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21 December 2012 @ 03:04 am
Jingu Gaien Hanabi - Tokyo - August 10, 2012  
I went to a few hanabi (firework festivals) in the summer, and my favourite one was of course the one where I got the chance to combine the amazing fireworks with Japanese friends dressed in yukata, and my favourite singer! Takizawa Hideaki was one of those who entertained on the Johnny's stage during the Jingu Gaien hanabi on the 10th of August. Here's my (uh, not so short) review of that night!

Me and K-chan went together to the festival area and looked for our seats. J-chan couldn't go earlier from work, but she came just in time for the concert, she was lucky! I had decided to clearly show who I supported during the evening, so I brought a Takki uchiwa, pink pom poms, and the penlight from Takki's solo tour – everything put in the shopping bag from Takki's solo tour. And I wasn't the only one – all around me I could see other Takki fans with towels, hair scrunchies, t-shirts, etc from Takki's or Takitsuba's previews tours.

We arrived about an hour before the show started, so we had a lot of time to look for our seats – which actually were pretty good. There was the main stage and then three runways: two reaching out on the sides and one towards the front to a small front stage close to the stands. Our seats were on the last row of the section closest to the left runway, almost at the end of the runway. Because the stage was set up in the middle of the arena, only the stands in front of the stage were used. Behind the stage there were name signs in different coloiurs: On top was Matchy's (Kondou Masahiko) name in red, below to the right was Sexy Zone in pink, and below to the left was Takizawa Hideaki in blue (but the names were written in Japanese, of course). Here's a photo from the fireworks afterwards – then they changed all the names to blue:


While we sat there waiting for the concert to start, the sun started setting behind the edge of the arena and there was this orange light on the stands behind the stage right before the concert started. It was so beautiful! There also was a TV screen where they showed commercials for Sexy Zone's DVD and the Tackey & Tsubasa anniversary events in Tokyo Dome in September, and there was footage from last year's hanabi show when Matchy, Takki and Tegomass participated.

And then it started! The first group was Sexy Zone, and their name was lit on the stands behind the stage. I thought it was a little funny that they got the pink name sign, and not Takki… But then they're younger, so maybe that's the reason? Anyway! They came dancing onto the stage together with a group of juniors. The juniors were dressed in green and white, but Sexy Zone were wearing their red Christmas costumes. I still don't get it how they manage to be on stage wearing those costumes! It looks so terribly hot – we were dressed in summer clothes and were sweating, so what could it have been like for them on the stage??

It was kind of hard to avoid Sexy Zone in Tokyo this summer. They were everywhere, because of earlier single releases, concerts, upcoming DVD release and so on. I say avoid, since I at the time of the hanabi wasn't quite so fond of them, I admit that. That has changed slightly now when I've seen them a few times, but they are still not a group that I feel like staying up-to-date with or "follow". The Jingu Gaien hanabi was the first time I saw them live, and I have to admit that yes, they do have a certain charm and charisma, a youthful happiness that glows around them when they're on stage.


The first song they sang was Sexy Zone, followed by Lady ダイヤモンド which actually is a rather catchy song). Then they sang a song that I didn't recognize (it turned out to be With you). And the next song was the reason why they dressed up in their Christmas costumes: they sang their upcoming single Sexy Summerに雪が降る. After that they jumped up into these carts or whatever which were pushed around among the audience and they sang some new song (キミのため ボクがいる) – and then finally there was a song I recognized, a song that I love! 勇気100%. It's not their song, but it's a song that's very popular among the juniors and younger groups. The first time I heard it was when NYC did a cover of it. Earlier during this evening I had tried to do the furitsuke to Sexy Zone's songs, with mediocre success since I didn't know them before. But when it was time for 勇気100% I happily did all the choreography! Bubbling with happiness of course, since I never in my dreams would have thought I would get the chance to participate in that song during a live concert. It didn't matter that it was Sexy Zone singing it… I love the song, and that was enough for me! During 勇気100% there was a couple of them going past us in their carts at a rather close distance, before they jumped off on the stage again and finished the song, if I remember it correctly. And then Sexy Zone finished their part of the concert with another song that I didn't recognize (I See the Light) and left the stage.



We didn't have to wait for so long until the next part of the concert. Takki's name sign was lit up, and if I had been slightly annoyed by the Sexy Zone fans in front of me earlier, I had to feel a bit ashamed now, because I have a feeling that I was just as loud during this part of the concert as they had been during the previous part of it…

Takki entered the stage together with his dancers (Snow Man) from the solo tour, and his hanabi show was like a sample of the tour. He started out with Words of Love, dressed in the super sparkling black-and-gold costume! Complete with jacket, gloves and sunglasses. I love those clothes so much! Then he sang 894...ハクシ..., and we were given a lot of fantastic dancing (and rap). Snow Man isn't 4U (and they're kind of twice the number of people as 4U, or maybe not quite…) – but they're not bad! Somewhere around here Takki changed clothes, or rather, jacket. I don't remember if it was between Words of Love and 894...ハクシ..., or if it was during or after 894...ハクシ.... But he took off his sparkling jacket, and folded it so carefully… And yes, I do have a picture of that!


He changed into the white vest from the "tough" part of the show. Dressed like that he sang CRAZY GIRL - which again gave him a chance to play around with guns and sound effects… This also amuses me – it's commonly known that Takki hates loud, sudden sounds. Still he chooses to not only have fire effects, but a bunch of gun shots on his solo tour! I mean, it's kind of unavoidable to have pyrotechnics at Johnny's concerts and I guess he's kind of used to it by now. But that he chooses to add a song with gun shots, it's just too funny! Is he maybe trying to cure himself from his fears by exposing himself to the things he hates but on his own conditions? Haha, I don't know.


Anyway, after this song (which is so different from other songs he's sung, but still fits him so well) he jumped up into a cart by the right-hand side runway and kind of disappeared out of sight (but we could see him on the TV screen). I think it was at this point that a lot of juniors came running out onto all of the runways. The song was ホッサマー, and I'm pretty sure I had a bunch of happy juniors right in front of me during that song. Takki jumped off the cart at the middle stage, the one by the stands. There he sang 夢物語, and of course Snow Man joined him so that they could do their crazy funny dance in the middle of it…

Then he jumped up into the cart again. On our side of the stage. And since I had already noticed that the security men had put up an extra fence next to our section I knew, for certain, that he would come right past us. And as if that wasn't enough, he sang one of my favourite songs ever, 山手線外回り! I love the song, I love the furitsuke, I love everything about it. And in the middle of the song the cart came to our section. Unfortunately I was at the wrong end of the row, so I might have been 2 metres away from him, or something like that. Yes, I called out for him. Yes, I jumped up and down and probably looked completely crazy. Yes, I was waving whatever it was I held in my hands right then – pom poms or just the penlight, I have absolutely no memory of what I was holding. I just remember seeing him so close, so close to me. I remember him looking around at the people closest to him, smiling just a little bit, but he seemed to be rather tired and didn't really look far out over the crowd. Then he had passed us and jumped onto the stage again.


Luckily, the last part of the Takki show was filled with upbeat songs, which was perfect for me who was still affected by the adrenaline rush from the Takki-in-the-cart-2-metres-away-from-me-experience. By now he had removed the white vest and only wore the sparkling black tank top. He sang REAL DX (to the audience's delight), followed by シャララ (to my delight). And then he sang ラブ・スパイラル (of course with the opening "se~no!"), with a bunch of juniors on the stage again – I think it was during this song they stood there waving huge flags and there was a junior right in front of me who had some trouble with how he was supposed to wave his flag? haha – and then it was suddenly over. And I was prepared for that since it's a common ending song, so I made sure to enjoy it to the fullest, and there was a lot of happiness on the stage as well. It's just that kind of song, really – you can't help but get happy when you hear it!

Then it was Matchy's turn to enter the stage. But he didn't get it to himself, oh no! He started to sing MOTTO on his own, but after half the song he was joined by both Sexy Zone and Takki (who by now had changed into white pants, white tank top with sparkling stones on it, and black-and-red checkered shirt). I can still see it before my eyes, how Takki and Matchy stood beside each other, almost yelling "Motto! Motto! Motto, motto!" It was so great to see them together! After this first song there was a short MC, which I don't really remember anything from… But I think it was here that a group of kids entered the stage, unfortunately I didn't understand who they were or why they were there, but I think that maybe Sexy Zone gave them something, and they all stood there for a while, chatting. And Takki was smiling so much during this section! You know that smile where he wrinkles his whole face? My favourite smile! Then they all sang again. The second song (ケジメなさい) was a rock song (okay MOTTO also was, but I remember it more clearly from ケジメなさい), and Takki was so cute! At the front of the main stage there were some loudspeakers, and he put his foot on one of them and was just really rocking it during almost the whole song. So cute!! Okay, it feels kind of wrong to call him cute when he tried to be tough and cool – but that's what he was, haha!


Then the young people went off the stage and Matchy got some time to shine on his own. He was very simply dressed, but it still looked very stylish: white knee-length pants, grey (slightly checkered or striped, I think?) sleeveless shirt, and some kind of tie. Sadly I have to admit that I didn't recognize any of his songs (so I have looked them up after the show), since I have never listened to him. But he's quite alright. I won't probably go looking for his albums, but he pulled off a great show and he has a very nice voice. He sang ふられてBANZAI and then 目覚めろ!野性 - and at the end of that one he got company again… By both Sexy Zone and Takki, again! Sexy Zone introduced themselves (as if that was neccessary?) and then of course they came up with the subject of age, since the age difference between all these singers is so huge. Takki commented on their name Sexy Zone and asked how old they are? "The youngest one of you is like 13, right? You're just kids!" And he added that when he was 13 he just started in the Johnny's Jr… But they countered well: "Takizawa-kun, aren't you like 50?" Which of course made Takki protest: "30! I'm 30!" And then Matchy, 48, joined the discussion… I didn't really understand so much of what he was saying, but apparently he joked a lot because there was a lot of people laughing at him…

After that, Matchy sang ミッドナイト・シャッフル and スニーカーぶる〜す, ハイティーン・ブギ and 夕焼けの歌. Somewhere during this part of the show, there was an older guitarist who appeared on the stage, apparently the two of them had worked together at the time of Matchy's debut or something like that. And that guitarist was good!

And then everyone entered the stage again together with the female presenter, and they talked a little about the hanabi. They mentioned that this was the second time for Takki to be here at the Jingu Gaien hanabi, but that it's the first time for Sexy Zone. And then everyone in Sexy Zone got to introduce themselves by name (to give the audience another chance of screaming, or what??). Finally they said that they hope to be back again next year, and then it was time for the fireworks. Takki and the others did the countdown together with all of the audience, and then they went down the middle runway and got off the stage by the stands. When it comes to the fireworks, all I can say is wow! They were amazing! I have quite a lot of photos of them, but none that really do them justice. They shot the fireworks right outside the venue where we were sitting, so it was really right above us! I don't know how long it lasted, but at least one hour. Then it got dark, and quiet. But it wasn't quiet for very long, because the audience started shouting for encores…

And we got encores! First we got an extra firework show accompanied by music – first there was a Matchy song, then Sexy Zone, ホッサマー and I think they ended this section with another Matchy song (it was just music, no one was singing). It was sooo awesome, just fantastic! Then they all entered the stage again, and now all of Sexy Zone had changed into normal casual clothes. First they all sang Venus, and then two Matchy songs (ミッドナイト・シャッフル again, and ブギンギラギンにさりげなく). After that it was officially over. And me and my friends and new friends (I think we were like 5 people) went to a restaurant where we spent the rest of the evening eating delicious dinner and chatting about Takki – because of course we were all Takki fans… And what I remember with most happiness from the concert is Takki's smile, which I will share here!




Sexy Zone corner
01. Sexy Zone
02. Lady ダイヤモンド
03. With you
04. Sexy Summerに雪が降る
05. キミのため ボクがいる
06. 勇気100%
07. I See the Light
Takki corner
08. Words of Love
09. 894...ハクシ...
10. CRAZY GIRL
11. ホッサマー
12. 夢物語
13. 山手線外回り
14. REAL DX
15. シャララ
16. ラブ・スパイラル
Matchy corner
17. MOTTO
MC
18. ケジメなさい
19. ふられてBANZAI
20. 目覚めろ!野性
21. ミッドナイト・シャッフル
22. スニーカーぶる〜す
23. ハイティーン・ブギ
24. 夕焼けの歌
MC & fireworks
Encore
25. Venus
26. ミッドナイト・シャッフル
27. ブギンギラギンにさりげなく