It has been a little under a year since MORRIE’s very first Solitude live show in New York City, and with this now being his third show in New York for his Solitude series, we know that the man behind legendary visual kei bands DEAD END and Creature Creature is here to stay. It’s an interesting choice that MORRIE decides to hold each of his live shows on the night of a full moon, on August 26 at Kraine Theater. Each show, seemingly more successful than the next, draws in more and more of a crowd each time. At its essence, the theme and execution of the live show were about the same as the last two times, which I expected. If the formula is not broken, why fix it? Settled into my seat, amongst excited chatter, the lights finally dimmed, and an announcer came on stage to welcome MORRIE.

In his usual calm, and brooding manner, he quietly appeared onstage without a word, was handed his guitar, and began to sing the first song on his setlist Falling, a new song. Instrumentally, MORRIE generally likes to play his songs with a clean guitar tone, with more distorted effects for more high energy or “heavier” songs. Aside from opening with two new songs, I could tell that MORRIE decided to experiment a little more this time with layering effects and loops with the guitar, by playing a riff and then looping it in order to play a different part on top of it. This was especially powerful when he used it during the final song of the encore Luna Madness, which seemingly left the biggest impact to the audience, who seemed stunned when the song finished. In the midst of one of the songs, there was a section which contained ethereal and haunting whispers, in which white lights on the ceiling started dancing around to create an atmospheric effect, which is something I had never really noticed before in his previous shows. MORRIE is usually bathed in colored lighting that switches from time to time, but I never really noticed too many stage effects like that before. It may have seemed like a small difference, but it definitely added to the chilling vibe of the song.

MORRIE also surprised the audience with two covers, which was pleasantly surprising. The most notable being David Bowie’s hit song Space Oddity, which made me do a double take when I heard him say it. It was no surprise to me that MORRIE decided to cover David Bowie, as I do recall MORRIE has cited Bowie as a source of inspiration. The other cover being a song from a famous pop singer Yoshiko Sai who was prominent in the 70’s, and surprisingly still active today. The song Haru, fits very well with MORRIE’s style as the song has emphasis on long high falsetto notes with a good amount of vibrato. I would encourage fans to listen to the original version of the song as well.

MORRIE was definitely just as vocal with the audience this show as he was in January, showing that he is comfortable conversing with the crowd, especially in English, after performing in the venue multiple times. MORRIE loves to touch upon deeper topics, often revolving around the mystery of life. “There is no mystery in the world. The world itself is a mystery.

MORRIE presents such a cathartic atmosphere with each Solitude concert, and for die-hard fans of MORRIE, there is no better place than these concerts to see MORRIE in his most vulnerable, stripped down, and genuine state, performing songs from his vast catalog of various musical endeavors. He presents such different perspectives of each song, for example, Unchained, a song from Hard Core Reverie, which is originally played in a slower tempo and is a song one can get easily lost in was given a new life by being played in a faster, more maniacal manner in the Solitude performance, which gives a feeling of hearing the song through a different worldview. MORRIE essentially deconstructs his songs and breathes new life into them by presenting them in a droning, beautiful rendition. If and when MORRIE inevitably returns to New York to give fans another taste of the world of Solitude, do not miss out.

Setlist

  1. Falling
  2. Kagami (鏡)
  3. Kanpeki na Sora (完璧な空)
  4. Unchained
  5. Panic no Me (パニックの芽)
  6. Kokodewa nai Dokoka (ここではないどこか)
  7. Disquieting Muse
  8. Ano Hito ni Au あの人にあう
  9. Haru (春)
  10. Sleep In The Sky
  11. Sign
  12. Kowasu Hito (壊す人)
  13. Space Oddity
  14. Kami Saru (神猿)
  15. Andromeda
  16. Heaven

Encore

  1. Serafine
  2. Luna Madness
  3. Hikaru Kouya (光る曠野)

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