London. My favorite city – amongst the cities I have visited so far in my life in the past x years.
In December 2016, I bumped into a film, “We Are X”, that “changed my perspective to life, changed my attitude to life, and changed my approach toward life.” ~ [http://winnieup.com/20170214-my-valentine-we-are-x/] After my first encounter with X Japan introduced by the “We Are X” film on 18 December 2017, I kept going to the cinemas in Hong Kong and watched it for 5 more times. I keep doubting myself why this film did not win any awards from the Oscars (Academy Awards). It is a shame that an awesome film like this would not be recognized for its outstanding quality. Due to the superb quality that rarely exists in a film, I urge myself to watch it as long as it is shown in the cinema. After the Hong Kong “special screening”, it was being shown in the “Picture Houses” in London. I therefore watched it 3 more times in the Pictures Houses in London, and then 1 more time on a larger-than-IMAX-screen at the X Japan concert in the Wembley Arena in London a few months later.
In between, it happened that the “YOSHIKI Classical Special with Orchestra – HONG KONG” was held on 29 December 2017 in Hong Kong. Something pathetic happened to the concert – it was nearly being cancelled. Nevertheless, the way Yoshiki handled the situation regarding the concert matter, his reaction to what had happened, and how he treated the people who supposed to be responsible for the issue drew my attention to his personal characteristic and made me respect and appreciate him more as a human being in addition to my admiration for him being a talented musician.
I started listening to Yoshiki’s classical music, orchestral music as well as his heavy metal, hard rock, and punk music (whatever people categorize him/his band) he created for his band X Japan. In fact, he also composed the orchestral versions for the X Japan songs and released albums for them. The crossover between the classical and the band sounds by Yoshiki embarked such a magical effect that keeps the audience listen to their songs again and again because the songs cover wide variety of music elements on top of the already breathtaking melody and the poetlike lyrics.
After discovering the drum playing style and the piano playing skills, I understand why people could be inextricably attracted to Yoshiki. His drum playing is not only of a high-level skills presentation, that is extremely fast, precise and rhythmic, but also blends in with his body and soul. His piano playing is not only special and sophisticated, but also a display of passion, expression, and emotion. His playing is more than an eye-pleasing performance, it is like striving to intrude his passion and life into his audience’s heart, mind, and soul.
The more I watch X Japan’s live concert with my computer on the internet, the more I want to watch them live with my naked eyes on real stage.
Then, I heard that X Japan had planned to have a concert in my favorite city – London in March 2017. Seriously I told myself, that I have to seize the chance to watch them. I am not allowing myself to regret again after not listening to their music for the past 35 years and missing all of their concerts throughout the past years. I am convinced that attending and participating a live concert of X Japan is one of the must-do things in life.
My original plan was to fly to catch the X Japan concert on the day of arrival and then spend the rest of the week traveling in London. But a wise friend of mine suggested me to swap my plan – to tour around town first, and save the best for last. At the end, I cannot thank my friend enough, that his wisdom created the opportunity for me to see Yoshiki and met the director Stephen Kijak in person during “We Are X” Film London Premiere and the Q&A session. My friend’s advice also led me to meet the full band of X Japan (Yoshiki, Toshl, Pata, Heath, and Sugizo) during their first-in-twenty-year’s signing event at HMV in London on the day of release of the “We are X” Soundtrack CD.
In the night of 25 February 2017, “after having lost the precious time of the past years not enjoying the best music possible found on earth“, I headed to my favorite city to see The First Live concert of my favorite band in my life.
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