Behind The Tour: Vengeance For BLOOD 3 Part 4 - TNT and The First Live
When we awoke the next morning, Kiwamu and NoA were feeling better than new and were ready to start prepairing for the first show of the tour. After a quick breakfast which included more omlettes, we all got into the van and headed on over to the TNT concert hall.
NoA and Yuu just kinda lounging
What followed was a very very lively sound check!
After the end of the sound check, Kiwamu tells me he has two jobs for me. While they go back to the hotel to relax a bit and get into costume, he wanted me to stay and help Shelly, Leslie, and Janine sell goods. After that, he wanted me and a few others to film the concert. I was happy I was being put to work for them, because I didn't wanna be a fith wheel and just hang around.
Well, soon after, the band left, and we began selling merchandise. I had brought my CD case with me to play some stuff over the loud speakers for the guys as they set-up and tore down. Afterwards, I put it on the back table of our booth, which was also the very corner of the concert hall. After about 20 minutes after selling stuff, I went around to grab it and whoopdi doo, it was gone. I asked the girls if they had seen it, but they hadn't. They suggested maybe the band accidently took it, but they didn't. 96 CD's gone.
It was interesting seeing all of these people come and go, buying BLOOD's stuff. I seriously didn't know that many people down there knew about them! Janine was our go-to person, as she was the only one there who could speak fluent Spanish. I decided I rather liked how this convention was set up. Instead of having one main band and one support band, there were bands that played all day! Starting as soon as BLOOD left, bands started playing with about an hour set a peice, and in between bands, the organizers took the stage and handed out free stuff. I didn't mind that alot of the band had nothing to do with anime, or Japan for that matter. However, just before the main acts, there was a Mexican VK that did a whole bunch of covers like Kaggra, and Malice Mizer. I didn't really go around the convention much this day, as I was both bummed and paniced about my CD case, but I did see Becky and Calla. I decided to say hi and explain to them why I promptly left the night before when we met. They were really cool about it, and we talked for a bit before I went back to helping the girls.
Soon, Larkspur took the stage. The started out with some X Japan ballad covers, and then started playing some originals. They got a bit of promise! I'm hoping they'll record something soon. When they do, you can be sure Tainted Reality will air it!
However, I couldn't stay for the entire show as BLOOD showed up and needed some help backstage. This was the first time I had ever seen the guys in person in full costume, so I was kinda like "whoa" for a second. After I cam back to reality, Kiwamu handed me a camera and told me that I was to film on stage with the band. The only description of the job he gave was to "be all over stage". After Larkspur's set ended, the crowd goes nuts... from what I heard backstage from the deafening roar. However, once the organizers took the stage and started getting the crowd wild for BLOOD, I couldn't hear any body even if they screamed in my ear! As the band begins to take stage, I catch a glimpse of their pre-show ritual. It really showed a strong sence of comradory between all of the members (including NoA and Yuu) and I was a bit touched and honored to witness it. As the line up to take the stage, I walk over to Fu~Ki and jokingly point at the crowd and say "They scream for you!" and he said "Everytime!". Keep in mind, I was joking, but almost on cue, the crowd starts chanting "FU~KI FU~KI FU~KI FU~KI!" I couldn't help but bust out laughing.
Now, out of all of the bands I have seen, inluding L'arc~en~ciel, Psycho le Cemu, and Mindless Self Indulgence, only HIM produced a louder crowd than this, and I started to rethink that when BLOOD made their entrance. Even onstage, when the show started, I could hear the crowd over the amps. And then I caught my first glimpse of the crowd. This room was packed! There was easily over 1000 people in this room to see this band, and they wouldn't stop cheering. Then, their intro started, which was one of Mozart's requiems, which immediately rolled into Byakuya. Song after song, these guys got the crowd going crazy, and even had me gitty inside! Their stage presence was spectacular as they always gave you both something to hear, and see (especially with their stage theatrics) which made for great footage and an incredible show all together.
After absolutely stunning the crowd, the show was over, and the batteries in my camera were dead (as I got a fair amount of backstage footage too). However, they decided that it wasn't enough and soon went out for an encore. I sat it out, however, as I was dying. My heart was racing, my ears were ringing, sweat was pouring off of me by the gallon... luckily there were water bottles litterally everywhere backstage. After the encoure, BLOOD came back to the "green room" and were absolutely zonked. If I was dying with only a t-shirt and jeans on, I didn't even want to think about how they felt! After I helped the band cool down a bit by getting them watted and fanning them down (I felt like a highschool football water boy), they went out into the hall for a massive autograph signing.
Ominous dark picture of Kiwamu
During the whole signing session, I never saw Fu~ki without that smile
Kaede, true to his character, remained rather content through out the session, even when him and Fu~ki shared a kiss (No, no photo of that. Sorry)
Wow. Lovely. You can get a decent look at one of Yuu's tattoo's though
NoA seemed rather surprised at one point that so many people wanted his autograph!
This is the only picture I have where they look tired. I don't blame them at all
She (The girl on the left) was a fan I recognized in the crowd while I was filming. One of Kaede's roses came off his dress, and she was cheering from the crowd for me to give it to her. It was reminicent of an incident at Katsucon where a friend of mine was given a peice of Aya from Psycho le Cemu's costume that fell off after the show by a member of their film crew. After she absolutely adored it for a few minutes (and after we made our way to the other side of the convention) JpopHouse crew tracked us down and harrassed her for 20 minutes to give it back, even after it was given to her by official members of PLC's staff. It seemed like an insignificant part of the costume, but they still made a huge fuss about it. I didn't want a similar incident happening here, thinking the roses were important to the costume, I didn't want to seem mean, but I shook my head no, and moved the roses from harms way. If this girl's reading this, I'm sorry if I was a dick!
This guy was cool, but a bit nuts. While his stuff was being signed, he kept proffessing his love for BLOOD in English. Then when he was done, he went wild, screaming and jumping for joy! He actually came back at the end of the night to get more stuff signed! I actually talked to him on the night of the last live. He just couldn't believe he was in the actual presence of BLOOD, and he kept saying how cool they are and how much he loves their music. It turns out as well, on a side note, that he's really good at King of Fighters. There was a tournament there that day for, I think '99, and he took 2nd place, beaten by his very friend that he taught to play the game!
After the signing, we packed up their gear and headed back to the hotel. By this time, it was almost midnight, and thundering outside. We were all anxious to get back and spend the remainder of the night lounging. What happened there after, I have been sworn to secrecy, but I can say one thing that happened that night. See, there are 2 version's of HIM's "Your Sweet 666": The one that appears in Razorblade Romance and one that appears in Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666. Now, I think the Vol. 666 version is infinitely better than the Razorblade version, and after conversing with Shelly and Leslie (who had only heard the Razorblade version), they agreed with me. Infact, we thought it was so much better that we decided to get Fu~Ki to hear it and try to convince him that this is the song BLOOD should cover. So, we had him hear it, but he didn't agree with us about this version of the song! However, he did agree about covering a HIM song. He really wants to do it, but Kiwamu wants the band to do a new wave song cover. I suggested to Kiwamu "Personal Jesus", and he seemed intruigied by that! However, I don't know if Fu~ki will dig it since the vocals are kinda standard. To be honest, I would love just as much to hear BLOOD cover either song. I'm a huge fan of HIM and would love to hear BLOOD do their own unique spin on one of their songs, but then again, as loyal listeners of Bad Transistions know, "Personal Jesus" is one of my fave songs, and it would be just as killer to hear Fu~ki scream "Reach out and touch faith!" and have the band dive right into the song on stage (especially since the Manson version sucked so so so incredibly bad). I'm so torn! What do you guys think?
P.S. Sorry for the latness of this post, but I recently moved to Ocean City, New Jersey for the summer, where I have limited access to a computer. However, I assure you, slowly but steadily, I will get all posts up! I just ask for your patience in return. I apologise sincerely!
(This post was approved by Shelly Lefferts and Kiwamu)