Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Live Report 11/23/08, Urawa Narciss: LAVERITE, Vagu Project, etc

We'd known that Yue was going to be leaving for awhile, so we wanted to make the circumstances surrounding it as maudlin as possible. If Visual is anything, it is purposefully artificially melodramatic.


I mean, don't get me wrong; Ryota and I are indeed quite bummed that Yue won't be with us anymore, but we framed the whole thing around the concept of "graduation", as most Japanese bands do. And since Yue is against the idea of being in a band ever again, it certainly does feel like "growing up" to him. I sincerely respect this and am in awe at his resolve.


Preparations began last week at our final studio rehearsal. Ryota had prepared a new opening song to play as we came on stage, the incidental music to some old TV drama; and the new free CD was a music-box version of Sephirot. Ryota explained to everyone that it should be like a lullaby: "we'll be gone for awhile, but put this song on, go to sleep, and dream; when when you wake up, we'll be there."

How ridiculous is that? :D


Another thing we'd decided is that frankly we were just done with our costumes. We liked the graduation theme so we decided to wear suits, which was evocative of Raphael in particular. Luckily I was in the market for a new suit so I easily justified the purchase, and even got a discount because I was super nice to the older lady helping me out. (It's amazing how much being personable will get you over here.)


These are the CDs that we prepared; it was the first time we'd distributed something in a standard jewel case so I felt proud, I suppose.


Someone sent us floooooooowerrrrrrrrrrs


I got a haircut & straightening too, again at Harajuku Lipps, which is the place for which I was a dancer/hair model back in April at the Gatsby/Choki Choki event. They always do a great job and are always doing a lot of work for models and magazines. They are STILL giving me a scandalous discount so of course I keep going back. The fact that they count me as a friend helps too. If you click on "staff" and then on "photo" down at the bottom, there are a few pictures from that event.

It's nice to have bangs to speak of, it feels much easier to style, and of course I'm stick straight again. I've had this urge lately to start over and go back to my natural difficult curliness. I will probably regret this.

Yue has a cool hat.


The staff at Narciss has always taken great care of us, above and beyond the care I feel a band like us really deserves. Hidetora, formerly of G.O.Z VII, has been a particular friend of Laverite, giving us great advice, introducing us to great people, and the like. He also was able to get us to go last that night, "seeing as how this is an important night for you guys", and the staff was more than willing to make the schedule so.

Unfortunately this meant an awful lot of waiting. We got to Narciss at 11:30am with the other guys to load equipment into the place and filled out the paperwork for the show (guest list, reservation list, member pass list, song list with lighting cues and PA requests, I think that's it). Since the rehearsal order is the reverse of the performance order, we started setup immediately to begin rehearsal right at 11:50. That took until maybe 10 past, and then... waaaaaaaiting. Foreeeeeeever.


Luckily, Vagu Project was going to go on right before us, so we both had a lot time to wait, so we got to hang out a little bit in the dressing room to pass the time. Keita even came to see me, as I'd given him a pass, and we got to hang out before I had to go down and get ready. That night was also Masaki's birthday party, which I, for obvious reasons, was unable to attend. Keita took a little video message of me first, though, and then went down to watch us.

I was more nervous than I can remember, which is strange, because Ryota, Yue and I all had a beer before the show to prevent that very thing. Ryota barely drinks and ended up not drinking over half of his. Lightweight! Worse than me!

Typically numbers for Laverite are fairly low, but this time there were a staggering amount of people in the place. Inertia was there, Kyu, Bunny, Keita, one of the girls from the Lolita shoot I interpreted for this summer, long-time fans and new faces.


It felt great. Energy resonates back and forth between musicians and listeners and builds to high tension. We played Sephirot, Tenkuu no Kanata e, Kamen no Butoukai, Sexy Dance, and SOLIDARITY. Yue had a nice little MC after Sephirot, and just before Solidarity, we each said a little something. I thanked everyone for supporting this silly little group, and then switched to English to thank the large number of foreigners there that evening.

I love the new suit, and with the new hair and slightly different makeup I felt more intense in my performance. Yue was on a roll, and while Ryota would tell me he made a few mistakes (typical Ryota grumbling!), I thought he was fantastic.

During Solidarity, I was beaming like an idiot (standard fare), when I spotted one of the girls in the very front row with an inexplicably forlorn look on her face, and man I had to look away or I woulda started looking equally sad.

And then it was over.


We went back, the curtains closed, and the album I always hear at Narciss, Abandoned Pools' "Humanistic" (which the PA guy always plays when we're there because he knows I love that album), come over the house speakers, and we paused to let things sink in. We heard typical post-show chatter from the fans through the backstage door. We, however, were silent. "And that's it," said Yue.

And then, "En-co-re! En-co-re!"

Wait, what? Us?

The backstage phone rang. Yue answered. He listened, then said, "Yes, we'll do it."

The chanting continued, and real quick we three just said, "Criticism? Yeah, we'll do Criticism," and one of the stagehands came back and said, "whenever you're ready."

I went out first, and then silence, which is the reaction that tends to accompany me. Ryota and Yue followed and a fan in the front row got Yue's attention and gave him a bouquet of flowers. It was seriously all Elagabalus up in there with all the flowers.


Then followed the wildest performance of Criticism we've done. It felt good. It does not feel good, however, two days later, and it especially did not feel good the day after either. I am in paaaaaaaain. Good pain. (Just kidding, pain is pain.)

Then a quick jaunt out front to greet fans, then back inside to clean up and talk to a potential new singyman maybe don't hold me to that, and then cleanup, which also meant taking home the huge bouquets at the door. At the demachi we went around to every girl waiting out there in the cold and gave them a flower.

So Laverite is on hiatus. I plan on doing sessions and other stuff and mostly just taking a break I guess, but Laverite isn't quite done yet. Things look moderately up in a lot of respects.

One is a session band with Hidetora (Akira, G.O.Z VII), with him on vocals, Yuuichi (G.O.Z VII) on drums, Kayuki (Homura) on guitar, and me on bass! That'll be December 8th at Narciss, so come check it out!


Yue will always be a friend; he is a genuinely good guy. I'm glad he's happier these days. ^_^

Thanks to everyone's well-wishes and support, whether you came to see us or not, we three were able to have a really neat year together.

What am I going to write about in the meantime?? :-P


zach said...

Great post!

This is the passion of youth.

Scatter in Depth said...

Oh wow...an encore!

That was beautiful D':

benii said...

Not a new reader,but just never thought about posting a comment here before.
It seemed like it was an enjoyable gig after all.I wish I could've been there,but I'm stuck in that stupid French countryside X__x
It's nice that you guys got flowers and the audience asking for an encore!!! =)

You're going to play in a session band with Kayuki?mlkjhkjghjgfj That's so awesome,I'm a big Homura fan.I wish I could come,since I was supposed to be in Japan in December *goes to cry in a dark corner of her basement*

Good luck for whatever you'll do!!!

Anonymous said...

Great report, thanks! =)

Just wanted to ask why Yue doesn't want to be in a band anymore, and also wanted to tell you that your Harajuku Lipps link doesn't work! ^^

Looking forward to the new projects!

Elec said...

Zach: Haha, thanks!

Laura: hehe :3

Benii: The French countryside sounds BEAUTIFUL, don't sell it short! ;) That's a bummer that you're not coming next month, but everything happens for a reason. :) Good luck to you too!

Taion: Fixed the link; thanks! And I explained in the last live report why he decided to leave: http://eleclutier.blogspot.com/2008/11/live-report-1019-urawa-narciss-laverite.html :)

Anonymous said...

Ah, my mistake, I completely missed that one ^^

Thanks for the hint!

Anonymous said...

Cousin Josh here!

1. I just have to say that I thoroughly enjoy your blogs and catching up on your life...

2. You're hilarious

3. And I miss being able to talk to you in person.

4. Later cuzin!

5. Wish I could've been at your most recent live... or any of them for that matter :)

Breadtoaster said...

Hey Jimi! I've been reading your blog for a long time but never commented (shame on me). I just want to say, great job on your last live with Yue and grats to you for getting an encore! Not a lot of indies bands get encores these days and to get one is quite a feat! You know Jimi, I look up to you very much (I know what haha) and I'll maybe e-mail you with some questions about the "scene" as well. Cheers and kanpai to LAVERITE! ^_~

kagitsune said...

I'm so glad that this phase of Laverite ended so incredibly well. Good luck on your sessions and on getting a new vocalist!! ^^/

Lemon said...

Sounds like the perfect ending of an era...the rebirth of LAVERITE will be yet more substantial! We will all be anxiously waiting!

Go said...

What am I going to write about in the meantime??

Chicks, man!

ps - this would make a cool Blogger profile photo.

Klisk said...

Ah! So sad! Yet good, too. Amazing post.

I can't wait to see what you do in the future.

Your new haircut is great, by the way. Really suits you/pushes you further into the VK look.

However I refuse to believe it was really silent when you came out for the encore. :P

Revengebabyyeah said...

Wow amazing post. It was sad, but uh...happy-sad ;p

Corey said...

I'm another one of those "never comment longtime reader" types. I'm sad to see LAVERITE on hiatus! It was fun watching you grow as a band. I hope you guys get back up and running soon!

Kagami said...

; __ ;

Wow I'm so touched after reading the entry.

"Graduation" seems really fitting for Laverite's situation.

The suits look good on you guys ;)

I excited about Elec's upcoming adventures XDD
You'll definetely have lots of stuff to write about and when not CHICKS XDD (like Go said)

liath said...

I'm really happy for you all that Yue's last live with Laverite went so well, it sounds like an emotional and awesome night was had by all.
Good luck Jimi....you guys gotta keep doing music!
Anyway, I'm hoping to be able to come and see the future incarnation of Laverite when I get to Japan next Autumn :)
all the best,
L xx

haru said...

Thanks for the report! Love the new look!

And, i hope you won't be offended when i say this, but your new hairstyle and the suit reminds me a bit of a photoshoot in some mag of Ryuutarou from Plastic Tree. Don't know why, it just does!

Kataomoi said...

Everything sounds like it went fantastic! Give my love to Yue (if by chance you cross paths again) and I'm loving the new styles, especially, even if just for that one night. The bangs are super-cute and suit you very well. That and the pink lip gloss/stick is a nice, warmer touch because you have a great big smile. AND GOZVIIPPLZYAYNESS. I am thrilled to itty bits. XD I hope you're getting over the painypain you have alright. Trying to get over a cold, somehow, that's lingering and meandering about my headinsides despite 10hr+ days with the public/screamy children/chaos. Sucks I couldn't come to the final.