Eager fans snapped up the 24,000 tickets. The proceeds and other revenue from items sold at the concert will go to victims of Japan’s March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
“Lets overcome sorrow together and please keep the flame of your soul burning,” the band’s vocalist Ryuichi Kawamura told the crowd at the concert. He then called for one minute of silence to remember victims of the disaster.
The group’s guitarist Sugizo talked about his experiences as a volunteer in the relief efforts, cleaning up houses and ports. He encouraged fans to volunteer as well. He even posted a message on Japan’s popular social network site “mixi” saying that he would send detailed information about volunteering in the affected areas to each person who contacted him.
“I was skeptical at first that he would be able to answer hundreds of messages while playing gigs in one of the biggest bands in Japan plus his solo work,” a fan said. “But he got back to me pretty quickly with the information on volunteer groups.”
The five-member band, which was formed in 1989 and originally called Lunacy, was a major influence in creating the visual kei style, with its use of heavy make-up, elaborative hair styles, and androgynous fashion. The group played a mixture of pop, punk gothic rock and even classical music. However, after a one-year break in 1998, they came back with a more progressive rock style and toned down their on-stage attire.
The band took an indefinite hiatus in 2000, but came back together in 2010, touring the world in what was called the “20th Anniversary World Tour Reboot–to the New Moon.” They went to five countries, including the U.S., Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The band said that it would continue giving concerts to help support Japan’s disaster-affected areas.
Fan Tastusya Miyakawa says that he was so inspired by the show that he went to the city of Ishinomaki to help with the relief.
“Sugizo is right,” he says, “we need more people to go up there to help and I want to do it again.”