On Monday, October 24th, the multi-faceted and multi-talented Miyavi visited Houston’s Scout Bar in celebration of his 20th anniversary in the music industry. The twenty-city tour includes both the U.S. and Canada, and runs through November 7th, 2022.
It was a rainy Monday night in H-Town, but the lackluster weather didn’t dampen the spirits of Miyavi’s long-time fans, who came out in full force from across the city to see him perform his unique brand of electronic rock.
Scout Bar is well-known to locals as the place to see their favorite metal band, but has become much more eclectic over the years by also welcoming well-known touring acts to their stage. What used to be considered a musical outpost to most Houstonians is now a regularly visited hotspot. It’s the kind of place where one can experience an amazing musical performance, but where there is no danger of wondering where the car was parked, or of sitting in long traffic jams once the concert has ended. For this, many fans who live on the southern edge of the city, as well as those of us more local, are extremely grateful. With amazing lighting and sound in a more intimate setting than can be found at other venues, Scout Bar has become a refuge; a place to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown, and where both great music and a great atmosphere coexist.
Miyavi has been delighting audiences in Japan and abroad for over two decades with his signature, finger-slapping technique. In addition to his countless live performances over that time (including membership in the now defunct Japanese visual kei rock bands Due le quartz and S.K.I.N.), fifteen studio albums, breaking out as a solo artist and founding the J-Glam movement, you may have also seen Miyavi appear in major motion pictures such as Unbroken, Maleficent, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil or the more recent Japanese film Hell Dogs, just to name a few. When Miyavi isn’t involved in either of these endeavors, he might be found performing duties as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the United Nations’ agency dedicated to assisting refugees around the world. Miyavi considers it his personal life mission to bring light, hope and most of all, awareness to the work being done by the United Nations to improve the lives of refugees who have been forced to flee their homeland the world over.
Just in case any of that doesn’t ring a bell, you might’ve been exposed to Miyavi’s music without even knowing it. His track “Futurism” is featured in a new commercial for Dell’s “Expand Your Youniverse,” advertising campaign for their “Dell XPS” series of notebook computers.
If there’s one thing I can say about this artist, it’s that he doesn’t do anything on a small scale. When I arrived at the venue, I noticed a full-sized tour motorcoach complete with living accommodations, parked right in the front. It was adorned with a larger-than-life photograph of Miyavi, and next to it, a list of tour dates. A few steps later stood the long line of fans who were anxiously awaiting entry. After being blown away with Miyavi’s performance in 2019, I knew I was in for a great evening of musical entertainment. Of course, I was not the least bit disappointed. At exactly 8:00 p.m., armed with his signature Telecaster (a special edition, courtesy of Fender), and dressed in a Dolce and Gabanna fishnet shirt and sharkskin pants, Miyavi exploded onto the stage to the show’s opener, “Snakes”, a tune which he wrote as the theme song for the Netflix series Arcane.
Onstage, Miyavi bounds from one end of the platform to the other like a wild animal. And just when you’re not expecting it, he jumps several feet in the air with guitar in hand, landing as softly as a cat with all nine lives neatly intact. It’s amazing to see one man work the stage like Miyavi does. But that’s just part of why his fans adore him. In between performances of popular melodies from his 20+ years in music (including “Strong”, “New Gravity” and “What’s My Name”), garnering full participation from the audience, Miyavi spent the evening joking with the crowd between songs, telling funny anecdotes about the tour, and his struggles to pronounce certain “Texan” words. At one point, he even led everyone in a short version of “Deep In The Heart of Texas”. If there’s one thing that marks his stage style, it’s his laid-back, brotherly approach to his fans, some of whom had the opportunity to meet him during a meet and greet held earlier in the evening.
After almost an hour and a half into the performance, Miyavi and his band mates said a quick “goodnight” that didn’t last long. Moments later, to chants from the crowd, they appeared again on stage, providing a generous encore that included “Me And The Moonlight”, “Imaginary”, “Futurism” and one of my personal favorites, “No Sleep Till Tokyo”, all with the same level of energy at the start of the show. At the hour and forty-five minute mark, the band bid a final farewell to their Houston fans with high-fives and shouts of “WE LOVE YOU MIYAVI!!”. The lengthy setlist for this particular show varied greatly from many of those already published for past performances, so don’t expect the same musical lineup in each city. For the most part, Miyavi likes to go with the crowd’s vibe, taking requests and playing songs they want to hear – on the fly. So, if you want to see this tantalizing show more than once, you’re likely to hear a different set each time. But don’t delay – the tour moves on after November 7th.
According to Miyavi’s website, the track “Futurism” is also featured in a new commercial for “Expand Your Youniverse,” a global advertising campaign for Dell Technologies “Dell XPS” series of notebook computers. So, if you have the feeling you’ve heard this music before, you’re not imagining things; Miyavi’s influence has been crossing cultural boundaries for a very long time.
Miyavi – Lead singer/songwriter
Anthony Lopez – Drums
Chloe – Backing vocals
Dolly Ave – Backing vocals
DJ Jonny Litten– Sound mixing
Follow Miyavi Online:
Lisa is a music photographer covering shows in the Houston, Texas area. She became interested in the craft after working in the media and with live performers, and while traveling the globe as an Army officer. Lisa believes that once an image is captured, it takes on a life of its own; a life which must tell the artist’s story in a single glance.