Sunday, April 1, 2012

L'Arc~en~Ciel Concert 2012

Last week at this exact hour, I was at the Madison Square Garden in New York to watch one of my favorite bands: L'Arc~en~Ciel. I feel really nostalgic so I thought this might be the best time to relieve my memories and write about my experience.

I had always wanted to attend Laruku's concert so when they announced that they were coming to the US, I decided that I had to go no matter what. I went to Ticketmaster as soon as the presale started, but the front section ran out in about 8 minutes. I was too late and could only get the further ones.

As the concert date drew near, I kept having a mixed feeling. I was very excited to see Laruku but I also worried a lot about it (blame my worrywart personality). Seeing them live had been my number one wish for more than eleven years so I had a very high expectation. But their recent songs were not doing it for me. What if the songs that they sang were those newer ones which I didn't like at all? To be honest, I had been into K-Pop so I had not been listening to Laruku at all. I didn't remember any lyrics of their old hit songs. What if I couldn't sing along and enjoy the concert at all? It all came down to: what if they failed to meet my expectation? But this is Laruku we are talking about. They were so awesome and delivered a stunning performance. To my surprise, as soon as they played the intro, all the lyrics came back to my mind and I was able to sing along, dance, and jump around. I enjoyed it each and every second I was there.

Anyway, before going to the concert, I had checked online the concert goods they were going to sell. I was only interested in the hooded towel, but I think $70 for a towel is just too much. Since I didn't want to buy anything and every ticket is a fixed numbered seat, I decided not to go there early. The concert started at 8, but my fiancé and I arrived around 6 pm. Laruku concert wouldn't be complete without a glow stick, so I purchased one. I had always wanted to wave a glow stick like those fans in Laruku DVDs ^^ I thought I could do some people watching, but there weren't that many people with weird or flashy clothing. There were some, but not as many as during VAMPS concert a few years ago. The door finally opened maybe sometime around 7:30. As I had expected, my seat was soooo far away from the stage. Practically I won't be able to see anything on stage and could only rely on the big screens. I was glad that I asked my fiancé to bring his binocular, which helped a lot later on to see everything up close, to the point that each member's facial expressions were visible.

While waiting for the concert to start, I opened my glow stick packaging and was totally disappointed that I got the yellow color. I wanted blue the most, but everything else was fine as long as it wasn't yellow. I kept complaining and complaining, when suddenly the lights went out and everyone started to cheer. I stood up spontaneously and turned on my glow stick. Apparently it wasn't yellow but green! Cool!!! I couldn't believe that my dream to see Laruku was going to come true. I was way too excited that I was dazed and unable to grasp what was going on, so the opening was a little bit too hazy for me. With the help of Youtube videos, now I remember what the opening was like xD The screen displayed each member's name, then there was a movie of four people being encapsulated (reminds me of the Final Fantasy movie), with hyde opening his eyes, punching the screen, and the screen broke into pieces (in the movie, not real). The stage went dark again and suddenly the real hyde appeared under a spot light, singing solo for a little bit before finally joined by the entire band.

This is how the concert goes.
  • Ibara no Namida (いばらの涙)
    This is the first song in the concert. As written above, hyde sang the first verse alone without any musical accompaniment (the stage was dark and only hyde was visible), then the stage light up and tetsu, ken, and yukihiro appeared. Forgive my inner fangirl, but hyde is soooo gorgeous ♥
  • Chase

  • Good Luck My Way
  • hyde MC
    What's up New York!!!!
    Where are we?
    Yeahhh... *Or something like that. I just heard he made some grumbling noise* xD
    L'Arc~en~Ciel Madison Square Garden!!!
    We are the first Japanese band on this stage.
    *He said something but I couldn't hear it properly*
    We'll show you the best time tonight, alright? Alright!
    Are you ready???
  • Honey
    One of the songs I voted for! Like usual, hyde played his guitar here.

    hyde playing guitar
  • Drink It Down
    Another favorite song of mine :)
  • Revelation
    I had always wanted to see this song performed live, and my dream came true. There was so much energy during this song. Of course I did the yelling part while jumping together with the other fans. At the beginning of the song, both Laruku and the fans (me included) did the yelling part for such a long time. So much fun!!!
  • Jojoushi (叙情詩)
    They played the long intro first. As soon as I heard the intro, I kept telling my fiancé quietly, "My cell phone song! My cell phone song!" LOL. Throughout the entire song, hyde, ken, and tetsu were all sitting down in front of yukkie and his drums.

  • XXX
  • Fate
    Old time favorite. Whenever he sang the chorus I would start jumping like crazy xD
  • Forbidden Lover
    Another old time favorite. But in order to match the sadness of the song, I decided to refrain myself from jumping and just wave serenely.
  • My Heart Draws a Dream


    I was enchanted by hyde's smile *o*
  • ken MC
    ken did the MC in English. He looked so cute reading it from a piece of paper. While it was a little difficult to understand because of his accent, I really appreciated that he tried speaking in English. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to understand him at all.
    Welcome to ### *I couldn't catch what he said*
    I came to new york a few days ago and I went to American Museum of Natural History because i love the movie "Night at The Museum".
    I asked the taxi driver, "Is American Museum of Natural History the museum in the movie?"
    He smiled and said, "Yessss!"
    I saw ### *didn't know what he said* and the American Indian and king by the entrance and I got very excited.
    At box office I asked again, "Is this museum in the movie?"
    He said, "Million people have asked me that."
    One of them *indicating himself*
    I didn't see ### *didn't hear it again* inside but do you know where he is?
    Where? Ha??? Haaaa??? Oh oh oh oh oh.
    *He said something here but I couldn't catch it again*
    I saw a lot of naked mannequins, almost naked so i took a lot of pictures *so typical of ken. LOL*
    The museum was so big. I got tired so I went back to hotel.
    By the way I bought a souvenir for yukkie.
    *He walked to the drum and give a bag of souvenirs to yukkie*
    *yukkie took out a box of monopoly from the bag*
    American monopoly!
    All four members of L'Arc~en~Ciel will play monopoly together at the hotel tonight.
    I bought a mug for myself too because it was very cute *laughing to himself, which made the audience laugh at him*
    *yukkie took out a mug and put it in front of his drum*
    Very cute. ### *didn't get what he said again*
    Enough of my talking
    Are you excited???
    Do you enjoy us?
    Do you enjoy us? *he said us, but he actually pat his butt*
    Ass? *pat his butt again*
    Not ass *pat his butt again*
    Us *pointed to himself*
    Sorry, I'm stranger here *I think he said stranger, but I might be wrong*
    Let's do next song, Caress of Venus
  • Caress of Venus
    At the beginning of the song, there were black ribbons/confetti falling from the top. I loved how hyde danced. Sway here and sway there xD
  • Driver's High
    Another song where I could join the yelling part "Clash!" and "Flash!" while jumping around ^^
  • Stay Away
    Laruku didn't dance like in the music video, but the big screen was showing a bunch of human graphic dancing along to the song.

  • Ready Steady Go
    The big screen was showing the text Ready Steady Go in giant green font. At the beginning there was some fireworks/pyrotechnics which shocked the heck out of me xD

  • Intermission
    The big screen showed a graphic of people making a wave, so all the fans followed and made their own wave (me included).
  • Anata (あなた)
    Before the band appeared, the big screen showed the chorus lyrics in romaji and the fans were singing along to it. In the middle of the song, hyde made a hand motion asking the fans to sing the chorus, so we sang again. This is another song where I just waved to match the mood of the song.
  • Winterfall
  • Blurry Eyes
    As usual, they stopped in the middle after the part "Why do you stare at the sky with your blurry eyes?" tetsu came out carrying a basket and asked, "Do you wanna eat my f**king bananas? Who??? Do you wanna lick my lollipops?" and started throwing bananas and lollipops to the screaming audience xD He asked again, "Do you wanna hear more?" then the song continued.

    L'Arc~en~Ciel: yukihiro, tetsu, hyde, ken
  • hyde MC
    Did you have fun?
    Thank you so much.
    Thank you so much America.
    We're so excited to be here.
    You are the best.
    Thank you, thank you.
    It took us twenty years to get here.
    Will we meet again?
    Thank you so much America.
    Tonight the last song is Niji.
  • Niji (虹)
    During the song, feathers were falling down to the audience.

  • hyde closing
    Thank you New York.
    Thank you New Yorkkk!!!
    *hyde blew kisses. I almost died from it. LOL*
    Thank you.
    Hope you have a good night.
  • Tetsu closing
    After hyde left the stage, tetsu came and started throwing bananas and lollipops again. He also brought a gold banana (some kind of decoration?) and banana water gun. He squirted some water to the audience before throwing it. He tried to throw the last banana far away, but it fell into the staff area. The staff tried to threw the banana to the audience at the back, but it fell into a different staff area again. One fan ran there right away and asked for it so the staff just gave it to her. tetsu then said "Mata ne. See you again!" and left.


For clothing, tetsu wore grey vest with somewhat red/pink over shirt, black skirt and black pants. His hair is like the usual length but shaved on one side, the color is mixed brown and red/pink. hyde wore black sleeveless shirt, black cardigan, and black baggy pants. His hair is long dreadlock, mostly blonde, but I saw a mixed of black color too (it was not that noticeable though). In the middle of the concert, I think starting at Jojoushi, he wore a somewhat girly somewhat elegant black hat, but still looked good no matter what xD After the intermission, the cardigan changed into white. ken wore all black clothing and the usual hairstyle. yukkie wore long sleeved shirt, skin color with black ornaments, his hair was short. I almost thought that yukkie didn't wear anything on top but just tattooed all over his body. LOL

At the end, after tetsu left the stage I was sooo ready to chant encore but surprisingly everyone just got up and left. I was like, wth? yukkie and ken didn't even come to say goodbye! How can this be?! Oh well, there was nothing I could do, so I was forced to leave the concert hall too. I think the concert took around 2.5-3 hours, but it sure didn't feel like it. I was having so much fun. I wish I could go see Laruku again!!! I can't wait until the DVD to come out so I could recall my memories more vividly.

About cameras, the staff didn't check the bags at all when we entered the concert hall. During the concert, the security kept walking around and "catching" people, telling them not to take any videos or pictures. But in such a large concert hall, it's impossible to catch every person, so you could sneak around and take pictures or videos. Just make sure when the security walk closer, stop taking and hide your camera. I didn't bring any digital camera so I could only take pictures with my cell phone. If you go to YouTube though, there are plenty of nice videos of the concert so go and watch them while waiting for the DVD to come out ^^