We are X! the movie the band the legend

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

I tried to squeeze this review as much as possible (which wasn't an easy task). I am a bit late though since I was quite ill.

My heart pounded loudly the moment I woke up to catch my plane, it was a complete rollercoaster of anxious moments but mostly bliss, euphoria, high on adrenaline.

When I knew XJapan they had already disbanded and Yoshiki did not look ready to restart again.
After years of support, I received the surprise of my live when I saw they were reuniting, but best of it they were going to perform and I would be there!
So this new concert did not occur in Paris but in London at the wembley Arena.
When I arrived in St Pancras I met by chance a young lady and it turned out that we were seated next to each other at wembley.
This was my first time in such location and I felt a bit stressed about being in such a big place. It turned out that once again fear was being a liar and the arena had a dreamy effect with its colours and
the multicultural fans that had gathered together.

It was finally happening.
As I sat there waiting for the We Are X film to start, I got acquainted with two ladies coming from Holland, it was amusing to use my mother tongue.

"We Are X" film traces the history of the band, how it all happened, from its creation to its disbanding, the highlights and challenges of the band, the stories that laced their history, some were fun, others were sad. People laughed, people cried but people gathered closer to raise XJapan back to the light with the band. Whether you are familiar with it or not, this band documentary is the perfect introduction to discover the music and how much passion each of their work carries.

The movie comes to and end with a picture of each member, the last being the leader Yoshiki doing the "X" sign as a background female voice whispers: "introducing X ...Japan"
The last word reverberates a few times sending goosebumps to my skin and I feel lightheaded at the idea that soon it will start. In my mind many memories and feelings collide and I feel like my heart will explode.

The curtain goes up, we rush to the barriers, hold on tight and the encouraging screams echo in the arena with a deep voice introducing each member while the first part of Rusty Nail is playing. Lightening effects take us by surprise and Toshi starts singing. During the first moment, I was not moving, my mind captured each second of this dream being very real and soon the fun started, dancing, singing, jumping, smiling and being completely overwhelmed with adrenaline.

XJapan is a mixture of several factors that form a powerful story: pain, sadness, anger, love, strength, courage and all of these elements with the red wire of love and passion built the kingdom of X-Japan.
The songs are based on personal experiences, they tell the emotions, the depth of the pain, the intense sensitivity of scars that heal with time, but even if it starts like that, it won't end that way, it can drastically change and you can heal the pain (song: tears), you can be yourself, be yourself and as Toshi screamed during Wembley: Life is so beautiful. To hear him say that after all what went through in their life is a relief and a sense of encouragement to all those who need a little tap on the shoulder.

I will share with you a small extract of a song and what it meant to me:

"stop holding your fear, let memory live and die alone, no need to be there, let your desire scream until you feel alive, cause you are beautiful, your scars are beautiful...(Jade)"

As someone who struggled with anxiety, this part overpowers the negative emotion with a positive message. When we are anxious, we usually hold onto a fear and are petrified by its shackles, it causes emotional, sometimes physical pain. In this sentence, the song is telling us to let go of that thought, let it live and when we don't feed it, it will die, focus on your desire, your dreams, your passion until you feel alive. Be proud of who you are, feel beautiful in your own way, do not be ashamed of your scars (past mistakes, pains, doubts...) they are part of what is creating you and can turn you into a magnificent being, just like a caterpillar goes through a phase to become a butterfly.

X-Japan has a concept of being different, being proud of it, against the norm, born to be free to love, to live and to never give up no matter how impossible you think it is, it's not! Impossible is a thought, possible is a thought, the questions is: what do you choose?

There is a very close connection between the band and the fans. The media calls them legends. With this legacy they have created they are indeed, yet they are so gentle and down to earth when talking to the fans. We had a singing lesson/exercise with Toshi, a little slip from Yoshiki when he played "say anything" before he remembered that it wasn't on the setlist (sadly for me), a beautiful solo of each member with a tribute to David Bowie too, a lovely message from Yoshiki thanking us that without our constant support, maybe X-Japan would have never come back, I felt very happy to have given my share of encouragement for a band that gave me the same.

The moment I cried a lot was at the end, I felt so much gratitude for this amazing evening, so happy that I was still living this dream, and as  the band thanked us, waving and smiling so beautifully, Yoshiki approached with roses in his hands, the songs "tears" and "forever love" played in the background. The band gathered together, entwined their hands, we followed the movement  and jumped all together to close the curtain of this evening. Waving good bye, I watch them leave one by one, the last person being Yoshiki who screamed : "We are...X!" a few times (or as long as his voice could) before he bowed in front of us receiving a rain of applauses. I kept mouthing thank you to him, he smiled and left.

People started to gather their bags to leave, I remained a few seconds watching until the friend I met patted my arm and reminded me of something that had escaped my thought for a moment...

I was going to meet the band.

I quickly gathered my coat and bag, and followed the group of people I had met to the next location.
As we walked up the stairs, I heard various echos about the concert, I was half smiling, half drying my tears, completely over the moon and I asked: "Are we really going to meet them?"
It felt so unreal when it was true. I was wide awake and getting closer to meeting them, something that I never considered possible.
We arrived at the VIP area and had some fun with the very friendly and witty wembley staff.

When the band entered,  I froze and tried not to tremble. They began their round and went to salute the fans. Sugizo was the first, he had this mysterious glow and I thanked him deeply for the concert,
I wish I had more time to say how amazing his solo work is as well. Afterwards it was Pata for recovering, he was cheerful and I loved his smile then came Toshi, whose eyes were still hidden behind his sunglasses but very gentle nevertheless. Heath was all smiles when we shook hands, I found him to be quite charming and as last came Yoshiki. I shook hands with him, thanked him and told him I would be tomorrow in Paris to see him again. He stopped and smiled happily: Really? In Paris? Great, so I'll see you tomorrow.

My friend and  I smiled in unison and then left to head back to the hotel.
I spent the night dreaming of the concert and was still euphoric in the morning.
To make it short about the meeting in Paris, my friend encouraged me to talk to him during the interview.
Unfortunately the translator kept ignoring me but I was overwhelmed when Yoshiki recognized me and looked to invite me to ask my question. He kept staring and my lips quivered, I felt my heart racing and sat down. Thankfully I managed to give him my gift and I hope he liked it as much as I loved the concert. I am grateful for every moment and will receive the next times with opens arms.
Thank you Yoshiki, Toshi, Hide, Taiji, Sugizo, Pata and Heath! Thank you XJapan!

We are X ... Life is beautiful ... Be proud of who you are .... Be proud XJapan .... See you soon again!
I want to enjoy their shows as long as they keep rocking! 

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