Versailles, a rising band in the visual kei scene, came to Sweden during their Philia Spring Tour. JpopAsia was there to see them.
It was an excited audience that, after hours in line, made their way into the big hall where Versailles were to perform. By the time the support band Seremedy came on stage almost all the 1140 seats were taken. Seremedy is a Swedish band inspired by visual kei, and the past year they have grown a lot in popularity and even toured Japan earlier this year! They played a few songs, among them the Japanese version of their hit ”Bulletproof Roulette” which was released the very same day. After thanking the audience they left the stage, and soon enough Versailles' stage entrance intro ”Prelude” sounded through the hall.
First on stage was Yuki, holding his cape in a majestic fashion. Next up was the since last year new bassist Masashi, just like Yuki followed by the fans' shouts. Teru, Hizaki and Kamijo followed, and as the intro came to it's end, the guitar riffs of ASCENDEAD MASTER were played. A powerful song with impressing solos, where both guitarists followed the same movements as you are able to see in the music video. On Kamijo's words ”Rise up!” the fans were on their feet by less than a second, all rising in union.
After ASCENDEAD MASTER followed Judicial Noir, the second track of Versailles' latest single ”Philia”. Also a fast and powerful song, yet not as recognizable as the former song played. The next, however, had the whole audience going. Zombie is one of Versailles' long-term live songs, composed by Teru, an aggressive and hard song to which Kamijo makes swaying hand movement with the audience copying.
The applauds and shouts seemed to be never-ending, but somewhere in between Kamijo got a chance to speak a few sentences. With the words “Let's make.. a beautiful destiny” another by now familiar song started playing. DESTINY-The Lovers- was Versailles' first single with their new bassist Masashi. It's a ballad-like song, just like the one following it. The piano intro instantly revealed to the long-term fans exactly which song it was, and made them not just a little excited about it. None of them had expected Sympathia to be played, as it was released quite early in Versailles' history. It was appreciated all the more however, and hands were waving in time with the music. At one point Kamijo reached out for his fans, let them hold his hands and arms, without seeming to want to move. A memorable moment for more than just a few attendants.
The Red Carpet Day set the mood usually ending a live show – it went on and on and on as Kamijo shouted the names of the band members. That was not the end of the gig, no, with the words “Last song”, Philia started playing. A song they had been expected to play, considering the tour being called “Philia Spring Tour”, promoting the recent single with just that name. Fans rocked with the band until the very end of the song, which was followed by several guitar picks and drum sticks thrown towards them as a thank you before Versailles went off stage.
But there was one song left to play. The band came back out to play that one remaining song that a Versailles show would not be complete without – The Revenant Choir. None of the bandmembers seemed very surprised when most if not all of the people in the audience knew the lyrics, as it is one of their most well-known songs through their time together. Before leaving the stage Kamijo once more shouted the names of the band members, all showing a solo of their own. With the exception of one member. Versailles will not forget their previous bassist Jasmine You, who passed away soon two years ago. Even though he is no longer with them, Kamijo still introduces him, but no longer as the bassist, but the eternal member.
And so they went off stage, the hall was slowly emptied, only for the fans to rush down to the large tent where the signing session would take place. They all seemed to agree – it had been a great concert, and Sweden has high hopes of Versailles visiting once more.