Title / Artist
Luna Sea "25th Anniversary Tour" Final at Yokohama Arena
Date: 2015.01.18
Artist:   LUNA SEA  
Date of Concert: 2014.12.23
Image © 2014 LUNA SEA
When asked to write about Luna Sea on their 25th Anniversary tour I was happy to drop my plans for the day. I must admit that before the evening I was well aware of the band and some of their better known songs, but I had never had the chance to listen to their full back catalogue, and I had no idea they had such a long history behind them.
As such as highly regarded name seen regularly alongside the likes of L'Arc~en~Ciel, Buck Tick, and X Japan, the night was sure to be fantastic.

It was immediately clear that this band haven't been around 25 years by pure luck. Opening with the appropriately named 'Anthem of Light"the stage was well prepared, white spotlights, cloud effects and beautiful pale coloured laser sheets set the perfect visual backdrop for RYUICHI's smooth operatic vocal range to fill the arena over melodic guitars, strings and bass; before an explosive start to "Dejavu" immediately allowed SHINYA's pounding drum beats to deliver a much heavier vibe and a show of vibrant lighting. Not a note was out of place.
It was clear we were in for a showcase of the bands whole sonic range. The crowd's voice filled the arena during the chorus and the atmosphere was immediately set for the rest of the evening.

Moving through the set, it was "Jesus" that demonstrated once again just how instrumental music from the likes of Luna Sea is set apart from regular pop, with both the bass and guitars playing solos that add to the overall feel of the show. This isn't the same as the self indulgent stage grabbing that has been characterised by rock guitarists over the year, but simply the instrument being given an opportunity to show exactly what it delivers to a song.

Like any arena show, the stage was set up with elaborate lighting and screens, and it was during this track that I realised everything was just so. Lights and video were used to add effect, nothing was too distracting from the band, but instead the music and the show complemented each other well.
When the five hanging screens above the stage weren't being used to show accompanying artistic videos, they would also show close ups of each band member. Unfortunately this highlighted the only disappointing part of the evening, in that the stage was set at one end of the arena. While each band member would walk around taking control of their space, a walkway might have given more fans the opportunity to get close to their favourite member.

After a short thank you speech (which much to my amazement was very to-the-point; I\'ve noticed many bands in Japan talk for what seems like an eternity to someone who isn't fluent in the language), the pace changed to a disco atmosphere, with lasers and coloured lighting being blasted throughout "Lost World".

Heading towards the middle of the set, "Glowing"kicks off with INORAN's screaming guitar. Again, the solo introduction was just the right length for the song, whilst still showcasing his talent as an individual member of the band. This was also one of many moments where you would notice the band members working together and interacting with each other on stage. While every member is talented in their own right, it's clear that they work together, know each others timing and performance and most importantly, enjoy sharing that space to create a well rounded dynamic.

Many of Japan's more established rock acts are well known for showcasing their talents by having solo sessions amid a show, and tonight was no exception. Whether you see them as a crowd arousing breather between sets, or pointless self indulgence, the fact is it's a staple of the scene and one that the majority are happy to witness.

Tonight was no different. As we entered the mid way point of the set a light backing twilight colouring accompanied SUGIZO's violin. A peaceful melody filled the arena with passion and was shortly joined by an acoustic guitar backing to create an ambient lullaby.
Ending with additional drums, the stage was now set for the lighting to change into a glowing orange dawn while Yamada set up for his solo.

Playing call and response with the crowd and beating out rhythmic pattern after pattern the performance was certainly designed to prepare the audience for the second half, which would take on a much more straightforward rock edge.

And what says arena rock better than explosions! Kicking off again with "Tonight" the guitar riffs came thick and fast, pausing only for a short bass solo that slotted perfectly into the set. J was full of energy while showing off his solo piece and once again, the crowd were certainly impressed.

To finish the main set, "Absorb" was a slower paced track, with encourage arm waving form the band, the audience were involved and left wanting more. Of course they were! Up until now the show had been nothing short of a fine display.

Luckily, it wasn't long before Luna Sea walked back out and proceeded to thank everyone for their support over the past 25 years. With it being almost Christmas, they happily walked around giving out gifts to a few lucky people, before performing a short cover of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)", and then bursting into an incredible five song encore.
There were glitter streamer canons, INORAN caused girls to cry on camera by serenading the crowd and shaking hands, RYUICHI effortlessly continued to hit every note with the same grace that he had started - the end was just as fantastic as the beginning.

As expected from an arena show of a band with such vintage, even if you didn\'t know the songs, it was clear to see and hear just how they've made it so far, and lasted so long. Luna Sea are clearly one of the finest examples of Japanese rock.

1. Anthem of Light
2. Dejavu
3. Rouge
5. 乱 (Ran)
6. Lost World
8. Glowing
Drum Solo/真矢
11. Thoughts
Bass Solo/J
12. The End of the Dream
15. absorb

1. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)~BREATHE
2. Metamorphosis
5. Grace
Author: Ben
last update: 2015-04-02