I’m so belated writing this up, but better late than never, right? Much of this is cribbed from my Tumblr bullet points, but where I remember other things that happened, I’ve added them in. (btw, the pics don’t necessarily go with the venue they’re paired with)
Fukuoka Drum Logos, 7/2
It was so, so good to see the guys on stage again after so many months (well, discounting the hour long Ro-gumi acoustic set in May)! Kiiyan was super high tension and having a great time bouncing ALL over the place.
Opening song was Trash Candy; closing song was Bararai.
Oh the screams when Kiiyan did the monologue in the middle of Sugar (Nakahara Chuuya-sama).
Lovers High was freakin’ adorable live. Seriously cute!
Nichijou Horizon! I really didn’t expect that to be on the set list. Nor Gambit and Yokubou mugendai. Kiiyan was so excited about Yokubou that he accidentally kicked over his mic stand. Good thing he had the mic in his hand.
RAIN BEAT. ACOUSTIC. FINALLY. Last GR song I hadn’t heard live. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Kiiyan’s voice was sublime.
Kiiyan was pumped at the number of Yamaguchi fans.
e-zuka’s punning has rubbed off on Val. He called for fans from Kumamoto to “kumamon (come on)” during Go for It!
I ended up front row thanks to an older woman who was so surprised to see me that she shooed me in front of her, and I squeezed in between an RG and an RB. I was in front of the amps, to the right of e-zuka, but with a great view of the stage.
And yep, they noticed me. Kiiyan saw me right way and behind e-zuka’s back, before they started playing, gave me one of his patented dorky faces: brows raised way high, eyes wide and crazy looking. Heh. He gestured my way during one of the early songs too. (Darlin’, I think). And during Darlin’, right after the guitar intro, when Kiiyan started singing, e-zuka lounged against a speaker, pointed to someone behind me, pretended to be chatting with them, then did the same for me. ^_^
At different times, both Takita and Kiiyan stretched to stand with one foot on the stage, one on the barrier. A few girls apparently tweeted that the leg hair on Takita’s legs was really soft. Kiiyan … well, I didn’t get touch either because they did this about 10-15 feet from where I was, but I didn’t need to touch to see that Kiiyan’s legs are still amazingly smooth and oh my god how sculpted. His calves are nicely muscled, and that continues up to his thighs (he was wearing shorts for the second half of the show).
And speaking of those shorts … at one point he was fumbling around with them, and as e-zuka commented on it, Kiiyan came out with a key. On a wooden key chain. His hotel room key. Wtf was that doing down the back of your shorts, Kiiyan!? He read off the number and “made in Japan” and offhandedly said “Hakata,” at which point everyone was like “ooooh.” Realizing his mistake, he backpedaled, said he was joking. Wonder how many girls went roaming Hakata hotels after the show…. Heh.
He said something about his rear I couldn’t quite figure out. Just that he was commenting on his right butt cheek and then the left. And he patted each side.
He also thanked the other half of the front row for their lovely breasts. And at one point asked one girl if she was okay (maybe she was in danger of falling out?) prompting e-zuka to not leave the rest of the front row out, asking if we were all okay. And then said something I didn’t catch that clearly embarrassed the heck out of Kiiyan. Heh.
No new announcements, but they talked about G11 and the live viewing. When Kiiyan brought up the kaigai viewings, e-zuka trotted out the joke they’ve been having since Kiiyan got his passport – that he got it for the live viewings.
Kiiyan’s mom was there on the 2nd floor (and so of course heard Kiiyan’s breast talk). When the show was over, and the lights up, we all waved at her. She waved back, then grabbed a bottle of water and gestured as if to say “should I toss it?” (as Kiiyan had done). Of course we urged her to, so she did, then was immediately embarrassed in a very cute fashion. Then she went back to waving and then made a heart shape with her hands. So. Damn. Adorable! Thank you for giving us Kiiyan, and for showing his fans love.
Fukuoka Drum Logos, 7/3
Our tickets for day 2 weren’t anywhere as good as day 1, but I was fortunate enough to get a spot dead center at the back of the front section, on a step. So I had a perfect view of Kiiyan the whole show.
I guess day one’s clothes didn’t entirely agree with him, because he mixed and matched for this one. So same sexy gold and black vest as the first day, but minus the jacket and matching skirt. Instead he had on a plaid skirt. And instead of shorts later, he had on an appalling (but as always, sexy) skirt-legging combo in a bold pattern.
He was high tension again, giving us … well, some seriously lewd tongue action, and gratuitous crotch grabbing. (thankfully Kiiyan’s mom was not there to see that!). He again commented on the front row’s boobs, but the other side of the venue this time. And darn it, he hopped down between the stage and barrier to touch hands with everyone. Why not yesterday, Kiiyan!?!?!
Yep, got noticed. Kinda hard to miss the blonde hair when you’re dead center and above the folks in front of you. Heh. ^__^
A few different songs in the set list. So glad to hear Zetchou Poison, Boku to Kimi no Aida (acoustic) and decadence. And happy that Nichijou Horizon stayed in the set list. Lovers High was even cuter than day one somehow. (Dance with me. Dance, dance with me.)
His voice was a tiny bit rough on the high notes. Hope he can rest up before Saturday’s Osaka show. But he was amazing on Boku to kimi.
Kiiyan had a senior moment on stage when he misremembered when their first live was. He excused himself as being an “ojisan.” XD
The opening part for Kenzenna Honnou was amazing – a back and forth between e-zuka and Takita.
He gave Val a bad time, finding the 18 and under Rodeo Girls and telling Val to go get ‘em during go for It. He also held the mic out for one oniisan and one onee-chan to shout the IGPX into.
Kiiyan managed to toss water all the way back to where I was; then threw the bottle a few feet away from me.
After the show, when the guys went up to the third floor balcony, Kiiyan stripped off his shirt and threw it down into the audience. Gratuitous chikubi, yay!
Ended up chatting with friends for so long outside the venue that we got to see Kiiyan leave. Wasn’t paying too much attention, so when the staffer came up to everyone left outside and told us to put away our phones, I wasn’t quite sure *who* was getting into the taxi. But then Kiiyan rolled down the window and waved to everyone. Nice way to end the day. ^__^
Osaka-Jo Soto Onagaku, 7/9
More shirtless Kiiyan – he stripped it off right before leaving the stage, to much applause.
e-zuka was all sorts of cute during the encores: blowing kisses, making heart shapes with his hands.
Takita putting the neck of his bass between Kiiyan’s legs … /fans self
Kiiyan playing with the fox tail on Takita’s bass. e-zuka putting the neck of his guitar between Takita’s legs.
Takita and e-zuka mimicking the dancers during YWF. One of the dancers playing with e-zuka.
Kiiyan having more ojisan moments: forgetting the “rock star” lyrics in modern strange cowboy (and cracking himself up because of it), forgetting when they were last at the venue. He said 2 years; we all corrected him to 4. And then he said “oh yeah, for the Ro-gumi inaugural event” and everyone was “No! That was Hibiya!”
Takita talking about Pokemon…
The joy of outdoor shows is getting to hear the rehearsal. And this time I got to hear Can Do, Lovers High, Rain Beat (acoustic) and Bararai. I’d wondered why there was a break in the music for Lovers High … and at the show itself discovered why (more below). And Rain Beat was amazing … but not actually played at the show, so a bonus song!
While I was listening to the rehearsal, a Rodeo Girl stopped by to rearrange her purchases, looked at me and promptly asked if I’d been at last year’s Yamaguchi show. I told her I was from Fukuoka, and she asked again about Yamaguchi, so I grinned and told her yes. Heh.
Thanks to a friend, ended up row F on Takita’s side. Not far from where Nancy and I were 4 years ago. Didn’t get noticed this time, alas. But the seats were awesome.
The acoustic song turned out to be “Ima yori saki yo,” and it was AMAZING. Kiiyan’s voice was so lovely.
Kiiyan was very well behaved, except during the acoustic set, when he was thinking of things to talk about, and got to talking about Spain’s soccer team and somehow got onto talking about oshiri and chinko … and then realized he’d gone really off topic and apologized for the shimoneta.
Oh, yes, the break in Lovers High … Kiiyan AND e-zuka gave us a dance routine. It was hysterical, and after, e-zuka referred to himself as “Exile Hiro.”
Dancers! 4 lovely dancers they’d just met yesterday. Karina, who was most often closest to us, seems to be a GR fan, since she was singing along with Sea of Stars and others. They opened the show dressed like the little girl in the Trash Candy video, tossing candy to the audience. We weren’t close enough, alas.
And speaking of shimoneta…. during Go for it, since Kiiyan had already called for girls (AND guys) in bikinis (and yes, since Joy Mix was there, there was at least one guy in a bikini top), Takita went full Takita and … called for girls who were willing to XXX their four Treasure Candy sticks. And there’s an XXX there because Kiiyan didn’t let him get to the verb, but cut him short with “Drums come on!” XDDDD After, Val said it was good to hear Takita back in his usual form. And Kiiyan made a comment about candy with 4 sticks… Ahem.
Kiiyan was super, super happy and bouncy and adorable. So cute.
Summer GT09, YWF Koi no Heatwave of course! Water cannons happened during Go for It.
They had lots of fun calling to the people outside the theatre, as usual. Sounded like a lot!
Ran into friends from Osaka and Kobe. One was there with her daughter, the other with her husband. The husband was completely floored that I was going to all the shows. I sense this was his first. Heh.
Sendai Pit, 7/16
Sendai continues to be magical for me. Despite having a ticket number in the 500s on day one, ended up 2nd row between Kiiyan and e-zuka. On my birthday, ended up around 5th row closer to e-zuka. Fantastic shows, both.
Set list was almost the same as Fukuoka day 1, but this time we got Infinite Love (acoustic) and Beat It, Love!
Lots of hip action and lewd tongue from Kiiyan.
The two girls right in front of me were giving e-zuka lots of love, and so he gave lots back. Cute, coy looks. Doing the Bararai choreography behind Kiiyan. Jumping down between the stage and the first barrier and running from side to the other. Standing next to Kiiyan, pointing at a girl, pointing back to Kiiyan, lifting a brow to ask the obvious. He threw a pick to them.
Kiiyan and e-zuka both had mild coughs. Kiiyan couldn’t hit the high notes, but damn was his voice lovely on Infinite Love.
Takita finally got out what he tried to say during Go For It last week, though I missed the verb. But didn’t miss the horrified look on Kiiyan’s face when all us girls screamed IGPX. He gestured from us to Takita as if to say “He’s all yours.”
One of the Go For It calls was “gyutan baby.” Heh! (and yes, I’d already had gyutan at that point).
We found out during Go for It that Val is from Yamagata, causing Kiiyan to exclaim about being the only member to not be from up north.
They talked about MUCC, since they were also in town for shows.
They chatted a lot during the lead-up to Infinite Love. And, in fact, started the song, then stopped and talked more (and staffer John ran out to give e-zuka cold water – e-zuka called him “ikemen J” Heh. He is indeed a nice looking guy).
e-zuka was dying in the heat (and Sendai was the coolest venue yet). He unbuttoned his first shirt more, earning a big “woooo” from the audience..
e-zuka dubbed MI Japan, who he does guitar seminars for, Masaaki Iizuka Japan.
Kiiyan’s tummy was giving him trouble, prompting him to talk about Osaka-jo Hall. (Remember this, it’s important for Sunday’s show)
It was e-zuka’s turn to have an ojisan moment, when he kept referring to their CC Lemon tour. Turns out he was talking about the Rolling the Scar Lemon tour.
Was “baptized” by Kiiyan for the first time in a long time.
When leading up to the live viewing announcement, Kiiyan said that folks from far away would be able to see a show … and someone must have said America (not me!) because he said “America?” then pointed down to the sheet of info and added “America isn’t written here!” Dork.
Sendai Pit, 7/17
Similar set list to the 2nd Fukuoka show, but with Happy Life (acoustic) and Pink Phantom.
Though he was still amazing, it was clear Kiiyan wasn’t feeling 100% for the first half of the show. He was dancing plenty, but sticking close to the center of the stage. But at some point, he kicked into high gear and began giving love to the sides of the stage.
At one point, Kiiyan stopped in front of our section and held out his mic stand. I thought he was just holding it from people to touch, and that I had no hope of doing so, but nope, he let it go, and we passed it along over our heads. This one isn’t nearly as heavy as the Magical Rodeo Tour stand. ^_^
Again Takita went there during Go for It, and now I know what he said –> that we Rodeo Girls should “treasure” their (GR) four “candies.” The looks of absolute horror on Kiiyan and e-zuka’s faces as he worked his way to “treasure” were hysterical. And, well, not only did all the RG scream loudly, so did a few RB, prompting Kiiyan to tell them “absolutely NEVER!”
Val told us he had ridden all over Tohoku by bike, so he called for everyone who’d been to all the prefectures. Meanwhile … e-zuka was miming Val on the bike.
Happy Life was so, so beautiful. And Kiiyan’s smile as he sang, even more so. Fantastic birthday present! For the a capella part, we all clapped in time, and he thanked us with “sankyuu, arigatou.” So adorable.
During Go For It Kiiyan pulled out an onee-chan voice for calling for Rodeo Girls.
So, remember what I said about Kiiyan’s tummy troubles? Well, during the first encore, right as Pink Phantom ended, he exited stage right. I again missed seeing him leave, but I heard Nancy say something like “there he goes.”
Since they’d finished a song, but didn’t want to start the next one, the guys talked a minute, then e-zuka started singing a popular single from the ‘70s called なごり雪 (Nagori Yuki/Vestiges of Snow). It was quite lovely, but when they were done, still no Kiiyan. So e-zuka turned to Val and asked him to sing. We started chanting for him to sing, but he declined, saying that Takita should sing. So he did, at least, one verse. And when he finished, e-zuka said “Kimoiiiii!” Takita was saved from further singing by the return of a very red-faced Kiiyan. He assured us he was fine, and he sure seemed just fine during Shanimuni. In fact, he proclaimed “Toire daijoubu!” in a silly dorky, top of his lungs voice during the middle of the song.
This time when introducing the live viewings, it was Kiiyan’s turn for another ojisan moment. He called them “pay per view” at first. Which made me chuckle, since my inner 12 year old was like “pay per view GR porn….”
Aaaaand, for the first time on the tour he asked if any kaigai fans were there. He’d already seen Nancy and I, so he had to know some were, but there were also 2 Chinese fans right by us, plus an Australian friend of ours and at least one other.
He and e-zuka both ran along the front between the stage and the barrier. I couldn’t reach him, but but caught a flash of his smiling face. Kyaaaa!
Val … once they had run out of things to toss, peeled off his support tape and tattoos and handed those out. Kiiyan came close to bonking me on the head with a bottle again, but it stayed to the left of me, thankfully. Items are getting closer and closer to me – e-zuka guitar pick, Val’s wrist band – but no luck, as always.
And each show I fall more and more in love with Lovers High. It’s just so effing adorable, and Kiiyan has show much fun singing it. And we all love singing back at him. “Dance with me. Dance, dance with me. Baby it’s all right. Baby it’s all right….”
Zepp Diver City, 7/22
Makes me so happy to see the excited write-ups from live viewing folks. Glad everyone enjoyed!
My ticket was 554 for the show, but when I made it into the hall, I could tell up front wasn’t the place to be, so I headed behind the first barrier, figuring I’d be safe there. Little did I know the lights-down surge happens behind that barrier now too. I got shoved from far right to – by the time the show ended – almost dead center. So much getting squished, and elbowed in places you don’t want to be elbowed … and barely being able to see the stage. Ugh.
Thankfully, the show itself was superb, so I could look past the discomfort. Really, if they had come out and only played Soul Crazy, even without Fire Horns (secret guest!), I would’ve considered the day a win. I was so, SO happy to finally hear Soul Crazy again that I all but started crying right there. Add on to that Cannonball, Lovers High, Punky Funky Love and Bararai with Fire Horns and, yeah, blissed out ears. ^__^
Lots and lots of references to Pokemon Go (which I started playing before the show – caught a Meowth and one other waiting for the lights to go down), including the return of Zukachu!
Takita continues to be, well, eroi as heck with Go for It. Was glad to see the call for live viewing folks (and Hong Kong in particular. Not sure why they didn’t do the rest of the cities – though Zukachu did welcome folks in English at the beginning).
No call for kaigai fans in attendance, but at one point later on Kiiyan did ask who had come to the show by plane (it wasn’t just me!). He was surprised and happy to hear we’d braved airplanes to come see them (ha!). He then asked for those of us who had flown overseas … who were vastly outnumbered by those who had not.
They asked who had been to every show so far. A few of us have. ^_^
It’s not a GR show without some kind of slip-up and this time we got Zukachu’s hand cramping when he was trying to play Last Smile on the acoustic guitar.
Zepp Diver City, 7/23
Saturday our tickets were from a general lottery, so waaaaay back. But that was fine, since it meant lots of space, and a generally clear view of everyone on stage. And even from that far back, Kiiyan’s smile was brilliant!
Wow. If Kiiyan was top notch on Friday, he dialed it to 11 for Saturday. So bouncy, springy, dancey and full of smiles. Supremely high tension!
ONLY Kiiyan and e-zuka could have a talk that encompassed Pokemon go, aokan (sex outdoors), Dragonball, Schroedinger’s cat, intonation (Kiiyan said the way e-zuka says “Famima” makes him sound like he’s from the sticks – e-zuka says it all in the same tone; Kiiyan insists, and I agree, that it should be “Fami-MA”), them singing/humming various Famima jingles AND e-zuka imitating his car’s voice. All that was right before the acoustic song.
Right before Memories, Kiiyan asked again if there were any teens in the audience (there was one right in front of me with her mom – so cute). And then went on to ask for those in their ‘20s (most of the audience), then for women (and ONLY women) in their ‘30s, folks in their ‘40s (there were a few of us; he thanked us for our support. oh what I’d give to have him see me wave my hand for the ‘40s group), and ‘50s (there was on REALLY enthusiastic guy not far in front of me; Val stood up to show solidarity with him), and then it turns out there was someone over 60. Wow! Kiiyan dubbed them “Rodeo Silver.” He then asked if there were any kids under 10, and when there was, made a reference to Val … and then hastily asked if the kid was a girl or boy (boy, as it turns out). /facepalm Bad, bad Kiiyan!
We learned that e-zuka’s dad is in his ‘80s.
Kiiyan again asked for those of us who had been to all shows on the tour. And for those whose first tour it was. (Two girls in front of me raised their hands for both. Heh.)
And we learned that GR shares a manager with Lantis labelmate chou chou, and he’s caught up in Pokemon Go too.
e-zuka made a show of stretching his arms and neck when he finished playing his solo to the two sides of the stage and hopped up on the stand in the middle. And then he tried to crack his neck. Ojisan!
During Go for It!, Kiiyan checked on who in the audience also has a garakei (a few guys). And then Zukachu asked us to reply PO-KE-MON GO instead of IGPX. They also did a call for those who had gone to the live viewing the day before.
Kiiyan again messed up Mesmerize (it’s “atarashii HONNOU”, Kiiyan, not “atarashii SHOUJO.” heh.
Kiiyan was so high tension that he slipped off his stand when he was doing the choreography for Bararai. He was super embarrassed, but finished up on the stage itself.
Kiiyan made a comment that he’s getting fat (well, gaining weight – sure don’t look it, Kiiyan). And I could swear e-zuka said something like “Kiiyan’s wonder buns” in reply (it was definitely a play on “wonder core,” whatever it was).
Namba Hatch, 7/30
First time at Namba Hatch, brought my friend Shine with me as a belated birthday present to her.
Our numbers were in the low 600s, but we ended up far, far right (by the speakers) about 5th or 6th row, with a great view of e-zuka and decent view of Kiiyan. After the great surge, we had lots of room to do our thing and generally be comfortable. They had oversold the Hatch by 300 people apparently, so … the place was otherwise pretty packed.
We got lots and lots of love from e-zuka. He made his way over cabling and into the far corner of the stage by us a number of times.
Not as much love from Kiiyan at first, but he was on our side more towards the end, and we got some nice belly shots during modern strange cowboy, as he lifted up his t-shirt.
Today was e-zuka’s day to be precious and silly. At one point he was apparently talking about how someday Granrodeo will end (my friend says he brings this up occasionally, but that today’s talk had a nuance to it as if that end were only a year or two away). The audience was horrified, and the collective scream of disbelief apparently cracked e-zuka up and he went on this whole comedy routine making fun of the scream. And it culminated with “And you can hear that scream coming from Takita-san’s hotel room … followed by ‘Kiiyan ja nai!!!’” (which can read as ‘I’m not Kiiyan!” OR “You’re not Kiiyan!” either way is funny).
e-zuka called Takita a squirrel and a kitsune.
During his solo, e-zuka played a tiny bit of the intro to GuraP.
While Kiiyan started on the intro for the acoustic song, e-zuka was nowhere to be found, finally looked over and he was sitting against the stage wall right by us, listening to Kiiyan.
During the acoustic set, Kiiyan suddenly started talking about Sakura Iro nidai no botan, as if that were going to be the song – e-zuka even played a tiny bit, but then Kiiyan went “Last Smile.” At the audience’s dismayed reply, e-zuka was like “What, you want an acoustic live?” Of course we all replied “YES!”
e-zuka went on talking so long during the encore that Takita and Kiiyan both sat down to wait him out. XD
Kiiyan at one point after one of the songs in the encore wandered over by the drums, was looking down, didn’t say anything. Prompting Val to pop up and ask him if he was okay. Kiiyan assured us, emphatically, that his tummy was OK today. XD
Val called for parent-child attendees during Go For It!, prompting another new term “Rodeo Oyako.”
Kiiyan attempted to preempt Takita’s R18 Go For It! Call … so Takita upped the ante by swapping in “unagi” (eel) for “candy.” Kiiyan was suitably horrified XDDD
Namba Hatch, 7/31
Sunday my tickets were about 100 higher than Saturday, but ended up very close to the same spot, but not as good … and too prone to getting squashed or plowed into by the insanity of the middle. Still, decent view of e-zuka from about 6-7 rows back.
FIRE HORNS! They were a surprise guest, joining GR for Cannonball, Urban Sweet, Punky Funky Love, Lovers High and Bararai. It was really cool getting to see them up close when they came back on stage for Bararai.
During the acoustic set, they made up a jingle for Famima, after Kiiyan confirmed with a local what the proper intonation for Famima is (following up on this from Diver City, day 2). I’d buy that single in a heartbeat. XD
Kiiyan also brought up Psy-Duck (Ko Duck here in Japan) during the acoustic set and the two of them proceeded to do duck faces. Too damn cute!
After Takita’s eroi call for Go For It!, Kiiyan, up on his platform, held his mic to his crotch for us all to see. He also cut Takita off, so I don’t know what the call was, exactly.
Lots more of Takita on our side this show. But less Kiiyan.
Kiiyan was really fishing for validation, making his call for “kawaii” from us more than once. Dork.
For unknown reasons, Kiiyan slipped into R18 mode in his lead up to Memories. Super, super sexy. e-zuka, though, sat down and just watched until Kiiyan got it out of his system. Heh.
Hibiya Yaon, 8/13
I ended up with a 6th row aisle seat. Perfect view of Kiyan, since there was no one but photographers between me and his stand. And boy howdy were there lots of photographers. I assumed it was for a DVD, but during the encore, Kiiyan told us that the live would be aired on Fuji TV Next. Woo!
Looking forward to finding myself in the footage. And since more than once I looked over to come face to face with a camera, I suspect that will not be difficult to do. (Well, more accurately, the camera was, ah, aimed slightly further south of my face. Yes, I was wearing a bikini top, but it was on under a lacy tank top.)
Once again they played Rain Beat during the soundcheck, but Ima yori saki wo during the actually show. Both were as lovely as before. And, unusually, Kiiyan was going nearly all out during the soundcheck. It was awesome!
The choreography during Lovers High was as cute and amusing as last time.
Takita got harassed by a large moth … and a cicada just wouldn’t leave Val alone. It was huge! And it turns out Val is terrified of bugs. D’awww. And when Kiiyan was trying to tell us something, another cicada was harassing some girls in the audience, causing them to scream. He got cutely disgruntled about this.
Loved getting to sing Happy Birthday to Kiiyan, and we did try to encourage him to go face first into his cake. He faked us out, pretending to, and said that at a seiyuu event, he would have. Ah well.
He also declared he was all of 17 years old. XD
Unfortunately, they weren’t allowed to toss anything into the audience. Not even a guitar pick. So while I was perfectly positioned to catch something, no candy, no basketball, nothing.
There were 2 guys in bikini tops – they got their own call during Go for It. One had gone all out and had on a blonde wig too.
Two guys across from me were seriously fangirling over Kiiyan at one point. It was super cute.
So sweet seeing flowers from SuzuKen and TMR.
And on another personal note, by my reckoning (counting only shows with just GR, music only, and at least an hour long), this was my 50th one man GR live. ❤ (onward to 100!)
Zepp Sapporo, 8/20
Despite bouts of torrential rain, the Sapporo shows were awesome! My friend and I were lucky to make the first show, though – my half hour train ride from the airport took over an hour. And she almost got stranded in Otaru, because trains to Sapporo stopped running. But make it we did!
Started out probably 5th-6th row far to the right, but ended up maybe 3rd-4th after some insanity during modern strange cowboy. The vibe was super good, there was no mad rush to the stage and we mostly had plenty of room. I wish all shows were like this.
Kiiyan seemed much more relaxed and energized than in Hibiya. Super high tension and fun. He was quite impressed by some cleavage in the front row, apparently. Heh.
Earlier in the day, the Japanese men’s sprinters had taken the silver in the 400 meter relay. One member of the team is named Iizuka, so yes, of course that came up during the show. e-zuka gave us a heroic Olympic pose in honor.
The usual “kawaiiii” cheer came up for Kiiyan, with his usual response. And then he pointed at e-zuka and said “What about this guy?” Obligingly, we all went “kawaiiiii,” but apparently someone in the front center objected to us calling e-zuka cute. Both Kiiyan and e-zuka pointed at the person and asked what was up with that response. (Teasingly, of course)
Kiiyan’s voice was amazing, particularly on the acoustic version of Happy Life.
Not sure if e-zuka spotted me, though he likely did. Kiiyan definitely did, pointed my way during Go for It. ^_^
Zepp Sapporo, 8/21
Up super early to line up for the venue keychain… and discovered a lone, cute Rodeo Boy when I got there. One girl joined us shortly after I got there, and then no one else for almost an hour. The Zepp is a Pokestop, so I entertained myself with that and a book. I was quite amused by the number of Pokemon Go players who wandered by (there were several stops in the area) and looked at the line and the signs for goods.
Again far, far right, probably 6th-7th row, since I was determined to catch their hands on the post-live high touch. Turned out to give me a great view of both e-zuka and Kiiyan.
Both days here, and at Hibiya, Takita had been playing part of Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker,” and I guess e-zuka wanted in on the action, since he played part of it on his solo this day. OMFG. I’ve seen Jimmy Page play live (and was a huuuuuuge Page fangirl for many, many years) and I’m here to say e-zuka’s in his league. Seriously. He was on fire in these solos. And, well, silly, since we also got part of the GuraP original theme again. Heh.
And poor Kiiyan … he had to exit the stage in a hurry after he and e-zuka had been chatting a while before the acoustic set. e-zuka goofed around, made us think he was going to play some songs, then led us in singing Happy Birthday to Kiiyan’s empty chair. And then he called for Takita, and someone sent him on stage. They chatted, goofed around for a minute, and then e-zuka stood up, handed over his guitar and left on the other side of the stage, leaving Takita alone. So … Val came out, even though he was snacking on a salmon onigiri. Takita asked him which he preferred, salmon or pickled ume. Turns out Val likes both just fine, but he just happened to be eating salmon right then. And then Takita came up to the front of the stage and showed us the banana he had been eating. I am 100% positive he meant to do something eroi with the banana, but changed his mind at the last minute. e-zuka then came back out, wearing a hoodie. He did a double-take to find Val and Takita, but not Kiiyan, but sat down and chatted briefly with them before Kiiyan finally came back out, sheepish as always. He tried to blame it on their new manager, because when the manager started, they just HAD to bring up watching the Osaka-jo Hall show… Kiiyan then asked e-zuka what happened while he was gone, and e-zuka said they’d been talking about bananas and onigiri. Kiiyan was all “…?” so e-zuka told him to listen and started playing/singing a song with only “Banana, onigiri” as the lyrics. Not missing a beat, Kiiyan started doing backing/counterpoint vocals. It was supremely silly, and also just perfect. These two are so in tune with one another, it’s precious. I would buy the heck out of the silly songs e-zuka makes up on the spot.
Takita forgot to specify Rodeo Girls before his “if you want to treasure our 4 candies,” so, ah, EVERYONE screamed IGPX. XDDD Kiiyan gave him a bad time about it.
The encore … more dorky preciousness. They kicked off Henai no Rondo, but Kiiyan flubbed his cue. And flubbed it so hard he couldn’t pick up where he should be, so he turned to leave the stage, and everyone followed him. e-zuka was last, and he went “Granrodeo desu!” and waved as he left. We shouted “Guran” + “Rodeo” for a few more rounds and then they came back out. After, Kiiyan said he’d been nervous about singing Henai, even though they’d practiced. D’aww.
When they came back out for the second encore, Kiiyan tossed an open bottle into our section. I didn’t even realize until it hit and water splattered on us.
At the end, Kiiyan asked us kindly not to tell Nagoya attendees what happened. (Sorry Kiiyan!)
And YES, finally succeeded in getting a proper high touch from Kiiyan at a live (thanks to the one girl who had to dash after Can Do, and her friend who let me into almost the last spot on the railing). First caught e-zuka’s upper arm, then Kiiyan’s hands. Kyaaaaa!
Then, when they were both back onstage, since the ending music is Lovers High, they proceeded to give us the choreography from the outdoor shows. Double kyaaaaa! *love love*
Zepp Nagoya, 9/3
My ticket was 1032, but thanks to the show being oversold (because they made us all move forward to make room), I ended up 3rd-4th row on e-zuka’s side, which was pretty much my spot this tour.
Of course he saw me (with raspberry, pink and blonde hair, I was hard to miss even if he hadn’t already seen me in that spot 6 times before on the tour, heh). He laughed at me singing Yokubou mugendai back at him, which made me laugh in turn.
e-zuka’s solo was amazing; he was playing with high and low and it was just incredible.
Fire Horns were back! And I got Soul Crazy again. Kyaaaa! And finally, Crack Star Flash during the encore.
Kiiyan once again put his leg on the front barrier while he was singing. Though I suspect he may not in the future, as fans were tugging on his shirt and he’s lucky they didn’t make him lose his balance.
When it came time for announcements, Kiiyan did G11, Boo Night and then went “Gundam…?” We all screamed, and he announced Shounen no hate.
He was so full of energy again, positively a whirling dervish when he came to our corner during Can Do.
During Go for It! and Can Do, Kiiyan was holding the mic out for people to yell into. Still attached to the stand … which was held at his crotch. /facepalm For the record, he can reach about 2nd row with it, because he got it that far in front of me. ^_^
Takta’s Go for It! call was for the Rodeo Boys, so Val’s was for Rodeo Girls. e-zuka couldn’t remember all the surrounding prefectures, so a fan in the front row had to give him a geography lesson. Kiiyan called for Rodeo Couples.
Not during Go for It!, but at some point they asked how many of us had made all the shows. There were a number of us up front. They joked that next year they should have a stamp rally.
Decided I never, ever want to catch ANYTHING thrown by the guys. e-zuka’s towel went to my right (I actually ducked) and Kiiyan’s to my left, where it was pounced on by 6 or 7 people. They were so determined not to let go, that by time Kiiyan and e-zuka left the stage, 3 girls still had a hold of it, and were playing jan ken pon to see who could take it. They jostled the girl next to me so much I actually asked if she was okay. No thank you. And that was weird behavior, because everyone was so, so well-behaved before then.
No idea if Kiiyan saw my wild hair color, but he made sure I knew he saw me, which I appreciate. ^_^ (he appears to really get a kick out of me shouting “I’ll rock you! I can rock you!” at the end of Go for it! Remembering the josei show? Or just amused. I don’t know, but I’ll take the grins and laughter and silly faces gladly!)
Zepp Nagoya, 9/4
I started the tour front row and ended it almost at the very back. Fitting, though I really wish I’d been up front again.
There was shirtless Takita and Kiiyan. Kiiyan did the high touch with no shirt on. Brave man! I couldn’t see, but apparently when he got back on stage, he tugged down his shorts to show off the top of cute briefs (either strawberries or cherries on them) and then tugged his shorts up to about his arm pits, covering his nipples. Dork!
e-zuka led us in a stretch before Memories.
He also said, during the acoustic set, that he wrote 4 songs to present to the Gundam staff, and they picked the one he least expected them to. We can expect to hear the other three on the next album, hopefully. And the song has already been recorded (which makes me wonder about why Lantis didn’t at least share a sound clip).
There was gratuitous crotch-grabbing at the beginning, as Kiiyan thanked all the Rodeo Girls, and urged Takita and Val to offer their thanks too. There was also more holding out of the mic.
Both days they talked a lot, being very gracious and thankful. I love that humility, alongside the rocker ‘tude.
And absolutely must shower love on Kiiyan and e-zuka for their shoutout to foreign fans at today’s final Treasure Candy show.
During Go for It! e-zuka called out for Aichi fans, fans from the neighboring prefectures and fans from outside Aichi. And then he did something he hadn’t done since Kumamoto on the Magical Rodeo Tour: he called for foreign fans. My Australian friend was up front, and we knew from talking to some Rodeo Girls before the show (who said they always see me, heh) that there were fans from Korea and Indonesia at the show too. But I think Nancy and I, waaaaaay at the back, may have out-screamed them,. ^_^
And this time, e-zuka replied back to us all: “Thank you! Thank you for coming! Thank you for having us. Uh….” Adorable!
And after Go for It!, Kiiyan said that they were grateful to be so well thought of overseas.
(I’ve been joking that e-zuka did it because I actually wasn’t in my usual spot in front of him, where I was for half the shows. XD But whatever his reason, I’m glad he did.)
The giant inflatable Roger and Gina were outside the gym, and the kigurumi Roger and Gina were around for a while after goods went on sale, before the rain settled in.
This time the remix djs were outside doing their thing.
The pirate theme carried over from the goods to the stage to the costumes. Cannons! Giant pirate flag! Pirate wenches! Ahoy! Before the show they played the sound of crashing waves. And suspended from the ceiling were giant light globes.
They’d set up a special surround-sound system, and indeed, the sound was really good.
We spotted Takita’s opening band in the friends and family section (Rungaina — Senri and Hideki); his guitar player Yuichi was there too, apparently.
Staff were running around with video cameras all over the arena floor. I’d assumed they were for the dvd, but at announcement time, Kiiyan said G11 would air on Fuji TV Next some time later this year. Always unnerving to realize there’s a camera on you, and difficult to act natural. Will have to see if we make the final cut.
Opening video had their treasure map animated, and included sketches of the guys: Takita was all eroi with a glass of wine, Val had pincers for arms, Pirate King Kiiyan was seated & surrounded by wenches (of course!)
Opening song was Kiketsu suru – Kiiyan and e-zuka came on stage after a cannon blast. Kiiyan had on an eyepatch (sexy)!
Talking was at a minimum, and there was no acoustic set (first time ever for a full-length show I’ve been to), which means they fit in a whopping 24 songs!
Kiiyan was all smiles, and very energetic, given how tired he must’ve been. He said the staff didn’t get to sleep, since they had to move equipment from Hachioji the night before (where the Bungo Stray Dogs event was).
Fire Horns were there again!
They missed an opportunity to fire the cannons during Cannonball – but there was fire.
Shien and Haitoku and Brand New Day were pleasant surprises! And I had been waiting all year for Kibou no kanata e … and when Kiiyan told us our smiling faces were their most treasured item … yeah, I cried during this one.
e-zuka mused about Can Do having an English title/chorus, and Kiiyan pointed out that the Japanese word, “dekiru” just wouldn’t have the same ring to it. And they both demonstrated by singing bits of Can Do with “dekiru” substituted in. Heh.
Takita outdid himself on his Go for it call, encouraging the RG to, ah, feel their vibration in our treasured spot… dude.
They called for those of us who had gone to every show on the tour + G11, and never has my voice sounded so tiny. It felt like there were a lot of us at Nagoya who said we’d gone to all, but when you’re a handful (less than 100, I imagine, maybe less than 50) in an audience of 10,000 … it’s daunting, that IGPX, but worth it. There was just one other RG in my area who called out too. Kiiyan and e-zuka thanked us, and Kiiyan said we should get a discount. Heh. And when they finished Go For It!, he again thanked those of us who’d been to every show.
For his solo, e-zuka came out and played the song that used to be the “show is over” music – and rode a little platform in the air from the back of the stage to the front.
e-zuka kept claiming to have thrown out his shoulder when he was tossing guitar picks at the end.
An aside … ran into several friends … and fans. My fans, that is. I am gobsmacked by the realization that there are RG who are fans of mine. I know that they always see me, and I’m sure there’s some who probably are annoyed by my constant presence, and most are probably indifferent,, but it’s a truly bizarre feeling to have a friend come up, shy RG trailing behind, and have her introduced as “this is a friend of mine; she’s a fan of yours.” (Thank you, I-san from Ibaraki!) And then when I left the goods line, the RG who’d found Nancy and I came up, all excited, asked to follow on Twitter, then wanted to know where Nancy was from. Heh. She was very curious to know if Kiiyan is aware of us (we told her that yes, he is). ^_^ I need to improve my Japanese so we can talk properly when Nancy isn’t around.
What an incredible summer. And I can’t wait to do it all again starting in May!