X Japan Conquers Latin America

Sep 21st 2011

(LOS ANGELES, CA ­ September 21, 2011) -- X Japan's first concert tour of Latin America wrapped up Sunday night with a sold-out show in Mexico City that mirrored the frenzy the band brought to all five of their stops. In Santiago, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima, and Mexico City, fans, many of whom had waited years to see the band live in concert for the first time, camped out in long lines for up to three days to claim a prime spot in front of the stage.

At the concerts, in one way or another, Yoshiki and the band paid their respects to the countries they visited, and generated a great deal of national pride from their fans. In Santiago, Yoshiki wore the Chilean flag towards the end of the evening as a tribute to the difficult times there since the recent earthquake. Yoshiki welcomed the San Paulo crowd with "Thank you for coming to the show, we love you!" in their native Portuguese tongue. At the show in Mexico City, Yoshiki appeared on stage wearing a sombrero while wrapped in the Mexican flag, prompting the audience to proudly sing their national anthem.

And there was chaos ­ Buenos Aires had the wildest mosh pits, the level of excitement in Sao Paulo reached such an extreme, many in that audience were overcome with emotion and seen crying during the concert. The atmosphere was so intense at another tour stop, Yoshiki accidentally broke one of the keys on his beloved Crystal piano, and Sao Paulo fans showed their affection for X Japan by throwing items of clothing onto the stage. Yoshiki and the band were greeted by throngs of fans at a number of the tour stops airports fans were so hysterical at the Lima airport, they nearly flipped over the van that the band was riding in. Fans flooded X Japan's arrival gate at the Mexico City airport, forcing airport security to whisk the band out of the airport using a hidden exit door.

And the Latin American dates were full of surprises: Yoshiki heard that a number of Brazilian fans had waited in line for days to get into the show, so he had a supply of the local energy drink Guarana sent out to them. Later during that show, fans surprised the band by floating balloons with the Brazilian flag emblazoned on them. And at the Mexico City date, Yoshiki surprised the audience by having a local Mariachi Band open the concert.

Spurred on by the intensity of the audiences at the Santiago, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires shows, Yoshiki stage dove into the crowd numerous times. By the time X Japan reached Lima, Yoshiki was covered with cuts and scrapes and bruises from the diving, so he came out onstage for the encore dressed up as a nurse.

The press interest in all of the Latin American countries was also intense ­Yoshiki spent his days off doing interviews, there were press conferences at the venues following their grueling performances, and Yoshiki was interviewed for a segment on Alta Horas, one of Brazil's most popular national TV programs.

But, according to Yoshiki, the one thing that stood out the most was that even as far away from Japan as Latin America is, "No matter where we played, fans were all doing the ŒX jump. I was so happy to see that."


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