Shibuya-AX: Saying Goodbye to the Concert Hall

With so many concerts happening in Japan every single year, there have been numerous concert halls established all over the country that organizers can rent for these events. A land with such a bright and colorful youth culture, Japan has a younger generation who likes to enjoy their youth and have a great time by going to concerts and parties during their free time. One of the concert halls specifically in Tokyo that emitted that young and hip vibe was Shibuya-AX.

An Overview of Shibuya-AX and Its Performers like the Gazette

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As the name suggests, Shibuya-AX was located in Shibuya, Tokyo. It was situated close to the Yoyogi National Gymnasium. It was one of the biggest live houses or concert halls in the Tokyo Metropolis. Shibuya-AX had a capacity of 1,500 people. Several artists, both local and international, performed in Shibuya-AX while it was still open.

Sadly, Shibuya-AX made an announcement on the 27th of September in the year 2013 that it would be closing down for good on the 31st of May in the year 2014. The announcement was made via its official website. A final concert was held at Shibuya-AX on the 3rd and 4th of May in the year 2014 as a way to say goodbye to the concert hall. The concert was called “Thank you AX!! Good Bye AX!!” An artist by the name of J was requested to perform during this event, being the artist with the most performances at Shibuya-AX.

The address of Shibuya-Ax was 2-1-1 Jinnan Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. With the coordinates of 35.666199° North and 139.700001° East, Shibuya-AX was owned by Dentsu and Nippon Television. It was a music venue that had a capacity of 1,500 people standing. Opened in December of the year 2000, the concert hall closed after almost 14 years in the business.

Several performances were made at Shibuya-AX throughout its lifetime. For one, an artist by the name of Buck-Tick performed at Shibuya-AX on the 30th of April in the year 2003. Some of his songs during this event were recorded and included in his live album entitled “At the Night Side,” which was released in the year 2004. Another live album with the same concept was released based on the performance of Sonata Arctica at Shibuya-AX on the 5th of February in the year 2005.

One of the most famous concerts held at Shibuya-AX was that of Lady Gaga’s on the 8th of June in the year 2009. Her concert at the music hall was part of her The Fame Ball Tour. She performed an “Ultra Premium Showcase” during this tour. Fashion changes were made between her concert at Shibuya-AX and her last one at Burswood Dome. After her performance, a Q&A portion was held.

Her set list for this concert included some of her famous hits such as “Love Game,” “Paparazzi,” “Poker Face,” and “Just Dance.” Lady Gaga even sang an acoustic version of “Poker Face,” which her fans just loved. Other songs included in the set list were “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” and “The Brain.” True fans of Lady Gaga would know these songs.

Another famous artist that performed at Shibuya-AX was J. The concert hall was probably his favorite music venue, as he held concerts in Shibuya-AX for five consecutive days in the year 2011. His concert series entitled “J 14th Anniversary Special Live Set Fire Get Higher: Fire Higher 2011” was held from the 5th to the 9th of May in the year 2011. Each concert day showcased different bands, so as not to bore the audiences. These bands included Mass of the Fermenting Dregs, Avengers in Sci-Fi, The Hiatus, Nothing’s Carved in Stone, and Pay Money to My Pain.

Popular girl group from South Korea known as T-ara also performed their concert entitled “First Showcase” Shibuya-Ax on the 5th of July in the year 2011. This was prior to the release of their song “Bo Peep Bo Peep,” which was the debut Japanese single of the group. Shibuya-AX was also among the venues used for the A-Nation 2012 Music Week. The venue also served as the official “home” of a pop idol group known as Passpo for three years.

Live at Shibuya-AX from Timeless Tour 2006

By Erica Kline from yorba linda, US (miyavi // yoshiki // sugizo [two]) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Shibuya-AX was so popular in the music industry that the first live DVD of UVERworld was based on the venue. The DVD was entitled “Live at Shibuya-AX from Timeless Tour 2006.” The DVD was released by gr8! Records. The recording of the DVD was done on the 3rd of April in the year 2006.

Eight months later, the DVD was released on the 20th of December in the year 2006. The genre of music found in the DVD was rock, alternative rock, and pop rock. The total time in the DVD was 46 minutes and 17 seconds.

Aside from being the first live DVD of UVERworld, “Live at Shibuya-AX from Timeless Tour 2006” was also the first video work of UVERworld. This tour was the first nationwide tour of UVERworld. Their live performance in Shibuya-AX was their final for the said tour.

Upon playing the DVD, one should know that there are actually hidden images inside. The word “UVERworld” can be selected upon playing the DVD. After selection, the DVD would show several live images of “PRIME,” an event that was held in Shibuya Quattro in the year 2005.

The first track in the DVD was called “Opening.” It was composed and arranged by UVERworld. At the same time, the track was also arranged by Satoru Hiraide. The song may also be known as “SE,” which was a track that can be found on the first album called “Timeless.”

The second track in the DVD was called “just Melody.” The lyrics of this song was written by Alice ice and TAKUYA. The song was composed by TAKUYA and Akira. The track was again arranged by UVERworld and Satoru Hiraide. The song was the group’s third single that was also included in their “Timeless” album. The third track was called “Mixed-Up,” which was composed by TAKUYA.

The next track on the list was entitled “Tokinonamida.” The lyrics of the song was written by TAKUYA while the composition was by Katsuya. The track could also be found in the album “Timeless.”

Next up was entitled “expod-digital.” The lyrics of the song was written by TAKUYA while the composition was by UVERworld. At the time, the song was not yet released. However, it was included in the album entitled “PROGLUTION” later on. Other tracks in the DVD include “SHINE,” “PRIME,” “CHANCE!,” “Revolve,” and “Lump of Affection.”

SUGIZO’s Concert in Shibuya-AX, Tokyo in the Year 2013

By Julio Fugimoto from São Paulo, Brasil (X-JAPAN) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most notable concerts that occurred in Shibuya-AX was in the year 2013. SUGIZO held his concert entitled “Thrive to Realize” at the concert hall, which essentially closed the year with a bang. Due to its immense popularity, the concert was broadcasted live. Hence, even fans from abroad were able to watch and enjoy the show put up by SUGIZO.

The schedule was a bit delayed, with the doors opening an hour later than scheduled. At around 5 PM, visitors were finally allowed to enter the premises. In such a short time, the hall was already full of eager fans waiting for the show to start. An opening band initially played a couple of songs before the stage was fixed to cater to the performance of SUGIZO.

After the preparation, keyboardist and programmer MaZDA and percussionist Kenji Yoshiura got on stage as the intro began to play. Along with SUGIZO, they took their places on stage as the crowd began to cheer. SUGIZO grabbed his guitar and began to play.

Both MaZDA and Kenji Yoshiura played their parts and showed the audience just how skillful and talented they were. While they were not in the spotlight, it was clear that they deserved to be on that stage. The spotlight fell mostly on SUGIZO, who served as the star of the show.

Kenji left the stage for a while only to grab the djembe and played alongside SUGIZO. While jumping up and down, Kenji got all the attention as he played in front of the stage. The players on stage began to mix music styles and genre that became a hit with the audience.

There were three special guests at this huge event. The first special guest was Mary chocho. She entered the stage as the song entitled “FATIMA” began to play. Wearing white clothes, she danced around the stage while SUGIZO stood in the middle. However, there really was no interaction between the two artists.

The second special guest was saxophonist Shinji Takeda. Falling on the spotlight, Shinji wore a glittery and elaborate outfit. He played his instrument while dancing and jumping around the stage. Together with SUGIZO, Shinji played to his heart’s content.

The last special guest was vocalist Tezya. He joined the group for a single song that truly reverberated among the audience. Tezya captured the full attention of the crowd as his voice matched the vocal style of the song perfectly. Even if he only performed a single song during the concert, Tezya was able to captivate the audience.

Finally, the concert was concluded with a song entitled “Rest in Peace and Fly Away.” SUGIZO played this song on his violin while the audience enjoyed every note of the track. It was a peaceful song that left the crowd speechless and still wanting for more. Truly, it was an event in Shibuya-AX that was unlike any other.

The Closing of Shibuya-AX As Scheduled in the Year 2014

By Rs1421 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Despite the many major events that occurred in Shibuya-AX, the concert hall closed its doors for good in the end. After 14 years of holding tremendous events with local and international artists and bands, Shibuya-AX said goodbye to the public on the 31st of May in the year 2014. Many were sad to see Shibuya-AX close, as it was one of the biggest concert halls in Shibuya.

Situated at the edge of Yoyogi Park, Shibuya-AX was sitting between the Yoyogi National Gymnasium and the studios of NHK, a national broadcaster in Japan. With a block, utilitarian architectural style, the concert hall opened in the year 2000. With a capacity of 1,500 people, it held a promising future in holding huge events like concerts.

During its operation, Shibuya-AX was among the most used concert halls in the city when it came to rock concerts. Several organizers opted for this venue due to its great location. After all, Shibuya-AX was located between two famous areas in the metro, namely, Harajuku and Shibuya. Another reason why Shibuya-AX was often chosen by organizers was due to its capacity.

The artist with the most performances in Shibuya-AX was Jun Onose. He is more well-known by his screen name “J,” which started to be used when he started working independently. Previously, Jun Onose was the bassist of Luna Sea, a hard rock band in Japan. Due to his frequent performances in Shibuya-AX, the concert hall requested for his appearance during its final concert before closing down.

Another concert venue also located in Tokyo also closed down around the same time as Shibuya-AX. The National Stadium closed down to pave the way to build a new Olympic stadium. Apparently, this venue would be used for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Indeed, the day that Shibuya-AX closed for good was a sad day. This was especially true for fans who have been to the concert hall numerous times to watch their idols perform live. However, it was still great that many people were able to have unforgettable experiences in Shibuya-AX while it still operated. Even though Shibuya-AX would no longer open its doors to the public, the people would still have their good memories of their experiences in Shibuya-AX.