L'Arc-en-Ciel astounded the world in July 2004 when they performed for an audience of 12,000 screaming fans at Otakon in Baltimore, Maryland, confirming that they are the biggest rock band from Japan. Track Listing: — Kiss ... more »- Kuchizuke
Spirit dreams inside
Jiyu e no shoutai - Invitation to Freedom
Forever - Eien
Living in Your Eyes - Hitomi No Jyunin
READY STEADY GO HONEY
Pieces Bonus DVD: REVELATION (Live in Japan - Smile 2004 Tour)« less
Genres:Music Video & Concerts Sub-Genres:Pop, Rock & Roll Studio:Tofu Records Format:DVD - Color DVD Release Date: 06/07/2005 Release Year: 2005 Run Time: 1hr 29min Screens: Color Number of Discs: 1 SwapaDVD Credits: 1 Total Copies: 0 Members Wishing: 0 MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated) Languages:English
"I got this DVD a month ago and have probably watched it about seven times all the way through, and many more times skimming through it. L'arc~en~Ciel is my favorite band of all time and this just solidified that for me. The video quality is great. The band members get about the same air time, with Yukihiro getting the least because he's all alone on the drums. And obviously Hyde gets the most camera time. The sound quality is excellent, and the music is top notch. Hyde jumbles a few lyrics here and there, but it's forgivable, and it adds to the live experience. Tetsu, Ken, and Yuki are PERFECT, they don't mess up once as far as I can tell.
1. Kuchizuke (Kiss) - A great song to start out the concert with, because it has a lot of rock, but a bit of more traditional Laruku in it as well. Gives a nice balance to the rest of the concert. Some cool pyrotechnics at the beginning gets the audience riled up.
2. Lover Boy - One of my favorites of the album, because it is like a typical Laruku hard rock song. Tetsu's bass solo is like 10x cooler live, even if its only like 10 seconds. Again, Hyde gets a little tongue-tied, but you won't notice unless you really know the songs well.
3. Heaven's Drive - Not much new here, if you've seen this song live before, its pretty much the same. The whole band performs excellent and I beleive Hyde keeps his lyrics straight. Awesome song.
Next is where Hyde tries to speak to the audience in English, and it is amusing how horrible his accent is. But its an amusing little intermission.
4. Spirit Dreams Inside - For those that don't know, this song appeared in the ending credits of Final Fantasy: Sprits Within. Its entirely English and you know what that means. Hyde does have a hard time singing this one at the beginning, but warms into it. The song is excellent, only a few faults.
5. Jiyuu e no Shoutai (Invitation to Freedom) - The first thing you'll notice is that Hyde hits a VERY wrong note at the start, and kind of makes you wince. But from that point on the song is nearly FLAWLESS and its one of my very favorites on the album.
6. Eien (Forever) - For one reason or another they start this song out with about a minute of bells ringing, and then they get into the song. I never really got into this song before this, but the live version made me love it. Its a nice slow song with very rockish instrumentals, interesting combination. The whole band performs excellent here.
7. Kasou - A classic Laruku song that the band performs flawlessly. Its one of the only songs on the whole DVD where we get chorus provided by Ken. The lighting during the song is strange, because it somehow makes Hyde look completely different. I guess its just a trick of the eyes. Again, the song is excellent, as if were a new release.
8. Hitomi no Juunin (Living in Your Eyes) - A phenomenol slow song that puts me in tears sometimes. Hyde sings incredibly well, and Ken's soft guitar intro is so good, it sometimes sends chills up my spine.
Next there is another break and Hyde starts saying he is "Evangelion going beserk!" and the crowd goes wild. And they have good reason to, because the next song is:
9. Driver's High - One of my personal favorites doesn't disappoint in this DVD. The band as a whole plays excellent, and the crowd really gets into this one. And towards the end Ken's guitar comes unplugged and so he smashes it on the stage, and then kicks an amplifier. Obviously the crowd is going nuts now. Amazing amazing song.
10. Feeling Fine - Not one of my favorite songs, but it does sound a lot better live. Its pretty much what you would expect, nothing really special though. A nice bouncy B-side.
11. Stay Away - For reasons only known to himself, Tetsu decides to give us a little bass solo inbetween songs, and its kind of cool. Maybe he's excited because he wrote Stay Away or something. Anyway, this is one of my favorite songs, and the live version is just as cool if not more. The solo has more of a hard rock feeling than the recorded version, which is cool.
12. Revelation - If I were to attend any Laruku concert I would want this song played because the audience participation is so simple but fun. During the chorus the whole audience puts up their hands in unison, an awesome thing to see. Anyway back to the song. This is a very hard rock song that is kind of short, but very fun to sing along to. However the live version's solo isn't as good for some reason, it seems dumbed down. But still a great song.
13. Ready Steady Go - Of course all the Full Metal Alchemist fans were waiting for this song, and they got it. I wouldn't say its better than the recorded version, but it is a very fun song nonetheless. Hyde messes up a little bit, but he makes up for it by climbing up on a 6 foot speaker and pumping out lyrics from up high. Very cool.
There is a little break here, where the band members go into the back room for a little refreshment, and they come back out to give an encore. I'm sure other people have mentioned this, but there is something they cut out of here, where Ken comes out in a dolphin mask and starts talking with the audience. Its too bad they cut it out.
14. Honey - A fun bouncy song that is just what you would expect if you've seen it live before. Nothing stand out, but performed excellent still.
15. Blurry Eyes - A VERY classic Laruku song from 1994 if I'm not mistaken. This song is a very fun song that they have played many times before. If you've seen some of their older concerts you might know whats coming up. But this time with a different spin. At about halfway through the song, the band just stops playing. Tetsu gets up and asks "Do you want to eat my bananas?!" So he throws two bananas randomly into the audience. Normally, they stop during this part of the song, and let Ken say a few words, but this time he threw bananas. Ok... And they then finish the song. Talk about random. ^_^
16. Pieces - The last song, and probably Hyde's best job in this concert. His voice is as steady as can be and he sings the song perfectly. Not to mention the band who has been great the whole way through. Hyde ends the song with an excellent vocal display with some very high pitched singing. Another slow song that makes me cry occasionally, Pieces is a great way to end. Hyde ends the song with an excellent vocal display with some very high pitched singing.
If you've even heard a few L'arc~en~Ciel songs and liked them, GET THIS DVD. You won't be disappointed. And look at the price! Thats a steal! I would have paid $50, maybe more for this! Its a great way to expose people to Japanese rock who think Japan is all about kiddie anime. Show it to your friends, maybe you will make some more converts.
Heres to hoping L'Arc~en~Ciel makes more US appearances!"
First time in the US
Yuki Shinobu | Illinois, USA | 04/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunetly I wasn't there in Baltimore to see them live, so I got this DVD. The quality is great and the sound is fantastic, and of course, L'arc en Ciel looks amazing as always.
A few things I didn't like was the way they focused on the audience so much. I would rather watch Hyde singing and the band playing rather then watch people watching them. Another was the cut scence with the dolphin outfit. I have no idea why they cut that scence out. Obviously, they need to rethink their editing techniques.
While L'arc en Ciel is a hugely popular band in Japan and overseas, their concert in Baltimore was attended mainly by anime utaku who did not get into the performance as much. Only when they played "READY STEADY GO" from Full Metal Alchemist did the crowd finally show some interest. It's a little sad to see how they weren't recievied in the full way they deserved. If it was Japan, they fans would have been going wild.
Also, I don't have any idea how the cover of the DVD relates to L'arc en Ciel. Instead of putting the picture of the actual members (HYDE, Tetsu, Ken, Yukihiro) there is some chick with their shirt on behind a background of fans...pretty disapointing because it shows how they are taking away the focus from the band and bringing it to the fans. Again, I don't know how many people enjoy watching the fans rather than the actual band.
Some fun features are a little snipet of a photoshoot L'arc en Ciel does and you get to see HYDE looking very tired after the concert. aww His accent is so thick even I had trouble understanding him. But it was cute nonetheless. Also, the bananas are pretty random and funny. This DVD was a great buy overall because if you want L'arc en ciel, you got it. For a full on, amazing, energy driven performance it's better to go to overseas and see them live."
Not to be Missed!
Inanna | USA | 06/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone interested in J-pop should own this DVD - it is not just for Laruku-fans! This DVD serves as a great intro to one of the most popular band in Japan, and documented the biggest J-pop/rock concert in the US to date. The DVD gives those who missed the actual concert a chance to see what an impressive band of amazingly talented musicians l'Arc-en-Ciel is (they are not just about the hair or Hyde's pretty face)!
All four band members: Tetsu (band-leader), Ken, Hyde and Yukihiro were visibly energized by the surprisingly huge turnout of enthusiastic screaming fans, and delivered an absolutely outstanding performance. Although some critics might have faulted Hyde's vocal at Otakon as "unsteady", it doesn't eclipse his top-notch perfomance in ballades like "Pieces", during which his incredibly haunting voice and awesome talent really shines through.
The concert consists of songs chosen from the band's 2004 CD Smile (which includes the famous OP "Ready Steady Go" of the very popular TV anime "Fullmetal Alchemist"), and some of their best-known songs from the past. Apart from featuring the entire Otakon concert, there is a bonus one-song DVD - their Japanese tour perfomance of "Revelation". Cutting in-between songs (somewhat awkwardly) are clips of the press conference, photo shoots around Baltimore, backstage breaks of the band and the pre-concert buzz. Also included is a lyric sheet in Roman-ji (no Japanese original or translation) to the songs.
One minor flaw of this DVD release is that there is no Subtitle at all - hence non-Japanese speakers are left-in-the-dark as to what Hyde answered in the press conference, or what the band members were talking about back-stage!! Even some of Hyde's English one-liners need explanation (eg. "Did you eat craXs?" which baffled the crowd - apparently Baltimore is famous for CRAB and Hyde loved them). Nevertheless, this is a monumental occasion in J-pop/ rock history, and the DVD is a must-have!"
H. Fu | San Francisco, CA | 06/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"J-Rock at its BEST!!! This is the only L'Arc-en-Ciel concert ever performed in the USA to date. How I wish I was there after seeing this DVD!!! L'Arc-en-Ciel is an amazingly talented band composed of Hyde (vocal), Tetsu (bass), Ken (guitar), and Yukihiro (drums.) These guys are AMAZING. Their music is so diverse and constantly evolving.
Also, the price is a STEAL compared to L'Arc-en-Ciel's other live DVDs available from Japan."
One star off for no subtitles and slightly awkward editing,
Mir | North Miami Beach, FL USA | 07/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a recent fan to this long-running band, but after acquiring a few of their cds and enjoying some online videos, I decided to get this DVD. I want to thank previous in-depth reviewers, such as Sean Boyle, for doing such great jobs.
For those like me who don't speak Japanese or understand it, the major disappointment will be the lack of a subtitle option. You won't know the content of the non-English songs, and you won't know what the band is chatting about backstage or on the bus/shoots. Nevertheless, it's really nice to see this very talented band perform live, and it's nice to see them in their more relaxed, even mellow times, and watch them pose for photographs.
Hyde is indubitably sexy, and I say that though I never much cared for the small/slight/girly type. His charisma transcends his delicacy and feminine aspects. A very appealing performer with a voice that can hit some raw bits and go awry, but mostly is in good form and hitting some beautiful, soaring high spots. He's a gem.
The other bandmates, though not pretty and as charismatic, nevertheless do an excellent job of performing some truly good J-rock tunes. A big drum set-up for Yukihiro, and it's fun to watch him bang away. Tetsu is a terrific bassist and Ken's guitar makes me very happy. I was sorry that the fuzzy guitar part in Stay Away didn't play out as well live as it does on the cd version.
All in all, fans old and new of L'Arc-En-Ciel should enjoy this quite a bit.
I couldn't make it to any of the Vamps concerts this year (Hyde and Kaz, who I think make terrific music together). So, I got this to get my J-Rock/Hyde fix until, hopefully, one day, one of Hyde's bands makes it to Miami.