X Japan Tour Starts in L.A.

X Japan Los Angeles Concert

Rock band X Japan finally kicked off their first ever North American concert tour, performing for about 2,300 fans at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday. After the support act Vampires Everywhere!, X Japan took the stage at 9pm. Representatives of the band’s late guitarist Hide made it known the same day that they didn’t want the band to use his image onstage as they usually do. That led to some last-minute setlist changes, But the band were in good form, but they still played 14 songs, including recent additions “Jade” and “Born to be Free.” There was even a bit of stage diving by vocalist Toshi. The tour will take in seven cities and finish in New York on October 10. The band are due to tour Europe in the New Year.

Meanwhile it was announced that X Japan have signed a contract with the William Morris entertainment agency, the biggest in the world. A global version of their “Blue Blood” online fan club is on the way and radio promotion of the band’s first original album in 14 years is due to start in the U.S. on October 1.