March 17, 2009
Honolulu Festival 2009 Complete
So I've got some time to kill as I wait for my flight back to NYC. Here's a quick rundown of my trip.
Beachside BBQ. Last year the fans all went to a seafood restaurant so we thought this time was going to be similar and the venue would be like a beachside BBQ restaurant or something. Actually the food (chicken and spare ribs) was just hauled in and grilled on location by staff from Honolulu Festival. We sat in a grassy area on mats in a circle around Momoi.The format was very open and you could basically do whatever you wanted. Dinner entertainment was provided by Momoi, who played requests on a little toy keyboard.
You can play a surprising amount of music despite being limited to a single octave
After dinner, Momoi said that she wanted to learn thundersnake because she saw it being performed it on video. "Thundersnake" refers to a semi-complicated movement that involves a lot of frantic hand movement and typically follows into "romance," which is basically a lot of synchronized pointing (LLRRLRLLRRLLRLRR). Initially Momoi intended to practice both thundersnake, and its variation in Thundershot (involves another modification to mimic summoning and throwing a thunderbolt) but after a demonstration Momoi said it looked so hard that it was impossible and just stuck to the first one.
Momoi attempts an uninterrupted run of thundersnake after being shown the basics. Video available on request.
Since there has been some backlash against certain idol fans (not Momoi) getting too obnoxious during concerts, Momoists try to keep their own idol's reputation clean by assigning two movesets to many Momoi songs. For large concerts or cramped spaces, only a simple version (call) is used out of concern for their neighbors. An alternative no holds barred version is busted out during smaller fan events and only works when you have a high amount of fans consenting to participate ahead of time and lots of space to avoid accidentally punching someone out. Momoi broadcast that she intended to let everyone on stage again, so fans jumped at the chance to prepare the harder version and what started out as just thundersnake practice turned into a full rehearsal of LOVE.EXE.
Momoi's E-GU-ZE with LD20s
Once Momoi left, the only thing left for the day was to unpack the glowsticks shipment. This is what 700 glowsticks look like.
It took a whole group of people an hour just to unwrap and sort everything.
Breakfast: One locomoco (a huge hamburger/egg/rice combo) at Lulu's Waikiki
Lunch: Since most Japanese fans didn't arrive until the afternoon, we kept it simple with a Puka Dog at the International Market Place
Terrible weather in the morning kept us indoors for most of the morning. In the afternoon, Momoi went to the beach with fans and showed off her new swimsuit. Having practiced the night before, Momoi came prepared to do a full run through of LOVE.EXE on the sand. Keeping the tradition alive, fans changed into their swimsuits and participated in shooting a homemade otagei video on the beach with Momoi in the center (last year we did Romantic Summer).
Checking the angle for shooting the EXE video
Breakast: A "special pancake restaurant" that Japanese fans wanted to try turned out to be IHOP.
Dinner: Bruschetta pomodoro and spaghetti alla pescatore @ Arancino.
Sunday was the main event. Fans waited at the convention center at noon to greet Momoi as she arrived. Momoi decided to pick out a special outfit for this performance instead of her usual costume.
Momoi pops out of her limo
Brand new concert goods were brought out especially for this event and it was the first time anybody had seen them. There were two new T-shirts designed by Mars Sixteen and seven new wristbands with a new Momoi emblem totaling $120 worth of new merchandise. The fanclub lined up early but they were very fast with ordering ("one of everything please"). The English/German single that debuted at Connichi was also available for $10. Momoi manned the booth to give autographs but due to time constraints, she could not pose with anyone individually for pictures.
Momoi will autograph anything regardless of whether you purchase or not. She'll sign DS screens, travel bags, zoom lenses, T-shirts off your back, you name it.
After autographs, Momoi made a brief stop at the maid cafe and then went straight to the stage. Since she only had half an hour, the set list was kept short:
1. Motto! Yume! Miyou!
3. Naito de naito
3.5. Akihabalove (one verse, vocal only)
4. Romantic Summer
5. Ai no medicine
6. 21st Century
7. Tondol Baby!
8. Wonder Momoi
Unlike last year, Momoi was unfortunately only scheduled to perform on Sunday instead of both days.This meant for anybody new to Honolulu Festival in 2009, it would be the first and only time to enjoy a Momoi concert. Momoi knew this so she wasted no time in getting as much audience involvement as possible. By the fifth song, she was pulling the younger children on stage. In the middle of 21st Century, she suddenly left the stage and began singing as she traveled through the hall giving out glowsticks to people, singing to elderly couples, and shaking hands with babies.
"チルドレンズ！ カム トゥ ザ ステージ プリーズ！"
During the middle of Tondol Baby, Tanaka from JTB runs over and tells us "Stage! Go! Go! Go!" which was the fanclub's cue to enter. We stayed back on the upper deck so nobody would accidentally commit a PR disaster and smash a four year old with a glowstick.
Oh no, my glowstick bandolier strap is twisted! Gotta fasten more snugly next time.
Note to self: LD20s get HOT if you use them for too long. Good thing I had that power glove - it acted like an oven mitt.
The rest is self explantory if you watch this video.
What can I say? I went to Honolulu Festival 2008 expecting the things that happened that year were so amazing it only happened once in a lifetime. Now in 2009, the magic was recreated a second time in a row with an even more ridiculous over the top allowance for fans to get SO DAMN CLOSE to the action. I'm sitting here in the aiport now with only one sentence that Momoi said at the end running through my mind. "See you next year!"
Special thanks to tenton for image #3 and #8 and priz for image #9.
For more HF2009 coverage in Japanese, visit the source itself: Momoi's blog! Can you believe Momoi didn't like blogging that much before? She now posts many times a day. Also be sure to check out the Daily Momoi Times, run by Momoi's Youtube camera man (in case you wondered who shot the video).
Countdown until somebody triangulates the objects in Momoi's picture and figures out exactly which hotel room she stayed in.
Posted by Paranda at March 17, 2009 12:11 AM
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Hey there, just watched the video you sent me on Youtube. It's great. I wish I could have been there. Looks like a great time! I'm going to check out some more of your videos to day, also. Just signed up for the BBS you introduced me too, so thanks for that as well. I didn't catch your e-mail, and couldn't find it on the website, but I assume it's firstname.lastname@example.org or something similar? lol. Thanks again!
Posted by: SuperDave at March 18, 2009 4:50 PM
I know it's cool that she was giving out glowsticks to people (especially little kids), but it seems like such a waste to hand them UOs. ^_^ Maybe we should have handed her all the normal (real) Cylalume sticks I had, instead. :P
Posted by: tenton at March 18, 2009 9:05 PM
Lol. I understand what you mean, but I am glad everyone had a blast. Those kids sure had a great time up there dancing and playing with the glowsticks. Wish I could've been there. Maybe next year!
Posted by: SuperDave at March 19, 2009 11:16 PM
Momoi is wonderful, I regret not having been there..
Momotan thank you for being like that!
Posted by: blowsoncath at March 27, 2009 10:51 PM
Hey I've bought a pair of the lights, some Aussie local company sells it. Are you gonna do something to protect your hands from burning, btw? I'm planning to get a tennis racquet overgrip lol, hope it works. Will try to finish a pair of fresh batteries in the weekend to see how long it can last in turbo mode.
Posted by: danie~ at April 7, 2009 9:50 PM
Nice. How do you like them?
I'll probably just switch in and out to avoid heat problems since I don't think I'll ever need to keep my lights on for that long except Momoi concerts. For some lives there's too much color coordination going on anyway. Momoiwise I should be covered since I've got a powerglove on my right hand and I might order a generic athletic grip glove for my left embroidered with a custom peach logo or something...
Posted by: paranda at April 8, 2009 12:26 AM