9th April 2016
Written by Claire Higgins

Set List 

1.Aesthetics of the transgression
2.Zero Paradise
5.綺麗な指 (kireina yubi)
6.Emotion in Motion 
7.Imprisonment Leaving
8.ビロードの鳥 (Veludo no tori)
Violin Solo
10.after beautiful 
11.Boon Companion
12.ケセラセラ (Que Sera Sera) 
13.Secret Mode
14.愛と哀を遺さず (Ai to aware wo nokosazu)
16.Red Tide (acoustic) 
17.Where are you going?
18.ラナ~from Future Boy~

April 9th was a warm spring day in Tokyo with the numerous cherry blossom trees at the peak of their bloom. This was also the day that DECAYS, the solo project of Dir en grey's guitarist Die, would hold the finale of their tour at the stylish livehouse Shinjuku ReNY. The half-moon shaped venue was packed with fans chatting casually amongst themselves as the band's name and tour title scrolled around the room in neon lights. 

 However, as soon as the lights dimmed the gathered crowd came to life and their attention was directed to the wide stage, everyone beginning to clap rhythmically to the intro music, the bracelets they had been issued with upon entry flashing different colours, only pausing to cheer as each member walked on stage. First, DJ and keyboardist Chidony wearing a bowler hat and what looked like a plague doctor's mask, Kei Kashiyama on drums, G on bass, Ayasa on violin, Ataru Nakayama on vocals and guitar, and finally to the biggest cheers of all, Die on vocals and guitar. 

Once assembled, the band broke into “Aesthetics of the Transgression” followed by “Zero Paradise” where Die really showcased his vocal ability, his voice clear and melodic. A short interlude followed which the crowd filled with enthusiastic calls before G launched into the strong bassline that heralds the upbeat and almost dance-inspired “NOVA SPIRAL”. The slower, more dramatic song “Dry” followed, opening with spacey almost dreamlike guitars before being joined by Kei's pounding drums. “Imprisonment Leaving” had fans pumping their fists in time to the beat as their bracelets lit the venue with green light, a cool effect and definitely a nice touch to add to the atmosphere and feel of the song. 

The house lights went up and it was MC time. Die began by thanking everyone for coming and introduced the newest editions to the line-up, the 'beautiful' violinist Ayasa and the 'powerful and sexy' Ataru Nakayama. The banter between Ataru and Die had the crowd laughing the whole way through the MC and was entertaining in itself with Ataru calling Die 'Die-sensei' (on account of his experience with a certain other band). Ataru's introduction to the next song  「ビロードの鳥」(Veludo no tori) summed the song up perfectly, a song that certainly fits the current cherry blossom season, the beauty as they bloom and the sadness as they fall after such a short time. Ataru's vocals on this song were stunning and the crowd stood transfixed, the room lit with a soft purple light as her powerful voice filled it accompanied by Ayasa's beautiful violin which segued into her solo, her playing melancholic and heartbreaking. The solo flowed seamlessly into the ballad “beautiful”, a song that can be summed up by its title alone, the quietness of the opening suddenly broken by the burst of guitars and soft vocals making for a very powerful song. 

The instrumental that followed was fantastic and the band members looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Each member exited the stage then quickly came back one by one to join DJ and keyboardist Chidony for some DJ time, another fun instrumental that really showcased the talent of each member. Then it was time to get the crowd riled up again starting with “Boon Companion” which had the audience raising their hands in the air with their bracelets flashing all different colours, like the disco ball which hung overhead. 

The catchy and funky “Secret Mode” is definitely a fun song to dance to, and the violin led 「愛と哀を遺さず」(Ai to aware wo nokosazu) and set closer D.D kept the crowd moving. The band exited the stage but the lights remained dimmed with the promise of an encore and it didn't take long for the crowd to take up the call which didn't relent until the band appeared back on stage, having changed into tour shirts, all except for Die who decided to tease everyone by making them wait, but Ataru playfully encouraged the crowd to chant Die's name until he reappeared, which they did with gusto. 

The encore was kicked off by another amusing MC before settling into “Red Tide”, the usually darker rock song having been given an acoustic arrangement with Ataru, drummer Kei and Die all taking up acoustic guitars. The violin sang alongside the heavier bassline substituting for the drum beats accompanying Ataru's strong vocals, the room lit with red light, bracelets glowing red to reflect the title and feel of the song. It was an amazing effect and this song was definitely a highlight of the show. 

After another MC in which Die spoke briefly about deciding on the acoustic arrangement for “Red Tide” and after the cheerful banter that had quickly become characteristic of the MCs, it was time to round things up by launching into heavier songs “Where are you going?” and the last song 「ラナ ~from Future Boy~」both of which got the crowd fist pumping and jumping up and down until the end, you could really feel the energy of both the crowd and the band, who moved around stage and played together either facing each other or back to back looking like they were having a ball. 

As the final song came to a close and the musicians laid down their instruments there was time for a final farewell in which each member was encouraged to speak, starting with Ayasa who revealed it was the first time she had spoken on stage during the tour, the cheers she received from the crowd almost took the roof off and she looked genuinely touched. All members thanked the audience profusely while waving goodbye. Die cheekily sprayed the crowd with his water bottle and he and Ataru flicked their guitar picks into the crowd before exiting with a final wave. 

All in all, it was a fantastic concert which really showcased DECAYS range of sound and the diversity of their songs, from upbeat dance songs, heartbreaking ballads and heavier rock. They sound great on CD, but even better live where each musician really shines, particularly Ayasa's violin and the vocals of Die and Ataru whether singing separately or together are truly something special. You'll be humming their catchy songs long after your ears stop ringing!