"I seriously think that it's the concerts that re-spark my obsessive love for them x_x;; I know this will not be the last time I see them live. NOTE TO SELF, THEY ARE TOTALLY FUCKING WORTH THE WATCH - SO DON'T BE AN INDECISIVE MOFO THE NEXT TIME THEY TOUR. And I swear to meet them one day. Somehow. Although those meet and greets seem forced on their end, so I can always dream meeting them on some kind of happenstance."
[Fantarded excerpt from Age Quod Agis Tour 20111216]
Duly noted, indeed. Not only was this mofo actually decisive this time around, she was also overzealous enough to buy the VIP package, which included access to the band's Meet & Greet. Regardless if the band was forced at gunpoint for such trivial gatherings, her plight remained resolved.
As the saying goes, third time's a charm. Let us commence the maniacal ramblings of a stupid fangirl.
So here we are again with another tour. I always try not to hype myself up for anything. This is mainly because my expectations get ridiculously high and I tend to get
crazy with anticipation. So when I read about the Ghoul tour being something "different" and "never been done before", I did my best to... not really care, haha.
Although this time around I thought I would take a stab at the Meet & Greet. Granted, the band hates these kind of events... But whatever, I wanted to experience what it's like to "meet" Dir en grey. Little did I know that "Meet & Greet" meant "Hella Awkward Photo Op". MEET 'N GREET:
This was probably the most disorganized event I've been to. The email instructed us to be there no later than 5:45PM, and we didn't start 'til probably an hour later? I don't remember much other than a lot of waiting in general.
Fast forward to us being near the bar area and the band finally arriving. Commence disperse squeeing and some Q and A!
I would like to mention one particular question that reconfirmed why I don't really partake in the fandom:
FAN A: "Can you play Cage tonight?"
FAN B: [It went along the lines of...] "OH MY FUCKING GOD. FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING STUPID BITCH! GO FUCKING KILL YOURSELF!"
Translator: "Unfortunately, no."
All I can say to the both of them is... Are you fucking serious? When it comes to "old" vs "new" vs "true" fans, things tend to go downhill. Sure, asking to play Cage was suicidal (even though I bet that was the song that converted most of the older diru fans), but I thought the other fan's response could have been a little more appropriate. Hell, an exasperated sigh would do. Cussing her out wasn't necessary; she wasn't asking Kyo to bear her child, nor was she saying "OMG, CAN U PLS BE VISUAL KEI TONIGHT AND PLAY CAGE AND FANSERVICE DESU?!" It must be difficult hearing the word "cage" without automatically associating a mindless diru fangirl bitching for visual kei, right? If that's the case (and if getting extremely defensive for the band helps you sleep better at night), then yell to your heart's content. It's not like they give a shit nor are they going to give you a fucking medal. But what do I know?
Continuing on... The Q and A session ended rather quickly. Now for some rushed stand-next-to-your-fave-member-photo-op-time
Anyone who knows me would automatically think I would bolt right next to Kyo. Think again. I was a scared and nervous mofo. Also, the woman who went before me kept talking to Kyo, and he looked unamused. Well they all did, but Kyo more so. And I know mah Kyo especially hates dem Meet & Greets.
So when it was my turn to get my picture taken, I instinctively walked straight in between Die and Kaoru, and posed in a similar lackadaisical manner. They ended up having to take the picture twice, because the first one was too blurry; I thought that was nice of ze management. Overall, I could have taken a picture with cardboard cutouts and it probably wouldn't have made a difference. By no means was it an awful experience - just an awkward one.
Now the question is, would I ever do this again? Funny enough, yes, I would. Perhaps next time I might even have the courage and courtesy to say "Thank You" instead of quickly running off. And maybe even a handshake?
Also, for those who think it's cruelty to the band to attend such events - well, they're not doing this shit for free. Unless none of the money goes to them, let me know. MOAR FANDOM RANTS:
Although I just finished blabbering about how weird the fandom can get, this of course does not represent all of the fans. There is more to this spectrum than the extremes of a mindless fangirl to the condescending elitist.
So finally, I actually decided to take some initiative and chatted with a few fellow fans prior to the concert. And most of them were actually really calm and nice. Dare I say sane? Even though they were more or less single-serving friends (until the next concert? haha), it was still fun to know how/why they were interested in the band. I'll make sure to stir up some more conversations the next time. PRECURSOR CONCERT RAMBLING:
Venue: The Opera House. T'was small with a bar and balcony, but it was a nice setting overall.
Placement in crowd: Front-left. Basically Kaoru/Toshiya vision. Finally. Although halfway throughout the concert, I had a better view of Toshiya and Kyo.
Dagoba: Pretty damned good. Got the crowd going wild; we had our wall of death and circle pits. There was probably more moshing during Dagoba's performance than Dir en grey. I am not even joking here. Considering Ghoul's setlist, I can understand why. I will blab more about it in the crowd impressions. CROWD IMPRESSION:
Being in Kaoru/Toshiya's field of vision for the first time, I can say that it was pretty tame. I'm unsure if it's always like this, but I experienced no violence and even had a little breathing space. It's not to say that people were not headbanging, going crazy and having a good time, but it was very... chill. Hey, I'm not complaining.
Although I think the main reason why the audience was more relaxed was because people didn't really know how to react to the songs being played. You couldn't really mosh to The Blossoming Beelzebub, Bottom of the death valley, Karasu (at certain points you could, I guess), nor Kasumi. I'm also unsure whether or not we had more of the newer or older fans; they may not have recognized a chunk of the self-covers? (This is not to be hating on newer fans, of course). Most people in my area were mesmerized in stillness, some waving and swaying their hands. And of course, we had the odd people filming throughout the whole show.
In regards to filming... I learned after my first concert that it does take away from the experience. Sure, it's good to relive the moment in film, but if you spend most of your time trying to capture the band in frame than just having a good time being there... Well, you could have just watched concert footage from home. I guess you could have a fantastic time filming? I know during The Rose Trims Again Tour, I was so bent on trying to reserve battery power and figuring out which performance I wanted to film. I think if I spent more time watching them perform than worrying about my camera, it would have been the perfect concert. But that's just my two cents here.
And to the girl who screamed from the top of her lungs "TOSHIYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA~ OH MY GOD! HE'S SO CUTE!!! MARRY ME~~~!!!!!!!!!!111111" during the concert... xD Probably the most memorable quote during the concert.
Additional note: I was lucky enough for the second time to have a shorter audience in front of me CONCERT RAMBLING:
Now onto the actual concert. Hurray for having some kind of production! T'was neat having video projections, and a live camera performance; I completely lost it during The Blossoming Beelzebub. I would also like to note that the sound quality this time around was actually quite amazing. My ears were not ringing by the end of the concert. w00t. Thank you, Opera House..?
For those interested in the setlist: www.setlist.fm/setlist/dir-en-…
Although being an overall good setlist, some notable (imo) performances:
• Red Soil: Gets people pumped every time.
• The Blossoming Beelzebub - My highlight of the night for the most obvious of reasons.
• Vinushka - It's flippin' Vinushka for goodness sake. Having experienced it live was AMAZING.
• Dead Tree - T'was a nice surprise. Everyone sang along to the chorus.
• Kasumi - The amount of screaming and wailing along I did for this...
• The Final - How can anyone hate the token audience participation song?
Other random highlights (deja-vu anyone?):
• Although I mentioned in my last review that Toshiya's gestures and movements were hella amusing, I am honored to say that I was at a viewing advantage to witness it in its entirety for this show. And it was still hella amusing. At one point he was using the mic stand to play the bass.
• Kyo clapping and now smiling at the end of the concert. Before he left, he waved us off. I was very happy and terrified.
• Getting blinded by water thrown at us by Toshiya and Die.
I usually note each member throughout the show, but this time I think I was more lost in the music than actually watching them. Considering they played songs from The Unraveling with other fan favourites, I was in my own world on a nostalgic high. And if you know me, I'm a sucker for nostalgia. I know I got almost teary eyed with Bottom of the death valley at one point. As a result, I can safely say that this is my favourite Dir en grey concert I have attended thus far. FINAL THOUGHTS:
So summing up... Meet and Greet was a new awkward experience, had some fun conversations with fellow fans, the crowd was chill, and the band delivered a magnificent performance. As mentioned several millions of times, it's the concerts that serve as a reminder as to why I love 'em. Please continue making music.
As long as there are lives, the fantarded infatuation never dies.