Despite floods, X Japan rocks out in Bangkok

11/14/2011
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X Japan is one of the top J rock bands

TOKYO (majirox news) — Last week as the floods surged into Bangkok’s neighborhoods, one of Japan’s top rock bands, X Japan, played at the city’s Impact Arena.

Despite the emergency crisis in the country, the band didn’t cancel their appearance.

Fans had begged them not to cancel, and their promoters, BEC-Tero, said that they were inundated with e-mails from fans asserting that they would come by boat if necessary.

Bangkok was the last stop on the group’s World Tour Finale, which began June 28, and included France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, China and South Korea.

“While we understood that there was a serious situation around us, we also had an obligation to fans to do our best to make these shows happen,” said Neil Thompson of BEC-Tero.

Thailand experienced the worst floods in its history. Millions were evacuated: there was no access to many roads and there were travel warnings. Surprisingly, the floods didn’t reach the packed arena located in suburban Bangkok.

Hundreds of determined fans made it to the airport on Nov. 8 to greet X Japan, and more than 11,000 attended the concert.

For bandleader Yoshiki, 45, his music was now even more relevant.

“I heard that some of your houses were underwater,” Yoshiki said. “Japan is also working hard to recover from the earthquake and tsunami and we wanted to support people in Thailand. You helped us after the March 11 earthquake.”

Yoshiki donated 1.2 million yen ($16,500) of his own money to help the flood victims. The other members also made a substantial donation.

The band, founded in 1982, was inspired by LA metal and ballads. The group achieved their breakthrough in 1989 with their second album,“Blue Blood.” They soon became one of the most popular rock bands to achieve mainstream success on an independent label.

In addition, they have given 15 sold-out performances at the 55,000 seat Tokyo Dome.

Yoshiki, who has a classical music background, plays drums and piano and composes the group’s songs. He performed at the 10-year anniversary ceremony of Japan’s emperor’s accession to the throne in 1999.

The band has gone though a series of breakups but got back together in 2007, which led to their successful World Tour Finale this year.

At the concert, Yoshiki appeared at one point in a traditional Thai dress: “I wanted to try this on but they told me it was for women. So I said it was prefect.”

The group played the popular Thai song “Full Moon.” Other songs included Jade, Rusty Nail, Endless Rain, Silent Jealousy and Kurenai.

The fans sang along, some dressed in their favorite cosplay and manga characters, until midnight.

One emotional fan said as he left that he came through the flooded streets to get to the concert.

“I swam through flood waters to see them live. I was determined to get here, no matter what.”

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