Show Reviews > DIR EN GREY


By Collin Schaffer
Live Photos Courtesy of Keith Schaffer

The Crowgrrl had a little help with an absolute concert experience! Dir En Grey conquered Baltimore, Maryland – and this was just too big for just one voice. Japan’s Dir En Grey is phenomenal – their music truly transcending all language barriers. Not only that, but frontman Kyo is renown for having one of the widest vocal ranges of any singer in any genre.
~Athena Schaffer

A tsunami-strength force of Nature decimated Baltimore on December 10, 2011 when Japan’s Dir En Grey took the stage at Sonar. The band’s signature sound pits frontman Kyo’s amazing vocal range and raw emotions against musicianship as sharp as a Samurai sword and every bit as fierce. The band transcends language barriers worldwide, and the Baltimore fans are truly rabid and can’t get enough of these amazing musicians.

Check out some of their excellent videos for “Different Sense”, and their song included in Saw 3D.

Hailing from Osaka, Dir En Grey are: the aforementioned Kyo, guitarists Kaoru and Die, bassist Toshiya, and drummer Shinya. The band completely conquered Baltimore on just the strength of the music and performance, not relying on FX or backdrops at all. Extras were not needed in the least. Also, even though Sonar is smaller than Ram’s Head Live where the band appeared earlier in August, 2010, sound quality was a bit better, not having the glitches/electronic problems of the previous show. All members were crystal clear.

Granted, one couldn’t tell that from the intro, which was all but drowned out by the roar of the anxious crowd as Dir En Grey took the stage. It was almost impossible to tell they replaced their usual intro of “Sa Bir” with “Kyoukotsu no Nari”. But the rest of the show was truly legendary.

The band unleashed their fury with “Ruten no Tou”. “Hageshisha to, kono mune no naka de karamitsuita” followed with an enthusiastic fan participation chant of the song’s title near the end. The “Lotus” version of “OBSCURE” Fittingly enough, “Lotus” itself followed. “Akatsuki” and “Rotting Root” also whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

The Japanese version (not the version that appeared on the stellar album Uroboros) of the artistic, poignant “Dozing Green” followed. Kyo unleashed inner demons with the first of his unique “Inward Screams”, which fittingly led into the tortured solitude of “The Blossoming Beelzebub”. This was followed by “Tsumi to Kisei”, based on one of their older songs, “Tsumi to Batsu”.

Kyo embarked on another unworldly and very different “Inward Scream”, which led us into the surreal “Yokusou ni Dreambox: Aruiwa Seijuku no Rinen to Tsumetai Ame”. The power-packed “Different Sense” and “Juuyoku”.

The crowd went absolutely insane during “Reiketsu Nariseba.” The band then left the stage.

Instead of shouting the band’s name like at most concerts, Dir En Grey’s fans chant “One More Song” to encourage them out for an encore. That’s this band’s signature tradition. Of course, the band complied.

Dir En Grey treated the fans to “Kodou” from the band’s Withering To Death album. The crowd was so enthralled they were singing along instead of moving and moshing to this treasure. This was followed by the pleasant surprise of “Red Soil”, which also whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

The fans got another special treat – a third encore song! The special edition of “Rasetsukoku” from the special edition of Dum Spiro Spero, and everyone went wild! This is truly a night to remember, and one we hope the band might have filmed for a future DVD release!