Title / Artist
MUCC at O2 Academy Islington, London – 2015/05/18
Date: 2015.08.02
Artist:   MUCC  
Date of Concert: 2015.05.18
Image © 2015 Nippon Project - Meiko Kikuta
The O2 Academy Islington, though not one of London’s biggest music venues, has hosted many Japanese artists over the years. This past Monday heralded the hotly anticipated return of the eclectic MUCC, who last performed at the venue in 2009.

The band decided to return to the UK as part of their “F#ck the past F#ck the future” European tour of 2015, which also includes dates in Moscow and Paris.

Brave fans queued since the early afternoon to secure the best spots from which to view their idols. The doors opened at 6pm, and the crowd flowed in and rushed to the fore, occupying every available inch along the barriers that ran just a few feet from the stage. The venue was not full, but fans came from all across Europe, an impressive mix of J-rock die hards to middle-aged casual fans and the wild “Muccers” who’ve been following their favourite musicians the entire tour.

The set design was simplistic, as is typically the case for a Japanese band performing abroad. A big black banner featured a crouching skeleton and the band’s name, but this minimalist décor did nothing to dampen the raucous atmosphere or discourage the fans.

The crowd screamed and called for their heroes loudly. Finally, after endless waiting, the lights dimmed, a roar erupted, and the band appeared on stage, fronted by their leader Miya and clad in sophisticated and elegant outfits of predominantly black alternative clothing.

The atmosphere was electric as the band launched into the title song from their album “THE END OF THE WORLD,” the audience erupting from the first guitar and piano notes. When lead singer Tatsuro started singing, everybody sang along to the words.

The set list included songs from MUCC’s various albums, pleasing both old fans eager to hear the classics as well as new ones brought into the fold by the band’s more recent efforts. The second song, “Suiren –LOTUS-,” mixed heavy sounds and addictive dance beats, and featured prominently on their most recent mini-album, “T.R.E.N.D.Y. -Paradise from 1997-.”

During “ENDER ENDER” the audience acted as Tatsurou’s chorus, while “D.f.D ~Dreamer from Darkness” and “G.G.” inspired a breakout of twirling hair worthy of an old-school heavy metal concert, headbanging executed in unison as is common among fans of Japanese pop and rock music.

With "WateR” and "369-Miroku-" it was time to relax a bit. The sounds were soothing and slower-paced.

“Ageha” and “Ms.Fear” once again stoked the electrifying atmosphere, while “Tell Me” spurred the audience to yet another rousing chorus, fitting well alongside the numbers “Pure Black”, “KYOURAN KYOSHOU -21st Century Baby-” and Miya’s crazy guitar work on the song “Nirvana” from 2012’s Shangri-La album.

“FUZZ”, with its harmonic enchantments, drove the audience to dance, while the harder “Hallelujah”, “HOUKOU,” and “Mr. Liar” brought the set to a close before the encore.

After a quick refresher, Tatsurou returned to the stage sporting a MUCC shirt, and the band launched into “SAISHU RESSHA”, another classic sing along.

RANCHU, the growly “Mad Yack” and a new song, “TONIGHT”, brought the evening to a close.

MUCC appeared to have as much fun as their audience, with band members speaking English in between songs and expressing their love for London. The bassist, YUKKE, called London “his house”, and declared that they would be back soon. All in all, despite the fact that the show was not sold out, the band truly gave 100% in a nearly two-hour performance rife with harsh notes, rhythmically complex drumming by SATOchi, and alternately catchy and danceable sounds, testament to impeccable musicianship and Tatsuro’s versatility as a vocalist.

This band never disappoints, and fans will certainly be eager to see them again when they return to Europe for exciting and exhausting performances that no one ever want to see end.


2. Suiren –LOTUS-
4. D. f. D ~Dreamer from Darkness
5. G.G.
6. WateR
7. 369-Miroku-
9. Ms. Fear
10. Tell Me
12. KYOURAN KYOSHOU -21st Century Baby-
14. FUZZ
15. Hallelujah
17. Mr. Liar

20. Mad Yack
Author: Pietro S.
last update: 2015-10-19