It all started with a countdown. The onscreen audience was shouting “VAMPS! VAMPS!!” while we, the cinema audience, were staring intently as the clock shifted. And then finally, it read 6:66. The curtains gave way to a stage bathed in red light. No adornment apart from the slim columns of light coming from above which changes color during the live. One by one, the band members emerged. HYDE’s entrance was dramatic. He had these contact lenses which glowed in the dark and the effect was mesmerizing.
VAMPS kicked off their performance with VAMPIRE DEPRESSION. He took to the spotlight with Ju-ken on his left and K.A.Z. on his right. Interestingly, the pianist and drummer each had their glass encased section by the back of the medium sized stage.
They segued to MADE IN HEAVEN next which transitioned nicely to Devil Side. HYDE spoke a bit before launching into COSMOS. Secret to my Heart followed. By this time, the band and the audience (both in ZEPP and in the cinema) were really hyped up. HYDE shouted “Come on bloodsuckers, let’s go to heaven’s gate!” He referred to the audience as “bloodsuckers” a few times during the live. The band then played Replay where the heaven’s gate reference came from. Just HYDE-era fans (like me!) were in for a treat as VAMPS performed Countdown and DOLLY next (wished they played Season’s Call though!).
After which, the mood on the stage shifted. The stage went dark save for a blue spotlight trained on the pianist playing a melancholic tune. Ju-ken was then showed playing a contrabass (?). The lights came back and HYDE began singing Sweet Dreams. The drums were a bit off during this performance, like it was not in synch with the other parts of the song. Anyway, what came next was actually a surprise for me. It was the David Bowie classic Life on Mars. HYDE said a few words then moved on to Ahead followed by Angel Trip.
Ju-ken had his moment as the next segment had him showing off some riffs. What followed was a really awkward performance of Trouble. I never did warm up to VAMPS’ version of this song and this performance was not doing the song any good. HYDE sounded like a drunken MIYAVI (and only MIYAVI can pull that off). A bit of a drum solo then BOOM! Live Wire was next. This probably was one of the most energetic parts of the whole live. Proof of which was by the time it ended, HYDE was breathing heavily. And boy, did he milk that moment for all it’s worth. After a few seconds of HYDE sexing it up for the camera, VAMPS performed Midnight Celebration. The stage then went dark and the band members left the stage. The set was over.
After a few minutes though, the band members then came back for their encore. When K.A.Z. entered he was carrying a blue water gun which he used to spray the audience. And where was HYDE? The camera revealed him crouched behind the speakers with a red water gun which he then used on the audience. HYDE then strapped on his guitar then went over to K.A.Z. and they did a really short guitar duet before finally launching into a frantic performance of Love Addict.
Next came the MCs. K.A.Z. was first and I was fairly amused hearing him speak that long. He talked for about 3 minutes? When it was HYDE’s turn, he said a really funny story because the audience was cracking up. As for me, all I understood were the words that kept popping up: okaasan, toire and arigatou gozaimasu. HYDE delivered it with so much glee and an animated face which was why I couldn’t help but laugh along. A performance of MEMORIES followed.
The excitement onstage went several notches higher as the band segued to an extended version of Hunting. And just when we thought the song was over, HYDE would say “Again!” and true enough, the hunt would restart. With all that rambunctious energy, it was only natural that the next and final song would be Sex, Blood, Rock and Roll. There was no blood, but I could have sworn the stage reeked of sex and was definitely delivering some raunchy rock and roll.
Overall, the live viewing experience was really fun. It didn’t have the same elation a real live would give but seeing HYDE and the others projected that big onscreen brought a new level of awe. We can practically see their pores! And as every naughty grin, playful lick and loaded innuendoes were magnified several times over, it could be very breathtaking sometimes. At one point and I can’t remember when because I was too busy wiping the blood on my nose, HYDE addressed the camera and mentioned live viewing. He then proceeded to turn on the charm to maximum level and said hello in different languages. He ended the spiel by saying “See you soon!”.
Well, HYDE I’ll hold on to that promise. Jakarta, and hopefully Manila, better be on your worldwide tour. Until then, this postcard I got from the cinema would be firmly tacked to my wall.
VAMPS LIVE 2013 July 07 Setlist:
- VAMPIRE DEPRESSION
- MADE IN HEAVEN
- Devil Side
- Secret in my Heart
- Sweet Dreams
- Life on Mars
- Angel Trip
- Live Wire
- Midnight Celebration
~ K.A.Z. MC ~
~ HYDE MC ~
Sex, Blood, Rock and Roll