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An event with amazing artists which all have a connection to D’ESPAIRSRAY and Luv PARADE’s members. We laughed, we cried, we danced and we sang along – what a perfect event!

Devilish charm. These kinds of words will hopefully become an expression for something that can captivate people in an irresistible way. This time, the event “DEVIL’S PARTY 2022 Vol. 2”, which was successfully organized by Luv PARADE in continuation of their event from June this year, was held at Spotify O-EAST. And once again the performers were able to form a kind of special connection to the hearts of the people gathered there, and with various fascinating performances, each of which were gripping, this one night was no less than devilish.

Initially, Luv PARADE was assembled in June 2011 by Karyu (Angelo), ZERO (THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S/OFIAM), and TSUKASA (THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S) – members of the disbanded and also sorely missed band D’ESPAIRSRAY. The recent event “DEVIL’S PARTY 2022 Vol. 2” was held on September 8th, which was also the day before D’ESPAIRSRAY’s founding day, September 9th. Not only that but, like at the last event, each of the acts that took the stage this time was an artist who has ties with D’ESPAIRSRAY in one way or another. 

NUL./ Picture: Lestat C&M Project

The first to appear on stage tonight was NUL., a unit that was formed by HIZUMI, who used to serve as frontman of D’ESPAIRSRAY, together with MASATO (defspiral) and Toshiyuki Kishi (abingdon boys school), who are currently on tour, too. Of course, this is the core unit, and the group currently consists of 5 people with KOHTA (Angelo) on bass and Yuya Ishii on drums (the latter of whom is known as a tour member for LiSA or LM.C as additional support member), while the band is at the moment engaged in the midst of their tour [LIVE TOUR 2022 „EVILA“]. KOHTA and Yuya Ishii have also participated in the recording of several songs of their second album „EVILA“, which was released in August.

Naturally, at this performance, they gave a rendition focused on songs from their latest album „EVILA“, and one could say that we got our fill of the dense and ripe sound of NUL., who are just beginning to come into their own and are still progressing.

HIZUMI told the audience: „Good evening! There are probably a lot of people who don’t know us yet. We are NUL. This event today is a kind of gathering of friends from a long time ago. Anyway, those who can enjoy it all to their heart’s content will be the winners (laughs). Because we will make you have wicked lots of fun!“

Since D’ESPAIRSRAY disbanded up until NUL. started their activities in 2019, HIZUMI has on one hand made efforts for the recovery of his throat, while on the other he was active as a designer. He also fully cooperated, not as a performer, but as a designer, at the „DEVIL’S PARTY“ that was held in June. Therefore, the precious reality of coming here and seeing how he stood as a vocalist on this stage of the event that was hosted by Luv PARADE, and how he let us grandly hear his voice, heated many hearts in the audience, who knew of his particular history up until this point. Above all, there was no doubt that he made everyone in the audience have fun with his performance.

To begin with, HIZUMI’s voice – that radiated even now unchangingly after all – kept on singing in a mesmerizing, nearly devilish way. On this tour, which will continue until their concert at Bronth in Yokohama on October 1st, I am sure NUL. will certainly ruffle up the hearts of their fans, who are waiting at each location big time.

H.U.G / Picture: Lestat C&M Project

After NUL., H.U.G entered the stage as the second act. These guys, who showed up with quite a novel name, are in fact none other than the three who appeared on stage as Karyu Session BAND at the last „DEVIL’s Party“: Karyu, ryo (HOLLOWGRAM), and the manipulator Kazutoshi Yokoyama. Thinking back now to this point of time in June, when they played a new song called „HUG“, Karyu had remarked: „It would be great if this could become a song that you’ll love from now on for a long time.“

ryo told the audience: „Here, from this moment today on, we will start our activities anew as H.U.G. Since you’re already here with us, please celebrate with us! Please support us! And, even if it’s just for a short while, please also listen to our new song, which we brought with us!“

The music piece titled „DROP“ was an appropriately bright tune to mark H.U.G’s dawn. It is alright to say that as ryo sang the beautiful melody line – for which Karyu has great talent – in clear vocals, the colourful patterns arising from the tactful sound images that Kazutoshi Yokoyama drew, created a spell and a piercing power that let us predict H.U.G’s future.

“熾-OKI-“, which was also performed on stage the last time and has an impressive sound world reflecting delicate shades, or „Mary of the blood“, which is an original song from D’ESPAIRSRAY and has been remixed by Kazutoshi Yokoyama, while Karyu provided a new guitar arrangement, were examples of H.U.G’s amazing sound that is donned in a darker atmosphere. But since H.U.G is actually an acronym for Hyper Undead Genius, the three of them will probably from now on successively show various possibilities that aren’t held back by anything and stem from the wits these three possess. H.U.G … has a bright future ahead!

Under the current circumstances, a two-man with Luv PARADE at Akabane ReNY alpha on December 17th has been decided as their next plans. Therefore, if you want to feel more of the mysterious charm these guys have, please absolutely make your way to the live venue!

GOTCHAROCKA / Picture: Lestat C&M Project

While many of the people who participated at the last „DEVIL’S PARTY“ were of the same generation as the members of Luv PARADE or their older colleagues, at Vol. 2 of the „DEVIL’S PARTY“ this time, GOTCHAROCKA, a band consisting of younger musical colleagues of Luv PARADE, had the honour to head the climax of this event as a critical booster act.  Although they are younger colleagues, they notably merrily greeted their 10th anniversary in May. Hence the perfection level of their staging, that is backed by their amount of experience, was really overwhelming.

Although their latest single, „AIJOU” (愛錠,) was released in July, they daringly left these songs off their setlist and seemed to have gathered songs aimed at this event. In addition to this way of assembling their setlist, they also strongly expressed their high skills as a live band. The conjuring powers (Please understand this as genuinely intended words of praise!) – especially conveyed through the first song, „BRAND NEW DEVIL“, which even covered the title of this event – was, in short, fantastic.

Jui said: „Good evening, we are GOTCHAROCKA. First of all: Thank you everyone from Luv PARADE for inviting us today! I think there are people here who already know this as well as people who don’t, but the three from Luv PARADE and HIZUMI from NUL. used to be at the same office as my former band. Time passed since then and more than 10 years went by already, and yet we are able to stand again on the same stage. I think this is a great honour.“

And so the content of the MC, which concisely explained what led to their participation at „DEVIL’S PARTY“, was, as expected, quite impressive. Of course, their performance that unfolded before us was beyond great. They concentrated on GOTCHAROCKA’s attractive points and delivered them here; for example Jui’s dignified vocalization audible in „SURPRISE“ (サプライズ), or the twin solo that we could witness during „OUT OF SERVICE“, by JUN, the extremely flashy guitarist, who coordinated literally everything from head to toe in bright red, and Toya, who decided to go with chic apparel and elegant as well as precise guitar work. Their tour „winter tour `22~`23 「Once upon a time」” will run from November until January next year, and is awaited with much expectations, too.

Luv PARADE / Picture: Lestat C&M Project

While the artists, who combined in this way careers and capability, went into battle one after another, none other than Luv PARADE, who were also hosting this event, appeared as the star act of the main story.

This time as well, they brought TAKA (defspiral) as guest vocal and started at the very beginning with a cover of „Poker Face“ from Lady Gaga, whose upcoming performance in Japan became a topic the other day. After that came a cover of Britney Spears’ „Toxic“ and, with „Hyper-Ballad“ from Björk, they struck repeatedly on songs by leading female artists from overseas. Their brilliant style that’s distinctive of Luv PARADE, who can achieve these exactly because of their line-up and lets us hear their decadent mode, is unique and can probably be found nowhere else.

TAKA greeted the audience: „Thank you for waiting for us! We are Luv PARADE. I am able to participate as guest vocal tonight as well, and honestly, with each time I’m wondering whether or not my feelings as a member of Luv PARADE, too, will be able to sprout (laughs). (Omission) Because today is „DEVIL’S Party“, I think I want to see more of the devilish things in every one of you. Hey, show it to me! So, let’s go!!“

With this, D’ESPAIRSRAY’s „DEVIL’S PARADE“, as one can guess the origin of the title „DEVIL’S PARTY“, stirred the floor up. The lyrics „Beyond our species, accompanied by a miraculous sound“ (transl. of: 種族越えて不思議な音を引き連れて) could symbolize the essence and purpose of the „DEVIL’S PARTY“, and it also seems to be correct to regard this song as the already indispensable theme song of this event.

In addition, in keeping with the last time, they followed up with a passage that displayed a Luv PARADE version of „GETTING CLOSER“ from not defspiral but its predecessor band „the Underneath“.  There were probably many who reminisced once more about the time when D’ESPAIRSRAY and the Underneath deepened their close friendship while being on tour once during the all-American event tour „Taste of Chaos 2008“.

The songs chosen as last songs included the aggressive tune „LOVE IS DEAD“, and the peculiar world of Luv PARADE, who are pretty similar to D’ESPAIRSRAY but all the same by no means D’ESPAIRSRAY, surely universally fascinated all the people who were gathered at this place.

Luv PARADE / Pictures: Lestat C&M Project

ZERO said: „Thank you for this encore. The last time, there was around one person, who went wild in the official guest seats of the second floor (note: HIZUMI), and I guess there are some of you who expect him to come out for the encore this time. But today we are out on stage as Luv PARADE, and TAKA is the vocalist of Luv PARADE. That’s why I hope you can be understanding of this. If someday the day comes when we’ll stand on a stage together with HIZUMI, we will inform you properly in advance. So please await this time trembling with excitement (laughs)!“

After these words they continued with D’ESPAIRSRAY’s 2 songs „DEATH POINT“ and „MIRROR“, which they performed intentionally with only the three of them from Luv PARADE. Considering that they allowed the audience to take video footage of these songs with their smartphones, I wonder if this was an earnest fan service from them towards these people who still support D’ESPAIRSRAY even after the many years that have passed.

Anyway, now I am looking forward more than anything to the upcoming two-man of Luv PARADE and H.U.G, which will take place on December 17th at Akabane ReNY alpha. And in 2023, I sincerely hope there will be the realization of „DEVIL’S PARTY 2023 Vol. 3“. This night, overflowing with devilish charm, may be repeated as often as possible.

Text: Yuki Sugie
Translation: Katha
English Edit: Kaity

The nex concert has been decided!!
17th December 2022 (Sa)
More details in the future!!

H.U.G. Official TwitterLuv PARADE Official
Watch the event on ZAIKO
(until 10/08 23:59)
Luv PARADE Official Twitter

It would be great if you could support us with a small donation.
It might not be much for you, but it would help us providing more and better interviews in the future.
With a little bit of your support we might be able to realize even more!

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