At Last. Finally. I have seen Laruku in live! Yeah!
With a distinctive exceptional band sound, featuring superbly remarkable vocal, L’Arc~en~Ciel are consistent. After 20 years since debut, they are still standing tall, going strong. To me, Laruku is not only a noun, but also an adjective. Their works are very laruku.
Laruku is definitely in my “must see bands” list. For more than a decade since I know them, I always hope if I could accomplish at least one gig. All these time I can't spare a budget to see them in Japan. I must confess, I’m a casual music lover not a particular fan of Laruku. I’m more familiar with their older works. I also confess I love to see lots of bands, tons of gigs too. Funding is always a concern.
With a newly released 12th album, Butterfly, the band tables out a World Tour project. On the early tour announcement, I considered to go for their Hong Kong leg. Air tix, airport transfers, HK lodging (O.O)…argh my calculator told me “NO!”. Also, Hikaru told hardly would get good seats due to massive local fans while the Asia World Expo Arena is some long rectangular hall. Later on, officially announced the Singapore stop. Yeehaaar~ at once locked my goal on this one.
On 28.04.12, Saturday, I got down to Singapore, yea again. KJ directed me to the hotel & then met up with Gr & Jc. Friendly & lovely people. But it’s a shame we got the live tickets in 4 different blocks! We had one ticket in arina PA1, PB1, PC1 each, & one at the back stando. We reached Singapore Indoor Stadium nearly 7 pm and checked out some tour goods.
Ok, KJ was on her Testu69 tee already. Me & Gr went to a nearby complex & changed into Laruku tour tee. We took some group pics before entering the hall. (^o^)v My seat was in the centre block, PB1, 20th seat from the front row. Could only see some small figures from the stage. But luckily there was a giant panel in the middle, while two smaller screens over the left & right. I said hello to a girl in front as she was sitting alone just like me. She went for earlier Taipei stop already. I heard that some 6K fans turned up in this Sg live.
Lights dimmed. Opening film of an outta space fantasy world introducing the band. Members finally took the stage, fans screamed insanely, and Ibara no Namida kicked off the show. Oh, Ibara no Namida is always my most favourite Laruku song. So blessed that finally I got to listen to it live.
And indeed, Laruku are good in live. They played a mixture of new songs with old ones, a quite high energy set. Members were in amazing stamina, can’t imagine these guys are in their early 40s already.
Haido was in dreads. He looked fab, as always. And I always wonder, how come this fellow never aged much one?! God is really not fair! Let me tell ya: Haido, I mean Hyde the vocal, not only sang like a rock star, he posed like one, swayed his body like one & spoke like one!! lol Putting on his coolest face, holding back to laugh or to smile, a real rock star! And this is a compliment.
All his MCs were in English. He shouted out to SINGAPORE. Something like “Yesterday, I drank the Singapore Sling. It was very strong. I got drunk….”; “Are you ready, Singapore? Are you fucking/freaking ready, Singapore?” He was generous with his flying kisses though!
Me & KJ also loved the part that he said, “Zu... zu… zu…ZUtto nagamete ita, tooku osanai koro kara..." with the guitar riff of Honey, and the audience rapture into screams. The night, overall, very neat, totally amazing vocals.
Ken, no doubt an acclaimed guitarist. His guitar style is so "soothingly smooth”, “very laruku” indeed! Ken-chan was super funny!! “Singapore is very hot lah! But you guys are hot too! …”, “Tiger balm is from Singapore. It is power (-ful)!” lol He told he went to Mustafa and bought monopoly plus tons of Merlions to Tetsu (Tetsuya, sorry, I still call him Tetsu): merlion plush toy, merlion figures, merlion keychain, from large to very small one, all 7 merlions. Tetsuya supportively displayed them in a row like a merlion family. Fans laughed out loud!
Tetsuya and his signature, "Do you want to eat my banana? Do you want my lollipop!?" Whahahaa! He sprayed water with his banana gun and threw many bananas (fresh fruits lah of course) to the fans & some lollipops too.
Yukihiro didn't say anything. His solo drum section was outstanding.
End of the show, getting off the stage... Yukihiro
KJ’s favourite performances include Honey, Daybreak's Bell and My Heart Draws a Dream. I like Hitomi no Jyuunin, Honey and Niji. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t play Fate in this leg, as I read that Fate was played on this current tour.
I grab 3 of those metallic confetti strips in the air, all in green. It has various colours in fact. After the show, KJ wanted one. So now I got 2. Four of us went for supper nearby my hotel. Thanks to Jc for the treats. We had a good time and an unforgettable night...who'd imagine we will first watch Laruku not in Japan but in Singapore, and after more than 10 years we know the band.
KJ might be able to catch their Yokohama show. I will ask her the difference between the Japanese and the overseas one.
1. いばらの涙 / Ibara no Namida
2. Chase -English ver-
3. Good Luck My Way
5. Drink It Down
7. 瞳の住人 / Hitomi no Jyuunin
8. XXX -English ver-
9. Daybreak’s Bell
10. Forbidden Lover
11. My Heart Draws A Dream
12. Seventh Heaven
13. The Fourth Avenue Cafe
14. Stay Away
15. Ready Steady Go
16. あなた / Anata
17. Winter Fall
18. Blurry Eyes
19. 虹 / Niji