A few hours ago the Moi dix Mois Mana Birthday concert ended with great success!!
This time it was at Shibuya Club Asia, a venue I'm not completely familiar with. I know its a well known name, but I imagine if Moi dix Mois played here before it must have been an extremely long time ago. Actually, it turns out Club Asia is right next to the larger venues such as Duo Music Exchange, and Shibuya O-East & O-West, but if I ever really noticed it before it was only in passing.
Anyway, the doors opened at 5:00, so I met with a friend about 30 minutes prior and we made our way over.
As soon as we found the place, we noticed there were huge flower arrangements set up for Mana's birthday. They were so beautiful!!
As you can tell, the flowers on the left are from Kamijo, on the right Kaya, and then the one in the middle was sent by any fans who wanted to participate together, just like the past two years.
Afterwards, I stood around waiting for the doors to open, when some of my other friends showed up -- Tooya, Tooya's mom, and Velu!!! Immediately they came up and asked "whats your ticket number??" to me. Unfortunately this time it was a really high number, but when I told them, Tooya's mom offered to trade tickets. It seems Tooya and her mom got front row tickets this time, and Tooya's mom wanted to stand in the back, so we switched and I was right in the front!!! I couldn't believe it; Tooya and her mom are AMAZING!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!（人´∀`）
So off the three of us went (me, Tooya, and Velu) into the venue and got perfect spots right in front of Mana!
Club Asia on the inside is a tiny venue! I had actually looked it up online prior to coming to the live, and remember reading the capacity was about 300 people, but seeing it in person was kinda shocking. However, with a small venue comes a intimate stage/audience area, so the stage literally came right up to our standing places and was rather low to the ground, so for people in the front it was kind of a dream!
The stage was decorated with the bare minimum, so no iron gates or chandeliers. It mostly consisted of the giant Moi dix Mois logo in the background and all the necessary instruments placed on stage before the members came out. We waited about an hour for the concert to start, and when it did, I was somewhat shocked; the band members came out of an entrance extremely close to my standing area, and since the stage and entrance/exit were all so close to the audience it felt like everyone was walking out straight to us.
This time everyone was dressed in all white with gold trimming (white being the signature color worn during Mana's Birthday lives every year). The style for everyone was the same as always, so I won't go into too much depth about the costumes, but I did particularly like Mana's this time. It was a white short sleeved blouse with longer white sleeves underneath and gold trimmed wrist cuffs, as well as a long EGA style skirt that came up into a corset at his waist with gold lace on the corset and matching gold lining. The skirt was two layers -- one layer being pure white and the other a sort of decorative see-through almost mesh-like gold material that draped over half the white portion. Under the skirt he had on black tights and boots to contrast the white.
They began the concert by playing Dialogue Symphonie and then moved on to front et baiser and Witchcraft.
Finally I have the set list, so here are the songs that were played for the night.
1. En Lumière
2. Dialogue Symphonie
3. front et baiser
6. Invite to Immorality
7. Nocturnal Romance
8. the Prophet
9. The Sect
10. New song
12. Agnus Dei
13. IMMORTAL MADNESS
14. Dead Scape
15. In paradisum
16. The seventh Veil
17. Divine Place
18. Ange ～D side holy wings～
19. Je l'aime
During the MC, we got to listen to a message from Mana, which pretty much just contained information about the next live on May 24th, and then how he had been working hard on a new song, which he wanted to share for the first time today since it was his birthday. It seems the song has to do with angels. They said the name of it, but I have a lot of difficulty understanding Seth saying things in any language other than Japanese, so I believe the song was Diablo en Angelic?? After the concert I asked some of my friends if they knew the name, but nobody seemed to have any idea.
We also got to celebrate Mana's Birthay by singing the a rock Moi dix Mois version of the Happy Birthday song to him while he danced and did various gestures (holding his arms out, bowing, etc) on stage. Before we got to sing, however, Mana left the stage and we all had to clasp our hands together and yell "Je t'aime Mana-Samaaa!!" until Mana was satisfied enough to come out. K even clasped his hands and tried to act like a girl screaming Je t'aime Mana-Sama, but it was just kind of scary (and funny!). Then came the......present!? Its always been a tradition that a cake comes out at the birthday live, but this time instead of a cake, the band members pulled together and gave Mana a gift on stage. It was a PlayStation 4 wrapped with a blue bow!!!! I couldn't help but laugh when they brought it out, but I think everyone else was laughing too! It was so cute and funny, and Mana was smiling so much! I think he genuinely surprised!! He started giving thumbs up to all the band members, and then Seth said "I guess you want to go play it right away, but you can't right now because we have a live to do!!" and with that comment, Mana held the box close to him and started running off stage as Seth started yelling to him, saying "Wait!! You're going now!? Don't you want to continue the concert??" Mana looked back at Seth for a second as he said that, but immediately after continued running off stage. However, He came back soon after once he had stored the console somewhere back stage. After that, Seth commented about how Mana loves game consoles, so they just had to get him the newest PlayStation 4. I imagine that was probably the most perfect gift to him!
...Although, it did make me wonder later on, did he even get any games with the console??
After all the birthday surprises, the live continued on with the new song!!
First of all, the song starts out with a chorus singing a beautiful but somewhat haunting melody. To express it in more technical terms, the chorus part was set in a minor key. Afterwards, it turns into a more fast paced, guitar oriented song. I wouldn't particularly say its a "new" type of sound for Moi dix Mois, as it has all the same musical elements portrayed in other Moi dix Mois music, but naturally there are things that make this song unique -- I think the uniqueness mostly comes into play with the choral voices. Its extremely hard for me to describe what I mean by that exactly, but the classical portions of the song felt darker than before, and I found it to be particularly beautiful and fitting for Moi dix Mois. Overall, the song is filled with classical and rock fragments blended to Moi dix Mois perfection.
Once the new song ended, IMMORTAL MADNESS started playing, and by this time everyone in the audience was going wild! Actually, it was a bit too wild at times. Everyone was squishing together so much it was getting a little bit painful! But that kind of excitement is something that makes the band more energized and everyone seems really fired up (band and audience alike)!
Several more songs were played, and at one point Mana walked towards this small platform jutting out the side of the stage, making him appear as if he was standing in the audience, but he nearly tripped at one point and everyone was trying so hard to touch him that I really thought he was going to fall. (Actually, tripping seemed to be a thing that was happening to him a lot this time)
With the last song, everyone left the stage one by one, and took a short break until the true finale -- Pageant!!
At this point, everyone came back out on stage, and Mana came out holding an old bear from MALICE MIZER era, which was recently posted on his blog:
Inside was blue candy, which he threw out to the crowd, and then he pretended like he was going to throw the bear out too, but then caught it for himself and kept it.
Then we were directed to take out our blue glow sticks given to us by staff before the concert started. Seth explained that we were not to make them glow until he gave us the official count down -- Un, deux, trois.... and then we were to yell "dix!!" together and crack our glow sticks to make them shine. Thereupon, Pageant started and everyone waved their glow sticks in unison until the song was over. Something strange I noticed during this time however, was the way Mana was acting. I don't know if he was simply emotional or was actually having problems, but a couple times he seemed to just stop playing and stand around staring. At one point, he came up as close as he could to the audience, and some girls started touching him -- one in particular touched his shoulder, and immediately he started grabbing his shoulder and holding it for a few minutes without playing. He just kinda stopped completely and stared at the audience, and then looked directly in my direction for a moment until he started playing guitar again and moved on...but truthfully, I found this to be really strange behavior. I didn't think the girl who touched him hurt him, so why he reacted the way he did was odd. He also seemed a little bit winded by the very end, but maybe he was just emotional at that point.
Anyway, after Pageant ended, so did the concert. Everyone exited the stage -- Hayato threw out his drum sticks to the crowd, and Mana placed his guitar on the ground then bowed and blew a kiss to the audience. Soon after, he walked off and that was the end of the event.
This concert really ended up exceeding my expectations, but I have to admit, Mana's Birthday live has always been my number one favorite. It always ends up being the most fun and exciting, so I feel like if theres any Moi dix Mois concert that shouldn't be missed, its the birthday live!!
After we left the venue, I ended up taking a picture of Club Asia, also hoping to capture a view of all the attendees.
I didn't do the best job of capturing all the people who went, but it was as close as I could get. I also took a couple purikura of my outfit for commemoration of the live (I took pictures outside the venue too, but they turned out soo blurry ><).
By the way, the way I'm posing with my hands clasped together in the second picture is an imitation of how Mana clasps his hands when he dances to the Birthday song being sung to him. and of course, I'm holding the glow stick I received during the live.
Anyway, its late now and I'm getting tired. I'm still not 100% better from being sick, so it might be time to rest now.
dix Love & Happy Birthday Mana様!!!!!!!!!!
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