It seems like it’s a good time to be the Japanese rock band, Alexandros. From being featured in the live-action of Bleach’s soundtrack to contributing songs to video games; the four-piece set has been on a steady rise since last year.
Stylized as [Alexandros] and sometimes ALXD, Yoohei, Hiroyuki, Masaki, and Satoyasu only visited us in 2018 for a taste of their grand debut in Malaysia but it seemed to not be enough. Bringing their latest tour to us, “Sleepless in Kuala Lumpur” was held in all its glory at Bentley Music Auditorium on the 19th of July 2019. The event was organized by Toybox Projects, who also brought the band to Malaysian fans the last time.
At 8:30pm, the lights went out and the screams turned feral. It was finally time. As the members slowly took their places on the stage, grabbed their instruments and waited for the cue, fans could barely contain themselves.
The first song was none other than the first song off their latest album, “Sleepless in Brooklyn”; “Last Minute”. It was an interesting choice to start with, considering its somewhat muted intro. The lights were still on, many fans were still stumbling into the venue as the song played. However, it appeared to be all according to plan as
Yoohei got everyone singing along, worked as the perfect charm to hype up the crowd to the loveable “Dracula La”. It was quickly followed by “Starrrrrrr”. Known for the emotional chords it strikes, the entire crowd came in full swing for the song, especially for the impressive guitar solo in it.
Rockers found a home in the space of Bentley’s auditorium, as the thumping music to “I Don’t Believe In You” ricocheted off the walls and into the hearts of everyone present.
Then came the first English song of the night, “Waitress Waitress” which got everyone clapping along to the familiar drum beat. Up next was the chaotic “Girl A”, complete with a long siren intro that kept everyone on their toes— literally—as fans were waiting to jump along to the iconic crash of instruments as the song began.
After all that energy it only seemed right to tone things down a little. “Party is Not Over” started playing, a new entry to their setlist as it is off their latest album. As fun as it was to party to previous singles, the song got everyone swivelling along to the toe-tapper. The performance included impromptu ad-libs from Yoohei, going in at full energy despite the mellow melody.
After that set, the band took a break. After a quick introduction, the band quickly clarified that their drummer, Satoyasu had to sit this tour out and they had a replacement drummer from BIG MAMA instead. Yoohei coyly asked the crowd if it was “Seronok tak?” (Are you having fun?), which had Malaysian fans whooping in response. With a smile, he told fans to do their own thing while the song is playing, even if they didn’t know the lyrics. “Just have fun,” he said before launching into the firecracker that is “Kaiju”.
It is impressive to note how the members barely took breaks, and yet managed to give their all for each set. Confidence was oozing second time around; these guys didn’t come to play. They were performers who had fun on stage, as it was enjoyable for both parties. This was evident from the smiles and small giggles that escaped their lips every now and then when they saw how the crowd went insane.
Yoohei even mentioned how the wanted to bring the Malaysian crowd back to Japan, to make them learn how to have fun at a concert. Considering the concert etiquette there, seeing how alive the crowd was here made the band feel all sorts of grateful. Masa greeted everyone hello in Chinese, which sent the crowd wild, considering how quiet he usually is. The charismatic Hiro even flexed his extensive Malay vocabulary, which consisted of only one word; “Minum” (to drink). He cheekily gestured by raising a bottle of mineral water before saying, “Cheers, guys,” and taking a swig.
Four songs came up next; two classics of “New Wall” and “Ashita Mata”, followed by two new entries, “Fish Tacos Party” and “Your Song”. With a gentle music box intro, “Your Song”, marked the beginning of slow songs after all the bangers. It filled the atmosphere with romance instead, complete with pink lighting.
As we reached the end of the night, Yoohei smiled fondly at the crowd. “Even though it’s only my second time, I feel like I live here. I wanna see you guys here next time, promise me!”
The romance of the air was maintained with the lovely “Adventure” but all wiped away when the beginning notes of “Arpeggio” started playing. Then the lights all went off, and the members whisked away backstage despite the groans of the audience.
Shouts of encore summoned the members of ALXD for one more go, where the band played their two latest singles; “Pray” and “Gesshoku Horizon”.
As the show simmered down to its final moments, Yoohei started getting somewhat deep with his words. Speaking about identity, staying true to yourself, and appreciating the present, he hoped that the music they create would be able to help fans cherish their lives more.
“Live your life. And I can tell you right now… I’m enjoying mine.”
The final song of the night was “Wataridori”; the song that started it all. The first song released after their rebranding as Alexandros, it reverberated through the hall and the hearts of everyone there tonight. It was perfect send-off, an ultimate party complete with clapping, jumping, and of course, singing your hearts out.
Seeing how many hearts Alexandros has touched with their music and how much their fanbase has grown in the span of a year, it begs the question of what to expect in the future. Even though Yoohei has mentioned that he would like to focus on the present for now, we can’t help but wonder how much bigger the crowd will get by next year. From small-town crooners to world-wide superstars, it looks like we’re all witnesses to Alexandros’ growing case.