An Unsatisfying Goodbye: Review of Kagrra,’s “LAST LIVE” DVD

Kagrra, was a visual kei band known for their “Neo Japanese” style, combining a Western rock sensibility with traditional Japanese visual and musical elements such as kimono, koto, sensu, and magatama (the “comma” at the end of the band name). They were a unique thread in the tapestry of Japanese music for 11 years, then in 2010 they announced their plans to disband, releasing their final album in February 2011 and holding their final performance at Shibuya C.C. Lemon in March 2011. Unfortuantely, the “LAST LIVE” DVD lacks the spark that one would expect from a final live performance, has poor technical quality, and even cuts out elements that fans expect from any live DVD, leaving the viewer unsatisfied with the overall experience and uncertain about the DVD’s value as a collection piece.


The DVD opens as the band takes to the stage. The stage itself is simply set: other than a projector screen behind the band, there’s nothing to take attention away from the band itself. Isshi (vocals) comes to the stage last and the band gets right into “Kotodama.” It’s energetic and fun, a great way to open a concert and get everyone into the mood. The band then moves into “Afurase Tanmaina” with its striking combination of heavy sound and delicate acoustic guitar. “Gen’ei no Katachi” gives us a great solo and some fun crowd interaction from Nao (bass), then the band goes into the more nostalgic-sounding “Shiroi Mashu,” and finally “Rin” begins to take the tempo down a bit.

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