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Japanese band headlines Madison Square Garden

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Big in America: Japanese band L'Arc-en-Ciel have made history by becoming the first band from their nation to headline Madison Square Garden.
Japanese band headlines Madison Square Garden
Rockers L’Arc-en-Ciel made history on Sunday night, as they became the first Japanese band to headline Madison Square Garden in New York. Don’t be fooled by the French name (which translates to ‘Rainbow’) or in thinking they’re new because you may have not heard of them – the concert was part of a 20th anniversary world tour. The band is hugely popular in Japan, but had yet to crack the American market. The lead singer, Hyde, said to MTV about the achievement: "It's so hard for a Japanese act to be successful in America, but we were given this opportunity, so that means there is a possibility for us to break in the American market. I definitely feel lucky to be here after 20 years as a band." Not only did they headline a night at Madison square garden; it sold it out. The concert was originally scheduled for a much smaller venue, but was later upgraded to the famous arena due to a high demand in ticket sales. The high demand is attributed to the band having played only one North American show in their two decade existence, a concert in Baltimore in 2004 at an Otakon convention. Growing up listening to American heavy-metal, Hyde never though he would make it over to the U.S. in such a dramatic way. He says "This world tour is definitely one of the highlights of our career. It ranks at the top of all the highlights, but amongst it all, this Madison Square Garden performance is such a turning point in our career, so we look forward to it." Dressed head-to-toe in futuristic punk aesthetic, the band played its blend of Japanese pop and American heavy metal (akin to the likes of Van Halen and Def Leppard) to a rapid audience. Reviews from New York speak of nothing but thrills, like how Bassist Tetsuya teased the more devoted fans by tossing lollipops into the audience, or how the large video screens and pyrotechnics emphasized the experience in a very Japanese way. It’s yet to be seen if the concert will make an impact to their American fan base. Hyde says: "It's very hard to predict what's next for L'Arc en Ciel, and for us, it's almost a miracle we've lasted this long.”

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