms which whirled around was breathtakingly beautiful.
Adding to that, the last song was “HEAVEN”. Were they this assured of themselves in the past? Whether this is a “world being born” or a “world going mad”, it’s a “wonderful” one. The phrase “soar holding all of heaven” are words both directed at the band and words that the band wants to hand to the gathered fans. Here is where such a world exists. Here is where we exist. Everything is alright. Let’s continue on like this from here on, too.
Lastly, announced was the news that THE DAY IN QUESTION will be held this year-end and their annual Nippon Budokan show on the 29th of December will take place at Yoyogi National Stadium First Gymnasium.
* The Pied Piper of Hamelin is an old folktale about a piper who was hired by a town to lure rats away. But after the deed was done, the town refused to pay him the promised sum and thus, he takes his revenge on them by luring the children away.
Incidentally, BUCK-TICK once covered a song called Hamelin by LÄ-PPISCH. Have a listen here.
Scans: patowinds on Tumblr