Dir en Grey at The Gramercy Theater

By Eder Guzman

It was end of the year 2015, with Gramercy Theater anticipating the arrival of Dir en grey, with a line stretching around the street and it took a while for everyone to be let inside the theater. The theater had a good mix of people, most were either fans from Japan, or metal fans, or goth enthusiasts who were decked out in their darkest colors. Boldness in style and dress was the norm, and the venue being lit in infrared setting an appropriate mood. The band had set up the background with a large Aztec sun stone motif as part of the iris of a large eye staring back, with the drum set and sound system set up underneath it.

The older fans chose to sit in the stands, and had greater visibility of the stage, albeit farther away. The younger fans stood towards the barricade, close enough to see Kyo cut himself and spit blood, as he’s done for some memorable performances. The stage was set in dark bluish-purple light, and Shinya coming out first and waved to the crowd. He was testing out his drum kit, and soon Die and Toshiya came out as well. Screams persisted as they checked their guitars.

At the end, Kyo made an appearance, in black-and-white robes. His hood hid his face, and his presence was palpable, with only his face lit up in dark red and bright yellow. His face was drawn in black and white flames, and with his shaved head made him look like a dark and demonic monk.

He began vocalizing and reaching his arms out, reverentially to start the performance. The first song they played were “Behind a vacant image”  and “sustain the untruth” from their most recent album “Arche”. Afterwards, they played their classic “obscure” from their 2003 album “Vulgar”. They then played from their “Dum Spiro Spero” album, their best album to date.

Most of the songs they played, “Revelation of mankind”, “uroko”, “Shoshaku”, and “un deux” were from Arche, and even though there was potential for moshing, the music was melodic enough that most people just enjoyed it where they stood. Everyone enjoyed it for what it was, and no one had one negative thing to say about the night, hoping they would come back to New York next year.

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