Title / Artist
Sugizo vs Inoran - Best Bout 2017 - in Tokyo
Date: 2017.06.16
Artist:   SUGIZO   INORAN  
Date of Concert: 2017.06.11
SUGIZO VS INORAN PRESENTS BEST BOUT was held at Zepp Tokyo on June 11th, 2017. The two guitarists, SUGIZO and INORAN, are like two opposite elements for one of the biggest visual-kei bands in Japan, LUNA SEA. They have been working together not only for the band but for their popular Taiban gigs named BEST BOUT.

About 10 minutes after six o’clock, fans began calling SUGIZO and INORAN’s names out. The noise of clapping their hands became louder and louder as the whole floor filled with excitement. The night started with the moving shadows of SUGIZO playing his viloin on an enormous white screen in front of the stage. INORAN joined about halfway through by playing his guitar. The spotlight lit both of them at once and then the white screen dropped to reveal both SUGIZO and INORAN on stage.

Perhaps the special effect of just showing the artists’ shadows made the audience focus purely on the music. It was sensational and exciting, grabbing the audience into the world of BEST BOUT.
SUGIZO and INORAN turned around to see their fans. Everyone cheered and screamed loudly. Images of white feathers were projected onto the curtain hanged behind the stage. INORAN quickly disappeared from stage while SUGIZO stayed to start his show. SUGIZO introduced himself and spoke softly, "Welcome to BEST BOUT. Is everyone ready for the night?". He then took his violin and guitar and performed "FATIMA" and "Lux Aetena". Both songs were created with complicated but sophisticated string chords.

The emotional melody soaked deeply into listeners hearts. The background then changed from black and white moving images to female dancers dancing under the sea. The fifth instrumental song "Decaying" consisted with more of rock tunes. The stage was lit with orange flush lights when SUGIZO passionately played his electric guitar. He widely spread his arms out and bobbed his head with the drum beats. "DO-FUNK-DANCE" was chosen to wrap up his stage. The song began with a female vocal and as it progressed, the rhythm of the song became faster and faster. The audience moved around with the up-tempo dance music. Everyone seemed to jump around and simply enjoy the moment.
SUGIZO had one sound manipulator and two drummers for his part of the show. Towards the end, one of the drummers took a djembe and danced near the audience.
SUGIZO’s performance was quite intense. All songs were unique and sounded artistic, spiritual and uplifting. The setlist only included seven songs, however, his guitar and violin created emotional tunes as well as some dramatic sounds.

After the short break, INORAN walked on stage. "grace and glory" was chosen to set off INORAN’s part of the show. "Hey, everyone! Welcome to BEST BOUT 2017. Thanks for coming tonight. Did SUGIZO say anything? It’s the third time for us to perform together. I’d been thinking how to make my part more attractive and agressive. I need to compete with SUGIZO’s great stage. To achieve that, I need your help! Let’s enjoy the other half of the night!" INORAN urged the audience to support him. He stood still under blue ray of light and began "Get a feeling". Fans quietly listened and clapped their hands for INORAN’s beautiful but powerful voice.

A few songs later, INORAN brought SUGIZO back on stage. SUGIZO mentioned that BEST BOUT has become part of his life work and that he was thrilled to take the tour to other Asian counties soon. Then they collaborated on another song. SUGIZO and INORAN stood facing each other and played guitars together. Although they seemed to enjoy playing guitar together, it was the only full length song they both performed on the same stage. SUGIZO jokingly tried to kiss INORAN’s left ear during the performance and they hugged when we was leaving the stage. I NORAN announced that year 2017 is LUNA SEA’s 25th Anniversary and as well as the 20th Anniversary for SUGIZO’s solo project.

Another big announcement was that INORAN himself is going to release a self-cover best album on the 23rd September and then will go on a tour from next September, too. According to INORAN, it will be a double album: one as rock-side and another as acoustic side. Then he performed "raize" from the new album. As INORAN asked the audience to put their feelings together for the song, the venue became one for the last song, "All We Are".

SUGIZO and INORAN returned to the stage, spending some extra time with their fans. INORAN briefly spoke out about his tour from September again and then commented, "It’s really crazy but amazing to have a joint gig with two guitarists from the same band!". Finally SUGIZO, INORAN and the support musicians all took their hands, moved up front and bowed at the audience for a long time.

SUGIZO and INORAN expressed their music at different scales at BEST BOUT. SUGIZO’s stage was extremely inspirational and experimental while INORAN’s approach was more energetic and catchy. Yet, they have a huge respect towards each other. Perhaps by putting the show together, they motivated each other and stimulated their creative energies as well. After all, the night ended successfully with a sense of fulfillment.

Many fans might have recognized their solo projects after listening to LUNA SEA but it’s no doubt that SUGIZO and INORAN’s amazing musicianships and talents have been expanding the number of fans attending BEST BOUT. They are going to tour in Asia for now but we will look forward to another tour in Japan next year!


01 IRA
04 Lux Aeterna
05 Decaying
06 禊 (Misogi)

01 grace and glory
02 Thank you
03 Get a feeling
04 Awakening in myself
05 2Lime s
06 Beautiful Now
07 Rightaway
08 Get Laid
09 raize
10 All We Are

Author: Meiko K.
last update: 2017-06-17