Better than: A band that's been out of the business for most of the last decade has any right to be.
After the parade of former protégés who've hit American shores over the past few years, it's cool to finally see X Japan doing a tour of its own.
The question is, can the band pull it off? With a singer who's been mostly out of the business for a decade and a drummer who's dealing with multiple health problems (including one that put him through surgery a couple of years ago) the odds would seem to be against it. And then there's new guitarist Sugizo – there's no question that he's brilliant, but he's also replacing a legend whose distinctive style was quite different from his successor's. With all the obstacles in its path, can this iconic Japanese rock outfit really still be the band that spawned a thousand imitators?