MIYAVI SAMURAI SESSIONS VOL. 2
Osaka Namba Hatch, December 2nd, 2017
Live report by Michelle Minikhiem
Photo credit: Daisuke Hirano
With the release of his latest collaborative album, SAMURAI SESSIONS Vol.2, MIYAVI has continued to place himself at the heart of the storm of Japan’s music scene by working with some of the hottest artists of today to produce some seriously toe-tapping tracks.
The three-stop tour accompanying the release hit Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo. MIYAVI pulled out all the stops and delivered a powerful performance at the second-to-last show at Namba Hatch on December 2nd.
MIYAVI started the show with a dramatic entrance, running out and leaping in front of the spotlights to uproarious applause. Joined onstage by the talented Sean Bowe and Meron Ryan, the two acted as vocal support and the hype train for the bulk of the performance. Bowe in particular had a penchant for getting the audience up and jumping.
The atmosphere of the show was more akin to a nightclub than a concert. Aside from having a turntable setup and an onstage arrangement reminiscent of a dance floor, audience interaction seemed integral to the energy of the performance. MIYAVI lives to make his fans scream.
The chemistry between MIYAVI and Meron Ryan was particularly fun to witness. Ryan seemed just a touch nervous despite her impressive pipes, but MIYAVI’s playful antics onstage – such as when he threw himself to the stage floor after the incredible guitar solo of “Let Go” – drew smiles from both her and his audience.
The gorgeous, voluptuous Chanmina joined MIYAVI for a rendition of “No Thanks Ya”. For anyone seeking some seriously-skilled rhymes crackling with aggressive, sexy energy, look no further. MIYAVI and Chanmina flowed together like milk and honey as he tore up his guitar like a madman while she delivered some scorching freestyle.
The party moved forward non-stop until MIYAVI took some time to say a few words regarding his recent humanitarian efforts. MIYAVI has been spending a lot of time volunteering abroad in less fortunate countries in collaboration with The UN Refugee Agency, and that has deeply inspired him both personally and musically. He also spoke of the impact of the Mynmar crisis and the Bangladesh prime minister’s statements regarding refugees there.
Before performing the passionate call to action that is MIYAVI’s new song “The Others”, he had this to say; “We are all different. But we can unite through music. We are all the others.”
MIYAVI’s balance of fun, electrifying tunes and serious, real-world messages was really evident that night. This was especially clear when he performed “Long Night” for the second time that night, but this time in a lovely acoustic arrangement that seemed to give the already heartfelt tune new meaning.
MIYAVI’s connection to his fans and the way he pours himself and his beliefs into his music is really moving. After the last song of the night, he spent a long time just slapping high fives with the first couple rows. He even went so far as to climb into the audience (as far as security would let him), fist-bumping as many people as he could reach and leading the whole audience to clap their hands as “Dancing With My Fingers” played one more time. Both the audience and the artist wanted to keep the party going until the very last minute.
01. Dancing With My Fingers
02. So On It
03. In Crowd
04. Dim I
05. Come Alive
06. Let Go
07. No Thanks Ya feat. Chanmina
08. Bumps In The Night feat. Sean Bowe
09. Fight Club
10. All My Life
11. Forget You feat. Meron Ryan
12. The Others
13. Long Nights
14. Fire Birde
En1 Long Nights – Acoustic Version
En2 Slap It