Live Report: the GazettE THE NINTH Tour Final 09/23/19

the GazettE LIVE TOUR18-19 THE NINTH TOUR FINAL 「第九」/ “Daikyuu (Ninth)”

Live @ Yokohama Arena / September 23, 2019

This is my personal account of the tour final performance. It is not an officially-sanctioned live report.

After over a year of touring in celebration of the release of their ninth studio album, fittingly titled NINTH, the GazettE finally held their long-awaited tour final in Yokohama on September 23, 2019

The performance was held at Yokohama Arena, which has hosted the GazettE for previous tour finals in 2007 ([Decomposition Beauty] Final Meaningless Art That People Showed), 2012 (Venomous Cell Finale Omega), and 2014 ([Magnificent Malformed Box] Final Coda).  The sold-out show attracted fans from all over the world and marked the end of the band’s LIVE TOUR18-19 THE NINTH.

For hours leading up to the show, crowds milled around the 17,000-seat arena.  Some took advantage of the last day of the GazettE x Yokohama Collaboration Project by participating in the stamp rally or sampling collaboration foods in Chinatown.  Others waited in line to buy merchandise (which sold out quickly).  As the time of the concert drew nearer, the crowd turned into a sea of dark clothing and GazettE t-shirts.

Once they started letting fans into the venue, they were greeted to the display of floral well-wishes the band received from fellow musicians, radio stations, and magazines.  Upstairs were huge cardboard portraits of the members; people took photos and even posed with them.

Finally, they allowed people to begin filing into the arena itself.  As the seats slowly filled, music played while videos of the burning NINTH logo flashed on the screens on either side of the stage.

When Skid Row’s My Enemy began to play, fans began to clap along, knowing the concert was about to begin.  When the song cut out, the stadium went dark and 99.999, the stage entrance music from the album started playing.  Fans began to applaud as the members made their way onto the stage but quickly grew silent as the soft intro to Falling began.  The stillness shattered the instant Ruki took to the mic, and the crowd erupted in wild headbanging.

NINTH ODD SMELL began with a flash of pyrotechnics and the wild lighting mimicked the audience’s frantic movements.  It was followed by another fast song, GUSH.  After a brief MC by Ruki, fans were treated to older favorites CLEVER MONKEY and GABRIEL ON THE GALLOWS.

Then they returned to songs from NINTH, playing Uragiru BERO before the lights went out.  You could feel the anticipation in the crowd as red lasers created a cage of light around Ruki, dispersing out into the crowd as THE MORTAL began. 

Following this new theme of slightly slower songs, Utsu semi began to play, followed by a passionate rendition of Sono koe wa moroku.  The crowd stood silently, letting Ruki’s voice flow through the stadium as a ball of lights danced around the stage like stars.  Instead of loud cheers, the audience responded with a round of heartfelt applause.  Next, BABYLON’S TABOO began with red lasers pulsing, concentrated on Ruki’s chest like a heartbeat, before the stage once more lit up for the remainder of the song.

After another short MC, fans were thrilled to be treated to DOGMA and INCUBUS, two songs from their previous album.  TWO OF A KIND was met with wild fan participation, fists pumping as the whole stadium headbanged in unison.  When UGLY began to play, the energy went even higher.  It continued through ABHOR GOD, which had the entire audience shouting the chorus “too fast to live / too young to die” along with Ruki.

Finally, Ruki announced that it was the last song.  Everyone went absolutely wild as he screamed, “Welcome to hell!” and Kantou dogeza kumiai began to play.  Fans went to their knees in the aisles – or for those not near the end of a row, headbanged wildly at their seats – while the members ran around the stage taunting fans. 

After the song, the band left the stage, and calls for an encore began almost immediately.  When the members returned, it was only guitarists Aoi and Uruha, bassist Reita, and drummer Kai – vocalist Ruki didn’t join them immediately. 

Kai did a brief MC before launching the group of musicians into a rendition of GO TO HELL.  Ruki came back out for the next song of the encore, wildly popular INSIDE BEAST.  Following this was a big surprise – the band broke out an old favorite from their early days, Anata NO tame NO ko NO inochi.and fans went crazy as it began.

Another short MC by Ruki and the change of the stage lighting to red with flashing white heralded the beginning of HEADACHE MAN, another song that had the crowd screaming along with the chorus.  The energy remained high with ATTITUDE.  Finally, they closed the encore with TOMORROW NEVER DIES, the song they’ve used to end each of their lives on THE NINTH tour.  Once more, the members exited the stage to wild cheering, and a call for another encore began.

They re-emerged to oblige.  As UNFINISHED began, silver streamers shot across the whole arena, making the venue sparkle.  Fans jumped to catch them so they could bring home a piece of this memorable live. 

When the song was over, each of the members spoke briefly in turn.  Ruki encouraged everyone to hold hands, and after some shuffling, linked hands appeared in the air all across the venue.  On his mark, everyone – including the band – jumped into the air, hands clasped.  The sound of thousands of feet hitting the floor was like thunder and a feeling of warmth and friendship spread throughout the entire arena. 

Then the live was over.  The members waved as they exited the stage for the final time, Kai pausing to take some photos of the crowd for his Instagram.

After the house lights came up, fans remained in place, knowing announcements were likely to be made.  Sure enough, the lights dimmed once more as the screen above the stage began to play videos announcing the release dates of the Blu-ray and DVD performances of both the LIVE TOUR18-19 THE NINTH / TOUR FINAL 「第九」 and LIVE IN NEW YORK&WORLD TOUR19 DOCUMENTARY – THE NINTH [99.999] shows on March 4th, 2020.  The final announcement was that the band will hold a special live, 18TH ANNIVERSARY DAY/6576, to celebrate their 18th anniversary on March 10th, 2020.

SET LIST

SE 99.999
01. Falling
02. NINTH ODD SMELL
03. GUSH
04. CLEVER MONKEY
05. GABRIEL ON THE GALLOWS
06. Uragiru BERO / 裏切るベロ
07. THE MORTAL
08. Utsu semi / 虚 蜩
09. Sono koe wa moroku / その声は脆く
10. BABYLON’S TABOO
11. DOGMA
12. INCUBUS
13. TWO OF A KIND
14. UGLY
15. ABHOR GOD
16. Kantou dogeza kumiai / 関東土下座組合

EN01
01. GO TO HELL
02. INSIDE BEAST
03. Anata NO tame NO ko NO inochi. / 貴方ノ為ノ此ノ命。
04. HEADACHE MAN
05. ATTITUDE
06. TOMORROW NEVER DIES

EN02
01. UNFINISHED

Setlist photo courtesy of the GazettE Official Facebook page. All other photos © @hanak0toba.

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