I started this in the Lolla thread and have added to it every time I've found or seen new articles, but I think it probably deserves it's own thread. Be sure to post up any press which I've missed!
If you don't feel inclined to read the press for yourself, the overall general opinion is that X Japan were an entertaining addition to the lineup which added some much needed rock to the festival. There are several glowing reviews within, as well as several full articles. There are also several indifferent reviews and also some very negative opinions - but the general consensus, however, is overwhelmingly positive
.Time Out Chicago thought X Japan were the highlight of the festival and wrote a full article on them:Dear Perry Farrell, thank you for no-wait Port-A-Potty lines, the Columbus Dr. walkway and the artery-clogging (Kuma’s) Judas Priest cranberry/walnut/bacon/bleu cheese party in my mouth…but thank you most of all for X Japan. Engineering the first stateside import of Japan’s (mostly) quadragenarian metal monsters was the coup of the festival, and as expected, faces were in fact melted
http://www3.timeoutny.com/chicago/blog/out-and-about/2010/08/x-japan-at-lollapalooza-2010-live-review-and-photo-gallery/USA Today were impressed with what they saw
X Japan's decades-in-the-making U.S. concert debut evoked a lusty reception Sunday. The group, formed by drummer Yoshiki Hayashi and singer Toshi Deyama in 1982, became Japan's biggest band, selling 30 million albums, DVDs and singles. Members broke up for a decade in 1997 but have reunited. Their afternoon set evoked aspects of Lady Gaga's set on the same stage Friday night. The metal-pop-punk was fast and ferocious, and the costumes were striking. Yoshiki, in a white neck brace, was bare-chested under a burgundy robe and wore blue vinyl pants and guyliner. Toshi's black helmet hair and shades evoked late Elvis, and his black leather garb was vintage '80s metal-band gear. Singing in English, Toshi wailed into the stratosphere on Jade and showed a pretty, tender tenor on a soft ballad. Flames and sparks belched periodically as Yoshiki stoked the spectacle with Keith-Moon-on-Red-Bull drumming from atop a riser. Japanese-sung anthems succeeded just as well, as this band is more about sonics and style than lyrical introspection. The rest of the quintet laid down a thunderous yet polished platform.
http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2010-08-09-lollapalooza09_ST_N.htmA luke-warm and quite sardonic review by The Chicago Tribune:Everything about Japan X (above), making its stateside debut in front of a smallish audience split between die-hards (those people holding aloft stuffed dolls in the bands' likeness and crossing their arms above their heads while chanting, “X, X, X, X!”) and curiosity seekers, is cartoonishly over-the-top. The long-running Japanese crew makes a comically slow entrance to the stage as epic choral music pumps through the speakers. “Are you ready to rock?” screams singer Toshi Deyama, his voice absent any trace of irony. “We are!” Dressed like glammed-out extras from “The Warriors,” the group combines piano-driven power ballads (the band's glass-and-stainless-steel piano, which takes center stage on “Endless Rain,” looks like something Axl Rose might have sprung for at the height of Guns N' Roses' consumption) and thrashier, guitar heavy numbers like “Jade,” which more often than not are accompanied by towers of flame blasting up from the stage. With a style that combines the theatricality of a Broadway production with cheesy-yet-earnest prog/hair metal, it often sounds as though the Sunset Strip of 1987 has been temporarily airlifted to the band's hometown of Chiba, Japan.
http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/turn_it_up/2010/08/lollapalooza-2010-reviews-from-day-3.htmlExaminer.com were entertained by X Japan, if not for the wrong reasons:Japanese metal band X Japan was entertaining, if only to hear the singer shrieking wildly for 45 minutes. When you’re used to hearing metal singers with gruff, growling voices like Metallica and Pantera, it’s hard to get used to a metal singer whose voice screeches higher than Lady Gaga’s.
http://www.examiner.com/x-27067-Chicago-Live-Music-Examiner~y2010m8d9-Lollapalooza-Sunday-Review-Arcade-Fire-MGMT-Frightened-Rabbit-deliver-on-festivals-final-dayMyspace, however, loved X Japan:
A yelping shriek accompanied the rumbling bass that greeted us at the south end of the park. It became evident that progressive Japanese heavy metal crew, X Japan, had taken the stage. X Japan are like no band you have, or will ever see again. The grandness of their slaying is not to be understood, or matched. With grand orchestral arrangements, that could have come from a Journey B-side, knife-stabbing metal riffs and an overall level of madness that any other band would have trouble replicating, lead singer Toshimitsu “Toshi” Devama sang about loneliness (“Amethyst”) and self-reflection (“Art of Life”) behind the loudest noise-hydrant to ever accompany such topics. Truly, words cannot describe.
Read more: http://www.myspace.com/music/blog/2010/8/8/lollapalooza-day-three-highlights#ixzz0w6e1uIYDFaronheit.com gave a generally favorable response:One of my biggest challenges headed into Sunday was whether to see Yeasayer or X Japan. X Japan has been around for decades but has never played a show in the U.S. before. As I’ve seen Yeasayer a couple times already, I chose the unfamiliar act. Their set wasn’t very crowded, but especially at the front, hardcore X Japan fans really openly displayed their love for the band by dressing in costume, or just flying in from Japan where they’re a national treasure. Now I got a little snarky on Twitter about the band’s performance, but honestly it was very entertaining. That’s about all I was looking for, and they delivered, complete with overblown leather outfits, a gong, and pyrotechnics. They’re everything a stadium rock band could ask for, playing to a crowd of a few hundred. Their takeover of North America may not be as easy as they’re hoping it will be, but should they land some success, at least they’ll have the great show to back it up.
http://faronheit.com/2010/08/lollapalooza-2010-day-3-quick-recap/The Chicago Sun-Times thought X Japan were a complete success and wrote a whole article dedicated to X.The other night, referring to the small crowd for the Strokes and the triumph of Lady Gaga, I quipped that rock is dead. I stand corrected.
Making its U.S. debut -- after forming in 1982 and re-forming in 2007, with massive popularity in its home country -- X Japan took to the Lollapalooza main stage Sunday afternoon and delivered a spectacular, almost operatic performance of big ballads and speed metal.
http://blogs.suntimes.com/music/2010/08/lollapalooza_x_japan_makes_us.htmlMetromix Chicago, however, were most unenthusiastic towards X Japan, describing them as dated and sporting weak materialAre you ready to rock? Are you ready to ROCK? Are you ready to rock? Are you ready to ROCK? Yep, X Japan singer Toshi asked the crowd this no fewer than four times, by which point the answer should long be self-evident. X Japan, absolutely massive in its home country to the tune of more than 30 million albums sold, surely was ready to rock us: Sunday's Lolla set was the group's first U.S. performance ever, and X Japan formed in 1982. Too bad they still sound like 1982, without any fresh ideas or killer hooks preventing them from merely coming off like a few parts Motley Crue and a few parts Metallica, with Sebastian Bach singing. The band can definitely play loud and fast in between the on-stage pyrotechnics. Not the same as having strong material.
http://chicago.metromix.com/music/article/lolla-10-sunday-reviews/2107835/contentMTV Briefly mentions X Japan's performance in their round-up article of Sunday's performanceSoundgarden capped off a busy Sunday at Lollapalooza, which saw schizophrenic jumps from the over-the-top theatrics of X Japan to the grooviness of Erykah Badu
http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1645346/20100809/soundgarden.jhtmlCleveland Scene found X Japan to be most underwhelmingPlaying its first stateside show ever, Japan’s X Japan didn’t fare so well. Rooted in ’80s metal, the band played power ballad after power ballad and definitely benefited from the novelty factor. If these guys hadn’t been Asian, their show would have been of little interest.
http://www.clevescene.com/c-notes/archives/2010/08/09/road-trip-concert-review-lollapalooza-day-3Spin.com regards X Japan as a highlight of the festival:Best Ergonomic Solution for Killer Drum Fills: X Japan
Among all the big-ticket reunions that festivals bank on, one of the biggest featured a band most Lollapalooza attendees had likely never heard of before Sunday. Prog-metal giants X Japan -- no relation to Exene Cervenka, John Doe et. al -- sold millions of records at home before breaking up in 1997. (Their flamboyant guitarist hanged himself under mysterious circumstances in 1998.) But the band had never played America. A reconstituted version rectified that yesterday looking like anime characters dropped into a 1987 Manowar video. There was pyro, sure, but the most lasting impression was left by multi-tasking drummer Yoshiki, who pounded away at his kit -- and, more lovingly, at a white baby grand for the ballads -- all while wearing a thick neck brace, kinda like Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles. The Japanese Tommy Lee quickly became the hero of the day and was last spotted driving a boat on Lake Michigan -- with his dick.
http://www.spin.com/articles/best-moments-lollapalooza-final-daySpin.com again briefly mentions X Japan whilst lauding Soundgarden's returnThe set didn't feature much in the way of bells and whistles -- Green Day and X Japan must have raided their supply -- but they are their own special effect.
Chicago Mag.com gave X Japan a thumbs up, of sortsBest fan watching: Androgyny, guitar fury, flames and explosions from X Japan, a Japanese hair metal supergroup that was making its American debut. They were not the tightest band we saw in the technical sense, but their flag-toting Japanese fans definitely made their Sunday afternoon set the best occasion for people watching.
http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/August-2010/Best-of-Lollapalooza-2010/Chartattack.com also briefly mentions X
The sixth annual version of the three-day fest, located in Chicago's beautiful Grant Park, had its typically big name attractions: the reunion of '90s rock icons Soundgarden; the Vegas-sized spectacle of Lady Gaga and Green Day; the return to U.S. stages of rock revolutionaries The Strokes; the North American premiere of Asian metal superstars X-Japan;
http://www.chartattack.com/reviews/2010/aug/09/lollapalooza-2010-canadians-rule-and-soundgarden-plod-alongAVClub.Com appeared to enjoy the occasion: X Japan’s first U.S. show—the group is massively huge in its native country—was a fantastic curiosity, from the first moments of epic choral music that preceded the band’s entrance to the wailing vibrato of lead singer Toshi Deyama and beast of a drummer Yoshiki Hayashi to the intense pyro that lit up the afternoon stage. For the uninitiated, the set was all over the place, as hair-metal/glam-rock should be, really. One moment Toshi was issuing blood-curdling screams alongside thrashing guitars, and the next, his voice was operatic and sailing over the field. The group drew a tight band of superfans up front, who were equipped with X memorabilia and schooled in the art of coordinated jumping, fist-pumping, and when exactly they should all shout and make the X symbol. (It was somewhat unpredictable.) Toshi’s stage banter pulled from a set of clichés like “Are you ready to rock?” and “Are you hot?” But put anything in crazy black-leather costume and throw on a Japanese accent, and it’s charming as hell.
http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/lollapalooza-2010-its-all-about-the-spectacle,43944/3/Gapers Block found X Japan to be a curiosityX Japan was a sight I had to see. Not knowing much from the outset other than that they are crazy popular in Japan and around the world and they looked like a Japanese glam band, I expected a spectacle. What I got was screamo emo, metal, and orchestral power rock. A mixed bag to say the least, but there is something to this group that has been an influence since 1988, selling over 20 million records across the globe. The group called it quits in 1997 and this rare American appearance was part of their reunion tour.
http://gapersblock.com/transmission/2010/08/09/lollapalooza_sunday/The Phoenix New Times couldn't even get the band name yet in their brief, dismissive review:
There were people in odd Japanese costumes waiting for Japan X, who opened a 4 p.m. set with a surprising (for me, at least) amount of pyrotechnics, but it seemed like a bit of a slog until the sub-headliners hit the stage.
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2010/08/lollapalooza_2010_everything_t.phpWindy City Rock also found X Japan to be an interesting proposition:It's safe to say there has never been another act quite like X Japan at Lollapalooza. The band is indeed Japanese and perform an over the top combination of power metal and progressive rock. They're known for donning wild, manga-inspired costumes during performances, though Sunday afternoon their visuals leaned toward heavy metal gothic, with black leather, skulls and crosses. Their soaring, epic heavy metal anthems aren't something I'd generally gravitate toward, but there was something endearing about the band and their outrageous show. Maybe it was the fact that, despite existing as a unit since the '80s, it was the first time performing in the States and it was cool to see them getting good energy from the crowd. Or maybe it was the fire blasts that popped up on stage near the end of the set. Who knows, but it was all kind of cool.
http://www.windycityrock.net/2010/08/lollapalooza-2010-day-three-x-japan.htmlThree letters that which would better describe Eat Sleep Drink Music's brief review are 'WTF':X Japan was full of psychotic Japanese fans and very confused Americans. The band was over-the-top crazy and louder than fuck.
http://www.esdmusic.com/2010/08/09/lollapalooza-2010-recap-sunday-sunday-here-again-a-walk-in-the-park/In Music were full of praise for X Japan, regarding them as being a notable highlight of the festival:The second band worth noting were metal veterans X Japan, hailing from none other than the land of the rising sun. Kicking off their set with an explosion of pyrotechnics, thundering double kick drums, and screaming vocals straight out of 1986, X Japan wasted no time in showing their hand. Their hour-long set was a tour de force in instrumentation and crowd-riling antics. Broken English didn't stop lead singer Toshimitsu Deyama from whipping the heavy metal hordes before him into a frenzied state. By the end of the set, there wasn't a person left in the crowd who wasn't waiving arms crossed in an "x" above their head to cheer the group on.
http://eatthis.inmusic.ca/2010/08/lollapalooza-wrap-up.htmlRhapsody.com were entertained, if not bemused, by X JapanBitchin' doesn't come close to doing justice to whatever it was X Japan's set was all about. This crew of veteran rockers from Japan are a cross between Judas Priest and David Bowie in Labyrinth. Truth be told I'd never heard of them before they took the main stage and spent 45 minutes slaying an imaginary metal dragon. Now I will never forget.
http://blog.rhapsody.com/2010/08/lolla3g.htmlTo say that Up Chicago were impressed with X Japan would be huge understatement:
WE ARE? X! WE ARE? X! YOU ARE? X! YOU ARE? X!
Well, I sure as hell am now. Never, ever ever ever, has a band made me their new biggest die-hard fan so quickly. When I was bitching Monday night about the lack of what felt like, for me, a true headliner, Perry Farrell more than made up for it by tossing in an extra one on Sunday afternoon. X Japan’s massive set was only trumped by their massive sound; they drowned out everything, from other bands to conversation, across the entire south end of the park. You might be thinking to yourself, “Who the hell is X Japan?” So was I before the set. Apparently these guys are metal giants with a career stretching back to the mid-80s who have just reunited and, get this, played their first show on American soil Sunday at Lollapalooza. They sure as hell didn’t seem nervous. A flurry of orchestral noise in their intro was quickly obliterated by a stunning Motorhead-style guitar assault, complete with giant cones of flame erupting on stage. The band channeled everything from Journey to Metallica to Guns n’ Roses, complete with over the top piano solos and distorted violin breakdowns. On top of that, these guys clearly had their amps set to 11. By far the loudest band I have ever heard at Lollapalooza, or anywhere else for that matter. One of the shows coolest moments involved drummer Yoshiki playing the piano while a pre-recorded guitar solo accompanied him. What makes pre-recorded guitar cool? The guitar part was laid down by deceased former X Japan guitar player Hideto Matsumoto. The show ended on a song that dipped in and out of epic “November Rain-style ballad and full on metal firestorm.” The crowd ate it up, fist pumping crossed arms and declaring they too were X.
http://blog.rhapsody.com/2010/08/lolla3g.htmlLoud Loop Press were also full of kind words for X Japan's American debut:The phrase “They’re huge in Japan” is sort of a running joke among American musicians, but X Japan live it literally. The Japanese heavy metal outfit was originally founded in 1982, but later broke up in 1997 only to reunite ten years later, are huge in Japan. How huge? They can pretty much sell out any arena any time they want. However, the band never made the leap to American audiences. Their brand of symphonic metal is more for niche audiences in the states and never had broken through into the mainstream. But as this Sun-Times article points out, that didn’t stop X Japan fans from flocking from all over to catch the band’s first ever performance in the U.S. at Lollapalooza.
Well, their dramatic arrival was no small event. Hardcore fans, which were easiy picked out with their X Japan merch and paraphernalia, and the curious flocked to the massive south side stage for the show, and those who witnessed it were not left disappointed. X Japan’s set was arena metal adrenaline with a few theatrics such as flames from the bottom of the stage thrown in for good measure. Lead singer Toshi was a masterful frontman who riled up the crowd with cliche rock phrases like “Are You Ready To Rock?” in his broken English, but it worked to set the tone for the deafening guitar assault that followed. Actually, deafening might be an understatement as X Japan definitely won the battle for loudest band at Lolapalooza 2010. The bass and drums were more like atomic explosions than thunder and the guitars chugged along without sympathy on takes like “Jade” and “Endless Rain”. But perhaps the best part was how excited the band looked to be playing to such a large crowd for their first American show. They smiled and even took the time to take some pictures of the audience before they exited the stage when their time was up.
Venus Zine also found X Japan to be fine addition to the festival lineup:If NERVO know how to dance, X Japan know how to rock. The Japanese band that has been performing on and off for nearly 30 years in their home country made their stateside debut to a small crowd of diehard fans who knew the words to just about every song. Dressed in a glam get-up and frequently screaming “Are you ready to rock?” singer Toshi Deyama looked like he continues to be inspired by the American hair metal from the distant year his group formed. By the end of the short six-song set, onlookers were pumping fists and playing air guitar. Whenever prompted, arms were raised and crossed to form an X representing the band’s name. Heavy metal music reminiscent of an age before most festival-goers were born tends not to excite most people, but for the small contingent who are moved by such music, X Japan excited them enough for the rest of us.
http://www.venuszine.com/articles/music/7502/Lollapalooza_2010_X_Japan_makes_their_stateside_debut_Badu_is_just_bad_and_MGMT_bring_out_the_Kids_in_all_of_usRhapsody.com thought X Japan rocked:Who:Once-and-future Japanese metal gods known for their penchant for black leather-clad theatrics and their cult-like following. Recently reunited to attempt a comeback.
Why: What part of the 'Who' wouldn't make you want to go?!
Highlights: A sea of arms crossed in X's raised up on the downbeat of every line of one song: you guys, there was choreography! Also, it was literally 90 degrees and they were all wearing layers of black leather (lead singer Toshi's jacket might have even had FUR on the collar). After announcing their last song at 4:40, the band managed to still go almost to the end of the time slot by spending ten minutes with Toshi bellowing "We Are!" and the crowd responding "X!" (again, with crossed arms raised) over and over. And over.
Verdict: They sound like the Scorpions, X JAPAN ROCKS!!!!
http://blog.rhapsody.com/2010/08/lolla3r.htmlCrawDaddy.com appeared suitably impressed by X Japan, but mistook Sugizo for a women:The initial sparklers, the glass-encased grand piano, and the muscular drummer in a neck Courtesy of X Japanbrace were not surprising sights to the thousands of people who’d weathered the short storm hours before X Japan. Igniting with spouts of fire across the stage, X Japan’s furious tracks captivated a large portion of festival goers on Sunday evening. With record sales topping 20 million—one-sixth of Japan’s population—X Japan had all of the credentials to rupture Lollapalooza: An opera opening, a female violinist, and ‘80s metal-minded ballads that soar across acres. Mangled solos and lyrics like “Your scars are beautiful” jolted their kimono-clad crowd. And the group’s high-frequency violin chords and torrent of piano notes helped the reception of their Japanese song “Kurenai.”
http://www.crawdaddy.com/index.php/2010/08/10/live-show-review-lollapalooza-at-grant-park-chicago/?doing_wp_cronABC mentioned X's Lollapalooza performance briefly in a short feature on the band:Though they've been around since 1982, Japanese rock band X-Japan didn't see much success until 1989 with the release of their album "Blue Blood." After disbanding for a while in the 90s, the group decided to get back together in 2007, and will release their first studio album in 14 years later this year. As of now, the band has sold more than thirty million records and continues to draw thousands of fans everywhere they go. They just performed last weekend at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago.
Yoshiki has claimed that in his eyes, the concert ranks at 99/100:http://www.musicjapanplus.jp/news/1/5324/x-japan-at-lollapalooza-gets-99100-from-yoshiki-details-on-coming-tour-revealed/
Yoshiki has also had another feature written on him by none other than ABC News:http://abcnews.go.com/WN/yoshiki-japans-bono-ready-us/story?id=11358722
He also was featured on their entertainment news broadcast:http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/japan-rocks-11370738&tab=9482930§ion=1206853&playlist=11370750
The Phoenix New Times also feature an interview with Yoshiki:http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2010/08/x_japans_yoshiki_on_lollapaloo.php?page=1
Buzz 103.1 Radio also wrote an article regarding X Japan:http://buzz103.radio.com/2010/08/10/last-fm-trends-x-japan-rocks-lollapalooza/
Also, interestingly enough, the reaction on the official Lollapalooza forum (the same one which was an X Japan flame-fest when the band were announced on the bill) has been full of a lot of people listing the band in their favorite acts of the festival lists. How's that for humble pie?
There have been a few off comments, but nothing negative towards their performance as such. A few members claimed they were entertaining for comedy value in that they "outdid spinal-tap".