Gackt 2010

O2 Islington Academy
16th July 2010
Written by Keita-Eiri Uesugi

Nine Spiral
Speed Master
Kimi ga Matteiru Kara
Mind Forest (English Version)

Uncontrol (Kyoki Ranbu edit.)

We all thought that such a feat would never occur in our country and yet a month and a half before a legend will grace our stage, the news would spread like wildfire across the internet that of all people to ever imagine coming to our shores... yes, GACKT was coming to England.

It had been long awaited, and who knows when you can get an opportunity as vast as this again.

With a sell out show, it is not surprising that the queue would be massing round the entirety of the building. People from all over the world, Australia even, have come to London today to witness this performance.

However, when those doors open, at an earlier time of 6:30pm, that won’t stop the mass throng of beings surging forwards to get inside.

The atmosphere is definitely charged with electricity.

... No thanks to the announcements repeated by Gackt’s Secretary through the wait: there were many warnings, one thirty to forty minutes in of waiting, telling us that if there was an emergency, we should all stab ourselves in the gut and commit “harikiri”. The crowd was definitely in ripples of excessive laughter, the smiles unbeatable, or maybe that was the fact that the number of “motherfuckers” that the Secretary secreted was quite astounding. This warning was also played five minutes before the band was to walk on stage, and the venue by this time, is completely packed, with chants of “YFC” and “GACKT!” across the audience.

That was definitely one of the best openings to any show to have performed in the UK.

The tension will proceed to mount more so, with Jun-ji coming on stage first to roars from the crowd, and the rest of GACKTJob following suit, with Chirolyn, You and Chachamaru. And then, the moment that many have been waiting years for... GACKT. The fans go wild in response. As a crowd, the support was immense! The band, and GACKT himself are all dressed in the YFC uniforms: white sleeveless shirts with the YFC logo stitched on the collar, shorts and ties.

Opening with ZAN seemed to set the mood and pace for the gig, “Dybukk” followed on from this which was a nice surprise to hear the crowd sing-a-long word for word was brilliant to behold. It is rare to hear the crowd singing while standing in it, but this time was completely different.

And as much as the world would like to dictate that it was the best gig ever, it had its faults, each one even in weight to the good.

There were many highlights to the gig,  “Lu:na” was clearly a song everyone had been waiting for as the crowd errupted in cheers and screams of excitement. In the middle of the song GACKT stood up on his platform and began loosening his tie, cries from the audience could have literally broken the sound barriers. Button by button he ripped the shirt from his chest, impressive from the audience's point of view, but short lived as Chachamaru raced forward doing the same in half the amount of time and with little effort shown.

“Jesus”, a song many are familiar with, had the crowd roaring the lyrics for all they were worth. There seemed to be a great mass of energy as the song began, straight through to its ending, what with it being one of the heavier songs played that night.

We were also given the chance to finally hear the full version of “Ever”, GACKT’s newest single release of which only previews had been heard. It was one of the eagerly anticipated moments. Not one of his strongest singles however, but hearing it live certainly gave it more decadence.

The overall sound of the venue was perfect. It felt as if the music had a natural rock essence to it, a bit gravely in places, but, with that true essence of a live. Security upheld themselves as well, pulling the fainted fans out, handing out water.

Many seemed to be split in two minds over the performance of “Mind Forest”. At first the crowd were singing along in almost perfect unison before group by group dropped out, all muttering and listening confused. Some clocking quicker then others that he was singing it in English.  It is good to see that artists make the effort with their communication overseas, and maybe if he had released this version as a B-side then maybe it would have had a greater reception from the crowd who now only stood wondering for the first half of the song before they could get into it entirely.

The setlist was thirteen songs long, and before you knew it, you were back outside again. There was a choice of many other songs that could have been played that could have brought a greater reception to proceedings. And, it would seem that GACKT was a little under the weather, swaying haphazardly on his platform at points, not that he let this hinder his performance, but, it did cast worries through the masses, wondering if he was actually okay. The encore was a well performed remix of “Uncontrol” but was only one song long, which in that opinion, is a little disappointing.

GACKT spoke to everyone as a unit, and with that, he and the band left the stage. But before leaving, bassist Chirolyn found the time to drop his pants at the crowd, leaving only in his boxers with his shorts at his feet!

Besides the disappointments, it was truly one hell of an experience and to those who were there, you were definitely lucky to have that once in the life time chance...

... although GACKT is known to sticking to his word, so who knows? He says he will come back if his family( his fans) , all come back. So...what are you waiting for?