Today’s release event took place outside at the Canal City Mall in Hakata ward, Fukuoka. It was hosted by FM Fukuoka, and one of their DJs, Butch was the MC. Sun Plaza is a round stage, so staff had set up 2 rows of chairs in a semicircle in front of the stage. I ended up in the first row behind the seats, far to e-zuka’s side.
There were people all the way up to the 5th floor railing watching. Butch actually called out to 2nd-4th floor when he came in. Mostly RG, but some RB. My hair, newly dyed, is white blonde with bright turquoise bangs and tips … and almost directly across from me was someone with electric purple hair. We both matched … and clashed … with Kiiyan’s sweater.
One young Rodeo mom brought her little girl (maybe 3-4) dressed up as a cow. They were in the first 10, so had seats right in the center. Yes she was adorable and got some attention from the MC, Kiiyan and e-zuka throughout the event.
Looked to be about 200~ people who won the CD lottery and maybe 20 who had bought the CD that day and opted for the event ticket. (Since I already had a ticket, I dropped money on another CD to get the glorious signed poster.)
Kiiyan introduced himself as something like, “Hakata, Canal City-loving Rodeo Boy vocalist Kishow.” So e-zuka dubbed himself “Hakata Masaaki.” e-zuka also made like he was going to dive into the fountain behind the stage when they came on (just a couple of minutes after the hourly dancing water display).
The first segment involved Butch asking Kiiyan and e-zuka questions and them writing down their answers. The first question was “What is Kiiyan’s most treasured thing?” He answered his red bicycle; e-zuka said something about e-zuka’s “nama something or other” (live performance, maybe?). Kiiyan also apparently talked about the bike in Shibuya too. Its an electric assist bike given to him by a good friend for his housewarming, but the chain broke and he had to take it to a specialist to get fixed. And he just got it back yesterday. Per my friend (who was at the Shibuya event), his previous bike was named Vanessa, while this one is Envy. Butch gently poked him about his bike being the most important thing in his life. Heh.
One of the following questions was “What does e-zuka do in his spare time?” Can’t recall Kiiyan’s answer, but e-zuka said that he drinks coffee and watches YouTube videos. He says he drinks 10 cups of coffee a day. Yow. Butch and Kiiyan joked with him a little bit about what /kind/ of videos he watches.
The last question from the MC in the first corner (where they had to write their answers down) was something along the lines of “something that concerns e-zuka, but not Kiiyan). And they inadvertently kind of had the same answer. e-zuka’s was about how Kiiyan can’t sit still in chairs … and Kiiyan’s was how he can’t sit still on plane flights (I guess he means he doesn’t realize he does it, since he’d actually already talked about being scared to fly). Kiiyan demonstrated what he’s like on flights … e-zuka made fun of how Kiiyan fidgets (just like Kiiyan was in the Making of for Memories).
The next section was “Gachapon shitsumon,” where letters from FM Fukuoka’s listeners were put into capsules and loaded into a gachapon machine. Kiiyan had to feed the machine 100 yen coins and hand the capsules to Butch, who would read the questions. I should note that Kiiyan’s mittens were super cute — the ends fold back so he can do things with his hands without taking them off.
First question was asking about the Yoshiki nama, particularly if Yoshiki was pretty. (Kiiyan said yes to that.) I didn’t catch much of this, but he did mention not being able to see something, which I’m guessing he meant the Rusty Nail lyrics (he didn’t rehearse before the nama).
Next question wasn’t a question, but pointed out that e-zuka has a big birthday coming up later this month (the big 5-0) and wished him happy birthday. He stood up and thanked everyone, so we started singing happy birthday to him. Butch asked him what he was going to do once he turned 50 … which led to e-zuka talking about the recent show with Loudness, and how all of them are over 50 too. Kiiyan made a comment and Butch asked him if he was over 50 too. Kiiyan emphatically told him he wasn’t. Heh.
The next question asked them what “little dream” they have. I didn’t catch what Kiiyan said at first, but he was apparently just joking (e-zuka said something about “getting married”), but then Kiiyan said it was to travel overseas. Butch was surprised and said “you’ve never been?” to which Kiiyan reminded him of the whole scared to fly thing. But he really, really wants to go, so here’s hoping he can get past the fear. He mentioned wanting to go to NY in particular.
The last segment was a straight up interview where they talked about the album, upcoming sales and the tour. They talked about how GR got together, which i’d heard from others, but never from them. It involves karaoke with the Executive Producer for the KimiNozu character CDs. Intriguingly, it sounds like that EP had a visual kei type band in mind at first.
A few planes flew over during this segment and the last one, which was low and big, e-zuka pointed at it, and Butch joked it was the plane Kiiyan was looking for (to take him overseas). Kiiyan was all “nope!”
They asked how many of us were from Fukuoka (most of us) and who would be going to the Drum Logos lives (most of us!).
They left the stage so it could be set up for the mini-live (A few folks had said this would be their first GR live. Wow!) and we waited for the hourly water dancing again (Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik this time). First up was Shounen no hate (Kiiyan has taken to talking about chunen no hate — the end of middle age — when introducing this song). And wow … I’d been blown away by the single release acoustic version, but this was light years ahead. Kiiyan’s voice was perfect. Clear, strong, delicate, that vibrato … I’ve heard the regular live version of SnH multiple times now, but this convinces me acoustic is the way to hear this song, oh yes.
Next up was Hengen jizai, which is always fun acoustic. For the final song, Kiiyan struggled out of his jacket (the cute one he wore in their recent television show in Niigata) to reveal … a striped shirt of many colors. E-zuka laughed and said that Kiiyan looked like a Pierrot, which prompted Kiiyan to give us a bit of the choreography from that song … with an added embellishment of running his hand down his chest. And then they launched into darlin’, which is so much fun acoustic.
The last segment was the high touch. And then they came back out, Kiiyan was apparently teasing the little girl in the front row. I couldn’t see much, but I gather he was being silly. I did get to watch him bouncing up and down to stay warm — he really is made of spring. Staff were definitely hurrying us through the high touch, with a female staffer behind us to encourage us to move along with hands on our shoulders (most of us, myself included, didn’t need this — and the one girl who really did, it didn’t stop her from grabbing and clinging to Kiiyan’s hands). E-zuka said “Arigatou” then “Thank you” to me. I haven’t the foggiest what Kiiyan said to me, because I’d been waiting to get out “I hope you make it to New York” since he mentioned it. I did … and I’m sure he didn’t understand, but that’s okay. ^_^
I skipped away, literally, and watched as they finished up and said good bye.
Next up — Bungo Stray Dogs and good-bye to Val-san. ;_;