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  • Dir en grey @ Avalon 03212006

    27 mars 2006, 3h52m

    Ok, time to write a show review before I forget everything that happened. Hell, I don't even think that's possible. This will be enjoyable to write, though, sort of like re-living it.

    Tuesday was one of those nights where you picture everything being perfect, and then it ends up not being perfect, but you still feel incredibly grateful for having the chance. The night was full of mini-disappointments. Overall, though... It was AMAZING.

    It was also one of those times that feels like you're dreaming. Seriously, from the time I stepped into Avalon to after I stepped out it felt like a dream. I remember emotions better than what actually happened. I want it to feel more real, darn it. Maybe this will help.

    If you don't want to ready anything, there is a list of hilights and let-downs at the end of the report.

    ENJOY!

    Dir en grey NYC 2006


    Getting ready...

    Ok, so I got up around 8, showered and readied myself. I wore my Kisou shirt and black pants and my Etnies. I chickened out of wearing my platform sneakers. I'm not sure if it was a good move or not. I might have been able to see more, but then again I might have toppled over during the moshing and my feet would have definently been more sore. They ache horribly now, and I was wearing my most comfortable shoes.

    I took some pics of myself. You can see my new hair. I'm satisfied with it. I got it cut at the Lemon Tree. She used a razor on my bangs and I think it helped a lot.

    [img src="http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e309/hisuixyume/deg2006/p1.jpg";]
    [img src="http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e309/hisuixyume/deg2006/p3.jpg";]
    [img src="http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e309/hisuixyume/deg2006/p5.jpg";]
    [img src="http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e309/hisuixyume/deg2006/p7.jpg";]
    [img src="http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e309/hisuixyume/deg2006/ooo9.jpg";]

    I put on a light grey sweater hoodie and loaded its pockets with everything I needed. My mom got me a sub to bring along and eat before the show. I carried the sub, my water bottle, the glowsticks, and Shinya's drumsticks in a plastic bag.

    My mom wrapped the sticks for me the night before. Also, the night before I wrote a little letter for Shinya. I wrote in my limited Japanese things like "My name is Kerii [KELLY], I am eighteen, from Connecticut, etc. etc." I wrote it all out in kana except for KELLY and CONNECTICUT, and a little blurb at the end I couldn't translate into Japanese. And I also wrote out a big "I Dir en grey!, I Shinya!" I think that gets the point across. I added a bunch of cute stickers and photos of myself printed out of the computer. I also put in one of me and Dan and wrote Dan's name out in katakana and put little hearts around. :D I also printed out a map of the United States and circled Connecticut and attempted to dot my city.
    The night before Dan picked me up to go to trip night for band at the school. I showed him the envelope and he taped it to the drumsticks very thoroughly.

    I wonder if Shinya got the sticks. I wonder if he'll use them. I wonder if he read the letter. Or attempted. My Japanese must look like a first grader's script. Oh well, I'm sure it's legible... Once we got to the club I had some problems with my package, but I'll get into that later. --;;




    "Train"-ing!

    My dad got home around 12 p.m. and drove me to Steve's house. Steve was about 15 minutes late because he couldn't find his wallet. My dad was getting nervous that he wouldn't go at all. I am the type of person to just go with the flow and not worry about minor setbacks, so in the end it was all good. So he finally gets in the van and we drove to New Haven. Turns out we took the New Haven train instead of the Milford one.

    So we go in (about 10 minutes late) and I immediately see the other three: Katt, Kera, and Amanda. Katt and Kera were dressed in The Final cosplay (suits and freaky blue contacts in all). Very impressive. I had never met Amanda before but she was nice. Steve and I got out tickets and we boarded our train around 12:45-50.

    The train left at 12:57 p.m. It stopped several times. Milford.. Stamford... Norwalk... With every stop we'd be closer to New York. There were two girls sitting across from us, reading magazines and talking about stars like Jessica Simpson and Keira Knightly (SP?). Two random guys joined them because they couldn't find any seats. They were talking about silly things I won't really get into, but let's just say it was kind of amusing, kind of irritating. And they asked us why we were going to New York. Ugh... I hate explaining these sort of things.. It went like this:

    Guy: "So, what are you guys doing in New York? Just gonna hang out?"
    Us: "Concert."
    Girl: "Oooh, who are you going to see!?"
    Us: "Um, Dir en grey... a Japanese band. First American tour."
    Them: "Ohh....? ....Wow."
    Girl: "Japanese!? Have you heard of BALZAC?"
    Katt/me: "Yeah."
    Them: "Where is it?"
    Us: "Club Avalon."
    Guy: "Maybe we'll check it out.. Sounds Interesting."
    Us.: "It's sold out."
    Guy: "Sold out? Ah, that sucks."

    Yeaah.... Aheh :x




    The Big Apple...

    So we finally got to New York City around 2:30 p.m. It felt good to stand up. Grand Central was pretty busy. We took a bathroom break and decided to find a place to eat. As I stepped out of the station, my senses were hit with the familiar vibe of New York City. I know urban life on three levels: West Haven (semi-urban), New Haven (urban), and New York City (uber-urban). There was a sense of the need to rush.
    It didn't take long to find a Dunkin Donuts/KFC. I decided to just eat my sub then. The others got food and we went downstairs to the dining area. There was literally one or two other people there. At one point I think it was just us five. There were no people to chastise me for eating outside food, so I ate my Subway in peace.

    Really funny thing happened. The place was playing techno music. Then all of a sudden, a song came on and I recognized it. I listened hard, and I realized that it was in Japanese. WTF? I stopped eating and looked to the others and beckoned them to listen. It was either Katt or Kera that said "...Is that Ayumi!?"

    HAHA. We all concluded that it was indeed Ayumi Hamasaki. However, in retrospect, I don't think it was. It actually sounded like a remix of Koda Kumi's "Trust Your Love." I may be wrong (I'm like 70% sure), I can't remember what I heard too well. Either way, it was pretty amazing, a random Dunkin Donuts playing a remix of Jpop.

    And after that, a song that sounded like a strange cross between reggae and techno came on. Haha, world techno night at NY Dunkin Donuts.

    We managed to hail a taxi within a minute, I think. We all managed to squeeze into one. Steve sat in front, and in the back Kera sat on Amanda, and Katt and me squished in. I stared out the window and watched as we passed through New York. Finally we got there and were greeted by the sight of the lovely long line of fans.




    >Waiting in the queue

    So we walked and walked and walked and finally made it to the back of the line. There must have been 400-500 people ahead of us. We got there around 3:30-3:45 p.m. At first I was emo, but gradually the line grew longer and it seemed like we were kind of in the middle by 7 p.m. It took less than a few minutes before we were no longer the last people in line. We found out that the first people in line were there since 12 a.m. Pardon my French, but that is f*cking insane. It was probably freezing, not to mention how unsafe (imagine huddling outside on the streets of New York at 3 in the morning).

    The people near us in line were interesting. There was a boy who I was pretty certain was Japanese. He shyly asked Katt and Kera for a photo. They were the best cosplayers that I saw. Some people picked costumes that were just too overdone and hard to pull off. But yeah, the guy was also reading a manga in Japanese at one point, and he also pulled out a PSP at one point (love). He was playing some sort of strategy-looking game in Japanese. Also, I never heard him speak any English except for the meek "...Picture?" to Katt and Kera, even though a few times the girls ahead of us talked to him a couple times. He just smiled and nodded. Haha... And when I randomly spoke Japanese to Steve to annoy him I swear the boy's head turned slightly. He was probably mocking me on the inside. xD

    What suprised me the most was the people behind us. They were a couple that looked to be about in their forties AT LEAST. At first I thought that they were the parents of the kids behind them, but I noticed they never associated themselves in any way at all. And the lady had a nose stud. Other than that, they looked like a normal middle-aged married couple. At one point they explained in great detail what the line was for to a confused passerby-er. I heard the man mentioned it was Dir en grey's first time in America, and they were in Texas and they would be in L.A. after this. And I heard him refer to the kids in line as "little jrockers." I should have striked up a conversation with them, but alas, I am the shyz0rz.

    The girls ahead of us were cool. They were also from Connecticut. Fairfield County. They had a good sense of humor, too. I told them about my sticks and letter for Shinya and one said, "Sugoi!~~... I don't know what that means, I just heard it from an anime. [pause] JUST KIDDING!" Haha, that was so awesome. She had me going for a second. Steve tried to talking to them about video games but it didn't work, lol. They tried, but they weren't really avid gamers. One of them had her parents there. They brought them Starbucks and McDonalds and held their place when they needed a break. *sigh* I wish I could do that.

    There were a lot of people there in strange clothes. Well, the majority had Hot Topic-looking clothes/all black & red, lots of bondage straps and zippers and crap. I saw two girls with shiny white high-heeled shoes along with black and white striped tights and neon mini-skirts that looked like they were made of paper. They could barely walk, I don't know how they survived the crowd inside. Many people had the generic Dir en grey/Kyo shirts from ebay. I only saw one other boy with the same Kisou pattern as me, but it was on a hoodie. I saw "京"'s on clothes and painted on hands.

    The coolest thing happened while waiting! A car came down the street. What car? None other than a shiny silver Honda S2000, my favorite car EVER. When I saw the "S2000" I screamed "HONDAS2000!!!!! MY FAVORITE CAR!!!" It parked right across the street from where we waited in line!~ The driver got out and I got to stare at it for a good 20-30 minutes. I almost decided to go up to it and inspect it but I figured that wouldn't be the greatest thing to do in New York.

    Did I also mention that we were right across from the New York Public Library? HUGE, I tell you. Wow.. books, HondaS2000, my fave sub, and Diru all in one day. How did I not get a sensory overload? Oh wait, I did.

    At some point (I lost track of time) we heard a bloodcurling scream come from the beginning of the line. It didn't sound like a good, "OMG gonna see Deg!~" scream. It sounded like someone was just murdered. Well, apparently the band did their warm-up/sound check (we could hear it from outside), and that made the person scream. We could hear them for awhile. I couldn't distinguish the songs, but it was obvious it was THEM. I got all giggly and stupid. I could barely believe Dir en grey was inside that building I was standing so close to... The muffled music was almost mocking... teasing me.

    Minutes passed, then hours. It got darker and colder. Around 6:15 I started getting uncomfortably cold. The line moved around 6:30-45. They were letting people in by groups. I got ready. I put in my earplugs. I put my glowstick in my pocket. I took out the drumsticks and held them firmly. I balled up the empty plastic bag and stuffed it into my pocket. I put the water bottle inside my sweater so they wouldn't confiscate it. As we got closer to the doors the litter on the ground increased. People make me mad. Steve even noticed a trash bag hung over the fence around the club, and discarded cups on the ground right near it. There were blankets and other necessities strewn on the ground and fence right outside the doors from the early people in line.

    Katt was nervous that they wouldn't accept her I.D. because it didn't have her photo. Kera too, because she didn't think it looked legit enough. Luckily the parents ahead of us agreed to take responsibility of them if Avalon wouldn't let them in. They look older than 16, anyway.



    Finally inside! (and then back out...)

    Finally, it happened. We got to the door. We walked in and they scanned our tickets. The lady didn't even check my I.D. The place was dark and rather intimidating to me. In the first room there was a merchandise booth, already swamped by the masses. I searched for the gift boxes and couldn't find them. Steve asked a person and we found out that they were back outside. SHIT!

    So I fought my way back outside (Steve trailing me) and saw the two large boxes outside. They didn't have one for each member, just two communitive boxes, almost filled to the brim. I quickly asked what box to use, just to make sure. "Either one," said one of the large men guarding the boxes. I dropped the sticks/note and mentally thanked Dan for taping the note so well (which I had marked "Shinya" in large letters). I scurried back inside, vaguely hearing one of the men asking if I got him a ruler (silly Avalon/Free-Will-America/whoever they were people). I couldn't answer, because I was already gone.

    As I approached the line where the lady was scanning the tickets, I got really nervous. Now there was another lady with her. I didn't go in the queue, I just went straight up to her on the other side of the rope. The new woman quickly reprimanded me and told me to go in line, and Steve and I explained my situation. THANK GOD she believed us. She unclipped the rope for us and we ducked through the people (who were probably wondering why we cut them...), and I heard her telling the scanning lady what had happened. She gave us no trouble at all. Then again, we WERE holding our tickets, so at least we weren't empty-handed. But if we were forced to have them scanned again, they would know they were scanned already and we might not have been able to get in. I didn't even want to think about that... We'd probably be able to get the security guys to vouch for us, but that would take precious time.

    I skipped the merch booth because I figured there would be time afterward and I wanted to ensure the best place possible. Unfortunately, the place was already pretty well filled. It was a small place, dark, maybe half the length of my school auditorium. The first thing I noticed was the huge "DIR EN GREY" banner hanging over the stage. I couldn't believe it. There were balconies on either side, already filled with people. In the back there was a bar. People were as close to the stage as possible. I couldn't see it, but apparently there was a barricade put up about ten feet from the stage (haha, no groping for j00).

    As expected, the middle was pretty full. So we went on the far right, Die's side, like 30-50 feet away from the stage. Actually, it was EXTREME far right, almost beyond the length of the stage. I wanted to be excited but I got emo again over how far we were away from not only the front, but the center of the stage. And to make matters worse, we couldn't find the other three members of our posse (I thanked Steve for going back outside with me). We tried calling Katt, but no answer. I found out later they were at the merch booth. After that they had gone to Kaoru/Toshiya's side.

    The club played mediocre music over the speakers while we waited for something to happen. When a new song came on the crowd would cheer a little, confusing me and thinking I was missing something. I could somewhat see the stage. There was a huge drumset near the center-back and a much smaller one in front that looked like a toy in comparison. This made me smirk to myself. I knew whos was whos.

    I took off my sweater and wrapped it tightly around my waist. I held my water bottle tightly. People started to file in behind us. This was when I was beginning to feel crowded. I could only a move a few inches in any given direction. Well, I soon learned that this was rather ideal...
    There were two short little Asian girls next to me. They were the closest, pushing right up against me. I felt bad for them, as they probably saw even less than I did.

    We waited a long, long hour. Finally at 8 p.m., something happened.



    Still Life DeGAY

    Alright, alright, that was uncalled for. The opening band was actually called Still Life <b>Decay</b> (NOT Soul Life Decay, silly people), a New York band. As soon as they started, I knew I wouldn't like them. I guess they are considered "industrial." Their songs all sounded the same to me, and to be honest sometimes I couldn't tell where one song stopped and another started. The singer used this weird voice synth that sounded ridiculous to me. Their sound was like, headbanging goth grunge noise. That's the best I can describe it. Steve yelled "SO LOUD!" to me. My earplugs protected my ears from the noise pollution. SLD looked kind of cool, though.

    I was just looking at their website. This is how they describe themselves: "Still Life Decay layers harsh electronics, driving beats and melodic guitars under dispiriting vocals. They can not be slotted into one specific genre, but instead pull from the rhythms of industrial, the drive of metal and the textures of goth. Still Life Decay creates songs that depict the frustration, paranoia, and tension of post-millennial life."

    And a comment from a random person in their message board:

    "lol: Thanks for wasting 40 minutes or whatnot of my time last night. Much appreciated."

    XDDD! That was mean and uncalled for but rather true.

    Actually, I have to give them credit. They certainly got the crowd moving. The little Asian girls next to me were the first to start moving. They swayed back and forth violently, hitting into me every second. It was rather annoying yet kind of amusing. Eventually the crowd started surging forward and back and forth like a raging sea. It was a mosh pit. Not a very violent one, but an intense one nonetheless.

    I wasn't really listening to SLD, I was trying not to die.

    People pushed forward from behind and everyone was going forward like a domino effect (sometimes even with the falling down). I no longer could move on my own free will, I was being pushed from every side. I had trouble breathing occasionally. I almost fell a couple times, but then again, how could I fall to the floor if another body was blocking it from me? My hair was being pulled at one point. I kept thinking, "Oh God, it's going to be 10x worse during Dir en grey and I'm going to pass out." Then there was a huge surge forward (I later found out that the barricade had given way under the crowd's pushing and people rushed to the front of the stage). I got used to the pushing and shoving eventually and worked the crowd. Everytime there was a surge, I wedged myself between the two people in front of me and pulled myself through. Soon the people ahead of me were next to me, and then behind me. I learned that it doesn't necessarily matter how early you get in line, it's how aggressive you are in the pit. I was proud of myself, I was getting pretty close. And I deserved to be because I couldn't see much over the people's fat heads. I'm so short... Good thing about being tiny is that people won't give you as much guff for pushing your way through.

    A girl had fainted on our side. They dragged her to the side to get some air. Steve said her arms were crossed over her chest like she was dead. o_O; I learned of two other faintings afterwards, there may have been more, and probably plenty of close-calls.

    About 20-25 feet closer to the front and 5-10 feet closer to the center, I was stuck behind a wall of rather tall and aggressive boys. They sucked, they were so tall. ;.; I tried getting through them during the rest of SLD's set, but no luck.

    Two times after a song the singer would say, "Are you guys ready for Dir en grey?" At which point we would scream at them. Both times they just started up another song.



    The Suspense builds...

    Finally, they were done. They left and people came on to take away their instruments. Somehow Steve had made his way up a few people to the right of me. I moved beside him to get out from behind the giants. A middle-aged man came onstage and yelled for the lights on. The crowd went through a little osmosis which felt good. There was a breeze coming from an open door, which felt even better. My water was warm, but it still felt good on my dry throat. Overall I felt fine. A little hot, but okay. My adrenaline started to pump harder and harder.

    The man onstage yelled at us to all take 5 steps back so they could put the barrier back up. He warned us to stop pushing because "they've had a lot of kids get hurt during their shows in Japan and they don't want you guys to get hurt." Also, "you're not getting onstage, and why would you want to anyway? You can't play guitar and the signs are in fucking Japanese anyway." Yes, his words. I don't know what signs he was talking about, but he got some applauds. He yelled at the people in the back on the left side to stop pushing. This started a chant of "KICK THEM OUT" on our side that quickly subsided. He told us that if we continued pushing or the barrier came down again, the band would stop performing and the show may have to end. That certainly got our attention.

    I noticed SLD's tech people subsiding and Japanese roadies starting to set up the stage. It got me excited. One put up a stand holding many red picks, and a guitar, almost straight ahead of me. Die's! I had a hard time trying to get it through my head. They put up a little platform for Kyo to jump on/off. It was so close, I must have been about 20 feet away from the stage at this point, about the 7-10th row of people, directly ahead of Die. And I had a perfect view of Shinya's drumset. Not shabby at all. They tested the instruments and eventually cleared the stage.

    This unfortunately, was when the crowd compacted itself again, and the sea of heads blocked my perfect view of the stage. :( I made Steve get behind me and I stood on his feet, leaning my toes on the ground. It helped... barely. I could see the top cymbals of the drumset but not much else. He tried picking me up at one point but it didn't really help and he couldn't hold me long. Not to mention it was a little awkward...

    And then the lights dimmed and a rush of excitement passed over the crowd.




    G.D.S.!!!!!

    Suddenly it went completely dark, then it happened. G.D.S. started playing. I screamed. I swear I've never screamed so loud in my entrie life. I was hit with such an amazing feeling. If there is any song in the world that can get me going, it's G.D.S. And if it's played AT AN ACTUAL DIR EN GREY SHOW.... well then. I was bouncing up and down to the heavy beat of the song along with the crowd. Luckily the crowd was no longer pushing. I was trying to watch the stage, but I couldn't see. I screamed "KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL!" and punched my fist into the air with every word, watching my hand at it soared into the air.

    It seemed to go on for a long time. With every 'chorus' my insides became more and more knotted, because I knew at any moment Shinya would be coming out, [del]quite possibly [/del] my favorite celebrity ever.
    Then finally the crowd erupted, everyone was screaming their heads off louder than any moment beforehand, and I knew who just appeared, even though I couldn't see him. It was as if I could feel his presence; a chill went down my spine. I was expecting to see him suddenly rise above the heads from standing on the platform, but no. Apparently he just went back to his place behind the drums, because soon three more cheers erupted as Toshiya, Die, and Kaoru came out (I assume). Even though I couldn't see them at all I screamed just as loud as everyone else. I really wish I could have seen them, though. ;.; The excitement was building, building, building... Only one more. I think I remember the sound of Shinya starting to drum to the beat... and then pure, utter screaming from everyone in the place. Kyo had appeared. I was glad I kept my earplugs in, because the screaming would have killed.




    The boys...

    Ok, so there was at least one moment when I saw each member of Dir en grey.

    The first one I saw was Die. The heads moved a little and he came into my view. I was floored. He was RIGHT THERE... no more than 20 feet away from me. It seemed so close, I wonder what it was like for the people all the way up front.
    His hair was dark red, and it had grown out nicely around his face. He wore no makeup (none of them did). He was wearing a t-shirt with a pair of juicy red lips printed on it (not quite the Rolling Stone lips..). I saw him flip off the crowd a few times. Heheh, I thought it was cute.
    Let me just quickly say that Die is 10x hotter in real life. Wait, I don't want to say "hot," because he was so much more than that. "Hot" just sounds so lame and overused. I don't know what words to use to describe him.

    Just... they all looked so much more masculine and healthy in real life. Sometimes in photoshoots and videos they look so pale, skinny, and dare I say.... weak? Well, not Tuesday. Their strength really shines through during lives. Most people look bigger on cameras but they looked fuller in person AND IN A GOOD WAY.

    I saw the least of Toshiya, unfortunately. I remember seeing a mound of spikey black hair a couple times but I didn't get a good view of him. But I heard that he was whoring himself to the crowd, blowing kisses and whatnot. He was wearing a white jacket and a white and black striped shirt underneath, typical Totchi-wear.
    At one point near the end he was suddenly on our side! I saw him for a split-second. I later heard that he and Die switched spots, and they eventually hugged onstage. Aww, I'm sad I missed that! ^.^

    Kaoru Was way the Hell over, but I got a perfect view of his face for like 3 seconds at one point. The lights were shining on him, too. I remember his furrowed brows and a cynical little half-smile. His hair was HUGE. It made his face look really small and pointy; it reminded me of a kitten's. But his dark hair looked like a lion's mane on him. And he had his cute little chin hair. It was impossible not to miss it.

    Kyo was... Kyo. I got to see him the most, just because he would hop on his little platform a lot, sometimes he would crouch but he would also stand occasionally. Those were good times. Actually, seeing Kyo in person was somehow not as amazing as the others. SLIGHTLY. Maybe it was because I'm just used to seeing him everywhere in the videos and such. I still screamed when he rose and came into view. He was wearing a black button-down shirt that eventually became more and more opened and eventually off, and tight black pants with a silver belt buckle.
    He did a lot of crazy things. His facial expressions were priceless. At one point he just crouched on his platform and stared out into the crowd, his eyes passing over everyone. I reached towards him as if I could eventually grab him despite being 20 feet or so away. But he never looked over at me. I didn't see any of them looking near me, except... Well, I'll get to that later.

    And my absolute favorite, Shinya. *long sigh* If my fandom for each Dir en grey member could be measured, I swear it would look like this:

    Shinya. ____________________________________________________________
    Kyo. ___________
    Die. _____
    Kaoru. ____
    Toshiya. ___


    So anyway, Shinya was amazing in real life. The first time when the heads moved and I saw him there, playing the drums, I literally forgot to breathe. He took my breath away. When he went out of view again, my breath came back to me. A funny thing happened to me everytime I got a glimpse of him. I would involuntarily stop moving/bouncing around and stand perfectly still... and just stare at him until he went out of view again.

    In videos it always looks like he has complete control over the drumset, and there's no exception to this live. He moved so smoothly, making it look so easy. He just looked so natural there.. His hair went everywhere. It looked so lovely. Oh, and his hair looks like my friend Ting's! Shinya's hair was black with a blonde streak down the front. I think he was wearing a white jacket at first, but then he was wearing a sleeveless shirt (aaaah!). Let me tell you, Shinya has muscles.~ Remember what I said about them all looking so much more healthy and masculine in real life? Well, that goes double for Shinya. :) Beautiful package of sheer power, that man is.


    They all looked so young, too! It was hard to believe that some were in their thirties already. Shinya looks more mature in real life so I guess he could pass for 28 (I'll always remember him being 10 years older than me), but if I didn't know I'd say he was 24 or something.




    On with the music...

    After the climax from G.D.S., I felt my body relax a little. Just in the TINIEST bit, for the first song soon started. Before I go all individual song on you, let me share the setlist, as posted in the degnyc community by Kenpachi

    1. Clever Sleazoid
    2. saku
    3. Garbage
    4. Jesus Christ RnR
    5. Machiavellism
    6. Merciless cult
    9. Itoshisa ha fuhai ni tsuki
    8. kodoku ni shisu, yue ni Kodoku
    9. dead tree
    10. the final
    11. beautiful dirt
    12. Higeki ha mabuta wo oroshita yasashiki utsu
    13. kodou
    14. the IIID empire
    15. Spilled Milk
    Encore
    1. Mr. Newsman
    2. A NEW SONG!
    3. C
    4. Child Prey


    Ok, so Clever Sleazoid began. It took me a second to stop and think and realize what song was playing. This happened with every song. I sang along, as did many others in the place. Some people were outright screaming. Some people complained about it afterwards, but with my earplugs the main person I heard was Kyo. I didn't know whether to sing in good English or sing it the way Kyo does... It was kind of in between. But Kyo did such a good job! It sounded better live in my opinion. Hilight: Everyone saying in unison, "One day I will fuck your parents!" xD

    I took out one of my ear plugs at this point, too see if it would sound better without. I quickly put it back it. The music was extremely loud, and it sounded distorted. Actually, the sound sucked without my plugs. Those earplugs were probably the best investment for the night. They filtered out the excess humming of the instruments and the crazy crowd's screaming.

    Experiencing the songs live made me appreciate them all the more. I didn't really like the Withering to Death songs that much prior to the concert, but I like them now, as much as some of the beloved old Dir en grey songs (but in a different way).

    After Clever Sleazoid, saku began. Yeah! I love saku. Besides the last song, I think this got the crowd moving the most. The lights were kind of annoying, though. They had a strobe light effect and I couldn't see much.

    Next was Garbage. Eh... I don't really like this song that much. I don't remember it well, either. I found that the more I liked the songs, the best I remembered them.

    <b>Jesus Christ RnR</b> was fun. Kyo's jerky movements matched his singing at the beginning. I had fun singing "Jesus Christ Rock 'n Roll!" during the chorus along with everyone. Heheh... Jesus Christ Rock n' Roll, in a club that used to be a church, no less. I'm sure Jesus was indeed rocking out along with them on stage... *cough*

    Machiavellism was amazing.~ Kyo stood on his platform and slashed the inside of his mouth either with his finger or a pin or something... I could see particles fly out of his mouth, probably saliva. He also scratched up his chest. Blood poured from his mouth like a fountain (we all pretty much concluded it was fake), down onto his chest. He rubbed it over his chest and nipples. The crowd went insane. By the end of the song his face was covered with blood. The whole thing was disturbing yet captivating at the same time. After the show Steve told me it freaked him out a little. Oops... forgot to warn him about that...

    Honestly, the next four songs are all a blur to me. Actually, I remember parts from each one, but not anything I could really write about. When <b>The Final</b> came on, I got excited. It's a very good song, very beautifully performed live. Then <b>Beautiful Dirt</b>... and <b>Higeki ha mabuta wo oroshita yasashiki utsu</b>. I grabbed my glowstick and waved it along with everyone else. Actually, there were a lot of glowsticks out before that, during <b>dead tree</b> and <b>Itoshisa</b>, and I don't think there much of a difference. Some people had them out while Still Life Decay was on, and many kept them out for the rest of the show. So it didn't really go according to plan.
    At the end of Higeki.... the band stopped playing and Kyo was singing all by himself. Eventually the crowd got quiet, and all I could hear was Kyo's crying. His wails/whimperings really pierced me. I'm getting chills now just thinking about it... It was so emotional. That was one of the best moments of the night.

    It was around this time when I found myself behind a huge guy. >.< I really couldn't see anything for the rest of the show except for when Kyo stood on his platform. I tried getting around, but he was tall and wide. So that made me kind of upset, but hey, at least I could still enjoy the music!

    Every once in a while a guy ahead of me (not the big one directly in front of me) would take out his digital camera and take photos. That annoyed me greatly. He didn't even do it discreetly. I really wanted someone to come over and take him away. What happened to "no mercy?" :P

    After <b>Spilled Milk</b>, they left. I felt abandoned. No goodbyes or anything. Then I realized they still had to do their...




    <font size="+2">"ENCORE!"</font>

    The place started chanting "DIR EN GREY! DIR EN GREY! DIR EN GREY!" over and over and over... the girl next to me was screaming her head off. I was, too. A girl on the other side of me was plugging her ears and looking down at the ground. Haha. I was suprised - I didn't hear the chant die down at all. It kept going and going. It went on for what seemed like 5-10 minutes. I paused to wet my throat a few times and missed about three "Dir en grey!"s in the process, but besides that we all kept chanting the whole time. Finally the chanting subsided into screams and (I assume) this was when Dir en grey came back onstage.

    And to my amazement, <b>mr. newsman</b> started up! Old Dir en grey! Well, not really -old-, but not new! I love mr. newsman. I got super excited again for the millionth time that night. I continued pumping my fist/rawk symbol into the air. Best part: when Kyo sang "Check It Up 1, 2, 3, 4, 5" I sang along and held up that number of fingers accordingly. But the first time I had dyslexia and started with my whole hand and put each finger down, so that at "5!" I had 1 finger up. Aheh, I wasn't thinking. But then I corrected myself. The 1 and 2 were so quick and muffled that I only did it to 3, 4, 5:
    "Check It Up 1, 2,"
    "3" |||
    "4" ||||
    "5!" \||||

    The slanty is my thumb :D

    Ok, that was horribly dorky of me. Still, I was suprised I didn't see more people doing it.

    I was expecting more old songs. Boy, did I get played. The next song I never heard before! It was a slower, somber song. I think it fits along the lines of Withering to Death (new album). Some people were saying it sounded like something older. Hmph. Whatever. I'm pretty sure it was all in Japanese, too. At any rate, it was a new song. I felt priveleged to be the first of 800 or so people to hear a new Deg song live (and in America, no less!~).

    After that they played <b>C</b>. Ho hum. During C I was less listening and more trying to see. But the giant ahead of me was still there, and now a new girl had somehow found herself in front of me. Annoy... I was doing a tiptoe dance, trying to see. I wasn't very successful. Gah.

    After that I soon forgot my seeing dilemma because Kyo yelled "LAST SONG!"... Only he did it more than once. He said it two or three times (if anyone knows for sure how many times, please tell me). I loved his tone the last time he said it! It was an excited and a 'I-know-you-want-more-but-too-bad'" "<b><i>LAST</i></b> SONG!" And honestly, it sounded more like "Last song" rather than "Rast song." Or maybe it was in between. Whatever. <3 Kyo's Engrish. Maybe he was trying harder because he was in the States (which would also explain why he said it more than once). That idea makes me smile.

    <b>Child Prey</b> began!!! I knew exactly what song it was as soon as it started. I got pumped like I did during G.D.S. It's a great closer, good for audience participation. We all bellowed along with Kaoru, Die, and Toshiya and I sang "Kiss Me Kill Me Love Me" with Kyo. It was so much fun. At the end Kyo stood on his platform with his back to us. Oh.. my... God. <3 His backside is so beautiful, I couldn't help but burn my eyes into him. He's so thin, yet so solid at the same time. He did his little jumping off platform maneuver more than once, I believe. Once again, screaming screaming screaming...




    <font size="+2">Shinya tosses his drumsticks...</font>

    After the music ended I knew that the boys were tossing their picks and stuff into the crowd, even though I couldn't see. I also knew what was coming in terms of drumsticks...

    The whole time I was either holding my water bottle in one hand or both hands. It was almost empty. I decided to let it go. I dropped it on the floor and it was swallowed in the abyss.

    I then shot both my arms into the air, just in case something should fall into them... I couldn't see anything coming my way though. I was waiting for Shinya.

    Then all of a sudden, without seeing it come at all, I got hit square in the face with water. My eyes closed and I screamed bloody murder in reaction. Die's water! I got Die's water all over me!!! It felt good, too. Still, I wiped my eyes so I could see when Shinya was coming.

    And then it happened. I'm not sure if Shinya climbed on the platform or just came close to the edge of the stage (I think it was the latter), but suddenly he appeared over the sea of heads, in all his mighty glory. He was so close... so close... his body moved so fluidly, his legs, his arms... his hair *sigh*

    And the most exciting part was... He was looking in my direction. Well, not at first. It seemed like he scanned the crowd for a second, then paused on my side. I was jumping up and down like mad woman, half-screaming, half-crying, probably hitting everyone within a 2 foot radius around me. Trying to think back on how I felt, I had a look of pure anguish on my face, I remember contorting it. My eyes were filling with tears. I wish I could have seen it.

    Well, I swear to God he must have seen me, at least in his peripheral vision. Hell, he most likely saw me straight on. (*dead*) I couldn't really see his eyes because he wasn't lit up, but he was definetely facing me head-on. And plus, I instinctively screamed "SHIIIIINYAAAAA!!!" and it came out extremely high-pitched. I heard it, and I was still wearing ear plugs. I wouldn't sporadically scream his name if there wasn't a chance he'd see me. Maybe he heard it. o_o If he saw me, he might be able to recognize me from the letter I gave him. Ok ok, getting ahead of myself here..

    During these two seconds it seemed like the only two people I was conscious of was me and Shinya. The rest of the crowd on my side didn't seem to be going nuts even though SHINYA WAS RIGHT THERE.... What's wrong with these people??? I didn't hear anyone else yell for him around me. Darn Kyo-heads... :x xD Or maybe I was just off in lala land. No, because if people were going nuts their tall arms and hands would be blocking my perfect view of Shinya. I had a clear view, and Shinya had a clear view of me.

    Kelly clear view + Shinya clear view = Magic/Wild Fantasies

    :D

    Ok, I'm going to stop describing these two seconds because I could go on forever.

    My body started to go into cardiac arrest [not really] as soon as he faced me, so when he finally threw his drumsticks (a whole 3-5 seconds later), my body felt like it was glued to the spot. I don't even know if he threw one or both at once, my face was glued to his face. But what I did know was that his arm went back, he aimed, and he threw them RIGHT AT ME. It's a shame, because he paralyzed me. Not with the sticks, but his eyes.

    The drumstick(s) literally fell into the crowd freaking inches away from me, a foot at the most. They might have even hit me, but I wouldn't have noticed because my body was still numb. I was so in shock that I barely moved. My eyes were still on Shinya. About four people went for it/them. At this point I tried reaching for the general direction of where they were fighting over them, but I gave up. I felt like I was made of marshmallow, I was in no mood to fight for the sticks. If Shinya had handed me the sticks it would be all well and good, but I didn't feel like fighting over them, which was amazing. I had always told my friends I would fight to the death for Shinya's sticks, but I barely tried at all. I was still jelly over the whole looking incident. If I had gone for the sticks as soon as they reached the crowd, I would have gotten at least one. But no, I couldn't move. I couldn't think.

    So in conclusion, me seeing Shinya took my breath away, and Shinya seeing me pretty much paralyzed me.
    Darn Gorgon...

    So anyway, the little stick brawl didn't last long. The girl next to me came out victorious (since she was closest <.<). She was wearing a Kyo shirt, I believe. I was suprised people weren't trying to snatch them out of her hands. She had two, but I don't know if both were from Shinya or one was from the SLD drummer. I'm pretty sure both were Shinya's. That suprised me, he usually tosses them separately.

    I was expecting her to be freaking out as I would be if I held Shinya's sticks in my hand, but she wasn't. She was just kind of looking at them. I heard her say, "I got two!" A couple of people were looking at them (including myself), but besides that, no one was really paying attention. WTF??? Shinya's drumsticks!!!!JEHN>UFSBGRB>URHT

    The band was gone and most of us were still standing there, soaking it all in. I was still staring at Shinya's drumsticks, right next to me in the hands of this stranger. I wanted to touch them.

    Then something happened that kind of pissed me off. A girl from the back of the crowd made her way up to us and grabbed one of the sticks from behind. It really looked like she tried taking it from her. But the girl next to me had a good grip on it, and turned around to face the culprit. She claimed she wanted to see them, and "I'm like the biggest Shinya fangirl ever!~" Her exact words. The way she grabbed the stick was incredibly rude. So anyway, the girl let her touch the sticks and all was good again.
    Finally, I deicided to seize the opportunity to be nice. I tapped the girl as politely as possible and held out my hands in a touching motion, grinning. She smiled and presented me with the sticks. I rubbed them up and down excitedly. My hands tingled. So I got to touch Shinya's sticks, at least!!! They were so beat up- it looked like someone had been chewing on them for weeks. They also said "Dir en grey" on them, in purple letters, I believe. They seemed a little lighter than ones I got for him, but then again it was so beat up it was hard to tell. I can't remember saying "Thank-you" to the girl but I'm pretty sure I did. At least, I meant to.

    So I was half-disappointed, half-happy. Actually, I did get rather emo that I came so close to getting his sticks, but after thinking the event over, I'm rather happy that he at least faced me. The possibility that he was trying to throw his sticks to me makes me happier than fighting for the sticks anyday.

    And I am going to tell myself that he threw the sticks to me, because it makes me happy. Leave me alone. :D




    <font size="+2">Time to go</font>

    I discovered that one of my earplugs popped out. Luckily it did recently, because I found it on the ground near me. But my water bottle was long gone. I hope that someone didn't take it thinking it was Die's or something. :x

    I found Steve. We decided to try to get some water. We went back to the bar and discovered that a regular bottle of water cost $5. That is insanity! Downright murder! Even though my throat was like sandpaper, my stubborn Capricorn self refused to pay that price. Plus I was still wet from Die's water. :D Heeee.. We went without water. The line for the merchandise booth appeared to end inside the room where they performed. Katt called me and I told her we were in line. But it wasn't long before she called again and told me that our train was leaving in 20 minutes. Oh man, I really wanted a t-shirt...

    But we had to leave. We met up with the other three outside. My mind was pretty blank from everything that happened within the last 3 hours or so, especially the Shinya incident. Katt was wearing a Dir en grey shirt. Turns out they were at the merchandise booth before. I kind of wished I went beforehand, too, but then would I have gotten my spot where I got Die's water on me and almost Shinya's sticks? Hmmmm...

    I noticed the gift boxes were still outside. So I could have waited till afterwards to relieve myself of the sticks, but the note might not have survived inside the club... Plus I dropped everything after the last song was over. I still had my glowstick, though! I wedged it in where I folded my sweater around my waist and it miraclously stayed there, even when I was jumping for my dear life.

    It didn't take us long to get a cab. We were all in awe over the show, chattering about it. It felt so good to finally sit down after 7+ hours of standing!!!

    Grand Central was suprisingly dead. It was only 11 p.m.! All the shops were closed so we couldn't get a drink! We used the bathroom and then we headed for our train. I wanted a drink so badly...

    Luckily there was a vendor right near the train! It looked like he was packing up, too. We hurriedly purchased drinks. My water was only like $1.25. Darn Avalon and its outrageous prices. It was so cold and good.

    We boarded our train and collapsed into our seats. I talked to Steve during the ride home. I was exhausted, but still in too much awe to sleep. I re-played seeing Shinya in my head. I started crying. It had finally hit me that I had seen Dir en grey. And Shinya. Steve thought something was wrong with me at first, aheh.. I only cried for a minute, but it was a good cry.

    I called my Dad when we got to Milford. When we got up in New Haven, I could barely walk, let alone in a straight line. Steve had to stop to get a drink from a vending machine. Meanwhile the other three left. I waited for Steve, and we left the station and found my dad waiting outside in the van. We got in and drove home. We dropped Steve off. When I got to my house the first thing I did was empty my pockets of everything I had stored in them. Then I called Dan and talked to him for like 20-30 minutes about a few things that happened. Then I let him go, even though I believe he ended up not even going to school the next day. Bum. I got ready for bed and climbed in a little after two in the morning.




    <font size="+2">Dreamland</font>

    I dreamt of Dir en grey that night. It was after the concert. I found a backdoor to the stage and there was a HUGE courtyard type thing with an after-show party going on. Lots of fans were running around doing nothing in particular. Kyo and Die (I think) saw me and handed me cups of shaved ice and told me to enjoy my time. I believe Kyo's was yellow and Die's was dark red. Hurray, Dir en grey sno cones. I was probably thirsty/hot at the time, since I woke up that way. I remember I really wanted to see Shinya, but I didn't. I never do, not even in my dreams. Oh wait, I saw him at the show.~ ;D




    <font size="+2">Wrapping up~</font>

    The next day I felt like I was hit by a train. My throat was sore and I was all congested. I wasn't planning on going to school anyway...


    So anyway, that's my Dir en grey experience.

    <b>You can see photos here: <a href="http://www.direngrey.co.jp/gallery/document/img/tour06/060321/060321.html">Deg Avalon</a></b>

    That photo with the crowd.. it was even more squished during Still Life Decay. <.x

    I blew up the picture and tried to find myself, and I sort of think I'm the person I circled in green:

    <img src="http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e309/hisuixyume/degcrowd.jpg">;


    My friends say it looks like me as well. Well, we could very well be wrong, I don't know. It's hard to tell. I have no idea when the photos were taken.


    <b>Hilights:</b>

    - G.D.S.
    - Die flipping us off
    - Kyo's act during Machiavellism
    - The Final
    - Kyo's crying during Higeki....
    - Chanting for the encore
    - a new song for us!~
    - mr. newsman & Child Prey
    - Getting Die's water in my face
    - Certain Shinya saw me, and almost getting his sticks... but touching them in the end


    <b>Let-Downs:</b>

    - Getting there later than a lot of people
    - Missing the gift boxes and almost not getting back in
    - Not being able to see because of all the tall people
    - Rude, pushing people
    - People taking photos
    - Not getting the drumsticks
    - Not getting a t-shirt or anything else
    - Not being able to stick around afterward


    <b>Ways to improve:</b>

    - Let people go in by ticket number so all that silly camping out isn't necessary
    - Put up a stronger barrier <.<;; Or none at all? :D No, that won't be pretty...
    - Have it in a place where it is designed to watch the stage... like a slanted room in a movie theatre
    - Or a place with sections, so people aren't killing each other to get up front



    Still, it was one of the greatest nights of my life.~ I think I love Dir En Grey even more now, and I really really hope they come back to the East Coast. I really want to see them again.
  • Celtic Woman @ Oakdale 03102006

    14 mars 2006, 14h43m

    Just a cute little report on the Celtic Woman concert I went to at Oakdale on Friday.








    We were afraid we were going to be late, but we had about 5 minutes to sprend after we took our seats. My dad still had no idea what we were going to see. Then the lights dimmed and the violin girl came out, and it dawned on him.





















    Celtic Woman is a group of four female singers and a violinist, all from Ireland. Their concert was aired on PBS.

    The first song was incredible, I felt my eyes getting misty just by the pure power and beauty of it.

    They sang some songs all together, but there were mostly solo songs. Órla, the redhead, is my favorite singer.











    However, my favorite would have to be the violinist,
    Máiréad. She was so energetic, running across the stage and hopping up and down the little ramps onstage. She came out in bare feet for the second song she played, and she went nuts. xD Her long blonde hair would go everywhere.
    Apparently, "Her first solo album, Méav, has sold 40,000 copies and is particularly popular in the US, Japan and Korea." (http://www.celticcafe.com/Music/Celtic_Woman/)

    What do you know. :x







    Máiréad




    My favorite songs were the ones with Gaelic. Gaelic is really strange, but it's hauntingly beautiful. Woo, go Ireland.

    The colors of the show were amazing- the lighting, the stage, and their dresses... They changed three times. For the second half they had full-length billowy evening gowns with trails. Their dresses were amazing. Máiréad's were really cute, they were a little less formal to help her move around more.








    I loved the drummers, too. :x Actually, they only had 6 other instrumentalists: 2 drummers, an electric guitar, an acoustic, and a guy who played a few things, including a pipe which reminded me of a fife.









    They had a bunch of back-up singers, too.

    I cried twice. I did slightly during Danny Boy.

    And I cried during [track artist=Celtic Woman]Somewhere[/track.] I managed to keep it quiet, though. Yes, they sing an acapella version of Somewhere from West Side Story. It is amazing, and even more amazing live. And it holds a lot of sentimentalism for me because it's the last song we play in band... for the seniors... Agh.


    Intermission happened after an hour. The announcer was funny. He said we could all take a break for food, a cigarette, or "other intermissional things."

    After the intermission they performed for another hour. More good stuff. During one song Orla sang and played the harp, as shown:











    At the last song, they bowed a few times and then left. It was a very fast-paced concert. It was over around 9:50 p.m. We left. I almost considered getting a T-shirt but decided that $45 was not worth it. But anyway, I had a nice time. My dad loved it, and that's all that matters, seeing as it was a gift for him.



    We should do this more often.....



    Here's a list of some songs they do. I bolded the ones I KNEW they performed at the concert...:

    # 1. Last Rose of Summer/Walking In The Air
    # 2. Danny Boy

    # 3. The Butterfly
    # 4. Siuil A Run - (Walk My Love)
    # 5. Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring
    # 6. May It Be
    # 7. Isle of Inis Free
    # 8. Ave Maria
    # 9. Si Do Mhaimeo i - (The Wealthy Widow)
    # 10. My Lagan Love - Somewhere
    # 11. The Soft Goodbye
    # 12. She Moved Thru' The Fair
    # 13. Send Me A Song
    # 14. Someday
    # 15. I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls
    # 16. Orinoco Flow
    # 17. The Ashoken Farewell - The Contradiction
    # 18. Harry's Game
    # 19. Nella Fantasia
    # 20. One World
    # 21. You Raise Me Up


    They probably did many of these, but I don't know the names of most of the songs.

    You can listen to some previews of songs here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007GAEGC/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_2/002-3058396-6132023?%5Fencoding=UTF8

    I'd recommend www.celticwoman.com/
    as well...







    ~Fin~