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.
A best album, more concert dates added to their tour, and an Eightrangers comeback, Kanjani8 fans were treated to a lot during the group’s concert in Tokyo on September 16, reports Nikkan Sports.
One of the bigger announcements from the group was extra concerts had been added to their tour, including concerts at Tokyo Dome on November 10 and 11, and concerts at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome on December 30, 31, and January 1. It means the total number fans expected to attend Kanjani8 concerts and events this year will top 880,000, a number worthy of a national pop star group.
“Eight years ago we weren’t able to fill a hall with even 1000 fans. But now I do believe that what we did wasn’t a mistake,” Ryo Nishikido said.
“We’ve been making the number 8 our things so I’m so happy,” Yu Yokoyama said.
Kanjani8 also announced their Best Album “8EST” will be released on October 17.
The group had been performing their first outdoors stadium concert at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo since September 15. This tour, the group revived their Eightrangers performance for the first time in two years, and even made it something bigger with stunts like dropping down 25 metres using ropes.
“Performing in natural light was kind of embarrassing,” Subaru Shibutani said.
Finally, to finish off the surprises, the group and the 55,000 fans in the stadium celebrated Shota Yasuda’s 28th birthday.
Tomohisa Yamashita, Hey! Say! JUMP, and Kis-My-Ft2 were among some of the Johnny’s talents at Tokyo Dome yesterday to celebrate Tackey & Tsubasa’s 10th anniversary, reports Sponichi Annex and Daily Sports Online.
It has been reported the duo’s concert was held in Tokyo Dome. The last time they had a concert there was when they made their debut in 2002.
“I want to make this a special moment worthy of a 10 year anniversary,” Tsubasa Imai said.
To start with, both Imai and Hideaki Takizawa insisted the concert’s stage be a recreation of a historical Johnny’s stage set. The stage design is identical to the one used in the first ever stadium concert tour by a Johnny’s group, Tanokin-Trio’s (Johnny’s senior talent Masahiko Kondo was a member), including a concert at Korakuen stadium, which was the Tokyo Dome of Tokyo until it was demolished in 1987. More than 45,000 fans at yesterday’s concert were treated to a sight of the first Johnny’s stadium concert set, tweaked modern features like a 25-metre crane, 150 tons of water, 20,000 balloons, and motorbikes.
It has been reported for three hours, Imai and Takizawa sang more than 30 songs, and had guest appearances by more than 300 of their junior talents including Tomohisa Yamashita, Kis-My-Ft2, Hey! Say! JUMP, Sexy Zone, A.B.C-Z, Kansai and Kanto Johnny’s Jr. Takizawa had even tried some Kis-My-Ft2 stunts by showing off his own rollerskating skills when he performed WANNA BEEEE!!! with the group.
During one of the talks, the two talents talked about how grateful they were to be a duo group. It has been reported Johnny’s president Johnny Kitagawa had originally planned for Takizawa to become a solo artist, but Takizawa fought back by saying he was more of a team player and wanted Imai to be his partner.
“There have been times that Tsubasa and I have cried and laughed together. I’m so happy you’re my team mate,” Takizawa said.
“I believe that Takizawa possesses the showbiz quality that our president wants. I hope we can continue showing this Johnny’s spirit,” Imai said.
No, I didn’t go (grr, work).
But going to yesterday’s NEWS event and talking to other NEWS fans got me up to date with a lot of things, and although I can’t reveal details about what happened in the event (if you’re really itching to know, try to direct message me on twitter) at least I can report about concerts!
I based this MC report on things I heard from fans yesterday and fan blogs.
NEWS LIVE TOUR 2012 ~美しい恋にするよ~
August 19, 2012
Marine Messe Fukuoka
Tegoshi’s hair episode (spoiler?)
Kato: Massu, are you going to play a doctor (in your drama) with that hair colour?
Masuda: We start shooting while we’re on tour so I’ll dye it black soon.
Koyama: Make it like your RESCUE hair.
Masuda: If I did go back to my RESCUE hair, there’s no way it would go with my stage outfits.
Koyama: When you are dyeing your hair back Tegoshi?
Tegoshi: I think I can announce it to all of you soon, but there’s a reason I can’t change it right now. I can’t change it for the rest of the year. I’ll be able to tell you about it soon!
“What were you doing yesterday?” episode
Tegoshi said he went to the rehearsal, and met up with his friends for dinner
Masuda said he wanted to go out for dinner as a group, but it ended up being him and Koyama
Kato said he had to record his radio show…
Tegoshi: I heard it!
Kato: No you didn’t! Which station?
Kato: What did I say.
Tegoshi: You said, “hi, this is Shigeaki Kato”.
Kato: I say that at every show! Tegoshi knew I had work, he said, “Shige! I’m off to eat motsu-nabe.” I ate fish ochazuke with our manager.
Matching ear phones episode
Kato: (Tegoshi) bought me earphones.
Koyama: Earphones are in fashion in NEWS right now. We’ve all got matching earphones. Me and Massu had them first right.
Masuda: We liked the ones our choreographer had and went out and bought them.
Kato: Then Tegoshi was like, “I’m buying my own too!” Then our (other) choreographer asked, “buy a pair for me too”. He’s called Shige-san, so I thought why not and joined in with, “Shige wants some too”.
Tegoshi: I bought them for two Shige’s okay. I ordered it on the spot (with my mobile).
DUET magazine cover episode
The group posed for an upcoming DUET magazine cover with the crowd in the background
Fans have been left shocked by a move to ban uchiwas from Hideaki Takizawa’s summer concerts, reports Cyzowoman.
A must-have item at Johnny’s concerts is an uchiwa. Fans can use uchiwa bought from a merchandise shop to show Johnny’s talents who they are a fan of, while homemade uchiwa give fans the chance to put in private messages such as “blow me a kiss” or “give me the peace sign”.
It has been reported fans going to Tackey’s SUMMER LOVE CONCERT 2012 show in Tokyo on July 26 got an email a week before, asking them to support Tackey with “only pompoms and penlights, please”. Some fans had called the ticket office to ask whether it meant uchiwa were banned, and were told an “uchiwa ban” had not been stated. But one fan painted a different picture.
“When I got to the concert venue, they were checking bags, and they asked anyone with an uchiwa to store it away. Some fans managed to get through the checkpoint with their uchiwa, but when they took them out inside the hall, a staff member told them off. There were arguments going on here and there, it was awkward at one point,” said one fan at the concert.
There are some Johnny’s groups who ask fans to keep uchiwas at a minimum, like TOKIO, because the group is considered to be more a band than a pop star group. Another Johnny’s talent who asks fans to refrain from bringing uchiwa and penlights is Tsuyoshi Domoto, whose concerts are less like a typical pop star’s concerts. But why would Tackey concerts, which fit into neither category, suddenly ban uchiwas?
“Apparently a lot of Johnny’s Jr. fans go to Tackey’s solo concerts or stage shows because he has talents like Snow Man dancing behind him. Some junior fans are really dedicated so sometimes it looks like the number of uchiwas for junior talents outnumbers those for Tackey… Maybe they’re banning uchiwa to avoid this kind of sad situation.
“There’s also talk that maybe the ban is a strategic move to get ready for Tackey’s 10th anniversary concert tour with Tsubasa Imai, which starts in September. The duo are going to perform in Tokyo Dome, but I don’t think the two have enough fans to fill up that huge venue. Other fan club fans have apparently been sent information on this concert because it’ll have guests like KAT-TUN and Hey! Say! JUMP. Unless they do something now, there’s risk the dome will be full of uchiwas for other talents,” one Johnny’s reporter said.
It has been reported a number of fans had published angry comments online, saying the reason was childish, and that fans had nothing if they were not allowed uchiwas.
However, others have become more creative. There have been ideas going back and forth about printing messages on pompoms, on bandanas, and even on T-shirts.
It is the second time the group have performed at Tokyo Dome following a concert shortly after their CD debut in August 2011.
It has been reported the seven took advantage of the huge space by coming out from the Kis-My Ship, a giant ship float flying 25 metres above the ground where the members were attached to wires hanging on it.
“We were at the same eye-level as the fans on the third floor, I didn’t know how high we were,” Taisuke Fujigaya said.
Other stunts had included roller-skates which light up in seven different colours and dressing in drag.