SUPER☆GiRLS Live Tour 2013 ~Celebration~@ Shibuya Public Hall

30 Mar

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SUPER☆GiRLS Celebration Tour – Vol. 1
@ Shibuya Public Hall
March 23, 2013

The boring part about going on vacation is coming home and writing a recap. It’s basically vacation homework.

I’ve been a fan of SUPER☆GiRLS for a year now (I “officially” became a fan last March) and I’ve noticed the group is very formulaic. For instance there are certain repeated themes in their songs, similarities in their costumes, templates for their concert schedules, and patterns in their concert goods. Their concert schedule is basically a new years concert in January, nationwide tour in March and April, an anniversary concert in June, random summer concerts in August, and a Christmas concert in December. All of the concerts are gimmicky in their own way, especially the anniversary concert. The only exception is their nationwide tour. The tour is basically the purest, least-gimmicky, and most SUPER, SUPER☆GiRLS concert experience.

I arrived at Shibuya Public Hall at around 12:30 (the concert was scheduled for 2PM) and wasted 15 minutes looking for the tour bus. They must have parked it in a remote location though. Oh well, I just wanted to take glamour photos of the bus like any normal fan. During the time I was looking for the bus I noticed they sold out of some concert merchandise, the wristbands and 3-D photo cards. It’s probably a better idea to buy concert goods first, and then search for the tour bus. Or not search for the bus at all because that’s lame. I didn’t really need anything, but for some reason it is really important to buy stuff, lots of stuff. Even stuff you don’t need? Especially the stuff that you don’t need.

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Wristbands and the 3-D cards had sold out and by the end of the day concert the t-shirts had also sold out. I got there almost two hours early and two things I had no intention of buying were sold out! Unforgivable. Actually, I was really disappointed that they weren’t selling anything GEM related. Although I guess that was a good thing because I was prepared to waste a LOT of money on GEM. I noticed they accepted credit cards (which is rare in Japan) so I theoretically could have purchased $10,000 USD worth of crap.

The products available for this years tour don’t seem as interesting as last years (for instance, last years tour had SUPER☆GiRLS cookies, this year had SUPER☆GiRLS candy. It’s obvious which of the two is cooler. If it’s not obvious, cookies are cooler). I ended up buying just an official glowstick (light stick/pen light, I’ve noticed people in different parts of the world call these things by different names) and three SUPER☆GiRLS buttons (which are completely randomized). The glowstick is white,  to tie in with the white “Celebration” theme. The last two tours had rainbow-colored glowsticks. According to their blog the girls decided on the all-white glowsticks, which is cool for Rika and her fans (since her color is white). Because the buttons were random, hypothetically I could get three Reira buttons or zero Reira buttons. *puts on glasses* Since I bought three buttons and there were ten varieties, there was a total of 440 different combinations of buttons I could have gotten. In case anyone was wondering.

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Since they were random, I had a feeling I was going to get three Hikaru buttons, since I’ve been making fun of her lately. Fortunately the first one I opened I got Gocchan. Muhahahaa…. I love Gocchan! Next I got Rino… I… was not expecting that. I had to refocus. I only had one more chance to get Reira. Or at least Saori. Or at the very, very least not another Gocchan or Rino. I started trembling like a baby gorilla and I slowly opened the wrapper. Ok, I suck at building suspense, and since the photo is right there, obviously I got Reira! And that’s pretty much the story of the buttons. Not much else to write about them. They’re… buttons. One, two, three buttons. I’m going to put them on my messenger bag. The End.

sgtsphfpBefore the concert began I noticed a lot more girl fans compared to their summer concerts and surprisingly there was also another American. At 1PM they began letting people into the hall. I forgot to mention that it was pretty cold in Japan. When I left Los Angeles, the weather was perfect, and I assumed spring time in Japan would be similar. I’ve been to Japan in the summer, fall, and spring and I’m beginning to wonder if Tokyo ever has nice weather. It’s either really cold or really hot it seems. Anyway, I went in to get out of the cold and also check out the view from my seat. I knew I was row 7, which at the time I was kind of disappointed about. There are 29 rows at Shibuya Public Hall, so row 7 is actually pretty good, but before I left for Japan, I was bidding on a row 3 ticket. Because of the time zone difference I was bidding at 3AM and I *accidentally* fell asleep. When I woke up (15 hours later) I was outbid, so I had to find another ticket. When I saw the row 7, center column ticket I used the instant purchase option to avoid that situation again. When I got to my seat, I was really surprised how close to the stage it was. And it was in the center column which is important. Based on the floor plan it seemed further away, but in reality it was shockingly close. They also removed the first row of seats for the camera crew, so technically I was in the 6th row. That’s so GEM™.

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The view from row 7. The stage had three tiers: the main stage, a platform at the back of the stage, and two raised platforms on each side of the stage (there were concealed stairs the girls would climb to get to the top).

The concert was scheduled to start at 2PM with GEM(Star) as the opening act. GEM(Star) is a 7 member unit of GEM members, and I think fans can consider the girls in GEM(Star) as the top members, although it is probably a little more complicated than that since 9 GEM members have been part of GEM(Star) for at least one concert. It’s pretty obvious who the front girls are at the point though. I’m just going to refer to them as GEM from now on to avoid any further confusion. I think everyone assumed they would open the concert at 2PM. That’s typically how opening acts work. However, for some reason at 1:49, when the lights in the hall were still on, and fans were still getting to their seats or just messing around, GEM came on stage. Imagine going to a movie theater and the film is scheduled to start at 9PM. Typically at 9PM the lights would go out and the previews would play. Now imagine if the previews just started playing 10 minutes early when all the lights in the theater are still on. It’s a totally different experience watching a group perform when the lights are on and when people are still scrambling to their seats. It was like a sneak-attack GEM performance, and a lot of people weren’t even paying attention. Eventually the lights went out halfway through the first song and it started to feel like a real concert. Unfortunately they only performed two songs, Speed Up and Do It Do It and they didn’t have an MC. I was actually thinking they might debut a new song or outfit, since it’s been almost four months since their Christmas debut and they’ve been singing the same two songs since then. Although the presentation was sloppy, it was really exciting seeing them. They are so cute, energetic, talented, and cute. There were two fans that were wearing fan-made GEM t-shirts, but outside of them, it didn’t really seem like anyone really cared about GEM. It was kind of sad. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the enthusiasm you can display at a concert depends on the energy of the rest of the fans. If you’re at a concert where everyone is quiet, then you’re less likely to act like a crazy fanboy. Especially when you’re a foreigner and already stand out. I think the situation would have been much different if they simply waited until everyone got to their seats, they turned off the lights, played the weird GEM video, and then came on stage. Because everyone was so dead I was only able to yell “MAAAYYAAAAA!” three times.

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GEM(Star) backstage photo after the Tokyo concert. Top row L->R: Natchi, Yuu, Jurin, and Maya; bottom row: Nagi, Maho, and Rana.

One of the coolest things about the opening concert of the SUPER☆GiRLS tour was the amount of content being debuted for the first time: 8 brand new costumes and the first performances of five songs from Celebration:  all three unit songs (Muchuu Material, Junjou Cinderella, and EXIT), along with Rave Together!! and Yakusako no Hanataba. Technically there was a sixth new song since they count the intro Welcome to S☆G Show!! III as a song. That’s super!™

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The concert began with them wearing gold-sequinned outfits. Say something nice about the costumes. Sorry, but can’t. They were very non-super. After the intro MC they did two “special” unit songs, before they unveiled the Celebration unit songs. I noticed that for a lot of the Celebration songs, there really isn’t much organized fan interaction. It’s basically do whatever you want. It could be because the songs are too new for the fans to have developed chants for them. 

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The first unit song was Muchuu Material with Saori, Mirei, Gocchan, and Reira. It’s basically “The Rock YOU” unit from their first album, with Ruka replaced by Gocchan. This is literally the worst SUPER☆GiRLS song of all time. 

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The second unit song was Junjou Cinderella, with Miyari, Amita, and Rina (the same lineup as the “Egao ga Porori” unit from their first album). At one point during this song the girls momentarily disappear behind mirrors and convert the long colored dresses they are wearing into short white skirts. This is literally the second worst SUPER☆GiRLS song of all time.

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The first two units were really disappointing. The songs and costumes just aren’t that good. Fortunately EXIT (Ruka, Rika, and Hikaru’s unit) completely made up for them and restored balance to the something something.  Not only was EXIT the best SUPER☆GiRLS unit song… of all time, but all seven GEM members were also on stage as backup dancers. The outfits were pretty weird though, and they came on stage with the hoods covering their faces. There was also a part where Hikaru goes to a MacBook located at the back of the stage and pretends to scratch a turntable, which was hilarious. During a later MC segment they explained she was actually scratching and had been practicing, but it looked totally fake. The song and choreography are amazing and Ruka’s singing was really impressive.

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The concert had weird pacing throughout considering there wasn’t really anything for fans to do during most of the new songs, and the unit songs were disappointing, with the exception of EXIT. The lowest part of the concert was the “chorus” version of Hatsukoi graffiti. It was slow, boring, and low-energy. After the song ended they mentioned they were planning a concert with a live band.  The next song they performed was Renai Rule, my all time favorite SUPER☆GiRLS song. This song is one of those super rare songs all groups have, and a lot of fans in the audience did the cliché “eeehhhh” thing when the music started. It actually took  my brain a few seconds to process that they were actually performing Renai Rule.

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After Renai Rule they removed their color-coded jackets, revealing cheerleader outfits underneath. The outfits are so cute and have their names printed on the back.

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Before the encore they played a video clip and each girl did her own personalized “encore” chant. During the first encore they wore a new version of the Celebration outfits. New, and totally improved, because the evil pants that Reira, Ruka, and Mirei had been wearing were  replaced with super short shorts. Kawaaaiii-hot! They debuted Rave Together!!! and sang Celebration. Rave Together is a cheesy song, but the choreography is cute so it’s fun to see live. This isn’t intended as a “pervy comment”, but it looked like Gocchan had taken a shower during the break. Her hair was wet, like after a girl washes her hair. It was super hot. Speaking of hair and super hot, Reira had cut her hair really short prior to the tour. Throughout the concert, her bangs would fall across her face and she would have to brush her hair back. Yes, it was super hot.

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I was really surprised there was a second encore. Not only was this the day show, but the audience was pretty lazy the entire concert. Honestly I didn’t think we were worthy of a second encore. They wore their tour t-shirts during the second encore and performed Nijiro Star.

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During Nijiro Star they shot streamers into the audience, which included the signatures of all the members. I didn’t intend to keep them, technically they landed in my bag and I just didn’t take them out. However, there were girls who were scooping them up like it was gold and stuffing them into their bags. Since I was in the 7th row I was literally covered in the streamers, since they landed as far as the 20th row. Staff members were sweeping them up and making huge piles, and fans were jumping into them like they were a pile of leaves. Actually that didn’t happen, but the streamers were everywhere and probably a hassle for the staff to clean up. Good thing the girl fans were helping out and taking them all.

Setlist
GEM
01. Speed Up
02. Do It Do It
SUPER☆GiRLS
01.Welcome to S☆G Show!! III
02.DREAM SEEKER
03.Renai Manifest
04.Joshi Ryoku←Paradise
05.Ganbatte Seishun
MC
06.Tokimeki Iro no Kaze to Kimi (Gocchan, Mirei, Saori, Miyari, and Reira)
07.Minamikaze PayaPaya (Ruka, Amita, Hikaru, Rino, and Rika)
MC
~Celebration units~
08.Muchuu Material (Gocchan, Mirei, Saori, and Reira)
09.Junjou Cinderella (Amita, Miyari, and Rino)
10.EXIT (Ruka, Rika, and Hikaru)
MC
11.Hatsukoi graffiti (chorus version)
12.Renai Rule
13.Yakusoku no Hanataba
MC
14.Akai Jounetsu
15.Kira・Pure・POWER!
16.PuriPuri☆SUMMER Kiss
17.MAX! Otome Gokoro
18.EveryBody JUMP!!
MC
Encore
19.Rave Together!!!
20.1,000,000☆Smile
21.Celebration
Double Encore
22.NIJIIRO Star ☆

Random notes

  • For fans that use Maidoru, the concert was worth 600 points, glowstick was 80, and buttons 30.
  • At the entrance of the venue was a giant banner which fans could sign. I guess they do this for all their big concerts. I’m not going to explain what I wrote, but it involved the words “Reira” and “marriage”.
  • I read in a blog that it’s not guaranteed that GEM will debut and the producers are still gauging fan interest in the group. If that is true, there is a possibility that at the June concert instead of announcing the final GEM roster, they may announce the group isn’t debuting. I don’t think that is possible at this point, but idol group management can be really weird at times (just thinking about the failed auditions where no one is chosen). If it’s true the lack of excitement for them at the concert probably didn’t help.
  • Are they no longer performing NIJIRO Namida? I thought that was considered the best SUPER☆GiRLS song, but I’ve been to 7 concerts and they’ve never performed it. 
  • Not SUPER☆GiRLS-related, but I just realized for the past year I’ve been using grey font on my blog. How embarrassing. Although I have no idea why the text color defaulted to grey. I should probably update every entry now.

Once the concert was over I was able to resume my search for the SUPER☆GiRLS bus. I was determined to spend the rest of the night looking for it… until I remembered the predia concert was in an hour. 

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3 Responses to “SUPER☆GiRLS Live Tour 2013 ~Celebration~@ Shibuya Public Hall”

  1. Jo 2013/03/30 at 1:27 pm #

    I can’t believe a lot of the merchandise was sold out by the time you arrived, and that was 2 hours before the concert would even begin. That’s crazy.

    The SUPER GiRLS formula for concerts and stuff is pretty cool in a way, since fans will know what to look forward to (and save money up for) throughout the year. I agree, cookies are better than candy. :P

    LOL your little story about opening the buttons. It’s great you got Reira, especially since it seemed like you weren’t expecting to get her.

    This will sound dumb but what was it like spotting another American fan there? Did you two meet up and chat or just acknowledged each others’ existence and left it at that? Reading over this, it really was a dumb question lol.

    Maybe GEM don’t have many fans yet but they have you! A foreign fan! And they have a couple of fans that make their own t-shirts which is pretty cool. Don’t feel sad, feel special! :P

    Ahaha your commentary on the first two unit songs. Those outfits are quite bad too.. but at least the concert got much better after those. :D

    Your pervy comment didn’t come off perverted at all. -cough-

    “At the entrance of the venue was a giant banner which fans could sign. I guess they do this for all their big concerts. I’m not going to explain what I wrote, but it involved the words “Reira” and “marriage”.”
    You should have left a phone number or email address! How else will she be able to find and get in contact with her ~*~one true love~*~ after reading your message? :(

    I hope the rumour (or not even rumour) isn’t true about GEM.. The fact the girls started performing a couple of songs before the concert was set to start and fans were still scrambling inside for seats isn’t a good move by whoever organised the event either. It will be a real shame if GEM go nowhere. :(

    Maybe the bus had turned into a plane and it was just flying around in the air in circles until the concert was over…….. I had no idea where I was going with this.

    I can’t wait to read about the other concerts you went to see during your time in Japan! :D I still feel so dumb about my predia theory lol. I totally forgot about their even bigger show next month, oops.

    • qwiksXnd 2013/03/30 at 5:17 pm #

      The predia concert was great, so it lived up to your hype :) They sang Crazy Cat and Silky Rain, and there was something else that happened that was really surprising to me, but I’ll explain that in the recap (it’s related to one of the members, it’s a good thing).

      Yeah, it was disappointing how they handled the GEM opening. I’ve seen predia open for PASSPO three times, and they actually opened for them properly (meaning at the scheduled concert start time, they began their performance). With GEM it felt like they weren’t part of the actual concert, they were just allowed to perform before the concert officially began. And predia performed five songs and had a MC segment each time. Because of the way it was handled it makes GEM look like a small, unimportant act, instead of a group they are trying to establish as the third iDOL Street group.

      I didn’t chat with the American, although it was surprising. He was in the queue for goods and I just happened to spot him in passing. Since I had the predia concert right after the SG concert and then had to go back to my hotel, check out, and take the overnight bus to Osaka, it was a little hectic making sure I had everything planned correctly. And I still *almost* completely messed up everything, but I’ll explain that later. Or maybe not, because it was embarrassing, lol.

      The photo at your blog of the PASSPO live at Shibuya Public Hall was really interesting. I was curious what the view from the stage would look like for the members.

      • Jo 2013/03/30 at 7:12 pm #

        predia have been actively encouraging fans to take photographs of the girls at their Parties and to upload them and tweet them with this hashtag: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23prediaphoto&src=hash
        There are SO many great photos. Looking at them makes me feel like I was there! (Okay not really at all, but I can dream. lol)

        I can’t wait for this single although I find it odd that they’re only selling one version without a DVD since their past 2 singles came with limited edition ones with DVDs. I say it’s odd because we know they filmed a music video for it.

        The choreography for ‘Crazy Cat’ looks really great, I love this move and I can’t wait to see it in action:
        http://diamondhighheels.tumblr.com/image/46275655583

        /large

        Ohh there was a good surprise at the predia show about one of the girls! *eagerly awaits your next blog post*

        GEM are still new so maybe they didn’t know how to manage them properly. Okay that’s a bad excuse lol, who knows what went through their heads. I feel bad for the members. :( They deserve better.

        LOL I thought you typed “Ameri-chan” instead of “American”. At least you didn’t mess things up, even if you nearly did! Don’t feel embarrassed to write it all out. :P

        Aipon posted that photo on her blog when she typed up the setlist for that show. It’s got a long and better setlist than the Fes DVDs, I think I might get this DVD but it depends on how much I like the music videos for their two new songs since they split them up into two different CDs. I’m definitely buying predia – Crazy Cat. I love it already even though I have no idea what either songs sound like. :D

        I still can’t get used to the fact PASSPO changed their name lol. Are you excited for their new show that starts later this week? http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/program/detail/22688_201304062635.html
        The girls will be in charge of putting together whatever happens in the half hour show so it should be fun. The timeslot isn’t great but getting it must have cost a lot so it’s better than nothing. I hope they get decent views.

        It’s unfortunate that their show will only be aired in the Kanto region. When staff blogged about it, a lot of fans were disappointed since they don’t live in the area and won’t be able to see it: http://ameblo.jp/passpo-staff/entry-11486880432.html

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