Gackt 2011

HMV Forum
27th July 2011
Written by Keita-Eiri Uesugi

The End of the Day
Nine Spiral
Speed Master
Last Kiss
Episode 0
Mind Forest
You are the Reason
All my Love


With a sell out show last year, when the big news that GACKT was returning but a year later came out, it was only right to think the same would happen again. With a bigger venue more suited to him, surely a show to remember was on the cards?

Alas, it would take a whole day for the queue to amass around the building, to then shockingly find out, that it hadn’t sold out at all. Even the balcony was not set to be open tonight. But still, fans from across the UK and from Europe as well, have ventured here for today’s performance.

Promptly, at seven, the doors open and everyone enters nice and orderly, a dramatic change from the norm. Chanting is louder this time, calls of “YFC” breaking out from the main crowd.

At about 7:50pm, like last year, GACKT’s secretary blares out across the crowd; alas, this is old news to those who gathered at last years live. It was the same message, full of “mother fuckers” and screaming “OS” to show you understood. The warning is repeated five minutes before hand, lights dim… the show is on.

The members walk out, new and old: Shinya (Luna Sea) on drums, guitarists Takumi, YOU and Chachamaru (who got a lot of applause), bassist U:ZO and then second vocalist Jon, followed by a bellow of roars and cheers as GACKT comes on.

The set list, sadly, was rather reminiscent of the 2010 show, the only difference being that Jon would sing alongside GACKT at nearly every point through the beginning few songs. This greatly detracted from what we have come to know and love of GACKT’s vocals. However, both singers know how to make the ladies scream and their stage presence was somewhat compelling, as well as a fair amount of choreography.

Tracks like the English version of Mind Forest, Jesus, Nine Spiral and Speed Master were played yet again.

Although a pause between songs is sometimes nice for a breather and to make the show last longer, the beginning was a little excessive and it didn’t stop at just the beginning either. To perform just the first two songs took around the fifteen minute mark, with GACKT and Jon either posing, or starting up repetitive chants of “YFC” and as the show wore on, the family calls of “BROTHERS!” and “SISTERS!” Well, crowd interaction at the front of the show was definitely on a high.

Having three guitarists made it difficult to pinpoint who was playing what and when, save for the ever-loved screeching sound from Chachamaru on lead. His smiles and crowd interaction alone were a pleasure to watch once more.

Besides the apparent faults, so much energy excelled through the crowd from front to back as “Vanilla” started, a definite highlight both musically and physically.

Also played were several songs that many had not even heard of yet, which is surely to be a pointer into the direction of the album that is due soon. Mainly in English and composed by all members of YFC, it’s certainly a different and more of a Western sound then what we are used to of GACKT on his own.

“Show Your Heart” came towards the end of the set; beautiful and it certainly brought tears to a few eyes. The band left the stage, to return quickly, to end on the new recording of Uncontrol, as the show had ended upon last year. Framed in vivid white blue lights after the song closed, it has been only two hours and yet, felt so much longer. With more posing and encouragement to chant, the band leave the stage and Shinya finally comes forwards to get his show of the light, tossing drum sticks, but not wiggling off stage with his pants down as Chirolyn had last year.

The crowd was certainly left with mixed feelings.

With over-priced merch and expensive tickets, for those who saw him last year, it was not exactly worth the price. But for a first timer perhaps, this show was everything and more. It is safe to say, GACKT kept his promise about returning, but even then, the show itself was certainly interesting to say the least.