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L'Arc-en-Ciel World Tour - London Report

Date: Friday April 13th 2012 [17:55] | Posted By: Priss

There are few bands that make the list of "must see in my lifetime". The Japanese band L'Arc-en-Ciel have been top of this chart for as long as I have been a fan of their music. Having never had the chance to see them in the UK before, I was thrilled to see London on the line up of performance locations for the band's 20th Anniversary Tour.

The band played in London on Wednesday April 11th 2012.
Full Story
20th L'Anniversary L'Arc~en~Ciel World Tour 2012

While the band has a firm following in the UK, the fans in Japan and overseas naturally outnumber us. As such, the audience was modest and fortunate enough to experience the band up close. The indigO2 was a great venue, clean, efficiently staffed and most importantly well equipped for the band to deliver an incredible session. The acoustics were exceptionally good and accommodated the rock instrumentals and Hyde's exquisite vocal range. The clarity of the music made it apparent just how just how tight their live performances are. Full of passion and energy, whilst every bit as impressive as studio works, this has to be a testament to their long years of success and enduring popularity with fans around the world.

The performance brought together a great mix of ballads and rock classics with tracks from Smile, Kiss and the new album Butterfly. Fans cheered as favourites anime theme tunes were played (such as Ready Steady Go from Fullmetal Alchemist, Daybreak's Bell from Gundam 00 and Drivers High from GTO).

The band members were cheerful and charming and received the fans with warmth and gratitude. Ken gave an anecdotal speech about his favourite things to see in the UK (in particular the London Dungeon) and shared his shopping experience from the souvenir store Cool Britannia (prime purchase was a pair of boxers embellished with the London Underground Tube Map). Bassist Tetsuya showered the crowd with bananas (as is a L'Arc tradition) whilst firing jets of water from a glittery banana-shaped pistol. Hyde thanked the UK fans and said that he would return again.

The stage was small but backed by video screens that accentuated the drama of the performance. The acts were played against vibrant abstracts and elemental sequences, which transformed into images from nature such romantic falling cherry blossoms to a surreal circling coelacanth. These sequences gave a unique atmosphere and visual identity to each song as the images pulsed and flowed with the rhythm of the music. The live experience was intensified with torrents of fire on blazing on the stage and glittering streamers that were sent spiralling into the air above the crowd. During the finale we were enveloped in an angelic snowfall of white feathers. It was a wonderfully orchestrated event that completely honoured the dream of seeing L'Arc en Ciel live. It was an experience that I will never forget!

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