5/8 - Dir en Grey at Nagoya Diamond Hall

I left the hotel around 11, and headed to the station. I decided it was better to leave earlier, because I didn't know the exact directions to Club Diamond Hall. It wasn't really necessary, as I later learnt, because right after leaving the station I saw fans, obviously heading in the same direction as me.

Diamond Hall was located at FLEX building, along with many companies' offices. The group of fans waiting there, wandering around dressed in wild rock fashion must have been quite a sight.

Around 2 pm fans started lining up for the tour goods though the sale didn't start until 4 pm. The line was moving awfully slow, but finally I made it up the stairs, and could buy the stuff I wanted.

My ticket was from the general sale, and thus its number was far from satisfying. Fortunately, thanks to the venue's layout, I was able to get a great spot non-the-less. Behind the mosh pit, there was an elevated section, from where I had a great view on the whole stage. In a venue as small as Diamond Hall (I believe there weren't more than 1200 people) I could see everything and have lots of fun even standing further from the stage.

Unlike in Europe, in Japan the madness does not start right away. People stand one foot away from each other and chat with friends. Their attitude, however, changes drastically as soon as the lights go down.

Even though Dir en grey no longer open with G.D.S., their once-usual opening theme, the anticipation and excitement is just as high. A wild amount of energy from the crowd accompanied the band as they entered the stage.

Then, it all started.

They launched straight into their newest single, DOZING GREEN, making the crowd go even wilder. When the next song, Merciless Cult, began everyone launched themselves forward, placing their hands on people standing in front of them. The crowd was screaming, answering the band's shouts during chorus part.

The band then played one of their new songs. It seemed that the audience didn't know exactly how to react just yet and things calmed down a little. The song had a very strong and clear bass line, which created a great overall effect.

REPETITION OF HATERED started and the wildness of the crowd was back! The insanity and the energy only increased with LIE BURIED WITH A VENGEANCE, which they played next.

Next up was THE FINAL is one of the most classic Dir en grey songs. They play this at basicially every show and it always gets the same enthusiastic reaction from fans. Kyo draped the microphone around his neck, leaving it hanging, and lifted his hands. He left some parts of the song unsang, letting us sing to him instead.

A heavy, low bass line signalized that CONCEIVED SORROW was beginning. Despite being a ballad, this song carries an amazing amount of energy. It may not be as fierce and wild as the songs they had played earlier, but it was calmer, more controled and yet, still powerful.

We were then graced with another new song. It featured a great, complex rhythm and Shinya's drumming was captivating. Ryoujoku no Ame was played and then lead smoothly to dead tree. The lyrics were different and only the chorus remained the same. At this point, everyone in the club joined in and sang along with Kyo, who ended the song with a haunting a capella.

OBSCURE is the song that the fans always wait for. It's one of their best and most classic songs to hear live and both the band and fans went crazy. The craziness only increased during HYDRA -666-, when it seemed that the crowd went beyond their own limit. The jumping and energy was further encouraged by Kyo.

GRIEF was the last song of the main set. The repeated crash of cymbals, Kaoru and Die lifting their guitars, and Toshiya doing the same with his bass signalized that this part of the gig was over.

When the band left the stage, we started chanting "encore!" until the band reemerged to play five more songs.

The first song of the encore was FUKAI. Finally! I was hoping to hear it as it was one of those songs that I wanted to hear live for years, but never had a chance to. It turned out to be as amazing, as expected. When listening to the recorded version, it's the drums that take most of my attention. But when seeing it live, guitars and bass are just as captivating.

After Kodou, another fan favourite, AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS began. This song was full of violent headbanging, jumping and fist pumping and people were singing and screaming portions of lyrics along with Kyo.

With the infamous scream of "Wake up you're dead!", CLEVER SLEAZOID began. The crowd was chanting and fist pumping, only slowing down to sing the few parts of the song that are in Japanese.

The last song was THE IIID EMPIRE. Kyo asked us if we wanted more, and encouraged us to get crazy, following the band's own example. As usual during this song, Kyo instructed us to jump, and so we did.

No matter how tired everyone was feeling before, the club was suddenly alive and everyone was wanting to get as much as possible before the show was over.

Kyo was repeatedly shouting "Nagoya!", which obviously caused lots of cheering and enthusiasm. He also shouted Onna! and Otoko! encouraging girls or guys respectively to cheer.

All in all, it was one hell of a concert. Wild, energetic, powerful and emotional – just what you could expect from Dir en grey.

-K, from Poland