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Saturday and Sunday Kiiyan and e-zuka attended a pair of fan events to celebrate the release of G11 on blu-ray. For each, 400 attendees were selected to watch a digest version of the concert on a big screen while the two of them provided live commentary. There was also a prize giveaway (signed goods) and a handshake event.

I was fortunate enough to win a spot for the Osaka show (Sunday). No one to summarize things for me, so I missed a lot of the commentary, but still have some good tidbits to share.

 

  • Was glad to meet up with R-san., one of my roomies from the first Ro-gumi bus trip. It was her first handshake event with Kiiyan and she was super nervous, but happy.
  • My takeaway from the show: I want Kiiyan to come fold all my clothes. He’s REALLY good at it. (more on this later)
  • Kiiyan was wearing black slacks, long-sleeved shirt with big red and black stripes, and, ironically (you’ll see why ironic, English writing on the back. White tennies with silver. Turns out it’s a Gucci sweater costing over $1000; it says “modern future” on the back. e-zuka was all in black.
  • The camera work for G11 was top-notch. Especially compared to their first live (which was recently aired on TV).
  • The first half of the viewing (they split things up with the prize giveaways), Kiiyan was more focused on his ipad than the screen. Second half he was better, but Zuka did most of the talking. At the Tokyo show, apparently he brought up replying to his niece on Line while on stage.
  • They asked if anyone had gone to the Tokyo show — none of us had.
  • If I heard correctly, the two dancers who were back stage at Diver City (one of the June shows) were two of the G11 dancers.
  • e-zuka talked about the platform he was suspended on during his solo, mentioning the shape of it.
  • Both shows, e-zuka mentioned that he pulled a muscle early on in modern strange cowboy. And sure enough, you can see when it happens, and how it affected him the rest of the song.
  • Kiiyan seemed embarrassed by his naughty tongue at one point, holding his head in his hands and shaking it.
  • We Wanna R&R was the only clip they played in full. During it, e-uka asked who in the audience played piano. A few hands went up. He then asked something else that I missed, and they all put their hands down.
  • Also during that segment, Kiiyan brought up the Osakajo show, but I completely failed to get what he said specifically. (Given the song, it was likely about his leaving the stage.)
  • They argued over which album Kibou no kanata e was one. e-zuka, rightly, placed it as the final song on Crack Star Flash. Kiiyan at first thought it was on Karma to Labyrinth. Then mistook it for Ima yori saki wo.
  • e-zuka made fun of the elaborate hand motions Kiiyan made after jumping from the drum riser after Bararai.
  • During their final comments, Kiiyan asked who there was from Osaka … so e-zuka asked for those of us not from Kansai. There were a few of us.
  • They asked who hadn’t got their tickets for G12 — none of us!
  • They asked who was not in the Ro-gumi.  One lone person in the front row was not a member yet.
  • The items they gave away: 2 signed pamphlets, 2 signed t-shirts and 1 signed “no sleeve” tank top. And seriously, Kiiyan folded those shirts with precision and handed them politely over. e-zuka thought about balling his up and throwing it at the girl who won, but settled for holding it out kinda crumpled up.
  • For the first 7 rows, Kiiyan and e-zuka were behind a table. They did some silly warming up first. Kiiyan practiced taking someone’s hands and saying hello. e-zuka practiced hauling off and slapping someone. XD He did indeed fake slap a few folks in line.
  • After 7 rows, they took a rest break. Kiiyan seemed to claim to have injured his wrist. e-zuka is doing stretches. Kiiyan then sat on the table to check his ipad mini, kicking his feet like a kid.
  • e-zuka then hopped down between the front row and the stage and was making a big show of welcoming people to the stage. They STAYED in front of the table for the last 7 rows.
  • I am sure they had to be tired by the time they got to the last two rows. I was in that second to last row. And had something planned in Japanese to tell Kiiyan (I wanted to thank him for always making me happy).
  • But … as soon as Kiiyan took my hands and said konnichi wa, and I politely replied, Japanese fled me. This isn’t my first time at a handshake event with him. It’s my third or fourth. The first time, he was so taken with a tiny, red-headed foreigner in front of him, I don’t think it mattered what I said (I did make him laugh).
  • Not this time, though. I started … then apologized and switched to English to deliver my message. In Japanese, he thanked me, as and as I had to move on to e-zuka, said the same thing as 9 years ago (Mata ne!). Nine years ago I was thrilled to get that; this time I was cursing myself for my shyness and inarticulateness.
  • I had planned on switching to English with e-zuka anyhow, since he has spoken English to me before. Best laid plans….
  • As soon as Kiiyan let my hands go and I moved to e-zuka, I slid back into Japanese, asked him if English was okay as he took my hands. Imagine my complete and utter surprise when he replied, in English. “No! Not okay. I do not speak English.”
  • I admit, I just kind of stared at him in disbelief for a second, and as they were starting to shoo me away, said what I’d planned to “You’re the best guitarist I’ve ever heard.” To which he replied, “Thank you!” And called out after me “My pleasure.” I so wanted to turn around and say, “See! You understood me fine!” Heh.
  • I was so focused on trying to talk to them today, I failed at enjoying their hands. And Kiiyan’s are such nice hands….
  • I’m still kicking myself for screwing up so badly. But damn, Kiiyan that close to me, my hands in his, yeah, lucky I could remember English. Ah well. I hope he understood me, at least.
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