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Memorable Moments - Vidoll, Mana, Due le quartz


27 Dec 2007
Okay, I've thought about it. I have many memories from visual kei life in Japan. Here are some.

My biggest memory would have to be my first visual kei live – a Syndrome one-man at the Rock May Kan in 2000. At the time I really had no idea about visual kei at all and thought that it might be like the L.A. glam days in the 80s – clubs etc. Well…. Wrong! I was blown away like you couldn't believe – all that candy-apple red hair, the make-up, the noise, and their maroon velvet outfits, chains, nylons, and those Nazi swastika armbands. My jaw hung open for the entire show and I was absolutely hooked after that. But for the life of me I cannot remember HOW I found out about Syndrome in the first place. I think the first CD I ever bought was Madeth Gray'll's first maxi.

A Kagerou one-man (back 2003) at O-West was something to remember. Kagerou lives were always the most dangerous of any indies band live - bar none. The fans were nuts and piles up occurred. At this particular show they had to stop it twice, the lights came up, and the manager came on and warned people to not get crazy. They didn't listen. A couple of songs later there was another pile up of beaten, haggard, sweaty girls. Everyone including me was frantically helping to pulls bodies off bodies. When we got to the bottom, one girl was so f**ked up I had to pick her up in my arms, carry her through the crowd and out to hall staff outside. The whole time I thought she was dead because her head was draped back over my arm.

I was a huge Due le quartz fan and went to as many lives as I could beginning in 2000. But a Due le quartz one-man at club AREA in 2001 was the most memorable as I shot Miyabi (just after his guitar solo) with a huge party streamer gun and turned him into what looked like a Christmas tree – paper strips and confetti. He started looking around and then saw me waving and laughing. He began giving me "the finger" as I began edging my way to the stage front. He came over to me real close, then suddenly his anger turned to a smile and he blew me a kiss. Our hands slapped in a high-5 after that. What a cool guy he was... and quite a good sport!!

At a Vidoru one-man at the Rock May Kan circa 2002 (this show got released on a DVD btw) I was at the stage front on the right and near the end of the show when the fans were going wild and Jyui began stage diving, I decided to get up onto the stage too. The stage is smaller than it looks and I kinda slammed into Jyui (gomen ne!!), before doing a full stage dive myself. Wow… it was fun! Nevertheless it was not viewed with much appreciation and was subsequently cut from the DVD release.

Before or after that – can't remember - I missed a Vidoru in-store event by minutes, so the shop staff took me upstairs to the offices to meet them personally. This was back when the band was still on the Matina label – before UnderCode. It was fun – the band knew me as a fan as I had been seeing them since they began. The drummer played me his cell phone ringer – the sound of a girl getting laid hard. The band though it was funny as hell.

Seeing Velvet (now disbanded) at the Rock May Kan for their debut live was one I will never forget. The vocalist Reina (unknown in VK) came out wearing a long blonde wig, and was dressed (or... undressed??) in white lingerie (great panties!) and with fishnets, garters and wearing pumps. I was like.... OH..... MY..... GOD....... Are you kidding me? What a HOTTIE!!!

And he looked way HOTTER than this chessy low-res A4 photo that I ripped off the wall of the club after the show. I had the biggest smile on my face for the whole set. And it was funny because the girls in the audience had no idea of what to make of him. This wasn't really visual afterall... it was out and out DRAG!! Alas I knew nothing about this band before the show and as such I brought only a stupid $10 convenience store camera instead of my usual 35mm with a zoom lense. Arghhhhhhh!!! I used all the film in like five minutes!

Moi Dix Mois gave me memories. Along with dozens of fans, I was videotaped by a roving cameraman before a Moi Dix Mois Dix Infernal one-man at Shibuya Ax, and gave Mana a really stupid "I love you..I Love you" message…. Then I discover they put it on the DVD. Ahhhhhh... hazukashii!!

And of course how could I forget the Mana event at the Shinjuku Christon Cafe – the ultimate in sacrilegious Gothic eateries. This was an invite-only affair open to those who spent XXX-amount at Mana's shop. It was great… everyone looked awesome. There were cool Mana clones, beautifully attended to Lolita's, and slick Goth-ites everywhere. Then Mana presented himself to the masses (it felt like we were in some kind of movie) and then one at a time, we were taken back behind a curtain to meet Mana alone, shake hands, and have a photo signed. The event gave Mana fans of all stripes a chance to meet. It was fun except for this frumpy American / Mana-geek fan girl who flew over expressly for this event. And she even dragged her middle-class mother and father to it too.

This girl was just everything a typical American fan can unfortunately be; like one of those kids in the Willy Wonka movies. She was draped (as opposed to dressed nicely and properly) in fat girl American Goth fashion, had done nothing with her hair, and to top it off... she actually had porcelain vampire fangs and was eager to flash them for Mana! This girl, bloated with self-importance never asked questions; she just talked and talked about herself and how much she loved Mana and what-not. Then she told me about these about questions she had for Mana, but when I told her that Mana doesn't talk to people she said something like.. Well I'm pretty good at getting' people to talk to ME!

The second best part of the whole event (after meeting Mana of course) was after the event. I was standing in the Christon Cafe lobby chatting up fans when the "family" came down. It was hilarious. The girl had just met Mana and looked absolutely stunned and even shaking. Her arms hung like spaghetti at her sides, her jaw was dropped open (Hey… nice fangs!), her eyes were frozen open, and her dilated pupils gazed straight ahead and all the way to infinity. It was as if her doctor had just told her she had contracted both brain and breast cancer. She was so out of it that mommy was literally helping her to the elevator. I was laughing my *** off. "So... how did the Q&A go with Mana?" I said as mommy wheeled her past me. Poor ole dad just looked at me wearily, shook his head and rolled his eyes.​
^Lol poor girl.
I'd have loved to be at that Velvet live, thats hot!
The Vidoll memory made me laugh, hehe jokers.
Miyavi was cool about it.
Man, I miss Syndrome.

What about all those unknown little indies bands, who deserves more recognition?
I would love to meet Mana-sama, but I'd be the complete opposite. I hate people like that, who talk about what they're going to do, what they're going to say, what they did, how they did it, this, that and everything else! Mana-sama was probably mortified!
I would love to meet Mana-sama, but I'd be the complete opposite. I hate people like that, who talk about what they're going to do, what they're going to say, what they did, how they did it, this, that and everything else! Mana-sama was probably mortified!

Couldn't agree with you more. If I could give people advice on how to act on the VK scene when they come to Japan it would be the ole... When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Basically.. be cool. Be laid back and low key like everyone else. Be a fly on the wall and not a hornet buzzing about place making everyone's eyes and ears turn. (Yeah right... this coming from a guy who gets up on a Vidoll stage, slams into Jyui, and catapults himself into a crowd of high school guys! D'uh!!)

But honestly, most fans whom I have seen here have been cool; Europeans especially. It's always that one bad egg that spoils it for everyone. Fans who sneak pictures when they're not suppose to; and foreign fans who crowd the stage front for EVERY BAND without having the politeness to move back 10 feet (3 meters) or so to allow the J-fans who came ESPECIALLY for that ONE BAND to move into that space so they can get close. Stuff like that.

Exception to the BE COOL rule....

...if it gets rowdy at a live and the girls start slamming around (which is not nearly as bad as it used to be because the girls have changed things amongst their leagues) all rules of politeness and consideration go out the window. I've heard of foreign girls coming away with back spasms and missing locks of hair after mixing it up with Japanese girls in a stage front VK melee. And at six feet & 90 kgs, even I - on one occasion - was taken down by rather fit high school girl and thus found myself almost buried afterthat when the domino effect among those around me occured!!
And at six feet & 90 kgs, even I - on one occasion - was taken down by rather fit high school girl and thus found myself almost buried afterthat when the domino effect among those around me occured!!

I would totally be a fly on the wall. I'd probably be really shy. I always am around my favorite musicians or favorite people. I'd probably be the one HIDING rather than running in there head first scarring the living **** out of everyone and their dogs. I swear, I'm so shy around people I admire or respect greatly (like Mana-sama).

Mana-sama, I'd probably cry. I respect him that much. I mean, just to see him in person, to shake his hand, everything, I'd probably cry. He's the most beautiful person I've ever seen, no doubt.
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