GACKT celebrates 20 Years of Solo “KHAOS” (live report)

J-Rock Reviews

20th ANNIVERSARY LIVE TOUR 2020 “KHAOS” – January 24, 2020
Live Report by Shannon McNaught

GACKT KHAOS 20th Anniversary Tour 2020

While most artists would approach their 20th anniversary in a serious and heartfelt way, GACKT chose to kick off his celebration of 20 years as a solo artist in a surprisingly lighthearted style. His “KHAOS” tour performance on January 24 at Tokyo National Forum Hall A opened with a movie-like trailer depicting scenes of life, death, and destruction, ending with the title of the tour in large letters, “KHAOS”.

Abruptly, it cut to a scene of a Camui Gakuen classroom in which Seito Kaichou and his students set the audience up for the show. They were posed the question, “What are some of the characteristics of a GACKT concert?”, to which Seito Kaichou provided the answer, “He both lives up to and betrays your expectations.” The first few songs of the set were then revealed on the screen, to which his students replied, “Shouldn’t you be a little more serious? This is your 20th anniversary!”

The set opened up with “WooHa BABY!!”, with GACKT and his dancers wearing matching outfits comprised of black pants, shirts, and trenchcoats. Fans were given Styrofoam light sticks at the beginning of the show in order to participate, so after setting their lights to blue, they were able to interact with an interactive taiko drum game depicted on the screen as instructed by GACKT and his dancers (without looking at the screen!). Fans also got to dance along to “Jounetsu no GRAFFITI”.

After a quick video, dancers and members returned to perform “Papa lapped a pap lopped” from the early 2000s and “Jesus”. A second Camui Gakuen clip foreshadowed the next part of the setlist by having students guess which costume GACKT would wear next. The audience laughed during the interlude as they watched familiar Camui Gakuen members try to suggest inappropriate outfits (such as a popular anime character) and eat Takoyaki filled with bugs as punishment. GACKT returned in a pop start tribute costume (complete with fedora) to perform intricate choreography for the classics “Lu:na” and “EVER”.

Then GACKT returned to the stage to perform “ANOTHER WORLD” on guitar. In the background, to fans’ delight, scenes from GACKT’s movie MOON CHILD played on the screen, kicking up the nostalgia factor of the set.

GACKT KHAOS 20th Anniversary Tour 2020

The seasoned singer then surprised the audience with a classic costume: after another Camui Gakuen clip, dancers and members (including GACKT) returned in giant cat suits to dance to “GHOST” (which featured a giant robotic cat on the screen) and “OASIS”. He then reflected on what happened in the past 20 years of his solo career, including the loss of some beloved friends, and told fans that the reason he was able to make it this far was because of his fans’ support.

One of the most touching moments of the night was during “Orange no Taiyou” as the screen showed scenes of smiling fans in the audience from 1999 until 2019, adding a personal and touching dimension to the 20th anniversary show – one that wasn’t just focused on Gackt himself. A documentary clip followed in which GACKT said his shows were worth coming to because they encouraged people to reveal their true selves and play “catchball with our souls”.

“MIRROR” closed off the set, and GACKT again thanked everyone for 20 years of support. He assured fans that this wasn’t a “Good job for making it 20 years,” but rather a, “Here’s to 10 more years.”

“When I was around 40, I didn’t think I had the strength to play anymore, but I’d say I’m pretty fine now,” he said, lifting his shirt to reveal his toned body. He asked fans to watch over him and his new band members as they faced the next 10 years, ending the night on an optimistic note.

GACKT KHAOS 20th Anniversary Tour 2020

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