I first saw Daigo (listed on my ticket as "ダイゴ with space toys" -- "space toys" ostensibly being the name of his back up band) on May 1, 2002 at the On Air Osaka in a concert featuring LAID. I went with chosha and akujou. Beside LAID the other acts of the night were the styrofoam peanuts part of the package to our minds. I don't know if we would have even turned our eyes to the stage before the final act if LAID hadn't been performing MC duties that night like the totally sweet sempai they were. After several lackluster acts we were rolling our eyes at the mere sound of Daigo's entrance music. It was so over-the-top, as if he thought he was the big attraction of the evening. He slinked on stage in full on glam make-up, sparkles and a feather boa and I think most of the audience was thinking "What a conceited fop." It didn't help that he hailed from Tokyo either; he didn't even have the home court advantage.
His music reminded me of The doors but that was probably because it made use of an organ (causing akujou to shudder) and he was trying for all he was worth to smolder with that feline sexuality that made Jim Morrison a legend. He reminded chosha of a Ziggy Stardust wanna-be however because being a big Ziggy Stardust/David Bowie fan she knew exactly whose coattails he was clinging to. Needless to say he struck all of us as a poser who lost any cool points by trying far too hard and taking himself far too seriously. And then he paused for an MC...
My mind no longer can recall what he said to us, just that it was so tongue in cheek that we all suddenly realized he was in on the joke. This isn't to say he was a joke, he just was in on one with us. He was over-the-top, yes, totally, but with a very sly wink. He was funny and flirty and flamboyant and he had us eating out of his hand. We loved the boa, we loved the sparkly eyeshadow, we leapt and grabbed at the buttons emblazoned with his name which he produced from a little purse and threw into the crowd. (I actually caught one which NEVER happens and I have it still, much the worse for all the wear...) When the music started again he was no longer playing to bored observers but rather to a crowd of fans.
The members of LAID, besides attending to their MC duties, were polishing off bottles of American beer. Now, I don't know much about beer but people who do tell me that American beer, in general, is watered down cheapness. Perhaps the boys in LAID thought it was the rock star drink of choice and made do however. The mystery of why they chose an American beer is totally beside the point. I just can't resist talking about LAID a little bit. Anyhow, our slightly inebriated (you know the easy unguarded languor that comes to the denizens of this isle with even a sip of beer) MCs were goofing around more and more as the concert wore on. After one act Daigo came out to join LAID's vocalist, Ryo, on stage as the next act was set up behind the closed curtains and they performed a little mock up act of half a song or so. After they traded a few quips and just before they left the stage they seemed to decide it was time for something a bit more. I honestly don't know whose idea it was but I will say it seemed to amuse them both when Daigo leaned in and kissed Ryo. The fans ate it up, of course. Looking quite pleased with the reaction, they left the stage.
After the concert we all decided we needed CDs. I was lucky enough to get my copy of his first indies single "The space toy" signed by the man himself. I brought it home, gave it a listen or two and dearly wished I had bought his second single "The space kiss" as well. It's a really fun musical trip and "Stars" had me right back at the concert. I wasn't the only one who wanted another chance to see and interact with Daigo, akujou not only wanted to go to his next concert she decided we were going to dress up for it too! Akujou, being a fashion diva and handy with fabric and thread outdid herself in designing and making a wonderful glam outfit. I had to make do with what I had, but I was sparkly.
We saw Daigo (this time listed on the ticket as "DAIGO with The space toys") the second time on June 6, 2002 at Namba Rockets and it was through this concert that I was introduced to Sclatch who would become one of my favorite bands. We also were introduced to Plastic but as they were playing as their alter-egos the Hirano Rockers that evening we really didn't get that into them. ^_^ Namba Rockets is a lovely little exception to the "thou shalt not exit the live house and ever expect to enter again this evening" rule that exists at most live houses I've been to. When bands we didn't care for took the stage, akujou and I took this as an opportunity to meet band boys we did care for. ^_^
We managed to garner all of the Sclatch member's autographs as well as joke around with them a bit and joy of joys, we got to meet Daigo! He was out of make-up and looking very casual when we met him. Gone was his diva manner and instead he seemed very approachable and friendly. I think, akujou may correct me on this, we took a few pictures with him and we just chatted a little bit. Akujou, being far better at Japanese than I, had much more to say and informed him of the fact that we had dressed up for the occasion. He seemed genuinely flattered by this as well as a bit surprised that someone would go to such lengths just for him. He really struck me as a sweet guy.
Sadly, that was the last time I saw Daigo live. The next and final time he came down to the Kansai area he was playing with several other bands including a band called MUCC. I had no earthly idea who MUCC was and as I didn't care I naively assumed other people wouldn't care and I could get in on the day of the concert. This was not the case. They were sold-out. I was honestly shocked. Up until that point I had never heard of an indies concert being sold out. I was depressed but I reassured myself I'd have another chance.
This was not the case. Daigo never returned to the Kansai area before going major. I suppose if he does a national tour he will return to the Kansai area but of course I, sadly, am no longer there. Due to his never returning I was unable to ever purchase his final single on the glam & glitter records label, "The space age," since they were sold only at concerts. *sigh*
I recently received my last fan club mailing from his Stardust Club with glam & glitter. Now that he is a major artist I suppose they will revamp the whole thing and I suspect they'll ask for a lot more than just enough stamps to mail the newsletters to you. Still, I treasure all the newsletters I got and I will support him in his new career too.