November 23, 2008 – Stopping on their The Rose Trims Again tour, Japanese rockers Dir en grey performed to a reverent and rabid crowd, delivering a 20-song throw-down that had the fans begging for more.
The performance included a heavy selection of songs from the band's latest release, Uroboros, including “Toguro,” “Glass Skin,” “Dozing Green,” and “Gaika, Chinmoku ga Nemuru Koro.”
Before the performance, I talked to the members of Dir en grey about using flash for their set. I showed them some images utilizing speedlights and described how the lights would work during the show. The guys seemed skeptical, worried that the flashes might interfere with their light show, but eventually we agreed to use flash only during the last five songs during the encore.
I shot Dir en grey's entire performance, working with only the ambient stage lighting for the main set, then switching to flash for the encore.
After the show was finished, I spoke to Nora, the band's translator, and she asked me if I'd even used flash. The band had asked her the same question, because they hadn't even noticed anything different even as I blasted away with four speedlights during the encore. Nora and I joked that next time, we'll know better about flash!
The majority of Dir en grey's performance was lit from the front with two LCD projectors, which bathed the stage in dim, mottled colors and amorphous shapes. In addition, Kyo was lit from below by a square array of LEDs, which provided a nice, constant glow.
The stage setup for Dir en grey was fairly simple. Kyo had a riser in front of him, while Kaoru, Die, and Toshiya were closed in at the front by massive speaker monitors. The monitors themselves were set back slightly from the edge of the stage, which created even more distance to the guitarists.
The drummer Shinya was enclosed in a fairly gigantic drum kit – as big as I'd ever seem crammed onto the small drum riser built into the stage at Pop's.
During the band's main set, I used the Nikon D3 and D700 in tandem, along with the 14-24mm, 24-70mm, and 70-200mm. For the encore, I used only the D3, using the SB-900 to trigger the three SB-600s on stage.
Big thanks to the band, their management, and translator Nora for all their help in facilitating this shoot. Best of luck to the whole crew as they get ready to take over Europe!
Also, stay tuned for the images from the photo shoot with the band we shot before the show, including individual portraits of all the band members.
I am presenting a larger-than-usual collection of images here for Dir en grey's fans, as I know how much the band is loved. These images are copyrighted and I must ask that they are not used for additional artwork or otherwise repurposed. Thanks very much for your understanding and consideration, I hope you enjoy the images.