Two fantastic shows, and two completely different experiences, separated by just a few feet….
- I had ticket 188 for the first day, so started out 3rd row in front of e-zuka, eventually ended up 2nd/3rd row in between e-zuka and Kiiyan; and it was a battle all the way against really rude fans who thought nothing of elbowing my head out of the way so they could get their arms toward the stage. I hate being a rude fan, but by the end I was forcibly shoving RG bigger than me out of my scant 1 cm of personal space. Ugh. It didn’t used to be this way….
- I had ticket 677 for day two, ended up 2nd row, very end on e-zuka’s side. It was every bit as packed, but somehow we still had personal space, and after the first couple of songs, everyone settled down and we had an awesome vibe going in the corner. Almost made me not dislike Diver City.
- These two shows were much looser than Sapporo. Was a bit worried after those first two shows that things were going to be so clean and polished that it just wouldn’t be Granrodeo any more. But never fear….
- Kiiyan, bless him, flubbed Big Sun’s chorus not once, but twice on Friday. He just kept going, picked up where he should be. Saturday, he only flubbed it a little, but absolutely once again missed his cue on Henai no rondo. Instead of leaving the stage this time, he let the audience sing until he was comfortable coming back in. Heh.
- Leaving the stage was left to e-zuka, who messed up that delicate intro to Hengen jizai for the encore on day 2. He stopped, held up his guitar as he walked across and off the stage, going “Granrodeo desu!” Kiiyan cutely called after him, “Aniki!!!! Granrodeo no gitaa e-zuka!” e-zuka came back on stage, thanking us for the encore and starting over. XD
- Fire Horns were back on day 2, having been released from service on Kanazawa Hana’s tour.
- At some point, Kiiyan decided to demonstrate he knows the names of their instruments in English (no, I don’t know why). He did trumpet first, then, gesturing to Juny-a, he said “And this is Takita’s favorite instrument.” And then, holy Freudian slip, Kiiyan, he said “Sex.” XD (Although the way he said it, it came out “sex-u.”). He quickly said “Sax!” but dug a deeper hole for himself when he asked Takita what /kind/ of “sax” he liked. XD He did get “alto” correct, and moved onto trombone, which gave him some trouble guessing, but he did eventually get.
- e-zuka-sensei then pointed out that while we refer to Fire Horns as a brass ensemble, the sax really isn’t (and it’s not — it’s a woodwind, despite being made of brass)
- Sensei also talked to us about the time signature on Namida Bana (and effusively praised Kiiyan for his ending note on said song, which was amazing both days, daaaaang)
- And we got to hear a bit of the guitar and bass for an early prototype of Outsider.
- There was much teasing of Shin-chan, which he took in stride cutely. He’s also starting to loosen up during his solos, getting the audience involved.
- I almost had Shin-chan’s drumstick day one. It was IN MY HANDS, but the girl next to me ended up with it. My friend did end up with e-zuka’s wrist band, to go with his towel.
- Kiiyan was beyond bouncy (hence me tweeting him a picture of Tigger, and saying that like Tiggers, Kiiyans are made of springs). When he did come off center, he was a bouncing whirling dervish. He was shooting hoops during Can Do, spinning around, leaping about and more.
- They threatened to retire Can Do on Friday. As if! XD
- In a reference to actor Koide Keisuke’s on-going trouble involving a 17 year old fan, Kiiyan gave Takita a hard time, said he’d be most likely to have trouble like that. Prompting Takita to say he’d need to do an age check. XD
- I was poised perfectly for the high five after show 2. Staff had even already told us all up front to behave … but e-zuka chose then to start teasing Kiiyan about being the biggest sun, embarrassing him completely, and they seemed to just … forget. Argh!
- Cracked up when they announced G7. Had always wondered where it went to. And aaaaaaah, Okinawa for G7 and the Ro-gumi fan trip!!! Last year at the Naeba trip, they asked where we should go next, and someone suggested Okinawa, prompting Kiiyan to exclaim, “But you can’t take a bus there!” Heh. No, but you can fly! Paid my deposit and submitted my application form today. Fingers crossed my friend and I get it!
- Kiiyan on Hard Driving Midnight … … … sexy af! He growled, he grunted, he strutted, he headbanged. It was glorious!
- Day 2, e-zuka played Amazing Grace as part of his solo. So beautiful!
- Kiiyan apparently gave us abs and chikubi, after show 2, but I missed that entirely.
- We learned Shin-chan is from Kagawa prefecture (which they dubbed “Udon-ken” after the region’s famous sanuki udon). Juny-a of Fire Horns is from Fukuoka.
- Kiiyan’s still in denial about crying at the last UtaPri show. Heh.
- There were girls with fans in the front row, so during Y.W.F., e-zuka kept coming forward to get fanned. He let folks touch his guitar too, but I wasn’t close enough, alas.
- Can’t wait for this weekend in Fukuoka. Hope Kiiyan’s mum and niece can make it down for the shows!