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Absinthe

Miyavi...I saw...MIYAVI x.X



Last night, I had something akin to a religious experience. I saw and touched the great Prince of J-rock, Miyavi. MIYAVI. FREAKING MIYAVI GUYS. It was the first (but hopefully not the last) time he's played in Vancouver. And he's even more beautiful, eccentric, charming and wild in person than he is on a screen. It was perfect. I don't think I'll ever be the same again. I'm pretty sure something unfix-able in me broke. I feel like I met a god last night.

It all started at about 6:30, when I got was looking for the Commodore Ballroom. I asked at Cherry Bomb, and they said "Where that huge line is over there." I went a little further down...and found my people. There is something to be said for J-rock fans: we have style that sticks the fuck out. There were a couple Lolita (myself included)

I queued for about an hour, just waiting as the line stretched around the block till I could no longer see the end of it. Finally, at 7:30, the doors opened, and we came flooding in. I was paranoid there would be something wrong with my ticket, but no, it got scanned and I entered the building.

As soon as I got to the second floor, I bought myself a tour shirt, and a Rum n' Coke. I noticed there were a lot of people on the floor near the stage, so I headed over there immediately. There was a lot of space on the right side, right in front of the stage. There were no seats. Standing was what we were going to be doing a lot of for the next few hours. While the minutes ticked by, I made the acquaintance of someone really cool.

Her name was Stephanie, and she had been following the tour for a couple weeks, starting in Japan. When I met her last night, she had already done nine shows. Fucking NINE. And she's one of the personable people I think I've ever met. She had everyone around the front charmed, and explained the various chants and moves you're supposed to do throughout the show, as shown to her by the Japanese co-miyavi kids that were with her on the tour. She's also doing another two shows (she's probably watching the Seattle show at the Show Box as I type this). I fully intend to go to a club with her one day, if I'm ever on Vancouver Island again.

ANYWAY, the show ended up starting really late. It finally kicked off when Miyavi stepped onto the stage shortly after nine. All of a sudden, every single pair of lungs in the building that wasn't paid to be there emptied. Screams were heard for well over a minute before he launched into SURVIVE and tore my ears a new one with sheer force of AWESOME.

I don't think I registered many of the first few songs, so struck was I by the fact that I was one person away from the front of the stage (sometimes closer) and so fucking close to Miyavi. He spent a good deal of time about 1-3 meters away from me.

Although much of the music was a haze of awesome, I do remember these songs:

SURVIVE
Coin Lockers Baby
Ossan Ossan Ore Nanbo
Boom Hah Boom Hah Hah
Are You Ready to ROCK?
WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD (although I heard he changed the name of that...*insert TWEWY joke here*)
Neovisualism
Gravity
Shouri no V-Rock

So yeah, there were a couple others I forgot about, but those are the ones I remember.

He came very close to us many times. Like, less than 1m close. I touched him three times, to give you an idea. He actually grabbed the hand of the girl next to me and started strumming the guitar with her hand. Envious does not begin to describe it. But yeah. We gave him much love. Stephanie was overcome with joy when he was near us, because he actually recognized and nodded to her with a smile. He was up close and personal with the fans throughout a large portion of the show. I couldn't have asked for a better spot, really.

He was so charismatic and sweet between songs, asking if we were having a good time, talking about his new life as a married man with a cute little daughter, and thanking us for making the tour possible. Shortly thereafter, he segued into Gravity, one of the songs that's gonna be on his October album. Most of us were frozen in awe, with the exception of one asshole who starting yelling crap and a couple people whistling and whooing. A couple people broke into tears. He has that affect on you, no matter what language you may or may not speak.

After the slow songs were over, we started screaming and singing along with barely any pauses for breathe. I head-banged like a maniac. My ears felt like they were exploding. Miyavi joked that we weren't loud enough, so we got EVEN LOUDER. Which let to this tweet later:

i took a shower now. u guys FUCKIN LOUD!! still ringing in my head man.LOL バンクーバー歓声デカすぎてドラムが聞こえなかった件。

and this one too

now chekin the vid of the show lastnite Vancouver. but I can't hear my guitar cuz of ur scream.lol 昨日のバンクーバー公演のビデオ見てんだけど歓声バカデカすぎてギターも聞こえない件。

XD The liar. He should now by now not to challenge our vocal chords. Which reminds me...it was 19+ last night. Which is a god-send because a) there was a bar, and b) a hell of a lot of young j-rock fans...don't really get it yet. I don't mean that they don't appreciate the music, and there are of course exceptions to what I'm about to bring up. Hell, I know what I was like at 15. Squealy, in a bad, obnoxious, can't-shut-the-fuck-up way. Most of are like that at some point. And like most fans of J-rock and/or things that hail from Japan, I mellowed a little bit over the last few years a grew a little self-restraint.

Near the end of the show, when we were all really started to overheat, he grabbed his water bottles and emptied them over the heads of everyone up front. It was great; I got nice and wet, which cooled me down quite a bit.

Getting back to the music, he did a two song encore, and then vanished after saying goodbye, leaving many of us up front feeling a little stunned and empty. I was kinda like:

HEY GUYS!

*ROCKS THE FUCK OUT OF US*

Are you having a good time, Vancouver?

*AWES US TO TEARS*

WHATS MY FUCKING NAME?!

*Makes us scream our throats raw*

IHADFUNTHXKBYE

*Flies away, like a startled hummingbird*

So yeah. It was a little weird ^^;

But nevermind. After the concert, I hung around with Stephanie for a while, taking pictures and preparing for demachi and dinner at Denny's. Which didn't happen for me, I'm afraid. I stuck around for as long as I possibly could, waiting for Miyavi to show outside to leave for Seattle, but I had to leave before they even got the stuff loaded. So they had demachi and diner food without me. :(

All and all, this is my evaluation:

~+~ Waiting Time ~+~
Started off decent, then made me impatient. But that went away when he got on stage. It was so worth the wait.

~+~ Venue ~+~
The Commodore Ballroom: Fantastic. Tiny, intimate space. No steel barriers, no aggressive bouncers in front. The bar was nice, but didn't really feature in my evening except for the tiny (ridiculously expensive) Rum n' Coke I got before the show, and the mercifully large glass of water after. It also worked nicely to ensure there were no kids present, as we were all thoroughly carded before the show.

~+~ Atmosphere ~+~
Wonderful. The crowd was fantastic, polite when it was called for, and screamed nice and loud when it was needed. The intimate nature of the Commodore ensured that were close to Miyavi and could mostly hear what he was saying/singing.

~+~ View ~+~
RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM. I TOUCHED HIM THREE TIMES. THE GUITAR REFLECTED OUR FACES. HE POURED WATER ON US. I SAW HIS FACE UP CLOSE. I COULDN'T ASK FOR BETTER :D

~+~ Length ~+~
Pretty good. It was cut down to about 2 hours because of the late start. But the length was pretty reasonable. In terms of stamina, if it had been even half an hour longer I'm sure many people would have passed out after.

~+~ Overall Experience ~+~
Mind-blowing. The only way my first Miyavi concert could have been better would be if I had managed to do demachi. Everything was just so ideal. The people I met, the music, the intimate feeling, the way my body nearly gave out from exertion because he pulls it out of you and just hypnotizes you into submission with that guitar...glorious. Completely and utterly glorious. My neck still hurts from head-banging, and I love it because it reminds me I was there. I saw, I sang, I experienced a legend. This is something I only ever hear about on forums and from friend-of-a-friends.


I'm going to need to do that again. Hopefully in the near future.
I hope my first Gackt concert is that good. Hell, I KNOW it will be.
I want to bring my friends with next time, so I have someone to hug when the slow, sad melodies embrace my ears again and pull at my tear-ducts.

*happy sigh*


Comments

:3

I'm sure you will dear. ^^ He's an excellent showman and he really makes you feel included in the performance. I'm excited for you. XD If it's your first Miyavi show, all I can say is that no matter what, you will love being in his presence. His current set of songs is fantastic too.

Please let me know how the show went!

totally random and way late but you should try to get to some shows in Japan one day. His Tours over there (which are one-man) are 3 hours long ^_^

PS - I'm Stephanie :) And I'm headin' back to Japan for six shows in February!
As soon as I have a new job again, I'll start saving for that. Currently, I'm a little broke :P

I hope you enjoy the shows!