Pride of mind

Limited to 100 copies and originally selling for ¥2300, the Pride of mind live video is an uncommon and relatively unknown part of the band's output. The set list is as follows:
Images follow below
0. Intro: Edvard Grieg - In the Hall of the Mountain King (recording) (download)
1. Salome (download)
2. Unknown Title (download)
3. MC (download)
4. Tale of one night (download)
5. The sky was blue (download)
6. Dance with moon (download)
7. Red (download)
8. Angels of night (download)
9. Outro: The Buggles - I Am A Camera (recording)

My comments:

0. Intro: Edvard Grieg - In the Hall of the Mountain King (recording)
I didn't know this song had lyrics to it. Interesting choice of introductory music... starts whisper-quiet and builds up energy until it comes to a forceful climax. After a few snatches of dialogue, we are left with a brief suspenseful pause... and then the concert begins in earnest!

1. Salome
This song has an interesting, higher-energy arrangement as compared to the "Systems of Romance" version; the background piano chords are still there, but no longer in the forefront; a new line of electronic melody is overlaid onto it. Percussion has also been added, and the bridging melody is played on slightly different synth-instruments. A new spoken vocal segment is also added to the main bridge between the song's two sections. Masaki puts on a good performance here, dancing and posing well to the music; however, here and elsewhere, his range is a bit limited compared to his "Systems of Romance" performance. His vibrato is also much more pronounced, giving a different quality to his vocals. These quibbles don't detract from the overall high quality of this performance though.

2. Unknown Title
I wish this song had made it to CD. This is a highly electronic piece with a sinuous vocal line over techno-sounding instrumentals. Masaki's vocals have a resounding quality to them here that works very well; the tone and melody remind me of "Black sun". Adding to the performance, Atsushi does some dancing and plays the synth-drums; Masanori is stuck in the corner playing his instruments, as he is throughout the live. Midway through, Masaki works the audience a bit - as the music goes into a holding pattern he turns to the crowd and directs a question/comment to them, eliciting applause and cheering.

3. MC
こんばんは、Pride of Mindです。
え、その次が9月22日江坂BOOMIN HALLでありますので全員来てください。
Hello, we are Pride of Mind.
Um… The next live is at W'OHOL on September 2nd.
Eh, the live after that is at Esaka BOOMIN HALL on September 22nd so please come, everyone.
And, recently we released a demo tape and it’s on sale, but supplies are limited so if you think you want to buy it, please do so.
And now, here’s the next song.
transcription and translation graciously provided by Wandering_Fox

4. Tale of one night
This is a happier song that reminds me of "Bright moments", but while "Bright moments" had a sort of warm sound to it, this one is more of a cool, relaxed sound. Atsushi breaks out the guitar for the first time in this song, and even gets his time in the spotlight, taking center stage for a solo. This song is one of the most accessible, light works I've heard from Pride of mind, and really should have been released as well. Oh, and it sounds like one fan actually applauds for a second after this song, but she gets the hint and stops pretty quickly... heh heh. In general, the fans kept quiet (apart from occasionally calling out to the members between songs), but they seemed to be interested and enjoying themselves, bouncing up and down to the music, and taking pictures.

5. The sky was blue
This was one of the best technical performances of the evening, except for one horrible moment of feedback at the beginning... I cringed in sympathy for the band. Aside from that, the instrumentals sound exactly like on the CD. Masaki does a pretty good job of staying on-pitch as well. Another solo by Atsushi here where he goes out front (and gets his picture taken); Masaki shows off a couple of cool dance steps in the meantime. Other than that, nothing too remarkable to note in the performance, just an excellent rendition of one of Pride of mind's better songs.

6. Dance with moon
Another excellent performance here; Atsushi and Masanori both man the keyboards for this one, as the song starts in the dark. Especially noteworthy is Masaki's very emotional spoken part in the first section of the song. In the second part, things get interesting as Masaki dances with a red fan, and Atsushi plays the violin (as usual, Masanori stays at his post). They end up back-to-back as the performance ends, and transitions suddenly into the next piece.

7. Red
Oh dear... this could have gone better. While the instrumentals are CD-perfect, Masaki is really off with his vocals this time. Some of the vocal melody appears to dip down below his range, and other times he's just off-key. His dancing is a little odd too... heh heh. Masanori does the shouting on this one with Atsushi joining in sometimes. The words are also a little changed - one of the shouted lines is different, as well as one at the end. One other thing: does Masaki say "Hey hey hey hey" during the instrumental break?

8. Angels of night
Pride of mind decided to end the night with a bang, pulling out their highest-energy piece. After working the crowd a bit, they launch into the song with a shout. Unlike the demo tape version, this rendition has a guitar part whose major-key chords give the song a slightly lighter sound. This performance has the most dancing and motion of all the songs in the set - even Masanori gets into it as he provides the shouting parts. In a final theatrical flourish, Atsushi wraps this one up with a guitar chord right before walking off - as they leave, Masaki calls out "Arigatou!" and Atsushi says "Thank you!!".

9. Outro: The Buggles - I Am A Camera (recording)
The audience sort of mills around for about 5 minutes while 80s tunes are played on the speakers. It's weird, and it's only on the bootleg copy of the live that I have, not the official one. But I include it here for completeness anyway.

Overall, this was a highly enjoyable live video - my only complaint is that the picture quality leaves a lot to be desired. We never get any closeups, and the lighting is usually too dark to see anything not in the spotlight. The sound quality was excellent, and the set list was a good mix of established favorites and material not released elsewhere. Definitely pick up a copy if you see it in your local Blockbuster.

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