Yoshiki performs 2 sold-out shows at New York's Carnegie Hall

Yoshiki leaves the stage after his concert at Carnegie Hall in New York on Friday night.

NEW YORK —

Japanese musician Yoshiki performed two back-to-back sold-out shows at New York’s famous classical venue, Carnegie Hall, on Jan 12 and 13. The drummer, pianist, composer, and leader of X Japan played a selection of his band’s popular songs, his original classical compositions from the album “Yoshiki Classical,” and works from renowned composers Beethoven and Tchaikovsky with special guests Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Following four shows in Japan and a rescheduled event in Hong Kong, the final performance of Yoshiki Classical Special World Tour 2016-2017 was broadcast live on Jan 13 across the world in sold-out screenings in Hong Kong and Taiwan and in Japan on WOWOW. Yoshiki introduced each song to the audience, connecting his personal history with the compositions, including video tributes to deceased X Japan members Hide and Taiji.

Yoshiki also included a surprise performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” after a heartfelt speech about his personal pursuit of the American Dream. “There is a thing called ‘The American Dream’. I came here to pursue that dream a long time ago. It hasn’t been easy but I kept trying and will keep on trying… I hope America will continue to give all of us the chance to pursue that Dream, regardless if you’re Asian, Hispanic, black or white. I really respect this country and always will.”

The final song of the night, “Endless Rain,” found the music hall bathed in light from a mirror ball above the stage, and the audience joined together to fill Carnegie Hall with their voices. At the climax of the show, Yoshiki received flowers from fans during an extended standing ovation as they screamed a final “We Are X!” together.

Yoshiki’s upcoming projects include the release of X Japan’s new single, “La Venus” (currently in contention for an Oscar for Best Original Song from the documentary film “We Are X”), X Japan’s new album, and the band’s concert performance at SSE Wembley Arena on March 4 (postponed from last year due to the illness of band guitarists Pata). 

  • -2

    gokai_wo_maneku

    Hmmm, is that comment about everyone attaining the American dream a not so veiled swipe at Trump? So, what is the "American Dream" now? US guys at the office are confused about it.

  • 1

    MarkX

    I wonder what percentage of the crowd were Japanese, and what was American. I didn't think X Japan had that big a following outside of Asia, but I could be wrong. With the number of Japanese expats living in the NY area, it wouldn't be too hard to sell out Carnegie Hall.

  • 5

    Yardley

    The American Dream now is to somehow survive the next four years.

  • 2

    Kurobune

    Well Yoshiki-san, you've made it ! You've played the Carnegie !

  • -1

    MikeH

    @MarkX... you've got a good point that it might not have been too hard to sell out especially with the number of experts and other Asians living there. It has a seating capacity of around 3600.

  • 1

    browny1

    Yoshiki has worked and lived off and on in the US for decades.

    He is widely known and respected in the musical world, not only for his talents as a musician - Rock drummer, Classical Pianist - songwriter, producer, sound engineer, businessman and supporter of the musical arts, but also for his vision in going his own way.

    He didn't fall under the hammer of J-Music Inc and is well admired for his innovative collaborations in the wider musical world - one of the more successful crossovers of rock / classical - but which he justs thinks of as music.

    There would be no problem for him to sell out carnegie hall without any expats buying tickets - that's for certain.

  • 0

    Bartholomew Harte

    Yoshiki is a very talented artist who works on his art night & day & I wish I would have caught that show - impressive materiel, anyway!

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