X Japan: X
Man, it's almost too hot to blog here.
I can't let Drum Week go by, though, without paying tribute to one of the hottest drummers I know. We've actually seen him before on this blog in his pianist incarnation, but he's also one of the world's most intense, diva-like drummers on any continent. I'm talking, of course, about Yoshiki, the prima donna, leader, and producer of J-rock group X Japan. He's one of those musicians who's larger than life.
This version of their self-titled anthem was recorded in 1989. After a ten-year hiatus, X Japan is back touring, and as you can see, Yoshiki is a bit worse for wear. That neck brace protects him after years of headbanging and recent spinal surgery.
The song, though doesn't do him justice. For that you'll have to check out some concert footage, where his over-the-top antics during extended drum solos sends the crown into a screaming frenzy. He's got it down: first there's the slow build-up, then his drum platform takes off into the sky and circles around, then there's water fountains, then fireworks, then a rousing finish followed by Yoshiki collapsing and crawling off the stage. The whole thing takes long enough for the rest of the band to catch the first half of the Lakers game.
Here's one from last year in Yokohama. You can check out YouTube for a boatload more ("Yoshiki drum" will get you all you need).