It was sometimes around 2004.
High school, the place and time where everyone shamelessly jump into whatever bandwagon that says cool. The fad compass change direction instantaneously from Harlem Hip Hop scene to Manchester’s Brit Pop. My school was invaded by everything Japanese. Spearheaded by a band called Laruku, suddenly teenagers with neon blue hair color can be excused as “Harajuku”, bands started playing Animes soundtracks and Azumi Kawashima became household name for hormone-driven male students.
My friends have a Laruku cover band called Usagi at that time, thats how i started exposed to the Japs stuff. I remember watching Stay Away music videos, the one with awkward synchronized dancing at the end. Followed up by buying their Clicked Singles Best compilation casette and boom, i was officially part of the trend.
Laruku has been rockin the stages for 2o years and for the first time, they put Jakarta as one of world tour destination. A long expected pilgrimage for J-Fan all over Indonesia. Although ive moved on way over the Japs scene hangover years ago, couldnt help to secure the tickets. Its high school all over again.
It was the best visual experience i had. Thats my one liner review on Laruku concert. Hyde, Tetsu, Ken and Yukihiro went all out that nite. They brought 3 giant screen which played different visuals for each song. The image quality was IMAX-like, 500k IDR which i spent on the festival ticket suddenly felt so cheap. A slight dissapointment i can point to was the sound, the quality was ok but the volume was not heart bumping loud enough.
Performance wise ? superb i can say. Hyde brought back visual kei style, that just add up with his flamboyant persona. One thing i realized when watching Hyde perform was he always had this war face when he’s singing. Ken threw joke around in Bahasa Indonesia, damn funny. Yukihiro didnt interact with the audience at all. Tetsu on the other hand did his signature habit which is throwing bananas to audience. These kind of simple interaction makes a concert memorable, Laruku did this perfectly.
Setlist opens with their relatively new song such as Chase, XXX, Good Luck My Way, Drink It Down, Revelation, My Heart Draws a Dream. Just before encore they kick adrenaline out of the crowd with their signature singles such as Drivers High, Ready Steady Go, Honey and Stay Away. Encore started slowly with Anata, Fourth Avenue Cafe, Link and the show tonite closed with Niji.
Im a sucker for Laruku early album singles such as Blurry Eyes, Vivid Colours, Winterfall and Kasou, they didnt include it in the performance sadly. Nevertheless, one cannot deny that it was a great experience.
Whether you are a die hard fans or a posers, Laruku just rock the hell out of Lapangan D senayan. A good band is a good band indeed, even tough i dont understand what their song was talking about.
More photos ? go check my FB album here.