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03 January 2014 @ 04:51 am
[Live Report] Damage Liver Tour 2013 FINAL, Osaka, 23 Dec 2013  

I should just change December on my calendar to #DamageLiver because that could easily sum up how December has been for me. You should also read Belle’s report for her perspective of the night. Alright let’s just jump right into the report this time. (Most of the pictures in this report are from the lovely Louise!!)

On the 22nd, the three of us (Belle, Louise and myself) had gone to Kuzuha Px9 café for a live to catch H”palty, RIZING 2 END, ROOKiEZ IS PUNK’D and THE Hitch Lowke. Sort of like an appetizer for the Damage Liver final the next day, and booooy was it spectacular. There was so much jumping and dancing and screaming and headbanging and I couldn’t wait for the 23rd. We had to leave for the last train so we missed most of RIZING’s set as they were the last band to play. I left with new albums, wristbands and a new found love for the bands.

Fast forward to the 23rd! I was a bundle of nerves because I hadn’t seen fade in a while (my last live was 21 Oct also at DROP, which I never got around to writing a report about…oops. Let’s just sum it up as a very nyan-tastic pre-Halloween live. I conversed with Jon mainly by nya-ing since I was dressed as a cat) so I had no idea how to react and what to do, especially regarding Kansei (who had been giving merch tables a miss after lives - I'd missed the chance to talk to him in a while so...you can imagine how nervous I was and hoping to catching precious minutes to say hi and embarrass myself).

And even more so because I’d decided to just YOLO and get him a rather silly gift among other shenanigans and felt embarrassed (aka my constant state of being around kansei if it's not intoxicated on his presence, oops) about it. I was even too embarrassed to pose for photos with said present so I only agreed to take some with Belle.

Btw, the evil thing that hurt my leg (aka open drain) is pictured here. That didn't stop me from going wild the entire night though! (and then the next day realising my injury was worse than I thought - oops! Flesh scraped off ouch!)

And then both Belle and Louise goaded me into posing with it. The photo turned out very nice. I was tempted to make it my display picture.

When the band guys first came out (presumably to go to their hotel to dump their stuff) we'd just stood and watched them as they disappeared from afar, kansei in his signature hentai eskimo jacket and that adorable face that sent my heart going kyun~ for umpteen times that night...and...just. I think I was melting into a puddle of goo every time he was around. When he came back (still with his tiny suitcase!?)

Belle pushed me forward but in the end all I said was "Hi" and awkward head bowing and just starring at him as he grinned and waved before going down the stairs to DROP. I was just in shock and awe struck wonder because he looked so much cuter than I ever remembered and I couldn't say anything. Which Belle chided me for. "WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY ANYTHING TO HIM!?!?!!" to which all I could reply was "I CAN'T!", much akin to how Belle would reply when faced with the task of trying to talk to one Jon Underdown. I know how you feel now, gurl.

Us (Belle, Louise, Mr Grumpy Face Pepsi and myself) just hanging out before the live! I swear that guy never smiles in any photos

Fast forward to entering the venue. We had a plan. Tonight, we were assaulting the Kansei side of the stage. With my lucky ticket number 1, I led the charge and we ran full steam to the right of the stage and marked our territory in front of the most adorable guitarist to walk the face of the Earth. And then it was time for DAMAGE LIVER GACHAPON! Belle told me Jon had promoted it in a sing-song way in Tokyo so I was looking forward to that. But then I went crazy and bought many many black balls and won many many badges which I used to decorate my shirt with and bought even more balls much to the amusement of Ricky who was standing at the side and watching.

Ricky: This is good, huh.
Me: Yes!! Very good idea please do it next time!
Ricky: *chuckles* Give it a good shake!

I managed to win the special 'atari' or the rare prizes of signed picks (only from the bass and guitar players of the different bands, of course turns out there was also a drum atari??)!

Picks (L to R): kzy (Ba) of RIZING 2 END, 2RASH (Ba) of ROOKiEZ, ???, nori (Ba) from fade

And then later I cleared out all of the remaining Gachapon (after only the second band I think! causing the other band fans to go "Woah, as expected of fade fans!") in hopes of more atari but only got badges. Which resulted in my shirt being covered in badges like so:

Picture from Pepsi aka Mr Grumpy

Anyway, the night was pretty much: Band, DJ set, Band etc with the line up for the night being: THE Hitch Lowke, ANOTHER STORY, RIZING 2 END, ROOKiEZ IS PUNK'D then finally fade!

I'd fallen in love with THE Hitch Lowke from the live the day before (Vocalist Takuya is just adorable!!) so I was super excited for their set. Their fans are really awesome and one of them even stage dived/crowd surfed. Their music is kind of dance-y (two-step, two-step!) but also very headbang-y and throw-your-body-over-the-barrier. There are some lighter songs and heavier ones mixed, but my favourites are always the ones that have hand actions. This time it was "killer smile"! During the chorus, right at the lines "Killer smile~ killer smile~" there was a hand action which was mainly pointing at Takuya while he danced some pretty killer moves (mainly involving sexy hip thrusting). I wish he'd taken his shirt off earlier during the set though, those abs and muscles are yummy.

In between sets it was Damage Liver time for us! We headed to the bar for drinks. "Shots shots shots shots shots shots~" was the theme song for the night and we'd gotten DJ Tatsuya to play it for us too. He'd chime in the "EVERYBODY!" when we chanted and every time we caught him outside later we'd chant that, much to his amusement. I love that he played a lot of my favourites as well as some silly songs I couldn't help laughing at (lots of One Direction) but it really put us in a dance-y mood. Sadly the clubbing atmosphere didn't exactly spread that much so we only had a small circle of us dancing and shaking to the music while the rest just waited around for the next band.

ANOTHER STORY was the 'heaviest' of the bands that night, but not too heavy that I didn't like them. It was fun to throw my hair around and just headbang and go wild.

During RIZING 2 END we watched them from the back. Earlier on I'd asked a Hitch Lowke fan to teach us the two-step so I was trying it out at the back but ended up stepping on Belle's feet/bumping into her way too many times. It took me a while but I realised that Godo was standing by the door a row in front of us to watch the set, and Nori was up with DJ Tatsuya watching & rocking out as well. Kansei had come out to watch (I'd recognize his fluffy eskimo jacket anywhere) but I forgot during which bands. It took a lot of willpower not to turn back constantly to stare at him.

Then ROOKiEZ! We had front row spots in front of 2RASH and at some points I felt kind of embarrassed cause it seemed like he was looking right at us. He is amazing on bass. Those fingers,oooooh, and the way he just lets go and rocks out on stage...! ROOKiEZ is just epic! They're both dance-y and rock at the same time and even kind of hip hop-y when Shinnosuke raps. They're really cool. And the last song, Complication, got a circle started which I really wanted to join but didn't get to. Oh well!

AND THEN FADE. I was just a ball of nerves...and when the curtains finally parted and the guys came out... Oh boy, here we go. It was really packed in the front row. Suddenly there were people up against you that weren't there before and it was definitely the most squished I'd been at a fade live. But I'd managed to still secure my place right in front of kansei and because nori and Jon like to come over once in a while I felt like it was the best spot in the house. I'm never leaving the kansei side. COME TO THE KANSEI SIDE, WE HAVE THE MOST ADORABLE, UNBELIEVABLY ALCOHOL TOLERANT GUITARIST.

Setlist (not in order, from memory so I might be wrong)
Break Away
My Way
Cross Road
Ever Free
Close To You(Eng)
Beautiful (with the other bands)
Kings of Dawn(encore)

It was just dynamite from the start and everyone was jumping and raising their hands in the air and I'd missed this feeling so much. It really is just a rush of euphoria when they come out and you ride this wave of excitement and it just takes you higher and higher and higher. Godo was really into it. He was headbanging and rocking out and I felt like it was the craziest I'd seen him at a live. Nori was his usual cool self, and he came right up to the front of the barrier when he switched places with kansei so we were graced with his presence. He locked eyes with Belle and myself at different points of the night and woah, those eyes. He gets into playing the bass a lot but isn't the overly expressive kind on stage. He is the laid back rocker, but the poor dear had lost a lot of his voice so it was really hoarse and barely there, but he soldiered on with backup vocals and even a very serious, touching MC.

Jon, Jon, Jon, was, as usual, this lovely ball of energy on stage and he made sure to shout in both Japanese and English this time. He bounded all over the stage and rocked out each side equally as much. In between songs we made sure to shout member names, but of course the majority was for Jon and kansei (I wonder why....eh heh heh) and yet again there was the "Jon-kansei shouting war" and Belle refused to let the war end with kansei soo...well you can kind of imagine the havoc we were up to. I think the guys were rather amused because Jon whispered something into kansei's ear and it seemed to be along the lines of "hey aren't you happy you have so much shouting for you today?". Belle and I also shouted "HENTAI ESKIMO!" something which I haven't done in a while and I think Kansei heard it cause he smiled.

There were some very cute Jon moments I had. He likes to come over and surprise my by saying hi with his eyes sometimes, or do silly things like make faces. This time it was during Nori's serious MC where he was talking about the band and their 2013, all in Japanese, and I couldn't help but look at Jon who was right in front of me. We made eye contact and then somehow started making silly faces at each other, and kansei, who noticed, gestured for us to "shhhh!!" and pay attention to Nori. So we did, I suppose, at least I did, but Jon looked like he was kind of spacing out.

Ahhh kansei. I think you're probably sick of me waxing lyrical about him throughout the entirety of this report but wait- there is more! He was wearing his ANARCHY T-shirt and as much as I love him in T-shirts I miss the days where he wore his black button up shirts. He's lost weight! He definitely has, because in June he had this adorably tiny beer belly, but at DROP it was completely gone. Another thing that was gone was the Mayuyu sticker on his guitar. Instead, what replaced it was a sticker for Thunderball667, the label they're signed to under Universal, at the back of his guitar. He is really really getting into it, every single live he just gets better and interacting and rocking out on stage (maybe he is getting more drunk each time) though compared to Oct 21st, this time he was more mild on stage. But he was still rocking out a lot and jumping and going to the front and saying "Come on!" to the crowd.

Also: THE INFAMOUS SNAKE PIT WAS BACK! Kansei downed an entire Jack Daniel's bottle (the big 700ml kind) and according to Belle and Louise, spilled less in Osaka than at the previous legs. That man was on fire! During "Beautiful" when all the other vocalists were coming out, we reached out to give the guys Santa hats. Jon ended up taking the one meant for Kansei and Belle accidentally took her own hat to pass to Kansei instead of the one meant for Jon and then...and then...THE ADORABLE MAN LEANED OVER TO LET US PUT THE HAT ON HIM. Which was not an easy task, leaning over the barrier, risking falling on your face onto the stage and trying to balance with one hand while put the hat on his head properly and well...I failed, so it flopped and fell over.... And because he had to play guitar and had no hands to pick it up, he had to use his foot to push it to the side so he wouldn't step on it -  so he looked over at me, assuming it was my hat, and apologized. Hands down, right there, testimony as to why I'm a Kansei fan (also the orgasmic faces he makes while playing guitar and that megawatt smile).

And yes, yes! During "Beautiful" all the other vocalists come and sing the song too, everyone wearing santa hats except Jon the Grinch who refused Christmas Spirit. Takuya from THE Hitch Lowke (in black with reindeer ears in the picture) was up first but he messed up and instead of singing the first verse he was trying to sing the chorus "It's so beautiful in my head~" so Jon came up, whispered in his ear and got things back on track. It was really interesting to watch all the different vocalists sing the song and they all really rocked out and we had lots of fun just watching them interact on stage.

Then they left!! I wasn't sure if it was the end but Louise said it wasn't so the three of us did an encore shout (boy was it tiring being the only three keeping it going) and then the guys were back! Some changed into Damage Liver shirts (I think Nori? Jon too, maybe?) and then...with Jon saying that 2013 had been a tough year for fade and that they hoped 2014 would be better and that he hoped we would make our voices be heard...he launched into "Kings of Dawn".

Ugh, all the feels. I was a hot mess on the inside but right there, right then, I felt like my life was complete. My 2013 was complete, and it was perfect. I mean, don't you think lives do exactly what their name implies they do? They make you feel alive. Even only for that moment, for that brief moment that you're mid jump, soaring with the feeling of the beat and the rush of blood in your veins, your hair flung in some random direction, your eyes taking in the miracle before you, and you feel like you're one with the music, one with the band. And you know you're living in the moment, you're happy to be alive, and you never want the feeling to stop.

Ugh, I'm a mess thinking about it now, typing it out now. It was definitely one of the craziest lives I'd ever been to. The craziest mosh I'd been in at a fade live, the feeling of people pressed up against you and all jumping and screaming for the same band...

I want to go back. Can I press replay?

Ohhhh, but nooooo, it didn't stop there. There was more time to embarrass myself when the guys came out to the merch table. Spent some time saying Hi and telling the ROOKiEZ guys how awesome they were and how much fun we had.

With U (Drums)!

With 2RASH (Bass)!

With Shinnosuke (Vocal)! and a wild Jon Underdown

Then we spotted Nori come out. So as we were making our way over to him, Belle spotted Kansei. SO SHE PUSHED ME OVER TO HIM AND I'M NOT MENTALLY PREPARED TO SEE HIM YET. He'd changed into a button up shirt and damn, how is it that his smile got even brighter and cuter in the 10 minutes he was backstage? So I bumbled up to him, said hi and when greeted with a smile I can only describe to be like sunshine itself, I just blanked out for a while and didn't say anything which is when he took the opportunity to strike more arrows through my heart by speaking in pretty much perfect English with a sexier, less Japanese accent (no offense), and with 100% confidence.

Kansei: Hey. Thank you, you really helped me a lot today, and always. You mean a lot to me.
Me: *processing*

Belle: She reaaaaally missed you!!!!
Kansei: *grins* Me too! *somewhat reaching his hand out as if to touch my back but he doesn't*
Me: *incomprehensible silent screaming and NOISE* Uhh, I got you a present! Here!
Kansei: What is it?
Belle&I: Open it, open it!
Kansei: *looks at the back, with love, Bernie written*
Belle&I: No the front, look at the front!
Kansei: Ahhhh *chuckles* I'll wear it later! *puts it in front of his crotch to try and grins*
Belle: And take a photo!

Me: I also got you a card!
Kansei: A Christmas Card? Thank you! I'm so happy!
Me: *dsgvfcuevdrhfjre incomprehensible internal keysmash and guilt for not having gotten him a better card with a longer message* And this too! *Christmas Cookie*
Kansei: *big big big grinning*

Me: Can you sign my chest?
Kansei: *grins* Sure! To B-e-r...n? (so we guide him on how to spell my name...why he wrote "To Bernie" on my own chest I have no idea)

Me: I really love you!!!
Kansei: Me too!

And then I don't even remember what I was talking to him about except that I was ecstatic and managed to get a hug from him and just melted and and and yup. I later went back to get my ticket signed and to ask him to sign the drumstick I got from rui (with help from the lovely Louise I can't thank her enough I just went up to her after she helped me get it and hugged her and said Thank You) which when he signed it didn't really get on the stick cause the wood surface was kinda beat up and uneven. So I told him his signature can't be seen so he turned the stick and wrote his name instead.

I spotted Miyagawa-san folding up the purple present (and felt super embarrassed again) and then he went over and tried to tuck it into Kansei's front shirt pocket with a face that seemed to say "Please take better care of your presents and not leave them lying around!" but it wouldn't fit it, and I was laughing because it looked so comical. Kansei took it and tried to stuff it in too but it still wouldn't fit so he just ended up holding it in his hand.

Somewhere during the night we went to say Hi to Nori and Jon and I went and was a big idiot in front of Jon too...I wanted to tell Kansei the puns I'd made with his name but he'd run off before I could so I went to tell Jon instead. I don't know why I was talking about kansei to Jon but I was all "HI JON LOOK KANSEI SIGNED MY CHEST!" so he high fived me. And then I told him the pun I made.

Me: Hey Jon I made puns with kansei's name! I bet you can tell what some of them are hahaha
Jon: No, tell me!
Me: kansei wo kanseisasetai! (No I'm not going to translate this because it is bad)
Jon: *processing, and then when he got it* Ooooooh! (I forgot his reaction but I think he just made a knowing face and I think I ran away and just laughed and just...yup)

Me: Jon, speak kansai-ben!!!!
Jon: I can't!!!!! (Kansei just laughed)

And the other Jon shenanigans and Nori too...please refer to Belle's report for them!

Then it was time to leave as they were cleaning up DROP. We grabbed hold of Takuya for a quick chat outside while waiting for the guys to come out, and also got to say hello to DJ Tatsuya!

Takuya is seriously the most adorable guy ever. Whenever he saw us coming over he'd say "Hi!" and wave at us and grin. And he is always game for photos!

With DJ Tatsuya!

fadefamily (above) and my lovely ladies Louise and Belle with our live memorabilia!

The fade guys were kind of mobbed (some, anyway) when they came out, and of course I forgot everything I wanted to say or do when Kansei came out so I just grabbed a hug and said byebye. When rui came out I got the drumstick signed, and it was really cute that the Japanese fans were asking him if he remembered their names. He did, so I piped in "What about me!" and he said "Bernie" in such a nonchalant and matter-of-fact way I was very pleasantly surprised. And then the girls accosted him and grabbed for his stomach and he cried "STOP THAT" and wriggled away.

Belle and I moseyed over to the van to gaze lovingly at the subjects of our affection as they lounged in the car, and as rui was getting in and Miyagawa-san let the door open for him, we + Louise screamed a perfectly timed "HENTAI ESKIMO!!!" which I think Kansei heard and hopefully found amusing. Jon waved bye bye to us, and Godo too, and then as the van pulled away we all waved and said goodbye.

We had an after party where we just drank, ate and chatted then "all night karaoke" which was just a place for us to sleep till the first train and then we got home and rolled about in fade feels and slept for most of the day and and and...

I think we #DamagedLiver hard. We all kind of lost our voices partially (literally making our voices be heard, ey) and it was just breathtaking and beyond exhilarating and just...wow. Words cannot reveal how grateful I really am.

Thank you fade. Thank you fadefamily. Thank you Japan.

Happy New Year, everyone!!! May 2014 make all your dreams come true, or help you on the way to making them come true. Remember, you were born to go your way not follow or become a fake!