Hey guys, Taka here for another awesome live report.
It may be about a month since the show, but it is still as vivid in my mind as if it was yesterday- Kamijo’s 20th anniversary performance at the Highline Ballroom in New York City on June 6!
My second visit to New York, my first time meeting 2 particular online friends face to face, and seeing one of my musical idols for the first time made for a wonderful weekend.
Unfortunately, no photos were allowed during the show aside from allowed photographers. I have photos of the venue outside and the stage before the show to share:
As previously said, this was my second time in New York City and I had much more fun this time around than the first. With it being in the warm month of June, I was able to explore the city more than when I saw One Ok Rock in the cold month of February. The venue was a bit of a walk from our hotel, but it was enjoyable and we staked it out the night before the concert (which was how we had the privilege to see it all lit up). The Highline Ballroom is a small, club-style venue with an open dance floor, bar, and upper balcony- and the fact it was also considered a “ballroom” only made it so much more ironic for Kamijo to be performing there.
Having obtained VIP, I had the honor to get my first cheki with a man who has inspired me vocally for a long time. We were brought in a little after 5PM and took to the balcony where we got to meet him. Once the cheki was printed, we were brought back down to the merch booth and given front row access to the stage (which only stood about 3 and a half feet). The wait was excruciating… which may have had to do with the size-too-small white boots I borrowed from a friend. The show didn’t officially start until close to 8PM and enthralled the crowd with a Versailles favourite, “Masquerade”.
Now I cannot remember the full set list in detail but I will provide some highlights from my favourite parts!
Shout & Bites
I was ecstatic when this was the second song to play. This was my introduction song to Versailles and into the array of music Kamijo had created from the past- I nearly cried and for just reason. I got really pumped up, head banging and punching the air to the beat. It was, to me, the rowdiest the crowd got the whole night, but it was still intense from start to finish. Since we were so close to the stage, there were many moments where I had to watch where I was swinging my hands since support guitarist, Daishi, and support (but already well known amongst Versailles fans) bassist, Masashi, would come right to the edge and play; their instruments were so close, I could study every string as it vibrated and every fret they moved to.
When he played his few Lareine songs, the video projector behind him displayed a marvelous collection of music videos of the band. My heart clenched. After falling deep in love with Versailles, I found myself entranced by his previous work with Lareine and I even have a large poster of the band hung proudly on my bedroom wall. “Fiancailles” was a personal favourite of mine and I was so glad to hear it performed live when I was under the impression that I’d never hear it that way. A fan had even made a Lareine-referenced gesture of handing Kamijo a bouquet of blue roses. I gasped and had the biggest grin when he accepted them, smelling them then holding them to his chest before handing it off to a member of stage crew.
The last song before the crowd begged for an encore and what a great song to put last on the normal setlist. The audience danced and sang along as Kamijo and his support band provided their own dance moves. I reviewed this single awhile back here on Lixx and I feel extremely pleased to say that it is just as good live as it is on the single! Maybe even better!
This was where the crowd sang the loudest the entire night. After a long and unified chant for an encore (the longest and actually most unified chant I was ever a part of), we were rewarded with Aristocrat Symphony. This song is another favourite amongst Versailles fans which showed through the crowd’s gestures and enthusiasm. It was a great song to end a great night. When it officially ended, I didn’t want it to and honestly didn’t believe it to be over with just 1 song for the encore. But it was and I still feel it was well ended.
Kamijo introduced his support band and gave them his many thanks before introducing himself. He pulled out the American flag that was personalized with his Vive Le Roi logo on the star section (and signed by all who attended the show) and proudly wore it over his shoulders, giving a huge thank you to the crowd. It was a marvelous performance between the band’s own expression, the video projector filling the crowd with all of the sentimental feelings between Lareine and Versailles music video clips, and even the aura of the venue with its dim red lighting. I really hope Kamijo comes back to us soon!
Vive Le Roi!
Vive le Roi (intro)
1. MASQUERADE (Versailles)
2. Shout & Bites (Versailles)
3. Phantom (NEW SODMY)
4. Bara wa Utsukushiku Chiru (LAREINE)
5. Fuyu Tokyo (LAREINE)
6. Love will be born again (Versailles)
7. Fiancailles (LAREINE)
9. Sacrifice of Allegro
10. Royal Tercet
13. Mangetsu no Adagio
15. Katateni ni Yume wo Motsu Shoujo
17. Moulin Rouge
18. Aristocrat’s Symphony (Versailles)