PASSPO’s 2nd Anniversary @ Akasaka Blitz: Part 1

28 Nov

blitzX485Akasaka, Tokyo
November 19, 2011

It was a dark and stormy Saturday night. And morning… and afternoon. Airplanes in Tokyo were grounded and every flight out of the city was cancelled. Well every flight with the exception of two. PASSPO Airlines, the cutest airline in the world, had no intention of cancelling Saturday’s departures. During the storm Captain Aipon peered out the window of Akasaka Blitz Travel Agency, and upon seeing the 1200 cold passengers standing in the pouring rain, exclaimed: “We have to take off! Look at all the passengers waiting to fly into outer space with us”. Naomin wasn’t convinced, replying, “But it’s like super-duper dangerous!” as she twirled her hair. The crew talked for hours and hours until everyone was in agreement that the Flight would go on! Well everyone with the exception of Mako-chan, who was later found napping in an overhead compartment.

In September I began plotting a return trip to Japan so I could attend PASSPO’s November concert. Although at the time I didn’t realize it would also be their 2nd Anniversary Flight, I wasn’t so clueless that I didn’t know it was Makoto, Sako, and Shiori’s birthdays. Everyone knows that birthday concerts are way more awesome than the typical concert because they are birthdaytastic and full of birthday-goodness!! Eventually I remembered that their 1st Flight was on 09/11/17. After an hour of *math* I concluded that the November concert would also be their 2nd anniversary. Anniversarytastic!! Multiple birthdays plus an anniversary is multiple PASSPOgasmic. Since the concert was so far away I considered cryogenically freezing myself until the concert. My friends told me that would be idiotic, so I dropped the idea and just took a really, really long nap instead.

Flight #1 – 1:30 PM
I arrived at Akasaka Blitz, a two story concert hall owned by the tv station TBS, at about 1 PM which was an hour after I had planned on getting there. I forgot that on the weekends there are less trains running and they don’t always stop at every station like they would on a weekday. Because of my poor planning I had to backtrack a few times because the train I was on was skipping Akasaka station (didn’t they know there was a super important concert that day?). I could have just gotten off at the next station and walked 1 km back to Blitz, but it was raining, I didn’t have an umbrella, and like all normal humans I’m allergic to walking. I couldn’t believe another concert was being complicated by more poor planning. I was having flashbacks to being late for the Idoling concert I went to in July. For that concert I literally got to the venue one minute before it started. For the PASSPO concert, in addition to being late, I still had to find an ATM because I only had 900 yen in coins on me. There was a 500 yen drink cover, so I needed a more money to pay for the second concert’s cover and to buy cd’s in order to participate in the after Flight event.

Since “boarding” time was at 1 PM, I decided to just “check-in” and find an ATM after the concert, which meant I wouldn’t be able to do the first concert’s event. (Of course there was a chance that there wouldn’t be an event after the second concert, but if that happened I could just travel back in time. Japan has that technology right?) Passengers enter the venue based on ticket number, ticket #1 letting you into the venue first. It’s not exactly that precise, a staff member calls out numbers by tens, i.e. 10, 20, 30, 100, 110, etc. My ticket was #507, which although seems high, was much better than the #718 I had for the July concert. Because of the horrible weather there must have been a lot of people that arrived even later than I did, because when #500 was called, I walked in, paid for my drink, redeemed it for a shot of tequila (jk, it was 1PM, I got a bottle of water), and walked to the stage and was surprised by how few people were inside. I went to the closest point to the stage that I could get which was about six rows back. So freakin exciting! Sixth row is like the new front row! I noticed that there were a bunch of barriers in place at set intervals on the floor (to prevent moshing), and also on both sides there was an enclosed area designated for girls. I remember AKB48 doing that at their concerts, but for them it was done because girls were being harassed, at PASSPO concerts I think they were just getting annoyed (or possibly injured) by the insanity.

blitzbprtfXBecause every recap needs blueprints. The blue lines represent the barriers and the numbers indicate my location for the 1st and 2nd concert.

Before the concert began fans handed out light blue glowsticks. I didn’t know the specific instructions, so I was just going to activate them when everyone else did (I’m such a follower). As the concert venue started filling up I noticed the second floor seating, where the group’s staff, media, and family members usually sit. On the second floor wings were the 10,000 yen seats that allow you to take photos. When I learned about these “limited edition” seats I didn’t realize the ramifications of them. That’s right, “ramifications”! I could have used my Lumix dslr to film the concert in HD and make my own live concert video to share with others! I know that they technically only allow photos to be taken, but outside of them checking your memory card, it shouldn’t have been too difficult to be slick and film the concert, or at least parts of it (i.e. the new songs). If you really wanted to be like James Bond, you could swap out the flash card, swallow it, put in a decoy card, and then take a few innocent photos to confuse them *kidding*. I noticed they are still doing the 10,000 yen seats, so I’m interested in trying this option for the next Flight I go to.

blitz2XThe 10,000 yen seats are circled in blue. Their choropgrapher Natsumi was on the second floor, the girls waved at her during the concert.

Finally it was HIJACKING time! The lights went out and pre-dia took the stage wearing their yellow Honey-B dresses. They sang Dia Love, Honey-B, Kimi Mitai ni, and Diamond High Heels. I love pre-dia, love love love. I wrote “love” four times because I love them, but this is a PASSPO recap. Therefore moving on, PASSPO took the stage (I noticed that this was the second time that they didn’t do the “boarding intro” where the girls come on stage after Ai’s introduction). Not a big deal, but this is the type of detail that hardcore PASSPO fans would notice. I was a little disappointed that they weren’t wearing their new CHECK-IN/Kiss=Suki outfits, but the overwhelming excitement tends to drown out petty stuff like that.

img20111119passpo4D’oh! Not these costumes! I actually thought/hoped they would wear their original costumes

I have to admit, that for pretty much the entire concert I would be staring at Shiori the entire time. I noticed when I saw Idoling that if you have multiple favorite members (in my case Ami, Erica, and Rurika), seeing the group live helps your brain decide who your real favorite is. For me, Shiori and Makoto battle it out for supremacy, but I pretty much new from the beginning of the concert that Shiori was my favorite. The first song was ViVi Natsu, which I started liking a lot more recently because of Shiori and Mio’s solos. It’s super dorky, but screaming “Morishi!!!” during her solos was ridiculously fun. They followed up with my all-time favorite live song, Natsu Sora Dash! It felt like it was summer again! What’s unique about PASSPO is they can take an average song and make it amazing with their choreography and all-out energy. This song causes people to go temporarily insane with their glowsticks and handkerchiefs, awesome!

Material Girl was the first of the new songs. I’m going to try to refrain from giving my opinion on the new songs until I listen to CHECK-IN. I’ve noticed from experience that if I read something online from a fan who went to a concert and if they say “The new song rocks!” or “This $#!+ sucks”, it unfairly influences your expectations. By the way I am using my favorite blog’s recap for the songlist http://snsdlyrics.wordpress.com/passpo-2nd-year-anniversary-shows/ – as if my brain could remember the order of the songs. ROCK DA WEEK and GPP followed. I’ve seen so many recordings of live performances of GPP and I’ve noticed that despite the girls efforts to get people involved, passengers can sometimes be lazy during this song. So I was decidedly un-lazy and probably looked like a dork. The first MC segment was called News Negi (or was it vice versa), anyway Ai Negishi came out on stage… and then realized she forgot her script and left the stage to retrieve it! She then said some stuff in a language that wasn’t English. After she left the stage, Makoto came on and talked about her birthday and her new catchphrase since she wouldn’t be able to use “eien no seventeen” (eternally seventeen) anymore. She was sooo cute, and sooo nervous (her had was shaking as she held her script and read from it).

Beginning with Ai and Mokoto’s “corner” the concert started to drag just *a little* because it was then followed by a long segment with Zombeats (the winner of their summer “battle of the bands” contest). I voted for Zombeats though, so I was glad they won. First they played their original song, while the girls sang vocals. And then they sang Jaa Ne with the band backing them again as they did vocals. The effect was cool, and I’m sure someone who has been to a lot of PASSPO concerts could probably appreciate the originality of the collaberation, but I love Jaa Ne and I love the choreagraphy. Since they were singing with the band, they cut all the choreography out *Why couldn’t they have collaborated on ROCK DA WEEK instead! jk*.
o0640042511627949605After the Zombeats segment concluded a projector screen rolled down and the Kiss=Suki PV making-of was shown for the first time, which involved six of the girls pairing up and *drumroll* kissing. It was very tastefully done (I guess). After the video ended, the girls came back on stage wearing their new CHECK-IN outfits for the first time and joked about the video. The crowd wanted a certain pair of girls to kiss again and started an embarrassing “Mo ikai” chant that fortunately did not catch on. Kaho in particular was completely embarassed by the whole thing, but Sako was totally willing to kiss her partner, or any one of the girls. I *think* she eventually kissed Yukki or Nastumi, but it was kind of a blur. Before they sang Kiss=Suki they taught a short lesson on the songs choreography (I don’t like learning, so I just tuned it out, jk). I was so hyped for this song, and it didn’t disappoint.

After the awesomeness of Kiss=Suki, was the non-awesomeness of another corner *sigh, another corner… and this one was really long.* Anna, Shiori, Kaho, Naomi, and Sako did a skit where they were cheerleaders attending “Raspberry Gakuin”. Their cheer “rivals” were pre-dia members Rumina, Terumi, and Reiko. During the skit both groups did cheer routines.
11-11-20r1Reiko and Rumina wearing their cheerleader outfits. Let’s pretend Terumi is in this pic.

Eventually this corner ended… it felt like it lasted an hour. They made up for it by performing Pretty Lie and the third new song Street Fighter. It’s difficult to remember details of something you’re seeing for the first time, but the song had really good choreography involving street fighting moves. The helicopter kicks, hadukens, and sonic booms were amazing *kidding*. Next up was another awesome live song UHAE and then my favorite new song Hello. Super catchy, super fun, super awesome. I love this song.

During the encore everyone activated their light blue glowsticks *crack splash kerplunk kaboom* (that’s the sound of the glowstick activating). The girls were confused by the choice of color and asked if it was Mio’s birthday again. Someone yelled out that it was for Yukki, LOL. I think it may have been to match the new costumes which are the same color. The concert ended with Let it Go. After the song was over I had to go, because I needed to find an ATM! It’s scary being in Tokyo without having money on you.

Part Two will recap the night concert which absolutely blew away the afternoon concert and the handshake/2-shot event :) They didn’t perform Sakura Iro during the first concert, but they would absolutely have to at their night concert, right??

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One Response to “PASSPO’s 2nd Anniversary @ Akasaka Blitz: Part 1”

  1. Jo 2011/11/30 at 11:32 am #

    Awesome recap!! LOL at that one person in the crowd who shouted out that all the blue lightsticks were for Yukimi. It’s so cool that there are (pricey) seats for people who are allowed to take photos and videos. I wish someone would film a show live in HD but they’d probably would get into a lot of trouble if staff ever found it online somewhere. lol D:

    I could pick out lots of parts from this recap to comment on but that would take too long so to keep it short, I loved the recap and I can’t wait for your next post on the second show! I miss ‘Sakura Iro’ being performed, even though I’ve never been to a PASSPO live lol. >:

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