Mana's Birthday Concert 2018 Day 1
As you have all been waiting for, Mana’s Birthday Concert Day 1!!

Once again we found ourselves at Mt. Rainier Hall in Shibuya.

Talking about the concert this time might end up being trickier than I would like it to be, but anyway...

When I entered the venue, surprisingly there was already a huge line for new goods! Originally I wasn't intending on buying anything, but I ended up shocking even myself by getting a few things. It included these rubber band bracelets among other things.

Also, several flower stands were on display from Kamijo, Kaya, and I assume various fans who went in together.

At 5:00 pm the doors opened and finally around 5:30 the concert began.

Each Moi dix Mois member appeared on stage in the order they always do-- Hayato, Sugiya, Ryux, Mana, and Seth. This time they were all wearing outfits completely in white with red trim, or in Mana's case, blue trim.

I don't quite remember what the whole playlist was, but if I recall, the order was pretty different from normal. Onto the Hill, one of the newest songs, was played towards the very beginning of the concert, and strangely after the first two songs we were asked to sit down!?

I can't remember what they said during that time as to why we were sitting, but I get the feeling regardless of what was said, the reason may have been more from a technical standpoint.
You see, there were several technical issues this time around. The sound kept going in an out, so the guitars were sometimes overly loud or overly soft and you could only hear the background track playing along with the drums and bass. There seemed to be an issue with the vocals too. Even in the second half of the concert, the sound completely shut down for a few moments and a Moi dix Mois song that wasn't even on the set list started playing it's intro until it was quickly shut off and the correct track eventually resumed.

This is why I say this entry may be tricky to write. There were a lot of unusual situations that happened, but I don't want it to come across as criticism. My goal is to simply report what happened tonight in detail. The technical issues didn't take away from the enjoyment of the concert, but they certainly had to have been frustrating for all the members on stage.

After we sat in our seats (the venue has theater style seating) we were eventually asked to stand up again so we could re-learn the movements to the song "Sanctum Regnum"
This is a pretty rare song for Moi dix Mois nowadays, but then again last year it was played for the first time in a long time as well. Maybe this song is making a comeback particularly for Mana's birthday concerts?

For those who are new to what kind of poses/movements are taught for Sanctum Regnum, heres an illustration:
matin_d.gif matin_i.gif matin_x.gif matin_dix.gif

These are some extremely old images used in Mana's fanclub, Mon+amour, when it was active once upon a time... They were used in order to explain what kind of poses everyone should do when "d" "i" "x" and "dix" were shouted out during the song.

By the way, recently Mana has been showing newly designed guitar picks to compliment his Jeune Fille Cross Ray Illusion on twitter, so tonight he threw a lot more picks into the audience than normal. Unfortunately since the venue only has theater style seats, only the people in the very front 3-4 rows could actually try to obtain one.

Source: ESP Shibuya Crafthouse twitter

Eventually we got to the MC portion of the concert, which was interesting...

Mana walked off stage, which was a cue for Seth to begin the birthday event for Mana. As always, we were asked to yell out "Je t'aime Mana-Sama" but it took several tries before everyone yelled loud enough for Mana to appear. This time he appeared immediately on the second floor of the venue, throwing huge handfuls of candy to everyone seated in that area. Fans were going crazy! Not only did he spend extra time giving out candy to virtually everyone in that area, but he also walked through the rows where people were standing handing out even more candy to them. It felt like he didnt want to miss a single person!

This time he carried around a white stuffed bear backpack with candy inside and a new [really small] pouch that was being sold at the concert. Eventually he came around from the back of the venue on the first floor and waked through the middle isle tossing candy to everyone before he made his way on stage again.

Once he was back at the front and center, we had to sing happy birthday, while he swayed back and forth on stage with his hands held up in a prayer-like position. Everyone in the audience was encouraged to do the same as well (but I'm always a bit too embarrassed to do something like that, so I only watch!).

Then, the next concert for this summer was announced, which will be the dinner concert similar to last year.

La 包丁貴族 (La kitchen knife aristocrat)
June 23, 2018 (Saturday)

It seems this year the concert will be a bit different.
There will be two parts to this event. Part 1 will serve lunch and part 2 will serve dinner.

If my understanding is correct, I imagine this will probably act as two separate concerts. It hasn't technically been confirmed yet, but if you look at it logically, the dinner concert last year had it's issues, causing a lot of people to miss out on the show entirely. I think "two parts" will probably mean two separate tickets will have to be purchased if you want to be able to attend both shows. That being said, it brings to question whether anyone will be able to attend both parts or if there will be limitations, such as everyone must choose only dinner or only lunch.

Time will tell in addressing this situation, but based on last year's track record I think this is an attempt to give everyone a chance who wants to go to this kind of concert.

Afterwards, the other members had a gift they wanted to give Mana, so suddenly Ryux stepped off stage and came back with a giant bouquet of roses for Mana. As Mana received the bouquet, he stood at the center of the stage, posing somewhat like a pageant queen, but all of a sudden he started violently ripping in to the flowers, completely tearing the entire bouquet apart and running into the center isle of the venue throwing everything into the audience!

My friend who was next to me was lucky enough to catch a rose that was completely unharmed along with parts of the wrapping and rubber bands and everything else that originally went with the bouquet. However, in some cases several other people who caught roses only got stems or the flowers ripped off from the stems. Seth found a flower that had been ripped apart on the stage and held it up saying, "Its completely torn off!" in total disbelief. It was all pretty unrehearsed so the looks on the members faces were genuinely surprised and Mana ended up apologizing rather insincerely to them on twitter later on.

Next the concert resumed with IMMORTAL MADNESS. This felt pretty connected to the MC actually because towards the very end as the concert was resuming, Mana made Seth talk about how Ryux celebrated his birthday earlier this month as well. For that reason, we were asked to shout out various phrases in reference to Ryux based on what Mana wanted. This whole part progressed rather strangely. First we were asked to shout out "birth liturgy festival" as the title of tonight's concert, but in reference to Ryux. Then Mana whispered to Seth in order to have Seth talk about the whole "clay doll" joke that was brought up last year. For details on that, check out last year's live report as follows:
2017: Moi dix Mois Mana’s Birthday Concert DAY 1: Mt. Rainier Hall Shibuya Pleasure Pleasure

From that point on, the phases and shout outs started taking a strange turn. Mana told Seth he wants everyone to yell out to Ryux from their diaphragm, so its louder and rougher. Eventually the entire "clay doll" joke turned from just that to an explanation about a Japanese youkai (ghost) Mana seemed to also pin on to Ryux. The reason for that was because it had a connection to the entire "clay doll" image. This youkai is called "Dorotabou". If you want to learn more about what a Dorotabou is, heres a link with a perfect explanation!
Japanese Yokai: Dorotabou

But that wasn't all!! The progression continued until Mana asked Seth to tell everyone to yell out the phrase "Kono kuso Dorotabou," or in English, "This fuckin' Dorotabou".
While I suppose it was all meant in fun, I had a bit of a hard time with this one. I understand the feeling meant behind it, but this kind of phrase in Japanese can easily be taken in the wrong way and be deemed as offensive. I've heard of this type of word usage before, but I had always been taught "thats not something you should be saying out loud publicly." it seems to carry a feeling different from what might be seen as edgy in the western side of the globe. In my case, I'm really no stranger to using profanity (honestly you can see it a lot on my twitter lol) but this case made me feel a little uneasy due to the nature of the situation.

Speaking of Moi dix Mois concerts in this way,
actually earlier this week, or maybe I should say this month, Mana has dropped a lot of hints about these two birthday concerts. I think the reality is he had a lot of things like this planned out in his mind from the beginning, such as calling Ryux what he did among other things. I think hes been looking for ways to sort of "wreak havoc" whenever the opportunity strikes. I say this because knowing his mentality and the way he perceives certain concepts, it all goes together. For instance, earlier on in the month (or maybe it was in February, I don't remember) he talked about his birthday concerts being "the Sabbath" which he wants to be perceived as lude and corrupt. Furthermore, he mentioned "The great king of Angolmois" in reference to these birthday concerts. If you don't know about the great king of Angolmois, I recommend looking it up along with the "Nostradamus" search term. Its a popular apocalyptic prophecy known in Japan.

Typically many portions of Moi dix Mois concerts go unrehearsed, such as what exactly is going to happen during the MC outside of whatever important information needs to be conveyed. In this case, I am sure Mana's destruction of the roses he received from the band members was something unplanned and done spontaneously. Therefore, the band members reactions to Mana are equally as genuine as the audience. However, even if certain things weren't planned ahead of time, I think Mana has been thinking of opportunities he could use to connect with the feeling he wanted these concerts to achieve. It makes me wonder what he will think of doing tomorrow (technically today now). Anyway, I think Mana wanted to find a way to push the boundaries of how many fans often thought of him in the past. I imagine this is what his "sabbath" type concept for his birthday means to him.

Moving on, the rest of the concert continued with several more songs until everyone left the stage to prepare for the finale, Pageant.

As is tradition, everyone was given blue glow sticks upon entering the venue that we were not supposed to ignite until we were instructed to do so.

When all the members returned back on stage, everyone was wearing t-shirts that were sold at the concert tonight. In the case of Seth, Ryu, Sugiya, and Hayato, they all wore red and black versions of the shirt. Ryu was also wearing a red and black Moi dix Mois jacket that was sold a couple years ago, but he cut off the sleeves. It looked really cool with the shirt!! During that time, all the members tried showing off the new merchandise that was for sale and asking everyone who bought the rubber band bracelets to hold their arms up if they were wearing them. The shirt that was for sale today also came in blue and black, but sadly when Mana showed back up on stage he didn't wear it. Instead, he kept the same outfit on that he had been wearing the entire time, only he unbuttoned the top two buttons of the blouse he was wearing. I think a lot of people were hoping to see him in the new shirt, so it was a slight let down.

Before continuing on with the explanation on when to light our glow sticks, Seth and Ryux turned to Sugiya and asked him if he would like to explain how to do it. Suddenly Sugiya's eyes got huge and he started panicking a bit before shaking his head no. So then, as always Seth went on to tell us that once they say "un, deux, trois, dix" we should crack our glow sticks at "dix" to light the room up in blue.

As Pageant began to play, Mana quickly hopped down from the stage and started playing guitar in the middle isle of the audience area, going from front to back and then back down the isle one more time to the stage.

The song ended all too quickly and suddenly the concert was finished.

Each member walked off stage and down the middle isle individually. They each threw their glow sticks into the audience. Hayato threw two straight up to the second row and people actually caught it! Finally, Mana made his way to the middle of the stage and was the last to walk down the isle, signaling the end of the night.

The concert felt like it ended all too quickly. There were a lot of unique situations that happened this time, yet all the while, the concert gave me somewhat of a relatively "calm" impression in comparison to past concerts that were filled with all kinds of activities. However, that certainly doesn't take away from the charm of this concert, and continues to leave me ready for more within the coming day!

As the night ended, I wanted to take one more picture at the venue to show my full coordinate (not with my sunglasses, scarf, and jacket, covering up everything) but all the Moi dix Mois signs were taken down! Instead heres a commemorative shot with Jack Daniels(´~`ヾ)

My coordinate was pretty simple today, but I just couldn't really decide on what I wanted to wear. Its an EGA blouse I've had for several years now, but the good point about it is that its comfortable, so it was nice to wear this time around! I noticed the number of people wearing Moi-meme-Moitie at concerts has diminished over the years and a lot of people, like me, either wear older Moitie items or they now go for wearing Moi dix Mois T-shirts. Truly culture within Moi dix Mois concerts is ever-changing, but I wouldn't say thats a bad thing. Some how I find the variety refreshing! I'm thinking about maybe wearing the new shirt I got at tomorrow's concert...

By the way, there was a certain detail on the new shirt I thought was worth talking about, so I decided include pictures of it. While the design itself is interesting, the words underneath "MdM" read "dark gothic symphonic industrial"
This is pretty unique because up until now there has never been much of an official description of what Moi dix Mois music is like. While all of these aspects of Moi dix Mois music probably becomes easily recognizable to anyone who has spent any time listening to it or even doing research on how Mana describes his music, its fascinating to see it physically written on any form of merchandise. It gives me sort of an "official" impression of perhaps how Mana would like people to describe his sound. Of course that description is quite wordy for anyone who would want to peg it to any certain genre, but I appreciate the consideration behind it.

Anyway, now that its 5:00 am, its time for me to get a little bit of sleep before its time to get ready for concert number 2 today!! I'll be back to report later!