Vicki Anne reports on her experience watching Visual Kei performer Kamijo live at London Garage.
Kamijo’s Career has spanned an impressive 20 years. From starting his first band Lareine to his current solo career, Kamijo has been a prominent feature within the Visual Kei music scene. The current tour celebrates the whole 20 years Kamijo has spent as a musician. There were songs performed from all across his repertoire. A huge screen at the back of the stage showed excerpts of his songs and basically felt a little like travelling through the past 20 years.
There were two types of tickets; regular and VIP. For the bigger fans, the VIPs got early entrance to the venue, a meet and greet with Kamijo, a photograph with Kamijo and official merchandise, which was a must for any fan attending. It seemed like a nice touch for those who wanted a little more than just the show.
The venue itself is a small but intimate place and I found it to be a lot more enjoyable than some bigger venues for that reason, I was impressed with Kamijo’s interactions with the audience, the venue played a big part in this, even stood towards the back the view of the band was great and Kamijo tried to include the whole audience; at one point we were urged to march on the spot to the military themed song ‘death parade’. The compact venue also allowed fans to feel closer to the band.
Kamijo appeared on stage dressed like a prince and had a demeanour to match, he was smiling a lot and seemed really happy to be playing to us. Vocally Kamijo didn’t put a foot wrong and at points in the show I was happy just to listen to him singing. Towards the end of the concert he was draped in the Union Jack with his name on which I think was a gift from fans but it was a nice touch.
Most Visual Kei concerts I’ve been to have had a ‘No photograph’ policy but I had never seen it enforced so much as at Kamijo’s concert. At one point even Kamijo himself told an audience member not to take photographs. I think the fact fans could buy the VIP tickets meant that the special photographs they received were an added extra and taking pictures oneself could be seen as taking the privilege away.
Nevertheless, the atmosphere within the venue was fantastic, from songs such as the energetic ‘Moulin Rouge’ to Versailles’ ‘Masquerade’ and Lariene’s ‘Fuyu Tokyo’ there was something for everyone. For me personally hearing Lareine’s songs live was amazing and something I never thought I would witness.
For Versailles fans, their bassist Masashi made an appearance as the bassist for Kamijo, it was good to see the two bandmates together again and a huge bonus! The rest of Kamijo’s supporting band also deserve a mention as they were all extremely talented and seemed to really enjoy playing to the audience.
All in all it was definitely one of the best gigs I’ve been to in a long time! If you ever get the chance to see Kamijo live I would definitely recommend it!