[personal profile] deadpassion

My friends [livejournal.com profile] kasandara, [livejournal.com profile] archer_moonstar, and [livejournal.com profile] merrilymemory and I arrived in Milwaukee from Indianapolis late the night before thanks to some GPS issues, but we were excited to be there. After tearing ourselves out of bed Saturday morning, we headed down to the Rave around 8 AM or so, finding that a small line had formed already. We joined it and using a marker that was being handed down the line, we wrote a number on our hand, an effort to keep the line order, and allow us to walk around too, which was necessary considering it was quite cold. I was number 17. :) The people in line were generally pretty nice, and we talked to some of them, especially the girls behind us, and over the course of the day, we stuck together. I liked the attitude they had.

Shortly after we arrived, Maria and Brittany, [livejournal.com profile] djlancerock and [livejournal.com profile] mansexual, two online friends I was meeting up with showed back up, as they had lined up earlier than us. They were both very cool, and I was happy to meet them and even spend the concert with them (moar laterz).

Over the course of the day we walked between the venue, Starbucks, Walgreens, and McDonalds for their bathroom. The area was kinda shady, but nothing like the venue the next day lol. Around noon, a large red bus showed up, and as it was idling at the side of the road while they cleared the Rave's parking lot, I was walking by, and I glanced up curiously. Amazingly enough, I saw a face pressed close to the glass looking out at me, and I'm pretty sure it was Die. As soon as I registered this, he disappeared again.

They got the bus parked soon, and out of boredom, myself and a small group of people including Kari, Archer, Britti, Maria, and Brittany as well as some of the others from the line decided to stand out by the sidewalk to watch what went on. We had nothing else to do, so why not?

Soon roadies started coming out, and we got to see both "hawt roadie" aka the guy who looks vaguely like Kaoru and who has worked with them since Family Values, as well as a new addition (or perhaps a veteran with a new look?) who has bleached blond hair and wears what seems like Kyo hand me downs, whom we dubbed "Kyodie". He was the drum tech, as well as Kyo's decoy apparently. We also saw Nora wandering around too. Over the course of the next three hours (Yes, we were bored) we saw Die emerge, as well as Shinya and Kaoru, and then Die went back into the bus. Kyo and Toshiya apparently did not emerge till later when the coast was clear.

Amusingly enough, I had heard stories from previous tours about how they would send roadies to McDonalds to get food for them, and sometimes the band members themselves can be found there. However, in Milwaukee, no no no. They got a McDonalds truck of their very own which drove up and delivered dinner to them in the venue. And Kyo and Toshiya got their meals hand delivered inside by Kyodie. Speaking of him, he was very casual about going in and out of the bus, and punching in the security code. I saw the code like 3 times. I know the code to Dir's bus lolol.

Anyways, the day went by fairly quickly, but when the sun set between 4 and 5 it got miserably cold. Maria and Brittany were so kind as to hand out hand warmers and donuts and the like to the line, and then later I got earplugs for my whole group from them. It was greatly appreciated. :)

Since Rave staff seemed to either be completely clueless, or enjoyed teasing us, we kept hearing conflicting statements as to when the doors would open, so finally we gave in and dumped our coats around 5:30 and made one last bathroom run, in hopes of getting in early. It actually paid off, as we were let in after only about 10 minutes of fucking freezing!

The Rave was very nice inside and very warm in comparison, and they checked our tickets and let us filter into a bar area, where local bands were playing. I was thankful for earplugs at this point. There was a very small asian boy who looked about 10 but claimed to be 19 and looked like Hiroto from alice nine. who cut in line in front of us, but was so cute and polite that no one had the heart to kick him back. (Yes, we're fucking hypocrites 8D) I gave him one of my earplugs (the sticky kind) and he thanked me about 500 times.

I noticed there were some girls who went around the bar area to get in the front of the line and I had not seen them at all all day. Apparently they were informed that they had to go to the end of the line because we had been there all day, but they were rude bitches and refused, because they should be able to show up last second and get in front, excellent.

When the doors opened, it was a mad rush for the front, and I grabbed myself a spot on the rail between Kyo and Die, though much closer to Die. It was win though, because I could see everything veryvery nicely. Kari was to my left, and Britti was next to her, and Archer was right behind us, so we all grabbed great spots.

On my right though was one of the line cutter girls, and she was being an absolute bitch from the get go, giving me nasty looks and acting pissy, though I cannot understand why since she got rail. Brittany and Maria were on the other side of her, and thankfully they swapped spots with her because apparently her friends were on their other side, so I ended up next to Brittany. :) Poor Maria ended up with the bitchy girl though and apparently got smacked in the face by her for enjoying the concert? What a cunt. I was lucky though because for the first time I had friends on both sides of me, who were enjoying themselves.

Anyways, there was a long wait for set up and stuff just like always, and my exhaustion finally took over from standing outside in the cold all day long. I probably could have fallen asleep standing up. It seems like a requirement that I feel like shit prior to a Dir en grey concert.

Behind me was a couple, a guy and girl, and I heard them talking prior to the show. He asked her if she had anything sharp to use on the people in front of them (lol ME and my friends :DD) and she replied "My cell phone?" which made me laugh out loud. More on them later.

The Human Abstract came out shortly, and I have to say I really really enjoyed them. I had earplugs in still at this point, and I still felt crappy, but their performance was amazing, and their guitarists are very talented, especially the guy with dreads, who I was in front of. Kickass.

Unfortunately during their set, the idiot guy behind me who wanted something sharp shoved his hand between me and Kari and grabbed the rail, and thus his attempts to force us out of our spots began. Kari and I linked arms and pressed against each other as tightly as we could, giving the guy no leeway to squeeze between. I heard later then that the girl was trying to force her way between Kari and Archer on the other side, so poor Kari was doubleteamed. 8( I think they got frustrated because the guy got increasingly violent, which I retaliated by beating harder on his fucking arm between us. Sadly this whole battle distracted me greatly from Human Abstract, so I did not enjoy them as much as I could have. I was happy to see that at least from my vantage point the audience was encouraging to them, and polite, unlike Inward Scream Chicago in which people boo'd the opening bands. That is so rude.

When Human Abstract finished up and left, the roadies returned to set up everything, and the guy behind me had the gall to apologize and inform me that he was not trying to get in front of me, he was just trying to hold on so he wouldn't lose the spot. Which is why I got kicked and shoved and pushed and all that fun stuff, right lol. He had given up, so the rest of the concert was free from such annoyances.

Sa Bir signified the start of Dir's set, and the crowd went nuts, and the band all filed out. I noticed right away that Kaoru wasn't wearing khaki's like I had heard throughout the tour. It was a pair of figure hugging bootcut jeans. Sweet. He had on a long sleeved shirt though so I was unable to see the new tats. Sad. Kyo started out with no jacket for once, though he had the black track pants of course. Die was wearing a black tshirt and jeans, and had a fringy thing hanging behind his ass and on his wrist too? I don't know what it was necessarily. Mostly I noticed he has really nice hair. I'm jealous. I want hair care tips from Die. Shinya was hidden back behind his drums, though I remember his hair looking nice. And Toshiya was amazing and adorable, and wearing a two toned shirt.

The opening song was Obscure, which was pretty awesome for me. That was the first Dir en grey song I heard and liked back in 2003 and remains a favorite to this day. I began to realize immediately that my tendency to gravitate towards Kaoru's side of the stage was making me miss out SO MUCH, because Die was absolutely amazing. I have never disliked Die or anything, and I definitely thought he was pretty kickass, especially lately, but I can say I fell in love that night.

Sadly though, I think something was frustrating the band, though I'm not sure what. I know Kyo had some kind of technical issues, as he was pointing down at speakers and looking at the roadies, and Die's equipment kept fucking up for a song or two, which resulted in him kicking his speaker? thing by his foot and he was quite pissed for a song or two, which actually I think makes him play even better.

Kaoru seemed not too animated as well, but my god, Toshiya was bouncing all over the place. The stage was decently sized, and he kept headbanging his way behind Kyo and over to our side near Die and then back to his spot.

Die however, when not being pissed, was veryvery good at making eye contact with the audience. When he plays and isn't generally headbanging he will scan the crowd, and if you stare at him, he will stare back, and sometimes smirk or nod or even lick his lips, haha. He was very energetic, even if not completely pleased, and I probably watched Die more than Kyo, hence my talking about him so much.

As for Kyo, I was so happy that he did not cut himself this tour. It seems he's taken to dancing and contorting his arms around in the air instead, which is 100% okay by me. While I don't really want to speculate on his personal life, it seems something has changed recently, since both the last album and last tour, because it seems honestly from what little I can see, he might be happier. He definitely enjoys the dancing.

Both are from Agitated Screams of Maggots -Unplugged-, as it was one of the few times I felt comfortable getting my phone out to take a picture. It sucks as do all that I got at the show, but at least you can see how close he was. He was kneeling on his riser in the first one, and kinda twisting his arms up and facing me in the second.

I've heard from other reports from people further back that the crowd was kinda dead, as in no moshing I assume, and no real pushing and shoving. Which really doesn't surprise me too much, seeing as the crowd seemed largely female. Where I was at I was unable to see much past the first couple rows of people, and everyone I saw was headbanging and had their arms up and stuff, plus Kari and Brittany next to me were both very into it, so I had a great experience.

The highlight for Die was probably during umm.. Grief? I'm honestly not sure what song it was, but he got up in front of his speakers and rocked out on the edge of the stage for us, really close, and then looked up and smirked at us. Toshiya came over too towards the end and did the same (just for [livejournal.com profile] merrilymemory). Kaoru sadly stayed over on the other side.

The set seemed to fly by. I was both exhausted by the time the encore rolled around, but also surprised that it was already that time. Fuck do I love concerts.

The setlist, according to setlist.com, since I have no fucking clue aside from the first and last songs, not order at least.

Sa Bir
Merciless Cult
Agitated Screams of Maggots
Disabled Complexes
The Fatal Believer
Ryoujoku no Ame
Agitated Screams of Maggots -Unplugged-
Conceived Sorrow
Glass Skin
The Final
Kodoku ni Shisu Yueni Kodoku
Hydra -666-
Dozing Green
Repetition of Hatred

Gaika Chinmoku ga Nemuru Koro
The Deeper Vileness
The IIID Empire

I have to say I really really REALLY fucking love Toguro. It was amazing live on top of it. Also, at the beginning of Gaika Chinmoku ga Nemuru Koro, there's a part in the intro that sounds synthesized, and I was shocked to watch Die heft his guitar up onto his knee and start playing that, just on the fretboard. Fucking kickass.

I had never heard Disabled Complexes live, since they did not play it in Chicago last year, and I loved it. Everyone sang with Kyo to the english part, which he seemed to revel in. And right before the song kicked in, Kyo reached behind himself and tugged his pants down a good inch or two, showing off more of his underwear, lol. And of course the sexy dancing. It was amusing because we had talked about it with the girls behind us preshow, and they all ended up over on the rail by Toshiya, and so when Kyo started dancing, we all swayed with him, whether or not we wanted to.

I was pleased to hear Ryoujoku no Ame, as it is one of my favorite songs of all time by them, and it was especially neat to hear it from Die's side, as he has a great guitar part in it.

The Final was sort of unexpected, because they hadn't been playing it every show, but it was a very nice surprise. EVERYONE sang during that, and I believe Kyo let us sing a part on our own. That swell of emotion that comes out during songs like that and maybe Kodou and Clever Sleazoid are the high points of the entire concert. That feel of everyone singing together and being into it, I can't describe it. It's a great sense of euphoria, for the band too I assume.

Speaking of Clever Sleazoid, I was a bit disappointed they did not play that, surprised even, but the set was awesome even without it.

A few times, and I can't remember which songs they were, Kyo let the mic fall to his side and he just belted out his lyrics without the aid of amplification, and the crowd actually got quiet for him. I could hear him quite clearly, thanks to how close I was surely, but it was so surreal, yet at the same time, it made it feel all the more real, because I was no longer listening to Kyo's amp, I was listening to the man himself. I got chills. I hold that Kyo might not be the most amazing singer with the most beautiful voice when it comes to technical skill. No, not at all. However, the emotion and passion he puts into his vocals are what makes him what he is to me. No one else could do what he does, or tie in Dir en grey in such an amazing way.

Back to the concert, lol. After Kyo announced last song many times (to my immense chagrin) they dove into IIID Empire, which has really grown on me since the original vulgar recording. They fucking rock with it now.

When it was all said and done, Die only threw out a few picks, none of which I could actually see due to the stage lights. Then he poured both of his water bottles on the audience, one on one side of his mic stand, and the second on the other, and then he went back for his heineken, and I had a split second moment of fear that I was going to have beer dumped on me, but thankfully it did not happen. Toshiya came over then and poured water on us too, and threw a couple picks. Kaoru seemed to have quickly left the stage so we missed him. ): Shinya threw his drumsticks, one of which landed just behind me, and a massive fight over it between 3 people broke out, and was actually continuing when I left, wtf. Lame. Shinya also threw this disklike thing off his drumset. I didn't see it close enough so I'm not sure if it was a cymbal or a drum mute or what. But apparently I heard it was signed by the whole band, so that's pretty cool.

Die didn't toss out all his picks, and the roadies came out and tossed a few out. I touched one but it fell, and I tried to find it but didn't. Fail. I'm now 0/3 when it comes to catching picks lol. Later, as we were walking around, both Kari and Archer found Toshiya picks. That's pretty cool, considering the next night we counted and he only brings out 8 each show. Our group got 25% of them in Milwaukee lol. Since I live with Kari, it is ~*~our~*~ pick. And can be added to the collection, since we have a Toshiya pick from 2007 Inward Scream in Chicago.

I was completely exhausted, both mentally and physically from my excessively long day, and none of us had cds with us, and merch line was endless, so we opted to skip the signing this night. I regret it quite a bit, especially as if I had done it I would have got to meet Kaoru and Die, and then after Sauget I would have finally met all the members, but oh well. At the time I was more desperate for water anyways.

Britti and Kari were more exhausted, so they went back to the car to give Maria and Brittany back their stuff, and me and Archer went and got water, and then we headed back to the hotel and crashed pretty hard, just to get up and do it again the next day! Minus the 10 hour wait outside though lol.

In conclusion, I had a kickass time, and I have become a much bigger fan of Die. And it seems Dir en grey only steps it up each time I have seen them. :)

To be continued in Sauget.

Edit: I just heard that there was a murder near the Rave while we were there on Saturday! This is kind of scary, and I'm wondering if it was the homeless guy in McDonalds who kept asking for our change.
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