Six-hundred tons of water, 15 metre high waterfalls spreading across 400 metres, and 70,000 fans and celebrities were all part of Arashi’s final National Stadium concert last night in Tokyo, reports Sports Hochi.
Starting at sunset, the group opened with the song “Summer Splash!” and appeared from behind a towering wall of water created by the water fountains set up around the entire 400m athletics track.
Their hit single “Monster” closed the concert as 1300 fireworks were set off and all of the fountains shot out water once again.
This had been the third year Arashi had performed at the National Stadium, and compared to previous concerts, had been the longest with 42 songs performed over three-and-a-half hours.
Arashi leader Satoshi Ohno said this year’s concert was not like the previous ones where they had only sang their hit singles.
“This (concert) was about going back to our roots. We wanted to do what we had done in all of the Arashi concerts up to now.
“I got goosebumps when the waterfall opened up and I could see the entire crowd,” he said.
The concert was a show filled with songs from past albums, and even revived the dance-offs they had routinely done in concerts until six years ago.
A large number of celebrities were also spotted in the crowd, including Shun Oguri (27) who had worked with Jun Matsumoto (27) in the “Hanayori Dango” drama series, and Sho Sakurai’s (28) drama co-star from “Tokujo Kabachi!!” Maki Horikita (21). From Johnny’s, Ken Miyake (31) from V6 and Tohma Ikuta (25) had come to support the group. Other guests included TV hosts Tomoaki Ogura (63) and Mika Sugisaki (31).
Now in their 11th year since making their debut, the group have become national popstars and have endured a year of ever-amounting work. During the concert, Arashi members had talked about the new problems this populartiy had brought about while preparing for the concert.
They had said that because everyone had busy schedules, it was not until early August that they could begin rehearsals as a group.
“In the end, we only had three or four days to rehearse together,” Matsumoto said.
“We could only get together between midnight and sunrise. It was such a relief when the first concert day came around,” Sakurai said.
Matsumoto talked about how the hot summer weather was another problem.
“Yesterday I thought I was going to pass out. It was serious so I threw cold water on myself,” he said.
The group’s tour will continue from October and run until January next year as they go around venues in Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, and Fukuoka, attracting more than 860,000 fans.
All of these concerts will be held in dome stadiums, but Matsumoto said venue size was not what Arashi wanted to focus on in the future.
“We’re not fussed about large scale things and want to perform in halls and arenas again. I can still remember the atmosphere in those places,” he said.
Arashi National Stadium concert facts:
– 600 tons of water used (400m length water fountain, 15 metre high waterfalls)
– Stage set: 100 metres wide, 45 metres high
– 20 lifters
– 50 searchlights
– 1300 fireworks
– 50,000 balloons
– Total area used for screens: 3000 metres squared
– 11 moving staircases
– 2 self-propelled moving stages
– 2 lift stages
Travelling the skies in an Arashi jet has become a reality as Japan Airlines unveiled their new airline jet on September 4, reports Sankei News and San-in Chuo Shimpo.
The airline company will begin using airplanes plastered with a photo of the five popstars from September 5. The majority of planes will be used for domestic flights between Haneda airport (Tokyo) and Sapporo (Hokkaido), Itami (Osaka), and Fukuoka. It has been reported the planes will be used from now until January 2011.
JAL have been using Arashi’s song “movin’ on” for their commercials since July.
The first Arashi jet is scheduled to leave Haneda airport today at 1:30pm, bound for Osaka.
On top of this, limited edition Arashi merchandise will go on sale in in-flight shops during flights.
Arashi have already been appointed as tourism navigators by the Japan Tourism Agency, representing Japan for overseas tourists.