【VG】LIVE REPORT｜H.U.G First Showcase One-Man Live「SHOWCASE01」2023.03.24
H.U.G＠Shibuya Spotify O-WEST
H.U.G First Showcase One-Man Live「SHOWCASE01」
The five members appeared on stage to a shower of cheers that resounded the venue.
With the first shout from ryo (vo), the roaring sound of the instruments unleashed, “HUG,” the group’s eponymous song started the show.
“H.U.G First Showcase ONE-MAN Live “SHOWCASE01”” which was held at Spotify O-EAST in Shibuya on March 24, H.U.G’s first one-man live.
ryo, who skillfully uses both his elongated singing voice and edgy shouts to fire up the audience, Karyu (gu), who holds his guitar low and builds H.U.G’s one and only sound with thick distortion sounds, and Kazutoshi Yokoyama (manipulator, key, percussion), who colors the music by aggressively hitting the pads with his shining sticks.
The support members, TAKEO (Dr./Angelo, ex.PIERROT), who delivers a sturdy rhythm, and NAOKI (Ba/FANTASISTA, ex.Kagrra,) who supports the bottom line with his solid play are so at ease in the band that it is hard to believe they are support members, creating unity in the band. This was only the second time the five members had performed together as a band since last December. It was hard to believe that this was only the second time, as the raging groove of the band was so well matched.
The somewhat exotic industrial number “DON’T DOUBT” was followed by the band’s raging stage with a solid performance accompanied by noisy images projected on the screen at the back of the stage. The new song “BLOOD PIN” was a number with upper parts and beautiful melodies that intertwined.
It was obvious from their performances and facial expressions that the five members were enjoying this live space to the fullest. There was a scene where ryo expressed his joy to be able to perform his first one-man show in the current situation where it has become possible for fans to shout out loud. The audience on the floor were no different. They responded to the sound released from the stage with their utmost cheers.
“Let me hear, let me hear your voices, more, more!”
ryo, who lovingly encouraged the cheers that welled up from the audience, said, “It hasn’t even been a year yet, and I’ve been running pretty fast through these past few months, but thanks to all of you, we will show you our one-man live with all our energy, even though it is bit of a trial size showcase, so please lend us your power! ” He continued.
The singing voice is combined with the ensemble’s low center of gravity. The song “OKI” began with ryo skillfully using his voice in different ways, from low notes to high notes, falsetto, and even a beastly roar, and then moved on to “Marry of the blood” with its writhing heavy sound overlaying the digital beat, and the dance tune “Flash dancers” with its inorganic rhythm and glamorous melody. ryo said that this section was “the three songs that led to the start of H.U.G.” The fusion of digital rhythms with live music represents the transition of H.U.G. from its beginnings as Karyu’s session band.
“Butterfly”, the new song written by Yokoyama is a radical piece of contemporary musical sound collage that creates a mysterious worldview. “LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS” was first performed last December, and is a “love song for those who have nowhere to escape” in light of the current world situation. The melody moves slowly and dynamically, and the lyrics convey a message. The images that portray love of a faraway country on the back screen were impressive. The two songs that foreshadowed the possibilities of H.U.G. were performed in succession, although from different vectors.
The band fired up the audience with “HEART” and “I hope it will reach your hearts”. During the interlude, ryo asked the audience to “Pump up your fists, everyone!” and countless arms wearing the same red wristband as Karyu’s, shot up to fill the floor.
“Now that we have more voices and more ways to have fun.” The new song, “WHO IS THE ROMEO,” offered a new way to enjoy the show. The audience crouches down at the interlude and jumps in unison from the count. Without a pause, the audience rushed into “DROP” with its spacy sound and liberating melody. The heat on the floor reached its peak.
The last song of the main set was the new song “SEEDS”. The song started with ryo’s introduction: “No matter how old you are, no matter what situation you are in, if you never give up on the dream you have drawn, that dream will sprout and become a flower.” The song starts with piano and graceful singing, then changes to an intense sound that embrace strength ……. The composition of such a song was exactly the kind of song that bring about the message of a strong heart to believe in and carry on.
The members re-appear on stage to the encore call “H,U,G!”
Yokoyama said, “We’ve already put it all out in the main part, but we still want to play a few more songs,” to which ryo replied, “We’ve just experienced it once, so we can make more noise, right? ” From the emcee, they performed “WHO IS THE ROMEO” and the catchy and groovy “HEART” again. The audience’s enthusiasm was further accelerated by the band’s performance, which were feisty than the main part of the show. The floor and stage shook their heads, raised their arms, and sang. The audience responded to the 5 members on stage with all they’ve got.
Yokoyama said, “As long as we can, the five of us will do it together,” and each member began to speak. “H.U.G. is the best! It’s been a long time since I’ve heard everyone’s voices,” said TAKEO. “The members are great! ” said NAOKI in excitement, lit up the crowd with the band goods emcee. Once again, Yokoyama recalled that he invited Karyu last February 18 (birthday streaming live), but did not expect to come this far. When Yokoyama introduced Karyu as “the best guitarist”, Karyu, with a satisfied look on his face, spoke, “Looking back on last year, I am amazed at how far we have come in about a year. It’s been pretty tough, but I’m going to do more from here,” he promised to the audience, which brought a big and warm round of applause.
“When we say this is the ‘first’, then there is definitely the next”
When ryo announced the national tour, there was even louder applause and cheers of joy. The excitement was so great that Karyu even toppled the microphone stand to the audience’s side. As ryo said, “The dreams will sprout and become flowers”, hope H.U.G.’s dream will become flowers and hope to not miss out on their next future activities.
“H.U.G TOUR 2023 LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS” The tour title is the same as the song title. They will go on tour to “H.U.G.” with love all over Japan.
02. DON’T DOUBT
03. BLOOD PIN
05. Marry of the blood
06. Flash dancers
08. LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS
10. WHO IS THE ROMEO
01. WHO IS THE ROMEO
[Written by・Fuyushogun／Photos by・Mai Okamoto(ODD JOB LTD.) ]
English Translation by: Vkei-Guide
H.U.G 1st TOUR to be held!
H.U.G TOUR 2023 LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS
June 10 (Sat) Nishi-Kawaguchi Hearts
June 17 (Sat) Fukuoka DRUM Be 1
June 18 (Sun) Yamaguchi LIVE rise SHUNAN
June 23 (Fri) Nagoya E.L.L.
June 30 (Fri) OSAKA MUSE
July 7 (Fri) Shirokane-Takanawa SELENE b2
Tickets are now on sale!
Karyu Official Fan Club “K’RONE” VIP/Basic Member Advance (by lottery)
Application period: March 25 (Sat) 12:00 – April 9 (Sun) 23:59
H.U.G. official advance tickets (by lottery)
Application period: March 25 (Sat) 12:00 – April 9 (Sun) 23:59
April 22 (Sat) 10:00~.
For more details, click here.
H.U.G is a newly launched band by Karyu of Angelo, ex.D’ESPAIRSRAY.
With ryo (HOLLOWGRAM) on vocals and Kazutoshi Yokoyama as manipulator,
The band performed for the first time at the “DEVIL’S PARTY 2022 vol.2” event held at Spotify O-EAST on September 8, 2022.
Joining the group as supporting members are
NAOKI (FANTASISTA /ex.Kagrra,) and TAKEO (PIERROT/Angelo).
NAOKI and Karyu have been friends since their days at Kagrra, and for Karyu, NAOKI is “the bass player I always wanted to work with,” and TAKEO is a drummer with whom he has close ties as a member of Angelo.
↑Kazutoshi Yokoyama (manipulator/keyboard)