Last night was a great, great show!
First, we met up at 11am at Narciss and rehearsed for a couple of hours. It was the first time I'd met our lead guitarist, Kuma, from AibeLL. Kuma is a fantastic guitarist who got his own ESP model made for a hefty price. It's vaguely strat-like but quite an amazing guitar. He has extensive experience in BeaU as well as some non-visual bands.
The rehearsal went well, and it finally got me comfortable with the songs to the point that I was no longer worried about screwing up too badly or forgetting where the songs went. The songs were standard old punk fare, but sometimes the songs did some interesting things that were a bit uncharacteristic.
Kayuki, vocalist of Homura, was borrowing their guitarist Mitsuru's red Gibson SG and effects pedals. Kayuki is more of an acoustic guitarist so he was quite nervous, but I think he did a good job. Mitsuru also manned our merch table for us. He's a very small shy dude so even I took part in playfully teasing him. :3
At the music store in Parco, I sat down at a piano and played a little bit, and they other guys whipped out their phones and snapped pictures. Kuma put a pic of me playing up on his blog.
We did hair and makeup with the staff (well, Kuma and Hidetora did; Kayuki, Yuichi, and I all did our own) and then took polaroids. We signed them and then shuffled them all together.
And then it was time for the live. And then the nerves struck. But all that quickly melted away as we took the stage. Now, Hidetora, Kuma, Kayuki, and Yuichi are all signed to Narciss's label and work for their offices, so they're fairly well-known. I was the nobody. So people were surprised when I came out. I stepped up onto the block, threw my arm up and struck a rockin' pose, and the crowd response was really loud. I heard a loud chorus of shocked "Kakkoii!" and wondered if they weren't talking about someone else, but Yuichi was already at the kit and Kayuki hadn't come out yet.
He also took the time to let the audience know what bands each member came from and what was coming up for them; he told them that Laverite was on hiatus for now but that in the mean time they could catch me in various music videos. Which also got a huge response. And then he said Tommy February instead of Heavenly. :3
Before our set people had bought the towels and were waving them around for most of our performance; it felt like a Japanese reggae show. Another thing that I noticed was that with 5 people on a stage, things get cramped! Ryota was awesome and came to see us and came back to the dressing room afterward and said, "you didn't move around as much as usual." WHAT D:
If I moved to the right, I'd hit Kayuki; if I moved to my left, Hidetora was guaranteed to come body-check me out of sheer exuberance; if I stepped backward, I'd be accompanying Yuichi on drums with a Cobain-like crash. My options were limited, although I did have a couple of well-timed jumps with Kuma.
After our last song, the call for an encore came IMMEDIATELY; unfortunately we'd exhausted our repertoire. In a last-minute decision, we played the first song again, this time with "Urawa Narciss" in place of "Hibari Hills" in the chorus. (They rhyme in Japanese. I promise.)
The energy was just right, the members felt good, and the crowd was just so wonderful, with quite a lot of them calling my name by the end. :D It's a very strange feeling since I'm so used to, and comfortable with, sort of hanging out on the fringe or background.
At the merch table, they were selling the pictures we'd taken, and Mitsuru told me that many were aiming to draw mine. Several girls who got mine approached and asked if I would sign them. Despite my pointing out that they were already signed, they wanted me to sign the back as well. O_o Lovely girls, every one. Just such positive energy.
The other 4 guys are part of the Narciss label so they were guaranteed a tiny percentage, but that night they treated me as if I was as well and let me in on the cut. We easily oversold the base amount of tickets, and that, combined with the merchandise sales, gave me quite a bit of take-home money. So basically I decided I should keep doing high-profile sessions!
I was lightly mobbed as I tried to leave that night; I had made many new fans and they were all interested in trying to talk to me. A small handful attempted some English, which was sweet. I left like an hour and a half later than I had intended, though!