Friday, March 28, 2008

The Night of Destruction

The legendary Japanese rock group, X Japan, is back with another legendary gig in the Tokyo Dome today.

The opening song is The Last Song, literally the last song they played during their final concert at the Tokyo Dome 10 years ago. I believe it shivers every X Japan fan when vocalist Toshi starts singing with Yoshiki's piano. His departure from the group was the reason for their break-up a decade ago. He stopped being a rock vocalist and started taking a tour around the country to sing songs for those hurt mentally. His voice at this concert declares Toshi is back.

Drummer Yoshiki plays drums in public in Japan for the first time in ten years. As his drumming is physically too demanding, he collapsed quite a few times during the 1990s. Towards the end of X Japan's career, his doctors said he shouldn't play drums anymore.

Still, we are lucky enough to see him play drums (and destroy them) as before.

As an encore, they play Art of Life, a 29-minute long tune played live only twice in their concerts during the 1990s. During this performance, guitarist Hide, who died in 1998, is back on stage as a hologram. His death (officially diagnosed as a suicide, but no one believes it who knows him), was thought to make the reunion of X Japan impossible. But technology allows it to happen. X Japan is back with Hide on stage.

When the first movement of the tune (about 15 minute long) is over, drummer Yoshiki collapses. Which terminates the concert. He composed Art of Life as a piece reflecting his own life. Despite its length, the tune is very fast. Yoshiki needs to keep drumming super-quick as if it was self-destruction. Tonight it is indeed.

Intentionally or not, today's concert is aptly titled The Night of Destruction.

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