October 30, 2002
Other bands went on first. That might sound kind of mean, but I and maybe 90% of the audience were Lareine fans and there to see Lareine and did not know the other bands. That is, with the exception of Sephiroth, who Kamijo's fans know from Shou's days as New Sodmy roadie Shouta. After Sephiroth's set, Shou changed into normal clothes and went up to the balcony, where he sat chatting with You-kun. I saw former NS roadie Motoki up there too.
The curtains opened as "Hakuchou" was playing to reveal FOUR band members motionlessly holding masks to their faces. But the masks didn't matter -- it was obvious who they were...
Kamijo, of course, in his new boots, black velvet breeches, black satin cummerbund. His shirt was a transparent fabric with an opaque velvet floral pattern, asymmetrical appliqued collar with beaded and feathered edging, and two layers of long flowing cuffs (one flowing, one pleated).
Emiru, in Ribbon style. He wore the cute little pink dress with delicate black embroidery in a floral pattern. (pictures in the Ribbon oneman live report in the 12/02 Shoxx)
Machi, in the modified tour Metamorphose black costume he later wore for "Miss Carmila". His hair was straight and dark auburn.
And... MAYU! Dearly missed Mayu, that everybody's been wondering/worried about! He also wore the "Miss Carmila" costume. His hair was about the same length it was last time he was seen, but it's now dark brown. He had it pulled back and teased out.
As "Hakuchou" ended, they all brought their hands down and tossed the masks into the audience. And then they burst into "Kaze no Yuuwaku". ^______^ They played it straight and raw, without a backing track or bald keyboardist hidden in the wings. So the sound wasn't totally full, but it was very rockin'.
Then it was time for an old-style "welcome" MC. In *that* voice. "BONJOUR HONEY~! 2002 October 30th, Applause Records presents Halloween Party. Welcome." He had to announce the date. *LOL* I stumble trying to say any year before 1999, but that year is easy, just because I've heard him say it SO many times.
The next song was "Solitude". They played it just as it is on "Chantons L'Amour", with the special cool live intro. They did the thing with their heads before the lyrics begin too, although Kamijo missed the first one. Have some of these fans been in outer space? When Kamijo says "TOBE~!" between the verses, you JUMP! I only got to go to 3 Lareine shows and I remember that! I guess the fans around maybe weren't so happy when I jumped at that point, but they should have known what to do. (-_-;) During the "yakusoku" parts, he did the promise gesture with his pinky into the crowd.
They went right into "Je t'aime". This is SUCH a fun song live! The beginning was different from both the studio and "Chantons" version -- it began with the "itsuwari no je t'aime" part, then the "doresu ni karamaru", then the A-verse. After this, there was a long MC, which I didn't understand well at all, but it was about the paths the members have taken, and the upcoming single, etc.
Then it was "Metamorphose". This was much like the "Chantons" version in both sound and performance, except that Kamijo didn't miss any lines and his hand didn't look like it was flipping the bird to Mayu when he put his arm around him. Mayu moved in *exactly* the same way when Kamijo came by him. Some parts of this show, I really felt like I was in that video! I noticed during this song that Machi was singing along to all the lyrics just for the fun of it, no microphone. He did it during the next song too.
Then Kamijo announced that the evening was drawing to an end, to loud disappointed "EH~~?!" cries. Then he said that the next song would next be played at next year's March event.
The next song was, of course, "Fleur". But where were all the flowers? People did bring them, but I saw an awful lot of empty hands during this song. Aside from what I thought was an inappropriate amount of hand instead of flower-waving (I still can't forget the touching sight of all the outstretched flowers during this song at the Akasaka Blitz show), this song was extremely nostalgic and moving. Especially when it was time for the fans to sing along. Towards the end, Kamijo reached out and plucked flowers from fans' hands. He took one red rose, but it seemed like he was especially looking for the blue ones. He took my rose, which I think is really cool and I'm happy and glad about, but I'm also a little annoyed that I don't have a rose any more, because it's not easy to find blue ones and I'm not sure how to replace it.
That was the end. Machi came out from behind the drums with a handful of sticks to toss out. He tossed out two individually (and he's quite gentle about it, not hurling them like some guys), then tossed out the other three all at once and left.
Mayu has really been missed by fans, even though we didn't appreciate him enough back when we had the chance... It's different now. Kamijo got the most fan adoration as always; but whenever Mayu came near the crowd, he also had many hands stretching out to him. Mayu never got too close to the audience, though.
Now it's Emiru that I feel bad for! The space in front of him was crowded by Kamijo fans overflowing from the Kamijo Zone, and it seemed to me that they were somewhat cold. Maybe they're still bitter at him for being the first to decide to leave Lareine? None of them reached or waved at him. I only saw one Emiru cosplayer -- parked under Kamijo. When Emiru saw me and gave me a friendly smile of recognition (I've spoken to him twice, at a Ribbon event and at New Sodmy's last live), I felt somehow guilty for holding a blue rose and being in a Kamijo costume. I reached for him a couple of times, but nobody else was doing it and it made me feel weird. He didn't come close to the audience, although I somehow had a feeling that he would not have minded doing it if anybody bothered to reach for him.
Machi I didn't see much... sorry... I was trying to look everywhere at once, like "wargh, Emiru's on my left and he looked at me, and Kamijo's on my right and he's reaching into the crowd, and Mayu's alive and over there, and there's a tiny Machi head behind the drumkit!" One of the members was bound to not get noticed as much.
Kamijo seemed more remote tonight than he was in New Sodmy. In NS, there was "Thirteen's in the beauty" when he would always look right into the eyes of all the fans in the front, and he frequently looked right at us at other times anyway. He got really close physically to the crowd, but he seemed to be looking over our heads and singing to some indeterminate point somewhere in the distance. I guess it's more suited to Lareine style. He took our roses though and reached out a lot, he just didn't look at us much. If this had been the first show for anybody they probably would have been really happy with his level of crowd interaction. It just seemed distant compared to how he was in NS.
After the show it was enquete and goods time. The goods for sale at this show were 2 T-shirts, a postcard set, a signed poster, badges designed by Kamijo, and "Vampire Scream". The postcard set has 4 cards, of Kamijo posing in a top hat and cape with a rose. I didn't realize it at the time because all the badges are in identical plain black packaging, but there are 8 different ones and you don't know which one you're getting until you open it. There's a card showing 7 of the designs (the 8th is a mystery). As for what they look like... They're Kamijo drawings. In color. ^^ I'm pretty sure he did them with a graphics program using a combination of tablet and the built-in shapes. They're kinda cute and kinda weird... I have to try to collect them all, because I'm really intrigued by the one that sorta looks like it's plaque in a Lolita dress doing a jig next to a row of molars. The poster is the Halloween Party promotional one that I've seen in Raika. I'm not sure who signed it (it's not all of the participants of the event). The only signature I recognize is Kamijo's. They gave me a candy which feels like a marshmallow when I bought the goods. In December there will be an "Applause Records Official Book", which will have 24 pages with long interviews, profiles, Halloween Party report, etc. It will come with a CD-ROM with PC background(s?), screen saver(s?), and many photos. The book/CD-ROM can be ordered at the shows.