Title / Artist
MUCC Live for Their 20TH ANNIVERSARY 97-17 Tour at Zepp Osaka Bayside
Date: 2017.05.23
Artist:   MUCC   L'Arc~en~Ciel  
Date of Concert: 2017.04.09
Image © 2017 MAVERICK, courtesy of MAVERICK
Once just four boys from Ibaraki, MUCC has become a constant in the Japanese visual scene of the past two decades. Celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2017, the band toured Japan extensively as a lead up to their upcoming Budokan shows in June.

Nippon Project had the pleasure of being there for their Zepp Osaka Bayside show on April 9th. The venue finished construction this past winter in order to replace Zepp Namba, and has only had a handful of artists perform within its brand new walls. This would mark the third Zepp venue located within Osaka between MUCC’s debut and now.

Packed nearly to capacity, the show began with lasers arranged in a square shape somewhat like a rubix cube, the colors floating across the gauzy curtain obscuring the stage as the band members came out one by one as a poem about depression and desperately wanting to meet someone was recited. That was all before the band broke into the solid "Myakuhaku".

Next came the more energetic "Zettai Zetsumei". Tatsuro’s (vocal) laughter echoed around the hall before he goaded the audience into jumping in time with him, calling for them to be louder, putting a hand to his ear as if he couldn’t hear everyone’s enthusiastic cries. The next song, "CLASSIC", had YUKKE (bass) joining Tatsuro at the front of the stage. Tatsuro leaned playfully against YUKKE as he continued to play the impressive basslines of the song, unaffected by Tatsuro’s cheerful teasing even when he tried to move away, only to have Tatsuro lean more heavily onto him. The scene was quite the crowd-pleaser.

The band’s next song, "KILLEЯ" had even more for the fans to enjoy. Tatsuro picked up his mic stand only to hand the wide end to the first few rows, who held it up for him while still managing to rock out to the frenetic beat. Tatsuro wasn’t finished there, however. After taking the mic stand back only to toss it behind himself onstage, Tatsuro went into the crowd, laying on his back, supported by the outstretched hands of the dozens of fans in the front rows as he belted out the song.

The fast and heady rhythm of "Waga, Arubekibasho" followed, with Miya’s (guitar) chords throbbing in the throats of the audience at the same time SATOchi (drums) beat the drums with such power that it shook the feet of everyone there. As the next song, "Hikanshugisha Ga Warau" began, the spotlight rapidly alternated between Miya and YUKKE during the song’s arresting intro before Tatsuro’s violent rapping set things rolling. Every member of the band seemed to give themselves over to the song just as much as their fans in the end.

For the first MC, Tatsuro approached the front of the stage while picking at his fingernails, all casual playfulness before he introduced the band calmly. "We’re MUCC."

Apparently eager to continue the show, the band jumped back into playing. Things slowed down with the intense "shogyou shisoukyoujidai koushikyoku", the drums during this song being especially powerful and impressive during a live performance. A perfect showcase of how MUCC’s specialty is unorthodox arrangements of contrasting melodies, the audience seemed to be thrilled at the same time everyone got the chills. "Shishite Katamari" began with SATOchi crying out "Let’s go!!" to everyone, the jazzy number seeing Tatsuro whipping out a tambourine to beat against his chest most of the time as all the band members sang in unison. Tatsuro got fun with the tambourine, shaking it in YUKKE’s face and chasing it with him when he tried to get away to focus on his bass. Miya’s impressive guitar solo closed out the song before they moved right into "BILLY×2. ~Entwines ROCK STARS~". Green lasers seemed to surround the stage in an intangible cube as the ballad started up, with YUKKE and Miya in perfect sync with one another as they played their respective instruments.

The much more passionate "Wasurenagusa" was next. Everyone onstage became more aggressive in their performance, but that didn’t stop Tatsuro from blowing a kiss to the audience at the end. "EMP", a much more serene melody, filled up the room. The notes of the guitar solo seemed to float in the air before rhythmic clapping and cheering ushered in "Commune", and Tatsuro got the whole audience to sing the chorus of this at his urging in the end. The pace didn’t stop, and the band moved immediately into to upbeat "Kyouran Kyoushou 21st Century Baby".

After that, everyone needed a breather. The day prior to this show, legendary band and friends of MUCC, L’Arc~en~Ciel, held the first show of their two-day 25th anniversary live shows in Tokyo Dome. Tatsuro asked the audience how many people attended to great response, and as the audience called out the names of songs that the other band had played, such as "Caress of Venus" and "Niji", Miya began to play riffs from the latter, which everyone enjoyed. It was a sportsmanlike thing to do, considering Miya expressed that he had been perturbed about the hugely popular band playing their 25th anniversary shows on dates when MUCC had shows too.

YUKKE spoke about a restaurant he had visited the day before, where he saw a "young old lady". Confused by such a weird phrase, Tatsuro forced YUKKE to explain that idea. YUKKE then decided to describe the woman he saw as "an old lady, but done up nice " like the girls here", which did not go over well with either Tatsuro or the ladies in the audience.

SATOchi had gone to a bathhouse in the area, and talked with the audience about whether or not it was good etiquette to wear one’s glasses into the bath. He then told a story about how since his eyes are so horrible he tried to take the day off work when he was younger because he lost his contact lens, which did not work out in his favor and he ended up having to navigate to his job half-blind. For some reason this inspired the band to speak about how apparently SATOchi’s IQ had recently improved. They then bullied him into trying to spell the name of the venue, which SATOchi did successfully - Z-E-P-P.

Miya wasn’t much better off contacts-wise than SATOchi had been on the day of his fateful contactless workday. He told everyone that he once wore some contacts so long he ended up with a damaged retina and had to wear an eye patch for a while. He was testing his luck once more by wearing a single-day pair of contacts for the second day during this Zepp Osaka Bayside show, to the worry of all there, but he assured everyone he was fine.

After some spirited discussion of macaroons, during which Tatsuro proclaimed that he never buys them but he will eat them if they are there or offered to him because they are much more delicious that way, the show went on. "Heide" eased everyone into the last half of the concert with its sweet melody. "Bouzenjishitsu" followed, a crowd favorite, the addicting mix of dance and hard rock able to win anybody over to MUCC’s sound. The incredibly fun "ENDER ENDER" came next, causing everyone to dance.

The climax began to build further with "Mr Liar", the audience a sea of headbanging as this song with its speed metal licks and fun use of autotune had everyone jumping tirelessly, including the band, until the final notes were played. Everyone sat down and then jumped in unison at Tatsuro’s command during "Ranchu", the unique opportunity to directly interact with the band in such a way raising everyone’s spirits. Smoke poured from the ceiling as an incredible guitar solo by Miya peaked as flames spouted at the front of the stage at the highest point of the final song, "Fuka", leaving the room with a cryptic sort of atmosphere.

After a long 15-minute encore call, the band returned to the stage to play five more songs. The band paid homage to its roots, a backdrop of splattered paint appearing behind the members as the sound of a ticking clock heralded the members as they came onstage in similarly paint-splashed jumpsuits to play "Daremo inai ie". Girls crowdsurfed to the front to tumble over the edge of the crowd and the rest of the audience moshed their hearts out as the next song, "Namonaki yume" began. Tatsuro, who had trouble with his ear monitors often that evening, removed them and elected to encourage the crowd to sing in his place for a time. The other instruments fell quiet as the audience cheered SATOchi on as he beat his drums slowly and passionately at the song’s height.

"Yue ni, Matenrou" had both the fans and the band singing together as one as Tatsuro spread his arms wide, seeming to embrace the crowd. The last song went quickly, Tatsuro giving his all to inspire the crowd to jump together, calling out fans individually to ensure everyone came together as one before the last notes of "Freesia" hung in the air. The band left the stage without much ceremony after that. Perhaps they were just as sad to see it end as the fans were.

While the tour the show was part of is over, MUCC fans have lots more to look forward to, as it seems 20 years has only inspired the band to do more.

MUCC 20TH ANNIVERSARY 97-17 羽化 -是朽鵬6極志球業シ終T脈殺-
Zepp Osaka Bayside 2017/04/09

01. Myakuhaku
02. Zettai Zetsumei


05. Warega, Arubekibasho
06. Hikanshugisha Ga Warau

07. shogyou shisoukyoujidai koushikyoku
08. Shishite Katamari
09. BILLY×2 ~Entwines ROCK STARS~

10. Wasurenagusa
11. EMP

12. Commune
13. Kyouran Kyoushou 21st Century Baby
14. Sirius

15. Heide
16. Bouzenjishitsu

18. Mr Liar

19 Ranchu
20. Fuka)

EN 1. Daremo inai ie
EN 2. Namonaki yume
EN 3. Yue ni, Matenrou
EN 4. 1997

EN 5. Freesia
Author: M. Minikhiem
last update: 2017-06-14