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【VG】LIVE REPORT|HOLLOWGRAM 5th Anniversary 「FLUID」After party acoustic live

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HOLLOWGRAM 5周年「FLUID」After party acoustic live
2019/2/4 (mon)

HOLLOWGRAM 0204 pic 5On February 4th, HOLLOWGRAM held an after-party acoustic live for 「FLUID」after they successfully ended their 5 year anniversary one-man on January 20. For the band, it was their first time to hold an acoustic and talk live and, especially for those who know them well, this event was a must go to savor the different atmosphere than what the band’s usually presents.
HOLLOWGRAM 0204 pic 4Anticipating to witness a different side of the band, I walked through the venue street of Shibuya to the venue LOFT 9.
LOFT 9 was a venue where the audience can enjoy the stage while having food and drinks.
Upon entering, the venue had a busy and lively atmosphere with waiters walking around taking orders and seated fans were chatting and savoring the foods. It was beyond imagination that an acoustic live was about to start at this busy and lively venue, especially for those who know the usual HOLLOWGRAM, and probably that was one part that made this live a special one.

As the clock passed 7:30p.m., the SE began to play in the venue. With the slight noise from the floor, the atmosphere seemed a bit different than usual, and as the screen at the center of the stage rolled up, the logo of the venue “LOFT 9” let its presence be revealed. The pink and blue lights lit the stage and the atmosphere gradually grew silent as the live had finally begun.
The members showed up on stage, feeling the different atmosphere, gazed down to the floor as they also seemed at ease with a somewhat benign expression on their faces.
HOLLOWGRAM 0204 pic 6“Thank you for coming to HOLLOWGRAM 5th anniversary after-party 「FLUID」. Please relax and enjoy. Today marks the end of the tour 「FLUID」2018. Let’s have a toast.” As ryo spoke, everybody at the venue stood up for a toast to celebrate the final. After savoring his alcoholic beverage, ryo took the mic for the first song, 「adolescent」 adding ,“before I get a bit drunk.[laugh]” right before starting the song. Unlike the vibrance the song usually presents, the harmony of the twin guitars and ryo’s voice somewhat drew a mellow flow. Also, adding to ryo’s voice, Yumeji’s chorus blended in smoothly, creating a beautiful harmony. Upon ryo’s cue to end the song, the live resumed with the first talk of the day.
As the atmosphere shifted to one more at ease, the members also took this time to order food, as they continued with a talk show portion of the night. ryo seemed a bit bewildered by the mood of the venue at first saying, “ It’s quite confusing what to say in this situation… .” However, he used this time to pay gratitude as the band was able to successfully end their January 20 tour final and to reach their 5th anniversary with the support of the fans. Yumeji followed right away saying, “ It is our first time to do such talk and live event like this, and we are very thankful for having this opportunity since I don’t think it’s always possible.” From the talk, the band resumed their acoustic live with 「la nuit etoilee」which started with shinya’s drums, and the jazzy and smooth song gave a feel of appreciating the song in a place more like a café .
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The next 「DID」drew a totally different sound with a rhythmical tone and, the song brought about a bounding pulse to the acoustic sound.
After the two songs, as the stage and floor both had some time to eat and drink, the members talked about their episodes of drinking alcohol and with the talk about songwriting between Yumeji and Kazuya whom make most of the music, it was something worth listening to, as it seemed the members had a good relationship.
A few days before this event, ryo had asked on Twitter what the fans wanted to hear, and the song that had the most requests was the next「Butterfly in her dreams」which is one of HOLLOWGRAM’s signature songs. The acoustic version of this song also brought about the essence of the band as, ryo’s mellow voice wavered like a butterfly, blending well with the gentle melody of the acoustic guitars.
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The talk resumed right away, as the members seemed a bit sleepy from the alcoholic drinks they had been having over the duration of this event. Yumeji always had his acoustic guitar in hands even during the talk, which was impressive, as he created a melodious BGM while he talked about how, “It is better to be a bit sleepy during the live because it lets you relax and play more smoothly. It isn’t good to be tense especially when you’re playing a delicate phrase.”
Also, during this talk, there was a scene where Kazuya, who has a bright and ingenuous nature, had the venue erupting in laughter. After some cozy talk, the venue became silent for the last song before the brief 15minute break, as 「Where you go」gently enveloped the venue with its tender melody.

The latter half of the live started with another toast, 「Paint in Watercolor」followed right away to resume the live. As Kazuya’s guitar riff, and Yumeji’s passionate guitar each drew out their own colors, ryo and shinya followed to blend their melody and rhythm into the song as the song brought the world of HOLLOWGRAM out to the floor. During the live, there were moments where the members made eye contact, and the audience could also understand that the members were also having a good time.

After the first song of the latter half of the show, while the members tuned their instruments, ryo shared with the fans about how songs of HOLLOWGRAM are intricate in terms of tuning, and that there are some songs that cannot be performed so often at lives.
It was announced that HOLLOWGRAM’s “fatherly member” shinya’s Birthday GIG will be on May 20th. The venue lit up with the announcement. During this talk section, the members talked about Kazuya, who is a bit shy to talk about himself. Yumeji talked about how he is thankful for Kazuya as many come to listen and appreciate his songs. Ryo followed and said to Kazuya, “ To receive recognition for what one created surely is the same worth as gold.” Kazuya answered with a shy yet happy smile to the words of the two members. Amidst the heartwarming talk, the next song 「遠鳴り」was introduced as the song by Kazuya. The song was a distributed for free at the January one-man, and is the new song that ryo had commented on the title in his own twitter. The song had profoundness with a wavering melody of reminiscent memories which resounded in the venue quietly, keeping the floor silent as the audience appreciated the song to the end.
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As applause arose from the audience, Yumeji, a bit drunk, resumed with the talk. “When there is no sequence, it is like you are experiencing something that is on the spot one-and-only something. I like that. Anyways, we are grateful to have fans that come to appreciate our lives, and we are blessed by it. Thanks.” Ryo also commented saying, “I know that what we are doing is something we love to do, and we know that there are people that look up to what we present. I think we gain our power to pursue what we do through the people that appreciate and listen to our music. Thanks, once again.” After the talk, the live resumed with 「Peach moon」which ryo gave effort to sing it in a sorrowful way. Though with the simple chord progression, the melody had a somewhat colorful image, and it was convincing when the writer of the song, Kazuya explained that he had made this song from a scenery of an art piece. Then with a brief talk about the song, the live resumed right away as shinya’s drum stroke a rhythm for 「Lucent moon」which was rather dynamic for an acoustic live. Soon after, a birthday cake was carried to Yumeji’s table as it was his birthday and the venue was in a celebratory mood. “I’m going to continue to put my feelings in the songs I create with my guitar, thanks!” The comment was brief yet was one that definitely reflected Yumeji’s character, and as the live came to their last song, the song that they chose for their 5th anniversary and Yumeji’s birthday was 「History」which is the song that was distributed at the one-man live that re-started their activities as four members, and was included in the mini-album 「FLUID」. With the song, the bands journey of their tour,「FLUID」, came to an end.

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For HOLLOWGRAM, it was not an easy path to come all this way to their 5th year.
Amidst a time where Visual kei has plunged into an ice age with array of bands disbanding, venues closing, and bands have been suffering to survive, the band had slowly yet steadily continued their activities. In one of the years, the bassist left the band, and with the departure, concerns grew for their continuation as a band. However, guitarist Kazuya switched over to play the bass, and HOLLOWGRAM successfully officially resumed their activities with the remaining four members. After they resumed their activities, they released the mini album 「FLUID」in 2018 and, with it went on a nationwide tour.From their activities, a glimpse of their will to go on could be seen, and the bond among the members may not be tight but is present and firm. That impression was felt from this acoustic live, and it seems these things come clear through the scope of the relaxed atmosphere the live created.
Hoping for HOLLOWGRAM’s 「History」to continue its revival, let us anticipate their bright future ahead.

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Set List
1. adolescent
2. La nuit etoilee
3. DID
4. Butterfly in her dreams
5. Where you go
6. Paint in Watercolor
7. 遠鳴り(Tounari)
8. Peach moon
9. Lucent moon
10. History


Photo Credit: Reiko Arakawa (zoisite)

Text and Translation: M.Kawaguchi (VG)


「HOLLOWGRAM5周年「FLUID」アフターパーティーへお越しいただきありがとうございます。リラックスした感じで楽しんでくれたらいいよ。2018年「FLUID」ツアーも本日を以て完結。みんなで乾杯しよう。」と、開口一番にボーカルryoが言うと、軽く乾杯が行われた。アフターパーティーらしく、お酒を嗜みながら「酔いがまわる前に。」と始まったのは「adolescent」。ツインギターが織り成すハーモニーとryoの歌声が揺れるように、いつもの力強さとは違い、どこか軽やかだった。ギター夢時のハモりもまた、ryoの声に合わせ、綺麗に溶け込んでいた。ryoが合図し曲が終わると、トークが始まった。会場の雰囲気に身を任せ、メンバーも食事を注文しつつ、トークが展開していった。「この雰囲気で何を喋っていいかわからないな・・・。」と最初は困惑しつつも、ryoは「1月20日のファイナルを無事終え、5周年を迎えられたのはファンの皆さんのおかげだね。これからも宜しくお願いします。」と感謝の意をのべたところで、夢時もそれに追随し、「HOLLOWGRAMでこういうことをやるのは初めてで、できたことはありがたいですね。なかなかできないですもん。」と、いつもよりまったりとしたトークから、次の「la nuit etoilee」がshinyaのドラムのリズムから始まり、ジャズの効いた甘めで円やかな雰囲気はどこかお洒落なカフェを彷彿させた。続いた「DID」は打って変わり、メリハリのある曲で、アコースティックでもまた躍動感を感じさせるものだった。2曲終わり、再びトークに戻る。フロアと同様、メンバーもリラックスした様子でお酒を飲みながら、それぞれのお酒のエピソードや作曲組の夢時と一也の作曲秘話のやりとりからは、二人の仲睦まじさを感じさせた。
「ライブで何を聴きたい?」とryoがTwitterでライブ数日前に投稿をして、一番リクエストで多かったのが次の「Butterfly in her dreams」 だったそうで、HOLLOWGRAMのファンであれば知らない人はいないだろう名曲である。そんな名曲がアコースティックバージョンでもまた彼らの世界観が開花させるようにryoの揺らめく歌声がアコースティックギター達の旋律に乗せられ、まるで蝶がゆらゆらと舞うようで心地よく場内を響かせた。
拍手が沸き起こり、再びトークに突入すると、酒が良い具合に回ってきたのか、眠そうなメンバー。「眠たい状態でライブをやる方が肩の力が抜けて良い。特に繊細な部分はイキむとよくないからね。」と語る夢時がトーク中にBGMのようにさり気なくギターを弾いていたのが印象的だった。また、パッと雰囲気を明るくする天然な一也がメンバー、フロア共に笑わせてくれるシーンもあり、場内は和気あいあいとした雰囲気がしばし続いた。静けさを取り戻し「Where you go」が優しく会場を包んだ後、一旦メンバーは退場し15分の休憩に入った。
2部が始まり、軽く乾杯がされると、「Paint in Watercolor」でライブは再開された。一也のギターリフ、そして夢時の情熱的なギターが一筆一筆加えられて、ryoとshinyaが同時に色を添えて行くと、HOLLOWGRAMの世界が彩豊かに花開いた。時折、メンバー同士でアイコンタクトを取りながら、どこか楽しそうな雰囲気を漂わせていた。
HOLLOWGRAMの曲にはチューニングが難しい曲が多く、あまり披露できないものもあると他メンバーがチューニング中にryoが語ってから始まった2部最初のトークでは、HOLLOWGRAMの「パパ的な存在」であるshinyaの誕生日である5月20日開催のBirthday GIGの開催場所が発表された。また、ここであまり自分から語らない一也について夢時が、「一也の曲は人から認められているもので、多くの人が彼の曲を知り、聴きに来てくれている。感謝しかないよね。」と語ると、重ねてryoもまた「認められているのは、財産だと思うよ。」と追随して言うと、一也は少し照れ臭そうに笑った。そんな心温まるトークの中、次の曲がそんな一也の曲と紹介された「遠鳴り」だった。1月のワンマンで無料配布された曲で、ryoが以前Twitterで曲名に触れた新曲だそうだ。演奏が始まると会場は静まり返り、聴きごたえのある且つ追憶を漂わせた重みのある曲だった。
会場から拍手が送られた後、「シーケンスがないと、(ライブが)人間ならではの今しかない感じが出ていいよね。」とほろ酔いの夢時がトークを再開し、「来てくれるお客さんがいて、僕らの支えになっています。本当にありがとう。」と感謝を述べた。それに続きryoも、「やりたいことをやれているし、みんなに認めてもらえている。褒めてのびるんだなって思っています。みんなに感謝しています。」と改めて感謝の意を述べると、続いた切々と歌う事を心掛けたという「Peach moon」が披露され、シンプルなコード進行ながらも、音色がどこか色鮮やかで、作曲者の一也が絵画の風景を想像しながら作ったというのも頷けた。曲解説のトークを挟み、shinyaのドラムが弾けて、アコースティックとしては躍動的な「Lucent moon」と続いた後、この日夢時の誕生日という事もあり、ケーキがステージに運ばれ、会場全体で祝福モードになった。夢時が「これからも思った事をギターに込めるわ。ありがとう。」と彼らしくバースデースピーチを締めくくり、5周年と夢時の誕生日を祝して、最後に、彼らが4人編成で活動再開した時に配布され、後に「FLUID」に再録した「History」と、彼らにとって一つの旅路を終えるように「FLUID」はようやく幕を閉じた。


HOLLOWGRAM ~shinya Birthday GIG Gekiatsu 2nd~
Date: May 20, 2019 (mon)
Venue: Shibuya GLAD
Open:7:00p.m. Start: 7:30p.m.

See more schedule at HOLLOWGRAM official website: http://hollowgram.net/