This year's Download Festival saw HYDE and his band VAMPS take to the Pepsi MAX stage. I'd never heard any of VAMPS' music, though I was aware of, and had heard previous material from HYDE when he was in the band L'Arc~en~Ciel, and also his more recent HALLOWEEN JUNKY ORCHESTRA project.
I made my way to the Pepsi MAX tent quite early in anticipation of their upcoming set, as I'd heard good things about VAMPS. The tent quickly filled up, and some of the band and techs took to the stage to sound check. For some reason, this took longer than usual, and HYDE didn't emerge until a while after the band were scheduled to come on. So unfortunately, because of this, their set was cut short as they only had a certain amount of time to perform. They did however get to perform a number of songs; it just didn't last as long as expected.
I didn't really know what to expect, but after the performance, I realised I was expecting the music to be a lot heavier. Instead, it was fairly upbeat and almost pop, in my opinion. Not normally my type of music, but I still enjoyed it a fair bit, and at some point some women's underwear got thrown at HYDE. I seem to remember him holding them close to his face, possibly sniffing them? I'm not quite sure really. Later someone also threw a bra on stage, which HYDE held in his mouth as he played the guitar.
All in all, I enjoyed the show. They performed with energy and enthusiasm, with HYDE moving all around the stage, waving his skull and crossbones flag. I guess I was quite surprised really, as I was expecting a much darker sound and image, but for the short while that VAMPS played, I was quite entertained. Worth checking out!
Here are some more photos of the band:
All photos by AZNPopCulture