Tag Archives: Fairies

Tokyo Summer 2016 Mini-Cap™: Yumemiru Adolescence, GEM, and Akishibu Project

15 Aug

Going to Japan was a last minute decision, although I was deliberating it for a while. On July 31, I finally decided and booked my flight and hotel for August 3–12. My main motivations were seeing Akishibu Project, Yumemiru Adolescence, drop, and GEMAnother motivation: I had purchased tickets for J-POP Summit in order to attend Silent Siren’s U.S. debut in San Francisco on July 23, but as luck would have it, I ended up getting a job interview at a new school the following Monday, so instead of going to San Francisco, I spent the weekend preparing my presentation for the interview. So I wanted to make up for that loss. Everything turned out for the best, I got the job, went to Japan, and I’ll see Silent Siren when they perform in Los Angeles in September. 

Every summer, I stay at the same hotel in Odaiba, because it’s a ten minute walk to Tokyo Idol Festival. After checking in, I went to Akihabara to see Yumemiru Adolescence at Akiba Cultures Theater. In the ten times I’ve been to Japan, I’ve only been to Akihabara twice, and I had never been to a show at Akiba Cultures. For some reason, I’ve also never been to Ginza, even though that is the first district of Tokyo I learned about when I was in college studying Japanese. Surprisingly, I was able to purchase a ticket to the show using my Pigoo account and credit card. Now in addition to being able to purchase drop and Maneki Kecak tickets, who use Peatix, I can also purchase tickets for shows at Akiba Cultures. That’s so GEM!™

This is the process I used for entering the lottery and purchasing a ticket
1. Register for a Pigoo account (assuming you don’t live in Japan, you’ll have to fill in a fake Japanese address.)
2. Wait for the pre-sale period, which varies depending upon the type of membership you have. For free accounts, I believe the lottery period begins ten day before the show. You can review the details here.
3. Enter the lottery and wait for the results, which will be sent to your registered email address.
4. After you win the lottery, pay using a credit card or paypal.
5. You’ll receive an email confirmation, which includes your ticket number.
6. On the day of the concert, pick up your ticket 30-60 minutes before the show start time by showing your email confirmation along with a form of ID. 
7. Pay the 500Y cover. If you plan on buying merchandise before the concert, arrive early, because sales end about 15 minutes before showtime.

This was a new experience for me and it was a little nerve-wracking, because I kept thinking my ticket would be cancelled since I used an American credit card and a fake Tokyo address, so hopefully the above instructions are helpful.

Yumemiru Adolescence
YUME LIVE! @ Akiba Cultures Theater

August 4, 2016

I arrived at the theater 30 minutes before the start time, and since I’d never been there before, I tried to casually observe what was going on–which is difficult when you stand out. Eventually a staff member yelled out that anyone who still needed to exchange their ticket should go to the ticketing area, so I walked in (still kind of thinking there was a chance my ticket could be invalid). Fortunately my fears were unfounded and I was able to show my ticket confirmation in exchange for a real ticket. The girl helping me checked my ID and I wonder if she compared my California address to the fake Japan address I used for my Pigoo account. I was prepared to explain the situation if pressed, but it wasn’t necessary.

After getting my ticket, I was literally a few seconds from entering the queue for merchandise when they closed it, because by that time it was 15 minutes until showtime. My ticket was #289, which is pretty bad for this venue, since capacity isn’t much higher than 300. The concert sold out, and I think they sold extra tickets beyond normal capacity. Despite my high ticket number, I had great visibility from the standing area in the back.

Most of the fans in my area were pushing Karin (who is also my favorite), and since she is color-coded red, we were the red light district. Which reminds me, when I was still at home packing my luggage, I tested my penlight and found that half of the colors weren’t working–it’s supposed to toggle through 10 colors, but I lost yellow, light blue, brown, purple, and two others. 

The concert lasted only about an hour, but I knew that beforehand from watching their previous YUME LIVES. The concert was great and now that I know how easy it is to purchase tickets, I’ll go back in the future, since a lot of groups I like perform there. The venue also isn’t as janky as I once thought :D The low-res streams on niconico kind of give a bad impression of the theater.

And I feel very mature for not once mentioning how hot the members are.

1. Suterusu Bukai 25: 00
2. Mai Gene!
3. Mawaru Sekai

4. Shomei Teenager
MC: Announced a free live on 8-13, the day after I leave :P
5. Oshiete Schrodinger
6. Fantastic Parade
7. Love for You (new single)
8. Hi! Summer Dreamer

GEM, Yumemiru Adolescence, Up Up Girls, Moso Calibration, et al
August 9, 2016

When I found out that Yumemiru Adolescence was performing at an event called GIRLS❤GIRLS❤GIRLS SUMMER LIVE!!, my first instinct was to purchase all the tickets and not share GIRLS❤GIRLS❤GIRLS with anyone! But then I got hella dizzy looking at the word GIRLS so many times in a row and realized one ticket would suffice.

A friend mentioned that this event sounded like a strip club, which reminded me that when I was in fourth grade, when returning to school from a field trip, our bus drove by a building that had a huge sign that read GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! I was only ten at the time, but I remember my best friend and I thought that was hilarious and wish we could have gone on a field trip there instead.

The concert was two days after TIF and was sponsored by a Tokyo radio station celebrating their anniversary, which is why the lineup included groups which typically wouldn’t participate in a shared concert. This was also the last real show I would go to for this trip; everything else was release events.

The full lineup in order of appearance: J-Dee’Z (opening act), Zettai chokkyū joshi Play Balls, Tsubaki Factory, GEM, Bakusute Sotokanda Ichome, Moso Calibration, Yumemiru Adolescence, and Up Up Girls.

I’ve never seen J-Dee’Z, Play Balls, or Tsubaki Factory before. I’ll just write one sentence about each:
J-Dee’Z’s music and style is kind of old-school and the way they dressed, it was like they just pulled clothes out of their closets and then went on stage.
Play Balls are a baseball-themed idol group and they have two guys in the group who wear baseball uniforms and act like idiots on stage to the delight of their fans.
Tsubaki Factory is a Hello Project trainee group, and like all Hello Project groups, are old-school and incredibly boring! :D

GEM followed Tsubaki Factory and as one of the few remaining good guys in the world, I politely plowed my way to the front center. GEM was actually a late addition to this concert. Obviously, that’s so GEM!™ Ever since I’ve been a fan, my interest in them has constantly been up and down though. They recently added two members to the group, Monami and Hirari, when Maya went on hiatus and almost immediately I became a huge fan of Monami. Because of her, my interest in GEM had skyrocketed into the furthest reaches of outer space. Unfortunately, Monami fans came crashing back down to earth soon after her debut, because after about ten days of activities, she went on a sudden hiatus–and hasn’t been heard from since. It’s possibly due to illness, but no one is really sure, because there hasn’t been an update on her status.

Despite her absence, I still love GEM and had a great time. Their set was much funner than any I had seen from them at TIF. Although, instead of doing their new overture, they came on stage singing “We’re GEM,” which was disappointing since the new overture is cool and “We’re GEM” is not. At least the choreography allows us to repeatedly point at our oshiGEMs. They performed their new single “Spotlight” and “Party Up” from their recent album, which are both great additions to their normal rotation. “Do You Believe?” is fun, but I doubt I’m the only one who is getting tired of it. Lastly, I continue to get haunted by the song “Can’t Stop Loving.” Every time I see GEM, they perform either this song or it’s brother, Star Shine Story. And I would see them perform these two songs three more times during the trip.

GEM’s setlist
1. We’re GEM

2. Spotlight
3. Party Up
4. Do You Believe?
5. Can’t Stop Loving

Bakusute Sotokanda Ichome was next and umm, I’m not going to write about them so fast forward to Moso Calibration, although I don’t have much to write about them either. The last time I saw them was 2014, and I remembered their fans do wotagei and also run around in circles, so I moved out of the center. Their fans were extremely tame during their set though. 

Afterwards, I again became a gentleman and politely plowed my way to the center for Yumemiru Adolescence. There were a lot of YumeAdo fans at the show, so the front area was more congested than it was for GEM. There was still space to move and jump though. Really fun setlist, the funnest of the night for me. Basically just a lot of jumping around.

YumeAdo’s setlist
1. Love for You

2. Bye Bye My Days (Note: I would link to this song, but it’s disappeared from the internet)
3. Kurachu Summer
4. Mai Gene
5. Fantastic Parade

After their set I went to the bar to redeem my drink ticket. I had noticed 7 or 8 foreigners at the show, and two came up to me while I was getting my drink and mentioned seeing me at TIF. Up Up Girls came on shortly afterwards and I went back to the floor area. I’ve seen this group several times, and they’ve never clicked with me and I left after watching two songs. I was also starving since I’d been out since early that afternoon and it was now 9PM.

Fairies Event @LaLaport Tokyo Bay, Chiba
August 10, 2016

I haven’t followed Fairies in a long time, but I’m still slightly interested in them, so I went to their event in Chiba. They sang three slow songs, including their new single Crossroad. I’ve noticed they’ve rapidly matured their look during the past year. It seems to be working since they are still getting more popular, but I prefer the more high energy, cool look they used to have.

GEM @Ikebukuro Sky Deck (aka the Tobu Department Store rooftop)
August 11, 2016

GEM and Akishibu Project both had two events in separate locations in Ikebukuro, and because of the timing I was able to go to both of GEM’s and one of Akishibu Projects. Later that night I wanted to go to Narumi Takiguchi‘s one-man in Shibuya, but that didn’t work out, so I went to Akishibu Project’s third event scheduled that day, which was also in Shibuya.

I feel like I shattered his perception of the oversees GEM fan. Anyway, I’m still surprised that I was able to see GEM so soon after the new GEMber’s debuts, yet I wasn’t able to see Monami. It’s pretty rare I become a fan of a new member so quickly. I honestly hope she’s okay and returns to the group, but this situation is kind of unprecedented.

GEM Event 1
Can’t Stop Loving
Star Shine Story

GEM Event 2
We’re GEM
Do You Believe?
Party Up
Can’t Stop Loving

Akishibu Project events
@Shinseido, Ikebukuro
@HMV & BOOKS, Shibuya

After GEM’s first mini-live I rushed to Akishibu Projects event at Sunshine City (a large mall in Ikebukuro), which was about ten minutes away. On the way I saw their truck promoting their single and had to stop to take a photo. I also saw the truck in Odaiba during TIF and in Shibuya.

Their event was at a Shinseido store at the far end of the mall, and was a little hard to find since it was actually a mini-store inside a store. Since the shop was small, the stage was even smaller. The members were dressed as staff and handled cd sales.

I purchased two copies of their single and afterwards, I had to rush back to GEM’s event, which was beginning in 20 minutes. Because I was in a hurry, I bought the wrong version of one of the cds (each of the five versions have different tracks). Not a huge deal, but it’s a great single and it’s doubtful anyone will upload the other versions. Yuechi helped me with my purchase. I have several favorite members in the group, which is why I like them so much, but Yuechi and Yuna are my favorite. I was a little nervous and I’m pretty sure my hand was shaking like a person being electrocuted as I handed her the cds.

After their Shinseido event and GEM’s second event, I went back to my hotel for an hour, before going to Shibuya. Earlier in the day I found out Narumi Takiguchi was having a one man at a small club near O-EAST, and I really wanted to go, despite not having a ticket. I’ve been a fan of hers since 2013, when I saw her with her old group Takokusekigun, at an underground idol show in a small club called Shibuya Deseo. So I went to the venue she was performing at called Vuenos. I had to run to get there and arrived 5 minutes before the opening time. There was literally no one there though. I thought maybe I had the wrong day, but checked her twitter and confirmed this was the day. There was a sign on the door in English that said “Not Ready,” but I went inside anyway. There was an old man sweeping the floor and a few girls standing inside, but I didn’t see any staff or Narumi fans in the lobby. I went outside and waited until 7:10, not really sure what to do since this was an underground show and I already felt out of my comfort zone. Akishibu’s event was at 7:30 at HMV & BOOKS, which is across the street from Tower Records, so I knew I could get there quickly if necessary. I waited a few more minutes and didn’t see anyone enter or leave the venue, so I walked around to the back thinking there could be an alternate entrance. I didn’t find one so I decided to go to Akishibu’s event. It was getting late, so I also had to run there. Running through Shibuya’s crowded streets isn’t the coolest thing to do, but I’m an extremely fast runner so I was able to get their quickly.

HMV & BOOKS is a relatively new store and they have an event space on the 7th floor. It’s supposed to hold 100-200 people, but that seems like a complete exaggeration. I should have purchased more singles, but I still hadn’t realized I bought the wrong version earlier in the day, so I just watched the live. They came on stage wearing pajamas and I loved all the songs they performed. It was a short live, but this was their third event of the day, and they had been promoting all week, so it was understandable.

Summer Summer

Be Yourself

If you think you can have any interest in Akishibu Project, please watch the video for Be Yourself. It’s super long kawaiiii and super long kakkoiiii!

My original schedule included a show at Shinjuku ReNY with drop, Houkago Princess, and Maneki Kecak the following day, but that listing turned out to be a mistake. The lesson here is to not automatically assume everything on idolscheduler is accurate!

I didn’t want to go to that show anyway!! *sobs into a pillow*

The End

Fairies LIVE TOUR 2014

20 Aug

fairies banner Fairies LIVE TOUR 2014 – Summer Party –   
@ AiiA Theater Tokyo

August 9, 2014

I haven’t been a Fairies fan for a long time, so I guess I don’t really know much about the group. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself though. After all I do know that they are travel themed, each member is assigned a gem with magical powers, their average age is 21, and they cosplay as boys.

And there are 48 members.

Outside of that though, I’m pretty clueless.

When the group announced their first tour back in May, I extended my TIF trip to include their Tokyo concert. Although I purchased my ticket more than a month in advance, I was pretty sure my seat would be horrible. I messed up because I waited a week after general release tickets became available before buying mine. I gambled that there would be resale tickets available, but after several weeks of searching for tickets at the usual locations, there simply weren’t many available. Evidently most of the fan club members who purchased tickets actually wanted to go to the concert. What a bunch of jerks!

Considering this was also Fairies first tour (and I believe only their second or third full concert – which is pretty weird if you think about how long the group has been around), I had no idea what to expect. Would they perform only two songs total and then run off stage? Without an encore? Would they perform while wearing bikinis (for those who like that kind of thing… not me!) Would I get singled out for being the only person who didn’t buy any concert goods? (This is my secret fear at every concert since I never buy anything.)

Although their concert tour was called “Summer Party,” that Saturday (and several days prior) a hurricane was supposedly on a crash course with Japan. Fortunately, the “hurricane” never materialized, even though every time I left my hotel a staff member would say “Be careful of the hurricane!”

ft3Fairies would be performing two shows that day. I chose the night concert because I know that the Fairies fanbase includes a lot of little kid and girl fans, and I figured the night crowd would have less of both. Not a big deal, but the type of audience can impact concerts in different ways. The audience for the night show was ~60:40 guys to girls, which is really unique for a girl pop group. I arrived 40 minutes before the concert began and the staff had set up two general areas for fans to wait, based on ticket numbers A100-300 and A301-600. That pretty much confirmed my suspicion that my B110 ticket sucked. AiiA has a capacity of ~830, so B110 probably meant I had ticket 710. It would be a while until my number was called, so I checked out their merchandise booth which was inside the venue. They had already sold out of a few products like the pink “Tokyo edition” of their t-shirt and both types of towels. I considered buying their official glowstick, but because of its unique triangle-shape, I didn’t think it would be something I could ever use again – even if I go to another Fairies concert in the future.

fscWhen my ticket number was called, I entered the theater, and chose what I considered to be the best available seat – an aisle seat in the middle column of row… 17. There were actually two empty seats in row 16, but I considered the aisle seat better than simply moving up one row, since you can slide into the aisle for a completely unobstructed view of the stage. Considering how high my ticket number was, I was totally relieved. I didn’t want the front row anyway! Everyone knows you can’t truly appreciate their awesomeness from that close.
ft5The concert began with Fairies newest single BLING BLING MY LOVE, which I think is easily one of their best singles. The complete version with Miki’s solo is far superior to the radio edit. I love the direction Fairies is going with their music and I wish GEM would try to emulate them. A lot of groups have issues with pacing while attempting to fill a 90+ minute set, but they did a great job avoiding dead moments. I noticed at least five cameras filming the concert, so hopefully they release a dvd. The setlist was pretty much perfect and the occasional break didn’t detract too much. The main MC segment was pretty creative with Rikako and Sora doing a skit called FTV (“Fairies TV,” stylized like MTV). Rikako was DJ Pyon’s and Sora was DJ Sky and they covered recent Fairies “news,” including info about their single, going to America/Los Angeles to film the music video, and the staff getting lost and not understanding anything while they were there – kinda like me when I go to Japan. The biggest surprises (at least for me) was the solo performance by Momoka and and unit performance by M Three (Miria, Miki, and Mahiro), which I hadn’t considered they would include. I really like M Three’s song in particular, and randomly heard it several times on the radio while wandering aimlessly around Tokyo.

The only negative about the concert were some of the outfits. They weren’t the typical “cool” outfits Fairies are known for. Rikako and Sora had to wear these baggy 3/4 length “things” for the first half of the concert (see below).
f53e83a7648725But everyone knows I’m still a huge Fairies fan!

Set List

3. Sparkle
MC – member intro

4. Love Me, Love You More
5. Hikari no Hate ni
6. No More Distance
7. One Love

MC – “FTV” corner (Rikako and Sora)
8. Poker Face (Momoka)
9. Your Love (M Three)
[Dance routine]
10. Super Hero
11. HERO
12. Hot Stuff(cover of an American song from the 70s – I think
13. Beat Generation
MC – concert goods
14. White Angel
15. More kiss
16. Run With U

18. Song for you

f53e83a764d3f6The encore was a little strange because the chant started immediately after the group left the stage. Literally after the last member disappeared a few girls had already started. I’ve been to concerts where the chant started after ten seconds, but never instantaneously like this. I would think most fans would want to give the group some time to change their outfits and rest for a minute or two. I guess not though. Fans can be crazy. 

Which makes me think one day there will be a concert and the chant will start before the concert has ended. Like when they announce the “last spot,” signifying the last block of songs, the chant can start. And I want to be at that concert! I will yell “encor-uuu” louder and more annoying than ever before!

Concert footage

I also wanted to mention that while waiting outside for the concert to start, predia’s promo truck drove by the theater *vroom vroom honk honk kerplunk* This was the second time I saw their truck (the first was in Odaiba during TIF). These are exciting times for predia fans. Exciting and sexy times! We have suffered ever so long…

I was too mesmerized to take a photo, but this is what it looked like:

pt1This weeks edition of “Is it okay for a guy to save this?”™
Item: concert streamer

IMG_3586Absolutely not. Please retire from the internet!

…is what I would normally say. Fortunately, I’m in a good mood, so I’ll allow it… but just this once.

(Didn’t you also save SUPER☆GiRLS streamers from their tour last year?)
Yeah, but those just happened to land in my bag without me doing anything. Taking them out would have required work. And I um… had to fight a little girl for the Fairies streamer.