Versailles 2011

O2 Islington Academy
2nd October 2011
Written by Keita-Eiri Uesugi
Photography by Lorna Ransome

Judicial Noir
Glowing Butterfly

Love Will Be Born Again
Faith and Decision
Dry Ice Scream!! (Remove Silence)
Destiny - The Lovers- 
The Red Carpet Day


With doors opening promptly at 7pm, the queue filters through in for once, an orderly fashion. As a mass of fans gather together, surging predominantly for the stage, roses are held up high, impatient chanting fleeting through the crowd as 8pm nears and leaves. 

20 minutes later, the lights dim, Versailles intro of “Prelude” begins at last, with the majority of people calling “Versailles” in time to the “We are” of the introduction. Shortly after the band enters the stage one by one: Yuki, Masashi, Teru, Hizaki and finally Kamijo. Although they do seem somewhat timid at first, encouraging the fans to raise their hands and chant along.

The opening track is “MASQUERADE”, with it being an energetic number, the shows pace is already being certainly set.. The band seem to throw out their most enigmatic songs straight away however, with “Ascendead Master” following the latter; although this is a good idea to get the crowd active, in some respects, it wasn’t until a lot later, that the band seem to warm to the crowd.

The venue itself, O2 Academy Islington, was a lot better this year in terms of sound quality, although the middle of the show seemed somewhat forced and tired. Through “Love will be born again”, the one song where just Kamijo takes to the stage in what can only be described as a heartfelt performance, he is obscured entirely by green lighting, with the backing music somewhat taking away from his English lyrics. But what follows with a shock to many, is the lengthy “Faith & Decision”, the seventeen minute long song which is full of insanely long guitar solos, meaning vocalist is not needed on stage until towards the end. To be honest, such a long song was not exactly one of the best ideas, as the crowd began to grow tired and restless, waiting for the next song to begin.

It seems that “Vampire” definitely brought the crowd back to life after the previous lengthy performance; the energy in the room was back, both on stage and in the masses. The final song of the initial setlist was “The Red Carpet Day”; the crowd interaction at this point was immense (finally), which up to that point, there had been quite little. Also, to see Hizaki stage dive once the setlist was over, was definitely something most of the crowd in the room didn't seem to expect.

But time was growing short and for those hoping to hear “The Revenant Choir” after previous setlists around Europe were already on the internet, it was not to be. After a brief pause, the band returns to the stage and they waste no time in playing “Remember Forever” followed by “Philia”. But that would be all for the encore, the band quickly leaving the stage as soon as the songs are complete leaving everyone to wonder “is that really it?” Until finally the houselights lit up to signal that it was the end.

As theatrical as Versailles are known to be, all seemed a little rushed. The setlist being cut short for the "meet and greet," some would say was disappointing but others might argue it was neccessary. Besides that, the sound quality was okay, compensating for the poor lighting at times. Sadly, there was not enough time for the band to show what they were truly made of, keeping themselves to themselves and their instruments throughout.

The show had its memorable moments, but with problems both this time and the first time they came to the UK, perhaps it will be third time lucky for the band. They said they would return, so only time will tell...