▣Middle East Cafe | Cambridge, MA ▣Thursday, May 11th 2017
Japanese rock-duo VAMPS recently ended their North American tour. With a large following in Asia, Europe and South America, the band has yet to conquer the same popularity in the States…until now. On May 11th at the Middle East Cafe, VAMPS sunk their fangs into their Boston fans, changing them forever.
When I was asked to cover Vamps, it would be my first time hearing of the rock-duo from Japan. I had the opportunity to first do a short interview, in which I was able to ask them 7 questions (see it here). During my pre-interview research, I was able to take a closer look at the duo and listen to their music. Currently, Vamps have a new album which was released on May 9th called Underworld and are currently touring to promote it. Tonight they would bring their North American tour to the Middle East Cafe, for their first ever visit to the city of Boston.
I arrived at the venue just before 9:30pm, Vamps would make their entrance shortly after. Screams filled the venue, and crowd filled with mostly women, gave them a warm welcome. Vamps would immediately start their set with Underworld, the first song from their new self-titled album. The edgy song has a great beginning and was a perfect way to kick things off. Hyde (vocals) had a slow start, as he seemed a bit shy and reserved. K.A.Z (lead guitar, vocals) was to the right of the stage, and was on point from the start, as he executed every riff on his guitar with ease. Supporting the Vamps, to the left was Ju-ken (bass,vocals) who was explosive. He played bass, sang and energized the crowd. His charismatic, larger than life persona entertained the crowd all night. The Japanese drumming machine in the back with the heavy hands was none other than Arimatsu (drums,vocals), who has made a name for himself as one of the best drummers in Japan. By the time Hyde took them into their second song Break Free, he was in the zone. Vamps began to let loose on stage. The heavy riffs and chorus of the song sounded great in the small venue.
For me, the most memorable moments of the show was when they played Calling from their new album. The crowd sang and waved their hands in the air, loud screams filled the venue and I am pretty sure the song is now a new fan favorite. Hyde played with his speakerphone during another one of their new ones, Inside of Me, and it was exciting to watch. Their second song Break Free is awesome and I was glad that I got a chance to see it live. The build up and power of Ahead/Worlds End, was catchy and raw and it was during this performance that I thought they shined the most. I was also very impressed with Hyde, the language barrier was evident between songs, but he sang the english language flawlessly. Although they were not playing for a sold out crowd, the intensity from their fans brought out the best from the band. They are a perfect representation of their name- they truly embraced it.
Vamps have an edgy raw energy that was displayed by all members, especially by their lead singer Hyde who showed his talent and experience on stage, knows how to cater to his fans. This young crowd swooned over the rockstar and he embraced them with every chord he sang. He captivated them all night, leaving them breathless and intoxicated. At the end of the show, he grabbed long stemmed roses from the stage and threw petals into the audience. After the band exited the stage, fans were seen snapping photos with the rose petals. It was nice to see how much Vamps fans adore Hyde.
Leaving the venue, I spoke with fans both young and old. Some had traveled from Vermont, Connecticut and even New Jersey. The band is still trying to gain popularity here in the US, but they definitely expanded their fan base during this tour. The only drawback for me was with the venue. I am hoping the next venue I see them in, they will have more room to shine. Don’t miss your chance to see the last Vampires in the World, now touring in Japan.
Review & Photos: Carlos Londono
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