Of Dreams, Rainbows and Bananas: L’Arc~en~Ciel 2012 World Tour

I lost my voice, thanks to two and a half hours of ardent screaming and fervid cheering at the L’Arc~en~Ciel 2012 World Tour at the Kallang Indoor Stadium on 28th April 2012. We all know that some things are worth losing your voice for, and watching the legendary multi-platinum Laruku play live on our sunny shores definitely makes the list.

It was clear the band had only a single mission for the night: to make everyone in the audience fall madly, crazily and head-over-heels in love with them. So from the moment Hyde opened the night with Ibara No Namida and Chase with his vogue braids and black eyeliner there was no turning back. Nope, you HAD to fall in love with him – and he knows damn well how to; whether by charming you with his shimmering vocal range, throwing air kisses, winking or – get this – clambering down the stage to be nearer to the fans. I swear there was a collective heart-stop moment, and then all hell broke loose as outstretched hands tried to win that exclusive handshake or accidental brush with the all-awesome Hyde.

The talented musicians are masters in their own right. Ken is a guitar maestro, leading pulsing electric grooves and rousing rhythmic tunes. As evidence of his skill, I spotted some guys around me mimicking air-guitar moves in their seats and bobbing their heads to the music. Donning a bright red jacket with patchwork pants, the ever-energetic Tetsuya surged the bass in overdrive, with the occasional low-gravity bass lines swaddling guitar and beats. And speaking of beats… Yuki was absolutely beast. When the camera panned close-ups of Yuki drumming, there was no mistaking the concentration and fervour he put in hammering the toms and crashing the cymbals.

Like their name, the band played a rainbow of songs from rock to pop-rock to ballad tracks, and the resulting sound was phenomenal. Pooling their fantastic musical talents together, the quartet revived classic hits like Stay Away, Daybreak’s Bell, Forbidden Lover and Ready Steady Go, as well as newer songs on their recent album Butterfly. Accentuating the drama of the performance was blazing fires, glittery streamers and even a snowfall of feathers – and they all served as little concert keepsakes for the happy fans.

Courtesy: Randy Foo, Lushington Entertainments 

The audience were an enthusiastic bunch. Bandwagon chatted with a few fans before the show and we found out friends from Thailand, China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan were joining us too! Amidst the sea of flashing red, blue and yellow light-sticks were people dressed to impress in gothic black cosplay, Hyde-inspired braids, limited edition L’Arc~en~Ciel tour shirts and even kawaiibanana costumes (Bananas are a signature L’Arc~en~Ciel giveaway in concerts, which Tetsuya happily showered the crowd with). So you can imagine the energy and enthusiasm from both fangirls and fanboys alike! I am pretty sure the stadium shifted a little after all the hardcore screaming and singing that night.

Closing the night with a four-song encore sequence, Hyde thanked the audience and threw a couple more kisses and a swoon-worthy smile. In his final attempt to bedazzle everyone, he asked in charming Japanese accent, “May I come again?” of which the crowd went absolutely wild screaming their answer. Tetsuya came out again with a basket in one hand and proceeded to give out more bananas, but only before asking, “Do you want my banana?” and spraying fans with jets of water from his glittery banana-shaped pistol.

So yes, I’m sure you now have a clear idea of why I lost my voice. But for a band that I literally grew up listening to, seeing them live in Singapore was really a dream come true. Not just for me, but for the thousands of fans that were at the concert too. L’Arc~en~Ciel, banzai!