VAMPS are no strangers to America or New York City and on November 13, 2016, fans braved the cold and lined up early for a chance to see the vampires up close and personal at Irving Plaza. Local New York band ‘Echo Black’ opened up the night followed by Citizen Zero, who were with VAMPS on the entirety of their North American tour. Both opening bands were met with warm welcome from the VAMPS fans and had sounds that complimented VAMPS’ style.
Between the sets while stage changes were going on, the venue played Jrock music! From MUCC to D’espairsRay and even L’Arc~en~Ciel, the audience certainly appreciated this and many even sang along, especially when L’Arc~en~Ciel’s music came on over the speakers!
VAMPS started off the night with their latest single, “Inside of Me.” The recorded version features lead singer of Motionless in White, Chris. Hyde came out in a hoodie, with the hood covering his head and keeping his face in shadow for the duration of the song. Fans didn’t seem to mind, singing along and already enthralled with the performance, waving their arms in time with the beat or snapping photos on their phones. One major difference between VAMPS performance in Japan and overseas is the ability for fans to record video or photos during the performance, which is not allowed in Japan. Some fans gladly took advantage of this chance to close up photos of VAMPS members performing.
During the first MC of the night, Hyde asked the audience, “What’s up Bloodsuckers? Are you having fun?” The Bloodsuckers screamed in response, indicating that they were indeed having fun.
Sin in Justice is a song VAMPS did in collaboration with Finnish band Apocalyptica. As the intro music began, the band members repeated the “in Justice” part multiple times, Hyde screaming, “Louder!” to the crowd, asking them to shout back the “in justice” refrain. Once Hyde was satisfied, the song finally begun.
One of the biggest surprises of the night was the cover song VAMPS performed. They covered the song “Diamonds” by well known pop/R&B singer Rihanna. VAMPS put a rock and roll spin on the otherwise pop song, but the audience didn’t seem to be feeling it. Many of the audience were confused as to what the song was and simply stood still. VAMPS have recorded various covers in the past, so it was a surprise they did not cover one of those songs.
As Memories began, Hyde finally had his guitar in hand for the first time of the night. This is one of the few “slower” songs VAMPS played, but it was still very upbeat and lively. They didn’t slow down at all for a total of 17 songs! Hyde gave most of his MC’s in English during the night, but switched to Japanese only once, again thanking the fans. “We’re gonna do this together! Are you ready?! New song: Rise or Die!”
Rise of Die was up next, which is also off of their latest single, “Inside of Me” and the recorded version features Rammstein guitarist, Richard Z. Kruspe. VAMPS have done many collaborations lately with international artists. Hyde constantly asked the crowd to scream more. “Give me some more!”
Hyde probed the crowd, “Are you all-” and Ju-Ken and Kaz replied, “Bloodsuckers?” This chant went on for a few times, the cheering louder each time.
The last song of the evening was a throwback all the way back to 2003, from Hyde’s solo career – Midnight Celebration. This was easily a crowd favorite of the night. The song started off with Hyde laying down on the raised platform in the front center of the stage. The entire beginning of the song before the chorus was sung with Hyde laying down, only slowly rising up as the chorus begun. Ju-Ken could be seen headbanging on the left side of the stage and the crowd went wild during the heavier parts of this song. As the last notes left all the instruments, the band members walked off stage one by one and the venue went dark.
Very quickly chants of, “VAMPS! VAMPS! VAMPS!” started along with a few “Encore” chants. Some screamed for more. But it wasn’t until a small group started the chant of, “Bang. On. Stomp everybody!” that the rest of the crowd followed their shouts and began stomping. This seemed to be the magic word! The guitar riff for Revolution began playing as the crowd continued repeating the phrase and the lights flashed in time with the music and words. Slowly the band emerged back on stage. Hyde listened as the crowd continued to repeat the lyrics before he finally joined in to sing along and the band began to play in full.
Revolution is a sort of theme song for VAMPS and every single person knew this song and all the words. All in attendance could be seen singing and banging and stomping along, just as the song called for.
“Did you have fun?” questioned Hyde as Revolution finished. “Thanks for being here with us tonight. We hope to see you again soon!” The room agreed with this statement. “Come on New York, show me your Devil Side!”
VAMPS were rocking out the night with two more songs. Hyde hopped down off the stage and went to the audience at the barrier and the crowd went wild. They showed their devil side. The night finished out with another VAMPS classic, Sex Blood Rock N’ Roll. VAMPS played a mix of both old and new songs through out the night, touching a bit on each of their albums.
As the set finished, Hyde brought out a bouquet of roses. He took the rose petals into his mouth and then spit them out to the audience. He also grabbed handfuls of petals and threw them to the crowd in the more typical fashion. Kaz and Ju-Ken threw picks into the audience, some of them going impressively far back! With one last wave goodbye, the vampires were off the stage and fans were searching for any lost rose petals that may have fallen to the floor. We all hope VAMPS will return soon!
- Inside of Me
6. Get Away
7. Sin in Justice
8. Vampire Depression
9. Diamonds (Rihanna cover)
11. Rise or Die
12. World’s End
14. Midnight Celebration
16. Devil Side
17. Sex Blood Rock & Roll
For full gallery of photos, please visit Flickr here.
For full gallery of photos, please visit Flickr here.