“SAYONARA National Stadium FINAL WEEK JAPAN NIGHT” live event was held in two days at the Tokyo National Stadium on May 28-29 ,2014 . Various artists made a performance led by Seiji Kameda along with his special band over a crowd of 50.000 people.
However, I only managed to come on Day 2. So here’s my report on the second day, when L’Arc~en~Ciel appeared!
Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to JAPAN NIGHT event at Kokuritsu Kyogijo. As reported, JAPAN NIGHT became the last musical event in this stadium since the National Stadium known as Kokuritsu Kyogijou will be rebuilt for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Being in the stadium myself, it reminded me about the history of how the National Stadium was built during the 18th Summer Olympic Games. Besides listening good songs last weekend, somehow I also felt to learn the history again.
The concept of JAPAN NIGHT event on 29th May is “Japan to the world”. Japanese believes that music has the power to move people’s hearts and help them move forward. Japanese pop music has resonated in the hearts of generations of Japanese people. It has deeply influenced Japanese society and culture, and they believe it will continue to do so in the future. That’s why with this event they want to tell the world about the power of music.
That day, I arrived at the nearest station at 12pm. I thought the audience would not have come yet, because it is a weekday. But when I arrived at the goods booth by walking leisurely, there have been people, people, and people everywhere! !
I finally purchased a towel after queuing for 40 minutes!! Unfortunately the blue towel I wanted was already sold out. I think because there is a World Cup this year, blue towel is very popular.
I took photos of fans outside the venue! This is what fun about Japanese event. Even outside the venue, many interesting characters pop out. Everyone was looking forward for the event. They did some cosplays and if your Japanese artist coming to Indonesia, you can also try this to catch their attention.
These fans have commitment and are very thoughtful to the costumes. There were girls dressed like dolls, some dressed as the artists themselves, some wore uniform of their artists’ favorite baseball team, and some also wore handmade items. In terms of excitement, I believe they really couldn’t wait to watch the show!
They are also very friendly. I asked them about their favorite song from their favorite artists and the conversation just flowed nicely. I even met a mother who has been a fan of L’Arc~en~Ciel from the time of their debut. Some fans also came with their family, so it’s like a 2-generation-fans, mother and daughter or vice versa. They encourage foreign fans to come and enjoy the Japanese music in Japan, “Let’s try to overcome the language barrier and have fun together! It will be a wonderful memory!”
It is a wonderful memory to meet everyone who was so friendly throughout the event.
When the time got closer, I went to the admission desk and I was surprised to see the venue! It’s really huge!! Somehow the arena was gradually filled. The tension of the fans that waited from morning spreads out to the entire atmosphere.
And finally the show started!
Olympic cauldron was ignited after the countdown. The cheers from the audience was overwhelming when MAN WITH A MISSION appeared. All of them was sitting on a chair which rose all at once.
Photo source : MAN WITH A MISSION (c)Nobuyuki Kobayashi
Flame went up many times, the heat was great on stage ! ! Even I can feel the hot air from my seat which was pretty far away. During their performance, everyone in the venue moved the hand all at once in ”FRY AGAIN “. The audience in the venue united in unison during MAN WITH A MISSION performance.
Photo source : MAN WITH A MISSION (c)Nobuyuki Kobayashi
The figures of cool wolf men suddenly changed cute when they talked. Instead of talking, they barked. When leaving the venue, they arranged the audience to bark together with them. Imitating Antonio Inoki (familiar wrestler of Japan), we greeted together, “1,2,3…Ga~o…”.
In no time, MAN WITH A MISSION performance was over. There was a short break after that. After the stage was changed, people who dressed in black pants and white shirt wearing a mask of rabbit came out one after another. It was almost like wonderland.
The audience was whispering in curiousity, “I wonder become what kind of stage they have next”. Even though it’s a break, the expectation for the next stage has been much higher.
When the sky was dyed orange, SEKAI NO OWARI began along with the big fireworks in the sunset. People who were resting, stood up all at once. Intro of ” Honō to mori no Carnival” was played, the venue was drawn into the world of SEKAI NO OWARI right at the moment. The atmosphere changed in the third song. Some animation pictures were shown on the screen. Only the voice of Fukase and sound of the guitar were spread out in the venue. I was totally charmed by Fukase’s crystal voice. However, along with the lyrics which full of desperation, the venue was getting tense and quieter. The performance shows white and red lighting reminiscing railroad crossing accident with the loud siren sound and I was horrified the middle of the song. But in the end, the song told a message loaded with hope. “Love the warz” was played right after and dark atmosphere revolved around the venue. I think this is a bizarre image of SEKAI NO OWARI since many audiences have a pop image to SEKAI NO OWARI. I, myself, was surprised. I can see that there were a lot of audiences crying, too during their performance.
Their last song was “RPG”. The audience sang together, countless penlight shone the venue and the venue became so glittery at night. I was speechless, it was very beautiful indeed. It was a real fantasy world until their performance was over.
During the next break, we are prompted to switch on the light pen many times. The reason for prompting relentlessly is because the next artist was Perfume. The organizer made the audience to help with the light and techno pop was played!
I was overwhelmed by the stage right away!
“Welcome to Perfume World” are words that were displayed on the screen. Stage venue was wrapped with techno pop music and colorful light, very futuristic! Penlight’s colors also changed according to the color of the venue. There is no time to look away. Light is emitted rapidly; Smoke, shadow, light, CG video, dance performance, everything was perfect! Rather than watching the live, I feel like I’m in the illusion of futuristic world. It felt like either I watched a promotional video or I was shooting in one (laughs). Eventhough the audience might not know the song; they all moved and danced their body together along with the rhythm.
After singing three song, Perfume greeted the audience, “Everyone, good evening~ Now we will introduce ourselves. I’m Kashiyuka, I’m Achan, I’m Nocchi. Three of us are Perfume!”.
After their greeting, they talked about their overseas performance. They said that they were not good speaking in English so they were very nervous during their overseas live. Their talk was interesting; I think I want to go to their live someday.
Then they asked the audience that they want to teach the audience how to dance. In the “Call and Response Corner”, there was lots of laughter. The audience really enjoyed the show, especially when Perfume sang “Chocolate Disco” and “polyrhythm”. The venue became a dance floor!
And … finally! Why I came here at last… (laugh).
L’Arc ~ en ~ Ciel appeared.
The enthusiasm of the venue was transmitted even during breaks. On March 22 and March 21, they just finished a performance that has mobilized 160,000 people in the same venue. Fans whom I spoke with before the concert told me, “Finally, we can feel the excitement of that time again,” they said. My expectation increased when I heard it. Characters of L’Arc ~ en ~ Ciel members were displayed on the big screen. A cheer went up in the venue immediately. L’Arc~en~Ciel hit the stage with the speedy “CHASE”. “READY STEADY GO” was continued right after. The audience’s cheers went up high. In the song “DRINK IT DOWN”, the pillars of fire decorated the stage. And in “XXX”, numerous lighting shone brightly trying to equalize the shining aura of L’Arc~en~Ciel’s members.
God must forbid this. Yes. This sexy voice of Hyde….sang an acapella of Bless. The audience kept in silent right after Hyde started his first sentence, “Kimi e to yume wa ima~”. Somehow I forgot that there were 60,000 people there watching the live with me. Meanwhile during the acapella, the image of the old Olympic was shown through the video on screen.
L’Arc~en~Ciel went unstoppable with “HONEY”, “Driver’s High” and “Link”. It was really an exciting live; everyone danced, jumped and swung their body together. We’re bond in music. And the last song, “MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM” began. Seven colors balloons were released all at once from all over the venue’s corners. The audience sang the chorus of the song together, “yume o egaku yo ….Our hearts draw a dream”.
It was stunning! Fireworks were launched grandly. I think it was be the best part of the live that will remain in everyone’s memory.
Finally … the announcement that made everyone surprised! JAPAN NIGHT is scheduled to be performed abroad. Since the Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo in 2020, JAPAN NIGHT will be repeated until 2019. I am very happy to hear the announcement. I want this event to be successful abroad because it really delivers the spirit of Japanese pop music.
Special thanks to Ms. Erie Morino and Mr. Takeshi Asai