“Diving into a New Sound”
- Event: STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION 1st LIVE “STEREO DIVE”
- Date: Sunday, February 16, 2020
- Location: Shibuya WWW, Tokyo
Intro: Emotional Tunes
STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION—the sound-making project by R.O.N that released the single "Daisy" in November 2013. Overflowing with a variety of sounds ranging from rockin’ tunes to emotional instrumentals, SDF recently held the first gig of their six year career in February 2020.
Despite the rainy weather, the Shibuya WWW live house was packed with customers eagerly waiting for SDF to take the stage.
Performance: Driving Everyone into a Fever Pitch
Cheers erupted as the first chords of #1, STEREO DIVE’s opening number, filled the air. Up next was the edgy, electric dance tune "PULSE", another leading album song that drove the excited crowd into a frenzy. As one, everyone began singing along together. This was followed by "Renegade", which drew another cheer from the crowd, and "Genesis", during which everyone began clapping along to the beat.
At this point, R.O.N took the guitar from show.yanai and began playing the heavy groove "No Replacement". His intense guitar riffs completely blew the audience away and seemed to compete against the strong beat of Nozomu Kitamura’s base. Then, during "AXIS", the band’s electric rock sounds combined with the singing voices on the floor to drive everyone into a fever pitch.
After a few words from the MC illustrating the band’s strong bonds, R.O.N responded to the audience’s calls to “play the piano.” Sitting down at the piano in the center of the stage, his fingers danced across the keys and into the song "Chronos". Their first single in 3 years and 9 months, "Chronos" is an emotional tune colored by beautiful yet aggressive notes on the piano. Afterwards, he played "Linde", another album song, and then smoothly transitioned into "Sprinkle", an impactful song that allows listeners feel the passage of time.
After using this song to change the mood on the floor, he followed with "Two Divided Rainbow". This song has a light, cheerful melody that seems to chase the clouds away. The crowd began waving their arms to and fro in time to music, creating a feel-good atmosphere. Next up was "Handling", a lively, jazzy number with such a powerful sound that you wouldn’t think it possible with only a four-man band. This gave way to Don’t let me down, a light pop tune from the album. The audience began singing along to this colorful melody, and it felt like SDF and its fans were making the music together.
After a fun interlude with the MC, SDF began playing "Spiral", a dramatic song from the album that makes you feel the light. This was followed by the expressive instrumental "PRISM FLAVOR", a tale of contrasts with both calm and dynamism, and "Dropping Melodies", which lived up to its name. After that, the audience enjoyed the beautiful melody of the feel-good song Yellow, which was released c/w the "Chronos" single.
Following the languorous "Yellow" was the instrumental "Fabiana", during which, to our surprise, recording was allowed! This was apparently R.O.N’s way of saying “thank you” to everyone who came to the gig. So, as R.O.N made the music, everyone else made memories, and the lights of countless cellphones illuminated the stage.
Those sounds and moments were recorded not only in the fan’s phones but also in their hearts. The concert then moved to a light dance beat with the lively "ODSD", followed by a mellow spring sky with the instrumental "Push me into circles", featuring a near-futuristic beat with guitar and piano work that made you feel the percussion. This was followed by a dramatic change of atmosphere as "Blackout"’s heavy rock sound swept through the venue.
R.O.N then took a moment to declare his intentions for SDF: “I’ve been working behind the scenes as a writer, but once I awoke to my role as a frontman, I realized just how many people were supporting SDF. I want to do more to meet the expectations of those fans, and I’ll be doing my best going forward.” This pronouncement was met with enthusiastic applause from everyone in WWW.
SDF then played their laidback debut single "Daisy". Each line of this lyrical and emotional song was carefully enunciated as if being passed from singer to audience. Afterwards, SDF finished with "Coda" to the thunderous applause of the crowd. A sense of happy satisfaction filled WWW as the main part of the live show came to an end.
Outro: No More Songs to Play
Having sung his full repertoire of songs, R.O.N responded to calls for an encore with a self-cover of "oneXone", the theme song of the Autumn Troupe from the game A3!, and another round of the opening song, "PULSE". In total, they played 23 songs during their first concert. I’m sure fans will never forget this special night and will treasure the photos and videos taken during "Fabiana".
Photographer: Hanna Eto (SHERPA+)