American fans from all over the Midwest came out to the House of Blues to see the Guitar Samurai, 雅-MIYAVI, play for the second time in Chicago. The stop was part of his What's My Name 2011 World Tour which marks his third trip rocking around the globe. This time, it was as raw as it gets, with only MIYAVI, his short-shorts sporting drummer BOBO, and of course his stagehand Pepsi.
It was a chilly Friday morning when the first few fans arrived at the Chicago House of Blues to see MIYAVI all the way from Tokyo. By four the line wrapped around the side of the venue, and minutes before it was time to go inside it was impossible to tell cold shivers apart from excited jitters.
When the doors finally opened, fans raced up the stairs to get a spot near the stage. At seven the opening act, American dance-pop singer Sister Soleil, took the stage and gave an energetic three-song performance.
Shortly after the opening act, the crowd became restless. “MI-YA-VI! MI-YA-VI!,” they chanted in hopes of summoning the Guitar Samurai. Suddenly, the screen blocking the stage rose, the lights went down, and MIYAVI appeared in a black hat playing the opening of “What's My Name”. Between each riff the rocker stopped, gave a glare behind dark sunglasses, and took in the crowd's energy. When he broke out into full song, the entire venue burst into a shout. The Guitar Samurai had arrived.
After acoustic performances of some of his older songs like “Please, Please, Please” and “Selfish Love”, the second by audience request, MIYAVI asked the crowd:
“Do you guys know tsukareta? It's what Japanese people say when they get tired... I am so f***ing tsukareta right now.”
But despite being tired, the heat and energy of MIYAVI's performance continued to rise.
The focus then moved to his newer songs as he prepped fans for the next tune:
“OK, now everybody put your hands above your head and clap them like this. Boom hah, boom hah-hah,” he whispered.
The crowed clapped and bobbed their heads to the intoxicating grooves of the guitarist's sword.
He also played the new tracks “Hell No” and “Music Free. “Hell No” is a hard-hitting, guitar-slapping track, while “Music Free” showcased the Samurai's sexy side. The lyrics to this tune went “Stomp your feet, clap the beat, music is free yeah. Eat sleep I'm S-E-X-X” as MIYAVI seductively pumped his chest, shook his hips, and raised his shirt, revealing his abs underneath.
Maybe the temperature got too high at one point. A fan collapsed when BOBO was tearing away at the drums during a solo. Once the crowd pointed out what happened, MIYAVI immediately stopped the show until the fan was escorted away.
“Good job,” MIYAVI told the audience.
“Chicago, you are so hot.”
One thing that makes every MIYAVI concert a blast is that he takes time to interact with the audience. “The drive to Chicago [from Seattle] takes three long ass days and there is nothing to see. Every time you see Walmart, KFC, Target, and the China buffet. That's this guy's favorite,” as he pointed at BOBO. He also said that he had been out exploring Chicago: “So I went to navy pier and took a picture of the city across from Lake Michigan. I swear that thing is not a lake. It's a sea. An ocean!”
Two of the most exciting numbers of the night were “S.M.F.B.” and “Strong”. When MIYAVI performed “S.M.F.B.” the floors of the House shook from all the jumping. And during “Strong” MIYAVI kicked his feet and shredded his guitar behind his neck from one end of the stage to the other as the revved up fans belted out every “be stro-ong yeah!” along with him.
Before long, MIYAVI said “I love you” and rushed off the stage. The confused crowd chanted for an encore, but nothing happened. One fan pointed to the upper right balcony and all heads tilted up to find MIYAVI looking down at us. After giving a few waves he disappeared. Eyes scoured the upper floor looking for the rocker until the crowd's attention was directed to the balcony behind us. Nothing. The crowd turned back around to the stage and our eyes finally met MIYAVI once again!
The encore performance was without a doubt the best of the night. MIYAVI instructed the crowd to put up one finger and told them, “We can be one through music. We are one no matter where you are.” With our hands up pointing up one we yelled “Generation! Nation! Language! Culture! Religion! History! Be one!” for what seemed to be half an eternity in a colorful burst of rock bliss, and the floor shook once again.
The song epitomized the night perfectly, everyone huddled together near the middle of the stage singing along with the Guitar Samurai. It united the diverse crowd which was made up of fans as young as middle schoolers and some old enough to be grandparents. We were all “one” in his music. MIYAVI, BOBO, and Pepsi took a bow, blew kisses, and said their final goodbyes. MIYAVI rocked the Chicago House of Blues to pieces and we cannot wait until the Guitar Samurai comes back to do it again!
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Plus de photos et source : JpopAsia