Gig review: Lightning strikes as Loudness looks back to the 80s
Loudness keeps celebrating their 80s glory days while at the same time showing that they still got it.
Billed as “8117”, a 30th anniversary tour for the album “Lightning Strikes” (released in 1986), this evening at Zepp Tokyo in Odaiba we get treated to a superb two and a half hour Loudness show. The fantastic set list is a close copy of what can be heard on the 1986 live album “8186 Live” with a few extra goodies thrown in. What more can one ask for?
For those of us who have seen Loudness many times, it’s great to be treated to some songs that they haven’t played that often, such as “1000 Eyes”, “Dark Desire”, “Streetlife Dreams”, “Face to Face”, “Who Knows” and a combo of “The End of Earth” and “Stay Wild”. We also get a terrific and very heavy version of one of my absolute favourite Loudness songs, “Speed” from 1983.
As expected, Osaka’s finest, Loudness, delivers a faultless performance as they always do when they’re on stage in Tokyo. They’re tight and on form and they are playing to a venue full of their loyal fans. Most of the audience members have seen the band many times. For this Japan tour they have a great stage set, including some KISS-style platforms that the members run up and down and jump off. All good fun. Loudness are happy to look back to the 80s without taking themselves too seriously. As a nod to the past they perform in outrageous 80s style clothes and wigs.
Loudness have for most of their career successfully mixed loud and heavy hard rock and melodic metal with guitar wizard Akira Takasaki at the centre of it all. As Minoru Niihara once said in an interview with Roppongi Rocks: there are many other great Japanese rock bands, but they don’t have Akira Takasaki. Indeed. He’s up there with the best metal guitarists In the world. This evening we get a fantastic extended guitar solo by the master. As if that wasn’t enough, when the band returns for an encore we also get a drum solo from the guitar hero himself.
The Loudness members are very comfortable with their heritage and their current status. They are of course no mere nostalgia act. Their latest album, 2014”s “The Sun Will Rise Again”, is one of their best and they are currently working on the next studio album, due out at the end of this year.
They finish a fantastic evening with “The Sun Will Rise Again” and, of course, their 80s classic “S.D.I.” Loudness are better than ever and I am looking forward to see what the next album will bring. But before that the band will continue touring for much of 2017.
Loudness – Lightning Strikes 30th Anniversary 8117 Japan Tour – Zepp Tokyo, Odaiba – 13th April 2017 – set list
- Rock Shock (More and More)
- Dark Desire
- Streetlife Dreams
- Crazy Doctor
- Bass solo (Masayoshi Yamashita)
- Drum solo (Masayuki “Ampan” Suzuki)
- Shadows of War (Ashes in the Sky)
- Let It Go
- 1000 Eyes
- Face to Face
- Ares’ Lament
- In the Mirror
- Guitar solo (Akira Takasaki)
- Who Knows (Time to Take a Stand)
- Crazy Nights
- Drum solo (Akira Takasaki)
- The End of Earth/Stay Wild
- Metal Mad
- The Sun Will Rise Again