Legendary Japanese rock group X JAPAN made a triumphant return to the Coachella Music & Arts Festival this past weekend (Saturday, April 21). As one of only a few rock artists performing at the festival, X JAPAN’s powerful rock performance and elaborate production thrilled the Coachella crowd with a rousing hard rock concert, pyrotechnics and special effects that delivered both surprises and guest stars. Mid set, YOSHIKI of X Japan welcomed Marilyn Manson on stage to perform “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” which the Los Angeles Times described as “…a haunting rendition” (4/22/18) of the Eurythmics’ classic. Guitarists Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit) and Richard Fortus (Guns N’ Roses) returned for Weekend Two along with holograms of X JAPAN’s two deceased members, Hide and Taiji. View the full X JAPAN set list, as well as critical soundbites from the show and more below.
“It was such an honor to be part of this amazing festival, playing with so many great artists,” says YOSHIKI of X JAPAN. “Because of our time slot, I was sad I couldn’t see Beyoncé’s show, but at the same time I was shocked so many people showed up to support us. The mosh pits surprised me, too–the audience’s energy was unbelievable. There were so many rock fans onsite, let’s bring back rock to the mainstream, rock’s not dead. Thank you to our fans and Coachella from the bottom of my heart.”
X JAPAN’s second Coachella performance capped off a frenzied media week which included a sold-out GRAMMY Museum event for the band’s award-winning documentary film WE ARE X (available on Hulu and iTunes) as well as YOSHIKI’s appearance with Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols on his show, “Jonesy’s Jukebox,” among others. Watch YOSHIKI’s interview with Steve Jones HERE.
X JAPAN-the most successful rock group in Japanese history-has sold over 30 million albums, singles and videos combined, and has sold out Japan’s 55,000-seat Tokyo dome a record 18 times captivating a wide range of admirers as Sir George Martin, KISS, Stan Lee, and the Japanese Emperor—all while pioneering a spectacle-driven style of fashion and visual rock called Visual Kei, a one-of-a-kind cultural phenomenon.
X JAPAN, led by composer, drummer, and pianist YOSHIKI, PATA (guitar), HEATH (bass), TOSHI (vocals) and SUGIZO (violin, guitar) are currently in the studio in Los Angeles completing their first full-length album in over 22 years, set for release in 2018.
A sampling of critical soundbites for X JAPAN at Coachella 2018 are as follows:
“Last night, Marilyn Manson joined legendary metal band X Japan on stage at Coachella. Together, the acts performed a stripped-down version of Manson’s infamous cover of Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’. Joined by X Japan frontman Yoshiki on piano, the duo leaned into the minor key of Manson’s original cover, carrying the song into haunting new terrain.”
–Rob Arcand, SPIN (4/22/2018)
“…a masterful rock n roll performance.”
–Brett Callwood, LA WEEKLY (4/15/2018)
“After an initial embrace, Yoshiki moved from his drum kit to his beautiful clear piano where he briefly played the opening notes of “Sweet Dreams” eliciting a huge response from the crowd. Then letting it die down a bit, he continued the song as Manson delivered a more haunting and stripped back version of the Eurythmics cover that helped launch his career. For X Japan, playing Coachella marked off another box in their impressive career. The band has been established as one of the top acts in Japan for years, but they’ve started to make inroads in the U.S. over the past decade, with Coachella serving as one of their biggest U.S. performances to date.”
–Chad Childers, LOUDWIRE (4/22/2018)
“Manson took the stage to thunderous applause and cheers that reached the heavens. Then, X Japan drummer, pianist, and composer Yoshiki sat down at his piano to do a solo performance with Manson of what is one of the most haunting performances of The Eurythmics‘ classic “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” to ever be played.”
–Joshua Leep, SALUTE (4/23/2018)
“…there was some perfect Beyoncé counter-programming in the form of X Japan, the only metal band of the entire otherwise largely rock-free weekend. Playing their first U.S. gig since the 2014 Madison Square Garden concert immortalized in their rockumentary We Are X, the Japanese glam legends performed a pyrotechnic, utterly unsubtle set featuring band leader Yoshiki playing a crystal piano while joined by Limp Bizkit’s Wes Borland, Guns N’ Roses’ Richard Fortus and–in a different sort of reunion–holograms of the band’s two deceased members, Hide and Taiji. …the adjective “epic” very much applied to their ferocious, face-blasting show.”
–Lyndsey Parker, YAHOO Entertainment (4/15/2018)
“X Japan landed in the Mojave Tent to deliver on the flash and melodrama that has made them hugely popular across the globe. …There were hard rock explosions and teary ballads… ‘Jade’ began with a speed metal riff and geysers of pyro, then shifted into an emotional glam melody and lyrics sung in English. The star behind the drums and piano was band mastermind Yoshiki, shirtless and wearing a leather neck brace. He ended the night with the band’s traditional show of unity, shouting ‘We are! We Are!’ and their followers responding with a rousing ‘X! X!’”
—ROLLING STONE “The 18 Best Things We Saw At Coachella Weekend One” (4/16/18)
“X Japan has an x factor. …There was certainly no other band on the bill that looked like X Japan, and there hasn’t been since Guns N’ Roses a couple of years ago. …Talking of Guns N’ Roses, guitarist Richard Fortus joined X Japan for a rousing ‘Born to Be Free,’ while Wes ‘the talented guy in Limp Bizkit’ Borland jumped up for ‘I.V.’ Songs like ‘Jade’ and ‘Kurenai’ are symphonic, technically dazzling, prog-metal beasts, while ‘Endless Rain’ is a classic power ballad. The band members, particularly singer Toshi and lead guitarist Sugizo, just ooze cool, in that classic Jagger/Richards, Tyler/Perry, Axl/Slash rock & roll way. They slink about the stage, effortlessly holding the gaze of a modest but delighted crowd. These guys aren’t used to playing second fiddle to anybody, so enormous are they in their home country, but they just crack on like the experienced, road-hardened warriors they are. And holy shit! X Japan resurrected TWO deceased members with holograms — guitarist Hide and bassist Taiji. It’s frankly impressive that a band can create such a sense of epic history in the country after just cracking America’s shell. But they did. This show felt important.”
–Brett Callwood, LA WEEKLY (4/17/2018)
“Seriously big in Japan, metal band X Japan rarely tours the U.S., but fans who wanted to check them out had to contend with missing Beyoncé. The fans who were there weren’t disappointed in the monster show, though, which included special guests like Marilyn Manson on Weekend 2.”
—Vanessa Franko, RIVERSIDE PRESS ENTERPRISE,
“20 Best Things We’ll Remember About Coachella 2018” (4/22/2018)
“Marilyn Manson joined Japanese metal icons X Japan during their second appearance at Coachella yesterday, April 21st. The Antichrist Superstar teamed with the band’s founder Yoshiki for a stark, piano-accompanied rendition of his hit Eurythmics cover, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).”
–Zoe Camp, REVOLVER (4/22/2018)
X JAPAN’s hour-long set list at Coachella (April 21, 2018) was as follows:
“KISS THE SKY”
“BORN TO BE FREE”
X JAPAN live videos:
Yoshiki stage dive: HERE
Coachella Promo: HERE
Drum Solo Video: HERE
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/yoshikiofficial
About X JAPAN: X Japan is the most successful rock group in Japanese history. Led by composer, drummer, and pianist Yoshiki, the band has sold more than 30 million albums, singles, and videos combined, sold out Japan’s 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome 18 times, and played to millions of fans around the world. In the band’s early days, their look and sound sparked a global interest in the Japanese cultural rock phenomenon “Visual-Kei”, a wild fashion and music movement X Japan pioneered that spread worldwide. In 1997, at the height of their success, the band broke up. Four months later, Hide, X Japan’s original lead guitarist, was found dead in his Tokyo apartment. At his funeral, more than 50,000 fans came to mourn his passing. In early 2007, Yoshiki and vocalist Toshi reunited, and later that year X Japan officially reformed. The band launched its reunion in 2008 with 3 nights at the Tokyo Dome. In 2010, X Japan performed for the first time at Lollapalooza in Chicago. Immediately following the festival, X Japan played the biggest concert in its history, selling out two consecutive shows at Japan’s Nissan Stadium, filling 140,000 seats. The band then launched their first North American tour, selling out across the U.S. and Canada. In June 2011, X Japan launched a 14-city world tour across Europe, South America, and Asia. In 2012, X Japan was the first Japanese band to win “Best International Band” at the Golden Gods Awards. In 2014, X Japan headlined a colossal show at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden. The documentary film We Are X, chronicling the history of X Japan, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and won the award for Best Editing. The film then won an award at the SXSW Film Festival, followed by a worldwide release in over 20 countries and 27 international film festivals. In January 2017, band leader Yoshiki held 2 sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall, performing original classical compositions and orchestral versions of X Japan’s songs with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. The We Are X Original Soundtrack was released on March 3, 2017, hitting #1 on the UK Rock Chart and dominating music charts worldwide. The following day, X Japan headlined a live concert at Wembley Arena in London. In May 2017, the band’s future was threatened when Yoshiki was forced to undergo emergency neck surgery, requiring artificial disc replacement after years of intense drumming. In December 2017, the We Are X DVD, Blu-ray, and vinyl soundtrack LP were released, topping sales charts worldwide. X Japan recently announced the release of the band’s first new studio album in over twenty years, which will be available worldwide in 2018. Coachella 2018 marked not only X Japan’s return to the U.S., but Yoshiki’s first concerts playing drums since his surgery. The current line-up of X Japan is YOSHIKI (drums/piano/composer), TOSHI (vocals), PATA (guitar), HEATH (bass), SUGIZO (violin/guitar).