Despite its relatively small size, Singapore’s music industry still makes an effort to bring in a wide variety of foreign acts. Fortunately, the Japanese music scene is not left out of the equation, as hugely popular idol group AKB48 makes an investment on our island in the form of a nicely decorated cafe at SCAPE. That’s why it’s such a mystery that L’arc~En~Ciel (which means “the rainbow” in French), and one of the biggest rock acts in Japan, is only making its first appearance here on 28th April 2012.

 

Currently ranked 58th on HMV Japan’s list of the top 100 Japanese pop artists, L’arc~En~Ciel (more passionately known as ‘Laruku’ by their fans) has a colourful history not uncommon to other world-renowned rock bands of their time. Initially garnering some success in the indie scene in 1993 with their debut album “Dune”, Laruku got the attention of a few major labels. They subsequently signed on with Sony Music Entertainment Japan and their fourth album, “True”, became their first million-selling album.

 

Their success did not come without adversity. Sakura, their drummer at the time, was charged with heroin possession in 1997, and left the group. News of the arrest was highly publicised and turned out to be the lowest point in the history of the band. However, Laruku was not to be defeated, as they made a complete comeback in the form of their first Tokyo Dome concert, “Reincarnation 97 Live in Tokyo Dome”, selling out all 56,000 tickets in just four minutes. This concert also acted as the initiation of new drummer Yukihiro, who would soon sign on as the official drummer for Laruku.

 

Finally settling down on their current members comprising bassist Tetsu, lead vocalist Hyde, lead guitarist Ken, and drummer Yukihiro, the band enjoyed blockbuster success with numerous chart-toppers like “Winter Fall”, “Snow Drop”, “Honey”, and “Pieces” to name a few. Some of the highlights in Laruku’s career include their 2004 US concert debut, the Asia tour the following year, and the 2008 Europe concert debut.

 

The band has since explored various styles of rock, specialising mostly in alternative rock and progressive rock. Their musical versatility led them to be featured in several anime-related deals. Examples include “Driver’s High” for “Great Teacher Onizuka” in 1999, “Ready Steady Go” for the anime “Fullmetal Alchemist” in 2004, and “Daybreak’s Bell” for “Mobile Suit Gundam 00” in 2007.

 

Their long-awaited visit to Singapore (courtesy of Lushington Entertainments) comes as part of their 20th anniversary world tour, where the band has been slated to play at 14 countries, including Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai, Taipei, New York, London, Paris, Jakarta and Seoul. Ticket prices range from S$98 to S$228, so do hurry! Chances are their busy schedule will not permit them to come back anytime soon, and after all, you would not want to miss out on such a rare (read: first time in two decades) opportunity!

 

-Bjorn Teo