X JAPAN in Taipei – November 6th 2011

Even though it started raining in the late afternoon, the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall was filled with excitement – radiated from people waiting for the much-longed-for evening to come. On the ground floor, people were spending their time in different ways – some were standing in the long line to buy merchandise, some were taking pictures with cosplayers, some were having a snack at the fast food restaurant, and some were hanging around with their friends.

After 19:00, people were allowed to go up to the fourth floor where the concert was to be held. The hall was very big and all the seats were arranged on the flat floor. While waiting for the show to start, a lot of people were shouting “We are!!” “X!!”, as if expressing their uncontrollable emotion.

30 minutes behind schedule, the lights were finally dimmed, and at the same time people broke into a loud cheer. While there was a mystical, solemn music presenting the prologue of the dream time, YOSHIKI appeared on the stage followed by the other members, which triggered a deafening roar from the audience.

When the intro of “JADE”, with its heavy beat which felt as if it shot out the whole body started, the hall was filled with a surge of enthusiasm in less than no time. The extremely powerful sound and ToshI’s beautiful high notes led people into a sea of pleasure. Following that, Japanese versions of “Rusty Nail” and “Silent Jealousy” were sung which made the audience go even wilder.

After ToshI, PATA and HEATH performed “DRAIN”, SUGIZO appeared with the violin. He, in a white costume performing under the spotlight, was as graceful as a swan fluttering on a lake, and the beautiful sound fascinated the audience. When he started playing a melodious Taiwanese song “New Endless Love”, Taiwanese fans erupted into cheers, and then started singing together.

As they’ve been doing recently, “Kurenai” began with SUGIZO’s violin and YOSHIKI’s piano playing. When the sound turned into rock, tons of silver tapes were launched into the air and fell onto the audience. People went frenzied again, and it lasted also while the next song “Born To Be Free” was played.

After that, YOSHIKI performed the drums and piano solo. He played a Taiwanese folk song on the piano looking into the score and sometimes smiling at the audience, which also pleased Taiwanese fans.
Then YOSHIKI started playing the intro of “I.V.”, and people sang in chorus. ToshI whipped up the audience shouting not only in English but also in the local language. YOSHIKI came down off the stage and walked around shouting loudly, so people at the front seats surged forward to follow him.

The last song of the main act was “X”. As usual, everyone did X-jump with all their might shouting at the top of their lungs, and they reached a peak of excitement. ToshI called the names of seven members including HIDE and TAIJI as he had been doing since their South American tour, and before playing the final part, YOSHIKI shouted “Tobe tobe tobe tobe….. Yane wo buchiyabucchimae!!” as HIDE used to do so, which must have made people feel that they were performing on the stage with HIDE and TAIJI.

While waiting for an encore, Taiwanese fans were singing “Happy Birthday” to YOSHIKI repeatedly, though it was two weeks earlier than his birthday. A girl in a unique costume with a flag ran back and forth on the center aisle, and people made a wave by standing and raising their hands when she was passing by.

After the break, YOSHIKI in a red kimono ran to the stage being chased by ToshI. ToshI tried to take off the kimono and YOSHIKI resisted first, and then he took it off by himself and showed himself in a nurse costume. As they did in Peru, they played nurse and patient. YOSHIKI said “Let me check your blood type” and placed a stethoscope on ToshI’s chest, then said “Oh, it’s X!!”, which drew laughter from the audience.
When YOSHIKI said “Were you guys singing “Happy Birthday”? Whose birthday? Me?”, ToshI started to play “Happy Birthday” on the piano, and people sang it together. YOSHIKI helped ToshI to play it, so people had a chance to see their piano duet for just a little while.

Before starting to talk, YOSHIKI tried to take off the nurse costume but fans stopped him doing it, so he started to talk with the costume on. He talked about their world tour, and said “We broke up more than ten years ago, then several months later, we lost HIDE. At that time, we never thought we could reunite and perform again. But because of you, we are back.”, so people screamed in delight. Then he said “Also, a few months ago, we lost TAIJI. But today, also this tour, we have been playing together with HIDE and TAIJI in our hearts”, so people shouted the names of HIDE, TAIJI and YOSHIKI. He also said a word of thanks to people for their support for Japan hit by the earthquake, and continued in a quivering voice “We wanna prove nothing is impossible, also dream can come true. So, we will not give up. Tomorrow, we’re going to Bangkok. Nothing is gonna stop us. We’re gonna keep on rocking”. His words were filled with a strong determination to go to Bangkok to cheer up their fans suffering from flood damage and waiting for the band to come, and to give them courage and hope, even though there was a possibility that their concert in Bangkok would be canceled because of the flood. I was deeply impressed by his words and thoughts, and tears flowed from my eyes.

Then, YOSHIKI and ToshI performed “Forever Love”, though it seemed to be unscheduled. It felt like they were trying to give their love to their fans in disaster areas, and like the singing voice of the audience embraced it and delivered it to all over the world as a gentle following wind, so I was filled with warm feelings.

The other members came to the stage, and they played “ENDLESS RAIN”. As they usually do, PATA, HEATH and SUGIZO sat on the steps and ToshI stood by the piano that YOSHIKI was playing while they were playing this song. People must have seen also HIDE and TAIJI in the same frame in which this beautiful picture was set.

The last song of the concert was “ART OF LIFE”. It was played from the second part in which YOSHIKI played the piano solo to the last part. Their powerful performance was really overwhelming, and especially YOSHIKI’s drumming full of spirit was truly spectacular. ToshI’s high notes ended this epic musical composition, and the show came to a finale.

While “Tears” was played in background, the band members walked around the stage and threw bottles of water at the audience, took some photos, and raised their hands held by each other in the air again and again. Everyone there including the band members and fans was filled with a feeling of satisfaction and excitement that hadn’t worn off yet, and basked in the afterglow of the show together.
After the other members left the stage, YOSHIKI remained there by himself and bowed deeply in front of fans for a long time. I felt his sincere gratitude to us fans, and at the same time, I was filled with a feeling of gratitude toward the band and couldn’t stop my tears.

Written by: Max
Edited by: Jonny


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