Sunday, April 13, 2014


[2013.11.04] Scout Bar in Houston, TX
featuring: Dagoba & Dir en grey


I didn’t know much about this band, except that they’re a metal band from France. I looked up their stuff beforehand, but it didn’t leave much of an impression on me. It just seemed like typical metal. Of course, I went into listening to them with an open mind. I did read lots of comments that their singer Franky was a good looking guy and...he is. Most of you know that I’m picky about metal, especially non-Japanese metal, and I must say I really enjoyed this band a lot more live. I have a feeling that Franky tried to bring the same energy they had in Dallas, but Scout Bar is smaller than Trees, so you can’t get too crazy without breaking something or someone. Franky talked to the crowd a lot and even tried to initiate the Wall of Death. The look on the guys’ faces was priceless. They just had this look of “Is this guy serious?”, so a handful of them started moshing a little, but they were aware of everything around them. I was very happy this wasn’t a repeat of the Human Abstract with their asshole, inconsiderate fans recklessly moshing all over the place. The crowd seemed pretty receptive, even though they seemed hesitant at times, but they did respond to Franky and the other members when they gave us attention. I wouldn’t mind seeing them again. I believe they played majority of their latest album, Post Mortem Nihil Est. In short, Dagoba had a ton of energy and they were a really great opener for Dir en grey. I enjoyed the interaction between the band and the crowd and I felt they tried to encourage us to get a little more crazy for them. I wish there was more hype like I picture Dallas was, but for the intimate [a.k.a cozy] setting, I think we did the best that we could.

Dir en grey

We weren’t waiting for too long for the roadies to have everything prepared for the band. Of course, the crowd was excited and you could subtly feel the tension surrounding the room. The crowd didn’t appear as big as before in the House of Blues, but I think it was the location. Yeah, I’m gonna blame location for a lot of things that kinda made Diru’s set go a bit downhill. Majority of the crowd seemed younger than usual. Either that or I just haven’t been observant enough at their previous shows, but it definitely felt different compared to other visits. The opening music was something new, at least I didn’t recognize it nor did anyone else. Still kinda miss the amped up “G.D.S”, but I understand they want a more ominous tone to their tours. According to a friend, Kaoru wasn’t very happy backstage. Apparently they messed up the intro music and he was complaining about it. I kinda wish I could’ve witnessed that in person. Learning about it after the fact explained a few things though. The first half of the set, something felt off with the band. They didn’t seem...happy. Kaoru suppressed whatever was pissing him off, Toshiya was on half bouncing energy, Shinya was pretty neutral, you can’t really tell with him, Kyo seemed annoyed every now and then, and Die didn’t seemed too please either. I don’t know about other fans, but when the band isn’t happy, I’m not happy either. I end up having this need to rush in and help fix the situation, whatever it may be. They still carried on, trying to give every emotion to us despite their sour moods, but there was a tiny disconnect here and there.

So, I’m gonna take a little detour and add my complaints to why the disconnect was happening...and part of the reason I blame the venue for this new set of people. First complaint was the odd security procedures. I know in this day in age that concerts have evolved to people holding up their cameras and phones to take pictures and video of the show. I have no problem with that as long as you’re not being an asshole about it or having your arms raised up the whole show blocking people’s view. I try to be quick and considerate and enjoy the show. I don’t use my camera the whole time. But security was very confusing. One of them called me out for something. I guess not to take pictures even though there was a bunch of other people doing it before me. I believe one of my friends mentioned something about them not wanting the fans to take pictures until the professionals were done or something, but the way they went about it was rude and confusing. Second complaint was that young crowd I mentioned. I know pushing is inevitable and you just have to accept it, but sometimes there’s no need for it when nothing is happening and you’re just being a prick because you want to be in the front. Just don’t do it! But the thing that bothered me and I want to believe Kyo is that they wouldn’t shut up! In the setlist and even looking back at the previous tours, “Inward Scream” is part of the transition. There was none this time. Kyo attempted it, but with the constant yelling and noise, he decided to leave it out if no one would listen, which is sad. One thing I like about the Houston crowd is that they know when to be quiet, but since this was a different venue with a different crowd, we didn’t get that. There was also some technical issues on Kyo’s end that he ended up throwing the mic down on the floor and talking to one of the roadies while the rest of the band finished up the song. I’ve never seen him so mad before. It was a little scary. Die seemed to have some minor issues as well. I can understand their feelings though. Diru are perfectionists! I know a couple members of the Human Abstract could attest to that.

During the second half, after the guys went off stage for a little break, it seemed like the members were a little happier or at least less upset. Even though the crowd was still lame, I could feel more positive, relaxed energy from the stage compared to the beginning. There weren’t many songs left in the set, but it was nice to enjoy the moment as much as the band was. I know I didn’t mention much about the performance with explicit detail, but the band’s mood does factor into the enjoyment of the whole show. Whether they were pissed off or not, there was still a lot of pure passion given to the audience, whether they accepted it or not, and I expected nothing less from them. It’s what keeps me coming back for more. Kyo has his ghoul make up, revealed it to us, and he really became that character. Watching him on stage is still like a performance art. Once he gets in the zone, the whole set and song goes into a whole new universe. Hopefully, next time he gets to fully engulf himself in his ghoulish character or whatever the next concept he wants to take on. I just wish the immaturity of the crowd and technical difficulties, but mostly the crowd, didn’t ruin the harmonious atmosphere I’m used to.


KARMA (2013 Ver.)
Bottom of the death valley (2013 Ver.)
dead tree
-karasu- (2013 Ver.)
KASUMI (2013 Ver.)

OBSCURE (2011 Ver.)
THE FINAL (2013 Ver.)

No comments: