Rockers X Japan kicked off their first ever Asian tour on Friday, playing to 10,000 fans at the Seoul Olympic Gymnasium in South Korea. The venue was to host the band in March 2009, but that show had to be called off due to their legal battle with management. Band leader Yoshiki said, “It has been our dream to come here for a long time. (The late) Hide and Taiji also shared that dream.” The 10-song set included recent releases such as “Jade” and “Born to be Free” as well as standards like “Endless Rain.” As usual Yoshiki knew how to give fans that extra thrill, performing the folk song “Arirang,” sometimes considered the unofficial Korean national anthem, and dressing up in a pink traditional chima chogori.
Famous for their history of calamities and ruined plans, X Japan have already seen their share on this latest tour. A show scheduled for November 2 in Beijing was cancelled due to technical and production problems. And Yoshiki also managed to add a bit of unplanned drama to the Seoul show by badly injuring his finger on a cymbal. Nonetheless the tour headed to Shanghai on Sunday for its first concert on Chinese soil. This time around, Yoshiki played a Chinese folk tune, donned a red China doll dress and brought a stuffed panda on stage. Next up is Asia World-Expo in Hong Kong on November 4, followed by shows the same week in Taiwan and Thailand.