For those of you who haven't already heard - Buck-Tick's insistence in the recent Fish Tank newsletter that "we won't be standing on stage for our fans for several more months" proved to be a fakeout - Buck-Tick have just been announced as a headlining guest for Luna Sea's 25th anniversary festival, along with their favorite mortal frenemies, X Japan.
Passing over the fact that 1) Luna Sea are celebrating their 25th anniversary without actually having been active for many of those 25 years, and 2) something tells me another band we know have already done this anniversary festival thing twice already while actually having been active for the length of time they're advertised as celebrating, Luna Sea have gathered together a truly stupendous lineup for this festival, enough to make fangirls sprout butt-rockets and shoot off into the cosmic circus. The festival lasts two days, and at 15500 yen per day, the ticket prices are on a par with mega-festivals like Summer Sonic and Fuji Rock, which smacks a bit of narcissism to my ears, but depending on your musical preferences, it might very well be worth it.
On Saturday, June 27th, the lineup includes some of the most popular names in homegrown Japanese hard rock and metal - not only X Japan, but also Dir en grey, the recently popular younger heavy rock band 9mm Parabellum Bullet, Morrie's Dead End, Xtasy Records brothers Tokyo Yankees, hair metal veterans LADIESROOM, and if you get sick of all those hard guitar riffs, sweet early 90's soft rock visual kei titans Siam Shade, as well as coldrain, The Telephones, and Las Vegas, whose work I personally am not familiar with, but if you like the other bands on this list you should probably look them up. The presence of Tokyo Yankees on the lineup seems especially significant, at least for the Yankees' members themselves, considering the fact that the last time Cayce saw them perform, they were playing on a bill with five unknown indie deathrock bands in a teeny-tiny underground live house in northern Ikebukuro. Go for it Yankees, you're not dead yet.
Our beloved Buck-Tick will be headlining Sunday, June 28th, along with old-school metal rockers AION (longtime Luna Sea friends), [Alexandros] (whose claim to fame is the fact that they used to be called [Champagne], but were forced to change their name after a cease and desist order from the Bureau of Champagne, Japan - yes that would be the body that oversees the protected designation of origin status for bubbly wine made in the Champagne region of France, yes this is a true story, no you can't make this stuff up...and those brackets around the name, oh the pretension!), Rottengraffty (who not only seem to have stolen their name from Porno Graffiti, but also couldn't be bothered to learn how to correctly spell "graffiti"), dark indie weirdo darlings Lin Toshite Sigure, and a bunch of other bands you've never heard of and therefore probably don't want to see, especially because they have nothing to do with Buck-Tick and no appeal to Buck-Tick fans...APRIL FOOL!
No, let's be real here. The rest of the lineup for Sunday is like a ultra-rare and overpriced gotta-catch-em-all Pokemon card collection of "if you like Buck-Tick you might also like" bands, including D'erlanger (who co-headlined the final stop on Buck-Tick's Parade Tour 2012, and also the second day of the Buck-Tick 25th anniversary festival in 2012, and whose vocalist Kyo also performed as part of the unit Runaway Boys at Buck-Tick's 20th anniversary in 2007), GLAY (rock titans in the own right, whose very own guitarist Hisashi performed as a member of Rally, a Buck-Tick fanboy session band formed for Buck-Tick's 20th anniversary festival in 2007), dark guroguro visual screamo self-professed Buck-Tick fanboy band Mucc (some of whose members got their start playing in Buck-Tick copybands, and who later went on to perform at Buck-Tick's 25th anniversary in 2012, and also invited Buck-Tick to perform at their event 69 Wars in Osaka in 2014), newly formed electro downtempo unit minus (-) (made up of former Soft Ballet members Morioka Ken and Fujii Maki, who also happen to be good buddies and former Taiyo Records label brothers with Buck-Tick), and last but not least, the supergroup so dark, spooky, glittery and glammy that clouds of bats follow them wherever they go and actual blacklight shines out of all their orifices - yes I'm talking about KA.F.KA, Tsuchiya Masami's grand return to the music scene, featuring the man himself on guitar, Morioka Ken (of minus, formerly of Soft Ballet) on keyboard, Ueno Koji (of Thee Michelle Gun Elephant) on bass, madcap Imai drinking buddy Motokatsu (of the Mad Capsule Markets) on drums, and Issay of Der Zibet on vocals (and just between you and me - all the rumors concerning him and Mr. Sakurai are true, every last one of them. In fact, everything you read on the internet is true, come to think of it.)
And if all that hasn't made you feel faint already, don't worry - opening acts are due to be announced on May 29th, and who knows, Kokushoku Sumire might be on that list.
Anyhoo, I wouldn't generally advocate traveling from overseas just for a festival, but given the lineup, this festival might actually be an exception. The second ticket presale lottery is on until May 29th, followed by general sales starting May 30th. There is no block system and re-entry is free, meaning you can leave and come back at your leisure and there's nothing preventing you from fighting your way to the front railing except for masses of fangirls who all had the same idea. In addition, the performances will take place on three stages, meaning that each band gets to play longer sets, so you get more for your money, provided the bands you like aren't booked opposite each other. No worries for minus (-) and KA.F.KA fans, though - Morioka Ken can't be in two places at once!
Additionally, the festival will take place at Makuhari Messe, an indoor festival space a slightly inconveniently long train ride from central Tokyo - so no worries about rain, but get ready to wake up extra early, since the doors open at 9:30 AM. If you have any further questions, or need help getting tickets, email Cayce. In the meantime, have fun hyperventilating and having a fangasm.