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A concert on the upper floors of a shopping mall? Sounds crazy, but XaaXaa made us forget about that completely and rocked the venue!

Formed in 2014, XaaXaa (ザアザア) have become a very popular visual kei band not only in Japan, but overseas as well. Starting from their band name, which comes from the sound of pouring rain, the band tends to cover rather darker topics of life in their songs. To celebrate 8 years since their formation, XaaXaa recently completed their 8th anniversary tour and welcomed fans on the 5th of February, 2023 in Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall to celebrate not only the final of their tour, but also their vocalist Kazuki’s birthday. We had the pleasure to join the audience and share with you their special performance. 

The back of the stage was covered in a beautifully glistening golden curtain. Then, the venue turned dark, then blue and purple as An (drums), Reiya (bass), and Haruga (guitar) came on stage and took their positions. Then, rainbow coloured lights and Kazuki (vocal) entered the stage. All of them were  wearing their TSUKUYOMI (月夜見) outfits, which was also the very first song of the evening. 

Blue lights covered the stage, while fans started throwing their fists in the air to the beat of the song. Reiya moved around a lot while playing, while Kazuki, standing in the middle of the stage by his “keep out”-tape covered platform, demonstrated his powerful voice. If you were to come into the venue during this song, you would never have believed that it was the first one, as the members were completely into it already, and the fans moved so much, you could see steam in the air. 

The second song was URUSAI KISETSU NI BOKU WA YAMU (五月蝿い季節に僕は病む). Kazuki climbed onto his platform and let out a powerful growl. Fans were clapping their hands left and right and headbanging like crazy during the refrain. Meanwhile, An looked completely at peace drumming, while making the whole venue shake. 

Then, the band gathered in front of An’s drums, facing him: time for OOAME KEIHOU HATSUREI (大雨警報発令) – a very heavy song, inviting fans to headbang as much as they could. Reiya walked around to the other side of the stage and Haruga played skillfully on the platform, taking in the amazing view of the fans going crazy and clearly having fun. This song had many different elements and furitsuke opportunities for fans to join, and seemed to be a favorite of many fans. Kazuki made sure to show the fans what to do from the stage, so everyone could join in.

Fans clapped as gold light filled the venue: KAGOMEYAKAGOME (カゴメヤカゴメ). While Reiya was playing on the platform and Haruga shouted into his microphone, Kazuki encouraged fans to throw their fists and headbang. A very interesting sight was the fans simultaneously headbanging their heads in circles. The song ended with a powerful growl from Kazuki.

After the heavy DOSU KUROI (どす黒い), it was time for a ballad: KARAMAWARI (空回り). Kazuki stood completely still while singing, as though he was in his own world. An’s drums vibrated through the venue while Reiya sang along as he played. Beautiful gold light filled the stage during the emotional chorus, matching the stage and the emotional mood of the song. 

Then, SE started and you could hear a beautiful piano melody. Kazuki turned his back to the fans, and then suddenly someone on stage was lit with golden light; it was not one of the members, but a piano player who must have entered the stage during the SE. The song he was playing was a beautiful mellow ballad: YUKITOKEI (雪時計). First it was only Kazuki who joined him, and at the chorus the other members joined in as well. After many heavy songs, this song felt like a huge contrast, as if we were experiencing different shows in one evening. 

Haruga started the next song, playing a solo while red and purple lights were shining around him. Then, more colorful lights and the mood completely changed: the jazzy sounding WATASHI = ET CETERA (ワタシ=エトセトラ). The pianist was still on stage, joining the band, which was extremely fitting for such a jazzy song. During the song, first An, then Haruga, got a chance to show their skills during each of their solos, while Kazuki was vibing and dancing to the music.

After HITOGOROSHI (人殺し), it was time for the first MC of the evening. Kazuki introduced the band and thanked the fans for coming and joining them this evening in the Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall. “Isn’t this venue huge? Isn’t it amazing??”, he laughed. Kazuki explained that although the fans were not allowed to jump in that venue, it being located on the 4th floor, the band would do it for them on stage, and that everyone should have an amazing time nevertheless. 

Next song was NOROIUTA (のろいうた), giving the fans the opportunity to headbang some more. Kazuki used the whole stage, running around and encouraging fans to go crazy. At one point, he laid down in front of Haruga and sang from there. It was amazing to see that no matter what he did while singing, his voice never wavered, and it seemed not to make any difference for him at all whether he sings standing or laying down. 

After LOVELETTER (ラブレター) and IBARA (茨) , the last song for the main set was GO MARU GOSHITSU (五丸五号室). Fans clapped their hands left and right, while Kazuki sang emotionally, with a hint of a flirty and fun vibe completely different to the songs before. Looking back at the whole show, it really seemed that he was able to reinvent himself for each song, which again shows his talent as a performer. 

The encore started with the band’s MC. After making sure the fans were having fun, Reiya reminded the them that it was  his brother Kazuki’s birthday, congratulating him. All of the members also noted that the venue is one of the biggest they ever played and that the stage looked amazing. At one point, all of the members even went to the back of the stage, touching the beautiful golden curtain, wondering how much they probably spent on it and laughing.

One of the highlights of the encore was probably TULIP (チューリップ): Kazuki swinging his tambourine while the fans were headbanging like crazy. An seemed to have a lot of fun, singing and laughing while playing, especially during the bass and drum solo. That was another song where you could see how skillful and talented each member is, and how much the fans enjoyed the performance. 

The last song of the evening was another ballad: AAAAA (あああああ). A huge disco ball made the venue sparke with red lights. Kazuki sang emotionally, clearly giving his all. The song ended with Kazuki shouting and Haruga calmly playing the beautiful outro melody.

After the last song, Kazuki addressed the audience once again, “We are here thanks to your support, thank you so much!”, and bowed. And with that, all the members left the stage, waving their goodbyes.

During the performance, it was very obvious how much the fans love XaaXaa and enjoy their music. From the first song to the very last, the fans gave their all, and the band members smiled happily throughout the whole evening. It must also be noted that the sound of the instruments and Kazuki’s voice were really well done and you could hear each member very clearly at any point during the performance, which made it even easier to notice how talented all of them are. Kazuki’s powerful voice left an especially big impression on me and I cannot wait to see them live again. If you ever get a chance to see them live, definitely don’t miss it! 

Report: Olga
English Edit: Kaity


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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