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[转贴]HYDE - Live in the US


HYDE - Live in the US

Live Report – The Fillmore, San Francisco, California.

Ever since the announcement of HYDE’s US lives came out on the last day of March, thousands of fans had been waiting ever so patiently for the artist’s American debut. Those who were lucky enough to get any of the tickets to the sold-out shows were able to witness HYDE’s heart-pouring performance on stage. And for those of us who were really privileged, or rather crazy, we got to attend all four of his concerts.

July 6, 2006, shortly after midnight. My friends and I came out of HYDE’s third show at Slim’s just not too long ago. We didn’t get to the venue early enough to line up, and so we were not close enough to the front. As we exited Slim’s and got into a taxi, my friends and I decided that we needed to line up for HYDE’s last show at The Fillmore… now. We kept a rotation of people in order to save our spot throughout the night and day. To our surprise, another group had already gone ahead of us! But at this rate, we should be guaranteed front row.

At 8:00pm, doors to The Fillmore finally opened. We had been in line as a group for close to twenty hours. Once we were in, we were able to rush to the front of the stage. Our effort of lining up overnight totally paid off. I was standing midway between HYDE’s microphone and his bassist’s. This was a perfect spot for me. People behind us started to fill up the room. I was lucky that I did not get pushed around nor did people try to squeeze into the front by force. But my friends on the other side of the stage later on told me that people were fighting for position from all directions, and they ended up having bruises on themselves all over the place.

At 10:00pm, Beethoven’s Ode To Joy came roaring out the speakers. Then HYDE led his band onto the stage and was warmly welcomed by the sold-out crowd. This was it. This was the start of the last show, and I was watching it from the first row. I braced myself at the railing in front of me, as the fans behind me were pushing me forward, although I wasn’t going anywhere.

The first song of the night was JESUS CHRIST, which was about the near death of a loved one and the question of faith. When HYDE held out his arms as he sang the phrase, “Ah, God give me death,” his powerful voice channeled through the roof into the sky with the help of over 1,100 passionate fans singing along. SWEET VANILLA was next, which rocked the all-standing crowd to their feet.

Then came the beginning of the bass solo of one of my favorite songs, MADE IN HEAVEN. I was ecstatic. When the melody rose from the low all the way to high, the whole floor erupted. Everyone held up his or her arms. HYDE sang, “I want your blood, give it to me... Come, drink my blood, lose all reason…” The desire in his eyes spoke to us. Like all faithful followers, we all chanted along our cult leader.

“You guys have a great voice,” said HYDE during his MC.

Since the start of this US tour, the American crowd had always sung along each and every song. According to a Japanese fan who had flown halfway across the globe to see HYDE, she told me that Japanese fans wouldn’t normally sing along the entire song. She also said that in America, people pushed a lot more during the lives, whereas in Japan the fans would have gotten angry at the pushing.

After we got all warmed up, the next song was about love, HYDE said, and it was called SEASON’S CALL. The pace of the concert slowed down just a little from the hard rock piece earlier while we briefly caught our breath. The pushing has stopped, at least for a moment. HYDE’s sentiments and thoughts about his loved ones were brought out in the lyrics of the song, as he finished with “My beloved season calls me. Because I always feel you in me.” HYDE then strummed his guitar and began the vocal and guitar solo portion of EVERGREEN. This rock rendition of his solo debut song was sorrowful and beautiful at the same time, as he sang about the memories of a lost friend. The hard rock tune of DOLLY was next.

“Everyone get crazy with me!” HYDE demanded.

Lights flashed on the stage as bassist, HIROKI, and lead guitarist, KAZ, got to the front to stir the crowd. Once again, people were pushing, and this time I almost fell. I had to re-establish my position in the front by hanging onto the railing. Fists were pumping in the air and we all jumped according to the heavy beat. HYDE’s intense expression conveyed the fierce emotion and determination that was described to bring back a loved one into life using clones and technology. The heavy set continued onto the next. IT’S SAD was a song about judgment of human beings, the worst creatures in history who caused wars and conflicts. HYDE condemned the human race in his song: “The ground will find some peace when we’re gone. It’s sad.”

While the stage lights dimmed to a shimmering silver tint, the bassist, HIROKI, began a lyrical bass solo. HYDE followed in, this time with his semi-acoustic guitar. He and the rest of his band then graced us with several peaceful minutes of pure ensemble. With the message of his new album being “love and death”, the piece eased its way into the slowest part of the set, PERFECT MOMENT, a song HYDE described as being in a moment so perfect that he would be happy to die in it. KAZ’s skillful guitar play was dreamy, as if detached from this world. HIROKI’s bass line was melodious and expressive. This performance showcased HYDE’s falsetto as he created a tranquil setting for the song. The pace picked up slowly once again when the next number, FAITH, the titled song of his latest album, came on.

After the music stopped, it was time for the band introduction. During the first three nights, this portion was recited by different members of HYDE’s band. Tonight, it was HIROKI’s turn. He tried his best with his heavily accented English to introduce to us his fellow band members. FURUTON was the name of the drummer in the back. JIN was the keyboardist who dressed in a black cape wearing a white mask and long creepy dreadlocks. KAZ was the powerful lead guitarist on the right, showing off his prominent tattoos on both arms. And of course our vocalist and guitarist, HYDE, who really needed no introduction, received the loudest cheer from the audience. At one point, HIROKI made a mistake saying certain words in English, but the crowd gladly forgave him.

“Come on, Lucy!!!” HYDE screamed into his microphone.

I jumped up and down vigorously when I heard those three words. This totally rocked-out cover of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, originally by The Beatles, had been the highlight of his three previous concerts. Tonight was no exception. The lighting from The Fillmore even enhanced the whole experience by casting warm colorful tones onto the stage during the slower verses. The majority of this young crowd in the audience probably had never even heard the original song before, but it didn’t matter. We burst out singing during the refrain, and the whole floor became a bouncing wave people, all jumping in unison.

HYDE took this energy and rolled into the next hit HELLO. He barely sang half of the lyrics because he was letting us serenade him. We sang our hearts out, even though the words were all in Japanese. He was for the most part away from his microphone, and he used this chance to get closer to his fans. He must be so proud of us. After the end of the song, he came directly in front of me, and started strumming his guitar. We cheered. He did it again, and we cheered again. This repeated a couple of times, and led itself to the song PRAYER, a heavy, medium tempo rock piece. The crowd then partied to the tune of MIDNIGHT CELEBRATION, which took the show to its next climax. Once again, HYDE barely sang his part as we took over his. He didn’t seem to mind at all. But before we knew it, time had caught up on us, and HYDE had left the stage.

I found myself back in reality, even for just a few brief moments. I rested my arms onto the railing before me. They were sore from being raised for long periods of time. My leg muscles were tired from holding myself in position and withstanding other pushing fans. Chants of encore came from all over the music hall, but I decided to save my remaining energy for when HYDE did come back out. When adrenaline was flowing, I didn’t realize how tired I was. But now during this time of rest, I just realized I was really exhausted. I laid my head on my arms and chilled out for a moment.

After about ten minutes of cheering, HYDE and his band came back out for the encore segment. The crowd pushed again, but I was holding on tight. HYDE asked us to countdown from thirteen with him, so we did, leading into the heavy number, COUNTDOWN. Next, HYDE’s guitar accompanied his own vocal at the start of HIDEAWAY, a crowd favorite. And before the final song of the night, he did one last MC segment. He thanked his band members, blowing kisses at them. He thanked his tour staff, and most importantly, he thanked all of us in the audience.

Throughout this whole US tour, he had told us how much fun he was having playing before us. He had told us he was very happy. He had asked us whether we would come to see him again if he came back. And this time, he made a promise with us:

“I’ll be back.”

A deafening cheer from the audience followed. And it was only fitting that the final song of the night was called UNEXPECTED. I was overcome by different emotions and thoughts, and I could not decide how to react. I was sad that the whole tour was coming to an end, but at the same time, I now had something to look forward to – HYDE’s return. In the end, my hope and excitement of being able to see HYDE in the future again, were able to hold back the tears that would have otherwise fallen due to the ending of this amazing tour.

I decided to sing along with the rest of the crowd, to the simple lyrics of “Unexpected. Promises woven.” Our voices echoed throughout the space in the concert hall, especially during the moments when all the performers stopped their play. It felt like time has stopped. At the conclusion of the song, HYDE rocked himself out, and played the guitar while lying on the stage floor.

And then, it was all over. HYDE blew us kisses and walked off the stage in the warmest cheers and applause. The band members threw picks and drumsticks into the crowd. Only those who were lucky and brave enough were able to beat everyone around them for a souvenir to take home. HIROKI’s pick came straight at me, but in the end, it hit somebody’s hand and disappeared.

I had said this before to my friends, but let me write it here again. HYDE's words touch my mind and his music would always have a place in my heart. And even now that his US tour is over, I will always remember the one week in my life that I have done nothing but captured his smile, his stare, his words, his voice, and his music inside me. I feel extremely privileged to have been able to be part of something this intense and special for an entire week. And this, nobody can ever take this away from me.

Written by Wynne Ip
Live photos by KAZUHIKO TSUCHIDA

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2006-07-23 Sun 16:38
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