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Japanese Rockers Luna Sea Wow Fans at Inaugural Summer Sonic Shanghai

Luna Sea, 2017
Courtesy of Billboard Japan

Luna Sea

Summer Sonic began in 2000 and has now become one of Japan's leading summer music festivals. This urban rock and pop festival that takes place annually in Tokyo and Osaka got its first Shanghai showing this year, and Japanese rock band Luna Sea headlined the main stage on the first day Saturday (Aug. 26).

Fans had expressed apprehension over social media the day before because of a severe thunderstorm that struck the area, but fortunately the weather held out on Saturday for the 24 acts from China and various countries who performed on three different stages.

When Luna Sea came out onstage to their trademark intro, Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," they were met with a huge cheer that equaled that of their Japan shows. Many local fans had already given the veteran visual kei band an enthusiastic and warm welcome when they arrived at the airport the day before, greeting members as they appeared in the lobby.

They opened the show with "Dejavu" and powered through a string of speedy hit singles including "Tonight," "Desire," "End of Sorrow," "True Blue" and "End of the Dream," and wowed the audience with such distinctive rock numbers as "Sweetest Coma Again" and "Gravity."

"Da jia hao (hello everyone)," frontman Ryuichi addressed the crowd in Chinese during their set. "We love Shanghai. It's been about 18 years (since we last came), and we want to hear you up here!"

The members appeared to be thoroughly enjoying themselves as they continued to rock the crowd with such fan favorites as "I for You," "Storm" and "Rosier," closing the main set with "Believe."

One of the most memorable moments from this show came when the band returned for the encore to play "Wish." The entire audience roared "I wish!" in unison at the beginning of the song, and the fact that the Shanghai crowd was so familiar with a song that was never released as a single was frankly astounding.

Many fans were in tears as the members left the stage, but Luna Sea's energetic and engaging performance surely left a lasting impression on those who experienced them live for the first time.

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