For 12 years, girugamesh has packed in a myriad of ecstatic metalheads over the world thanks to 6 full-length albums, 4 mini-albums, 2 best-of albums and dozens of singles as well as numerous explosive tours across Japan and abroad — spreading the simple yet positive message of be-unapologetically-true-to-yourself and do-what-the-fuck-you-want-to. With worldwide growing popularity and thus to the surprise of hundreds of devoted fans, the quatuor decided to cut its ascent short ! But before walking away, and while being at the zenith of its glory, girugamesh held a farewell performance in this honour during the hot night of July 10th at Zepp DiverCity Tokyo (JP) !
The second the first sound of intro-track pumped through the speakers, the crowd — diverse in regards to sex, age and style — erupted into roaring cheers and applause. The diversity of attendees that joined together to support the band clearly reflected the fact that it was nothing short of a not-to-be-missed event. In the moshpit, many foreigners who traveled from far and wide were to be seen meanwhile the guest-area was fully packed with musicians and other music-related professionals. As far the staging-set goes, the logo of the band in a scaffold-like built was suspended in the air right in the middle above the stage, 2 medium-sized screens alongside the stage, 2 others at the back not to forget a giant one at the front were also featured. After few minutes within an ambivalent atmosphere between excitement and early nostalgia — knowing this was going to be the final curtain call, the lights dimmed to let the show finally begin !
As soon as the band walked on stage, the rumble grew into the roar of one loud voice. Not wasting a second, girugamesh set a neckbreaking tempo with chimera. Lights flickered on and off, fists were frantically pumping, hands were wagging up in the air and heads were furiously banging ! The energetic pace didn’t slow a bit as wither mind followed. The english-lyric video was displayed on the screen while the band owned the stage running all over the place and constantly calling for the crowd to jump up and down. There was absolutely no room for resting as fierce track Omae ni sasageru minikui koe took over. The walls of the hall were shaking to Яyo‘s potent drum kicks and ShuU‘s powerful bass line. People shouted along Satoshi‘s screaming voice while the most adventurous hurled themselves into moshing. Guitarist Nii kept gesturing the audience, waving those at the back, while still mastering the uplifting riff. Right from the beginning of the show, the tone was set, girugamesh was here to take the night by storm.
After a speech from the frontman, the show went on with ROCKER’S. Soon after Dance Rock Night stepped up the pace thanks to ShuU‘s crazy bass rhythm. During the bridge of the song VOLTAGE, the crowd went nuts as singer Satoshi commanded it to circle pit which it did. No hitting, no flailing around, no harm-swinging like crazy, people simply opened the pit up and enjoyed running in circle while slightly pushing each other. In good shape and enthuiastic guitarist Nii then got upon frantic drummer Яyo‘s platform to play face to face but the latter was so absorbed to the point of near-oblivion that he didn’t even notice. Hey ! Hey ! Hey ! was shouted in unisson from the top of everyone’s lungs to the outstanding energetic sound of CRAZY-FLAG. The music had hand clappling and head banging ! Bassist ShuU joined vocalist Satoshi, who kept encouraging the Hey ! Hey ! Hey ! shouts, then stepped upon drummer Яyo‘s platform at the back, and ran back towards the center of the stage. The guys finally went back to their original places as the incredible set continued onto slip out. Nii approched ShuU in a James Brown-ish swaying walk, moving his feet and clapping his fingers, ripping up the rhythm. In the meantime, drummer Яyo sent shockwaves through the concert hall via high-powered hits ! The lights dimmed to the cheers of the crowd.
A guy in the audience randomly yelled encore as the venue got silent for the first time of the evening, laughs followed but stopped bruptly as soon as crying rain began being played. The track set a nostalgic atmosphere, enhanced by the blue stage-lighs, and was accompanied by a video of water drops. The attendees were taken in awe and remained quiet, almost ceremoniously, throughout the song. During suiren, blooming flowers were displayed on screen while the lights turned into warm colors. The band stopped a little while to talk to the audience. Frontman Satoshi kept joking around when suddenly, guitarist Nii took the disturbing horse head mask from a fan standing in the first row, put it on and performed a solo.
The set moved onto Drain and Horizon which infused contagious energy into the audience as the members constantly called for hands in the air. The members kept exchanging smiles with one another and laughs with the audience. Drummer Яyo then left his drumsticks and stepped forward to the right of the stage with his cell-phone in hand. He jumped in and crowdsurfed while filming. He got back upon stage, went to the other side, jumped in and crowdsurfed again. He went back upon the stage with his cell-phone still in hand (only in Japan). The tracks Another way and gravitation kept the good vibe rolling. Singer Satoshi asked for the crowd to circle pit while guitarist Nii wild nods reminded of John 5’s stage gimmick (Rob Zombie, ex-Marilyn Manson). ENDE followed and closed the first part of the show at around 6:30 PM. The band walked away and the crowed shouted the typical encore chant.
A sneak peek video revealing the release of a DVD box collector was shown on screen and as to no surprise, it made the crowd burst of joy. The box will include the farwell performance, which at the moment was simply outstanding, it will span the career of the band from its debut and will also contain exclusive footage from its very last tour which occured in Europe in May of 2016. Look forward to it, the teaser pictured perfectly girugamesh, it was energetic and funny. After a while, the curtain dropped down again exposing a new staging-set, LED light bars surrounded a great portion of the stage making it look somewhat brighter and clearer. In the warmth of applause, the quatuor, differently dressed-up, came back on stage. The guys gave all they had left for 2 more hours. Even after playing for an hour and a half already, the performance continued with just as much spirit and power, if not more so. The whole venue erupted into chaos, jumping and headbanging to the iconic riffs of volcano and the groovy ULTIMATE 4. It completely went nuts during the high dynamic ‘Shoujo A’, FREAKS, crime and DIRTY STORY. The vocalist Satoshi was constantly asking for the audience to sing along, to scream, to mosh, to jump and go crazy. As he told, people obeyed. The set list was very well-paced. It alternated old songs to new ones with a great flow. There were also great emotional moments in the set especially when the band played Fukai no yami and Go ahead, during which Satoshi‘s voice was trembling from intense emotions. By the way, it is worth mentioning that BIG BEAR was here the whole show supporting the band behind his computers and keyboard. The set closed with evolution led by Nii‘s charismatic presence and Яyo‘s impressive range of skills.
The energy of the band and the crowd merged into one vibration for an explosive and emotional night. The very last ballad played was Kowareteiku sekai and the band did it beautifully. Other than that, the encore was only about having fun to the fullest for the final minutes of girugamesh. After pure mayhem of dancing, jumping and simply enjoyement — even the photographer on stage had a hard time taking photos as members were constantly moving very fast and every second was worth a souvenir. The guys waved at the audience and thanked it. Bassist ShuU threw a whole batch of picks, but not one at a time, which made the others laughed. Guitarist Nii followed and so did drummer Ryo who watched the drumsticks fell down on the crowd with a worried look upon his face (as those stuff were abviously heavier than picks). No harm done ! As people started leaving the room, the band appeared on stage back again for one last moment, with Omae ni sasageru minikui koe.
The 3-hour phenomenal performance was a roller-coaster of emotions which ride everyone enjoyed for sure ! Several weeks ago and as unexpected as a thunderclap in a clear sky, the band announced its end. And here we are, girugamesh has finally come to an end, but the four guys from Chiba did it at the zenith of their game. It’s time for them to move on and take on other projects without looking back. As we say, it’s better to quit while you are at the top of the game than to fade away.