Sunday, 1 June 2008

MOSAIC.WAV: Before and after the Live [updated]

[updated 06/08/08] As expected, アキバ総研 have posted a live report, complete with superb pictures. That last one is particularly breath-taking, but it's also good to see what kind of costumes were used. It looks as though even Koike-Aniki took part, as he can be seen wearing... a funny hat of some sort. His sunglasses though? He sleeps with them on. And Kayamori-san's usagi-mimi hat? Don't forget he is the rabbit on all of the "Amusement Pack" drama tracks. Other than the pictures, the reporting is a bit dry and offers no interesting tidbits about the live performance itself, reactions from the crowd, etc. But they do have a Shiren 3 launch article! If SEGA's reading this: English version! NAO!!

[original] Reports and reviews of MOSAIC.WAV's second live have just started to make their way online, but before we get to that, there were some extremely interesting pre-concert articles that escaped my attention.


The first of two articles from アキバ総研 is an interview with Susumu Kayamori and Mi~ko, about a month before the concert. They start by expressing their surprise at selling out their first show within one day. In true Japanese nature, they expressed chagrin at not being able to perform for all of their fans, which obviously led them to choose a much larger capacity hall the second time around. When asked what lessons were learned from the first live, smoother flow and improved stage choreography were noted, as well as using a broader range of songs from their vast catalogue, to cater to fans of all "eras". They also discuss their new single, explaining that the song was intentionally made wacky-sounding to reflect the complex life of Kyouka-sama. Finally, they touch on the subject of electronic music played with real instruments. They convene that in some cases, the songs will sound completely different than on CD and although live mistakes are to be expected, the extra "punch" of live instruments totally makes up for any possible slip-ups.

The same website struck the iron while it was hot and managed to sneak into Club Citta for a rehearsal preview. This one will be interesting for fans of UNDER17 as it features some insight into the mind of the Dark Wizard of JPop guitar himself, lord Masaya Koike. But equally interesting are pictures of the newly-formed live band hard at work, complete with a drummer and bass player. Mi~ko kicks off the interview by stating that even though the venue is much larger, the spirit of Akiba Pop is untouched: for the fans by the fans. Then they touch back on the fact that the sound of the live will be fundamentally different that what can be heard on their CDs. The new arrangements are powerful, and Koike-san states that only with a live band can songs be brought to life at a concert. Kayamori-san then jokes that this statements implies that his keyboard position is at stake. Of course, MOSAIC.WAV would not be the same band if it wasn't for the wacky electronics, but they agree that the additional live elements will considerably enhance their music. But then their interviewer presses the band with a real issue: won't the constantly rapid tempo used by MOSAIC.WAV be difficult to reproduce live with said instruments? Yes, it's hell, they laughingly admit. They consider songs like "Love Cheat!" and "Amusement Pack" to be of violent Punk Rock caliber, with sweet Moe qualities of course. But they worked really hard at getting those down, as well as carefully selected new costumes, so they urge the fans to look forward to the performance... which leads us to:


The first place to have a report is also the least informative, but is arguably the most fun to read. Mi~ko states on her blog that her back hurts like hell, and that she will be sleeping Sunday all day to let her sore muscles heal! She also apologizes for not being able to meet all of her numerous fans. Just after waking up (girl is a diligent blogger) she mentions that she has more presents from her fans than she could possibly imagine. She wishes to thank the lighting technician, who did a good timing job. Finally, she hopes that fans enjoyed the varied set list they came up with.

Masaya Koike actually showed some emotion on his blog, with signs now pointing at him not being just an über-cool extraterrestrial with soldered-on sunglasses, but rather an everyday, futsu human being with supernatural guitar skills. In a first entry, he profusely thanks the fans who shouted his name and sang along to all the songs. This surge of adrenaline made it possible for him to endure the scorching heat on stage, brought forward by the lighting system (I know what that's like, aniki!) But then in a second entry, he admits that while the breaking up of UNDER17 made him extremely sad to the point of crying, it gave him the opportunity to work with Susumu Kayamori and Mi~ko, which he considers two of the best people on earth! Such a beautiful story... so why won't they join forces on a permanent basis?

Little by little, fan reviews have begun to pop up and with them, the setlist:

1.We Love "AKIBA-POP"!! [NEW TAKE]
3.Pain Paint Car
13.アキバ in ワンダーランド
14.Nursery Time
15.Amusement Pack
18.光のエレメント~for"We Love AKIBA-POP"~
19.Love Cheat!

The biggest surprise here is that they performed the Naoko-san songs, even though it was slightly hinted at in the first pre-live interview. 百合星人ナオコサン is by far one of the better singles you've never heard, so it's awesome to see the band giving this song some recognition. Surely the hardcore fans reacted accordingly, but the fact remains that even in Japan, the CD is absolutely impossible to find. Meaning that despite the song being brutally powerful, it is likely one of their least popular due to lack of exposure.

Onto the fans review. This one has a picture of a fan-made call book that was distributed prior to the show, along with a picture of an area where loving fans could deposit their gifts. As you can see, it is covered with flowers from the legion of Mi~ko suitors. The person says that this is the best live he has ever been to! Another, more voluble, fan describes his brave tale of waiting in line under the rain for 2 hours to get access to the live goods before they'd disappear. He was the 900th to get in, and was a bit bothered by some people who, according to him, didn't know how to behave at a live. While the lighting was highly appreciated, this show-goer wishes that the volume of the vocals were higher. A third fan report includes answers to an enquete (アンケート is Japanese for questionnaire, believe it or not) that was handed out to fans. Among other things, MOSAIC.WAV wanted its fans to rate the performance, state which live song was their favorite, what aspect could be improved, how interesting the live goods were, etc. Now I've played and attended hundreds of concerts in my life, but I've never heard of such a thing as surveys being passed around after shows. Is this common practice in Japan?

Of course, there should be an entry on the official Live Info list within the coming days, as well as another article on Akiba Reasearch Institute, who certainly seem to enjoy covering them as much as Denpa no Sekai does. But of course, this is your only source of English-language information for all things MOSAIC.WAV-related, so please look forward to exclusive material in the future.

Thanks to アキバ総研 for the pictures.

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