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Zénith - Paris, France
July 1, 2011

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In the last few years, it's been 3 times since X Japan has announed concerts in Paris.
The first two were cancelled so until the last minute, I was afraid about a cancellation... but finally this one took place!

Zénith in Paris, France

X Japan do this quite frequently.
In 2009 I went on holidays to Seoul, Korea, and X Japan was supposed to play two gigs. They were both cancelled...

It's like the Russian bands Aria or Kipelov, they're big stars in their country, but they don't tour often outside its borders.

So tonight, it was a dream come true when X Japan hit the stage!

X... Let the show begin!

Also, the concert coincided with the Japan Expo, a big Japanese Fair in Paris, where some X-Japan members have already been invited in previous years.

As soon as I arrived to the Zénith, I knew this was going to be a special concert. People were on the line, on two rows. That's Japanese influence!
In more than 15 years of rock and metal concerts, it's the first time I've seen this!

Toshi singing with X Japan in Paris

There were many Japanese fans tonight, some of them living in Europe, but some of them travelled from Japan for this tour.

And they were not the only ones: There was also people coming from Spain, Italy and other places in Europe.

Heath from X Japan live in Paris

Many fans were dressed in cosplays, some of them quite amazing. Actually, a good part of the show was made by the audience!

There were all kinds of people, from Metalheads, families, fans of Japanese culture... The Zénith wasn't sold-out, but it got close! In any case, there was way more people than for Judas Priest and Duff McKagan the previous week.

Sugizo on guitars - X Japan live in Paris

There was no opening act. X Japan started their show at 8:45pm with a quite long intro.
As the tension was rising, Yoshiki came on stage and looked at the audience carefully, as we were screaming

The other band members arrived, Yoshiki gave the signal, and they started the show with their latest single, Jade.

Pata and Toshi - X Japan live in Paris

The audience was crazy, as we all knew we were witnessing an event we've been waiting for a long time.

But one big problem spoiled everything... The sound was completely awful!
That was really disappointing, even if the sound got better after a few songs, it was never really good.

Kurenai: Yoshiki on piano, Sigizo on violin

The setlist comprised only 10 songs... but the show lasted for more than 2 hours!
That's was crazy!

They did several solos, which reminded me of the Guns'n'Roses concerts.
Those included two violin solos by guitar player Sugizo, piano solos by Yoshiki, and a nice and original combined piano / drum solo by Yoshiki.
Even Toshi sat on the drums for a moment.

Sugizo playing violin with X Japan

They didn't play two of their best songs: Week End and Blue Bood. I wish they have played them, especially for a first time in France and their first European Tour.

But I won't complain, they played great versions of the songs. Kurenai was especially memorable, with this Violin / Pino intro...

Yoshiki seating on his piano

Toshi did a few speeches but it was manly Yoshiki who spoke to the audience. He stressed on how happy they were to be here, and made us scream "X" countless times!

Yoshiki threw several bottles of water to refresh the audience on this summer eveing.
Twice during the show, he jumped into the pit and made some croiwdsurfing!

Yoshiki, Heath and Toshi - X Japan live in Paris

Toshi introduced the line-up during the song X. After Pata and Sugizo, he announced "On Guitars... Hide!!"

That was a short emotional moment, a few seconds to remember this amazing guitar player.

And if this show was about something, it was about emotions.

After the song X, the band left the stage for almost 20 minutes. They did a very long version of Endless Rain, which everyone sang as loud as possible.

Toshi on drums and Yoshiki on piano - X Japan live in Paris

Then there was a violin solo and a piano solo that lead to the second part of this majestic song called Art Of Life!

There was a big euhoria at the end of it, and the band thanked the audience while a recorded version of Forever Love was played.

There was so many people crying in the audience! This was incredible. No matter how bad was the sound, X Japan really communicated with the spectators and delivered a show full of emotions.

Heath, Toshi, Pata and Sugizo - X Japan live in Paris

In the end, I'd say that the concert was exceptional: it's not the kind of band and atmosphere that you get to see every day.
It's just a shame that the sound engineers did such a poor job...

It wasn't the best concert in 2011, but for sure it's one I'll never forget!

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Setlist X Japan – Zénith – Paris, France – July 1, 2011

01. Jade
02. Rusty Nail
03. Silent Jealousy
04. Drain
05. Kurenai
06. Born To Be Free
07. I.V.
08. X
09. Endless Rain
10. Art Of Life
Outro: Forever Love

X Japan Links:

X Japan Website
X Japan My Space
X Japan CDs on Amazon.comX Japan Amazon
X Japan CDs at
X Japan on Metal Traveller's Flickr
X Japan iTunes downloads

X Japan Line-up:

Toshi – Vocals
Pata – Guitars
Sugizo – Guitars / Violin
Heath – Bass
Yoshiki – Drums / Piano
Scream X, make an X with your arms and Jump!
Pata on guitars with X Japan
Yoshiki crowdsurfing - X Japan in Paris
Yoshiki trhouwing bottles of water - X Japan live in Paris
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