writtten on 2008.02.19 posted today because I haven’t been able to connect to the internet until now. My office is still working on getting an unlimited ADSL line ^^.
The last leg of the FIVE LIVE ARCHIVES, the ASIALIVE Shanghai was a bit of a disappointment. You can hear hyde’s voice failing at some parts of the live >_<, only a few interactions between the guys, and the picture quality wasn’t as good as the other lives. The way I view it, this live is the only one that seemed out of sync with the other 4 lives. Of course with a 5 year gap between TOUR 2000 REAL and the ASIALIVE, there are sure to be huge differences. Since the gap was filled with solo activities it would take a lot of effort to put them out of their solo mold and mold them back into L’Arc~en~Ciel.
When you are used to being a solo artist you will form egotism to some extent, because you could do anything you want in a solo project. But in a band, you couldn’t do everything according to what you want and if you still you want to do things your way there are bound to be toes being stepped upon. I think that L’Arc is suffering from this since all of the members went on to do a solo project.
After the guys went on solo, I can see that it was really hard to get them to be in sync because of what they had learned and experienced when they were doing their solo act. The songs were just different from before (for some of the people, I know, they view this negatively and start to abandon the fandom ToT), the lives weren’t as great as before, they are just good. Sure hyde pulled stunts like dressing up as the pope or as a nazi but I don’t think we’ll experienced lives like Grand Cross Tour or TOUR 2000 REAL. In lives they just don’t interact with each other anymore! Before, they would joke with each other on and off stage. I just saw them as being good friends with each other, but now L’Arc~en~Ciel looks like work. Remember hyde’s statement where he said that solo feels fun because no one tells you not to smoke or drink before getting on stage. Oh yeah, sure, because doing all of the above can clear up your windpipe and your voice will be super great like it was on FAITH LIVE DVD.
This is the way I see it there are 3 periods of L’Arc: the indies to True period, the HEART to REAL period, and the post solo period (now). I think we don’t need to discuss about indies to REAL because in my book THEY ROCKED! So let’s talk about the post solo period. SMILE was good. The songs really formed an “x_x” pattern that says SMILE (corny, I know ^^). But the track list was pretty good up to Hitomi no Juunin and they had to ruin the momentum with Spirit dreams inside. Personally I think it would be better if they left the 2-year old single (because of the solo they experienced in that 2 year gap) and replaced it with another song that has a SMILE theme. I think nobody wouldn’t mind if they had a single that was not included in the album.
AWAKE was… I’m sorry to say, my biggest disappointment toward L’Arc. As a whole album, it sounded way off track from the idea (I had) of L’Arc~en~Ciel. Somehow I can’t stop but think that this album was very HYDE (all caps mean his solo project) this has nothing to do with the fact that more than half of the songs in the album was made by hyde. Songs like LOST HEAVEN, AS ONE, EXISTENCE, Hoshizora, for me, really felt out of place. Don’t get me wrong, the songs are good but they didn’t sound like L’Arc. Hoshizora was one of the best songs in the album, but the way the vocal flowed (come to think of it know) sounded like what hyde would be belting out in FAITH. And of course, one could not ignore the similarity of the parts of Ophelia with SHINING OVER YOU. Listen to them again if you didn’t get catch the similarities. AWAKE to me, feels like the hyde-is-taking-charge-and-tetsu-doesn’t-want-anything-to-do-with-it album. Come on! Singles excluded there are only one tetsu song in the album! The cover featured hyde’s face on top of the other 3 member! In the lives tetsu, ken and yuki looks like hydeJOB (referring to GacktJOB) while he’s parading around in a pope costume on a throne that was carried by his minions, tearing up a black flag with white peace sign on it, singing “Yuuga dokuson, REVELATION!”. Listen, I know the whole an album with a peace message thing, I’m all for it but… just read here -___-“. I wrote about this before.
KISS, IMO, was better than SMILE and AWAKE put together. A lot of great songs in the album, Sunadokei, ALONE EN LA VIDA and Umibe(!!!) are my personal favorites ^^. The track list was good except they had to ruin the mood of the album (like what they did in SMILE) by putting Hurry Xmas as the last song. A song that most of the fans thought that would be left out of the album, since L’Arc said they were going to release the single for a limited time only. Personally, I think Yuki no Ashiato would fit perfectly as the last song of the album. They should have left Hurry Xmas out of the album and put it in a compilation or the best of album, if there was going to be one. So that would leave a spot for either Bye Bye or SHINE. I miss them having a last track of the album that can sum up the whole album and leave a lasting impression on the listener. You know, a grand ending song like Dearest Love, Anata, and Pieces! So anyway, KISS was a big improvement from AWAKE and I am hoping that the next album will be better ^^ and if there is going to be a new album, the boys should stop their solo activity and just retreat in a mountain villa somewhere to just regroup.
I’m gonna stop now. There are too many rants like this going around in my head. One day I’ll find the time to write it all down. Now on to the news on the Paris live. It seems many European fans are upset due to the fact that L’Arc organized a special organized tour for 160 Japanese Le Ciel members to see the Paris live with a tour around Paris. They’re upset because the Japanese fans are given the opportunity to order tickets ahead from everybody else, while the available ticket for the Le Zenith venue is only 6000, and they have to literally fight for it. On one hand I think it’s normal if they prioritize their fanclub. But if I was on the same position of the European fans I would throw a fit! So, I really understand how they would feel. I mean, next to Asia, I think Europe has the biggest fan base. But when they do decide to have a concert in Europe, which could be the only concert they will have in Europe, they decided to give priority tickets to japanese fans, who, may I add, had enough chance to catch them live since the band exist! ToT I feel for you, European fans, really I do >_<. Throw a fit! Throw an F-I-T! FIT!
Now there are lots of rumors swirling around that L’Arc will do a concert in Indonesia. BAH! Personally, I think it’s a load of crap. I know there are many L’Arc fans from many Southeast Asian countries, but before Indonesia, I think Singapore, The Philippines, Thailand and maybe Malaysia have larger fan base (not to mention nicer venues) and they have more chance of having a L’Arc concert before Indonesia. Most of the people who call themselves fans here don’t even support them by buying their original CDs. Sure we have a lot of Indo fans but, if the CD sales aren’t that good they would check twice before having a concert here. So my suggestion to these sorry saps that posted rumors everywhere saying that “a promoter has given L’Arc a time limit from October to December to do a concert in Indo”, don’t be to sure of any “factual news” before you get any information from the official site. I’ve heard too many of these rumors and if every one of them were true, we would have 2 L’Arc concerts every year since 2004 (yeah, since they gained notice in Indo at that year). Once somebody once called me to ask if I know the contact number of L’Arc~en~Ciel because a popular school in Indo _decided_ that they want to invite L’Arc to perform in their school festival. WHAT! WHAT! Okay, 1) I don’t know the number, DUH! If I had known I would call them up and bug them for having a concert here myself and make them open Le Ciel internationally. So I just gave the contact number of Le Ciel, 2) L’Arc is not SOME Indo band that you can invite for your school festival! HELLO!!! They are huge! They sold out Tokyo Dome in 4 MINUTES! Why would you think they want to come all the way from Japan to do a concert for snotty school brats who dare say, “Money is not an object.” POO! It’s not just about money!!! STOOPID!!! So yeah *shrugs*.
Writer’s note: This writing is not in any way intended to offend anyone in anyway. This is merely my thoughts and opinion regarding L’Arc~en~Ciel that may or may not be true. I DO NOT hate L’Arc~en~Ciel, au contraire, Mon frère, I love them; I have this very unhealthy obsession toward them. Why do you think I have the urge to post this up on the internet? So, if any of the things I write offend you I apologize. Comments are always accepted.