February 1, 2006

A fan's look at Wonder Momo-i Live Tour

A package containing the new Wonder Momo-i Live Tour Final Express DVD and Poly-Phonic arrived today of all days, when I have a rather pressing amount of homework due tomorrow. Of course, I am no fool - I have clear solid priorities, and that means DVD comes first, school comes second. Discs
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Things kick off with Halko coming out in baby gear. One thing I need to say about the Tondol Baby costume: it looks really frigging good! My initial impressions of "lol cosplay" from the CD cover are pretty much gone now, as seeing it live has shown me it actually holds as a legitimate outfit. Motto Yume Miyou was a very good choice as a first song, with extremely nice vocals that really got me into the mood.

Unfortunately, things slowed down a bit after. This is the first Halko concert I've seen without Koike. Maybe because of his absence, or because of the song choices, the first third of Wonder-Momoi Live felt a lot less exciting. Where were the crazy fans who could often outshout the music? Why was Halko not doing her usual "kangaroo on speed" act and flying across the stage during performances? The problem with standard concerts is they're usually only fun in person, but are terrible on tape ("terrible" as in not adding much more to the experience compared to say..simply listening to the CD). The difference with Halko concerts is that they defy this convention, and are always fun to watch on video, multiple times even! However, in this concert, everything felt, well, a little standard. "Something was missing," I thought. Let Me Love You is one of my favorite Halko songs ever, but even then I was starting to get a bit bored...that is until Manzo came out. Then they played Ton Dol Baby and THAT's when everyone brought it into overdrive and I really felt like I got that high I love so much. This momentum was thankfully preserved all the way until the end of the concert! While it is refreshing to see Halko do some serious songs once in a while, this concert really proves hyper-Momoi is always the best Momoi - and she really went above and beyond as far as hyper goes, as if to make up for all the slowness before. After the song, she was very visibly tired from going all out. Wow!

So while Halko takes a break to recuperate from that insane display of energy, Manzo takes over to do a few songs, most notably the Genshiken OP (the crowd loved this one). While certainly not as well dressed as Aniki (hardhat and construction uniform???), he's a great performer and sounded really good up there. Then immediately after, Halko pops up out of nowhere in Wonder-Momo cosplay (do I need to mention how gutsy it is to go on stage in front of an otaku crowd *armed with cellphone cameras* in a tiny skirt like that?) and starts singing WONDERMOMOI with some of the best facial expressions ever. She later refers to this suprise apperance as "Wonder Momoi no henshin!" :D

Disc 2 is Halko's now-traditional "cry in middle of concert and butter up fans with sappy dialogue" spot which is always one of my favorite bits. She brings out the "last song" with LOVE.EXE, one of the firsts song she put out after the UNDER17 split. Everyone knew it was a false finish (there's always an encore) but they still cheered extra hard for this song and made it a lot of fun. Especially just going E-GU-ZE as loudly as possible!

Halko, as "DJ Momoi," comes out with Perfume for Akihabarabu! Now personally, only a few months ago I thought Perfume was some crappy amateur cosplay girl band, but I was quickly put in my place after hearing a few of their CDs. Apparently they were much older and credited than I knew. Still, the "measuring stick" for me hass always been on-stage performance, and that's when Perfume officially won me over - very cute and very professional-looking coordinated movements from all three. Perfume is a lot of fun to watch. They have this weird stance leg cross-over into hip waving move that just looks so goddamn cool when done in unison. Akihabarabu is also a pretty good song in its own right.

Finally, Halko comes back in yet another outfit, casual this time, and finishes off for real by speaking with all the band members, and singing "Life is Free" and then "Wonder Momoi" one last time. Perfume and the band come to the front and everyone takes a bow. Credits roll while the fans start singing along to the ending music. We see some backstage footage of - oh shit Halko pops out of the curtains one more time to deliver a final goodbye to all fans. YES!

Impressions: Overall excellent. We got to see the new Halko Momoi in a lot of cutesy outfits. Manzo showed up, and even Perfume did a great job. The fans were also great, as usual. (I swear, there's one dude in the back who must be truly hardcore, because in every single Halko concert DVD I have ever seen, I hear the EXACT SAME scream. Either he's been to all the live events, or Nakid is playing a soundbyte... because it's so recognizable there's no way they can't all be from the same person.) There were also a few new songs I haven't heard before, like "Chuo Line" which is amazing. I wish it were out, or if it already is, I need to know which CD because I really want this song (will be doing research into this later in the week). While UNDER17 Live Tour Final will always be my favorite concert, this DVD did not disappoint. Recommendation - BUY!

Screenshots below

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Posted by Paranda at February 1, 2006 5:44 PM

Comments

Thanks for the screencaps! Your review did a great job of making the reader feel he/she was actually there... Can't wait for my copy to be shipped in March!

Posted by: pKjd at February 5, 2006 4:53 AM


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