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Yoshiki Classical in San Francisco

» Articles, Features, Convention / Event Reports | posted by Brian on 05/7/2014 [Discuss]

Yoshiki Classical popped up in San Francisco on April 28 and it was one hell of a night.

Yoshiki is the drummer for legendary rock group X Japan and trained as a classical pianist when he was a wee boy.  Tonight he took a break from double bass rhythms and set up one of his Kawai Yoshiki Custom pianos on the stage of Davies Symphony Hall.  This is the home of the San Francisco Symphony and for this night became a hatching ground for hundreds of new Yoshiki fans to join the ranks of the thousands who were already there.

True to its name, the Yoshiki Classical World Tour consists of Yoshiki on piano and an accompaniment of six string musicians on violins, violas, and a cello.  X Japan’s vocalist Toshi popped up for a couple of cameos and even sang the song Tears on stage.  In the previous stop on April 25th bandmate Sugizo came out and played his own violin with Yoshiki.  This all hints towards X Japan’s new album which will hopefully come out this year.  A later announcement by Yoshiki marked October 11 as the next big Madison Square Garden show.

Here is the full setlist for the night:

Forever Love
Golden Globes Theme
Swan Lake
Birthday Song
Without You
Art of Life
Endless Rain

As you can see there are many X Japan songs on this list.  They’re all adapted to the more delicate stylings of the strings and piano.  My favorite was Art of Life and it’s a great song in its own right, classical or not.  The original Art of Life is almost thirty minutes long and Yoshiki starts about halfway through with the haunting melodies of his piano.  Utilizing a laptop and soundboard he plays a piece and overdubs it with some more playing to make one hell of a performance.

By the end of the night there were many flowers thrown on stage and the cries of “We are X!” resounded through the room.  A US flag with some San Francisco graffiti made its way onstage and was held aloft by the superstar.  He may have been born in Japan but he’s made the United States his home all the same.

The next tour stop will be in a couple of weeks on May 21 in Moscow.  If you can go, I strongly encourage it.

May 21 (W), RU - Moscow - Crocus City Hall
May 23 (F), DE - Berlin - Tempodrom
May 26 (M), FR - Paris - Le Trianon
May 29 (Th), UK - London - Royal Festival Hall
June 6 (F), CH - Beijing - Beijing Exhibition Center
June 8 (Su), CH - Shanghai - Oriental Arts
June 10 (Tu), TH - Bangkok - Royal Jubilee Hall
June 13 (F), CH - Taipei - NK101 Taipei
June 16 (M), JP - Tokyo - Metropolitan Theater
June 17 (Tu), JP - Osaka - The Symphony Hall

Please check out for more info and tickets.

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