A little report from Warsaw yesterday.
After taking a bit of a lax approach in actually getting to the venue instead of just drinking, myself & the other MH representative meat and her husband finally manage to get to the venue about 10-15 short of the show starting. Doing dispo things I naturally que up to the line for drinks inside hall and about halfway through that morass the new intro kicks off and the band gets on stage to a strangely lukewarm reception. Going into a little bit of panic, I manage to convince a fine local man in front of me to get me my two shots and then right away I start shuffling towards the best spots I can find while Utafumi is only about a halfway over.
The first thing me, and more or less everyone I talked to later on ( I must've chatted up to a good 20 people by the end of it ) noticed was the audience was very lame. A lot of the crowd that must've listened to j-rock five to ten years back, and now they've shown up as a contractual obligation to the past with their dumb boyfriend filming the show in tow. It was up until about Uroko that the audience just straight up fucking sucked, and the way this stuff works is that the confusion and lack of enthusiasm is just as infectious as the reverse, and it was only after that first genuine surprise when the actual fans decided to start disregarding the bores around them. The bottom was reached after Fukai when the band fucked off from the stage and staff started running around, and some people even wondered whether it was due to the reaction they received, or lack thereof. Anyway, the band comes back eventually and it was slow, but sure forward momentum after that and during Keibetsu Hajimari there was even an attempt at a moshpit which I joined instantly and thoroughly enjoyed as long as it lasted. The band definitely started winning the audience over as the show went on, and not even surprised because this is the best Dir en grey I've seen live. Kyo is absolutely killing it from beginning to end, like it's a marvel to actually see him in person and from fairly close as well doing all the theatrical stuff he has brought back/and from Sukekiyo where I suppose he was more free to do himself. Blossoming Beelzebub was something else with Kyo doing the same thing he did for the Mode of DSS live where his face is projected on the screen in real time, and he's just sort of drooling while giving the best rendition of the song I've hear so far. On all the ballads and stuff that might've been harder for him to pull off eight, nine years back he performs pretty much flawlessly from the start of the show 'till the end of it. It's mind blowing just how much he has improved and how many faults he's addressed even after seemingly permanent damage.
If I have to find a negative here, my friend complained about Shinya sounding sloppy during the show in Finland, and even if I became inclined to agree due to self-suggestion or some sort, I'm still going with it. The lack of intensity on his part was made apparent also by the fairly quiet sound of the venue, which was definitely surprising after having been there a few days back and everything sounded great and hit fucking hard.
I quite liked the new songs live, even Values of Madness that I don't particularly care for I enjoyed and the band seemed to enjoy playing as well. Keibetsu hajimari and Devote My Life should have had a pit, and shoulders and fists should've hit the idiots standing still and filming in the face; there was this one dude who looked super offended that I featured myself in his video by growling the To Die In part in Devote, like fuck off watch them off of youtube or something instead.
Ranunculus got the people in my part of the audience hype, which I definitely didn't expect. Really good live tho.
After the initial set ends your boi goes for more shots to be able to actually go through the entire fake encore routine that I still maintain is the most awkward thing ever, especially when you're in a country where people are struggling whether to pronounce the word encore either in their native way, the english way or the japanese one. At this point I'm finally getting kind of tipsy so I go along with it, and the band comes back to play The Final, Sustain the Untruth and Rasetsukoku. The first two were awesome with the all the audience participation and this made me enjoy Sustain the untruth for the first time in my life! So that's definitely something... and I mean obviously The Final always goes over well. While I might have wanted to hear Kodou instead, I can't say that would have been as good of a time as singing along to the The Final even if it has so far happened at every Deg show I've been to.
Rasetsukoku got a good, energetic performance that unfortunately didn't have anything for me to do, lol. I was still clamouring for that pit that just never came, and you might find me doing three shots at once, but there are levels I don't stoop down to and that's swinging my hands up in the air like an asshole. Rasetsukoku has this weird rhythm anyway that doesn't really lend itself to jumping or anything like that, but a circle pit would totally work.
The band leaves and the audience gets loud. They throw some stuff in the crowd and people cheer. I drink some more and then end up chatting to anyone with a pulse while waiting for the band outside (as an ironic nod to the weeaboo culture, just so you know) and wondering whether Kyo ate a giant pizza really fast because the box that went in came out in no time while it was just him there.
Quite a lot of people travelling from other countries, with some even going to multiple shows, and of course some of the Japanese fans were there as well and we broke some cultural boundaries together trying to figure out what transport to take back to town. In the end I stumble upon this group of greek people and off we go for some beers, and one thing leads to another and now I'm here, hungover and writing this while wondering how I'm still alive living this lifestyle.
Great show despite the initial difficulties from the venue and the audience. The band is undeniably in peak form right now, so if you got a chance to see them then I say go and hopefully the audience you get is a little better than mine. I'm too trashed to proofread this but i hope it makes sense for ya guize!!