VAMPS is serious about going after the international music scene. has started, the 5 cities national tour performing at ZEPP venues. On July 3, VAMPS made an announcement about the English version of best album release together with the schedule to go on Europe Tour. On July 4, a day after the announcement, BARKS visited ZEPP DIVERCITY TOKYO for their Day 5. VAMPS is different, unlike the usual themselves that we saw from Day 1. They are officially on the move. In the last 5 years, their live performance has progressed amazingly.
That breath. That look. That tension in the air. It is VAMPS with strength renewed. It is only one week since the tour started. ZEPP DIVERCITY TOKYO marks the 5th venue, and yet every show they produce stands new and original. Set list is not mundane either to keep fresh elements, but it is the quality of their performance level that is just remarkably colorful and dense at the same time. The one and only high quality performance. VAMPS has run through over 250 stage shows within 5 years consistently brushing up their skills and simply pursuing ‘the better stuff’.
You could tell the energy and inner strength through their live performance.
The curtain goes up as the clock ticks 6:66 pm. The vampires appear behind the laser beams. Mysterious sound of bell. With the cue by ARIMATSU, ‘JESUS CHRIST’ starts with speed. HYDE and K.A.Z make the guitars roar. The melody sounds almost like eruption coming out of the deep ground and yet other melodic lines sound just angelic and sweet at the same time. The stage is filled with dim blue light, showing the silhouette of the five members. The audience is completely caught by VAMPS, they have literally become ‘the captive’ in the vampires premise.
‘MADE IN HEAVEN’. HYDE is like a wizard with microphone, not rod. K.A.Z concentrates in playing the guitar. HYDE and K.A.Z perform around each other teasingly. “Come on, BLOODSUCKERS!” they scream and ‘DEVIL SIDE’ kicks off. By the way, “BLOODSUCKERS” is a new nickname HYDE made up to call their fans, just another way of calling their fellow vampires. HYDE kept calling out, the audience called back in unity. With the big chorus of “DEVIL SIDE!”, VAMPS turned the audience in one big devilish beast.
Today’s stage goes strong from the very beginning. ‘Jesus..’, ‘Heaven..’, and ‘DEVIL..’.. wait, aren’t they like ‘BIBLICAL SONG ALL STARS’! No wonder they can be quite heavy.
Scene change. ‘THE PAST’ is played and the melody sounds as if it stretches out to the sky. ‘EVANESCENT’ – with soft and gentle flow of emotions. ‘REPLAY’ – heavy and sexy tunes. The cool performance continues, K.A.Z plays aggressively and steamy hot. ‘PIANO DUET’ comes in with an emotional intro. Ju-ken plays gentle tunes by his upright bass to go along with JIN’s piano, and ARIMATSU joins gently to the sentimental scene.
「We are 5……‘wee 5’」
HYDE slightly used his ‘baby talk’, while noting their five long years of amazing progress but not being too serious about it. As HYDE mentioned the five year benchmark after playing ‘Life On Mars?’. It was also July 2nd when VAMPS started their act again five years ago. The very day of July 3, which marks one day and five years calendar anniversary, VAMPS spoke about the newly released double A-side single ‘AHEAD/REPLAY’ and apologetically stated that they made the fans wait for so long. VAMPS also mentioned about the best album release in the fall, and the upcoming tour in Europe. It is supposedly, “the very best album we could possibly create”, “the first and hottest album for listeners globally”, and “serious tour in Europe with the best we’ve got”. HYDE continues, “It is perhaps the best album in my entire life, I am so thrilled to get to release overseas... This is only an opening chapter for us, and we need YOU to help us keep going. Are we ready to get there!? Let’s go!”.
The proud sound of ‘AHEAD’ was played with confidence, proving VAMPS resolution that they will keep moving forward. It is a song of their new journey. The straight message through HYDE’s lyrics, the shiny look on the face of each band member, the players diving into the ocean of fans arms. The repetitive phrase “no regrets” sounded strikingly true. It was as if we were seeing the bundle of joy, hope, and determination held carefully by HYDE. These are all precious moments to remember from their stage.
With the addition of two new songs ‘AHEAD’ and ‘REPLAY’, it added a new stream in their performance. VAMPS has been working hard the last five years to create songs that resound their souls. HYDE said jokingly, “What a joke to release best album after producing only 2 original albums. I think so too.” Making fans laugh, it is only two original albums but two albums make 26 songs together. Plus if you included the cover of songs written by HYDE alone, that is far more than 30 songs total. Not to mention, each song of VAMPS is superb and of quality, it is not exaggeration to say almost every song is a gold standard.
The last song they performed was ‘SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ ROLL’. VAMPS stood with confidence and boldness that night. There is so much that has to be seen or said. Take a close look at VAMPS to find out the most revolutionary year for VAMPS.
Interview・Text◎Yuko Honma Photo◎Kazuko Tanaka
＜VAMPS LIVE 2013＞
2013.7.4 ＠ZEPP DIVERCITY TOKYO
02.MADE IN HEAVEN
10.Life On Mars?
17.TIME GOES BY
19.SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ ROLL
◆VAMPS 2013 Europe Tour
10.7［Mon］London（UK）@O2 Academy Islington