【LIVE REPORT】「H.U.G TOUR 2023 -LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS-」TOUR FINAL at SHIROKANE-TAKANAWA SELENE b2 2023.07.07
H.U.G. formed in 2022 by Karyu, guitarist of D’ESPAIRSRAY and Angelo, together with vocalist ryo (HOLLOWGRAM/DALLE) and manipulator Kazutoshi Yokoyama made a strong impact on the audience at their debut event “DEVIL’S PARTY 2022 Vol.2” held at Spotify O-EAST on September 8, 2022. Also, their first solo live show【SHOWCASE01】 at Spotify O-WEST held on March 24 this year was a great success.
Sensing a good ride of wave, H.U.G. released their first album, HELIOS, on June 10, 2023. Their sense of music, filled with sophisticated profoundness, was highly acclaimed, drew more and more listeners attention. The “H.U.G TOUR 2023 -LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS-“, which started at the same time as the release of “HELIOS”, featured the strong support members NAOKI (bass FANTASISTA/ex.Kagrra,) and TAKEO (drum PIERROT/Angelo). The live performances were as well received as the album and, the members of H.U.G. must have felt the firm response from the audience.
The final show of the tour, which captivated many listeners, was held on July 7 at Shirokane-Takanawa SELENE b2. Although it was a weekday concert, many listeners gathered at the venue on the day of the show, and live streaming was also held which made the day a spectacular one.
As the venue darkened and dark and cyber sound effects resounded the venue, the H.U.G. members appeared on stage. Roar of applause and shouts erupted from the floor as the first song “SEEDS,” which was followed by the tranquil piano played by Yokoyama started the show. Ryo captivated the audience with his glaring aura reminiscent of a nobleman, emotional voice, and active stage presence, while Karyu’s wild presence with his guitar perched on his knees combined with his solid guitar sound was just fantastic. Yokoyama, with his mysterious atmosphere, colored the music with a palette of tones. The audience reacted enthusiastically to the members’ strong presence on stage and vibrant, sophisticated sound, and the show made a good start.
“Today is the last day of the tour. Thank you very much. I am very happy to have reached this day. I hope that everyone here today will lend their voice and strength to this event.” After ryo’s greeting, the band played the powerful and stylish “HUG,” “DON’T DOUBT,” which utilized the matching of heavy guitar and floating sound of the keyboards, fat and driving “BLOOD PIN,” and more. The sound both heavy and sharp, full of comfort, and the intense performances by all the members are hard not to be fascinated by. From the compelling stage presence of H.U.G., it was evident that this tour showed that the group has grown even more powerful than before.
In the middle part of the live, they performed the glittering “HEART” and “BUTTERFLY,” which utilized the contrast between the inorganic middle of the song and the heart-driving chorus. “Yet people repeatedly still make the same mistakes. People fight, start wars. Riots also occur. Yet, no matter what happens, I believe that people will always return to those they care about. No matter how many sorrows and deaths we overcome, we will always return to our loved ones. Let’s go home together,” ryo said as he started the latter half of the live with the song “熾-oki-“. The band showed a wide range of styles with songs such as “Marry of the blood” (D’ESPAIRSRAY), which combined heaviness with exotic flavors, to the groove-enhancing “Flash dancers,” which all drew the audience with storytelling flow, and their catchy numbers were not too sweet, and even the aggressive scenes did not lose their splendor.
Another impressive aspect of H.U.G.’s sound is that it flourishes furthermore live, with Karyu’s loud and solid guitar at the core of the band’s sound. A strong recommend to those who have not yet seen H.U.G live to go to the venue, as their explosive power and raging energy are overwhelming to experience live.
After the aggressive “WHO IS THE ROMEO” and “HELIOS” (new song), which drew the audience in with its decadent atmosphere in the first half and led to a fast-paced second half that lifted the voltage of the venue with its enormous energy, the slow tune “LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS” was played as the last song for the main set of the show.
The intensity and clarity of the song’s sound was deeply moving and powerful, and when H.U.G. left the stage, the audience was left with a lingering emotional afterglow.
For the encore, after the members of H.U.G. appeared on stage, YO from Matenrou Opera appeared on stage as a special guest. H.U.G’s first album “HELIOS” was recorded by YO and ZERO (THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S/OFIAM/Luv PARADE), Ni~ya (NIGHTMARE), as NAOKI could not attend the recording due to his schedule, MASASHI (Versailles) and other eminent faces played bass in the album, which has also attracted attention.
YO was invited to this live to perform with H.U.G., the song “SEEDS,” which he played bass on the CD.
The audience cheered loudly for “SEEDS” with the participation of YO, and it is no exaggeration to say that YO, who immediately became at ease with the atmosphere and played a high-quality bass is just as good as he should be. It was clear that the audience was happy to accept the cool gift from H.U.G.
“DROP” and “HELIOS” followed and, the audience enthusiastically responded to the stage, who gave their all until the very last moment, and the venue of Shirokane-Takanawa SELENE b2 was filled with a grand excitement which set the crown for their tour final.
H.U.G. capped off their first national tour in the best possible way, and the final show showed that in addition to their unique and high-quality musicianship, they are also a very attractive live band. During the encore emcee, Karyu said, “We will do our best to make this one ripple grow bigger and bigger, so please support us,” and I cannot help but feel that H.U.G. will continue to involve more and more listeners.
We will be keeping a close eye on their future activities.
03. DON’T DOUBT
04. BLOOD PIN
09. Marry of the blood
10. Flash dancers
11. WHO IS THE ROMEO
13. LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS
01. SEEDS（Guest：燿(YO from Matenrou Opera)）
Guitar：Karyu（Angelo/Luv PARADE/ ex.D’ESPAIRSRAY)
Special Guest：YO燿（Matenrou Opera/摩天楼オペラ）
Live report by: Takayuki Murakami村上孝之
Photos by: Mai Okamoto 岡本麻衣(ODD JOB LTD.)
Translation by: Vkei-Guide
H.U.G TOUR 2023 -HELIOS-
October 9 (Mon) Nagoya SPADE BOX
October 10 (Tue) Osaka MUSE
October 13 (Fri) Akabane ReNY alpha
Karyu Birthday Live
December 9 (Sat) Yokohama Bronth
[Live Streaming Information]
August 9 (Wed) [Hug Day] Wrap-up party
The five members who toured together on “tour 2023 -LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS-” will participate in the live streaming.
[Album distribution information]
1st Album “HELIOS”
Streaming on various distribution sites!
Also available at online store!