I don’t know how to begin writing about Tokyo Idol Festival. It was a level of amazing way beyond my expectations. Heading up to TIF, my main concern was the weather since everyday that week the forecast had thunderstorms at fifty percent chance for that weekend. But outside of one minute of extremely light rain, the weather was great. Well it was hot as hell, but it was as good as it possibly could have been. The best concert venues were the outdoor stages (Sky Stage – the absolute best venue in my opinion, followed by Secret Court – please don’t talk about Secret Court), so rain would have been disastrous. Everyone involved with TIF really lucked out as far as weather goes, particularly since it rained this morning.
I’m having trouble syncing my iphone photos with my macbook so I’ll upload the few photos I took when I get back to Los Angeles. I really only took a few though.
I ended up following my schedule pretty closely, although on Day 2 there were last-minute changes that were kind of unfortunate, but for the most part TIF was organized extremely well and practically all of the groups did a great job sticking to the timetable. It was just during the last few hours of Day 2 that things kind of started falling apart. For the timetable to have held up until that point is really impressive though. If weather had been bad, I can totally imagine it would have been chaotic.
Here is the complete listing of the groups I saw:
Up Up Girls, Love La Doll, palet, Link, Cheeky Parade (Doll Factory)
predia (Sky Stage)
lyrical school (Secret Court)
Party Rockets (Secret Court)
AeLL (Secret Court)
Fudanjuku (Sky Stage)
Idol Street Osaka (Secret Court)
BiS (Secret Court)
EbiChu (Smile Garden)
Risa Yoshiki (Smile Garden)
PASSPO☆ (Smile Garden)
Dempagumi Inc. (Main Stage)
Fudanjuku (Main Stage)
Afilia Saga East (Main Stage)
YGA (Main Stage)
Tomato n’ Pine (Main Stage)
SUPER☆GiRLS (Main Stage)
KNU (Doll Factory)
predia (Doll Factory)
You Kikkawa (Main Stage)
PASSPO☆ (Main Stage)
Idol College (Sky Stage)
Osaka Gangs (Sky Stage)
Tokyo Cheer Cheer Party (Sky Stage)
PASSPO (Sky Stage)
predia (Sky Stage)
Encore show with Idoling, Fudanjuku, YGA, the Possible, and Vanilla Beans (Smile Garden)
I’ll try to write a recap all the performances next weekend, although I should probably do it sooner before it all becomes a blur. Party Rockets was definitely my favorite indie group. They’re an upstart group from Sendai that are considered Cheeky Parade’s rivals (similar ages, fashion, and focus on high energy), but their music is on the harder side of rock. After seeing them on Day 1 I tried to alter my schedule on Day 2 to include their night performance, but evidently there was some trouble at the stage they were scheduled at (the TIF website said the venue had to be shut down temporarily due to fans acting out of control). I’m not sure it was related to Party Rockets though, because the Party Rocket blog indicated their night show was a success. I must have just missed them because I was at the correct stage at their scheduled time but a different group was performing. I also really liked Idol College and lyrical school. I wanted to check out Station, but with their schedule it was impossible. They were constantly walking around the TIF grounds though.
My favorite concerts were PASSPO and predia’s back-to-back show at Sky Stage on Day 2. Sky Stage is the cool venue that is located on the roof of the Fuji TV gulf studio. When I arrived PASSPO was scheduled to perform twenty minutes later, followed by predia. Something must have happened to the schedule though because everything at the venue was running over an hour behind. So when PASSPO arrived, the sun had already set, making for a really awesome backdrop with the night sky and Tokyo Harbor. The weather was perfect and it was amazing being so close to the group on such an interesting and unique stage. Highlights were an acoustic version of Shojo Hiko and Anna joining the group during the performance of their last song, Bathtub. This was the only song she was able to perform during TIF because of her injury. After their performance Anna broke down and cried as she talked about how difficult it has been to deal with the injury and the regret of missing out on the TIF experience. It was really emotional, which then resulted in Mio crying as well.
Predia then took the stage and performed four songs, including “You Slipped Away”, which is their newest song. I’m not sure if this was the song’s debut, but probably not since some fans already knew the choreography. Out of all the recent new predia songs, this was my favorite and the choreography was really fun (although I’m a total moron at picking up choreography on the fly, it took me the entire song to figure out the moves. I literally need to watch a song performed like ten times before I start to figure out what to do, meanwhile I looked like a guy who randomly stumbled across predia for the first time ever). For the PASSPO portion I was in the second row and for predia I was at the very front row. It blows my mind how easy it was to get super close to the stage at most concerts at TIF. And at Sky Stage, unlike the Main Stage, there was only a minimal gap between the audience and stage, so I was literally less than a meter from them.
I still have one final concert tonight: a three-man live with predia, Afilia Saga East, and YGA. Afilia Saga East was amazing when I saw them at the Main Stage, so I’m really looking forward to seeing them again.