Friday, November 5, 2010

Uriah Heep 40th Annivesary Japan Tour 2010 / ユーライア・ヒープ 40周年ジャパンツアー 2010

I’ve been a fan of Uriah Heep since the 9th grade when a friend of mine introduced me to them with their album “The Magician’s Birthday”. I’m also a subscriber to the Uriah Heep newsletter as well. However, whenever I read the newsletter, it seems the band was always on tour in Europe or the Americas. I had given up on them coming to Tokyo. But last month, as Jon Bon Jovi was on the cover of “Burrn Magazine” (a magazine dedicated to the hard rock/heavy metal scene), I knew I had to buy the issue for my wife. At home as I was looking it through it, there is a page that features upcoming shows in Japan. And there I saw it! Uriah Heep, two days in Japan at Club Citta in Kawasaki on Saturday and Sunday (October 23 & 24)! “NO WAY!, I must go!!”. Mikako knows that they are my favorite band and that I was determined to go. At first I was going to go on my own on Saturday, but Mikako decided she wanted to see them as well so we went to Sunday’s show. The venue opens at 4:00pm and the show would start at 5:00pm.


It was a slightly rain day on Sunday as we headed out the door. I had been to Club Citta before seeing bands such as Paradise Lost and Rhapsody with Edguy, but I hadn’t been there since it had been renovated (some years ago). I imagined it was going to be a standing only show but to my surprise, it was an all reserved seating show. But as the venue isn’t that large, any seat would have been a good seat. I thought this tour was in promotion of their new “Best of” album but when we got to the venue, the posters showed that it was their “40th Anniversary Japan Tour 2010”. I also learned that the Heep hadn’t been to Japan in 19 years and this was only their third visit! The poster depicted Roger Dean’s artwork from Uriah Heep’s 4th album “Demons and Wizards”. Reading a line below the group’s name, in Japanese it said 『悪魔と魔法使い』完全再現!!([Akuma to Mahoutsukai (Japanese title for “Demons and Wizards”) Kanzen Saigen (which means they will be performing songs from that album in its entirety in the same order as on the album). I would have been happy with just that, but the poster said not only would they be playing the entire album but the set would also include some of their best known tunes as well and songs from their latest studio release “Wake the Sleeper” as well. With a 40 year history and a catalog of over 20 studio albums, there are quite a few songs to choose from. As the “Demons and Wizards” album was main focus of the concert, the set lists were not that much different between Saturday and Sundays show. An excellent set list if I do say so myself (check below).

ライブの日の天気は悪かったが、ワクワクの気持ちで出掛けました。以前もクラブチッタは行ったことがありましたが、それはそうとう前の話。そこでパラダイス・ロストやラプソディー・エッドガイのライブは見たことある。でも会場がリニュアルした後は初めてだ(リニュアルもかなり前の話ですが)。今年ユーライアヒープはベスト盤の“Celebration”をリリースしたので、その為お来日と思いました。会場に着くと、ビルの外側に貼ってあるポスターを見たら「ユーライア・ヒープ 40周年ジャパンツアー2010」と書いてありました!その下に書かれたのは“『悪魔と魔法使い』完全再現!!”。マジ?これはファンにとって嬉しすぎことだ。ポスターを読むと“テビュー40周年を記念した待望の来日!!”さらに読み続くと“名盤『悪魔と魔法使い』の完全再現を含む代表曲ベスト・セットの特別公演!!”完全再現とゆうことで、あの名盤の曲を全部やるとゆう事だ!それとアルバムと同じ順で演奏する。これだけでもファンは嬉しい!ユーライアは40年のキャリアもあり、スタジオアルバムは20も超えてるので、選ぶ曲は大変じゃないかなと思った。もちろん『悪魔と魔法使い』がメインになってる感じですが、新作の「Wake the Sleeper」にも何曲もやってくれました。日曜日のライブしか行けなかったが、セットリストは土曜日のライブとそんなに変わってる様ではなかったみた。セットリストは下記に書いております。最高のライブでした!

I know what you're thinking. Uriah Heep? They're still around? Uriah who? Yes, Heep, that's who. As you can see from the title of this post, Uriah Heep has been going strong for 40 years now! There may have been quite a few line-up changes, but with the current members - Mick Box, Trevor Bolder, Bernie Shaw, and Phil Lanzon (long time drummer Lee Kerslake left the band in 2007 due to health problems), they have been together for over twenty years now making this one of the most stable line-ups since the days of Ken Kensley, David Byron, & Gary Thain! (which most hardcore fans, including me, will say was the best line-up ever. Anyway, sit back and let me tell you about the show as I saw it. As we took our seats, Mikako couldn't help but notice that it was an older crowd that came to the show. She said it seemed like we were at the horse betting racetracks. Well heck, even I'm near my 50s so that can't be helped.

考えってる事は分かったますよ。ユーライア・ヒープ? あのバンドまだいったっけ。ユーライアなに? ヒープですよ、ユーライア・ヒープ。 タイトルをみれば分かるでしょう。このバンドの40周年記念のライブですよ。40年! これからの活動も続けるでしょう。ラインアップの変わりははんぱなかったけど、ドラマー以外のメンバー:ミック・ボックス、トレヴァ・ボルダー、バーニー・ショウ、とフィル・ランゾン(長年ヅラムスをやってたリー・カースレイクは2007年にヒープを脱退、なんだか不健康の理由とか)はもう20年以上一緒に活動してる。初期のボカリストデヴィド・バイロンや、キーボードのケン・ヘンズレーより長くなってる。熱狂的なファンだったらバイロン・ヘンズレー時代は黄金の時代と思い続いてるでしょう(だって私もその一人です!) さて、これから見たライブの感想書きますね。席に着いたら、美香子が周りを見て、なんと年齢の高い客ばっかり競馬場に来てる感じと言われた。(僕もあと3年で50歳なので、それは仕方ない。)。

As the lights went out they and the Heep went into their first song - the title track off their latest studio album, "Wake the Sleeper" which features that unique Box guitar sound with minimal lyrics. A very rocking number to get the fans on their feet. This was followed by another song of the new album, "Overload". A song which sounds similar to their stuff from the early '80s a la "Head First", "Raging Silence" era. Then they played one of my favorite tunes from their "Salisbury" album ("Uriah Heep" album in the States) called "Bird of Prey". However, Shaw eliminated the "ooh! ahs!" from the end of the song. Then the picked the song that was a hit single from the "Sweet Freedom" album - "Stealin'". Bernie got the crowd singing aloud to the chorus of "Stealin'!" as he sang the refrain of "When I should have been buyin'". This was followed by a tune off one of the their later albums, "Love in Silence" from the "Sea of Light" album. Those first five songs were a prelude to the main course of the evening - the "Demons and Wizards" album performed in its entirety! I couldn't help but sing to all the songs as well! You can check the set list below for the songs off that album. Just when you thought the show was winding down, the played the ballad "Rain" from "The Magician's Birthday" album. Perhaps this would be the last song before the encore. But no, they chose a song from the John Lawton era and performed "Free and Easy". But better yet, the next song was also from their debut album and one of their signature songs - "Gypsy"! Could this show get any better? Yes it can! Because after gypsy the played the title song of their third album, "Look at Yourself". The next tune was from their latest and was penned by the bass player Trevor Bolder called "Angels Walk with You". "Shadow" was once again off the new album as well. But then, that Hammond organ intro to the best song on their "Look at Yourself" album - "July Morning"! I didn't want the evening to end. Unfortunately, as the cliche states, "all good things must come to end". But it wouldn't be a Heep show without an encore, and the fans would never forgive the band if they didn't play another one of their most popular tunes - "Lady in Black"! Of course I would have loved to seen them perform "Return to Fantasy", "Free Me", and "Sunrise" as they did on Saturday's show, but I'm not one to complain!

証明が落としてライブの始まりだ!最初の曲は最新作のアルバムのタイトルトラック“ウェイク・ザ・スリーパー”。最新のスタジオアルバムと言ったて、2008年に出たものです。この曲はかなりのロックナンバーで、ミック・ボックスの独特のギターサウンドが特徴。歌詞も少ないですが、会場がいっきに盛り上がりましたね。次の曲も新しいアルバムから、“Overload"。 ユーライアの80年代後半の感じの曲でした。それから二枚目のアルバム“ソールズベリー"から(アメリカ版ならデビューアルバムに入ってる)僕が好きな“Bird of Prey”。ショウはバイロンの“うっあっ”は歌ってなかったけど。そして1973年に出た“スウィート・フリーダム”からアメリカでもヒットシングルになった“Stealin'”!客席がコーラスの“Stealin'”を歌いながら、ショウがそのつづきの“When I should have been buyin'"を歌う。会場は輪になったね。その次はまた渋い曲を、1995年の“シー・オブ・ライト”から“Love in Silence”。でもあの5曲はまえふりみたいな感じ。これからメインの「悪魔と魔法使い」完全再現が始まる!(曲名は下記に書かれてるセットリストを見て下さい)。それだけでも満足感になるライブですが、そこで終わるとゆうことはない。ま、自分はもそろそろじゃないかな。次は名曲のバラード、1972年のアルバム“魔の饗宴”から“Rain”。この曲は大好きですね。ヘンスレーのファーストソロアルバムにも収録されてる。これで終わりと思ったら大間違い!なんと次の曲はジョン・ロートン時代の“罪なきいけにえ”から“Free and Easy”。その次はまたまた僕が大好きで、ヒープの代表曲とも言われる“Gypsy”!それから唯一カラオケでも入ってる曲“Look at Yourself”もやってくれました。で、また新しいアルバムから2曲連続、ベースのトレヴァー・ボルダーが作曲した“Angles Walk with You"と“Shadow”、そして最後の曲はまた名曲ですね、“対自核”に収録されてる“July Morning”! ライブは終わらなくて欲しい。アンコルはもちろん、もう一つの名曲、“Lady in Black”!これが歌わないとファンは許しませんね。前の日に聴かれなかった“Return to Fantasy”、“Free Me”、と“Sunrise”は残念でしが、今回のライブはかなり満足しました!

SET LIST (October 24, 2010)

1. Wake the Sleeper (Wake the Sleeper)
2. Overload (Wake the Sleeper)
3. Bird of Prey (Salisbury on the UK release; Uriah Heep on the US release)
4. Stealin’ (Sweet Freedom)
5. Love in Silence (Sea of Light)
6. Wizard (Demons and Wizards)
7. Traveller in Time (Demons and Wizards)
8. Easy Livin’ (Demons and Wizards)
9. Poet’s Justice (Demons and Wizards)
10. Circle of Hands (Demons and Wizards)
11. Rainbow Demon (Demons and Wizards)
12. All My Life (Demons and Wizards)
13. Paradise / Spell (Demons and Wizards)
14. Rain (The Magician’s Birthday)
15. Free and Easy (Innocent Victim)
16. Gypsy (Very ‘Eavy Very ‘Umble on the UK release; Uriah Heep on the US release)
17. Look at Yourself (Look at Yourself)
18. Angels Walk with You (Wake the Sleeper)
19. Shadow (Wake the Sleeper)
20. July Morning (Look at Yourself)


Lady in Black (Salisbury)

SET LIST (October 23, 2010)

1. Wake the Sleeper (Wake the Sleeper)
2. Return to Fantasy (Return to Fantasy)
3. Book of Lies (Wake the Sleeper)
4. Stealin’ (Sweet Freedom)
5. Wizard (Demons and Wizards)
6. Traveller in Time (Demons and Wizards)
7. Poet’s Justice (Demons and Wizards)
8. Circle of Hands (Demons and Wizards)
9. Rainbow Demon (Demons and Wizards)
10. All My Life (Demons and Wizards)
11. Paradise / Spell (Demons and Wizards)
12. Rain (The Magician’s Birthday)
13. Free Me (Innocent Victim)
14. Gypsy (Very ‘Eavy, Very ‘Umble on the UK release; Uriah Heep on the US release)
15. Look at Yourself (Look at Yourself)
16. July Morning (Look at Yourself)
17. Sunrise (The Magician’s Birthday)


Lady in Black (Salisbury)

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