Ah, Dir en Grey. How we all love and fear you…and your fans. You see, if you guys have kept up with the blog, Leola and I love going to Dir en Grey concerts because we never walk away disappointed…but at least we walk away! Well, last year they had another US tour and we were all like, “Hell yeah! Let’s go to Chicago since we went to Atlanta already and Atlantic traffic sucks balls!” which is how a lot of our decisions are made. So the tickets were bought and the flight was booked. Luckily and happily we have friends in Chicago, unluckily they lived too far out of the city for us to stay with them so we booked the amazing Sax hotel which is less then 200ft from the entrance of House of Blues. Spiffy!
Since our first Dir en Grey concert was of a smallish crowd size, we were happy to learn that this time around the concert was sold out! After having lunch/dinner at the restaurant part we managed to get early access to the venue. Peachy, right? If anyone has been to a House of Blues venue they are, I would say, a medium size capacity. Bigger than most night clubs but smaller than most descent concert halls. It was grimy, it was decadent and Leola was as giddy as a teeny bopper following David Bowie’s glitter trail! Slowly, the crowd trickled in and everything started off well enough, but I must remind you that our first DeG concert was rather pitiful and this was a sold out show…shit was about to get real!
The opening act was a French metal band called Degoba…it literally took me five seconds to get that. The band members of Dir en Grey are huge Star Wars fans so I’ll leave the rest up to you. I would like to say that I didn’t carry my good professional camera into the crowd since I didn’t want it ruined…I had a feeling. So I handed that off to our friends Mandi and her husband Terry to get some shots on the balcony. I wish to universally thank them since those were some of the only good pics I have! But I had my handy, trusty GoPro attached to my wrist in the hopes that I could get some great shots up front. How naive and silly my assumptions turned out to be! As Degoba played we noticed the crowd getting more…excited. Leola was behind me and we were fine getting really acquainted with the people around us when the lead singer decided to encourage the crowd to make a circle pit…a large…violent circle pit!
It got crazy until they left the stage. We had to fight off very strong and crazy drunk metal heads being encouraged by the band to kill each other. This was but a small taste of what was eventually to come.When the opening act finally left the crowd settled down and the crowd was tight! I’m very sure the women in front of me used Aquanet and the guy next to me loved Old Spice. So we settled into a tight spot and waited…and then Dir en grey hit the stage! They didn’t even start playing yet when the crowd went straight bat shit crazy! And I mean bat shit crazy! The moshing and fighting and pushing did not cease from the time they came on until well after they left! I have never experienced anything like it!
We were pushed at least 10 more feet closer than we were and poor Leola was the one getting the brunt of it! As the music started and the pits became more violent, it occurred to us that we might have made a grave error. Since Leo was behind me I didn’t notice what had happened until it was too late. Someone had picked Leo up and threw her…literally threw her into one of the pits! With the help of some shockingly sober men she was able to get back without falling and making our trip to the House of Blues Chicago into a trip to the Chicago Hospital! Then the pushing came in waves. Waves, upon waves, upon waves of young inebriated disillusioned youth clashing back and forth on top of everyone in front. I think they were trying to walk on our bodies to get to the stage…but this didn’t happen. By this time, both Leo and I had had quite enough and we started doing what any graceful, gentle, open minded and delicate southern woman would do in this situation…fight back! Whatever space we were given and whomever was close enough to us who was within grabbing distance suffered the brunt of it!
So for well over an hour we fought, sweaty and tired, for our lives five feet away from one of the most massively abusive and violent mosh pits I hope to ever get trapped near again! We walked away…sort of. We had to get some water after that cause it was like fighting Krav Maga for an hour and then we got to witness the carnage of those not as lucky as we. There was blood…oh yes, there was blood. Ever since Atlanta we had wanted to know what a real Dir en Grey concert would be. We’ve seen concerts of them in Japan and we jealous. No longer.
Words from the ones who survived: unless you want the mosh pit experience, stay to the back and even then you might not be safe! Leo and I are damn proud that we staggered away from that. The concert was phenomenal when we caught glimpses through armpits and pump fists so I still encourage anyone to go. We still walked away satisfied but maybe because we survived some of the hardest of the hardcore fans EVER with sanity and fingers intact!