Daily Archives: August 16, 2010

X Japan – The New and the Old

Yoshiki


For the first time in the long history of X Japan, the country’s premier rock band performed a solo show outdoors and they did it with “seven members.” Of course, one of those members was the late guitarist Hide, who died in 1998 but is still given honorary band membership. But during their shows at the weekend the five current members were joined for the encore by bassist Taiji, who last played with the band 18 years ago.

The two shows at the Nissan Yokohama Stadium drew 130,000 fans, who were treated to a 12-minute drum solo by band leader Yoshiki. It was the first time for him to perform the hyper-speed solo (he is said to play at 800 beats per minute) since he underwent surgery for a hernia last year. So it was made all the more dramatic by the 10m-high revolving drum stage and the neck brace he wears since the surgery. With the song “Tears” playing in the background, Yoshiki tearfully thanked his fans, saying, “Each and every one of you is the wind beneath our wings.”

X Japan Taiji, Heath


The band performed 11 songs, including the new track “Jade.” And as they got ready to play “X” for an encore, vocalist Toshi called an old friend onto the stage to join them. Taiji (photo left) was a member of the band for its first three albums and was the man behind the extravagant stage costumes and hairstyles that largely defined the visual kei rock image. he left the band in 1992 due to “musical differences” and went on to perform with Loudness and D.T.R.

The stadium shows, which cost an estimated ¥1 billion, were the Japan leg of a world tour that hits North America on September 25 and is said to be heading to Europe early in 2011.


Sato B-saku Steps Down from Stage Role

Sato B-saku


Actor Sato B-saku (61) is the latest celebrity to announce that cancer has forced him to put his career on hold. The rumors began yesterday after it was revealed that he was stepping down from his role in an ongoing production at the Mitsukoshi Gekijo theater in Tokyo for health reasons. As he underwent surgery for stomach cancer in May 2008, the media speculated that a recurrence of the same condition was the most likely explanation. Today he acknowledged that a growth had been found in his stomach, though as yet it is not known if it is malignant or benign.

Sato will continue to perform until August 19, after which Matsumura Yuki (46), who was already appearing in the play, will take over his role for the last three shows of the Tokyo run and carry on in the role during a nationwide tour until the end of September.