“KAMIJO is truly a master at his art, and it came through more than ever in this concert”
Finally the day of the Dream Live arrived!
About thirty minutes before the goods sale opened, I went back over and noticed a few more people hovering around. The line for goods was upstairs, where there were already a good ~30-50 people outside waiting in line. We broke into two lines and waited until the doors opened, at 4:45 on the dot.
The flowers were stunning, unfortunately, the line moved very fast so I didn’t get a chance to take too many pictures. VIP gifts were being given out at the exit, unfortunately I was too late to sign up for VIP so I just had an S ticket. It seems like some people were staying in the theater after buying goods, there was a small café/bar on the upper floor of the venue. I was traveling solo and my hotel was close, so I left to drop my purchases off and freshen up.
Coming back to the venue shortly after, I quickly found my seat. A red rose light was taped to the back of the chair along with a message. The handle of the light read, “Bon Anniversaire! Louis XVII 2019.3.27”. The petals also seemed a bit fuller than my SoTV blue rose light, but it could be my imagination – my blue light also did get a bit squished somewhere along the line…
The venue itself was spacious, with KAMIJO banners hanging down from the rafters. I took a few photos of the theater while everyone was still shuffling in.
As we got closer to time, the sounds of the orchestra tuning began to emerge from behind the curtain and I felt my nerves jump in excitement. As the lights dimmed, the entire theater stood in anticipation.
The curtains opened to reveal the orchestra, and a bell tolled seven times before the orchestra began to play Dead Set World. Partway through, KAMIJO walked onto the stage to applause from the crowd.
The band played Theme of Sang followed by Nosferatu. The orchestra sound blended wonderfully with the guitars. I particularly loved Nosferatu, where the violins almost seemed to sing along with Kamijo during the chorus.
“Dream Live… Symphony of the Vampire… Kamijo… With… Orchestra” KAMIJO announced, with emphatic pauses between each phrase. KAMIJO spoke briefly – from what I could catch with my nonexistent knowledge of Japanese I think he said something about “strong feelings having everyone gather together in the moment”, and “welcome to my dream”. He said something after that, but I missed it.
The orchestral introduction to Heart was fantastic, the song as a whole emotional and riveting as always. Heart has always been one of my favorite songs, reminiscent of a classical composition. Heart was followed by Delta -interlude-, which struck the cheering audience into silence in its’ intensity. The orchestra moved immediately into Castrato.
KAMIJO spoke again, but sadly I only caught a few words this time – something about music (listening to music?), then about a one-year project. This introduction led into the performance of Sang I, so I assume that would be what he was talking about. KAMIJO performed Sang I and II, then left the stage with the band as the orchestra played an instrumental version of Sang III. While the melody ran largely with the violin and wind instruments, the cello part was particularly lovely. It was a beautiful, emotional rendition of the song.
The band came out again once the orchestral rendition finished. KAMIJO spoke again, inciting cheers from the crowd in anticipation of the performance of Symphony of the Vampire.
Symphony of the Vampire was excellent. During Presto the guitars had a very strong presence with the orchestra playing more of a background/supporting role, but the orchestral parts really came out well in Sacrifice of Allegro. Royal Tercet was amazing with the orchestra, and Dying Table a bit heavier.
The violin part for Sonata was fantastic live, with the entire audience shouting out with the beat. The guitar solo around the middle of the song was amazing, though I felt that the piano part got swallowed up by the other instruments a bit except for at the very end of the song. The orchestral parts could be felt very strongly during「満月のアダージョ.
Again, the orchestral introduction was amazing, but as the song is a bit softer with more chords from the guitars it allowed the orchestra to really take sing in a way that complimented KAMIJO’s voice very well.
Throne again moved back to the heavier feel, with more strength in the guitar parts than in the orchestra. The violin part came out very well during the chorus. KAMIJO’s voice seemed a little bit rougher than usual, I hope he wasn’t feeling sick. At the last few measures of the song he sung the phrase “symphony of the vampire”. At the close of the song, the band left the stage.
There was a period of silence and the crowd began to chant “Vive le Roi” while clapping. After just a minute or two KAMIJO came onto the stage. He thanked the crowd and announced that it was Louis XVII’s birthday. He asked the crowd to turn on their lights. Each section of the theater had one type of light, either white, blue, or red. He teased the crowd a bit, calling out the color when some people had the blue light on instead.
As he finished speaking, the orchestra began to play in a dramatic manner. He began to sing with only the accompaniment of the orchestra. This allowed the intricacy of the work to really shine, with each of the parts perfectly balanced. His voice sounded smoother than before the break, hopefully he was able to have some water backstage. We all held our lights during the song, showing off the three colors of the flag. It was a very emotional song, and in that moment I felt more grateful than ever. That I had been able to attend the show. The song concluded with piano and was followed by applause.
KAMIJO spoke again after the song, introducing out the conductor, violinist, and orchestra master. The rest of the band came back out and it was time for the last song, Louis ～艶血のラヴィアンローズ～. The very end of the song in particular amazed me – KAMIJO drew out the length of the final “la vie en rose” for so long, the violins coming in at the very end of the note and the rest of the orchestra joining in for the final few instrumental measures.
KAMIJO called out each of the band members and thanked the orchestra. The orchestra began to play as KAMIJO spoke his final comments, closing with “Louis XVII, bon anniversary” as the audience joined hands and jumped. The concert was over, and as we left the theater we received pamphlets for the Persona Grata tour as well as a new upcoming jewelry collaboration.
Overall thoughts on the concert were very positive. It was clear how much time and effort went into the production, and it was amazing to see how each of the songs were tweaked to include the full orchestra. The orchestral parts added to the dynamic of each song without taking anything away or straying too far from the original.