I wasn’t originally sure if I’d be able to get to the mini-live/high-touch event, given the short notice Lantis gave. But I ended up having to work the Sunday before, so traded that day for the Friday right before the show and booked a hotel close to Odaiba and picked up a train ticket.
Up early, early in the morning to head over to Diver City and was about 20th in line. Had decided to buy 2 singles, to get an extra high-touch (too self-conscious to have done more — and didn’t want to take away chances from other fans). I finished quickly, but stuck around the line to keep my friend Yasmine, further back, company. Ended up with priority viewing ticket #60, which turned out to be a great number.
Stuck around Diver City after breakfast (Hawaiian Coffee House makes great pancakes, btw!) to see the free Fo’xtails acoustic set. Seeing Sakamoto-chan up there on stage makes me feel kinda like a proud mama. You’ve come a long ways since I saw you stand-in for Takita-san on the first Granrodeo New Year’s show, kid! Their set was fun and quite good; they’ve got a powerhouse singer and he sounds great live.
Wandered the mall a bit while killing time between shows, then lined up around 2:15 to head in.
Mini-lives are always short, usually around 3 songs and this was no exception. They played, in order, Snow Pallet, darlin’ and 少年の果て. There were some small slipups on the first two songs, prompting Kiiyan to joke about Granrodeo’s hallmark poor performances (Ha! Yes, the slipups are common, but they’re almost always cutely amusing, not catastrophic.). And damn, damn, damn. I am now spoiled for any future performance of 少年の果て. It was PERFECT. Absolutely perfect. Kiiyan’s voice soared with the angels on this version. And the guitar work was sublime, of course. There’s something special about Kiiyan’s voice when they do acoustic songs. It’s just somehow better, more beautiful. Which shouldn’t be possible, yet is.
Kiiyan made fun of his singing (Slam Dunk ED) at Animax. Given the high notes he hit sitting there on his stool, I can only imagine he was absolutely amazing that night.
Kiiyan also engaged in a bit of TMI (related to me later by Yasmine) that was just DUDE, NO. Bad, bad Kiiyan. He told the crowd he had recently peed blood and wondered if it was an STD. When everyone went “EEEEEEEH?!?” he backpedaled, saying he was fine. Don’t do that, Kiiyan. Just don’t.
e-zuka called out“MASAAKI, IKIMASU!” a couple of times, riffing on the “Gundam, ikimasu!” call that’s part of the giant Gundam hourly show (the event was held on the same plaza as the Gundam). When they actually first came down to the tents near the stage, and e-zuka started warming up on the guitar, the hourly audio recording for the Gundam display started playing, which greatly amused those of us near the tent.
Kiiyan was all smiles.. He really does love the stage, and interacting with fans. And he was so, SO proud of having three singles come out this past week. (they joked about playing UtaPri or Shingan Crimsonz songs; it turns out e-zuka has actually watched UtaPri)
They announced a limited show, sponsored by J:COM for 3/1/2017 at Diver City. Kiiyan couldn’t remember what day of the week that was, so he asked those of us with smartphones to check. And proceeded to pull out his garakei and pretend to scroll the screen. Silly Kiiyan. Once it was determined it was a Wednesday, he asked if that was okay for everyone, and someone piped up that they were a junior high school student. Kiiyan was like ‘wow,’ and thanked them for their support.
After the mini-live, we milled around waiting for instructions for the high-touch, during which time they took pics with the Gundam. Eventually staff told us to just line up (the numbers on our tickets didn’t matter, just that we had them). It all went so quickly, and it was really cute to see how stoked some of the Rodeo Girls (and Boys) were to have touched their idols.
Kiiyan had too much fun with the last couple hundred high touches. Those girls (and guys) had their years made, that’s for sure. He was striking silly poses, launching into the high touches. Meanwhile, e-zuka was just a few feet away, either oblivious or purposefully ignoring Kiiyan. With maybe 20-25 people to go, they took a break. Poor guys. Real troopers to do this kind of thing.
Since they were telling each person “arigatou,” my second time through the high touch line, I made a point to tell each of them “Thank you!” which I got back in English from both. ^__^
Somewhere near the end, one of the male staffers sneaked into line, but Kiiyan took one look at him and was like “No way, dude!” The guy laughed and danced his way out of line.
You were allowed to buy up to 5 singles at a time, which got you 1 priority viewing ticket per purchase, and 1 high-touch ticket per single. Some people got back in line to get more singles right away, and as the line was winding up, people were dashing back to the booth to get one of the last tickets. After watching Kiiyan’s antics, we decided to flip a coin to see if we should go buy one more each. After the first toss landed on a nearby Rodeo Girl’s sleeve and the next two were tails, we decided that was a sign and stayed put.
The very last girl in line had 2 tickets remaining, after her penultimate high-touch, she realized she was the only one and turned from Kiiyan to walk back to e-zuka, who gestured that she really should go back to the front of the line and go through the path to the table. Dork!
When they finished, we applauded loudly, they waved, bowed, Kiiyan grabbed his boobs….
It was brief, but wonderful, and I can’t wait for the next event! (which is Rock Beats Cancer FES in December)
(btw, we were encouraged to take pics and videos of Fo’xtails, so I have some pics of them. Not allowed for Granrodeo, alas. You can click on any pic to see a larger size.)
(and I haven’t forgotten about writing up the FC event & Treasure Candy tour; will work on those next)