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A performance that showed that you can’t evaluate the artist by the size of the venue. We experienced an amazing and perfectly thought-through show in a venue with roughly 100 people. But see for yourself, why this one was so special!



“Pandemonium of the devils” (百鬼夜行). MEME’s one-man show at Aoyama RIZM on the 21st of September 2022 held a mysterious title, with an additional English subtitle: “Humanity down the drain”. The whole night’s concept seemed to be about losing one’s humanity and giving in to the dark side. We’ve been working with MEME since we started this page, but we had yet to see him perform live, so this one-man show was the perfect opportunity to change that! 

MEME consists of frontman L and his support members. MEME’s songs and styling kind of remind you of revised versions of the visual kei scene from the early 2000s, but in a very refreshing and unique way. Despite being a band from Nagoya, MEME always makes sure to schedule events and one-man shows in the capital, too. We had the pleasure of attending one of these shows and wanted to share our experience with you!

With the rise of the curtain, L appeared on stage while rotating a flashlight and introduced the first song of the evening: UNKNOWN. Quite a dramatic start that turned aggressive quickly when the fans started to headbang to the increasing speed of the song. They continued powerfully with PURGATORIO (プルガトリオ), where support bassist Taishi and guitarist ZERO went crazy together with the fans. Vocalist L carefully watched his fans during an impressive drum interlude. The transition to the next song was similarly impressive. It was so smooth you didn’t really notice where one song ended and the next began! L thrilled the audience with switching between melodious rap to hysterical laughing and deep growling in VIOLA (ヴィオラ). Next in line was LOVE SONG. After introducing the song with the words: “This is a…! this is a love song!”, every fan lit their lightsticks and L opened his Geisha umbrella. His graceful movements with the umbrella accompanying the gentle melody created such a contrast to his deep voice that we were caught completely off guard! Next up, FRIDAY THE 13TH started with an acapella intro where L demonstrated that he is also capable of making his voice resonate through the whole venue. 

One of the characteristics of MEME’s live shows is definitely the seamless transition from one song to the next but without merging all of them into one long song! Before he started with ONANIE (オナニー), he asked the audience to get rid of their “humanity”. A sentence he would repeat quite a few times that evening; a direct connection to the subtitle of today’s show. The song that followed granted the fans a small break as it was a calmer one where L demonstrated his emotional singing voice. The lighting coming from behind the stage stressed the dramatic gestures of L’s performance even further! 

As expected, with a show named after one of his songs, said piece obviously couldn’t be left out! With the first sounds of HYAKKI YAKOU (百鬼夜行) echoing throughout the venue, L picked up his umbrella again and the fans jumped in excitement! Walking from right to the left, spinning the umbrella behind him, L observed his fans in front of him intensely – until an especially dramatic moment of the song where he dropped his umbrella and concentrated on his singing voice alone. In NIGHT CRAWLER, L raised his arms as if he wanted to greet his fans, who immediately started to headbang. The vocalist motivated them to give even more while shouting in-between: “come one, give me more!” Before the song ended L made a gesture with his hand as if he wanted to check whether the view was fitting for a picture and then the song played continuous shutter noises. They continued with DIABOLIC, a song that just sticks in your head once you’ve listened to it! The whole venue promptly performed the matching furis while L gracefully went to ZERO and then moved on to the fans on his side. Towards the end of the song the entire hall was jumping to the beat alongside the band! Before we realized it, it was already time for the last song. L confirmed whether the fans still had some energy left, but because it still isn’t allowed to shout during live shows, they provided their answer during the next song: MANTORA. The fans were dancing, jumping, clapping their hands for all their worth! But that wasn’t enough for L! He demanded everything from his fans and pointed towards them to motivate them even further. Not waiting until the song ended, L disappeared from stage and the support members showed what they were capable of with an impressive outro!

The main act didn’t really have longer MCs, rather shorter intervals where L motivated the fans to give more, but after the band returned for the encore, he really took his time to talk to the audience. During the MC, L often stopped for a moment to pick his next words carefully. He shared his sincere feelings about his project and also mentioned that he sometimes worries about what he should do for things to turn out well. “I’m not really clever, but I want to continue singing until there’s no one who listens anymore. But you’re still here, so thank you for this encore.” He proceeded to tell us that in order to continue singing he would need to throw away his humanity: no thinking – only singing! And therefore he had decided on the English subtitle “Humanity down the drain”. After this emotional part of the MC he mentioned that it is still not allowed to raise your voice during concerts, “but you can use your body, so please continue to follow me!”. MEME then started with the first song of the encore: KOJIIN R&B (孤児院R&B). The mood in the venue completely changed with this song: L and the fans were clapping their hands in unison and the lighting was noticeably brighter than before. The last song that day was IN MY BLOOD, which he introduced with the words: “Give me all your love and get rid of your human side!” The lighting turned darker again for this song. It’s that kind of song that can go on and on as long as the band wants without ever getting boring! The fans were clapping their hands and shaking their heads in turns. The band playfully increased and decreased the speed of the song and it was just obvious how much fun everyone had! The perfect song to end the evening!

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was fascinated by the whole performance. The transmission from one song to the next was perfectly arranged. Something even more experienced bands sometimes have troubles with, but MEME made it seem effortless and natural. The stage performance also matched 100% with every song. The traditional Japanese elements, like the Geisha umbrella for example, created a great contrast to the hard beats and the horror-inspired lyrics. We are really proud that we had the chance to be one of the very first pages who interviewed MEME. If you are interested in the interviews, please check them out! (Find them here)

Report: Jenny
English Edit: Franzi

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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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