ZOMBIE is a visual kei rock band from Tokyo that formed in 2013. Formally known as ぞんび, they changed their name to ZOMBIE (romanized letters) in 2020 when guitarist izuna joined the band. They’re one of the hottest modern bands in the Japanese visual kei music scene, as a result of the variety of themes they explore in their poisonous pop songs and outfits. They always stick to a “zombie” theme but keep things fresh with new apocalyptic scenarios.
The event we are showcasing was the second stop on their “MUSHIKERA NO HAREVUTAI TOUR” in Osaka after their kick-off show in Fukuoka. For fans who traveled from Osaka, it was their first time hearing “UltraMushikera boy” live.There were many people strolling around the city center near OSAKA RUIDO, where the concert was going to take place, despite busy crowds on a national holiday. Fans could be spotted arriving to the concert, as they were wearing parkas and t-shirts from the tour, chatting enthusiastically with what seemed to be new fans who were simply dressed in all black but already in line to enter the venue..
Once inside, to entertain us while we waited for the show to begin, we could enjoy the background music with a zombie-esque style medley.
Then the volume increased, and suddenly we heard a “knock knock” and then the sound of a creaking door that made the whole live house shudder.
The typical intro SE of ZOMBIE concerts started playing, and the curtain slowly opened while fans applauded, revealing that all the members were already in their positions, striking a zombie pose with their arms.
The attendees were already infected with the zombie virus during the first song “Ultra Mushikera boy”. The stage had a lighting design in shades of red reminiscent of a zombie hell, and the whole band welcomed us to Osaka and quickly connected with the audience. Each member’s stage persona was defined and unique. The audience could already feel the energy they were giving off, and this was just the beginning.
We were lucky enough to enjoy “Ultra Mushikera Boy” twice during this concert. As it was a new song, many fans didn’t know the furi, so Kanata said that headbanging was enough.
The start of the concert was an explosion of power. Pure metal to give enough energy to their new army of zombies who had gathered in Osaka that day to headbang. izuna gave the song personality from the guitar, while Midori approached the audience playing bass and helping with deep backing vocals.
ZOMBIE enchanted all their fans like if it were a Halloween attraction. We quickly felt bitten by the music of ZOMBIE.
The second song performed was “100% Shinderu”, a favorite of many. It was a surprise to hear it right at the beginning of the concert, and it was received with a lot of applause. The aggressive combination of all the instruments was brutal, but Kanata managed to create a perfect balance with his warm voice, to the point that the audience began to bow rhythmically.
One thing that gives personality to ZOMBIE‘s shows is that they don’t break character as zombies while they’re on stage. It’s a really spooky experience!
The “zombie infection” didn’t allow us to stop moving and dancing for a single moment!
Fans responded to the bass intro of “Kusari Hime” with a “saku” (to raise both hands outstretched). There were always a variety of moves during the song to keep the audience entertained. The chilling melody of “Niwaka Ame” cooled down the room. The audience remained motionless throughout the moving performance.
During the ballads “Niwaka Ame” and “Hakaba de ravusongu”, a trance-like sensation was created that, combined with the bright lighting, made us feel like zombies for a while.
After this break of ballads, it was time to move energetically again with “Kōkyōkyokudai 9-ban `mayonaka no dai ni ongaku-shitsu’“.
One of the most ecstatic scenes of the concert occurred here, thanks to REIKA on drums, who clearly became the protagonist at that moment.
Meanwhile, izuna pointed to his future zombie prey, and Midori, getting closer and closer, tried to reach them from the stage.
The piano combined with ZOMBIE’s rock rhythms filled OSAKA RUIDO with solemnity.
Another highlight was “KIZETSU DANCING GIRL”, which has a very specific furi, a dance choreography that coincides with the song’s lyrics, with various onomatopoeias. At the end of this song, everyone pretended to faint, bowing down on the ground. This “fainting” refers to the song’s title and theme, as “kizetsu” means “to faint” in Japanese.
Not only did the fans “faint” but the band members also fell to the ground, and it was fun to see everyone united and waiting for the band’s order to stand up. They then began “Nikushoku bacterian”, a song with furi that begins with… jumping! Thus, they managed to unite the two songs through dance with a single movement.
This experience makes it clear that ZOMBIE is a band that pays attention to details, even for the order of the setlist!
There was an avalanche of energy with songs like “Daikkirai Tokyo” (*laughs* since the title means “I Hate Tokyo”…) and “Kusottarega” to give us a great finale with a fullpower attitude.
When the first part of the concert ended, the normal thing that should have happened was that all fans started applauding for more, but on this tour, there was a surprise for the fans. In each city of the tour, ZOMBIE would broadcast an exclusive video for fans to watch in the minutes before the encore.
This time, they did the “blind oden” challenge, where one member was seated and another was standing behind them, with a black cloak over their head. Using only their hands, they attempted to feed the other to win the game. The winner would be the pair that handled the spoon the best, and the loser would receive a punishment on stage during that concert. REIKA and Midori were the best duo, but Kanata and izuna didn’t want to receive the punishment, so they asked REIKA to receive it in their place…
After the projection ended, REIKA came out first already wearing their current zombie t-shirt and telling us that that night the Japanese football team was playing against Germany in the World Cup and as a “punishment” he was going to sing the traditional Japanese anthem “Kimi ga yo” to cheer on the national team.
As he sang a cappella with great effort, everyone refrained from laughing.
But Kanata joked that the pitch was wrong, and Midori tried to sing a cappella but ended up singing almost with a death metal voice, to the laughter of the audience. Midori could not help laughing while he sang, which left everyone with a sweet memory of this moment.
At that moment, ZOMBIE were no longer dressed in their Mushikera outfits, but in casual clothes. Once again, Kanata stood out, wearing a leopard shirt underneath his parka in true Osaka style. After a few relaxed chats among the members of ZOMBIE, it was time to get back to business, surprising us with “Ultra Mushikera boy” for the second time! They went from 0 to 100 in an instant, which helped us warm up quickly.
They were present in casual, non-costume attire for this half of their set.
REIKA added his personal touch on some songs. His fans specifically, called “REIKA MANIA,” know when it’s the right time for his “exclusive performance,” as it happened in “Abnormal Therapy”.
During the chorus, REIKA always blows a kiss pointing with his drumstick at someone in the audience. At this point, everyone made hearts with their hands and danced spinning around.
And then came the most feared moment of the day, the grand finale with… “We are ZOMBIE!!”. This is the band’s anthem. The “zombie infection” must have granted superhuman strength because the band and fans seemed tireless! There was headbanging and jumping everywhere. izuna played the guitar with such passion that REIKA ended up playing the drums with only one hand to do an air guitar following his band mate’s rhythm!
This eerie melody was responsible for bringing us back to life to close the zombie amusement park that day at OSAKA RUIDO.
Don’t forget to check out ZOMBIE‘s latest release on YouTube!
・Cameraman: Fabio, ZOMBIE staff.
・Live Reporter: Gaara NIPPONGAKU (Instagram / Twitter)
・Proofreading: Peru (Instagram / Twitter)