The one show I had fervently hoped we’d get into on this tour was the Joshi (women) only show, just because there was no telling what Kiiyan and e-zuka might have planned. They could be as vulgar as with the guys, or they could come out and be perfect gentlemen. Either way, we knew the show would be memorable.
Judging by Kiiyan’s tweets, and those of the Rodeo Girls I follow, they were certainly raunchy enough during the guys only show on Saturday. And Kiiyan … directed the Rodeo Girls who were watching the live on Nico Nico to sit naked, seiza style in front of their PCs. (Wonder who obeyed!) But he had nothing to say prior to the Sunday show.
We were up plenty early (I was awake by 5:30 after going to bed after 2:00), but moving slowly because the rain outside wasn’t encouraging. But by time we left, it had stopped raining, thankfully.
At the station, we ran into a Rodeo Girl who was very, very surprised to see us. She came over for a moment to express her surprise and say hello, then went to another part of the platform. Took us a little over an hour to get to the Zepp, so we were there just after 10:00. And holy cow the line seemed long. We were waaaaaaaaay down the street. And I mean way far back, like if you had ticket 2,000+. We lamented our decision to not hurry, and got in line, hoping it wouldn’t rain. On our way to our spot, I saw the Rodeo Boy from Osaka, and Nancy reminded me he’s the guy who seems to know everyone. Heh. Well, now he knows one of the kaigai fans. He nodded, I waved. Once we were in line, I sat down to put on socks. While I was attending to that, one of my Twitter followers, who was pretty much dressed as Kiiyan!banchou walked by. She said something, but not so much directed at me, but perhaps because of me. I didn’t think too much about it, other than that she was dressed pretty cool.
Around 11, I ducked into the Venus Fort mall for a restroom, a bag for my present for Kiiyan (a letter I had slaved over for a week, and a nice 4 pack of Hakata Ramen) and some snacks for us. Came outside and couldn’t find Nancy at first because they’d really compressed the line and we were much closer to the Zepp. Being that much closer still meant another almost 3 hours in line, during which time the day shirts and Gina horns headband sold out. Ah well. But by around 1:45, we had what we wanted, my gift had been left for Kiiyan, and we went in search of food. We ended up at a little cafe in the Venus Fort which is aimed at dog owners. So many cute doggies to look at while we ate….
Back outside and back in line by 2:30ish. Our tickets were at the tail end of the 1-1000 group, but we were still inside really quickly. I told Nancy I was planning to head to e-zuka’s side of the stage and she came along with me. I found a spot near the railing probably 10-15 rows back, with only one row of people between us and the railing and a great view of the stage. We prepared to settle in, and as I looked around, I realized one of the two people in front of us was the RG from outside. She was wearing shades and a mask, but she recognized me instantly and I heard her tell her friend that I was the foreign fan who had been at Sendai and Kumamoto – the foreign fan living in Fukuoka. Her friend was suitably impressed. I was amused. But then she called out to some RG closer to the stage, gestured at me and they turned and waved like mad at me. Whoa. I was a bit taken aback, but happy for the welcome, so I waved back.
We bided our time, waiting for the start. More and more people came in (Zepp Tokyo holds 2700). Ever so often the RG would disappear and then reappear with a bunch of girls in tow. Her crew, I guess. It got rather crowded in our area and I was beginning to worry. But then, on one of her forays to fetch RG, something amusingly strange happened. Usually right as the lights go down, there’s a surge forward and towards the middle, as everyone jockeys for the best position possible. I have always been at the front of that surge, or, more rarely, in the middle or way behind it. This was the first time seeing it from the side and it made those of us watching just crack up. It was like someone on stage around Kiiyan’s microphone stand had turned a vacuum on the crowd and was sucking Rodeo Girls to the middle front of the floor. All of a sudden, we had tons of room around us. Nancy, myself and two of the RG’s friends just gawked and laughed and said we’d be glad to stay right where we were.
After she came back the last time, the RG turned to her friend, coaxing her closer, and gestured for me to move up to take a railing spot (!). I did so gratefully, bringing Nancy right behind me. She also made sure my bag was set beyond the barrier, out of harm’s way. I felt as if I’d been adopted, which was kind of a nice feeling. Another of her friends told me her friend was in the U.S. at college, but couldn’t remember where. A couple of minutes before show time, the RG led about 10 of us in a rousing version of “What time is it? Show time, fuuuuuuu!” I guess we amused the lighting crew, because they flashed the lights when we finished. Heh.
During this time, while the sound checks were happening, we began to notice that the roadies all had on brightly colored wigs – pink, yellow, blue. And the guy who brought out Kiiyan’s microphone stand? French maid outfit, all the way (he got some serious love from the crowd). So my hopes were up we’d get Lovely Stupid (the … all-“girl” Granrodeo cover band who first showed up at the Otoko Matsuri show 5 years ago)
And sure enough, when the lights went down and came back up, an announcer said “From Cow High School – Lovely Stupid!” and out came all four of them in high school uniforms of sorts (plaid skirts, white shirts, vests, ties) and wigs. Everyone took their spots except Kiiyan – er, Kishomi – who slung one of Zukami’s guitars on and the band kicked into a short cover of a K-On song. Oh the screaming. Oh the short, short skirts! (Not Kishomi’s though, alas). And oh Kishomi’s high school girl voice. Dead … we were all dead from the glory of it all.
After they introduced themselves, there was a quick wig swap – so Valko ended up in a short, electric yellow wig, Takiko was in a long, straight brown wig and Zukami … oh Zukami. She had long brown hair done up in two big ponytails held by the pink and white bows from the Gina headband merch. And Kishomi? She kept her lovely honey coloured wig, held back by the Gina headband. I should note that, although I’m obviously biased, Kiiyan and e-zuka looked *amazing* in drag this time. And how e-zuka and Takita were able to play and move around without flashing us all, I have no idea. Talented, those boys. Er, girls….
Opening song for both the danshi and joshi shows was The Other Self. The mental dissonance at seeing Kishomi and hearing Kiiyan was priceless. Appropriately enough, they launched into 愛すべきSTUPID (where the Lovely Stupid name comes from) and then closed with サマーGT09, which Kishomi sang … as Kishomi for the most part. Though where for the guys, she sang “topless niichan” (topless guy) and replied “kimoiiiiiii” (disgusting) when the guys shouted “nyan nyan shitai” (I’d like make out!) for us the lyrics had the usual “topless neechan” (topless gal) and Kishomi was all for making out with all of us. Heh. Plus with the female staff dressed up as cows! (Nancy saw lantis_suzume in one of the cow suits)
There was a fair amount of Kishomi flashing her pantsu at the audience through the set, though I never really did catch what they looked like (white and super, super frilly, as it turns out). And really, Kishomi’s affected accent and cadence were giggle-worthy (fine use of seiyuu skills there, Kiiyan!). I would’ve been all for more Lovely Stupid, but the guys had other things in mind….
There was a short break where the usual random music (well, not so random, it’s been the same songs played before every show this tour) played, and then … a woman on a unicycle came out, along with Roger and Gina! For a good 15 minutes, she entertained us with a juggling act set to various Granrodeo Songs (Not for Sale, Soul Crazy, Dark Shame and one or two others). The audience sang along with many of the songs and cheered, but I’m sure as it went on we were all wondering what the heck was taking so long, since a normal clothing change wouldn’t be that time-consuming.
And then they left the stage, the roadies cleared her props, the lights went down … and when they came back up, OMFG. I’m pretty sure I have never screamed so loudly or so much at anything or anyone before. Surprised I had a voice afterward. For on the stage were four perfectly dressed and coiffed butlers, wearing full suits, cravats/ties, glasses, gloves and carrying roses. They looked damned amazing! They bowed and tossed their roses into the audience and launched into Supernova! Followed by Y.W.F. Just imagine Y.W.F. with butlers. Brain breaking! Takita and e-zuka did that silly little mock fighting thing from G8, but then let the audience take fake swings at them, rolling with the punches, so to speak.
Next up was メズマライズ, which was no less brain-breaking. Just what kind of butler are you, Kishou-shitsuji? Heh. 愛のWarrior, Passion (woo!) and 絶頂ポイズン followed, leading up to the acoustic set. During the chatting part, Kiiyan and e-zuka said that they’d wanted to get sweets for all the attendees, but just couldn’t figure out the logistics for doing so. How precious of them. The acoustic song was again ウソノイロ, as lovely as before.
Darlin’ came right after, followed by Go For It! Whatever would Kiiyan call for? Heh. The first few calls ended up being for everyone, first because Kiiyan called for all the gals, and then because Takita seemed to get lost in whatever he was asking for, and Kiiyan finished it for him with “omaera” (you, plural). Kiiyan had mentioned earlier that it was suggested the night before that they call for cup sizes, and so he went with that, making an amusing show of trying to remember which letter comes after which (cup sizes in Japan follow European sizes, so A-J). Most folks seemed to be C, just like Kishomi claimed to be earlier, and there were a number of Ds and considerably fewer Es. And when he got to F (where I theoretically fit in), there were even fewer of us. The RG we’d been taken in by started waving her hand and bouncing right when I did, which made us the biggest concentration of Fs within sight. And … while Kiiyan had stayed on the riser at the front of the stage for all other sizes, he came running over to our side of the stage for the IGPX call, shading his eyes with his hand to see better. Pfft. We didn’t disappoint him, cheerfully bouncing around while we screamed.
They finished up the call and response and dove back into the second half of Go For It! During which, Kiiyan came over to our side of the stage and … er, well, in inimitable Kiiyan fashion, let me know he’d seen me and appreciated the view. Being the sole focus of that gorgeous, gorgeous smile, and having him point right at me while grinning, was fangirl overkill. I’m still flying high on that fuel four days later, and craving more. And, as Nancy pointed out, we got a lot of Kiiyan on our side of the stage after that.
カナリヤ and 偏愛の輪舞曲 came next, followed by modern strange cowboy … er, cowgirl! E-zuka made cow horns at the girls in the front row. And 変幻自在のマジカルスター wrapped up the set, as usual.
After the guys left the stage, some girls tried to start an “En-co-re” call, but the rest of us weren’t having that. The RG next to us started in with “GRAN” and the usual “RODEO” call followed. Our little group kept up the “GRAN” call for most of the hall. Heh.
First up in the encore was 甘い痛みは幻想の果てに, followed by the usual announcements (I find it interesting they don’t ever mention Animelo in these) and then delight song. Unfortunately, Kiiyan was dogged by a slight cough that night – in fact, had to take a short break after the announcements to hydrate – so the vocals weren’t quite as perfect as in Kumamoto. Still, it was beautiful! They left the stage for a few brief rounds of “mou ikkai,” then came back for Can Do, which really is a perfect closer for shows like these.
Kiiyan baptized everyone in the front, which he had started doing again a couple of shows back (this weekend, hopefully… it’s been a while) and they again threw everything but the kitchen sink into the audience, including e-zuka’s rose (Ero-sensei threw his t-shirt – and somehow the girls next to us got bits and pieces, even though he was on the other side of the hall). Alas, they didn’t come down to the floor for the usual high touch, staying on stage and just reaching across the gap. We wondered if the fiercely headbanging girls to the left of us and up a few rows worried the staff.
Random odds and ends:
Kiiyan peeled his gloves off at one point and threw them into the audience.
e-zuka jokingly called himself a hitsuji (sheep) instead of a shitsuji (butler) and dubbed himself kurohitsuji, then bleated like a lamb. They decided Takita had to be the shirohitsuji then … and he later also bleated. Dorks!
Kiiyan had so much product in his hair for the butler get-up that when he sat down for the acoustic set and started toweling off the sweat, his hair stuck up like a hedgehog. He also put the glasses back on for the set. Terribly cute.
Kiiyan also commented that the butler pants were … not comfortable to jump in. Whoops. (He did also say something about chinko near the very end, but I didn’t catch what, exactly.)
Ossan had to be helped out of his cravat before the acoustic set … by a male staffer with pig tails!
The RG near us, and her friends, were definitely into head banging, but other than stepping on us a few times, it worked out okay, because there was lots of space. I also liked how she would send people to the railing if they needed to call for Go for It! She was definitely looking out for her little cadre of RG.
Unlike at the Osaka show, Kiiyan was very much himself the whole night, smiling, laughing, dancing around and generally having a good time. It was wonderful to see! He and e-zuka both commented that this show was easier and more fun than the guys show, and asked if we’d like to have another. Of course we would!
There was filming going on, so hopefully at least part of the show will make it to DVD at some point.