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Jul 02

[live report]Creature Creature's Imperial Wrath in Tokyo

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Photos by Toshikazu Oguruma

Ok, here’s the deal. Normally, I would stall with some sort of quip about a band’s name, or the song titles, or their hair, or any other low-blow filler that seems to be the only way I can start an article. But not this time. No, boys and girls, that would be an insult to the concert I recently attended, perhaps even bordering on offensive to a band comprised of Jrock royalty. Who is this band that has left this sarcastic, cynical bastard speechless? Why, Creature Creature.

Creature Creature stepped foot on Tokyo’s Shibuya O-East stage on June 20 with an eerie calm. The name of their two-stop tour is Simone and the Imperial Wrath. A befitting title for the sense of awe that befell the audience. There was a hush over the crowd as several figures dressed in black emerged from the shadows. It wasn’t long before the audience began to buzz with fits of excitement, screaming the names of musicians I never thought I’d ever get to see live.

While the band itself is relatively new, Creature Creature is a virtual Frankenstein’s monster of legendary bands from Jrock’s past. With its permanent member, Morrie (ex-Dead End), heading with his legendary pipes, it’s no wonder the band has attracted enough music veterans to satiate even the biggest old school fans. The current live show lineup includes Hiro (ex-La’cryma Christi) on lead guitar, Shinobu (ex-Guy’s Family) on rhythm guitar, Hitoki (ex-Kuroyume) on bass, and Sakura (ex-ZIGZO) on drums. Of course, these musicians have been showing their skills around the board with their own projects, but Morrie has brought together the best of the best to create this recent incarnation.

_og10824smallIgnoring the members’ careers and influences over the years, the focus of the concert was the music. Judging by the number of fantastic screams coming from the audience, there’s no doubt in my mind that certain people came because of the past fame of certain members. However, anyone who left without feeling swept away by the immense aural display of talent must be deaf.

Morrie has the ability to combine an operatic drama with a goth rock sensibility. His tone is clear, strong, and above all consistently in tune, rounding out each note with a steady vibrato. The transitions between his head voice and falsetto are seamless, even smoother live than on the recordings. Morrie is a master of the epic vocal tones that many of his contemporaries shy away from, especially live. But hearing his voice at that moment only solidified the fact that he has one of the most uniquely powerful voices in Jrock. A voice you can only truly appreciate in its full range live.

He may be the frontman, but Morrie’s not the only member of the band who commands an infinite amount of talent. Lesser musicians would fade into the abyss next to Morrie’s epically dynamic vocals, but Hiro, Shinobu, Hitoki, and Sakura are not just a support band. In particular, Hiro’s finger work on his guitar is almost frightening. Blasting through his guitar solos as if his fingers were on fire, Hiro lifts the music up and sends it running. While the majority of Creature Creature’s music is decidedly dark, the guitar work dancing on many of the faster numbers creates an energy that contrasts much of the gloom behind the slower, ballad-like songs. By the time the band got to the first encore, my eyes were exhausted from trying to follow Hiro’s nimble fingers.

The entire experience went by in a flash, and before long, Creature Creature left the stage, the lights went up, and the announcer told all the frozen, gawking statues in the audience to go home. People amazingly refused. They continued to scream for an encore, which is extremely rare for an otherwise civil crowd. Several minutes passed before the band emerged again, wearing their tour T-shirts. Morrie gave exhausted but ecstatic thanks.

Creature Creature may seem like a collage of rockstars from my CD collection, but they are inevitably a solid band with a skill level higher than I have ever heard live. That’s why I’m not clowning around this time. Finally, a band that’s managed to shut me up.

Set List

Shinkuu
Cluster
MABOROSHI
ZONE
Black Hole
Hoshitsuki
Hien
Sexus
Es
Kaze no Tou
COSMOS BLACKNESS
Automatic Extinction
Paradise
RED
SWAN
Haru no Kikai

[ENCORE-1]
Yo

[ENCORE-2]
Sen no Yamiyo ni

7 comments

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  1. dogpapa

    Wonderful review, and you nailed the amazing aspects of Morrie’s voice perfectly! I pray I can come to Japan to see them live one day, as I doubt they’ll ever come to NY…

  2. Viktor-HYDEist

    thanks so much for the live report!
    ^^ cool
    good lucky!!!

  3. Djinn

    Thank you for the review!! I was there in Shibuya O-east too and it was a really-really great concert. This live was the main reason we go to Japan this year (from Hungary) and it’s absolutely worth it. I hope new album will be released soon. :)

    1. Sarah

      That’s awesome! I’m glad you enjoyed yourself as much as I did.

  4. Thelly

    I just want to say, as a fan its really cool that you got to see Creature Creature. I’m insanely thrilled to know that if one day I can possibly attend a live, that it can be as lovely as the time you experienced.

    Thanks so much for the article. This only makes me want to see them alot more.

    1. Sarah

      It’s my pleasure! Keep your eyes and ear open for any news about Creature Creature!

  5. Kathy Chee

    Nice report Sarah! I look forward to more of your Tokyo escapades.

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