X Japan Take On NYC’s Madison Square Garden

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(PCM) This weekend’s New York Comic Con has been quite the adventure and we were thrilled to cap off our Saturday evening with a performance from X Japan, which marked the band’s largest ever headlining performance at the illustrious Madison Square Garden in the heart of NYC.

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Witnessing X Japan and the always fabulous Yoshiki commandeer the stage was pure magic and enlightening to the senses. There were times that I wasn’t truly sure what I was watching, but all I know is that I was loving every moment. X Japan’s musical style could best be described as a musical mosaic of sorts with the blending of vocal style and instrumentation form a wide variety of both styles and genres with the heart and soul of the performance deeply rooted in rock n’ roll.

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Back home in Japan, Yoshiki and X Japan can sell out 70,000 seat arenas, so to them the 20,000 seat MSG show may have seemed like a step back, however they never showed it and played their hearts out to the rabid fans in attendance who were hypnotized by the band’s every movement on stage.

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Over the years X Japan has struggled to try to make a break in The States, however after witnessing Saturday nights show I can certainly say with confidence that they are well on their way to leaving a mark in a big way. The band’s popularity in North America, as well as, other areas of the world outside of Japan has risen tremendously over the years and Yoshiki claims that it is the band’s goal to rock the entire world.

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One of the things that stood out to me about the New York MSG show was the truly amazing showmanship of this band. We saw lasers and pyro and, of course, some absolutely stellar musicians. Vocalist Toshi has one of the most amazing vocal ranges and Yoshiski was pounding the drums like a true rock god! Hearing songs such as “Drain” and “Silent Jealousy” live was a true treat.

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The band utilized every inch of the MSG stage, that also featured a lengthy catwalk that extended deep into the crowd. One of our favorite moments was witnessing Yoshiki’s drum solo as the entire set slid down the center runaway.

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Being that it was New York Comic Con the band participated in a panel during the convention and certainly had everyone in attendance amped for Saturday night’s performance. The band performed their new tracks “Beneath The Skin” and “Hero” during the performance and there was also filming being done for a documentary. The band also revealed that there is a new album currently in the works.

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For a band that has weathered some terrible tragedies over the years, their fortitude to keep pushing forward is mind-blowing and they certainly deserve much more recognition here in the U.S. than they have had in years past. I feel like this MSG show was a perfect show to set the pace for X Japan and we certainly expect to both see and hear a lot more from them here in the States for years to come.

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 We were able to catch up with X Japan for a press conference interview during Comic Con during which Yoshiki revealed some details about the MSG show as well as what has been going on with the band.

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When asked how the MSG show would compare to the band’s past shows in the States, Yoshiki revealed that this is the first time that the band has brought their full production show to the States, as their past shows have been very organic.

He also spoke about the filming of the band’s documentary and said that we could possibly expect to see it at some of the U.S. and foreign film festivals such as Sundance or Cannes.

Yoshiki also let us know that his fingers are crossed for the upcoming release of the band’s new album would be sometime in mid-2015 and that they plan on partaking in another world tour to support. You can watch the full press conference below:

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