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Report: NEWS event

16:03 JST August 29, 2012 3 comments

Report: NEWS event

Where: Tokyo

When: Afternoon, August 21, 2012

 

Here’s a brief report about when I went to the NEWS event last week.  Sorry for the delay, I’ve been wondering whether it was alright or not to report about it, but seeing that they’re all over now in Tokyo and Osaka, I’m releasing this now and hoping for the best!

The fans in my time slot probably endured the weather elements more than anyone else because it was midday, sunny, 35C, and humid.  That and there was hardly any shelter.  Good thing I brought my sunglasses, sunscreen, fan, sweat wipes, and water.  I had gotten there about two hours before the event was scheduled to start and passed time talking to the fans around me.  These included two Koyama fans, one of who was wearing a checkered top in all the NEWS colours, a Tegoshi fan wearing an awesome skull T-shirt and pink jeans, and me in a yellow summer dress and military boots.

 

An hour before the event was scheduled to start, the staff started letting fans inside.  My new friends and I ended up in the second row.

The first floor of the venue was filled up with fans standing, and the second floor had seats for families with small children.  A bed-ridden fan was invited to the 1.5 metre space separating the first row of fans and the stage so she could get a good view (lucky!).  I think there were about 1000 fans in the venue.

A large screen behind the stage had the words “集まれチャンカパーナ !(Gather round Chankapana!)”, and the Chankapana music video was played 3 times.

Everyone laughed or screamed in the same places – all chatting about why the little girl would change channels when four amazing guys were on TV, when Koyama lifts his shirt a bit, and a big laugh when Koyama says “美しい恋にするよ (Utsukushii koi ni suruyo)” with his hand held up.

 

When the event started, a video mix of the Chankapana video was played and Shige walked on stage.  After Shige signaled for the others, they eventually walked on stage side by side, walked across the stage, and disappeared behind the curtains again.  Eventually they came out again, riding one of those platform trolleys.

Shige: Thanks for buying the box set!

Massu: Box!  Box! (making an X sign using his arms and jumping around)

 

Which fan traveled the furthest?

One of the first questions NEWS asked the crowd, was who had traveled the furthest to get here today?

Koyama: Don’t lie.  If you lie you’ll be punished.  We’ll make you run home.

The furthest I could hear were from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

 

Men in the crowd

The group were happy to see men in the crowd, and started talking to a fan who had the same hairstyle as Massu.

Koyama: Have you ever been surrounded by so many ladies?  Lucky!

 

Hairstyle

The topic changed to how Massu asks his hairdresser to do his hair (on this day it was blond, with red streaks underneath)

Massu: Charai, please.  Shige, what did you say to your hairdresser to get that bosa-bosa (messy) look?

Shige: Ero-ku, please.

NEWS ask Massu whether he’s going to play a doctor with his blond hair.

Massu: Knife please! (makes a dancer-like pose)

 

Koyama’s hand

Koyama: That music video you were watching while waiting.  I know you were laughing when my speaking part came up!  I could see you!

Crowd: Kawaii!

 

Quiz time

The guys played a NEWS quiz game, where they were seated at one side of the stage.  When they knew the answer to the question, they had to run to the buzzer on the opposite side of the stage.

Here are some bits:

Q: Name four NEWS songs with titles in katakana.

Massu and Shige dashed to the buzzer, with Massu falling over.

Winner: Shige

Q: How many times does the word “chankapana” appear in the song Chankapana?

They all crowded around the buzzer, and had a ‘huh?’ look on their face while counting with their fingers.

Massu: 5?

Koyama: 15?

Shige: 16

Masuda: None!

Tegoshi: 16, no wait! (he realised Shige had already said that)

Koyama: 18!

Winner: Koyama

Q: Song intro quiz 

first song played: Cherish (winner: Tegoshi)

second song: Party Time (winner: Shige.  It took a long long time for someone to get it right)

third song: Fly Again (winner: Tegoshi)

fourth song: Fiesta (winner: Tegoshi)

Q: Who’s the best at teoshi-sumo (standing sumo, try to push the other person so they lose balance)?

Everyone was expecting Massu, arm wrestling winner, to win.

Massu vs Tegoshi.  Tegoshi won

Koyama vs Shige. Koyama won

Final. Koyama vs Tegoshi. Koyama wins

 

Prizes

All the fans were given a lottery ticket, and the NEWS members picked out random numbers.  Prizes included 5 chankapana stickers, 5 chankapana posters, one polaroid from Music Station personally signed by Tegoshi, and one personally signed chankapana poster from all members, plus personally put name in by Koyama.

It was a surprise because the winners of the signed polaroid and poster were called Mayumi!

Tegoshi shouted out to the polaroid winner, asking her how she wanted her name written.

Tegoshi: Mayumi-san?  Mayumi-chan?  Mayumi-pana?  Mayu-ndol?

Winner: All of them!

Tegoshi: All of them?  There won’t be any photo left, it’ll turn black.

Tegoshi signed the polaroid with “好きだぜ (suki-daze)”.

 

Fan Q&A

Each member chose someone in the crowd to ask a question.

Shige’s Q (young boy): Do you like Sapporo?

Shige: Yes!  Did you come from Sapporo?  Thank you

Massu’s Q (young girl, really shy, mother ended up asking her question for her): What is your favourite colour?

Shige: The clothes I buy tend to be black, green, and blue

Massu: I like black, yellow, and red.

Tegoshi: I like black, pink, and sparkly

Koyama: I like red and purple.

The talk went on with the guys saying they either liked their NEWS colour before it was given to them, or just grew into loving it.  Koyama remembered when his image colour was a kind of light orange before it was changed to purple.

Koyama: There aren’t many people wearing purple.  But you usually don’t see many purple clothes either.

Tegoshi: I heard that purple makes a woman’s skin look more radiant.

Koyama: Really?  Then can you all please wear purple and make me happy

Tegoshi’s Q (man): Will there be another Tokyo concert?

Tegoshi: It depends.  We honestly don’t know anything right now, but if you can say enough about wanting one, there could be one.

Koyama’s Q (girl): Did you know there are parody versions of Chankapana for each member?  Koyama, yours was the first.

Sings verse and chorus of Koyama parody.  The microphone was acting up, so it was hard to hear in some places 😦

Koyama: send the others to my radio show!  Then maybe we can introduce them when each member comes!

 

SONG performance: Full Swing

 

Shaking hands

We got told the boys weren’t supposed to do this, it wasn’t in the original schedule, but they really pushed for it (awww).

They jumped off the stage, and fans shook their hands as they passed to get out of the hall.

Shige:  You have to look us in the eye, it’s a waste if you don’t!  Some fans just look down and pass by.

They really rushed us through it, with lots of staff members sending fans past the boys.

The order was Massu, Shige, Koyama, and finally Tegoshi.

Massu has the most cutest smile ever.  I said “大好きです! (I love you!)” and he gave me a big smile.

Shige looked really cool, his eyes are really big.

Koyama was so close, he kind of bowed down partially like he was saying thank you for coming, but it was so close, especially when you’re looking him in the eye!

Tegoshi had the sweetest smile, and he looks gorgeous, great way to finish!

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Categories: NEWS, Report Tags: , ,

NEWS concert MC report: Fukuoka August 19

16:06 JST August 22, 2012 Leave a comment

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?

Tegoshi: NHK.

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

Categories: NEWS, Report Tags: , ,

Arashi’s Waku Waku Gakkou 2012 report

13:27 JST June 19, 2012 2 comments

This is a mashup of several fan reports I found while surfing the web.

Fan Reports: Arashi’s Waku Waku Gakkou

Tokyo Dome

Evening session, 17 June 2012

Stage

360 degree screen, circular stage in centre set up like a class room with one podium and four desks (one Arashi member as teacher and the other four as students)

Before the opening

A message came up on the screen from all Waku Waku Gakkou teachers other than Ninomiya Sensei saying they want to throw a surprise party for him so please refrain from wishing Ninomiya a happy birthday until they say so.

Opening

The opening video showed the five members doing their own thing, and then after seeing the Arashi school seal would transform into their white lab coat outfits.

  • Jun Matsumoto: Running on a treadmill in the gym and sees the school seal on a T-shirt on a guy in the same room
  • Masaki Aiba: At a shoot for his drama “Mike-neko no Holmes”, opens up his lunch box and sees the school seal
  • Sho Sakurai: Giving the weather report during News Zero and sees the school seal as he points to the screen
  • Kazunari Ninomiya: Inside a bus playing on his Nintendo DS when a message flashes on the screen to look outside, he sees the school seal on a building’s TV monitor
  • Satoshi Ohno: While reading through his script for the drama “Kagi no Kakatta Heya”, pours some sugar into his cafe au lait, and the coffee art turns into the school seal

After the transformation, the five appear from the staff room and onto the Tokyo Dome stage.

Ninomiya Sensei’s Kachi Kachi class

  • Who dunnit game.  Try and find out who broke the vase in the classroom
  • Getting Ohno to open the lid of a bottle (he can’t because it’s a trick lid that has to be twisted in reverse to normal lids)
  • Showing how confusing it is if someone reverses the colour of men’s and women’s toilet signs (blue woman sign and red man sign)
  • The door with a doorknob, but it’s a sliding door
  • Relay.  Matsumoto -> Sakurai -> Aiba -> Ohno ran a relay.  Towards the end Nino jumped towards the goal post and started fiddling around.  But Ohno managed to run through the goal without any problems.  Apparently Nino had tampered with the finish line and at a switch of a button the goal posts were supposed to move further away from Ohno, making him run more.

Aiba Sensei’s Paku Paku class

  • Three Arashi members keep their eyes open when Aiba changes into a sushi chef
  • Video of Aiba in a fish costume
  • Q&A session (the student with the correct answer gets the sushi Aiba is making at the time)
    Q: What part is shrimp miso and crab miso? This one went to Ohno who said it’s the liver.  Aiba tries to make sushi but gets rice all over his hands so he starts licking it off, which puts off the others.  When Ohno finally gets his sushi he bites on a big bit of wasabi, holds his nose and stopped moving.
  •  Members eat fried clams.  Everyone compliments Aiba that the food tastes good, and he says, “I love you guys”.

Sakurai Sensei’s Goku Goku class

  • Sakurai gives everyone a bottle of water to drink
  • Video about recycling water (apparently Tokyo Dome toilets use rain water)
  • Experiment to see how much water a person can use when taking a shower.  Arashi members collect buckets of water from pools set up around Tokyo Dome, and use it to wash a mannequin dressed up as a member.  One bucket = One Arashi.  In this session, the Aiba mannequin used up 12 Arashi, in June 17’s first session the Ohno mannequin used 13 Arashi (he said he doesn’t use conditioner), and in June 16’s session the Matsumoto mannequin used 18 Arashi.

Matsumoto’s Somo Somo class

  • Goes around families sitting in the audience asking them for stories about when they were born or the meaning behind their names
  • Video about birth
  • Now the members give the audience a sign, and everyone shouts, “Happy Birthday Nino!”

Nino’s birthday section

A birthday cake appeared in both the morning and evening sessions of June 17.  After everyone sang Happy Birthday, Nino would blow out the candles.

Apparently in the evening session, the cake was decorated in strawberries and umeboshi sour plums.  Matsumoto had said it was because Nino’s mum always gives sour plums to Arashi when they have a concert so his image of Nino’s mum is sour plums.

“In the script it said that when Nino eats his cake and says, ‘why is it sour?’ then Matsujun would say, ‘because this cake has sour plums on it’.  But how can he not spot the sour plums,” Sakurai said.

Nino’s birthday comment:

“Thank you so much for celebrating my 29th…not that anything has really changed, but I’m enjoying every day.  Now I think it might be an idea to dye my hair blond from time to time whether I’m 30 or 40 or 50.”

Matsumoto had said he heard from Nino’s mother that he was a baby who grew so much inside of her, that no matter how much she tried, he just did not want to come out.  She said when he was born he weighed 3900g, or roughly the same as a one month old baby.

Matsumoto: When I asked her why she called you “Kazunari”, she said, “we were fussy about the (kanji) stroke count, and decided we wanted him to become a friendly person, treasuring the 和(wa, harmony) of those around him”.  Not only that, but she also spilled on the other name they were thinking for Nino.  “大 (Hiroshi)”.

Nino mum’s letter

Ninomiya’s mother wrote a letter for Nino which was read out, but because she knew there were two sessions on his birthday, she wrote two letters.

I couldn’t find a fan who managed to write everything down word for word, but you can get an idea!

These are bits from the morning session:

“Happy Birthday Kazu.

When you were born you weighed 3900g, your neck wouldn’t strengthen as quickly as it should have, you got an infected ear, an ambulance came when you got heat cramps, you got the mumps, the doctor said there was something wrong with your heart, then there was massaging you every time there was a nappy change to get you over from hydrocele testis.

You didn’t like extra-curricular classes.  (You cried when going to Kumon, pretended to sleep when it was time to go to piano lessons.  But baseball went on for a while)

A lot of people have looked after you over the years.  Never forget what it means to be thankful.

Whenever you come home to eat my monja dish, you always say thank you before leaving.

Thank you for coming into my life.

Love Nino-mama”

These are bits from the evening session:

“Happy Birthday Kazu.

I remember when you joined Johnny’s when you were at junior high, and when you were bullied as a child in early primary school and walked to school at a different time from the crowd.

When there was bullying going on in your fifth grade class, your teacher told me that you weren’t involved and that you treated the student getting bullied like a normal person.

I also heard that when your friends invited you to peak into the girl’s changing room with them, you said you didn’t want to.  I was happy because it takes real courage to stand up to your friends.

I remember when your friends would come over to the house and you would make takoyaki, how you’d be playing video games a lot, and how the adults in the neighborhood would call you a charmer because you always took your hat off when saying hello to them in the street.  Everyone loves seeing you work Kazu, and you always make me smile when I come to your concerts.  I am your biggest fan.

Love Nino-mama”

After reading the letter, the other members asked him whether he remembered saying no to his friends when they dared him to peak into the girls changing room.

“When I was a senior at primary school, the girls changing rooms were on the top floors so I think I was just too lazy to go all that way,” Nino said.

Ohno Sensei’s Gera Gera class

  • Gera Gera championship.  See who could laugh the best.
  • Gera Gera laser.  This is the section that got a lot of TV coverage on wide shows.  Ohno doing the gera gera dance and song.  To see a clip from the news, click here.

End.

Thanks to the following fan blogs (in Japanese) for info: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Categories: Arashi, Report Tags: , ,

My report: Tegomass no Mahou

11:53 JST December 20, 2011 7 comments

Tegomass pen light, confetti and tour pamphlet

What: Tegomass 3rd Tour Tegomass no Mahou

When: 13:00 – 15:50 Sunday, December 18 2011

Where: Yokohama Arena, Yokohama

Other notes: Chilly 9 or 10 degrees celcius, sunny, calm breeze, and tons of Tegomass fans and Barcelona fans at Shin-Yokohama station (it was the Club World Cup).

The setting:

Circular stage with two long stages going out to the side, two more shorter stages leading to  elevating platforms.  The band played inside the circular stage, and another stage cut straight across the circular stage in the centre, and this could rotate around slowly.

Arena set up. Red shows the stage layout, with the band and rotating stage in the centre. The elevating platforms close to block A & D (taken from Yokohama Arena website: http://www.yokohama-arena.co.jp/kyakuseki/)

The entire arena had a cutely magical feel about it.  There were fairy lights strung from the ceiling, making it look like stars, and large 5-pointed-star and moon decorations dotted around the place.

At the ends of the stages were two white Christmas trees.

Before going into Yokohama Arena

Concert:

1st half

Mahou no Melody

Massu wearing his red and white costume (mostly red), and Tegoshi wearing his red and white costume (mostly white), appeared from where the Christmas trees were, and performed the song standing on top of rotating disco ball-like platform.

Bokura no Sora

Ryoukiteki Honey

 

Introduction

Tegoshi: “Tegomass noooooo Tegoshi deeeesu!”

Massu: “Domoooo!  All you little kids, it’s Massu!  All you not little kids…Massu dayo!”

 

Tanabata Matsuri

Yukidaruma

Aiai-gasa

The two went on the elevating platforms.  Massu was on my side.  So cute…

Mr FREEDOM

 

Kushami

Sotsugyo Album

Wasuremono

Kushami, Sotsugyo Album, and Wasuremono were sung one after the other in a ballad setting.  Tegoshi and Massu sat on chairs on the circular stage with two other musicians on chairs playing acoustic guitars.  Towards the end, heart-shaped confetti started falling from above.

 

Hanabi

The two came back with new costumes on.  Tegoshi in an all-white ensemble, and Massu with…a marching band-like navy or black jacket, a leopard print jacket on top of that, and bright red baggy pants.

The firework-shaped lights were lighting up in different colours, it was very pretty.

At the end, Massu read one of the heart-shaped confetti that had fallen a few minutes and said, “Dear Massu…you’re good-looking.”

 

Yuuyake no Uta  (Masahiko Kondo song)

Ding-Dong (TOKIO song)

Tomadoinagara (Arashi song)

Zutto (from NEWS first album “touch”)

Arigato.ima (coupling song to NEWS’ 7/11 limited edition single)

Yuuyake no Uta, Ding-Dong, Tomadoinagara, Zutto, and Arigato.ima was a medley of songs from the early days of the duo’s career.

The two said it’s a medley of songs known by hardcore fans as “コアファン萌え萌えメドレー (Hardcore fans Moe Moe Medley)”.

Old video footage of them was streamed on the screens.

I liked it how Massu said that “Tomadoinagara” was the song they sung when they were back dancers for Arashi.

Miso Soup

The second half of the song was sung with Tegomass sitting in giant miso soup bowl sets at the ends of the stage.

Massu took one of the giant chopstick props and started playing it like an air guitar.

Kiss 〜Kaerimichi no Love Song〜

At the end, Massu ran to the centre of the stage and jumped to catch something.

“What’s the matter Takahisa?” Tegoshi said.

“Yuya, I caught sound,” Massu said.

“Umm…do you know what sound is, you can’t catch it,” Tegoshi said as he walked towards Massu.  Massu told Tegoshi to look inside his hands.

“oh my gosh, it’s there!” Tegoshi said.

Massu opened his hands slowly, and when you looked at Massu’s hands on the giant TV screens, animated sparkles flew out of them.

 

MC

Costumes

The two were talking about how different their costumes were.  They said because the first costumes were all about the tour’s theme of “Magic”, they were thinking along the same line.

But then when the two of them worked by themselves to design their own costumes…the end result was one in white and one in a multi-coloured, multi-pattern outfit.

 

Soccer

Tegoshi was disappointed Alberto Zaccheroni hadn’t invited him to join Japan’s national soccer team yet.

Tegoshi also seemed disappointed he couldn’t watch Barcelona play in Yokohama today.

Then Massu asked Tegoshi, “If Zaccheroni invited you, what position would you play”.

“Well, their formation right now is 4-3-2, but in European soccer it’s still 3-3-2, so obviously………..,” Tegoshi said as he kept going on and on and on about soccer.  Or something like that, I hope so…I lost him after the first few numbers and names.

Then Massu collapsed!

“It’s just that there were so many numbers….and I was trying to add them all up,” Massu said as he explained that his brain had overloaded.

Massu was talking about the chaos a year ago during the Soccer World Cup when Japanese fans swarmed into central Shibuya to party.

“I was there,” Tegoshi said.

“EEEEEEEE!?” the crowd said (including me).

“No, really.  My friends I were calling one another saying, ‘something amazing’s going on in Shibuya, let’s check it out!’ so I went there,” Tegoshi said.

Maybe I should have another look at that footage to see if I can find Tegoshi…

 

Clothes

“How about you, Massu.  I mean, you do clothes,” Tegoshi said.

“…what do you mean I ‘do clothes’,” Massu said.

“I mean, like, if you looked at what you do over a week, the majority of it would be taken up by clothes,” Tegoshi said.

“So you mean I like shopping for clothes, looking at clothes,” Massu said.

But Tegoshi confessed that he has no interest keeping up with fashion trends.  He said he usually looks at window displays of clothes to decide what shops to go into or buy.

“You know, like stripes.  They’re called what, ‘borders’?  And what do you call blobs?” Tegoshi said.

“DOTS!” the crowd yelled.

“Oh, that’s right,” Tegoshi said.

 

Tegomass future

They two were talking about how younger juniors were debuting, like Sexy Zone, who are already sexier than Tegomass.

But Tegomass promised that even when they’re 30, they’ll keep true to their cute nature.

But Massu said the merchandise might change.  He said they might start selling Tegomass beer glasses in a few years.

 

Yokohama Arena Aoi-na”: song for Yokohama Arena

With Tegoshi on guitar and Massu on vocals and tambourine, Massu sung a piece they made especially for Yokohama.

It went something like this:

“Walking step by step to Yokohama Arena

Waiting in the backstage room

Here starts the (Johnny’s) Jr years

V6, KinKi, Arashi, Taki-tsuba

We danced so much for them

You! Dance now.  In 2 minutes!

When we finish we’ll go home on the train

The same as all the fans who were watching us

Everyone looked like a super star

I hope I can be like them one day

Yokohama, Yokohama, Yokohama

Yokohama Arena is in Kanagawa

Arena, you’re chair’s are Aoi-na (eng: blue)

I want to see ya next year

All those (Johnny’s) Jr who are growing up behind me….aren’t there!?”

 

2nd half

Kibou no Hikari wo Kokoro ni Tomosou

Hanamuke

This one was sung with the two of the elevating platforms on either side of the arena.  Now Tegoshi was on my side.

The platform’s safety barriers were covered in white flowers and fairy lights.  At the end, Tegoshi took a flower and threw it into the crowd.

Sakura Girl

Yuyake to Koi to Jitensha

Over Drive

HIGHWAY

The only song if I remember correctly with a dance sequence.

Aoi Bench

 

ENCORE

Cheetah Gorilla Orangutan

The two went around the upper stands on magical elephant rides wearing the Tegomass no Mahou parkas.

Lots of “Lalalala” singing with the fans.  And I mean LOTS.

Tegoshi would raise his hands when he wanted everyone to sing louder, then crouch right down with his hand when he wanted everyone to quieten down.

Introducing the band members

Ainonakade

A song written by Tegomass.

It was really cool because the lyrics on the giant screens indicated which parts were for fans to sing, so it was like everyone was singing a duet with Tegomass.

At the very end, Massu and Tegoshi passed right in front my side!

Because I was sitting in the second row, I got a very good last look at Massu and Tegoshi 🙂

Walking out of Yokohama Arena

Categories: Report, Tegomass Tags: , ,

My report: Tomohisa Yamashita Super good Super bad concert

23:20 JST May 8, 2011 25 comments

What: Tomohisa Yamashita’s solo concert tour Super good Super bad

When: 13:00 – 15:00 Sunday, May 8 2011

Where: Yoyogi National Stadium 1st Gymnasium, Harajuku, Tokyo

Other notes: Sunny with blue skies and white clouds and a hot 27C.  In shorts and t-shirt and I’m still sweating, why!?

Fans lining up to cross over the walkway towards Yoyogi

Around lunch time at the Yoyogi National Stadium on May 8

Arriving at JR Harajuku station just before noon, I noticed a number of fans heading to Yoyogi stadium wearing red.  Red dresses, red T-shirts, girl friends with matching red hats or coats.  Otherwise a lot people were dressed like me (shorts and T-shirt) with shorts, skirts, dresses, t-shirts, and thing cardigans.

It was my first time in the Yoyogi stadium, and I must say it was totally cool.  My seat was in the south side of the stadium on the first floor stands.  Looking up, Yoyogi stadium looks like you’re inside a giant tent.

The inside had a very Asian theme.  Red lighting in the background and banners with Yamapi’s concert tour logo on it hanging everywhere.

A group of fans sitting around the stage on the ground floor started chanting, “Yamapi” after 1pm.  As soon as the lights went black, the stadium erupted in screams and there were red flashlights (and a small number of blues and greens and yellows from other flashlights) everywhere.

Yamapi appeared on the centre stage with his semi-long hair, which was dyed a nice shade of brown.  He sang, danced, walked and waved at fans around the stadium.

Johnny’s band FiVe were jamming on stage, there were string instrument players (violins, violas, cellos), and Johnny’s Jr. dancers.  Two fans sitting in front of me were really happy to see A.B.C-Z dance close by, and I thought it was awesome to see fans cheering them on too.

I’ve said before, but it was very hot today, and after one song Yamapi clearly said, “暑い・・・ (Atsui…, It’s hot…)”.

In the MC section, NEWS didn’t come (waaah…) but instead, Yamapi asked each A.B.C-Z member to introduce themselves and talk a bit.  Fumito Kawai did a cute impression of Jun Matsumoto (Arashi) singing and dancing to “WISH” and Takahisa Masuda (NEWS) singing and waving his hands to “Miso soup”.  Kawai…you just earned a good place in my books (>v<)/

Then, Yamapi said he wanted to talk to fans!

A.B.C-Z members started running around the ground floor around the stage looking for fans with a question for Yamapi.  Here’s what I could note down:

Q: “When is NEWS going to release a new single?” (11-year-old girl)

A: “Ummmmm, how do I say this.  I don’t know.  I’m sorry but there are things that even I don’t know.  When we know we’ll let you know okay.”

Q: “What’s your favourite thing to eat?”

A: “Ummmmm…strawberries.”

Q: “What kind of hairstyle do you like on a girl?”

A: “I get asked that a lot.  Ummm, but say if Matsuko Deluxe got smooth, straight hair, I still wouldn’t like her.  But if the pretty ladies here today had smooth, straight hair, then maybe, yes…It’s your birthday?  Oh, then I’ll give you my towel.”

Yes, Yamapi gave this lucky fan the towel he had wrapped around his neck during the MC!

Q: “Which member of NEWS do you like the most?”

A: “This is such a popular question.  Even yesterday, someone asked me to rank the members of NEWS in the order that I liked them.  (But I guess it would be) Nishikido.  Just because we’ve been friends for so long.  Thank you for your wonderful question.”

Q: “Could you give me a hug?”

A: “…Come here.  Oh, you’re really little (8-years-old).”

When the whole crowd went “ehhhh!” in envy, Yamapi said, “don’t get jealous of this small girl.”

After giving the girl a hug, he told the crowd, “you do know what a question is right?”

Q: “Today’s Mother’s Day but did you do something for your mother?”

A: “Well, I took her out for dinner last night.”

Q: “Could you wipe your sweat using our towel?” (two fans…looked about 18 or so)

A: “You do know what a question is right…?”

Q: “What colour underwear do you like a girl to wear?” (same two fans as above)

A: “So now you’re asking me a dirty question…what am I supposed to say?  Um, any!”

Later on, Yamapi said that he hopes when he turns 30 years-old he’ll be able to answer questions about underwear more easily.

Q: “I want to get into Johnny’s & Associates, will you let me in?” (little boy with white T-shirt with “Yamapi” written on it)

A: “Uhh, well, practice your dancing, your singing, send in your application form to Johnny’s and get your parents support.  I think if you work hard at what you want, eventually you’ll get it.”

Q: “What was your favourite thing to do when you were at kindergarten?” (little girl fan)

A: “Ummm, I did forward flips on the bars a lot.”

In the second half, Johnny’s Jr. got to sing and perform songs like Arashi’s “Monster”.

As the concert drew towards an end and Yamapi introduced the entire band/dancers/string instrument players/backing vocalists and said goodbye.  Then, the crowd started chanting “Yamapi”.  Soon, for the encore Yamapi appeared on the second floor wearing a silver suit which turned into several colours in the spotlight.  Standing in a movable stage, staff members pushed him all around the stadium and lucky fans in the front row of the second floor got to high-five or shake Yamapi’s hand.

I decided to go home straight after the encore, so I’m not sure whether Yamapi came out again…but I bought a pamphlet and got some concert tape 😀

Tape from the concert and my pamphlet

All in all, it was a cool concert and fans were definitely satisfied with the time they had spent with Yamapi during his concert.

First K-Chan NEWS after 3/11 earthquake

00:54 JST March 22, 2011 6 comments

Just finished listening to the first K-chan NEWS radio show since the Tohoku Earthquake.

Here’s a summary: (Today’s guest was Takahisa Masuda – the two were very polite and the show was toned down a lot today)

Koyama started by addressing what had happened just over 10 days ago.

“Our prayers go out to all those who were lost and those who are now in evacuation centres.”

He then continued to talk about what it was like for Massu and him.

“Me and Massu were at home then, and the shaking was slow at first but then it kept getting bigger and bigger.”

Massu had said he heard a lot of fans were worried about whether NEWS were okay, and were using Twitter to communicate with each other.

Koyama added, “all six of us are okay”.

Koyama said the radio station had received a lot of mail, and the least NEWS could do was use music to bring some hope back into people.

Song aired: “Kibou -Yell-”

After the song, the two introduced a handful of letters from fans, which included:

  • A fan in Miyagi prefecture who said she was alone in her home with no power, no gas, and no running water.  She said she was sad K-chan NEWS was cancelled last week but their song “Kibou -Yell-” made her feel better.

Koyama and Massu had said they were happy they could at least help through music.  Koyama said he hoped everyone could get over this disaster together.

  • Another fan who lived on the coast of Miyagi prefecture had said she thought she was going to die when she saw the tsunami which destroyed her home.  But she wanted to thank NEWS for giving her hope.

The two had said that rebuilding a house would be hard, but they hoped they could support her in some way.  They also said to not forget that people all over the world are also helping Japan out right now.  Massu urged not to give up hope.

  • One fan from Kanagawa prefecture had said that she wasn’t prepared for how dark her house would be with the blackout.  Although their house had running water and gas, they didn’t have a torch.  She said her mother found her NEWS DIAMOND concert pen light, which turned out to be brighter than a torch.  She wrote in to thank NEWS for giving her family some light.

The two had said they were surprised their merchandise could be used to help people.  Koyama said he’s affected by the planned blackouts in Tokyo region too because he lives in Kanagawa.  He said although he was a little daunted by not having electricity for three hours, he thought that compared to the people in northern Japan who have no power at all, if him getting through three hours without power could help someone, he could put up with it.

Massu said the power shortage had made him realise how much electricity is wasted and that we need to save power in general.

  • The next was a fan from Saitama prefecture who said she was in Harajuku when the earthquake hit, but because the trains had stopped, she couldn’t get home.  She said she made it to the emergency shelter at Aoyama Gakuin University and felt safe with the university students giving her water and checking up on her to make sure she was alright.
  • Another fan from Kumamoto prefecture had said she wanted to send our her prayers to all of the victims, and thanked NEWS for their messages on J-web.

Massu had said he remembered that after the earthquake hit, all of their regular uploads were delayed and ended up being sent out all at once.  He said the group had thought about what to write and worked together to make their message.

The two had said that Johnny’s is trying to think of all the possible ways they could help, including the transport trucks and power-supply trucks.

  • The final letter was from a fan in Aichi prefecture who said communication problems had her worried about her friends up north.  She said she had got in contact with all her friends, but she was very anxious while mobile networks were down.

Koyama said it was good to hear all her friends were okay, but we needed to remember that a lot of people in northern Japan still haven’t got in contact with loved ones.

The two ended the show by sending a message out to everyone in northern Japan to say that they weren’t alone.  People across Japan, including themselves, are supporting them.

The ending song was “NEWS NIPPON”

Categories: NEWS Tags: , ,
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