I listen to a large variety of Music, ranging from KPOP and EDM to death metal. Why? I love music and appreciate all the different genres musicians create. In high school, I had discovered a Japanese band that went by the name of Dir En Grey. The first song and music video I heard from them was called “The Final.” This song contains a very mellow tone and combines both clean and screaming vocals. After hearing this song and a few of their other tracks, Dir En Grey instantly became one of my favorite bands.
Fast forward to the present, I recently got a chance to see my favorite band in action. On November 5, 2015 they were at the Mayan theatre located next to Belasco. The Mayan is a beautiful theatre with tribal themes to the architecture that spans throughout the walls and ceiling. It is small venue but it is enough allow the band to thrive and do what they do best– instill thrill and excitement.
The show began around 9:10pm where the band, one by one, walked onto the stage. The crowd lit up as the members brisked over to their respective instruments. The last member to come out was the lead vocalist, Kyo. Draped in white robes and black scarf, Kyo emitted a demonic and evil presence to all those around him.
Many who have been to a Dir En Grey show say their performances are dynamic, full of energy and emotion. The high range of Kyo’s voice is legendary in the genre. His screams can become deafening sharp and his singing can become bone chilling. You can tell that Kyo gets deep into every song and portrays it through his emotional storytelling.
Dir En Grey starts off their performance with “and Zero,” a melodic instrumental that sets off an anticipation to the rest of their songs. “Behind a vacant image” continues the mellow mood but that all changes once Kyo begins his act. Kyo’s voice starts off slow but quickly explodes into shrieking wail. With the pounding of Shinya’s drums and the thunderous bass of Toshiya backing Kyo’s voice, the audience has been sent to a hypnotizing, headbanging trance.
The performance slows down at end of “Saku” where it is followed up with the beginning of one of the band’s most powerful songs, “TOUSEI.” Dir En Grey has strayed from writing mellow, ballad songs but “TOUSEI” brings to the act a mixture of emotions where the audience cannot help but feel the grief and despair in Kyo’s voice.
Dir En Grey continues the set with one of their single’s tracks “VINUSHKA,” which picks the pace back up to what it was before. A 10 minute storytelling filled with screeching, growling and low humming of Kyo’s vocals, the crowd is alive again and continues for the rest of the set.
As someone who has been listening to Dir En Grey since their Withering to Death album, I was very satisfied with what I saw and heard. They have come a long way since their Visual Kei days but their changes are unlike other bands where their changes feel more like a necessity in the story’s they try to tell. While they did not play as many of their old songs as I would have liked, they played enough of their bread and butter tracks that still built in to the nostalgia factor.
- and Zero
- Behind a vacant image
- Sustain the untruth
- HAGESHISA TO, KONO MUNE NO NAKA DE KARAMITSUITA SHAKUNETSU NO YAMI
- Merciless Cult
- Cause of fickleness
- Revelation of mankind
- THE FINAL
- The IIID EMPIRE
- UN DEUX