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LUNA SEA's "REBOOT To the New Moon World Tour" is history in the making

December 11, 2010 @ 6:20 am
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Over the past few years, Japanese bands have been slowly making their way to America. First the independent bands; then one by one, older bands such as Larc~en~ Ciel, Dir en grey, machine, and more recently, X Japan. However, no one thought the day would come when one of Japans most impressive artists would reunite and play in the City of Angels.

LUNA SEA, a band that stopped activities a decade ago, finally decided to reunite and do a world tour, visiting only four international venues. What prompted the band to start again? Well, the band just felt it was the right time. J commented before that because of the internet, it was possible for J-rock to crossover now, and had that been the case 10 years prior, they may never have separated.

SUGIZO once said that he was forced into the reunion (live in 2007), but his feelings have changed since then. Years ago when the band broke up, he mentioned part of it had to do with egos, but now that years have passed, their minds are clearer and theyve become more mature. Especially with the Japanese visual kei scene, he feels that it needs them. Like most bands, guitarist Inoran said that theyve always wanted to play in Los Angeles, but never got the chance to until now.

Back in the nineties, LUNA SEA may have been a household name in Japan, but stateside, only a handful of people knew them. Japanese rock music may have had fans, but it wasnt until many of the bands disbanded that Generation Y took notice and through the power of internet, the need for bands such as LUNA SEA became palpable.



While Im impartial to bands reuniting after theyve called it quits, I can honestly say that Ive been the person who asked Why? when it was clear those bands time was over. With LUNA SEA, this wasnt the case, as while I was watching their press conference live online, I was actually rather relieved.

Their first live in L.A. was held on December 4th at the Hollywood Palladium, a venue that has housed many domestically and internationally famous bands. While it wasnt a sold out show, SUGIZO was still impressed with the reactions that they received. The band even had special gift bags for those who purchased VIP tickets. It was a mixed crowd too - different age ranges, different ethnicities. Even though the front was packed with younger fans, Generation X stood in the back. These were the older fans, ones past their mid twenties. The ones who faced the disbandment and were now anxiously waiting for them.



Attending other Japanese concerts at places like the House of Blues, it was clear that this band had put more of their time and (probably their own) money into production. This wasnt an on-a-whim type of concert, this had been something in the making for quite some time. 3D cameras were stationed everywhere, and the lights, when triggered, gave off an amazing effect; its a miracle that no one fell into a fit of epileptic seizures.

The show started at 8:30 PM; lights dimmed - a silhouette of a moon with LUNA SEA written across it shined brightly. Then one by one, the members appeared, but the crowd were already in an uproar. Each member still had their individuality - Shinya, he appeared in a dress pants and a coat with white lining, and slicked back hair. Inoran came out in a hat, ripped jeans, black v-neck shirt, and a black blazer with sequins straddled on his black ESP. Next was J, he looked like the epitome of a Korean idol, and thats not meant to mock the rocker. He had short hair, tight black jeans, leather boots, black dress shirt, and a vest. After him was someone who isnt a stranger to the American fans, SUGIZO, who strutted out in his h.NAOTO-ish punk rock attire. Last but not least was the charismatic vocalist, Ryuichi; coming out in leather pants and boots, long coat, black vest, and white dress shirt.

The band played a total of 20 songs from all eras of their career. The first song they played was Loveless from their fourth album, MOTHER, followed by Dj vu from their second album, Image. The songs that seemed most familiar to the audience were songs from their last two albums, such as TONIGHT, STORM, and I For You. Most of the fans upfront didnt seem to really know the older songs such as FATE, TRUE BLUE, and Providence, as Ryuichi tried to signal them to join in certain songs and failed. They did play old favorites like DESIRE, ROSIER, End Of Sorrow, and RA-SE-N.

Out of the five, only two, Shinya and J, did solos. First was Shinya, who soloed for about five minutes, and then J came out and did a short one as well. SUGIZOs electric violin was also highlighted in Providence, as he did a short solo before the song began.

The last set after the final MC portion started with STORM and ended with TONIGHT - the crowd was unequivocally high. Though I did expect the audience to chant encore after they left the stage, it was replaced by clapping in the rhythm of a chant. Then six minutes later, the band came out and performed three encore songs: I For You, IN MY DREAM (WITH SHIVER), and WISH.


If someone had told me years ago I would be able to witness this band live, up close, without having to travel to Japan, I would have laughed. I never really understood why people cried at concerts, but that night I semi-understood why. Watching an artist I grew up listening to and truly respect is a once in a lifetime experience. It didnt hit me until after it was over that out of all the Japanese bands I have seen live; this band touched me the most. It was truly an amazing experience that left a heavy imprint in my mind and my heart.

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- Set List

1. LOVELESS
2. Dejavu

-MC-

3. SLAVE
4. END OF SORROW
5. TRUE BLUE

-MC-

6. FACE TO FACE
7. Gravity
8. RA-SE-N
9. Providence
10. GENESIS OF MIND???????
11. Drum Solo~Bass Solo
12. Fate

-MC-

13. STORM
14. DESIRE
15. TIME IS DEAD
16. ROSIER
17. TONIGHT

-ENCORE-

18. I for You
19. IN MY DREAM (WITH SHIVER)
20. WISH

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