In order to aid with the rehabilitation of the disaster areas, the five have miraculously reunited!

In addition to a moving report of the concert, we publish interviews with all the five members!!

“If it's for the sake of someone other than ourselves” is how the five decided to stand together on the stage again. About nine years have passed since the band was formed. Without a doubt, light was given to Japan by the two concerts that became a reality in order to aid Japan's recovery after the unprecedented disaster that hit it.

Charity Concert to Aid Tōhoku's Recovery from the Earthquake
SPIRITS~Return The Favor~
2011.10.21 Saitama Super Arena

It was in last April, a month after the Tōhoku earthquake, that Siam Shade revealed their decision to reunite temporarily in order to aid in the rehabilitation. In the press release, under the joint signatures of all the members, was written the following motive: “If our reunion can give even a tiny bit of strength to people, then we shall once more present you with the rock we believed in.” They then carried out a free concert in Sendai, on 17th September, at Zepp Sendai. While a part of the disaster area, it is also a place of memories for them. Without a doubt it brought smiles to the fans randomly selected from the applications whose number hugely exceeded the seating capacity. Additionally, from the enthusiasm of the crowd wearing the charity t-shirts printed with “Tōhoku Spirit”, they themselves received energy to face tomorrow. The five members admitted that right after the concert had finished.

After a little over three months, in October 21st, this reunion drama reached its climax. Its stage was Saitama Super Arena. This was the first time the band, who broke up on 10th March, 2002 at Nippon Budokan, performed at this venue, which was completed in the year 2000. It also has the maximum capacity of any places they've ever performed at. Although you cannot help feeling a slight sense of irony at the reality of that place being filled with people, people, and people, it is not only proof of how deep-rooted their support is, but I feel that it also proves that there are many people who were charmed by their music even after their breakup. The purpose of the concert is of course aid the recovery. But surely it was the enthusiastic wish of both old and new fans of wanting to see Siam Shade once more that made this concert a reality.

6:45 pm, the hall darkens. A backdrop with their logo is raised at the back the dazzling stage, and the members appear one after another. The crowd already has their fists up and the whole arena is filled with cheers. The song which Daita started playing was “RAIN”. The band's major label debut single, released on 1994.10.21. That's right, this day also happened to be the 16th anniversary of their debut. Followed by “TIME'S” and “Why not?”, these three songs in their order were straight from their discography. As “TIMES'S” enters Daita's guitar solo, Hideki and Kazuma each sprint to the left and right ends of the runway. Natchin protects the rear position, standing firm while shaking his head. Junji is drumming a furious beat with a smile on his face. During the funky “Why not?”, Kazuma of course starts dancing; and naturally the elegance of Daita's guitar work, and the sonority of Hideki's singing voice are both like they were back then. No, perhaps it could be said that they carry more conviction then they ever used to.

When he had finished singing the three songs, Hideki greets the overflowing audience for the first time. He told the audience how it was the anniversary of their debut and how they came to perform at the largest venue they ever have, nine years after their breakup. In addition, he said the following: “You made us realize again that the road we walked was not a mistake!”, which was immediately followed by a surge of cheers echoing those words. He then confesses to the audience: “I think I'm feeling a bit lovesick”, and the song “Lovesick~You Don't Know~” follows. They don't pull any punches, one killer tune follows another in rapid succession. The heat filling the huge arena just keeps on increasing.

After that, their performance continues without cooling even for a second. Furthermore, it is accompanied by a really cheerful atmosphere. Don't get me wrong if I say that it had, in a good sense, light-heartedness which allowed you to forget about the seriousness of the show being a charity concert to aid in the rehabilitation. And even before that, the reality of this being a temporary resurrection had vanished from my mind. If you think about it matter-of-factly, it is rare for them to have a menu this focused on singles, as they used to be famous for not performing their single songs that much. It was of course hinting at the reason why they decided to perform on this stage: “Not for ourselves, but for someone else”. However, I obviously didn't have time to perform such an analysis while all those familiar songs followed one another. That's how much I was enjoying myself.

“We'll send our love to everybody with this song.” With these words started “LOVE”. Its intoxication, together with the thrills of the following instrumental called “SSS” (a piece put together from the intros and interludes of the songs not on the day's set list, also including a drum solo by Junji in the middle), and the prevalence of self-assertion that is packed into each song, that, although being singles, have been spun without forsaking maniacal fastidiousness. All these things brought a smile to my face. Which means that the arena must have been filled with smiles. The stage where the five members stood with their never-fading radiance was in itself “picturesque”, but the view from that stage itself must also have been quite a sight.

“You're the best! I love you!” “You wanna become one?” “Come on! Come on! Come on!” Hideki fans the inextinguishable flames of rock. You can see people screaming with their fists up even at the very rear of the standing places. Eventually the spectacle comes to a temporary end after the tempest of “GET A LIFE”.

In order to answer the ceaseless applause and cheering, they perform a total of eight more songs, divided into two sections. Before the encore, Hideki thanked the audience once more, and revealed that tonight's live performance would be released as a DVD later. “And because of that you need to get even more hyped up!” He fanned the audience in his usual way, and after having finished singing “Dear...”, he made the following speech: “All kinds of things can happen in life. But always be positive. Because hope is what waits beyond despair. Don't give up on living!”

With such a message began “Kumori nochi hare”. Including “1/3 no junjou na kanjou”, which burst forth next, and “Dreams”, which began with: “Dream a lot of dreams!”, almost all of their hit songs carry a positive message. Through time and space, I felt the pang of that message at the depths of my heart.

When he returned to the stage again for the second encore, Hideki thanked the audience once more, but halfway through, he teared up and you couldn't make out what he was saying. Still, he fanned the audience, saying: “Can you keep up!?”, and after an explosion of numbers full of drive, all of the members left the stage with smiles on their faces, which we all watched smiling. At the very end, Daita, who had worked at the helm to make this concert a reality, lead the audience in call of “Japanese spirit! 1, 2, 3, daa!” The line he had said just before, “The rock we believe in is no mistake, right!?”, whirled inside my head together with the thunderous echoes of the music.

Fool's Mate magazine #363 (January 2012)