Japanese Heavy Metal Legends LOUDNESS took to The Pavilion at Far East Square on Sunday, 16 June 2019, for a powerful performance. The band’s performance in Singapore was held as part of their Rise to Glory World Tour – named after their album of the same name.
Singaporean fans were probably the envy of fans in Japan due to the choice of venue. The Pavilion was a relatively small space with an intimate setting, which contrasted with LOUDNESS’ stadium shows in Japan.
AC/DC music played before the concert, and at just before 8pm, Minoru Niihara, Akira Takasaki, Masayoshi Yamashita and Nishida Ryuichi made their way to the stage and took to their places.
Almost instinctively, the entire crowd shuffled closer to the barricades and flipped out their phones to get photos and videos of the metal titans, proving just how revered LOUDNESS still is.
The members of LOUDNESS broke into Soul on Fire, to which the audience sang along and followed up with I’m Still Alive. While fans did keep their phones out to record snippets of the band’s performance, they also promptly kept away their phones to headbang and scream along to more massive numbers such as Like Hell and Heavy Chains.
Vocalist Minoru Niihara was bursting in energy despite his age, zipping around the stage with his sunglasses on, looking rather cool as he belted out song after song with enthusiasm. Akira Takasaki was intense yet exquisite on the guitar, and his tone and musicianship complemented Minoru’s vocals brilliantly.
Meanwhile,bassist Masayoshi Yamashita worked the stage with ease and seemed to be enjoying himself the most, with smiles aplenty throughout the night.
As the band’s drummer, Masayuki Suzuki, suffered a stroke last year, Ryuichi Nishida stepped in to assume the position as drummer of LOUDNESS – and he certainly did not disappoint.
Minoru, Masayoshi, and Akira left the stage midway to hand over the spotlight to Ryuichi for an out of this world drum solo act. His speed and accuracy across the kit were impeccable as they were deadly, showing off some tricky moves. The remaining members of LOUDNESS then returned together onto the stage, transitioning to Kama Sutra, followed by In My Dreams.
LOUDNESS ended off the night with heart-pumping numbers – Crazy Doctor and In The Mirror – before finishing with S.D.I., which got fans punching their fists into the air and headbanging in a frenzy.
LOUDNESS may have brought about unparalleled energy and a set-list of songs that spanned decades but, in terms of musicianship, it felt that the revered metal icons are quite past their prime. While the concert primarily included tracks from the album Rise To Glory, it would have been better if the members had performed their more popular hits like Thunder In The East, The Voice and Let’s All Rock.
LOUDNESS may have been aiming to maintain its old-school rock vibes – akin to AC/DC – but the problem lies in the lack of a hook or impressionable melodies in their music. Also, despite Minoru’s enthusiasm, his raspy and strained voice reflects his age and depleting stamina.
LOUDNESS’ performance may have been excellent for die-hard fans who have followed the band through their journey over the years but may not be fruitful in attracting new fans and increasing its fanbase.
LOUDNESS Rise To Glory World Tour – Live in Singapore Concert Setlist
1. Soul on Fire
2. I’m Still Alive
3. Crazy Nights
4. Like Hell
5. Heavy Chains
6. The Sun Will Rise Again
7. Go For Broke
8. Until I See The Light
9. Kama Sutra
10. Drum Solo
11. In My Dreams
12. Ares’ Lament
13. This Lonely Heart
14. Crazy Doctor
15. In the Mirror
Photos by Kenneth Power of the DANAMIC team.