rinlin: (Tokyo Tower)
[personal profile] rinlin
I went to Signal's final live on Saturday. I hadn't gotten to see them that many times, so I was sad that my second time seeing them would be my last.

I got to Livestation in Meguro a bit before doors. There were a handful of other foreign fans there too. I ended up chatting with a girl named Lindsey, who was also at the live by herself. She was really nice and it helped pass the time until the live started.

This is where my frustrations with Signal's idiot fans began though. The live house was small, maybe meant for 150 people max. This did not leave much room at all, yet the fans were waiting all spread out over the floor. They were sitting around and taking up room, which prevented more people from getting closer to the stage. They hardly even moved up to make more space when the band took the stage. Lindsey and I complained about them to each other, in the first of what would be many complaints about the fans.

Soon enough, it was time for the live to start. I'd been wondering who was going to play drums for the live, since Raychel had already left the band (in order to care for his sick mother). I was pleased when Raychel showed up on stage and took his spot behind the drums for one last time! The rest of the band came out and then they started off hard and fast with "Apocalypse". Next was, one of my favorites, "Grow Back Over Scars". After that the setlist order gets fuzzy, but they pretty much played every one of their songs.

The band was great that night, but it was a bit annoying because the crowd would not scoot forward to make room for more people, even though there was plenty of space. That is like the story of this poor band: they're sweet and talented and their fans suck. I was able to get a better spot once the moshing started though because that then forced the fans who weren't moshing to back up and let the rest of us forward. Seriously, if you aren't going to mosh, get the fuck out of the way.

Also, if you're there for the band, be enthusiastic and fucking yell. A lot of the yelling that night was pretty weak, so I tried to make up for it by being extra loud and genki. There were some enthusiastic Japanese fans in the audience, but a good half of the audience wasn't putting their all into it. I could tell that the band really appreciated those of us who were actually enthusiastic. I caught them looking towards our small, genki group several times and I definitely had eye contact with Yuri.

After the first MC, the band played their final new song, "Crossing fate". It was written for this final live and everyone was given a CD of the song on their way into the livehouse. It was sad to listen to it and realize that this would be Signal's last release, not to mention the fact that it's quite good.

The lights were dimmed down during "Unleash from chain", but I could tell that Yuri was crying. Poor thing.

Things picked back up again with everyone's favorite song, "Lovers:psycho". This song is so fucking fun, my fave Signal song. The jumping around, air punching, and fist shaking. I love watching the childlike glee on Yuri's face as he flails around and watches us jump back and forth. The livehouse had icicle lights hanging from the ceiling and the only time they turned them on was during this song. They flashed along with the music. I was moshing around during "Lovers:psycho" when it finally hit me that this would be the last time I'd hear the song live. It made me sad.

The intensity of the live kept building as it went on. The rest of the set included "Atomic No.666", "Animosity", and "Deadly...". There was plenty of gyaku diving, and though I was in the middle, I even got a chance to gyaku dive at the front of the stage, too. At one point Rua even jumped down off the stage and joined the gyaku dive. There was also a circle pit and a wall of death. I for one was surprised that the audience managed to get their shit together enough to make that happen.

The band thanked us and gave a brief goodbye before leaving the stage. When the encore calls started, I swear half the audience wasn't even participating. it was such a sloppy encore call. The band came back anyways though because they're too nice. From then on, things just got progressively sadder. You could see the band was getting choked up and there were points where Yuri had trouble singing because he was trying not to cry. The two songs they played during this encore were "Undertake" and "Roots". Then they left the stage again.

We called the band back for one final encore and that's when things got really sad. Before playing their final song, each member spoke to the audience. They started with Raychel, even though he wasn't officially in the band anymore. He thanked us for everything, even though he'd only been able to be in the band for a short period of time. Shion was next. He tried to put on a brave face, but ended up crying and had to stop talking. Shinya tried to be strong when he talked. He said that he hadn't been nervous at the start of the live, but with each song the band played, he realized it was they last time they'd be playing it. Then he started getting upset, too. Rua was the next one to speak. I had been getting upset along with the boys before, but seeing Rua made me cry, too. He was sobbing as he talked. He said that even though there are plenty of other cool bands out there, to please remember that there'd been this cool band called Signal. He asked us not to forget them. Yuri was the last to speak and he could barely talk, too. He was talking in between sobs about leaving his previous band to make Signal, and about how much he loved the band. He asked us to please remember them, too. If Rua hadn't already had me crying, Yuri definitely would've done it. I don't think there were many people who weren't crying once Yuri started talking.

Then it was time for the band to play their last song, their first single, "M.E.L.T". The song starts with everyone dropping down and headbanging on the ground. Near the end of the song, Yuri started singing without his mic. The audience was a bunch of idiots though and missed the cue to start singing along, so he asked us to please sing with him. We sang the chorus with him acapella, over and over. Then Yuri stood at the front of the stage and conducted our headbanging. At the end of the song we dropped own to headbang on the floor again. Then that was it, it was all over.

The band was all hugging and crying. They threw things into the audience and I caught Rua's water bottle. Didn't even fumble it at all. The jouren gave the band members teddy bears with messages from the fans written on them (not that they'd bothered to ask any of the foreign fans to sign them). There was a small commotion on stage and I'm not really sure what happened, but Rua's guitar broke, or he broke it. Not actually sure if it was done on purpose or not. Then the band members all grabbed on to each other and asked the audience to hold hands, and we all jumped on the count of three. Then, the boys left the stage. Yuri said that they'd see us again and I hope they mean it.

The live ended, but we weren't ready to leave yet. After getting my drink ticket, I ended up sitting on the floor of the livehouse chatting with Lindsey and her friend Ashley (who I've actually seen in passing at other lives). We were all sad, but trying not to show it too much. We spent some time bitching about Signals stupid fans and talking about v-kei and lives in general. We all agreed that Signal's stupid fans are probably the reason why they ended up breaking up. If they'd had a stronger fan base they probably could've survived the member changes.

Once the goods line died down a bit, I bought a few cheki. Then, Lindsey and I followed Ashley out. The band was having one last event, where if you brought the CD obi from "Deadly...", you could get your picture taken with the band. My CD obi was long gone, but Ashley had a few so she could get her picture taken with each member. Lindsey and I stood and watched her get her pics taken with the band. There wasn't any staff helping them or anything, so the band would just take turns switching places and taking the pictures of each other. They looked expectantly at Lindsey and I after Ashley was done, but we sadly told them we didn't have the obi. They thanked us anyways and we got to say goodbye to all of the members as we walked out. I thanked them and Rua surprised me by shaking my hand and thanking me in English. Then it was done.

I walked back to the station with Lindsey and Ashley. I had a nice time chatting with them. We friended each other on Facebook, so maybe we'll see each other at some more lives in the future. Then, I went back to Leslie and Anna's place because Kiri was visiting. I don't think sleeping on the floor helped though because I was sore for a couple days after the live. Despite the fans, it was a good show.

I guess that bands breaking up is a fact of being an indies v-kei fan, but that doesn't make it any less sad when it happens to a good band. Signal was the first indies band that I started getting into (even though they were soon eclipsed by my love of Mejibray), and I'm sad to see them go. The poor things deserved much better than their stupid fans. I hope that they'll stay in the scene and that the members will at least try to make a comeback with new bands. I hope this won't be the last we'll see of them.
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rinlin

January 2014

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