After a long, cold, silent winter, there's finally movement in Buck-Tickistan, on multiple fronts! Though Mr. Sakurai declared in his interview in the latest issue of the Fish Tank newsletter that the first thing he wanted to do this year was "reaffirm Buck-Tick's bond as a band," there's only one piece of news in Buck-Tickistan that's coming from all five band members at once - yes, of course I'm talking about Climax Together 3rd.
For all you new fanlings who have started to read Blog-Tick, the history of Climax Together is a long one. Buck-Tick held the first concert entitled Climax Together at Yokohama Arena back in 1992. The concert was held specifically to be filmed, so in order to maximize the potential bombast of the arena, the stage was set up along the long side of the hall. The sets were extremely large and impressive, and changed several times during the concert, but even more impressive than the sets was the set list, which focused on Buck-Tick's darkest, most experimental, romantic work, and heavily featured re-arranged tracks from the band's newly released self-cover album Koroshi no Shirabe - This is NOT Greatest Hits-, which is, of course, where This is NOT Greatest Site got its name. In our opinion, the video of the 1992 Climax Together and accompanying live album remain one of Buck-Tick's best recordings to date, especially the phenomenal performance of "Victims of Love," which I wrote about a bit in this article. If you've never seen the original Climax Together but you like Imai performing crazy guitar tricks and Mr. Sakurai back when he was a very young man with very long hair, stop what you're doing and go watch it!
Buck-Tick didn't hold the second Climax Together concert until twelve years later, in 2004. This second incarnation of the Climax Together series was also held at Yokohama Arena, and was entitled Devil and Freud -Climax Together- ...but between you and me, I'd rather not imagine Freud climaxing at all, ever. This concert, too, was filmed and released as an ultra-super-duper special DVD, so perhaps you can see a pattern here.
Like the previous two Climaxes, Climax Together 3rd will be held at Yokohama Arena, on September 11th, which is the same date that Devil and Freud was held on twelve years ago. We're not sure if Buck-Tick intended this to be a once-every-zodiac cycle thing, but whether they did or not, that is what it has become. All hail the Year of the Monkey! Yokohama Arena is so big that it's doubtful any of the fans will be able to see anything at all, but if you're a member of Fish Tank and you want tickets to this historic event anyway, ticket reservations are now open until 2PM on April 12th, Japan Time.
Anyhow, September is still along way off, and separately, the Buck-Tick members have plans before then. After Schaft performed two new songs on their tour which didn't appear on Ultra, we suspected that at the very least, a new single would be forthcoming, but Schaft fans can rejoice, because it's not just a single, it's a single and live mini-album! Entitled Deeper and Down, the mini-album will cost 2700 yen and come with a bonus DVD with a live PV of the title track, "Deeper and Down." The ten tracks are as follows:
01. Deeper and Down (lyrics - Yow-Row/music - Imai Hisashi)
02. H.N.A. (lyrics & music - Imai Hisashi)
03. Deeper and Down (live 1/28 at EX Theater Roppongi)
04. H.N.A. (live 1/28 at EX Theater Roppongi)
05. Arbor Vitae (live 1/28 at EX Theater Roppongi)
06. Thirsty Fly (live 1/28 at EX Theater Roppongi)
07. Broken English (live 1/28 at EX Theater Roppongi)
08. The Hero InSide (live 1/28 at EX Theater Roppongi)
09. Slice (live 1/28 at EX Theater Roppongi)
10. Cold Light (live 1/28 at EX Theater Roppongi)
We plan on writing a report of the Schaft tour, but for now, we'll say that the 2016 live versions of the old Schaft songs are extremely different from the original recordings which appeared on Switchblade, to the point that they're practically new songs, so this live album should be a treat.
In addition to the live album, Schaft will also be releasing a live DVD/BluRay of the show held on January 28th at EX Theater Roppongi. Titled Archives 2016 Tour Ultra ~The Loud Engine~, the BluRay version will cost 7540 yen, while the DVD version will cost 6459 yen. The first press edition will come in special packaging and include a special booklet. The tracklist for the video is as follows:
01. The Loud Engine
06. Der Zauberlehrling
09. Arbor Vitae
10. Thirsty Fly
11. Swan Dive
12. Adam's Rib
We attended all the shows except for the one in Osaka, and we can categorically say that the show at EX Theater was the best of the bunch. If you are a fan of Schaft, you will surely not regret buying this DVD! Both the DVD and the mini-album will include application tickets for a lottery for further Schaft prize goods, so if you buy both, you might win something cool, though no details have been released as yet. Both the DVD and mini-album will be released on May 11th. As always, if you'd like our help purchasing either of these releases, just send us an email.
And finally, for the fourth year running, Toll has announced he will be holding a live show in honor of his birthday: It's a Now 2016! Last year he outdid himself by holding three shows, but this year he's dialed it back to two:
Friday, August 19th at Shimokitazawa Garden (open 18:30/start 19:00)
Sunday, August 21st at Takasaki Club Fleez (open 16:30/start 17:00)
As most of you already know, August 19th is Toll's actual birthday. Last year's birthday show involved a guest appearance from one of the actual members of CAROL, so in a way, it's hard to imagine how Toll could top that, but surely he's got a trick or two up his sleeve. No further details have yet been announced, but ticket reservations are open to Fish Tankers until April 12th, so start checking your calendars!
Anyhow, that's it for now.