Having made a legacy in Japan, superstars X JAPAN embark on a North American tour, hitting seven stops in the U.S. and Canada. This powerhouse band has sold over 30 million records, performed to sold out shows for the bulk of their career and have successfully conquered the rock scene in Japan. Following their reunion, X JAPAN played to thousands of die-hard fans at Lollapalooza before announcing their tour. With September 25th being the first date of the tour, thousands of fans worldwide have talked about, hoped for and couldn’t wait for the Los Angeles show.
The wait was worth it.
The moment fans were able to start lining up, over a hundred people had their places pegged out the night before the September 25th concert for the legendary X JAPAN. By the early afternoon on Saturday, well over a thousand people lined the street to the end of the block and then down that block, across the street and beyond for this SOLD OUT show. Many were in cosplay, costume, dressed to impress and decked out in casual wear. For the hour plus it took for fans to get into the venue, anticipation remained high. Many lined the merch table to own exclusive X JAPAN tour items including multiple t-shirt styles, the Yoshikitty doll, keychains, a hoodie and more.
In the time before X JAPAN took the stage, fans continued to flock into the venue, both upstairs and downstairs. The moment the lights dimmed, the well of enthusiasm erupted into deafening cheers as the band took the stage one by one. With barely a pause following their recorded introduction, Jade began and fans sang, cheered and some even cried. The incredible L.E.D. display behind the stage augmented the performance and remained pivotal in highlighting the band and every song. Rusty Nail followed it up and if one thought the crowd could not have gotten louder, the intro proved that wrong when louder cheers sounded. Pyrotechnics gave a glimpse of the type of epic stage presence X JAPAN is famous for. Following Silent Jealousy, Drain about brought the house down with the crowd seemingly building more and more power matched only by the band’s enthusiasm.
An interlude allowed fans to catch a much needed breath as Sugizo and Yoshiki performed a violin and piano set. This was followed by Kurenai in which so many concert goers jumped so hard the floor shook. Born to be Free, while being a new song, had many singing along with it. Yoshiki performed an energetic and near violent drum solo and during the interlude, took time to drench himself in water and launched water bottles into the frenzied crowd.
For I.V., Toshi helped fans with the lyrics, but it seemed most knew where to sing along, which made the song into an awesome performance of true interaction of band and crowd. The song ‘X’ had everyone leaping, ‘X’ arms in the air and shouts that added to the reverberation of music and sound. When the song ended, Toshi and Yoshiki had the audience in a frenzy, calling ‘We are!’, ‘You are!’, to a cacophony of ‘X’ shouted in return. The moment the last note sounded, thousands of voices joined together in a showcase of unity and support for this iconic band. In true ‘X’ fashion, Yoshiki toppled the giant gong on the set, but not before whipping it with a cat o’nine tails. When the lights went out, fans continued cheering with ‘X’s in the air by glow sticks, arms, or virtually anything that could be made to resemble the classic ‘X’.
When Toshi and Yoshiki took the stage for the encore, a hush fell over the crowd. Yoshiki spoke of his excitement of the upcoming tour, how they’d looked forward to performing in the U.S. and how glad they were that the fans were there to share this epic moment. He spoke of hide and how they’d talked about performing in the U.S. and assured fans that hide was there with them. When Endless Rain began, fans not only sang along, but many wept. Art of Life was their final song of the night, a fitting ending to an incredible performance. When the audience started filing out, many were still in tears and spoke of how much it meant to them to have attended the first show of the tour. Long after the venue had been nearly emptied, fans lined the sidewalks of the Wiltern to take pictures and share stories. With a capacity of roughly 2,300, it was heartwarming to see so many fans proudly displaying their love and support before, during and after the show.
With the first stop under their belt, X JAPAN has their sights set on Oakland! This is definitely a tour you can’t miss from a band whose fame and infamy has withstood the test of time to clearly illustrate their place in rock history.
Violin and piano interlude
Born to be free
Yoshiki Drum solo
Art of Life