GIG REVIEW – Dir En Grey at O2 Islington Academy 23/05/15

Releasing ARCHE late last year and then announcing their ‘TOUR15 THE UNSTOPPABLE LIFE’ in Europe, it would allow DIR EN GREY the possibility to perform twice at the O2 Academy Islington all on a single weekend but with tickets selling out on the Saturday and Sunday following behind, two different support bands would be joining them.

This would bring Outside the Coma on the second date but attending the first one, RISE OF THE NORTHSTAR burst onto the stage instead with a mix of fast vocals in the form of aggressive growls complete with the occasional shout from the other band members. It starts slow but as they continue, more people begin to nod their heads, ending in a few others jumping.

As the lights go down once more, cheers and screams fill the venue, getting louder as each member walks onto the stage, finally escalating when Kyo enters. An eerie sound starts playing alongside a drumbeat and the constant ringing from one of the guitars signalling the beginning of ‘Soshaku’. It’s apparent that when the chorus comes in, everyone can feel the emotion put into the lyrics as just about everyone in the venue puts their hands up and starts to sing along to it.

As ‘Chain Repulsion’ starts, it also triggers visualisations to show up on the screen behind the band, continuing to do so throughout the gig, amplifying the feelings towards the songs. ‘Sustain the untruth’ is very much like the first song in terms of atmosphere as yet again, everyone sings to the chorus, leading onto ‘Un deux’ where a most pit develops then jumping in ‘Uroko’ and slowing down for ‘Tousei’ onwards. It continues to be entertaining with the variation in song choice before taking a turn again down chaos road for the last two songs, ‘The inferno’ and ‘Revelation of mankind.

Taking us back to the past with the encore by performing fan-favourites such as ‘Red Soil’, ‘-Saku-‘ and ‘Hageshisa to, Kono Mune No Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami’ allowing all chaos to illustrate itself.

Whenever this band comes to the UK, you can always expect there to be a massive response that just goes to show how much of an impact they have here where it proves difficult to sell tickets for other Japanese bands. We can only hope that it this is inspiration for more musicians to come over and achieve such a feat in the future.

Dayle Corbin

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