Paris, July 7th. The day itself already started hot, a warm breeze touching the skin each step outside the comforts of a bus or building. But not even the day could describe the hotness of the event that was taking place that day, nor would it do justice to the previous days it was held. Japan Expo 2019, one of the biggest Japan-related conventions to take place in Europe. This date, however, was extra special as it also marked the European debut of DADAROMA.
DADAROMA is one of the faster growing new visual kei bands of the moment, and with a fanbase that’s mostly from overseas, an appearance outside of Japan was of no surprise. And with the last-minute announcement from Japan Expo, the opportunity was finally there.
Of the 4 days which the event took, the band made appearances on 3 of them, with a banging end at the final day. Not only did they give a small show with a Q&A and an additional photoshoot, but they were also allowed to close off the event as the final act on the big stage.
And there they were, closely afternoon, for their first appearance of the last day. Their small show was planned on a smaller stage in the middle of the food court of the expo. Tons and tons of people crossed the Tsubame stage noticing a bigger crowd gathering around it, and as curiosity struck, joined them to see what the hype was all about. And that hype got bigger as soon as the SE started playing, fans already cheering on the members as they came onto the stage one by one.
The show didn’t last long, as they only had time for two songs, but they made the most of it. With MASTURBATION and Risely Circus they tried to draw in more people, making sure that there wasn’t a moment for the crowd to stay still. Both songs were upbeat and Yoshiatsu had the fans riled up, making them jump as much as their stamina and adrenaline allowed them to, while cheering yells were able to be heard across the huge hallway. When the last note rang like an echo through the speakers, the tension went away like melting snow, the crowd suddenly becoming calm and composed for what was to come next.
The members then proceeded to put away their gear and take the microphone as the time had arrived for some questions from the crowd to be answered. A French translator was present for those who didn’t understand Japanese, and vice versa for the band.
The first question came, and who asked didn’t matter as it was something everyone wanted to know “Will DADAROMA come back for a European tour?” The crowd suddenly went quiet and eyes went from the person who asked to Yoshiatsu, who now held the microphone, and to the rest of the members who showed a warm smile and a twinkle in their eyes. “We would love to.” Were the first words Yoshiatsu said. “But we don’t have the means necessary for it, just yet.” A sad sigh was audible throughout the crowd.
“However, today to us Japanese, is a very special day. You see today is Tanabata in Japan. So, it’s not a coincidence we play here, in France, on this very day. No no no. This is what I believe to be fate. You are all our “Princesses” and we were destined to meet. So, as a custom, on this very day, we shall make a wish. We wish that one day, we will meet again, we will come back to see you all!” The crowd cheered one by one, first the ones that clearly understood Japanese, then the ones that listened to the translator followed.
“In return.” He continued, “You all have to promise us something as well. If you are ever in Japan, please come see us live there as well!” More cheers came up and the crowd agreed to it. With the energy of the crowd, Yoshiatsu went even further. “Say it with me: DADAROMA!” The crowd responded. A huff and a disappointed smile crossed his cheeks, mischievous almost. “No, no, no.” It wasn’t good enough. He kept going until the entire crowd responded at the top of their lungs and took the opportunity to tell everyone to come to the Karasu hall later that day to see their full show.
The rest of the Q&A was quite simple. Tomo was probably the most silent one of all, mostly being in his own world, trying to provoke the crowd where he could with simple actions and gestures. Takashi held back, rather shy. Whenever he got the microphone you could see him become slightly nervous. Even still he wouldn’t let that ruin the mood and soon enough he was hopping around the stage like a happy bunny on heels. And lastly, there was the newest member of the group, Ryohei, who didn’t participate in the Q&A at all as he was too busy on stage trying to throw stickers into the crowd, failing at it most of the time too. Within minutes it seemed, their time was up and they retreated from the stage, but not before making sure everyone would return for their big show and let them shout their name one last time.
About an hour after their small show, fans that had signed up to it earlier that day had an opportunity to take a picture with them and have a small chat if they wanted.
And then the moment finally arrived, as the end of the expo slowly drew closer. 4:15 PM, at the Karasu stage. Looking around through the hall, lots of familiar faces from the event earlier had gathered here yet again to support the members. But behind those there were some curious newcomers as well, making the group bigger and bigger until the curtains drew themselves and the firsts notes of the SE sounded through the entire hallway. Silence fell over everyone, eager to see the members get on the stage one by one. With each member there was a roar of cheers going through the first rows of fans, making their presence clearly known to the band, letting them know how many had gathered there on that day. The music stopped, and the crowd went silent in an instant.
A loud sound of the drums disrupted the final peace and with a bang, the band started off the show with one of their most famous songs Oboreru Sakana. Immediately heads dropped and hair flowed from left to right on the harsh sounds from both the guitars and the drums. Just with this first song they drew in the entire crowd, the low grunts from Yoshiatsu ringing in their chests, instantly feeding them energy. Energy that lasted the entire show. There wasn’t a song in the setlist that was meant to stand still on. Instead, they chose their tracks wisely to hit the mark both on their fans, as well as creating a spot for the newcomers to truly experience what DADAROMA really was. Even their one ballad, Kisu wo Shiyou, had people in trance, moving slowly on the hypnotising notes from the guitar solo, and the breath-taking lyrics that left Yoshiatsu’s lips. But that didn’t last long, and suddenly they got woken up, realising they were hanging onto every word. An upbeat rhythm shook them up and from a trance state, the whole vibe went to a dance party as MASTURBATION blasted through the speakers. Everyone jumped from left to right to the beat and yelled along to the lyrics with smiles on their face. This paved the way for the next song, MONEY, to blend in perfectly as if it was one song.
There was a small break after that, where both the band and the crowd were allowed a little breather. Yoshiatsu took this moment to repeat his words from before on the Tsubame stage and thanked the fans and the rest of the crowd for coming, making them promise once again to meet in the future if they could.
The break ended quickly and with that, the end of the performance drew closer too. With lots of energy from the band, they played their final songs Risely Circus, Pornography and Lucid Dream until both they and the crowd could move no more. Everyone, the band included, was gasping for breath, sweating from both the hot weather and the hot performance. With a sad face, the members bowed and thanked us one last time before finally leaving the stage with a definite goodbye.