ARAFES provides lots of surprises for fans
A new album, new tour announcement, and a concert filled with songs chosen by fans, Arashi’s National Stadium concert in Tokyo on September 20 was a big one for those 70,000 with tickets, reports TV Asahi and Sankei Sports.
It has been reported towards the end of yesterday’s concert, the words “重大発表 (Important Annoucement)” flashed onto the giant screen. Fans screamed as the group announced they were releasing a new album “Popcorn” on October 31, and had another tour coming up within the year.
It will be Arashi’s first dome stadium tour in two years, which will go around five venues in Japan, starting with Osaka’s Kyocera Dome on November 18. Although the group have had dome stadium tours regularly since 2008, last year’s Tokyo Dome concert was cancelled following the devastating Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident. Instead, the group had arranged a more electricity-saving event for fans, the 嵐のワクワク学校 (Arashi no Waku-waku Gakkou).
“The circumstances weren’t right to hold a concert in Tokyo Dome last year, but I’m really happy we can do one this year,” Masaki Aiba said.
It has been reported the total number of fans the upcoming tour is expected to attract, plus the number of fans who had (or will) attend group’s two National Stadium concerts yesterday and today, will top 870,000. This is the biggest number to date for Arashi. The group have said they want to make it a fun concert tour which focuses on a characteristically pop style.
Yesterday’s concert was special because the song list had been chosen by fans who had voted for songs online. It has been reported more than 270,000 votes had been counted to select 37 songs, the most popular being “Face Down”. In fact, some of the chosen songs had not been performed for years so some members literally had to re-learn them.
“Aiba-kun had forgotten most of them,” Jun Matsumoto said.
“He’d start singing other people’s parts with them,” Sho Sakurai said.
“Hey, you’d forgotten them too! It wasn’t a case of remembering what the songs were like, it was more like I had to re-learn some of them from scratch which was hard,” Aiba said.
Another thing which made yesterday’s concert special was there were no Johnny’s Jr. back dancers, just the five Arashi members.
“I felt like I was back in Johnny’s Jr. It was something different,” Kazunari Ninomiya said.
“We wanted this to be a concert where the five of us could be with all 70,000 of you,” Matsumoto said.