[Live Report] DIAURA Perfect Autocratic Territory Shibuya Koukaidou

DIAURA tackled their largest venue yet with a oneman held at Shibuya Koukaidou on December 29; putting an end to their 2013. It is certainly safe to say that DIAURA spent 2013 working towards that day and that all of their feelings were suitably packed into the live.

The wide stage was illuminated harshly by strobes as the members slowly came onstage, one by one. Lastly, vocalist yo-ka appeared, though he rose up from behind the drum set, holding a black flag as if declaring an autocratic society from that moment on. The hall responded with a huge cheer and yo-ka shouted, “The perfect autocracy, tonight!” A dark sound dominated the hall under red light, and the autocratic society was formed with “DICTATOR.” yo-ka released deep shouts and clear vocals, inspiring the crowd to intense forward headbanging with his yell of, “Bring it on!”

“Jolt, Shibukou(Shibuya Koukaidou)!” the vocalist cried, stepped up on the platform as he led the crowd by swinging his hips to “Code:0.” Kei, whose pink hair stood out in contrast to his black costume, jazzed up the tune with his guitar line while yo-ka sang with soulful vocals, delivering his emotional performance to the very back of the vast hall amid fantastical lights. “Well then, let’s get crazy, gumin domo!” This affectionate term for DIAURA’s fans identifies them as part of a group; a naming proven in a flurry of headbanging which filled the hall to heavy drumming from Tatsuya as “TRIGGER” proceeded to contrast heavy sound with more melodious tones.

“Welcome to the perfect autocratic territory. Let’s paint Shibukou in our colors, where only you guys and us are allowed to be today! Show us your power!” “Cult” began with slapping bass from Shoya as yo-ka stood behind the drummer to look around the hall, deinking in with his eyes the madness of the audience. At the last, he sang with beautiful falsetto, looking heavenward as if pleading. Smoke then burst forth for “Chaos Play” with its impressive call and response. Gentleness and robustness mingled together in the number, resulting in a wild experience.

More red light flooded the stage in accordance with the title “Akai Kyozou.” Although the impression of the song was heavy, heartache was represented in the melody, and yo-ka put agonizing feeling into his cries. Looking heavenward as “Sleeping beauty” began, Kei changed it up from a wistful sound to echoing notes in his guitar solo while Shoya set the rhythm firmly, coloring the song with his high-toned bass guitar.

Deep bass drum echoed for “Invisible” and yo-ka started singing painfully as he lay down, crying amid a haze of mysterious purple light. DIAURA’s dark world view was jammed into the song. Then, “The Redemption” followed with its deep symphonic sound. The crowd rocked their heads and intensity filled the hall. The backdrop screen displayed disconcerting images of deadwoods to aid the imagination and when it was over, a white curtain fell upon the black mood.

The title of the band’s latest album FOCUS was projected onto the curtain with song titles from the album displayed one after another, superimposed over a view of outer space. Lastly, it showed “TABOO” and the striking riff began, the members making their re-appearance with black hoods pulled up over their heads. The stage was shadowy and the mood of the hall concurred. yo-ka danced the choreography to the rhythmical intro, singing pleadingly as eight torches flared on the stage, lining the staircase crossing behind the drums. Although the tune was not the type to spark to life, it became gradually more dramatic. Then, all of a sudden, a siren rang and narration intruded upon the music, warning, “Caution!” “Kinjiroku” opened with the fans cheering—they were eager to enjoy another set of choreography.

Although “Taidou” began with a taste of darkness, the tone gradually rose as it progressed toward the chorus. The band took the crowd in to their own, almost religious world, yo-ka singing with a mixture of shouts and powerful vocals. “Throw all of your dark sides at us! Let’s destroy!” The audience unified in “anti people” which featured a long call and response section. As it continued, the shouts of “anti people” changed to “anti Shibukou” and the band and their fans trod into more autocratic territory than ever.

“The year 2013 was tumultuous for DIAURA. We were able to create a very precious song; SIRIUS cast light upon us and we made it here without losing that light,” yo-ka expressed. In the dark, countless stars swirled on the backdrop screen in answer to strong, agonized piano notes and “SIRIUS” began from its melodious chorus. Based on the alternating energy and inactivity of the score, blue and red light took turns to light the stage in contrast while the wistful melody and lyrics resounded in yo-ka’s echoing vocals. Then, continuing the emotional mood, the single’s coupling song, “Lily,” came next. The catchy guitar riff made an impression and the tormented vocal style grabbed the crowd.

“I am so glad that I could live to see in this day with you. We were looked down upon and denied but there are sceneries which we believe in. One of them was Shibukou. For us, this scenery is everything. For you, the four members you can see now are everything. We will go on with pride in DIAURA and you should each do so, too!” With that enthusiastic message from yo-ka, the members launched into enjoyment of utterly DIAURA-like, melodious yet heavy numbers such as “Sajou no Yume” and “deadly number.” True to DIAURA form, yo-ka cried, “Who is your master?” and the crowd confirmed the band as such, signaling the next song: “MASTER.” “Die to the last man!” The vocalist swung his big, black flag violently, inflaming the audience. Kei played his guitar solo at center for the first instance of the show, creating a distorted sound along the next of the instrument. Finally, in the last song, “Inocent,” yo-ka sat down still on the edge of his podium, all the better to watch the fans clearly. He made them sing again and again, the lyrics visible on the screen behind, and the members stoutly received the united, raised voices.

As soon as the band returned to the stage for the encore, they started into “TERRORS” without a word. The mid-tempo tune brought a pop image to the band’s dark side. Then, guitarist and bassist changed positions for “Beautiful Creature” and gave a different view to the crowd. The fans jumped, raising their hands up to the quick rhythm created by the drummer.

“Thank you for the encore! When we decided to perform here, there were many people who said it was impossible. However, I think that one of our dreams has come true with the realization of this scenery.”

Following his expression of gratitude, yo-ka introduced the members and they expressed their feelings one by one, beginning with Tatsuya: “My father told me I should keep enthusiasm in my heart and cherish my fellowship, so I will work hard.”

Shoya briefly talked of his feelings of success. “Now, I think we can do anything if we can try.”

Kei finished with a presentation of his gratitude. “I feel I am fortunate that to be standing on this stage now. I am really glad to play music.”

It was then yo-ka’s turn to deliver a closing assessment of his and DIAURA’s outlook: “There will be an answer if we keep going with belief. We should live on together, holding hands. There is a song expressing this in FOCUS which I would like you to listen to now.” Kei sat down, playing acoustic guitar for “Lost rain-Ushinai no Ame, Sono Kioku tono Kyousei-” and all of the feelings of the members twisted together. Cymbals echoed gently, sad and powerful vocals joined in, guitar created sweetness and heartache, and bass supported the number with its firm sound. It was unlike the heavy numbers which seem to define DIAURA yet the fans listened with silent, pent-up emotion.

“I wish this time could continue unchanged but there are only two songs left. Will you live on with us? Gumin domo!” Shattering the gentle mood, an air of excitement wrapped the hall for “DOGMA” and in the beginning of “Garden of Eden,” glittering silver tape rained down, received with cheers. The vocalist approached the other members to sing, looking into their eyes from up close. It was as though he delivered his gratitude to each member. Furthermore, phrases expressing DIAURA’s gratitude to their fans were squeezed into the lyrics and the song became a special message.

“It was an amazing night! Let’s go on without forgetting this moment! Thank you!” The members left but they were summoned back to the stage by an insistent encore call. “You are such beggars!” yo-ka teased. The band gave their Gumin further chance to headbang in “an Insanity” and, lastly, yo-ka yelled, “We will play for you our very first song at the finish.” “Shitsuyoku no Seiiki” expressed both the heaviness and melodious tunes which symbolize DIAURA and testified that the band’s beliefs have not changed since their beginning.

Their new single will be released on March 1 with a DVD of the show at Shibuya Koukaido to be released. Moreover, the band’s 2014 tour will be held in 47 prefectures with the final at Takadanobaba AREA on July 6 and a grand final at Shibuya Club QUATTRO on August 16. The hall was filled with shouts of joy from the crowd at the surprising announcements. The path DIAURA have begun to tread will develop remarkably in 2014, placing them at the heart of the current visual kei scene and worthy of high expectations.

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