Suicide Ali made their first appearance in America at the Pacific Media Expo in early November 2008. Earlier JRR.com posted the interview, so here’s the live report and set list!
Suicide Ali’s performance at PMX was equal to that of an intimate live house where the band is in clear range for the fans and the audience’s energy rejuvenates the band. After patiently waiting for through two opening acts, Suicide Ali fans got their turn. This live had been pressure-cooking for years in the making, ever since Roger Shackelford of Tainted Reality bumped into guitarist Yuu at a BLOOD concert in Mexico. Mr. Shackelford was noticeably excited; when he came on to introduce his band his voice exploded out of the speakers. The crowd reacted, and then there, ascending the stairs, was Suicide Ali.
To group Suicide Ali under the blanket title of “oh, another visual kei band” sorely understates the unique world the band has created for their image. They claim not to be a band, but four characters from the world of Faifilseea on a journey to save heaven: the vocalist Goshi’s identity is Bit el bedi, guitarist Yuu’s is Joshua (No.069), Hiroshi on bass goes by Ohe Shundei, a child from a half fish half human marriage. There’s aqua circles drawn on his face to signify scales. Hisashi on drums often goes under the pen name HIY; his character supposedly lost an arm, and even his costume for the PMX live has gauze wrapped over one black-clothed shoulder to indicate a bandaged stump. Suicide Ali’s concerts are steps in this journey to save Heaven.
Bands like Nirvana, Ozzy Osbourne, and BUCK-TICK inspired this creation musically, but video games like Final Fantasy inspired them visually. If Suicide Ali can go major with this combination, it’ll be a home run.
So what are they like on stage? Dramatic in pose, clothed in fish net, and deafening in sound…the notepad I used to take notes from this live was vibrating with sound waves. Roger occupied himself by self-video taping from every angle. A couple of dedicated Japanese fans had gathered at the front of the crowd, and were doing the choreographed Japanese hand movements called furi to each song. Even the American fans that hadn’t memorized the lyrics were head-banging. Goshi easily got the attendees to scream at the top of their lungs with just a bit of encouragement. There was a pause to thank Pacific Media Expo for hosting them, then Suicide Ali continued plowing through an enormous set list (posted below!).
Suicide Ali was deep into their concert when suddenly, the music stopped. The musicians clustered around their drummer, Hisashi, who was frowning. A tech rushed on stage. The bass drum had given up the ghost. Some muttering, and duct-tape was instantly applied. To distract the audience, Yuu played a sexy guitar rift with Hiroshi. The two of them also tried their best to communicate in broken English to the curious on-lookers, which added to the band’s charm. Those who waited were rewarded, and Suicide Ali returned to rock. Nearing the end of the set list, the bass drum failed yet again. Another repair hardly slowed the band down. After Suicide Ali blasted through most of their set list, they left stage, they had one encore… and well, the fans figured that was it.
It wasn’t. After the concert was “over”, the exhausted fans poured out into the corridor. Suddenly, Roger leaped up on stage and yelled, “HOLD ON! Everyone come back in, Suicide Ali has one more song!” Faithfully, most attendees returned. Suicide Ali rewarded them with autographed plastic balls thrown out to the audience, along with handfuls of Japanese candy, guitar picks, and whatever they could find. Since press had dispersed, the audience flattened the rope barrier and rushed to the stage. Goshi reached out to the out stretched hands and pulled them closer. For an ever-lasting moment, everyone was in Japan at a dimly lit live house tucked in the back alley somewhere, rocking their hearts out.
Brimming with rock spirit and a unique flavor, Suicide Ali is one visual kei band who should not be over-looked. Even their CD covers are other-worldly and fantastical. If you’d like to get a taste, they were even on a compilation called "Planetarium Show Case" with other up-and-coming VK bands from the Kansai area. If you want to dive right in, Suicide Ali’s newest mini single, "Tadashii Maho no Tsukurikata", is out now. A French user on CDJAPAN gave it five stars!
1.THIS NEW ORDER
3.FUE FUKI DOUJI
5.tadashii mahou no tsukurikata
6.hakodume no doutai
7.ko wo egaku yamai
9.Road of the wing
10.Boku to Iu Yugai na Youso
11.NINGEN NO KANAME
You want more photos? Tainted Reality’s Valerie Durham coupled with JrockRevolution.com to bring you a mini-gallery of fantastic live photos HERE.
Written by: Hikari
JRR Thanks: Roger Shackelford and Tainted Reality, Suicide Ali and their management, and PMX