Live Report – Royz @ Aomori Quarter 11/27

Kicking off the show, was the ever iconic Daybreaker. A very unique track with it’s opening, I actually didn’t recognize it at first! The harsher riffs were an exciting jolt, especially hearing it live. There was so much head-banging from the start, which is a sign of a good live to come.

Keeping with the heavier edge, was the ever popular “ANTHEM”. This song is such a great follow up to “Daybreaker”. They kept the heavier edge without getting too bogged down. Plus, seeing how much each band member was into the song is always a plus. It was a bonus that I somewhat remembered the furi, since they played in back in August too!

Following this up was the new track “ラストリアクダンス” or “Last React Dance”. Which, although I was jamming to it while driving down to the live did not register at all with me at said live. The furi was a bit in disarray since it was only the second time, it’s been performed live! The song did line up with the original tone incredibly well. It also features a sick guitar solo by Kuina, no complaints here!

Next was the ever popular “マーブルパレット”, or “marble pallete”. Recording or live, this song has some seriously crazy energy. Subaru, even live, never missed a lyrics despite the nearly rap-like lines he has throughout the track. Koudai and Tomoya killed it live as well. This song has the amazing furi, and you can tell how much fans and the band love this song.

I had no idea where we were going to go next but apparently it was… with “OVER DOSE”. While this song absolutely was off-puttingly frantic in my re-listening, it really holds up well energy-wise at a live house.

We then flashed back to to 2012, with “トカレフ” or “Tokarefu”. The energy went down considerably with this track. Less frantic vibes, and more fun with the same amount of energy.

We got a brief MC session from Subaru. He remarked on how quickly they managed to come back to Aomori (only 4 months!), and how cold it had gotten. It was here that Subaru instructed us on the new furi for the next song “cosmetic surgery”. He explained each part as best he could, but even he seemed confused on which side to start on and what shape to make! Still, he was smiling so bright that it didn’t really matter.

“Cosmetic Surgery” is an off-putting song in the same vein as “Over Dose”. The theming is oddly close together too. The subject matter is pretty… interesting considering it’s relationship with certain VKei bandmen but that’s not here nor there. It was fun figuring out exactly how to get the new furi down with the rest of the fans, and Subaru attempting to lead us.

From the new, to the fan favorite the band easily transitioned over to “LILIA”. Which is not only an iconic music video, but probably among the top 5 most iconic and/or fan favorite title tracks by Royz. It’s hard to not love with Koudai stepping in to do the screams, the atmosphere created by the opening notes, and of course, that oddly haunting chorus of “lilia~”. Makes me wish my name was Lilia if even only for the night.

Following was “ブギーマン” or “Boogie Man”, a track I had… never really listened to until this show. Given it’s off their 2014 album “Core”, it was an interesting track to pull out. I don’t think many fans were expecting it’s appearance this evening so it was a welcome shake-up.

If there’s anything this tour has taught me; aside from ‘LILIA’ I remember nothing of the ‘CORE’ album. Like “Boogie Man”, the follow up “疾風迅雷” or “With lightening speed” made it’s appearance from said album. It’s a funky song, with a lot of interesting elements going on in the percussion and manipulation. I live to see Koudai handling the growls/screams since they are so good. I also think around this time that he accidentally unplugged his bass, (this happened more then once actually), because he was so into it.

Royz toned the energy down rather abruptly with an MC session. I can’t say for sure if it was this session or the one after the ballads that they talked about the ferry from Sapporo to Hachinohe but… it was quite the experiance for them! Koudai remarked that his red hair already stuck out, since they are bandmen after all. Apparently they were traveling on a ferry with high school students, since most of the boys had buzz-cut hair. I’m sure it was quite the contrast! Hearing little anecdotes like that, really makes me glad bands come out to Aomori like this.

It would not be a Royz live if there was not the ballad portion of the evening. They kicked it off with their most recent ballad called “Bless”. Upon reading the title, I did worry that it would be a bit religious. However, it is a really sweet ballad that’s grow on me. It’s also a track that features, at least live, Subaru and Tomoya harmonizing!

Next, was the season, prefecture, and time appropriate ballad, “Silent Snow”. I could gush about this song forever really. I love hearing it live from last year’s show to this year, nothing has changed. It’s a great winter ballad track.

Of course, the ballad portion would not be complete without “SINFONIA”. I still love and every single time they play it I absolutely feel a smile on my face.

Surprisingly, they did another MC session. I was a bit emotionally overwhelmed, as were many other fans, so I didn’t catch everything. Subaru did thank us for letting Royz be able to create such ballads and play them freely. It was a really short and sweet commentary, but it really meant a lot for me. Especially since they kicked off their next section hard.

Being their second most recent single, and an appropriately titled single “IGNITE”, the song brought us back to the harsh and hard energy that the show originally started with. I’m a pretty big fan of the track and it’s delivery, it really allowed us with the furi to cut loose again.  The growls coming from Koudai, coupled with the fact that Subaru did the mid-song scream LIVE, was amazing. I actually got shivers when it happened.

I’m not sure how I forgot a song like “Angry wuss Circus” existed. I did though, and like all good visual kei songs that you forget and then abruptly hear again; it was a musical sucker punch to the gut. I promise that in this context, that metaphor is a good thing. I forgot that Royz even did instrumental breakdowns, that didn’t lead into a Kuina solo.  The energy from the crowd was insane.

Following, was another oldie but goodie, “クロアゲハ” (Kuro ageha) or “Black Butterfly”. It’s a song that I immensely enjoy hearing when it pops up in my playlist. It has some the most beautiful lyrics I’ve ever immediately understood in Japanese ever. The energy is unmatched. Between this song and “Lilia” I’m not sure which one had the better furi, and it doesn’t even matter. The crowd was going absolutely bonkers and I was sucked up right with them. The bass line, growls, and Kuina’s solo just made it all the sweeter.

ANTITHESIS”, personally was a bit of a let down after something like “Kuro ageha”, but I understood why they put it here. The amount of energy we all still had left had to go somehwhere, and “ANTITHESIS” is a good place to channel it. Given this track’s delayed appearance, I could feel the energy rise, but also the sense that the live was nearly over.

The guys did have one more trick up their sleeves. You can’t on tour, and not play the new single the tour is named after. Of course, I am talking about “I AM WHAT I AM”. Personally, I was a bit lukewarm on this track with initial listening. Mostly because I could not shake the comparison of Subaru’s costume to Colonel Roy Mustang’s uniform in FMA. It’s almost distracting! Not to mention, as much as I love Subaru his pronunciation of English in this song is nearly nonsensical at times, both recorded and live…

It also was a bit weird because the fans couldn’t decide if there was furi or not for the song. It has much more energy then something like “Silent Snow”, but not in the same category as other ballads. Eventually, we did raise our fists at the end in unison for a bit. The song, theme, and the tour, coupled with Subaru’s thought is a really powerful message, even if it got a little fuzzy at times.

The show must continue though folks! After they exited, it was almost immediate that we began chanting for an encore. Tomoya, Koudai, and Kuina gave a few words while Subaru rested which were really sweet. Once that was said, they didn’t waste any time with jumping back into the high energy in “NO FATE”. Which, I could not resist loosing my shit to a bit, knowing we were in encore mode. The energy in the crowd, wanting to draw out as much as we could was infectious.

To end on a lovely note; they concluded with my all-time favorite song “Supernova”. How lucky am I that this happened not once, but twice in Aomori?? Ugh, needless to say once again night made. They came and bowed and just like that it was over. Another amazing live with Royz.




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