Another GX come and gone, hard to believe it’s been six years since my first. The shows are always bigger — in multiple ways — than the tours, and these two shows were no exception. I still prefer live house shows, but had a great time at G12.
I admit, I was a bit grumpy when they announced the Budokan as a venue, because I think Granrodeo deserves bigger, but then I saw how excited, how happy Kiiyan and e-zuka were when they talked about playing there again, and I realized it was what they wanted. And that made me okay with it.
The Budokan seemed so vast when I was on the floor at G6, but it’s really a fairly intimate arena. And having the floor standing (kind of like G10) was nice. Although the staff really screwed up on day one and did not escort us into the arena, making it a free for all getting to stage right and stage left (center had enough barriers and staff to slow people down and check tickets). Plus, they let the CD standing tickets in with the fan club tickets, so though we were SL 18-20, there were definitely more than 17 people in the section when we got in there. But we still managed to claim space along a barrier where we could face the stage (even if it wasn’t right in front of the stage).
The vibes for both shows were good, but rather different. Day one had no pushing, no shoving, it was nice and relaxed and fun. Day two, I’m not sure if there was any of the pushing, because we were far, faaaaar stage right, where the side stage meets the first floor of seats (but front row, with no one behind us, tons of room to bounce around), but it was like everyone was dialed to 11, which was a fantastic feeling.
Thoughts, in bullet point form:
- Got to listen to the rehearsal for day one while in line for goods; sounded fantastic, and it was funny to hear the squeals around me when everyone realized エンドレスサマー was definitely in the set list.
- There were special photo tickets and stickers for mobile fan club members; they had signed pamphlets, but we didn’t win.
- Very beginning had masked and cloaked dancers, which was quite cool; there was another set of masked dancing before the instrumentals.
- There was remarkably little chatting, which means they fit a lot of songs in.
- 恋は mirage was lots of fun, and I’m sure Kiiyan loved that everyone chimed in when they should. I am; however, really looking forward to hearing this in a smaller venue, where Kiiyan can really get into the song. Hoping they play it at Hallowe’en.
- エンドレスサマー was a show stopper! Disco ball, flamenco dancers, male dancers (yes! why do you only have them every three years, GR!?) with flags, audience participation, Kiiyan dancing around! Plus his voice was sublime on the high notes.
- The unexpected songs: SUPERNOVA! CRACK STAR FLASH! silence! チキン・ヒーロー ! Infinite Love! Kyaaaaa!
- Kiiyan came over to our corner for CSF (day 2) and put on a nice show, including a really high kick. It was filmed by a handheld video camera, but didn’t make it onto TV, alas.
- The girl in front/next to me was supremely nice and either let me squeeze in when Kiiyan came over, or ducked down so I could see him clearly/be seen clearly. It was very sweet and polite of her. Thank you!
- Fire Horns! Loved, loved, loved having them join for We Wanna R&R Show.
- e-zuka blaming Kiiyan day 2 for him messing up the intro to We Wanna R&R Show, because the former ad-libbed some wordless vocals (as he’s done in the past)
- e-zuka gently teasing Shin about his parents being at Saturday’s show; and teasing him badly about his height at the very end by holding his hands waaaaay above Shin’s for the high five. XD
- Flow were in the kankeisha for day one … and bad-ass about showing up before the lights went down and not caring if folks saw. Heh.
- There was so much fail for throwing things into the audience for day two. Kiiyan came to our corner and tried to toss his towel into the 1st floor (up a level from the arena) seats and failed. Takita tried to toss something into our section … and it fell between the stage and the barrier. A staffer had to fetch it so he could try again. e-zuka’s wrist band ended up behind him, claimed by Shin, who danced around with it (no idea if e-zuka did actually reclaim it and toss it to the center).
- During Y.W.F., first Takita beat up on e-zuka. Then with both standing on the drum stand, e-zuka beat up on Takita … then they BOTH picked on Shin. Poor Shin!
- Kiiyan was mostly behaved, except for a bit of mic stand stroking during Y.W.F.
- Takita gave Kiiyan and e-zuka a bad time about being maji ame otoko on day one (it POURED that afternoon/evening). Kiiyan looked sheepish.
- Kiiyan was so very taken by some breasts front row in our section on Friday that Takita had to actually poke him to remind him to go say his goodbyes to the side stage. XD
- I had hoped beyond hope they’d bring Go For It! back, and they did! IGPX! e-zuka threatened to make it last 30 minutes on Saturday, and I wish they had. So glad to hear this again. Hope they keep it for G7.
- Because it was his first time playing Go For It! and calling for folks, Shin was dubbed ‘Go For It! cherry boy” by Kiiyan. They also told him he needs to grow a chin like Val’s before G7.
- They were definitely aiming to be more theatrical this time around, and had an amazing lighting rig and great musical intros for チキン・ヒーロー and Crack Star Flash.
- Was hoping for a New Year’s show announcement, but settled for being happy for the Dead Apple OP!
- e-zuka said he was pretty much done with the music for the new song so Kiiyan said he’d need to get on the lyrics right away!
- Kiiyan and e-zuka both already brought up G13. ^_^
If I forgot anything, will add it in later.
Can’t believe it’s a month until the next show. Too long!
This will be short, since the set itself was just seven songs.
- Got to the venue about 9:00 AM (I highly recommend splurging for the Summer Sonic shuttle bus if you go. Picks you up at USJ train station and drops you right by Sonic Stage).
- Picking up wristband was super easy, so less than 10 minutes later, joined the line to get into the Sonic Stage. Ended up being about 20th in line, behind some guys and a handful of Rodeo Girls.
- Very glad I did not spring for a platinum ticket, since the nice older RG right after me in line had one, but discovered there wasn’t a platinum viewing spot in the Sonic Stage venue. Nor did staff send her to the front of the line, which seemed only fair to me. She asked me if she could go in ahead of me, which I was fine with. As it turns out, we ended up right next to each other, front row, e-zuka’s side.
- Survived the opening act, which had far too much screaming and crowd surfing (one right over my head on the last song. ow!) for my tastes. My friends showed up somewhere during that act, came up to join me before SWMRS came on. They were quite amusing. Next up was Nothing’s Carved in Stone who were … okay.
- Shin came out to check out his drum kit himself, playing bits of Urban Sweet, Glorious Days and more. We all cheered for him. We could hear e-zuka calling out to the guy tuning his guitars.
- GR opened with Pierrot Dancin’, which really is just killer with the a cappella vocals
- Kiiyan’s MCs apparently tickled more than a few folks, to judge by Twitter and other writeups. He talked about being an ame-otoko, wanting to crowd surf because it looked like fun — but that he’s too old, how GR is an anison band
- He looked and sounded great. None of the usual festival nerves were showing. That could be because of the rows of cheering Rodeo Girls (and the occasional RB) up front. He stuck mostly to center, but worked the stage a little for ROSE HIP-BULLET.
- We seemed to amuse the security guys between us and the stage. Probably because to someone not used to GR shows, seeing all these young women doing the calls and responses in unison probably *is* amusing. Well, and bikinis.
- GR was the first act of the day on Sonic Stage to get videotaped. Or rather, we in the crowd were taped. Curious where that footage will go. A GR staffer was taking pics/video on her phone as well.
- There were a few crowd surfers — only one person in GR merch, though. Please don’t pick up this habit. Please.
- e-zuka threw out a bunch of picks and one landed in front of our section. The staffer there picked it up and dithered about which of the 5-6 of us clamoring for it to give it to. We even offered to jan-ken for it. I was hoping he’d go for me, of course, but he gave it to the person two to my left. Ah well.