NEW YORK, NY—The main question most of the people I spoke with concerning Dir En Grey’s winter tour was how they got paired up with The Birthday Massacre. Nevertheless, I was excited to see two bands I love. What also topped the night is something I love to boast about—finding parking literally right in front of the venue!
Pulling up, the lines were long outside the Fillmore at Irving Plaza, and it was a sea of black coats, crazy hair doos and styles that spanned generations. It was also an early show that night, with only The Birthday Massacre opening for the legendary Japanese rockers.
Running up the stairs, I was all smiles in coming face-to-face with a band I haven’t seen in ages, and I was happy to see that nothing has drastically changed. Birthday Massacre singer Chibi was showing love to the audience, making a heart sign with her hands, and you could hear her smiles through her singing. Her sweet and innocent demeanor was offset by the blood stained shirts worn by her bandmates.
The stage was a bit too small for the band, which has six members, and I thought at times there was going to be an accident. Guitarists Rainbow and Falcore were all over the stage, creeping about as they played and keyboardist Owen made me think he would break his instrument while he climbed all over it.
Their music went back and forth between sweet and soft songs like “Always” and darker ones like “Blue.” Something odd was the blacklight shining on the stage, which made the band look more like night creatures than musicians.
I will be honest and say that I’m not very good a recognizing song titles and when they are primarily in another language, I’m no good at all. With Dir En Grey, I got lost in a set that seamlessly blended together in a grand and beautiful artsy metal performance.
Singer Kyo moved around the stage like a monster, crawling atop of a riser on the stage and giving menacing stares at the audience, among many other personas he explored. Most intriguing was halfway through when struck serpent-like poses in the spotlight while experimenting with eerie vocals. I was a little confused, but still could not take my eyes off him. I was also mesmerized by his ability to effortlessly move back and forth between near-operatic singing and harsh screaming.
Returning for an encore, Kyo jumped on the riser, slammed the microphone against his chest and pointed it right back at the audience. The fans below expressed their love right back with applause. This tour, finished by the year’s end, brought the music of their new album Dum Spiro Spero to the stage and left nearly everyone in the crowd hoping Dir En Grey would find a reason to return in the New Year.