Late at night on August 30 at Kawasaki CLUB CITTA', yukihiro from L'Arc~en~Ciel's solo project acid android held a live and DJ event entitled, "acid android in an alcove vol. 6." A long line of people waited outside of CLUB CITTA' prior to the start of the event, and at 11 p.m., when the venue opened, the trance-like explosion of sound from opening act DJ SATORU was warmly welcomed by the audience. That night, four DJs including yukihiro performed along with as four live acts (ZZZ's, MO’SOME TONEBENDER, agraph VJ Masato TSUTSUI, and acid android), a can't-miss lineup that continued until morning.
At about 11:30, yukihiro stood before the audience for the first time as a DJ. The amount of people on the floor rose instantly as yukihiro put on the first song, Radiohead's "My Iron Lung." Wearing a simple black hoodie, yukihiro swayed his body along with the beat as he operated the turntables. The audience, watching his every move, gave themselves over to the melody and the pleasant bass. yukihiro played everything from British legends to up-and-coming bands while gradually moving into industrial music, rallying the late-night audience with a composition of songs very characteristic of yukihiro.
Following yukihiro's DJ set, the first live act, ZZZ's, took the stage. ZZZ's is an all-female band hailing from Kobe that consists of members YOUKAKU (guitar/vocal), YUKARY (bass/vocal), and LYN (drums). They gave a bloodcurdling show from the outset. Their scintillating performance featured heavy drumming, undulating bass, and metallic-sounding guitar. Beginning with "dystopia," they gave a strong performance that was almost unbelievable for a three-piece band, overwhelming the audience with brutality sharp as an ice pick.
The passion within the venue rose slowly and noticeably. Last year, ZZZ's performed at the well-known American music festival, SXSW 2012, and afterward made America the base for their activities. They will be going on a European tour in November, and their striking performance showed their great abilities as musicians and their borderless sound.
The next DJ was miya from MUCC, who appeared as "Masaaki Yaguchi a.k.a miya." While playing danceable tracks, he took the microphone in hand and spoke.
"The first time I DJed was at volume four of this event. I'm very thankful to yukihiro-san, who taught me this other way to enjoy music. Until morning comes, let's drink, dance, and have fun!"
Following this proclamation, the audience became excited, freely head banging and casually dancing along with the aggressive DJ play. Along with the flickering lights, miya raised the enthusiasm of the party by skillfully mixing rock standards like Rage Against the Machine with dance beats.
miya passed the baton to the club music duo THE LOWBROWS, who played consecutive trance-like tracks which were filled with good musical sense. They skillfully manipulated the tempo to slowly excite the crowd, creating such a mania in the audience that it was almost as if they literally had a fever. Following THE LOWBROWS, who have received high praise from both within Japan and overseas, the second live act, MO’SOME TONEBENDER took the stage after two a.m. Guitarist/vocalist Momo shouted, "Wake up! Wake up!" and they began a striking performance with the song "Rockin' Luura."
Next, they performed a new song, during which bassist Takei put down his instrument and paraded around the stage holding a fan that said "Matsuri" ("festival"), getting the audience to sing, "Oh, oh, oh!" along with the band as they went into a strange, festival-like mode. With the songs "youth" and "24 hour fighting people," they swept CLUB CITTA' up in a rampage of rock and roll, in which it seemed as though both the accelerator and the brakes were broken. During the last song, "BIG-S," Takei put on a helmet with an electric bulletin board attached. While messages like, "Welcome to acid android in an alcove," and "MO'SOME is performing now," appeared on the board, Momo played guitar vehemently. Finally, while the three members in the front sat down, Takei stood up and moonwalked along with the music. Their performance left an impact on the audience as they raced to the limits of mania.
Following MO’SOME TONEBENDER's performance, yukihiro returned to DJ once again. This time, he played mostly American rock music, like The Flaming Lips and The Smashing Pumpkins. The lively selection rocked the floor, and compared to during his first DJ set, yukihiro appeared to be somewhat more relaxed as he enjoyed DJing. After yukihiro's forty-minute set, agraph's beautifully delicate, magician-like use of the sampler fascinated the audience. Coupled with the sharp, whimsical images projected on the screen by VJ Masato TSUTSUI, they created an artistically beautiful and fleeting soundscape.
After a brief interval, acid android took the stage at 4:10 a.m. This time, the members of the band were the same as at acid android's LIQUIDROOM one-man performance in April. The guitarist was KENT from Lillies and Remains and the drummer was Daigo Yamaguchi from People In The Box, making it a three-piece unit, plus a manipulator. Following KENT and Yamaguchi, yukihiro came onstage wearing a tight shirt, patterned pants, and a scarf that extended from his lower back to his feet, causing a cheer to break out in the audience. The three members were in an aggressive mode from the start, and the first song they performed was a new song. With a ferocious beat and guitar riffs, plus yukihiro's vocals through a bullhorn, acid android guided CLUB CITTA' into a feeling of wild excitement. They followed this up with "imagining noises," garnering a passionate response from the crowd. In quick succession, they performed "egotistic ideal" and "pause in the end," bringing the excitement of the crowd to a peak many times.
Although acid android has been performing with this lineup for less than a year, the solidity with which they were able to bring the performance to a climax speaks strongly to their evolution and true strength as musicians. At the end of the performance, they played "violator," a song they first performed at their LIQUIDROOM one-man performance in April. Following the end of the song, yukihiro made a brief comment to the audience. Hearing just a few words from the usually taciturn yukihiro created a delighted commotion in the audience.
The audience, who had just experienced diverse and wonderful DJ sets and live acts, went to leave the venue, and near the entrance, there was a large poster that depicted a dignified portrait of yukihiro along with an announcement.
acid android live 2013.12.13 fri studio coast.
With that, acid android announced that they will hold a one-man concert on December 13 at Shinkiba STUDIO COAST. geek sleep sheep will also hold a one-man concert on December 24 at LIQUIDROOM Ebisu, so it seems that until the end of the year, we cannot take our eyes off of yukihiro.
Live report: Akihiro Okumura Photography: Aki Ishii