Return of the King

Friday, 9 September 2016

"Vive le Roi! Vive le Roi! Vive le Roi!"

The public kept calling for him. It felt like we had turned back time.
From gothic outfits to aristocrats, we were standing there, roses lifted to greet him, waiting and calling for his presence while chanting: Vive le Roi!

The musicians made their entrance, in an elegant military outfit, preparing to announce the King's arrival. The first notes reverberated, the lights began to shine, like the moonlight over the vampire king, Kamijo. He entered the stage and claimed La Boule Noire as his secret meeting with his loyal fans, who had been eagerly waiting for his return. Vive le Roi envaded the space and so did the force of our voices. He received our energy with open arms and then started singing.

Who is Kamijo? Kamijo is a japanese visual kei artist who gravitated each challenge to become the man that he is today. He started as the leader of band "Lareine". At the time, he was a huge fan of Malice Mizer and had as mentor Mana sama (guitarist and leader of Malice Mizer). With time and practice, he trained his vocals to reach today an operatic pitch and build the concept of his music, composed essentially of a classic background and a layer of rock/visual kei theme.

Saying that I was lost for words to tell that evening would be an understatement, I had a blind spot and putting it to words was not that simple. Outside his character, he was Kamijo, an extremely gentle artist with a passion for music and in love with the french Elegance born from the court of Versailles. When in character, he becomes a different person, a prince, of rather the legitimate heir to the throne, son of Marie Antoinette and Louis, he comes back as a vampire, ready to conquer back his place in the kingdom.

In comparison to previous songs, the setlist was the tale of his character, the tale of his joy, his loss, his pain, his love, his anger and his goal with lots of movement, dancing and headbanging. Among my favourites were:
Vive le roi: the display of power and faith towards the forsaken king reborn as vampire.
Bastille: it feels like the hymn of a community marching towards a battle for freedom, especially during the war cry: Destroy the bastille! ( Bastille was taken over in Paris by the civilians causing the rise of the french revolution and the downfall of the monarchy).
-Moulin rouge: a cheesy song referring to love at the Moulin rouge in Paris.
-La vie en rose: he sang this song with a rose in his hand, which he later threw to the public. His voice at the end reaches an amazing high-pitch, not breaking, nothing.
I could go on like this and would end up talking about each song of the set-list.

There was a short pause where he brought a letter in which he expressed the tragedy of Bataclan, but only to overshadow it with positive news such as his solo career remaining eternal and the return of his band Versailles.

The crowd was in complete extasy, he managed to have two encores, where he sang Moulin Rouge.
His closeness with the fans was greatly appreciated and it felt like we could go on for the rest of the night. With a bright smile, he bowed like a true prince as we kept chanting: vive le roi! and promised he would be back next year.

Kamijo was very noble, entertaining, marvelously talented with his voice, charming, an artist who has yet again succeeded in turning a concert into a royal event laced with rocking sounds and exploding adrenaline. I was very happy to salute him on his arrival and departure, meet him at the stairs for a picture and the lovely smiles exchanged. It was worth the 12hours wait outside with all the excited fans coming from all over the world. Regardless of age or origin, music was the string binding us together, the rest did not matter. I met sweet people, with whom I laughed a lot, sang and danced in the sea of adrenaline.With my ears filled with the sound of his voice, and the beautiful experience of that night, I will be glad to live it again.

Merci your Majesty!
See you next year

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