VAMPS held their “VAMPS LIVE 2013 BEAST PARTY “ at 、Yamanakako Communication Plaza KIRARA over two days Aug. 10-11. On the first day, DAIGO and SHINPEI both made appearances as special guests. Their spirited performance of “GLAMOROUS SKY” dressed in the glamorous clothes of the DAIGO☆STARDUST era along with HYDE himself was sure to have left lingering memories of the party-like atmosphere of the venue that day.
As we looked toward the second day, the fine weather had changed to a downpour. There were groups of fans rushing toward the indoor tents and rest areas, cursing the well-known thunderstorms of Yamanakako, but by the time the show actually started, the rain had stopped. According to local staffers, “It seems that the rain has given way to mist; you can only see this amazing scenery here maybe once a month.” They told us this information while pointing at Mt. Fuji, a World Heritage Site on its own.
At 5:30 when the show was set to start, it was still light outside. As an orchestral tune built tension in the venue, just as the day before, HYDE and K.A.Z. appeared from above and below the stage riding on a buggy. The sound was completely drowned out by the loud cheering of the fans. Then, the sound issued from K.A.Z.'s showy V-type guitar was the opening riffs of “LOVE ADDICT”. The song that had been a highlight of the latter half of the first day's performance was to start today's show, reverberating the notion that the fans' wait was finally over. Then, the voltage climbed even higher, as if to split the skies, as HYDE moved to the lower stage, Ju-ken to the upper, and K.A.Z. to the center to play “HELLO”.
“Let's go crazy together again today. Let's do what we want. I haven't had enough blood. The craziest part of me should like to have a little snack...” HYDE spoke his first words of the day, followed by “HUNTING”. With a water gun shaped like a hunting rifle, he pointed it out at the crowd, making a scene befitting the outdoor venue. Then, the towels whirling high in the sky for “ANGEL TRIP” made things feel even more open and spacious than before.
The blue lights from the stage painted a stunning contrast with the glimmering orange of the summer evening. The transcendent ensemble of “SEASON'S CALL” set off the natural lighting, further enhanced by the cool feeling of the piece, making it even more well-received. Moreover, the skillful interplay of HYDE's intro guitar riffs and K.A.Z.'s uplifting phrases during “AHEAD” sent chills up the spine. With the hard sounds bringing the stage to a white-hot intensity, ARIMATSU's “HIDEAWAY” drum solo and the call and response section with the fans turned the heat in the venue up even higher.
Then came the center stage. As mentioned in the first day's report, the “VAMPS LIVE 2013 BEAST PARTY” stage has three parts; for this, the second day, the middle part of the stage was equipped with a runway out into the audience, with a substage in front of that containing acoustic equipment.
“When I get close to the audience, it's like I get a little embarrassed. But, the feeling of being a little embarrassed is a good one though. (Laughs.) Isn't that right, JIN? At first, I thought of flirting with him a bit, though.” With that announcement came a cover version of a famous song by Eikichi Yazawa, “Jikan Yo, Tomare”. It began with the gentle sounds of an organ, spreading over the sky after sunset. The sky turned red above HYDE, as he played the blues harp.
“Since this evening is so perfect, I thought we would ask you to listen to a few acoustic numbers.”
The refreshing feelings of that cool summer night spread over the crowd as they played unplugged bossa nova arrangements of “MEMORIES”, “MY FIRST LAST” and “MISSION”, with ARIMATSU playing cajon, Ju-ken on bass, and K.A.Z. rounding out the ensemble on acoustic guitar.
Another enjoyable part of the acoustic set was the conversation between the five musicians. At a banquet the previous day, they had gotten excited talking about how to hold the next “BEAST PARTY”, all with their own ideas. “We could buy an island, and have a VAMPARK that runs all year, like Disneyland,” suggested Ju-ken. “As long as I can drink,” responded JIN. “Anywhere's fine for me, as long as it's outside,” added ARIMATSU. “It might be a good idea to have it in more than one venue. Like doing around to all kinds of places during the summer and doing outdoor shows,” thought K.A.Z.. Anyway, it was a sure promise that “BEAST PARTY” 2014 will happen.
The sun completely set, the stage bathed in dangerously red lighting, when the band broke into the second half of their show, it was clear they planned to show their prowess in expressing VAMPS as vampires. The fans moved as one body with “KYUKETSU -SATSUGAI VAMPS Ver.-”, and as pillars of flame shot upwards as if to express HYDE's wish to “Scream into the night”, the “beast” in the title of the “VAMPS LIVE 2013 BEAST PARTY” finally came out to play during “REPLAY” and the following songs in the set.
Also, this outdoor event showed itself as being different than the currently running ZEPP tour, “VAMPS LIVE 2013”. The featuring of ARIMATSU's drum solos and JIN'S keyboard and acoustic work, and Ju-ken's bass solos as in the set before “TROUBLE”, served to showcase the impressive musical performance of VAMPS, with the composition of their selected songs elevating their already impressive style.
“Maybe we're having a little bit too much fun here...(laughs). You guys are all pretty crazy, huh? We've done VAMPS shows in all different styles, but you've all gotten used to that now, haven't you? That's something to be proud of. Probably, right now, in this place, is the best for summer. Around noon, we did a VAMPS TOWN thing around Yamanakako, and it was an amazing sight,” said HYDE. K.A.Z. responded, “Yeah, it's fun, isn't it.” then HYDE chimed back in. “...ah, that's right. One of my friends is here today, who is really good at guitar. Should we make him play for us a bit?” This caused a huge response from the crowd, akin to screams.
“ken-chan!!” That day's special guest, ken came up on stage to huge laughs as he handed out Obon gifts to the VAMPS members in paper envelopes.
“I heard that this was the best place in Japan to see some bouncing breasts, so I'm here,” said ken.
“Let's have a good time!” responded HYDE, leading the group into L'arc~en~Ciel's “I'm so happy”. It fit the atmosphere of the outdoor venue perfectly, with its lyrics speaking of the moon and the water in a comfortable rhythm, in addition to being the song that ken had performed as a surprise guest of the band at their 2012 event “BEAST ON THE BEACH”. Both ken and HYDE basked in the cheers from the crowd, as they moved to the walkways on the lower and upper parts of the stage.
“I wonder if it'd be okay to do one more song. ken, is it okay with you?” With these words from HYDE, ken encouraged the crowd to 'shake those boobs!' as they played L'arc~en~Ciel's “HONEY”. A fresh arrangement different from the original, it began with an introduction where HYDE concealed his singing with a hand mic over K.A.Z.'s chord strokes. Before the guitar solo, HYDE poked ken in the back, encouraging him to go toward the substage. K.A.Z. and Ju-ken followed, holding an extravagant and enthusiastic set for their fans.
By the way, HYDE's core fanbase as well as ken's may have noticed, but the guitar he was using that day was his Fender Mustang, the same one that HYDE had set up as a sub guitar. In other words, the rare collaboration between HYDE's sound system and ken's guitar playing gave a slightly different and memorable flavor to the performance.
Sending ken off from the stage, with the final words “Last, let's start a riot!” VAMPS launched into “SEX BLOOD ROCK N' ROLL”. The repeating, aggressive melody from K.A.Z. as the call and response part of the song reached its peak showed an amazing consistency and power that no one would have thought possible in an outdoor venue as it exploded over the crowd.
Finally, the second day of the “VAMPS LIVE 2013 BEAST PARTY” came to a close with a promise: “Since we'll be back, don't go cheating on us. Wash your throats and wait for us! Thanks!”
With the show finished, several fireworks shot into the skies over Yamanakako, the crowd cheering over this special outdoor summer concert. It was just like VAMPS, able to work in darkness or light, to throw a glorious party, and to be so suited to the sounds of explosions, and to the fleeting flashes of light.
＜VAMPS LIVE 2013[BEAST PARTY]＞
Aug. 10, 2013 Set List (Yamanakako Communication Plaza KIRARA)
05.I GOTTA KICK START NOW
09. Jikan Yo, Tomare
11.MY FIRST LAST
13.KYUKETSU -SATSUGAI VAMPS Ver.-
18.I'm so happy
20.SEX BLOOD ROCK N' ROLL
◆VAMPS 2013 Overseas Tour Schedule
9/28 APOLO (Barcelona, Spain)
10/1 Olympia (Paris, France)
10/3 KESSELHAUS (Berlin, Germany)
10/7 O2 Academy Islington (London, UK)