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Luna Sea worth the wait

Long-time J-rockers Luna Sea were in fine form as they played high-powered hits at their first gig here. -ST
Boon Chan

Fri, Feb 15, 2013
The Straits Times

Lead singer Ryuichi Kawamura hit all the right notes.

Concert Review


The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre Last Friday


It has been a long wait for fans here.


Japanese rock band Luna Sea released their self-titled debut album back in 1991 and hit the height of their popularity in the late 1990s with chart-topping albums Style (1996) and Shine (1998). They later disbanded in 2000 and then got back together in 2010.

And it was not till last Friday night that they finally performed in Singapore for the first time.

All that pent-up anticipation was palpable as close to 3,000 fans, a good number of them wearing black Luna Sea concert t-shirts, surged to their feet from the moment the lights dimmed.

The band did not disappoint, delivering one high-powered hit after another over a two-hour show. Dressed mostly in black, Luna Sea kicked off the night with mid-tempo rock tune Loveless and let the music do the talking for them.

Lead singer Ryuichi Kawamura's sonorous vocals were in fine form and on the gothic rock of Moon, he went from scaling high notes one moment to howling the next.

Many of the songs were propelled by a propulsive rhythm and energetic drummer Shinya Yamada was more than up to the job.

The three axemen - lead guitarist Yasuhiro "Sugizo" Sugihara, bassist Jun "J" Onose and rhythm guitarist Kiyonobu "Inoran" Inoue - were charismatic performers as well. At one point, Onose even flung the mike stand into the air. How very rock 'n' roll. Several times, the lights were trained on Sugihara as he unleashed mighty riffs and showed off nimble fingerwork. He also displayed his versatility with the dramatic violin solo opening to the ballad Providence.

Instead of fancy video projections, there was effectively choreographed lighting, ranging from strobe-like flashes to effects which were perfectly synced with the music.

They saved one of their biggest hits, I For You, for the encore. If you know only one song by the band, this is likely to be it. The ballad was the theme song of a popular Japanese drama series which dealt with Aids, titled God, Please Give Me More Time (1998). After their final number Wish, the band members happily threw out guitar picks and drum sticks into the crowd. And Sugihara said in English: "I promise we will come back soon, I love you so much, bye-bye."

Kawamura also spoke, in Japanese, to the fans several times and noted that Singapore was the final stop of their The End Of The Dream tour.

But with an album slated for release this year, this is merely a new beginning for the veterans of the J-rock scene.

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