X Japan’s North American Debut: They Are Back, Better than Ever!

The Japanese culture has seen a variety of a assortments from music, food, toys, games, the list goes on and on. But it’s most famous would probably fall between food and music. Now the music culture just as the American one are both different yet quite similar because we have our ways of showcasing our types of rock, metal, punk, all types of music genres and the Japanese also have their own ways of doing things. When it comes to their musical tastes and appearances they kick it up a notch. Like appearance wise they tend to showcase the latest trends and fashion tastes that are buzzing around and musically well they just got the skills for everything.

With that said, the Japanese have had a solid mix of bands that are considered “legends” in their books from, D’espairsRay, Dir En Grey, Glay, Vamps, and most legendary X JAPAN. All of whom have made it to the U.S. But there was once in the mix that had a much difficult time coming over seas among several other outbursts that threw them off course. X Japan formed in1982 by Toshimitsu "Toshi" Deyama and Yoshiki Hayashi, being originally named X the group achieved much success over the years but tragedy soon struck. Former guitarist/backing vocalist Hideto "Hide" Matsumoto had as the other members wanted to pursue solo careers and get their own ideas out into the open. Hide had managed to release a few solo albums since 94's "Hide Your Face", his music leaning towards the alternative rock standards. But X Japan would not last as long as they hoped due to Hide's death in May 1998 the band would go on to disband for what seemed like a lifetime.

The band did not perform nor did they record for another 10 years since their disbandment in 97. In 2007, the band had reunited performing live for the first time since their break-up. After performing concerts throughout 2007-2009 in Asia the band had scheduled their first ever North American tour and it all was about to begin on September 25, 2010. After all the years of much earned success and tragedy their hard work was about to expand even further than ever whilst they did have an American fan base growing this would increase into the far reaches of the world as we knew it.

On September 25, 2010 X Japan had invaded American becoming citizens officially and calling Los Angeles their home base. Not only did that all occur but this day would be the first day of their official North American trek. X Japan would have the honor of welcoming in Los Angele’s very own Vampires Everywhere! to their showcasing spot letting a tad of darkness into their mists. Vampires Everywhere! are indeed new comers with the release of their EP “Lost in the Shadows” and a debut LP due out very soon the band has been spreading their name around quite a bit as it were. Having several opportunities that not many bands would get a shot at, one was opening for the Murderdolls during the beginning of the summer. While another incident was being included on Hot Topic’s The Sacred Ceremony Tour with other recognizable acts, Black Veil Brides, Get Scared, and Modern Day Escape which made their name such a success. After that tour wrapped up the band went into the recording studio and have been hard at work getting all the right sources to make this upcoming album be pitch perfect.

Now that that’s all out of the way the band has gotten yet another opportunity up their sleeves by being the openers for X Japan. Now this would turn out to be quite the combo because they would be introduced to whole another culture since that’s who particularly all turned out at the venue. While the attendances were intrigued many of them stood in wait outside in the hallways or picked up merchandise while waiting. As others booed the band at various times, I for one have liked the band since first witnessing them perform with the Murderdolls at the start of the summer. Their set included such songs as “"Bury Me Alive", "Dear Eliza", "The Embrace", and "Immortal Love".

Did I forget to mention the crowd turn out? This venue was packed to the max from people spending the night a few nights before to the line the day of the show it was long lines as far as I can see. Anyway, it was now time for X Japan to enter and make their mark on the American surface stage wise that is. Now after Vampires Everywhere! left the stage around 8:30PM it took about 45 minutes for X Japan to get settled in and everything set up. When it was time for things to be let go the clock had struck 9:45 and went on to last for 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Their set list comprising of a lot of their biggest hits and longest songs I ever heard, lasting long into being from 10 minutes to 20 minutes tops it was one night I will not ever forget. X Japan is not only known for their popularity and music but their stage show rather for when the band was opening up they were instantly able to grasp my attention as they did the rest of the crowd. The intro began with a voiceover that had their logo “X JAPAN” engraved in their famous red logo being flashed left and right wrapping up with an echoing of X JAPAN….. Until they broke the silence and went on and did what they do best perform music.

Now their set comprised of an assortment of tunes, from opening up with "Jade", "Rusty Nail", and 'Silent Jealousy" to rounding off the evening with a piano and violin solo right down to a drum solo in the mix. But the band was much successful with "X", "Endless Rain", and "Art of Life". The crowd shouting with glee as drummer Yoshiki Hayashi chucked water bottles into the stands and up top in the upper decks fans leaping to grasp hold of one. If that wasn’t enough the crowd went into a chant of shouting “WE ARE X” so many times throughout the evening that they must have all gone home throats aching with pain but having happiness buried within their hearts and souls.

1. Jade
2. Rusty Nail
3. Silent Jealousy
4. Drain
5. Piano & Violin Solo
6. Kurenai
7. Born To Be Free
8. Drum Solo
9. I.V.
10. X
11. Endless Rain
12. Art Of Life

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