YOSHIKI’s First Classical World Tour in 9 Years: What the Music He Has Created While Continually Facing Grief Shows Us

Yoshiki Classical 10th Anniversary World Tour

with Orchestra 2023 “REQUIEM”

YOSHIKI is a composer, pianist, rock drummer, and the leader of Japanese rock bands X JAPAN and THE LAST ROCKSTARS. Consequence calls YOSHIKI “one of the most influential musicians and composers in Japanese history,” and Billboard says he is “a musical innovator.”

His worldwide projects include the dedication song for the tenth anniversary of the Emperor of Japan’s reign, the official theme song for the World Expo, the soundtracks for Hollywood films, and the official theme song for one of the world’s most prestigious award ceremonies, the Golden Globe Awards.

In addition to his musical activities, he is a fashion icon who is the first Japanese male to appear on the cover of “VOGUE JAPAN”. YOSHIKI also produces his own kimono line, “YOSHIKIMONO.” He is also the founder of Yoshiki Foundation America, a non-profit public benefit organization, and has been dedicated to charitable activities for many years.

October 20, 2023, Los Angeles 
@ The Dolby Theatre

The “Yoshiki Classical 10th Anniversary World Tour with Orchestra “REQUIEM” ” started in Japan on October 7, followed by performances in London and Los Angeles, and ended at Carnegie Hall in New York on October 28. The Los Angeles concert was held at The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, which is famous for hosting the Academy Awards ceremony every year.

As the start of the performance approached, the orchestra members appeared on stage and played “Amethyst” composed by YOSHIKI. As the venue gradually darkened, everyone was eagerly awaiting YOSHIKI’s appearance. As YOSHIKI said in an interview with our magazine, the concert showed great attention to visuals and lighting, and a video summarizing his triumphs was shown before YOSHIKI’s appearance.

The audience greeted YOSHIKI, dressed in a bright red ankle-length coat, with thunderous applause. Waving to the audience, he quietly sat down at the piano in the center of the stage and began to play “Tears.” After drawing the audience in with several songs in a row, YOSHIKI took the microphone and addressed the audience.

In the first act, each performance was followed by the preface of the next song, during which jokes were exchanged in English, which made the audience feel at ease. The performance was also highly entertaining, with a ballerina appearing during “Forever Love,” one of X Japan’s most popular songs.

The second act of the concert opened with an intense drum performance synonymous with YOSHIKI. With a live orchestra playing the music of Tchaikovsky and Górecki in the background, YOSHIKI mesmerized the audience with a full set of drum performances.

Before performing “Requiem,” the title of the tour, he shared an episode about his beloved mother who passed away last year. ”When my mother passed away, I couldn’t stop crying and I almost went crazy. I saw several doctors, but I never got better. But when I started writing this song, my sadness turned into energy.” YOSHIKI began to play the song, but during the performance, tears were shed at one point.

He then went on to say, “I lost not only my father and mother but also two of my dearest members of the band,” and performed “Without you,” which he composed after the sudden death of X JAPAN’s guitarist HIDE. These two songs, which consisted only of an orchestra and YOSHIKI’s piano performance, were two of the most moving performances of the concert.

The screen showed images of HIDE and TAIJI before their deaths, the young X JAPAN at their successful Tokyo Dome concert, and HIDE’s funeral. Sounds of sobbing echoed in the halls of the Dolby.

YOSHIKI’s performance can be seen as if he is playing while devoting his soul. It would be much easier to turn away from the sorrow and pain of losing loved ones, but YOSHIKI never runs away from it, but faces it and continues to sublimate it into music. YOSHIKI says that his mission is to “pursue the art of music,” and his struggle to do so, while doing his best, gives us a lot of bravery.

He was voicing, “After I came to LA, I didn’t have much time to spend with my mother. Was I really a good son?” These words are common to everyone who has chosen to leave their home country to live in a foreign country. The woman sitting next to me burst into tears at his words, grabbed my arm, and murmured, “His mother is absolutely proud of him.” After the show, I spoke to her, and to my surprise, she told me that this concert was the first time she had heard of YOSHIKI. She had no idea about YOSHIKI’s background or that he had lost his mother. Nevertheless, she received a clear message from YOSHIKI’s music and the way he performed.

He encouraged the audience to persevere and continue to live life to the fullest despite all the pain and suffering that comes with the challenge of life.