High GEMsion Max!

31 Jul

I just returned from Mezamshi Live with SUPER☆GiRLS, Cheeky Parade, and GEM. Obviously it was soooo GEM!™ 
2014-08-01 09.36.03Even though it is extremely hot-tsui (hot+atsui) in Odaiba, like any nerdy tourist I had to take a photo of the Mezamashi Live stage the moment I saw it. Kind of like when I was in Paris last month and had to drop everything and take a photo of the Eiffel Tower the moment I saw the tower peaking over a building. Coincidentally, this stage will be used as the main stage for TIF, so I also wanted to do some TIF reconnaissance and get an idea how long it would take to get to this stage from the other venues that will be used for this weekends’ festival. Based on my completely unscientific measurements, I think using this remote venue will add about five-ten minutes of walking (had they just used Zepp DiverCity or Zepp Tokyo as they did in 2012 and 2013). Considering how hot the forecast is for Saturday and Sunday, I think that extra time walking from stage to stage is going to be brutal. At 9:30 AM when we were lined up for the concert, people were already dripping in sweat. Even though I’m from Los Angeles, I’m not used to the type of heat that Tokyo gets. I live near the beach so it’s usually cool, even on “hot” days. But in Tokyo and Odaiba, which is literally on Tokyo Bay, being near the water doesn’t make the area cool, it just makes it humid. If it was possible to cut across from DiverCity (basically walk straight to the stage from the vantage point of the above photo) it would be okay, but you’re forced to walk around the perimeter of ODAIBA  NEW WORLD, which is a Fuji TV summer festival-theme park. The route adds about five minutes to the walk. That doesn’t sound too bad, except when you consider how hot it is, and the fact that depending upon your TIF schedule, you will be walking to and from this venue multiple times. ODAIBA NEW WORLD also has other attractions in addition to Mezamashi Live, including an area devoted to EXILE (which Sara and Rana, aka GEMerations, blogged about going to when it opened two weeks ago) and a One Piece exhibit of some sort (I’m too lazy to look up what it is, but here is a photo of the outside).
2014-08-01 09.36.40If you are a hardcore SUPER GiRLS fan you have probably watched the broadcast of their 2012 and 2013 concerts at Mezamashi Live, without really caring or knowing what Mezamashi Live was. It is pretty much a Fuji TV summer concert series featuring a variety of artists ranging from soloists like Kana Nishino to pop-rock groups like Scandal and Silent Siren to idol groups like SUPER GiRLS, Morning Musume, and Cute. The concerts are relatively short in length, usually scheduled to last 30-40 minutes, but they tend to last a little longer than that if there is an encore. I think the main appeal is watching semi-popular to very-popular groups or solo artists in a small venue for really cheap (1700 yen).
2014-08-01 10.07.54The concert was scheduled for 11-11:40AM, and the venue would open at 10AM (you enter by number, but it’s free seating). We were advised to arrive by 9:45AM though in order to line up by number. My ticket was #684 (I don’t know how many tickets were sold, but the max is 2,000), so I was worried I would have a below-average seat, and possibly in the sun. The venue is covered, but since it’s relatively small, a lot of fans end up standing in the back, which isn’t covered. The photo is the line to the stage (you can see it in the distance). Basically the staff had everyone stand in 100 people increments, so that is the #600-700 line. The line continued down the street, and they had another section for tickets 1,000 and up. Then another staff member called out individual numbers and we lined us up in sequential order. And then we just stood in that line for 20 minutes until we made it into ODAIBA NEW WORLD. Once you walk in there were stalls set up selling iDOL Street goods (more like “greats”). I bypassed the line for concert goods in order to secure a seat. The middle column was mainly filled, but the almost-just-as-good stage-left and stage-right areas had a lot of availability and I was able to get an awesome seat in row 6 on the right side. Based on my ticket number I thought I was going to get a seat in row 12 or worse, so I was really surprised. I think a lot of people made the mistake of getting in line to buy goods, instead of first choosing their seat.
2014-08-01 10.27.47Before the concert begin they were playing the most recent SG, CP, and GEM music videos on the screen on stage. I guess I’ve been slow on the uptake, because this was the first time I watched the video for SG’s most recent single Chozetsu Bakusho Ondo.

The concert was scheduled for 11:00-11:40, but based on the past two years, I expected it to last another five minutes for the encore. Surprisingly the concert lasted a full hour from 11:00-12:00. There wasn’t an encore though, but going a full hour was a nice compromise. When Rika was about to do their standard closing, Amita (I think) cut her off and they performed Believer (which is guess is tradition now since they’ve performed this song last all three years). After the concert GEM had a handshake event.

Set List
1. *Dance intro*
2. We’re GEM
3. Do You Believe
Cheeky Parade
4. BunBun Nine9
5. Cheeky Fighter
6. Together
7. Welcome to SG Show IV
8. Hanamichi!! Ambitious
9. Chozetsu Bakusho Ondo
10. MAX! Otome Gokoro
11. Believer

I really like events like this that bring the different iDOL Street fan factions together, which makes it unfortunate that there is so little i-Street participation at TIF this year. And there was kind of an awkward moment when GEM was talking about TIF, since all three groups were on stage and this is the first year SG and CP decided not to attend. Personally, I think it was a mistake for their producer to pass on it, since most i-Street fans are used to attending TIF, and now the fanbase will be divided with the separate events each group is doing that weekend. I can’t imagine many fans choosing a SG handshake event over TIF. Even weirder, Cheeky Parade is going to be at Zepp DiverCity on Sunday, but performing at a different event.
2014-08-01 12.09.11The tent area on the left was for iDOL Street concert goods (more like “greats”). I didn’t buy anything because I feel I have enough SG and GEM goods (more like “greats”) already. I guess I’m beyond the part of my fandom where I need to buy stuff just because there is a new version. (Why can’t you just admit you have no money?) Never!

Oshimen News
I *think* Reira may have looked at me. This is only newsworthy because she has previously never acknowledged my existence, even during a high touch. But everyone knows I’m still an insane Reicheru fan!

Sara, aka my oshiGEM, definitely looked at me multiple times.  I’m pretty sure Maho did as well, and *maybe* Jurin.

I’m not the type of person to get “star struck,” but these moments are pretty unique considering how few opportunities there are to see them in person.

Tomorrow and Sunday is TIF, but the other concerts I will be attending are Fairies on 8.9 and predia on 8.10.


Ticket analysis:
Ticket sales must have gone well for Fairies first tour since they added a night concert to their Tokyo date. My indecision whether to purchase tickets for either the day, night, or both, resulted in me getting a really, really horrible ticket to the night concert. I’m kind of terrified how bad my ticket is going to end up being when I get to the venue. I checked the AiiA Theatre floor plan, but I can’t find B110 anywhere. Clue #1 that your ticket sucks is when you can’t find your seat on the seating chart. But then again, I thought my Mezamashi Live ticket was going to disappoint, and I ended up in the 6th row.

The predia “party” on 8.10 will be their first concert as a major label group. I bought my ticket the first day they became available to the general public, but after ticket sales for their fan club. Ticket B4 would typically be a second row seat, but it’s impossible to know what seat I’ll actually have until the night of the concert, because those with a general ticket will only get seated after the fan club members, and it’s impossible to know how many fan club members purchased a ticket. 


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