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GACKT – Yellow Fried Chikenz Tour @ O2 Academy Islington

We’ve been very lucky this year in the UK – UTADA, HANGRY & ANGRY and then even GACKT annouced he was going to do a European tour.  I’ve been a fan of GACKT for years now, and have always wanted to see him live, so dispite the ridiculously high priced tickets, grabbed a pair and over-excited myself with the prospect of seeing an artist who I’d adored for years.

However, I’ve never been more dissapointing concert before.  I left the venue feeling so angry that someone would make the effort to travel as far as GACKT did and put on a show like that.

Maybe I should explain something about the tour, it seems to be sheer promotion for GACKTs latest compilation “Are you “Fried Chickenz”??“.  The set list is the same as the tracks on the album, in identical running order – which includes 4 singles, a song from the Gundam franchise and the rest mainly album tracks from his “Crescent” album.  The tour seems to have been organised by his old label “Nippon Crown” which also own the rights to “Are you “Fried Chickenz”??” (so maybe this would explain the limited set-list and not wanting to over-promote GACKT… seems a little insane).

Okay, maybe I should have been more aware of this.  I just thought GACKT was coming to town and he’d play some tracks, but some of the audience were also pretty bemused by this.  At one stage during “Kagero” he held the microphone to the crowd in expectation that they’d sing back, and was met with a mumble of a reply.  If this wasn’t bad enough, most of the rest of the concert was dedicated to a silent GACKT standing topless on stage for long periods of time with his arms stretched out or leading chants in “YFC” or “FUCK” which became his favourite word of the evening.  He spoke very good English though, and told us all we were his brothers and sisters, no matter what colour we were.

Merchandise was equally as dissapointing in that none of it said “GACKT” but rather the tour name “Yellow Fried Chickenz” – okay I can live with that, although I wont be wearing my t-shirt out much as it seems to have GACKTs favourite words printed on the back.  I could imagine the merchandise issue also stemmed back to Nippon Crown’s control over the tour.

But now I’ve got all the moaning out of the way, on to the positives.  It was amazing to see GACKT live.  When he appeared on stage (almost an hour and a half after doors opened), a lot of people in the crowd got quite emotional – some girls near-by myself became overwhelmed and instantly started crying (I felt the same way when I met Yossie – I can’t blame them!).  GACKT also has a frickin amazing stage presence – especially when he suddenly produced a sword during “Zan” and started waving it around like a maniac.  His vocals were absolutly flawless.  He also seemed honestly overwhelmed by the concert which always earns you some kudos with the crowd.  And yes girls, he did take his clothes off and throw them into the audience.

I was pleased he played one of my favourite, slightly older songs – “Lu:Na“, although the performance did seem to lack some energy.  The highlight of the night had to be “Jesus” – despite being toward the end of the set, GACKT managed to rock it up with amazing vocals and energy.  It worked the crowd into a frenzy and everyone was singing along, which was quite refreshing compared to the rest of the evening where most songs provided a subdued vocal response at best.

So, it was an experience – I’d have to question whether I’d see him again, but I cannot doubt that he’s an amazing performer.  GACKTs promised us all (as everyone does) that he’ll be back in the UK.  Hopefully if he comes again he’ll play a few more classics.

Here’s what I did pick up at the gig: a t-shirt and a fan.  Please note that I didn’t realise what the t-shirt said on the back until after I put it on and saw another girl wearing it from behind:

Me: …..      …….      ……   What does it say on the back of my t-shirt?….
Boyfriend:…..HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – you can’t wear this outside.


GACKT to tour Europe

Londoner’s, aren’t we lucky?  Not only have we had Hikaru Utada, HANGRY & ANGRY and a number of J-Rock acts grace our shores this year, but GACKT, the king of over-the-top-camp-Japanese-Rock is now coming to London.

GACKT has announced a European tour, where he’ll be stopping over at the O2 Islington Academy on July 16th (Tickets go on sale here on June 8th).  Ticket prices haven’t been stated yet – there’s a few rumors circulating that they’ll be quite high (£30-£45), but this is mere speculation.

UTADA’s gigs at the Islington Academy sold out, unofficially, in less than an hour, so it will be interesting to see how quickly these ones go.  Considering they have only left a month of sales, the large J-Rock following we have in the UK (as opposed to J-Pop), I’d expect the tickets will sell out quite quickly for such a prolific rocker – then again the lack of time may work against sales as we’re also entering peak holiday season around that time of year.

Hopefully I’ll nab a ticket for myself (price dependant), but I do look forward to what kind of show Gackt will put on.

Oricon Top 20 – 19/08/2009

  1. Ayumi Hamasaki – Sunrise / Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ (75,352)
  2. Morning Musume – Nanchatte Renai (54,973)
  3. B’z – Ichbu to Zenbu / Dive (53,648)
  4. GACKT – The Next Decade (37,033)
  5. supercell – Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari (30,358)
  6. Toshihiko Takamizawa – Vampire ~ Yuwaku no Blood ~ / Yatterman no Uta (21,501)
  8. Yuma Nakayama w/ B.I.Shadow / NYC boys – Akuma na Koi / NYC (14,417)
  9. DEATH DEVIL – Maddy Candy (12,101)
  10. Motohiro Hata – Halation (11,679)
  11. NICO Touches the Walls – Hologram (11,129)
  12. UVERworld – GO-ON (8,303)
  13. An Café – Natsu koi Natsu GAME (7,801)
  14. Red Theatres – Kaze ni Naritai (6,486)
  15. Ryo-san – Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari-kouenmae Hashutsujo (5,685)
  16. GIRL NEXT DOOR – Be your wings / FRIENDSHOP / Wait for you (5,328)
  17. Aqua Timez – Plumeria ~Hana Uta~ (4,891)
  18. Hexagon all Stars – Naitemo Ii Desu ka? (4,392)
  19. Saki Fukuda – Asu e no Hikari (4,215)
  20. Hiroshi Hashimoto – Genki DE SHOW (4,182)

Oricon Top 20 8/7/2009

  1. Arashi – Everything (342,070)
  2. Tohoshinki – Stand by U (182,068)
  3. flumpool – MW ~ Dear Mr. & Ms. Picaresque / Natsu Dive (31,825)
  4. Yusuke– Tanpopo / Kaizokusen / Sonote (31,579)
  5. C-ute – Shochu Omimai Moushiagemasu (27,798)
  6. AKB48– Namida Surprise (20,281)
  7. GACKT – Flower (14,595)
  8. John-Hoon – Blue Moon (8.214)
  9. Arashi– Ashita no Kioku / Crazy Moon: Kimi wa Muteki (7,760)
  10. JASMINE – SAD TO SAY (6.898)
  11. BIG BANG – MY HEAVEN (6,528)
  12. Boom Boom Satellites – BACK ON MY FEET (6,007)
  13. Anna Tsuchiya – Brave vibration (5,726)
  14. Hyotei Eternity – Sakamichi No Hate He (5,199)
  15. Kalafina – storia (4,887)
  16. Minami Akina no Super Mild Seven / Satoda Mai with Goda Kazoku – I Believe – Yume wo Kanaeru Maho no Kotoba – / Don’t leave me (4,828)
  17. YUI – again (4,374)
  18. Youko Hisaka – K-ON! Character Single (Heart Goes Boom!!) (4,003)
  19. Toyosaki Aki – K-ON! Character Single (Guitar ni Kubittaki) (3,985)
  20. Shiina Ringo – Ariamaru Tomi (3,895)
  21. GReeeeN – Haruka (3,803)
  22. Eisaku Okawa – Nani wa kotobuki (3,662)
  23. AZU – I WILL (3,592)
  24. SCANDAL – Shoujo S (3,578)
  25. Masaharu Fukuyama – Keshin (3,533)
  26. Sakurako Keionbu – Don’t say “lazy” (3,393)
  27. GACKT – LOST ANGELS (3,170)
  28. Tohoshinki – Share The World / We Are! (3,136)
  29. V6 – Spirit (3,027)
  30. Sakurako Keionbu– Cagayake! Girls (3,019)

Oricon Top 30 – 1/7/2009

  1. Yusuke – Tanpopo / Kaizokusen / Sonote (176,185)
  2. AKB48 – Namida Surprise (104,180)
  3. BIG BANG – MY HEAVEN (26,039)
  4. Teppei Koike – Kimi Dake (17,029)
  5. GACKT – LOST ANGELS (14,548)
  6. Kiyoharu – DARLENE (12,084)
  7. Base Ball Bear – BREEEEZE GIRL (10,018)
  8. Versailles – ASCENDEAD MASTER (9,596)
  9. Arashi – Ashita no Kioku / Crazy Moon: Kimi wa Muteki (9,134)
  10. Ai Ueto – Smile for… (8,854)
  11. Minami Akina no Super Mild Seven / Satoda Mai with Goda Kazoku – I Believe – Yume wo Kanaeru Maho no Kotoba – / Don’t leave me (8,686)
  12. V6 – Spirit (8,128)
  13. JASMINE – SAD TO SAY (7,837)
  14. Shiina Ringo – Ariamaru Tomi (7,538)
  15. Youko Hisaka – K-ON! Character Single (Heart Goes Boom!!) (7,488)
  16. Toyosaki Aki – K-ON! Character Single (Guitar ni Kubittaki) (7,225)
  17. RAG FAIR – Marry Me!! (7,141)
  18. YUI – again (6,358)
  19. Kiyoshiro Imawano – Oh! RADIO (6,050)
  20. Kenichi Suzumura – Mitochondria (6,031)
  21. SCANDAL – Shoujo S (6,022)
  22. GReeeeN – Haruka (5,409)
  23. DRAGON SOUL – Yeah! Break! Care! Break! (4,540)
  24. MINMI – Ave Maria (3,958)
  25. GIRL NEXT DOOR – Infinity (3,910)
  26. kotoko – Ao – iconoclast (3,786)
  27. Sakurako Keionbu – Don’t say “lazy” (3,642)
  28. JUJU – Ashita Ga Kurunara feat. JAY’ED (3,357)
  29. mihimaru GT – Switch (3,334)
  30. Sakurako Keionbu– Cagayake! Girls (3,242)

How the heck did AKB48 shift that many singles… ahh who cares any more.  I’m looking to post chaka uta rankings in the near future!