Tuesday, 19 November 2013

[LIVE A LIVE] 桃井はるこ, らめる, 桜川ひめこ, 森永まみ, でんぱーてぃ

桃井はるこ Friday Night Gig - TGIF-

My work schedule is pretty flexible, but not as much as it used to be, so I was pretty rushed to make it in time to see Momoi Haruko on a weeknight.... And to make things even worse, when I was partway there I realized... I had forgotten my TICKET!! I started to head back home, but I realized it was futile... As usual, I was pretty strapped for cash... So I had to give up on buying ANY goods and instead put that money towards buying a 2nd ticket... Good thing it wasn't sold out at least!

This time I was able to get a set list for once - here's my comments on MOST of the songs. Not all, cause this is already long enough!!

I managed to arrive at the doors just as this song started - perfect timing! One of Momoi's best songs in recent years, and as expected the audience was lit up in bright green.
Considering how much I enjoyed Kawaii Jenny, I was psyched to hear this song again.
Always a fun and wild song to hear live, and one of my favorites.
4.Live Alive
The audience still doesn't seem quite decided on what color to use for this song. At the Angya live, the official pen lights were yellow, so most fans assumed this would be a yellow song. However, during the MC at that live, Momoi had revealed the pen light color was a mistake and she hadn't actually wanted yellow...! Some people stuck with yellow, others with pink or other various colors. (Pink for me.) Also, the song title sure sounds familiar... Hmm... (Actually, I thought of the name for this column before this song came out.)
Momoi first sang this song last year at her Angya live, and I really enjoyed it. Based on imagery from the title "kite", the crowd becomes full of blue lights representing the sky. (A few other colors here and there could probably be seen as flying kites!) This song has yet to be released on any CD, but Momoi hinted the song might be included in an upcoming album.

Some neat TGIF themed flowers from fans

~Friday corner~
Momoi sat down and said she wasn't sure what the call the next part, because it wasn't quite acoustic and she didn't want the audience to be completely silent. She said she'd call it "Friday Corner" instead.

What!?! Super rare song, and also super great song. She said some of the concert staff questioned her if the title was actually correct. It was lovely to hear in the acoustic style, though I still would like to hear the original someday too. Most people went with a blue light to match the swimwear choice.
9.Let me Love You
10.Chuo Line
Beautiful orange, beautiful song. One of my favorite ballads from Momoi.
One of Momoi's best denpa style songs took on a completely different mood when sung acoustic style... Yet somehow, it worked very well. The only downside was it was hard to time the calls, and the "tai tai tatai!" part was mostly omitted. This song marked the end of the acoustic corner.

Momoi's most recent denpa song had the audience going wild, including me. Apparently this song has a dance associated with it, but me (and apparently most of the crowd) weren't familiar with it. Unfortunately, this song is from the theatrical play version of Yowamushi Pedal, so now that the anime's out, most new fans won't be familiar with this song and only know the one used in the anime! (That one, sung by none other than Tamura Yukari, is good too.. But I prefer Momoi's.)

Are you serious?? Momoi kept on breaking out the ultimate songs for a denpa / moe song lover like me. The show this is from, Lovely Idol, recently started being available on Nico Nico Douga and I had just watched the first episode a few days before the live. Ok, I admit the show is terrible... But the song is great!

14.Party Love 〜おっきくなりたい〜
Cue the crowd going totally bonkers! As far as I know, this was the first time Momoi herself sang this famous song she wrote for the popular series RO-KYU-BU.

At this point, Momoi was getting hot and "cast off" her jacket, just like a mecha figure may "cast off" some parts. Leading into:
Kinda underrated Akiba Ranger song in my opinion, so I was glad she sang it. I like the lyrics a lot.
16.アキバレンジャー シーズン痛!
17.がんばれ・・・それは、I Love You
One of my favorite "cool" songs from Momoi, I love to hear it live.
19.music as muse
Fun song which features the audience being lit up in a rare purple (with a flash of orange too!)
21.Hide and Seek
Another oldie but goodie with lots of good call and response from the audience.
As always, everybody went crazy for LOVE.EXE, complete with the usual "merry go round" move of everybody circling around in the audience. Really fun and wild. Very unfortunately, at this point I had to LEAVE!! One of my friends wanted to be on YouTube's Dempagumi.inc special contest for the top foreign fan together, so I had to rush off to join him. Of course, that was still fun too! (Even if I didn't answer a single question!)

Reportedly, the encore was as follows:
en1.Invisible Things (New song. And I missed it! Arg!)

After the Dempagumi show ended, I rushed back even though Momoi's live had ended. Why? Cause the fans had organized an all night DJ event as an after party! The only rule was each DJ has to include at least 1 Momoi song in their set list. I missed the start of the event, but what I was there for was super fun. The venue was fairly small and probably didn't have enough seats considering most people were pretty tired after going crazy for Momoi, but somehow it all worked out. Most of the DJs included lots of Momoi songs, but there was good variety. Fellow doujin music blogger Clix was one of the DJs, and before the event I joked with him, trying to think of the most obscure Momoi songs I could, and said "You're gonna play that hand washing song, aren't you?" and much to my surprise, I was right! (I wonder if any of the earlier DJs played カエル☆ミラクル?)  Another highlight was one DJ who focused on playing classic anime songs. Since the audience was full of Momoists, of course they did otagei even to these old songs. Everyone went crazy especially when the My  Neighbor Totoro ending played, it was really fun and surreal. Finally, the last song came on: 始発に乗って, which is about catching the first train in the early AM (...to go to Comiket.) Pretty fitting as everyone was about to catch the first train to go home! Everyone got together and made a congo line, mimicking a train, but there was just way too many people... so two circles formed, one inside the other, each going in opposite directions... just like Tokyo's Yamanote Line. (I realize half our readers aren't gonna get that... but if you've been around Tokyo much, it's really funny!! Just take my word for it!)

I had been pretty unsure of what this live would be like considering Momoi hadn't come out with a new album since her previous solo concert, so what the heck would the set list be like? But in the end, I had nothing to worry about - this just meant she could sing lots of fan favorites and rare songs without having to squeeze in all the new songs too. Also, unlike her previous solo concert in Tokyo, this was a standing live, so the crowd was much more lively, and this time had better costumes too. Since I moved to Japan, I might have spread out my concert visits over a ton of different artists, but Momoi's lives are still always worth checking out.

Also, here's a report with some nice photos.

『Fantastic☆Link-ありがとうワンマンライブ-』- らめる

Earlier in the year, Rameru had participated in a contest called 天下一音楽会, where she competed for a chance to perform at Zepp Tokyo. While she didn't win, she put up a great fight and surely gained many new fans in the process, and held this live as thanks for all those who supported her: anyone who attended her lives for the contest was let in for free! And if you didn't attend any of them, it was still only 1000 yen, a great deal. Compared to her last solo live, the turn out seemed bigger, and the venue was also nicer.

Unfortunately, I waited WAY too long to write this report, and so my memory of the track list and other details are pretty hazy now... Though they were pretty hazy in the first place, cause honestly, I was just SO in the moment during this live - she is just tooooo cute!! I don't think any other live has put me so deeply into moe-mode. Rameru really has the full package - she's cute, funny, and talented at singing, lyrics, and drawing. She first appeared in a kimono and sang 白金ディスコ from the Bakemonogatari series. Love the original, and loved her version! She had several other costume changes, including a SUPER cute dress with a purin motif. Sadly, she forgot to take a photo of it, so for now only a drawing version exists.

My cruddy photo of the poster drawing of the purin dress

The guest was マエハラユミ, one of her fellow performers from the 天下一音楽会. Her musical style was quite different than what I'm used to - a fairly mellow singer-songwriter. But her musical style mixed well with Rameru's, and their collaboration was very enjoyable. It seems like Rameru must make friends wherever she goes regardless of musical style, since she also seemed to get along well with her neighbor at M3 who was a violin player.

Nicely decorated venue
Of course she sang all of the fan favorites, including my personal favorite, ふらいんぐらびっと!, where the audience bounces left and right along with her, and ジュラーフグラフ where everyone does arm movements to mimic a giraffe's neck. いつでも笑顔で大丈V and By.デタラメナセカイ were two other great crowd pleasing songs with their own fun movements. For the most part, the crowd didn't use glowsticks, but during the encore the crowd broke out in lovely yellow - though some laughs were also had because one of the posters on the stage fell down during the encore!

Afterwards, it was time for goods sales, with one of the goods being especially notable.. (to me, anyway...!) She had a set of pins which she asked friends to draw, including one by me!! I had done the drawing earlier as a gift for her, and she asked if she could put it on a button, and of course I said yes! It the first time I had one of my drawings on a pin... Pretty exciting to  have Rameru's pin be my first one!!

Sadly, I had to rush out pretty quickly to make it in time for...

Square Sounds 2013 

OK, not really a denpa event overall, so I'm gonna be super brief. I worked the goods table at this event, where chibi-tech's album also first went on sale (and I drew the cover!) Both days featured lots of awesome performers, but I'm gonna let a few videos / pics speak for the chaos. If you're interested, there's lots more footage out there on YouTube to check out!

Spoilers.. the mystery was chibi-tech.... And she was awesome.

A_Rival's CDs

Chibi's CD for sale!


Sakuragawa Himeko has had a long career with plenty of twists and turns. I'm a relative late comer - I was always vaguely aware of her but I wasn't a fan in particular until I saw her live, which unfortunately was right before she went on a long hiatus. Now she's back, made her own production company known as "idolop!" and is being produced by galgame company Circus president Tororo Dancho. This was her 2nd solo live under his guidance, but I missed the first one due to being sick. I became a fan at apparently one of the rarest times to become one, so I didn't have any of her old CDs and only a couple of the new ones, but thankfully, Tororo produced a CD collecting all her most popular songs in short versions and distributed it for free so new fans could still be familiar with all of her songs, and old fans could catch up on the new stuff too. A brilliant idea! (Though I wish they also offered online listening of it.. but I guess you can't have everything.)

The live was quite glamorous, from the stage to the costumes. Himeme designed the costumes herself based on the theme of sweets, and they were super cute. I actually gave in and bought her photo book hoping to have pics of them, though sadly not all were featured in the book! But still a very cute book. The audience was structured somewhat unusually - in the front to the left was all girls. (I was shuffled to this area too.) In the front in the middle was all children - likely from when Himeme worked in childcare during her hiatus. To the right in the front were seats for the children's parents and other staff and friends. Then, behind those groups were the other fans. I honestly didn't want to be so far in the front, cause since I'm still a relatively new fan, I didn't know all of the calls well. It was hard for me to gauge the audience too well during the earlier parts of the live due to this, but it was funny to see the kids dancing around or being entranced by her performance.

Fan made call sheets and official sticker

The live featured narration during the costume changes in the form of a galge styled video of Himeme in search of a "moe cake" she had heard about. After trying lots of different places, she finally figured it out... Around this time, she warned the kids that they should go to their parents now cause everyone's gonna rush up to the stage now. The kids were confused but went aside. The video continued as she tried making her own moe cake, but still felt something was missing... then she realized it needed strawberries to make it perfect. Looking out onto the fans, she saw them all in bright red shirts - the live was the cake and the fans were all the red strawberries to make this the perfect moe cake... All we needed was some icing. Her warning to the kids was not unwarranted: for the next song she came out in a cute red dress and white apron, with icing bags on the sides of her head and icing drops on her shoulders, toting an oversized icing bag in her hand. A strange tension came over the audience... she couldn't... she wouldn't.... But yes, she did! As the song played, she squeezed the bag and coated the audience in some mysterious white icing-like foam!! It was super surreal, and super hilarious. Despite my position near the front, I actually didn't get close enough to get any squirted on me, but it was all over the floor so I picked up a dab and put it on my glowstick. Maybe she avoided the girls out of politeness. Anyway, when the next song came on, Himeme had trouble controlling her laughter while looking at the audience, some of whom had their entire heads coated. Another really fun and funny song is 「ワープ」, where instead of traditional kecha style otagei move where the audience waves their arms forward, Himeme calls out based on Son Goku's famous line from DBZ オラに力をわけてくれ!! as the audience raises their arms to lend power to her moe genki-dama.

My glowstick with the 'icing' on top!

The songs and costume changes continued, including the new rap-style song "moeのキューサイン" which was included on her new album - her first best of album which includes a whopping 16 songs. She actually messed up her MC and skipped a song, which was funny in it's own way as she crammed it in towards the end. Towards the end she also talked about how she was so glad to have Tororo Dancho as her producer now. She had explained before after her hiatus how she was scouted to be an idol and was doing what she was told more than actually expressing herself, which is what made her want to start her own production company and find her own way. She said now with Tororo's support and the freedom he gave her, she could do this live exactly how she wanted, and she was so happy to be able to finally do things her way.

During the encore, she came out in a sparkly fancified version of her outfit from her most famous song, アキバに行くのん!, which looked fabulous. Overall, the live was great fun, and I got to hear all my favorites of her songs, plus pick up on some new ones to like too. (By the way, my favorite is still definitely still めろんしちゃって☆, which she made along with Koike Masaya himself.) I quickly snatched up her best of CD along with the photobook as a set. To my surprise, she wasn't working the goods booth herself... But in fact was waiting by the exit, thanking each fan individually with a handshake, regardless of if they bought anything or not. Wow! You can tell she is really trying to get her name back out there, and I hope it goes well for her in the future.

森永まみ Mamipyon Planet 4 ~悪戯~

Morinaga Mami continued the annual tradition of holding a live for her birthday for the 4th time, this time with the live falling on the exact date of her birthday too! Before the concert began, tension was high as the fans lined up outside preparing their birthday surprises for Mamipyon. A few idols I had never seen before came out and started handing out flyers to everyone lined up, only to be told to leave by Mamipyon's manager. I had thought they were with the staff, but apparently they were just trying to target idol fans any way they could! Gotta admire their ambition!

Inside, the venue looked smaller than last time, though the crowd as actually probably larger.. Just that last year's venue was probably a bit over sized. This time was a nice snug fit with just the right amount of elbow room. I had a big surprise when I went in and looked at the goods table: the drawing I'd given to Mamipyon at her Himitsu Kichi event was hanging up on the goods table! Awesome!! Also, Rameru was in attendance and came up to me to say hi. So nice!!

The theme of this live was 悪戯, which means tricks or pranks... And this live was full of them! After her first song, Mamipyon announced she was going to sing a "super short" medley, and the intro for Tornado started playing. The crowd as in shock - how is she going to sing her most famous song so early? Mami saw everyone's expressions and called out "Hey, you can just cheer like normal!" and everyone got into the mood... Only to have the song stop immediately after the intro without Mamipyon singing a single word and going straight into the next intro. The whole crowd collapsed in disbelief and laughter as this continued through several intros. She did a great job of trolling the audience with this one.

The overall story of the live was introduced with Mamipyon as a guide taking the fans on a trip to her home planet, Mamipyon Planet. However, Tarirariran aliens were running wild and playing tricks on everyone so she had to cancel the tour. But out of nowhere, "Mamissy" appeared and got rid of all the Tarirariran aliens. This is probably pretty confusing if you're not familiar with Funassy, the unofficial mascot of the city of Funabashi who has been getting crazy popular all over Japan lately. (I have to admit, I'm a fan too. He's really funny!) Funassy (who insists on using that rather unfortunate spelling of his name in English...) is famous for his weird voice and crazy jumping movements, walking the fine line between gross and cute. He claims to be a "pear fairy" and is well loved now despite creeping everyone out at first. Mamissy, on the other hand, claimed to be a "sexual harassment" fairy... and is basically Mamipyon in a Funassy costume that is a tight fitting yellow outfit with a blue shirt on top like Funassy's, and a stem on her head.... Somehow, she still looked really cute in this ridiculous outfit. Anyway, Mamipyon used this alter ego to show off her goofy side to the max, jumping and squealing  around like crazy, and also getting touchy feely with all the guests, most of whom didn't seem to actually mind that much and were just vaguely confused as Mamipyon reminded them they're supposed to be getting mad at her. Enough funny awkwardness to make Funassy proud, I think.

The first guests were fellow Marvel Yell girls Kotomyu and Manonya. Their alter egos for their unit seemed silly to me at first when I first saw them at a different live and they kept speaking in basically baby talk, but they're just so funny I ended up loving their shtick, which involves Manonya being mostly silent as Kotomyu tries in vain to get her to introduce herself properly. This time Manonya came out with a Santa hat on, and Kotomyu was admonishing her not only for the fact that this was Mamipyon's birthday and not Christmas, but also that she clearly bought the hat at the dollar store. Eventually Manonya lifted up the back of the hat revealing she had especially written "happy birthday" for the occasion which was a really funny twist. They also gave out candy, with Manonyan throwing super hard and pelting the audience. I didn't expect one since i was crouched down in the first row, but she actually bent down and handed one right to me. Kotomyu tried to do the same to a fan on the other side of the stage only to be snubbed by him! Really funny. After one song, Mamissy joined them and they sang together as TEAM雪月花.

The other guest idols were 七瀬由紀子 and Candy Go! Go!, all of whom were representing Shibuya, where the live was held. As a continuation of the prank theme, Mamipyon put cat ears on them all to transform them into Akiba-kei idols. Some of the girls in Candy Go! Go! resisted by wearing them sideways like a mohawk, hanging them off their belt, or sticking onto their waist.. But eventually all gave in... for a short time at least. Their lives were really high energy and enjoyable even though I wasn't familiar with their songs. They performed 3 songs each, with one song being a collaboration with Mamipyon... I'm sorry, I mean Mamissy.

Mamipyon's OTHER alter ego (wow, she has a lot doesn't she?), ポピーザPaフォーマー, came out and performed two of her crazy experimental songs. She wore her usual long light haired wig and a new bright pink outfit which was really cute. Afterwards she got a phone call from Mamissy, who apparently is her friend. After she found out all the tricks Mamissy was up to, she blasted her over the phone line and peace was restored to the live once again.

The real Mamipyon returned and treated us to her new song あめのよる while wearing a new punk-rock looking outfit. The song is also very cool and rock-ish, quite different from what she's sang before, but an interesting change of pace. After a few more songs, we got to watch her new PV for her song カレーライスは飲み物です which featured Mamipyon in an indian themed costume appearing to feed the other Marvel Yell girls curry when they are about to faint from hunger. She also had a cute yellow dress with a curry decoration on the waist. Fairly low production values as usual, but funny and cute as always, and the cameos of the other Marvel Yell girls were nice as well.

Next was the band portion, which took quite a while to set up due to some technical issues when the live was already running behind schedule. I wonder if they had to cut any songs from the set list? Anyway, it was great to see Mamipyon with a full band, and the band was very funny and played along when Mamipyon pranked them by making them wear bunny ears by tossing them off or reaching to take them off when she looked away. Although this live was mostly goofy, Mamipyon was still getting emotional during the MC bits during this part, but held back tears saying it wasn't time for that yet - but I could clearly see her shed some during the "last" song, ヒ☆カ☆リ, which had a new line added for the new version to be used in her first mini album:  映画でかかったやつ。 which means "the ones played during the movie." Why does it have this title? Because Mamipyon was an actress in the movie ゲバルト, based on the manga of the same name, and some of her songs were used in the movie. Unlike most of her CDs, this one is released from a record label and is even available online via amazon! It's really good, so pick it up... hint hint.

After she left the stage, Kotomyu and Manonyan returned with a birthday cake and the crowd began the encore cheer, in "Momoi style" where the crowd shouts "We wanna see Mamipyon again! Again! Again!" Mamipyon came out and was so happy to see the cake, and everyone sang happy birthday. Some fans had prepared party poppers to set off when she blew on the candles, but Kotomyu popped hers off too early and so the synchronization was a little off, but still a success! Then the fans gave her flowers, message books, and most surprisingly, a giant synthesizer! Mamipyon writes her own lyrics and sometimes composes too, but she said now she'll try to make her own arrangement too using the synthesizer. Personally, I can't wait to hear what she comes up with! Next came the real final song, which of course was Tornado. Somehow, I  never get tired of that song.

Overall, a really funny and fun live. If I had to be critical, I would say her previous one man live was better, simply cause it felt like she had more songs. I love the humor, don't get me wrong... But it could have used one or two more songs. Still, her previous solo live is probably one of my top 5 lives ever, so that's pretty hard to beat.


An unusual and small denpa song only all night DJ club event. When I say small, I mean the majority of the attendees were also the DJs! But, this was by design - more of a fun get together of a group of fans than a big event. Considering the DJs were a line up of hardcore denpa fans, the set lists contained tons of obscure songs, and there were lots of wild reactions from the crowd. By the way, I was a DJ at this event too! I've actually been doing DJ here and there lately, but unfortunately there are just not a lot of denpa song events, so most of them don't qualify for a report on this site. Anyway, it was quite fun, although once the event got rolling the venue staff seemed thoroughly weirded out, and were also really strict about the volume not getting too loud. It was nice that they offered food even for an all night event though.

DJ 小粋なねこさん has shared his mix from the event here if you're looking for a taste of what was played: https://soundcloud.com/neko3x7qzg2/1-mix

That about wraps it up for this time! I skipped so many details and didn't have any set listings except for Momoi's, yet it's still this long!

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