March 21, 2012

2011 Trip Wrap Up: Kalafina, Kawada Mami, Mizuki Nana

Figure I should wrap up my outstanding live impressions since in a few months, I'll be starting yet another cycle of concerts. But since my memory is too shot to do detailed report like MLT, I'll just post from my notes like I did with Sphere SPRING PARTY last year.

Kalafina "After Eden" Special LIVE 2011
Date attended: November 25, 2011 @ Tokyo Dome City Hall

I saw Kalafina live for the first time ever at AX 2011. I liked them enough that I decided to attend their November live - it seemed like a "preview" of their 2012 tour of the same name, which in turn is named from their latest album "After Eden."

1. Strict no cyalumes or penlights rule enforcable via bag search. The searcher specifically looked for lights and warned not to use them. Not like anyone would try to sneak one though. Nobody used one. There wasn't much jumping either, but that doesn't mean the crowd was standing still. Lots of cheering between sets, but respectful silence during the songs while they sang. Crowd did do hand waving and stuff.

2. Stage design was great. Theme was something like a big Greek temple. Large stairs and platforms of varying height for all 3 of them, stone blocks that shifted during the sets, and a narrow walkway down the center that let them come all the way into the middle of the audience.

3. Kalafina knows how to put on a themed show. They started off with flowing white robes fitting the Greek theme, but in a later set, they came up to the center stage in cloaks and hoods and holding candles to set up for dramatic costume change reveals, kind of like KOTOKO's Re-sublimity opening act.

4. Kalafina MC seriously does not match their visual image at all. Each time I see them, it feels like it'll be all serious and shit but that goes away as soon as they start talking. Wakana seems like the big sister, Keiko is the teenage middle child, and Hikaru is the prodigious weird kid. I felt the same way at AX as well.

5. Hikaru was once again my favorite. She's so good on MC she has her own corner where she plays salesgirl and pushes the Kalafina concert products while the other members snipe her for faulty logic. "This keychain is good...for holding keys!" "That's what it's for," Wakana interjects. "But the the gigantic unweildly size means you can find it in your purse easily," Hikaru responds. She got everyone to do commentary on shooting for the pamphlet, and then she even tried to sell us a Kalafina shirt by saying "You can make friends with this shirt by meeting other people who wear the same shirt." She did successfully convince me to go for the watch, but it was sold out when I went by the goods table later.

6. Some MCs were written like radio corners. When prompted to name what they think of in winter. Wakana had a pretty normal answer going into Christmas seasons, snow. Keiko said she eats ice cream, which prompted Wakana to chastize her. Keiko responded saying it's perfectly fine to eat icecream in cold weather, rather it tastes better when you're eating it indoors next to a heater. Hikaru went way deep intricacies of convenience store nikuman and the various types that she enjoys eating lately, buying 2 almost every day. The other two called her a junk girl for eating so much junk food. She recommended a salty pork one which I ended up getting after the show. It was about 50% grease, 30% pork, and 20% mystery.

7. Thanks to the center walkway the view was very good. All three came down to the center and rotated in a triangle on the small platform. Each one handled 1/3rd of the live hall and together they looked like a single multi-armed/multi-faced deity scanning the entire room.

8. Kalafina doesn't dance, so much as pose awesomely in mudra-like forms while singing. Which is just as well, because their singing can be sometimes be described as haunting and the movements work well to visually accompany that.

9. Sound quality was acceptable, and I did not need to use my earplugs for the majority of songs, nor did I want to. When Wakana holds a note it's really something. Could listen to that all day.

Hikaru's blog entry contains a full setlist.

Kawada Mami m.a.l.l LIVE 2nd stage
Date attended: November 26, 2011 @ Club 1ne 2wo

Been a Mami fan ever since watching Onegai Teacher, so this was the perfect chance to see my other favorite I'VE artist. I attended day one of this two day event with some new friends I met just a few days earlier.

1. The audience that went to her show was mostly fanclub members, and it far outnumbered general admission. Live hall had a high concentration of core/dedicated longtime fans; in fact more than 1/3rd of audience had been following her since beginning of her career 10 years ago based on a straw poll held during the MC

2. Following that, the audience didn't really "feel" like anime wotas that you normally meet at other events for anisong singers. Just seemed like regular music dudes, and they didn't react specially to Shana OP vs her other songs. They knew all her songs equally well.

3. No call coordination or stuff like that, more relaxed and just people enjoying music. Maybe only 60% used lights. A bit different atmosphere than KOTOKO event. I went with the flow and stayed quiet.

4. Nice casual MC in general. She told a story about how she got drunk and fell asleep in the bathroom at a producer gathering, among other war stories in her long career. Though I bought tickets on sale for general public, this was really more of a "fan club event" and she treated us as such.

5. While all songs got good reaction, Hearing Sora no mori was my big win for the night. Though it is an ED song, I feel it stands on its own regardless of Ontei or not. Good sound quality on that.

6. Small stage, real unfiltered singing, and not overproduced. The only effects were the lighting. Really did feel like a club event. Club 1ne 2wo was a small building nestled up on a hill. Crowd size was maybe 200-300 people, but I didn't feel squeezed and was able to stand comfortably.

7. Acoustic corner was awesome. Just her and a guitar, playing a new song she just wrote and had not released yet. She asked for feedback on it at the end.

8. Mami actually does have some dance numbers, surprisingly. Even came out in a miniskirt and ZR. But I prefer songs when she did just concentrate on singing.

9. Props to seriously hardcore dude who screamed Mami at max volume during the encore chant - that lasted something like 15 minutes. His voice was destroyed by the end.

Mizuki Nana LIVE CASTLE
Date attended: QUEEN'S NIGHT December 3rd, 2011, KING'S NIGHT December 4th, 2011

My fandom for Nana peaked around 2007 (would have known every single song then), so it's a little late but now I can finally say I've done a Nana concert. She still puts out good tracks once in a while though, so I still enjoyed it. Good mix of new and old songs, although they didn't really seem to be picked on any theme of QUEEN'S NIGHT or KING'S NIGHT that I could tell. At least not obviously. Only real difference was some costumes and which direction the White Lion came from during the interlude.

1. Fave songs to do live: DISCOTHEQUE, Zankou no gaia, POP MASTER (Jump-YES!), POWER GATE, ETERNAL BLAZE

2. The sound quality is not good. You go to these giant dome concerts for the experience, not the sound. After all it is a major event to play at massive venue like this. Could not hear singing over drum and guitar. Also too much reverb due to arena size, shape, distance relative to where we were sitting. Maybe BD will fix this.

3. BUT: When she was unplugged, clearly hearing Nana from 200ft away was truly impressive. She wasn't even shouting. Such strong voice.

4. Crowd coordination is good. Too good for me actually, who couldn't keep up for some songs. Not so much complicated or hard moves, but hard to time HEY/Jumps out of nowhere that I couldn't predict. Kind of like Yukarin's concerts: you need to know the song's jump timings beforehand. Pop Master for example. Good thing I learned it at karaoke before.

5. Good color coordination. Can watch the entire arena flood with blue, red, pink, orange all at once. Saw really cool big group that coordinated enough to stripe 7 colors of the rainbow across several rows in the audience.

6. Otagei color is green. Can be disruptive, or interesting - everyone has a different opinion on this. But I saw an awesome guy who had a goddamn headdress made out of ultra greens. He looked like big a green peacock and he was fun to watch when Nana was too far away or out of view. So I hold the latter opinion, at least in this particular instance.

7. I brought my non-wota friend to QUEEN'S NIGHT and he was blown away. Btw we also got his co-worker (total non-wota type, fitting the investment bank stereotype) slapped extremely hard at a maid cafe. He was downing drinks and rubbing his face hours later, but that's another story. Sorry if we ruined your career bro.

8. You know how live concert videos might try avoiding dark spots or empty sections when shooting the audience angle? No need here. The arena was PACKED both days. Almost every seat was filled except the ones waaayyy on the very edges. Nana is probably the only seiyuu who can draw a full audience at Tokyo Dome.

9. Nana sure knows how to sell goods. Can spend close to $1,000 if you buy 1 of everything given the exchange rate at the time. I wanted to get a lot since this was my first and likely to be only Nana live, but still couldn't stomach throwing down 1 grand on goods. I did get enough to have 10 spare Nanacas though, even after trading for a full set.

Posted by Paranda at 4:15 PM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2012

Milk Lariat vol. 4, Osaka

Milk Lariat 4 flyer

Ever since the holidays ended, my free time had been zilch to thanks to work obligations and a recent real estate purchase. However, a 2 month work assignment to India has proven to be a blessing. With a strictly enforced 8 hour workday, a live-in housekeeper, and a shortened commute, I've suddenly come into much more time for sleep, tourism, anime, and blogging. So I decided I should finally take the time to write a report. Though I attended Kawada Mami and Kalafina events after ANIMAX, I decided I should skip ahead and write about Milk Lariat vol. 4 which I attended on 11/27 last year. After all it was the primary driver of my trip.

Also because I actually still have notes I took on the plane trip home from that time, so I can still recall a lot of what happened. It was a uniquely exhausting experience that pushed me to my physical limit more than any other event I've been to in years. The set list is even longer than Animax, consists of mostly high bpm game songs, and the hall has no seating. I was already warned of this by Gin who went last year, so I got a long night of sleep and took the latest possible Shinkansen from Tokyo to arrive with minimal waiting time. But even with these preparations I was totally beat by the end.

Studio Partita

First off, location: Studio Partita is a ways from the city center, all the way out on the docks nestled between some run down warehouses, not entirely unlike certain parts of Manhattan along the West Side highway. I half expected to see some bodies getting dumped by the mob. Once I passed through the gates, I got ushered to a fenced waiting pen with fans. There was a separate goods line, but I didn't see anything in particular that I wanted so I stayed put and conserved energy. When the live was scheduled to start, the staff called ten ticket numbers at time. I was 200 so I managed to get a decent middle-forward position in the crowd.

The hall is much smaller than Club Citta with no otagei area (it's banned), and just one floor without balconies or private seating areas. Luckily, the space issue wasn't too bad - I actually had a good amount of space to myself in front and behind. Additionally, the stage was set lightly higher so you could see the performer's full bodies for the most part. As for sound quality, it wasn't great. Loudness is always a problem, but the bigger issue was the ridiculously exaggerated bass boost. I could actually hear the distortion over the speaker for certain songs. It didn't RUIN the concert for me, but it negatively affected some songs when I had to struggle to hear the vocals over the rattling of my ribcage. On the video side, all video came from came a projector mounted in the middle of the ceiling and generally just showed a fixed wide shot of the stage and front half of the audience. It was fairly weak when there were any lights on, but made sense since the performers were in the direct field of projection themselves. During the breaks, they'd darken the room and play promotional videos from Sakakibara Yui, Kitamura Eri, ave;new, and YuruYuri (huh why YuruYuri?) in a loop. Oh and of course Chiaking's scandalous Chupa Rico PV every once in a while for good measure.

The announcer this year was Joy Max, a muscle-bound cross-dressing guy with an aged complexion and big hair, and apparently one of the higher ups in Nitroplus. When going over the rules, he very specifically highlighted a no otagei rule, which lead me to recall some horror stories about guys getting dragged out last year along (with innocent bystanders). Luckily there didn't seem to be any major drama like that this year. He also warned us on the length, advising everyone to remember to leave the hall if necessary to eat, drink, and take breaks. Supposedly there were multiple cases of fainting at prior events.

Sakakibara YuiFirst up was Sakakibara Yui, backed by her dance crew. I started following her work in 2006, but never saw her in person before. While I liked her music, looking back at old posts, my first impression of her live performance as it appeared on DVD was actually kind of bad. But in more recent live recordings, and especially this time live, Yui was in top shape. The dance choreography was much improved, vocals were much less shaky, and the clothing choice (an animal print witch-like dress and hat combo) was good too. On the crowd side, hardcore Yui fans were numerous and easily identified by the special heart shaped wands they brought in from previous concerts. Yuinyan calls were very loud, very coordinated, and drew me in very easily. I was also lucky she played most songs that I was familiar with, including several favorites such as Soshite Boku Ha and Koi no Honoo. Seriously, Koi no Honoo is a blast live.

01.Lovex2♪Song
02.Blue mind
03.君色
04.Love is Love
05.Change&Chance!
06.そして僕は...
07.はぴねす方程式
08.奇跡の絆
09.恋の炎

Yui gets a bad rap among some concert goers because of an out-of-context blog post where she trashed obstructive otagei, but at no point in time did I feel like she disliked the high power output of this crowd. The fans certainly didn't seem muted at all. Overall she did a good set, fun MC, and really harnessed the audience energy like a pro. I know I was completely tired out at the end from all the jumping.

After Yui left, we were subjected to YuruYuri ads again until a lanky nervous looking girl in stylishly torn white T-shirt came out and introduced herself as Prico. She asked if anyone knew her from the game DearDrops - which by the way just came out officially in English. There was a good show of hands that seemed to relax her a bit. I never played the game though, so I was mostly lost for this set. The songs had lots of screaming that made it seems like her voice would give out a few times so I wasn't really into it, but list was short since she didn't have many songs to draw from in the first place.

10.希望の旋律
11.Be Loud!
12.プリーーーズ!プリーーーズ!
13.No music, No future

Kitamura Eri After the crowd gave a respectful but decidedly "normal" reaction to Prico, Kitamura Eri came on and suddenly the whole room exploded in blue lights and really really loud cheers. The difference of power was insane.

Side story that I never blogged about: Back in 2010, a few of us were at an AX guest breakfast to see Asakawa Yuu and Horie Yui. At this time, Hocchan hadn't shown up yet and Asakawa Yuu's table was packed so we decided to circle around other tables first. To use time effectively and of course to not look like assholes we also visited various other Japanese guests even though we didn't know them that well, and got to meet some cool guys like Masakazu Morita (turned out to be awesome), Hiroe Rei (gunchat all day long, tenton can attest to this), and Benny. After we made those rounds, there wasn't really much else to do except wait our turn for Asakawa. The only other guests left were English VAs, which we didn't follow at all. Plus they were packed with local US fans so it's not like they needed us.

So we decided to just hang around and not bother anyone until Yuu was free. Our little group of 5 found a mostly empty table with one other guy and a cosplayer and plopped down for a break. We paid no attention to that cosplayer for a good while - that is until she suddenly started talking to us. "Hi I'm Kitamura Eri" OH SHIT! Cue our entire group backpedaling and shooting her desperate "Ohhhh, yeah, we knew that!" looks. Luckily, our group was seiyuu inclined enough to know KitaEri roles (even though we couldn't recognize her) including a few niche ones, and were able to turn it around a little. We winded up sticking around through two rotations with her to make up for wasted time since there was absolutely no line behind us. So KitaEri being this massively popular at Milk Lariat was actually kind of eye opening to me - in my mind she was this quiet Virgil-like character. I doubt we'll ever be able to get that kind of ridiculously open access given her fame now. Just ask omo - you can even find a photo of him on her blog.

Anyway, back to her at Milk Lariat, I just cannot overstate how ramped up the crowd got. One guy in front of me who had his arms crossed the whole time suddenly whipped out blinding blue penlights and flipped out, nearly causing a fight with the guys next to him. A group shoved him toward more open space, diffusing the situation. I personally didn't follow much of KitaEri's singing career but by the time she came on we were forced to watch her Be Starters PV so many times during the breaks that I pretty much knew the song. Turns out she's not bad on the microphone and displayed some live singing skills. Upon seeing her outfit I also found out KitaEri can do an extremely high level of ZR - a critical trait hidden by her way more conservative outfit at AX. Her MCs were rather good, and she was doing things like getting the crowd to suggest which color penlights should go with her next songs (mostly blue, one song purple). Surprisingly, during her entire set she did not get the "KitaEri Kita" call, so I guess that trend has already expired in Japan huh?

14.Be Starters!
15.Link
16.紋
17.雪華
18.Be A Diamond

After KitaEri's set was over, I saw a strange thing happening in the crowd. The crazy guy who almost started a fight in front of me...left! And so did several other people in the crowd. And then I looked at my position, and it dawned on me that that I was a good 10 rows closer to the stage than I had been at the beginning of Yuinyan's set. The KitaEri-only crowd was significant enough for me to notice, but actually after every performance I was gradually being pushed forward as various fans left the crowd and new arrivals filled in the back. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but the performance schedule had actually been posted that afternoon and rather than suffer an entire 7 hours, many people were sacrificing their position in the crowd to selectively attend events instead.

nao Next up was nao. Despite me being a fripside nao fan back in the day, it actually took me a good while to recognize who the hell was up on stage. She had no introduction and her blond twin tails look is a lot different from what I remembered on the covers of old fripside singles. But her voice hadn't changed too much, so during the first song I was going "hey I have no idea who this singer is, but she REALLY sounds a lot like nao." I wasn't up to date on nao's solo work so I didn't really have much reaction to any of the songs, but I still appreciate the privilege of hearing a voice I used to listen to very often as part of fripside. Kihihirake Glazy Star at the end was definitely good. nao's MCs were actually kind of short so I can't remember much of what she talked about.

19.シンクロしようよ
20.ぱすてるチャイム
21.happy shining days
22.フラグ立てようよ
23.きりひらけ!グレイシースター

yozuca* By yozuca*'s turn, I had shifted up another few rows. She wore gigantic earrings in the shape of music notes that looked really heavy. So heavy in fact, that in the middle of her set, they fell off. She looked a bit embarrased but quickly scooped it up and held it in her hand for the performance. Seeing Yozuca was a big win for me, since I was aiming to go to her live at least once after seeing her good friend and frequent musical partner, rino, a few years back. Yozuca has a strong voice that resonated well in the small room, and I ended up enjoying it even though I only knew the Da Capo songs. During MC, yozuca talked about her upcoming solo concert as well. Though I wouldn't be able to attend that one, I decided if there is ever a chance to see her solo that overlaps with a future trip I'm doing I'll make an effort to attend.

During the break, another chunk of the audience left and I moved up yet again. In a way, crowd shifting felt a bit like a referendum on the artist. The fact that people leave after your set means you were their exclusive draw, so the more people who left, the more "power" you could say you had. Though it might seem rude to the artist coming after, the constant stream of new people from the back pushing everyone forward ensured a packed house.

yozuca's giant earring that fell off
Said earring which fell off. Source image from Repotama

24.No ruLe
25.サクラキミニエム
26.レンブラントの光
27.S.S.D!
28.20110510
29.ダカーポII~あさきゆめみし君と~

Itou Kanako Next up was Itou Kanako. For once, she was wearing pretty normal clothes and her hair was all neat and proper under a black felt hat - which was a big contrast for me since I only remember her "cat lady" look from Anisama. During MCs, she was one of the few artists who had a go at imitating Osakan accent. She talked about how much she liked visiting the city and her tour spots. For Kanako, the audience broke out the UOs for multiple songs, but I only knew Steins Gate stuff. Just as well, because by this time I was dying. During the last song, she pulled out an acoustic guitar which was another nice touch. Normally, I'd be excited for acoustic corner even when I don't know the song, but the six hours of standing and jumping had taken its toll on me that the slower pace was actually tiring me out.

30.キンカクジ
31.RISE ON GREEN WINGS
32.Another Heaven
33.宇宙エンジニア
34.Hacking to the gate
35.虹がでるまで

ULTRA-PRISM Then, ULTRA-PRISM appeared. To be honest, I did not care much about that group, and I was already at my physical limit. So, little did I know, their humble little act would turn everything around. They were, without question, my favorite performance of the night. Koike Masaya - damn I forgot how much that guy owns. I saw him at Uzumasa last year, but there were key differences this time. There he was just the third guy in MOSAIC.WAV, while here the songs emphasized his guitar much more strongly, and he even had a chance to perform several long guitar solos where he shredded to hugely positive reactions. Most importantly, last year he merely had some jeans and some shades, but tonight he was wearing...THE COAT. You know the one. I cannot overstate the power of THE COAT now that I have seen it in person. It multiplies his coolness factor by at least 10 and even though it's now white with short sleeves, it definitely brought back old memories of UNDER17.

Speaking of UNDER17, I have accepted ULTRA-PRISM as its spiritual successor. Aside from the obvious connection with Koike, ULTRA-PRISM's vocalist Tsukimiya Usagi has good stage presence. Usagi's live-singing is less polished than Momoi even at the start, and her MCs aren't nearly as "deep", but she does a few things very well. First is the strong connection with the audience - she makes good use of space and devoted attention to each area of the crowd, leaning into corners, making eye contact, doing big exaggerated motions, singing directly to people at times, and teaching special moves for certain songs (teaching moves always wins points with me). Second was the sense of legitimacy in her otaku-pandering, in part fostered by her long history as a cosplayer. I could at least see that at work in the super frequent costume changes. There was a new outfit for each song: a cheerleader uniform, a maid costume, rabbit outfit, and school uniform.

Plus the songs are just plain catchy. The calls for each were intuitive and I was able to match the crowd exactly even as a first-timer. During ULTRA-DATE, we were taught special moves beyond the standard calls during the "Ultra power make-up" chorus, and also practiced doing a coordinated wave during the "kono big WAAAVE" part of the song which was a blast: almost as fun as doing mero~n at Yukarin concerts. For the last song, Shinryaku no susume, Tsukimiya came out and the temperature rose 10 degrees as everyone cracked UOs and started jumping at max height. As expected, Tsukimiya performed the last song in full Ika Musume cosplay.

An hour ago I was about to collapse, but now the pain was gone and I was 100% recharged. It was uphill from now on.

36.るーるぶっくを忘れちゃえ
37.Princess a la mode
38.みらくる☆ちゃんす
39.ULTRA-DATE!
40.侵略ノススメ☆

Sakura Saori Finally, Sakura Saori from ave;new came out. It's funny, just a few years ago, one of Shaori's charm points was the strong gap-moe vibes which come from being a such a plainly ordinary looking girl who had such an insanely cute voice (much like the lovely Jun-nyan). But recently she has been putting on tons of makeup and changing her image to be more glamorous and adult-like. It's a goal she declared on LoveLoveLovable and has been working hard on ever since. So she comes out in this outfit, dolled up and showing lots of leg.

Not that I'm complaining. By this time, I had been pushed up to the 4th row so I got a full view of that goodness. But you can only go so far with an adult image when you sound the way she does. Then again, I guess that still qualifies as a kind of gap-moe. I looked to my left: dude with ave;new shirt. Looked to my right: dude with ave;new shirt. Tacitly acknowledging our adjacent ave;new brethren, we cracked open our white lights and held them up.

The set list, oh god the set list. It went by so fast. I remember the synchronized waving to "Baby Baby," the harmonic calling out of "NAMIDA", the furious orange fever time of "Naisho Mea," the hilariously mismatched hoarse and nerdy sing-along to "Pure my voices," and the white waves of cyalumes during "snow of love."

But the strongest impression was "OH! Too Core Lion." That song cannot truly be appreciated until heard live. Actually, prior to Milk Lariat, I even disliked it. Now I think it is THE BEST EVER, and her performance of it is what won me over. During each repetition of "otoko ha lion," Saori would point to a guy in the audience, so we all jumped SO hard to try and get her attention. When she shot a finger in our direction, it was too hard to tell who it was so we all just assumed "OMG SHE POINTED TO ME!" As a result, the energy was unbelievable and even when I listen to the song now I remember those good times. Later on her radio show, she told listeners that the brilliant pointing idea was suggested by her vocal teacher. Good job, Teach!

Sakura Saori
Lookit dat. Source image from Repotama

41.Iris
42.Baby Baby
43.NAMIDA
44.Vivid Affection
45.LOVE VISE
46.Lovable
47.OH! too☆Core Lion!!
48.超越↑↑恋してナイしょ☆メア!!
49.Pure My Voices
50.snow of love

Still, I was a little sad that Rierin didn't show up for Osaka since I'd love to have seen some Twin Angel songs, or at least Kimagure Tsundere~ta . But that just means I'll have to come back to Japan again. Acording to Saori, during the Tokyo show Rie was really nervous about popping the Australia question to the audience, because she was afraid they would just stare blankly back at her in confusion. (The correct call response is "Canberra datteba!")

Momoi After Saori, it was already almost 8PM and I had been standing for 6 hours, but thanks to ULTRA-PRISM and ave;new, I was still at max energy. I knew I'd have enough juice for the next act, which by process of elimination had to be Momoi Halko. Sure enough, she showed up and suddenly I could see all the Momoi branded penlights appear. She came in wearing a striped lolita dress and fur hat. I could guess she had picked it up in Russia at J-CON just one week before, and she confirmed as much in her MC. Though she admitted it is rather hot wearing it on stage. Having the most international con experience of all the singers there, she talked a lot about the recent Russia trip and the other countries she's been to.

Montreal left me starved for jumping to up-tempo Momoi songs, but I ended up getting a different surprise instead - the gift of rare songs. So we put away our UOs and enjoyed songs like "Figure ni naritai" from the U17 days, "Ruuji Guuji" which I have never heard live, "Video Killed The Radio Star" which I haven't heard since AX 2007, and even "Life is free," which she originally wrote for Shintani Ryoko several years back. She closed off the evening with the very appropriate "Live no ato ha samishii na" which was the perfect ending.

51.涙一輪
52.るーじー・ぐーじー
53.永遠のオルスバン
54.スカート丈の長いメイドさんには絶対にかなわない
55.フィギュアになりたい
56.Life is free -momoi-i version-
57.21世紀
58.Video Killed The Radio Star
59.ライブのあとはさみしいな

When Momoi was done, Joymax came back up and thanked us all for coming, especially those who stayed the entire 7 hours (there were quite a few). Outside, I met up with ULTRA-PRISM members at the goods booth and got to talk with them for a while. Usagi was initially kind of quiet and didn't say much, but somehow Aniki got right in, talking casually and shaking my hand which got her to start talking more and asking me how I felt about their act. I told them it was one of the best shows I've seen. I guess Koike noticed my accent, and then suddenly remembered me as the guy from the Uzumasa concert last year and shook my hand again, which prompted Usagi to do the same. I was really impressed, I guess producer-types who network so much are good with remembering faces, even just random fans.

After visiting ULTRA-PRISM, I also saw Itou Kanako hanging around her goods booth so I went over there too. While in line, Joymax was standing around and we ended up chatting a bit. He was surprised I came over from the USA since MLT is a very niche event, but I told him about Gin before me the previous years and he was even more surprised. When I got to Kanako she was about as warm and friendly as can be, much like my first impression of MELL a few years ago. She had a big firm handshake, lots of questions about the USA, and teased me by pronouncing my name over and over. She even called her manager over to meet me. Kanako has been abroad before and met international fans before, so I reckon she has some experience talking to fans like us and making us feel all special. Overall very cool person. After Kanako, it was getting late. Unfortunately ave;new did not set up shop, and there weren't any other artists to meet so we booked it downtown to grabbed some okonomiyaki as post-live dinner.

Goods for the day:
Milk lariat 4 goods
Milk Lariat flyer, ULTRA-PRISM keychain and pamphlet, and autographed CDs from ULTRA-PRISM and Itou Kanako

Concert shots from the sets of all the artists appearing that day can be found at Repotama

Posted by Paranda at 12:40 PM | Comments (6)

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