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27 July 2014 @ 01:33 am
PLAYZONE Song & Dancin' Part III - July 14, 2013  
I had the good fortune to be able to go to PLAYZONE three times in 2013, and even though the show itself was pretty much the same I had very different seats, so the overall experience was very different as well each time. The first show I went to was on a Sunday. I went together with some friends on the day show, and we had a very nice lunch before the show started.


My seat for this show was on the left side on the S row. It wasn't as bad as I initially thought. I had a very good view of the stage even though it was rather far away, and the girl next to me was very nice. She was by the way also taking notes during the show, so I didn't feel so weird for doing it... Before the show started, there was a landscape on the screen - like a desert with mountains in the background, but it was all blurry.

And then it started! The intro was very nicely done. Everything went dark, and there were spirals of colour flying across the screen, landing here and there on the stage and then that spot was lit up by spotlights to reveal a group or single person from the cast. I didn't note the exact order, but the last three were Yara, then Yuma, and last Tsubasa. The audience cheered for everyone, but I think the loudest cheers were for Tsubasa and Yuma... ^_^

Everyone ran off the stage quickly, the screen was lifted, they opened with ROAD TO PLAYZONE and I was happy they did - it's the most natural opening for PLAYZONE according to me! They were dressed in white PLAYZONE t-shirts and white pants with stripes in different colours. Yuma was yellow, Tsubasa was red and Yara was blue. I thought the clothes were much better than the year before... The dance was heavenly! I was a bit surprised when Tsubasa in the middle of the song suddenly ran towards the back of the stage and jumped off it backstage. Then for just a second or two it went all dark, and when the lights were on again everyone had formed human-pyramids, and Tsubasa came walking slowly between them towards the front of the stage - a very effectful re-entry.


The next song was only Tsubasa, Yuma and Yara. They put on a set of multicoloured shirt (hideous) and sort of waistcoat in "their" colour (slightly less hideous) and performed 仮面舞踏会 by mic stands. I don't know many dai-senpai songs, but this one I'd heard quite a few times and liked it. I really enjoyed the solo parts. They didn't stand by the mic stands during the whole song, but removed the mics after a while and went to the front part of the stage.


Continuing with ケジメなさい and more dancers joined them. They changed their outfit to wear long black coats instead, and they scrapped the mic stands and just held the mics. The juniors (I think they were Travis Japan) ran around among the audience for part of the song, but everyone finished on stage. It was fun that so many in the audience did the furitsuke.

Five guys (at least one of them was from 4U) performed ハッとして! Good wearing sailor suits and they were very cute, and the song wasn't bad. The performance wasn't spectacular but okay.


Next were six juniors wearing yellow (one of them was Matsuzaki, my favourite member of 4U), they performed 100%・・・SOかもね! The song was good and I enjoyed the performance, even though this also wasn't so spectacular. LOVE YOU ONLY was also a junior performance. Four guys were wearing white t-shirts, two were wearing black t-shirts - but the design was different for all of them, and I really liked that. This became one of my favourite songs and performances! On the screen behind them, the lyrics for the chorus was displayed in really cool graphics. But the thing I remember most from this performance was when all of them went down in a split really quickly and then just sort of bounced back up again! My jaw just dropped, it looked so cool when they did it! Also, they entered through the side doors and left through the side doors as well.


Now it was time for Yuma's first solo performance! He was wearing black with only a touch of white, and was just very cool during his performance of どーしようもない. On the screen was footage of a couple. Yara and 4U joined him as backdancers, and Yuma did a very good performance I think! He's got a very expressive way of singing which I love so much.


But it was his next solo, 水の帰る場所, that made tears trickle down my cheeks just because I was so moved by the performance. Everything went dark and silent. We could hear trickling water in the background, the light became blueish, a chair was placed on the right side of the stage, and then Yara entered alone. He took a few dance step around the chair, beautiful ballet-ish steps. Then there were 3-4 spotlights lit on the left side of the stage, looking like small stones in a stream, and he jumped between them. While he was doing that we could see Yuma enter the stage and sit down on the chair. As soon as he started singing my eyes welled up, and I couldn't stop crying for the whole song... It was all just sooo beautiful! In the beginning Yuma was just singing, then he started walking around while singing, while Yara was dancing around him. Then he joined Yara and they danced together. It was the perfect choreography for this song! The song is so beautiful and touching that I can't explain it, and the choreography matched it perfectly. It was a mixture of them dancing by themselves and together, meetings in the middle of the stage where they reached for each other, desperate embraces and despairing separations. I couldn't help crying, and just draw in all the emotions and Yuma's perfect voice and the beautiful dance and just everything! I didn't even write any notes about this performance until it was over...


Next up, Tsubasa entered the stage, wearing a beautiful black and gold costume. He was standing on top of a golden cart with stairs on, and it was pushed around the stage by...Travis Japan? I think. He sang Takki's 愛・革命 - one of the performances I had most looked forward to, and I wasn't let down. When he sang the first chorus he jumped down onto the stage, but then he jumped onto the cart again for the second chorus. It was an awesome performance. You don't really need to do much to make this song sound more Spanish - and Tsubasa did his best, adding Spanish guitars and stuff, and of course some flamenco steps. It was the perfect interpretation of a Takki song by Tsubasa! And then....hips. Hips hips hips!!


Yara also had a solo, sort of. He started out solo at least. まいったネ 今夜 had a very jazzy feel, and the stage was set up like a city during late evening, and he was walking around looking for a club. When he got there, Tsubasa and Yuma were like backup singers inside the club, and four guys were jazz musicians. It was not a very special performance to me, though. Also, even though Tsubasa and Yuma were handsome in their black suits, I couldn't help but think 'gangsters!' when I saw them!


Then was the MC, and the beginning of it was very funny. The curtains had been pulled down at the end of the song, and now we could see people moving behind it. Suddenly Tsubasa poked his head through the curtains, thanked us for coming to see the show, and introduced himself: "Tsubasa desu!" Then Yara poked his head through the curtains just below Tsubasa's, and he said "Doumo! Yaracchi desu!" And finally, Yuma's head appeared almost down on the floor, and he said "Yuuuuuma de~!" and was just soooo cute!! The curtains were slightly removed and we could see how Yara was crouching down in front of Tsubasa, and Yuma was lying on the floor between Yara's legs... And when they tried to get up, Yara and Yuma were taking so long time that Tsubasa looked back at them, asking what they were really doing? LOL


Then they all started talking about how hot it was in the theatre - they'd been dancing ever since the show started and it was sooo hot! Yuma was the first one to complain I think, and removed his jacket, and then Yara also removed his jacket. Another guy (I couldn't see who he was) brought three small towels, gave one each to Yara and Yuma so they started wiping their faces - but then he took the third towel, put it inside his own shirt and wiped his back - before trying to hand it over to Tsubasa! Tsubasa said "Iranai yo!" but the guy just pushed the towel into his face and ran off the stage while everyone laughed. Yuma and Yara were all 'what do we do now?' but Tsubasa got the idea that 'maybe someone in the audience could lend me a towel or a handtowel?' - and then the air was filled with handtowels! Tsubasa jumped off the stage and smiled "Kawai! Minna wa kawaii desu yo!" Then he chose two young girls on the right side, second row. He wiped his face with their towel, then returned it and asked who their favourite member of Takitsuba. The older girl answered Tsubasa, but the younger answered both! They were so cute! Then Tsubasa jumped onto the stage again and said there were many guys in the audience today. He found one in the front row and asked him who his favourite was - the answer was again Tsubasa.

Then they talked about some of the songs they'd performed, saying there were many singles among the songs. Like the coupling song from Yuma's first solo single. Tsubasa said something about his choice of solo song - I think he said something about planning to sing a Takitsuba song, but Takki wasn't there, so he didn't? Anyway, he said something more about Takitsuba but I couldn't catch it because of a lot of laughter. Then they revealed that Yara had made the choreography for 水の帰る場所. When he did the choreography for Missing Piece they'd been saying that it would be fun to do something with the coupling song as well. They also mentioned that Yara did the choreography for 小悪魔ジュリエット and they all danced some of the steps. They ended the MC with promoting their solo projects - Yara would be doing a musical during fall, Tsubasa would do a butai in November, and Yuma mentioned the drama "Pin to kona" that would start on the next Thursday.

After the MC, 4U and some juniors appeared on rollerskates. They performed STAR LIGHT, and I was impressed with how well they could all dance on rollerskates. (Okay, they're not like Kis-My-Ft2, but for being juniors they're good.) At the end of the song, the juniors were going around waving flags. Then they disappeared from the stage for a few seconds and returned without rollerskates - but with small mini carts instead, and performed パラダイス銀河. 4U were riding, the other juniors were pushing the carts.


The last song before the break was アンダルシアに憧れて - and that was a pretty impressive performance! Tsubasa appeared alone first, sitting on a bench on a pillar. The pillar was lowered until he was on the main stage, he started dancing flamenco, and finally I got to see Tsubasa as the main dancer for this song! During the first chorus he was dancing on the left side of the stage, and all of the others appeared behind him - but they had raised the back of the stage, so they were on another level with him being alone on the lower level. During one part of the song, they were all dancing on the same level and Tsubasa was dancing in between all the others. Everyone was clapping and stomping to the beat, and it was all very impressive. Then everyone but Tsubasa left the stage and he finished the performance alone.


The second act opened with Yara, 4U and all juniors singing 情熱の一夜. A performance that I honestly don't remember much from. But the next one!! It started with a black-and-white video on the screen, where Tsubasa and Yuma were walking towards Aoyama from different directions and met just outside it. Then they entered together - and Tsubasa entered through the side door, so close to me! They performed 青春アミーゴ - one of my favourite songs ever! I was so happy that they performed it together. Tsubasa sang his solo part while walking towards the right-side aisle. When it was time for Yuma to sing his first solo part he entered through the back of the theatre and walked down the right-side aisle. And then they walked together to the stage where they sang most of the song. Having just the two of them, my two favourites in PLAYZONE, on stage for this particular song, that made me so happy!


The next song, HONEY BEAT, also became a favourite from PLAYZONE. Five guys were wearing these awesome colourful costumes, and part of their performance was with glowsticks and all sorts of stuff that were glowing in the dark! Pretty awesome performance.


And then there was cuuuute Yuma, performing ズッコケ男道 - he had this hilariously weird outfit - white pants, blue and white knitted (?) poncho, sunglasses on his head, and pink poodle shoes! It was so....Osaka! XD But he was so cute, and he even walked around a little among the audience (sadly nowhere near me). And those shoes, and the poncho... I was just like 'awww!' during the whole performance! The juniors were running around among the audience doing highfives and taking people's hands. I wasn't sitting close enough to the aisle, but the girl next to me got to touch one of her favourite juniors, so I was really happy for her!


Then they left the stage, and Tsubasa appeared together with Yara. They performed 青いイナズマ and seemed to have very fun together! But Tsubasa won the first-prize in the category Ugliest pants... Couldn't remember much of the song after the show though.


Maybe because it was followed by yet another awesome cuuuute Yuma performance! Now he was wearing a set of sweatpants and sweatshirt, kind of, and had all of 4U as well as some other guys as backdancers. He performed よく遊びよく学べ which is one of my favourite NYC songs. (I know I'm saying 'favourite' a lot, but that's what it was like - there were sooo many of my favourite songs during this show!) And it was just super cute and super fun and Yuma is so adorable that my heart melts! Especially when he did this pose at the end, I just wanted to run to the stage and hug him:


Next up was フラワー and Tsubasa entered the stage wearing this really nice white and yellow jacket. He and everyone else were walking around among the audience during almost the whole song, doing highfives and waving and smiling. Many of the younger juniors came running by us, and two from 4U - one of them was Matsuzaki and I waved a lot to him, but I'm not sure he noticed me. But he was standing almost right next to my row, singing and clapping his hands.


The next song was a true Yara solo, お祭り忍者. He was standing on a low pillar in the middle of the stage and had a belt on with ropes in it. Around him were juniors dancing in a circle and about half of them had the ropes from Yara fastened in their own belts. It looked sort of like a wheel and Yara was the centre of it. And the background was a festival area. The song was so-so, but the performance itself was pretty cool. At one point Yara jumped down onto the stage, and they turned the lights off and on like flashes, and in each flash they had formed another sort of net with the ropes. In the end, Yara was lifted into the air.


Then 4U entered the stage alone, yay! But...only three of them? Time for a skit! They started singing A・RA・SHI but realized that Matsuzaki was missing. So they started calling for him - and he appeared on the balcony shouting "Matsuzaki is on the second floor!!" We couldn't see him from our row, but we could see the spotlight on him. He stood up there making a lot of noise and making the audience make a lot of noise too. Then I think he mentioned Kokuritsu (another big theatre in Tokyo), but one of the other guys interrupted him and said "This isn't Kokuritsu. It's Aoyama." They asked him to joined them on the stage, but he didn't. So they said, "Okay, let's make it 3U". Matsu said, in a very pleased voice, that "Impossible. Because you can't start without me!"
"Yes, we can!" the others said.
"Can't!""Yes, we can start without you!"
Then Matsu changed his mind and told them he was coming. While waiting for him the others asked if we wanted to join them in a dokkiri. So we practiced saying "woah!" at the same time. They would jump down an hide below the stage, and when Matsu was looking for them they would suddenly jump up and scare him. They hid, Matsu entered the stage saying "Matsuzaki has arrived!" and ran around the stage for a while until he realized he was alone. When he couldn't find them he got really sad, and sobbed "Gomen! Gomen! Minna gomen!" Suddenly Fukuda jumped onto the stage and said that when he heard how much Matsu regretted what he did, he also became regretful. Then Koshioka joined them, and Tatsumi couldn't do anything else than join them too. But he said "What are you doing? We had a plan!" But the others just looked at him, saying "Can't we continue as 4U?" Tatsumi seemed a bit grouchy, but the audience was shouting "4U! 4U!" and clapping their hands so much, so he shouted to us to stop. Then he said "Kore wa 4U da!". And then they performed A・RA・SHI which was a really cool performance.


The next song was 星屑のスパンコール. Tsubasa, Yuma and Yara entered the stage first, dressed in blue suits, and they danced at the top of the stage. Then 4U entered the stage on a level lower, and the rest of the juniors kept entering the stage on yet lower levels until everyone was there. After a while the whole stage became one level, and it ended with everyone standing in groups here and there - Tsubasa at the front, 4U on one side, Yuma with some juniors to the left of Tsubasa, Yara with some juniors to the right of Tsubasa. It was so beautiful and on the screen behind them it said "See you again!" and all I could think of was 'yes, I will be coming back!'


Then they disappeared and on the screen we could see photos and names of everyone who participated. At the same time Tsubasa was thanking us for coming, and talked about this year's show and Travis Payne. After this, it was time for one of the highlights of the show - and I think most of the audience thought the same, because when the intro of Guys PLAYZONE started playing and we could see the stage change, everyone started clapping their hands a bit too fast at first, haha! Then the screen was removed and there was the steel cage/thingy and all the guys dressed in grey and they were climbing and aaaah! All these feelings! Yara and some others started on the floor, dancing. Tsubasa and Yuma and the rest were climbing, and at one point I even held my breath because Yuma was leaning so much out of that cage/whatever-it-is that I was afraid he would fall! The performance was pretty much like the year before, but I liked it just like that! The dance and the hips and the crawling on the floor and everythiiiiing!! It's always the best performance!


Everyone left the stage, but the music continued for some time while we clapped our hands. Then the music changed and the huge white stairs was rolled onto the stage, and Liar started. Tsubasa entered first. Then Yuma and Yara. Then 4U and then the rest of them. It's an instrumental song and they perform it wearing black suits, thanking the audience in groups. Last year they did this song before Guys PLAYZONE. I'm not sure which way I prefer it, but this also worked well. This is sort of a thank-you performance, and it should be the last, shouldn't it? Last year Guys PLAYZONE almost became an encore, but this time it felt more like part of the main show. So I think I liked this set list better.


After Liar, of course they sang the chorus of Guys PLAYZONE again, together with the audience. Then Tsubasa thanked us once again for coming, and introduced everyone again (Matsu pretented to shoot at someone in the first group that was introduced!?), and everyone made the final bow. And then it was over. It was a really really great show!



Set List

Act 1
01. ROAD TO PLAYZONE
02. 仮面舞踏会
03. ケジメなさい
04. ハッとして! Good
05. 100%・・・SOかもね!
06. LOVE YOU ONLY
07. どーしようもない
08. 水の帰る場所
09. 愛・革命
10. まいったネ 今夜
11. STAR LIGHT
12. パラダイス銀河
13. アンダルシアに憧れて

Act 2
14. 情熱の一夜
15. 青春アミーゴ
16. HONEY BEAT
17. ズッコケ男道
18. 青いイナズマ
19. よく遊びよく学べ
20. フラワー
21. お祭り忍者
22. A・RA・SHI
23. 星屑のスパンコール
24. Guys PLAYZONE
25. Liar
 
 
Currently Feeling: accomplishedaccomplished
Currently Listening to: PLAYZONE soundtrack - STAR LIGHT