Crossfaith, Miss May I and Coldrain at Outburn Tour Final @ Shibuya AX (Apr. 25th, 2014)

Crossfaith, Miss May I and Coldrain Burn Up Tour Finale
Live Reports “Crossfaith, Miss May I and Coldrain Burn Up Tour Finale” @ Shibuya AX 2014.04.25

The Monster Energy Outburn Tour took in pretty much every area of Japan, save for Okinawa, and finished up with a much anticipated and resultantly energetic finale at Shibuya AX.

First up, surprisingly, were Crossfaith – probably Japan’s biggest act on the international metal scene at the moment. Purple lights punctured the darkness and soared over the crowd as Teru, Kaz, Tastu and Hiro took to the stage and each hopped up onto the podium to take an individual bow. As Crossfaith singer Ken strolled into view the venue went wild. The band dived straight into “We Are The Future”, and the energy emanating from the stage, mingled with the fever-pitch excitement from the crowd, sent a wave of goosebumps across the skin.

CrossfaithWith a sold out AX, the crowd were piled in on each other, but this didn’t stop circle pits breaking out all over for “Monolith”, and the crowd had little choice but to jump as one along and scream “Hey!” in time to “Jagerbomb”.

Crossfaith are always guaranteed to put on a good show, but with the distance between their Japan appearances becoming ever longer as they continue performing around the world, it may just be that absence makes the heart grow fonder and the beats hit harder, but it seems that every time Crossfaith play at home they get more and more nuanced and brutal in their delivery. Crossfaith “Eclipse” contained thunderous bass-drops from Teru and built up to match the crowd themselves, who were standing on each other’s shoulders and on barriers. “Mirror” crashed in with an intensity that sent the precariously balanced members of the crowd headed in a torrent of crowdsurfing towards the stage, Teru perched over his rig like some kind of avian-looking sorcerer watching the carnage below him.

Finishing with the rather euphoric “Leviathan” Crossfaith bowed out as a group, soaking up the wails of appreciation from the crowd. Leaving the stage in a perfectly timed exit to their final music, Tatsu turned to the crowd and bowed theatrically as the lights blacked out into silence.

Miss May IAmerican metalcore band, Miss May I followed up Crossfaith, taking to a stage blindingly backlit and to a slightly smaller crowd than the openers, but with no less enthusiasm for that. On their first tour of Japan, Miss May I gave a very impressive performance, and were a nice juxtaposition between the two bands they were bookended by. Brandishing a variety of metalcore heavy on the thrash and classic riffage, singer Levi rocked the screaming whilst bassist Ryan balanced out and brought in a melodic edge with his clean vocals, which had previously been put to good use during a brief onstage appearance during the Crossfaith set.

Miss May IThere was a brief respite from the hard and the heavy during “Gone” which was more of a metal ballad and had the crowd waving their hands from side to side, but then it was back into the thrall with “Forgive and Forget”, bringing on a torrent of windmilling and circle pits, whilst “Refused to Believe” had very much a Pantera influence to it, with a huge sound to boot.

Miss May I put on a heavy, forceful and fun show, but were perhaps overshadowed by the two bands they toured with, though that’s more likely just because the others were on fanatical home turf. Nonetheless, with a new album dropping on April 29th, the band certainly won over a slew of fans proudly garbed in their t-shirts and set themselves up for some future Japanese action.

ColdrainThat Coldrain were headlining the evening came as something of a surprise, but that they would pull it off was a certainty. This had been well planned and the crowds were ready for it. A Coldrain emblem hung suspended above the stage, lit up in the darkness in red as purple lights zoomed across the venue and set the crowd off into a frenzy again.

“To Be Alive” opened up the show, followed by “The Revelation” and after these two songs it was evident that this Coldrain was a very different beast from the one that supported Crossfaith in December. Perhaps it’s the experience of overseas touring, or the combined time on the road with two other intense bands, but Coldrain really brought something with them this time they seemed to lack a mere 5 months ago.

Coldrain“Adrenaline” came off as more of a rock party number, much in the vein of Crossfaith’s “We Are The Future” and “Die Tomorrow” continued the theme with the whole audience singing along. “No Escape” was met with a roar of approval from the audience, and “The War Is On” built up to an explosive start which lit the whole venue on fire.

Coldrain pulled off their headline slot with aplomb, running a nice line between melodic and crushing. Their mixture of soaring vocals and pounding breakdowns really hits a chord, and they proved themselves to be at the forefront of what defines many Japanese metal bands – an emotional intensity partnered with musical prowess, unparalleled onstage energy matched (most importantly) by the die-hard fans who moshed themselves senseless.

ColdrainIt’s always a pleasure to be in the presence of Crossfaith, and Miss May I certainly bought themselves a lot of new fans with their melodic metalcore which appealed to the younger crowd more than other bands may have. Meanwhile, Coldrain are settling into their position as one of the bands at the forefront in Japanese metal and continue to impress time and time again. With performances like those on show at the Outburn tour, not only are Japanese bands finally proving that they can clamber out of the pit and escape into the international music scene, but that they’ve got the musical chops to kick some ass while doing so.

Crossfaith SETLIST

We Are The Future/ Monolith/ Jagerbomb/ Countdown to Hell/ Evolution/ Eclipse/ Mirror/ Leviathan

Miss May I SETLIST

Relentless Chaos/ Masses of a Dying Breed/ Our Kings/ Gone/ Dance With Aera Cura/ Forgive and Forget/ Day By Day/ Refused to Believe/ Hey Mister

Coldrain SETLIST

To Be Alive/ The Revelation/ Adrenaline/ Die Tomorrow/ No Escape/ 24-7/ The War Is On/ Voiceless/ Six Feet Under/ Final Destination

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Photos:
Julen Esteban-Pretel
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Text:
Laura Cooper
laura@smashingmag.net
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