Just went to my second J-pop concert last night!!! I went to DREAMS COME TRUE concert in Kanoya Cultural Hall… in KANOYA!!! The whole thing started with the poster that's posted close to the entrance of stairwells in the city hall… Hmmm Dreams Come True concert… is it possible that it could actually happen in Kanoya? I talked a few people around the city hall and they were all wondering the same thing as well. Well, the way to get the tickets is not by calling non-stop to some hotlines or line up days and nights at the ticket office… We had to send in the return postcards (which I had never seen before until then… It's two postcards connected together… one side is to send it there, and the other side is for the organizations/company/etc to send back as reply forms…). So we had to send the card in with our names, address… and stuff. Only one entry per household, apparently. So some people use their family members' names or even their babies' names… That didn't work out, it seemed.
Anyways.. I bought two postcards and thought maybe I could use my (then) supervisor Higashikura-san's name to increase my chances, but then I got lazy and just sent in one with my name on it… I don't know if it's because my name is in Katakana (so obviously foreign) or maybe that I have quite a few people who know me in the organization that sponsors the event (because of previous work stuff)… I got the tickets! Then I heard that the cultural hall can only seat 1200 people, and 600 seats were reserved for fan club people. So, that means only 300 people got the remaining seats (as 1 person can have a pair of tickets). In total… 13000 something people sent in postcards… wow… so I was REALLY lucky for sure!
I had promised Yamanaka-san who works in our office as the part-time lady that we'd take each other if one of us got the tickets, so she was my date to the concert. We had rush right after the bell chimed because the door opens at 6pm and we get off at roughly 5pm… thought I'd get hungry so I ate some kimchi and rice… then had to brush my teeth real quick so my breath wouldn't smell too bad.. :p
We rode in Yamanaka-san's car and we went straight to the cultural hall. As soon as we got there, there's this huge trailer that has the Dreams Come True 2005 Concert Tour Diamond 15 on it… I couldn't resist so had to take a picture of it with my cell phone (didn't have my camera because it's just gonna confiscated anyway…). Then we got our bags checked by the people and finally went into the hall… It was the first I had been in there… and was really surprised how… small it is… In Canada, I had been used to Edmonton's Jubilee Auditorium and GM Place in Vancouver… The Cultural Hall in Kanoya is just… tiny… but then it was probably a good thing anyway because our seats were like second rows from the back, so it the hall was big we wouldn't have been able to see that clearly… hee hee
So, we squeezed through piles of people and did some concert merchandise shopping…(Yamanaka-san and I both bought the cell phone straps of the concert mascot Daiman-kun and I even bought a pink t-shirt with the logos of Diamond 15 tour on it… I later realized that it was what Yoshida Miwa the vocalist was wearing when she came out! Hee hee it was sooooo cute).
As the time started approaching, we were all very excited… And, finally the lights went out and the spotlights for the stage lighted up… There were the band members and… Yoshida Miwa and Nakamura Masato came out!!! But the funniest thing was that, when Miwa was speaking.. her microphone wasn't working… Tried a few times but gave up eventually.. had to get a new one from the staff. She said that she's been on tour for 16 years and it was the first time her mike didn't work… so she would definitely remember Kanoya for sure. :p I'd rather she didn't have to remember it that way though. She was so sweet… asking how the Kanoya babies (boys and gals) are doing. After some brief chat, she started singing right away… with just the PERFECT pitch and PERFECT voice… it was definitely amazing! She sang all the songs in the new album "Diamond 15." In the song "douzo yoroshiku," I think a little tear came out of my eyes… Yep… I cried… because it was just TOO amazing!
In between the songs, she also talked a little about her feelings of coming to Kanoya… Masato started naming the places where he passed to go from the airport to Kanoya… with all the mountains, tunnels, Mos Burger, Kanoya Sports Uni… hee hee amazing how he remembered them all. Then Miwa talked about the food she was served.. like Kagoshima's traditional Satsuma-age, sweet potato sweets from Festivalo, and the delicious cake from Bon Vivont (spelling?). She also started speaking in Kagoshima dialect that she just learned earlier that day, like "Wazze yokunai ke?!"… It was so cute!
When the song of "Ola! Vitoria!" came up, everybody just screamed so hard! It was such a powerful song, and I'm sure everyone was waiting for it already. They have their own choreography so they were all dancing on stage… we the audience started copying the moves and suddenly it was like a dance party… (okay, that's a bit cheezy.. but oh well, we were on the highest of the high… can't blame us). After that there was a brief break where Miwa went into backstage (later we know she went in to change into another t-shirt), and Masato and the backup vocal Mika started getting audience involved in the singing. So they got all the guys to stand up and girls sit down (think purposely to get us rested a bit since we'd been standing the whole time). And the guys had to put their left hand on their waist and right hand in fist then wave it then sing "Hi no ji" in variation. When it was girls' turn we just had to nod our heads from left to right, right to left according to the rhythm. Hee hee some guys were so embarrassed so couldn't really do it. But it was all in good fun!
Then, my fave song "Love Letter" came up… I never thought I would enjoy live music so much… partly because I have this weird thing that if the singer can't sing it perfectly just like recorded, it was pointless… but I was COMPLETELY wrong!! It's all about live music… that's when all the emotion flows directly to people listening… ah…
Towards the end of the concert, the guy from Kagoshima city who was blind from birth but has AMAZING voice came out because DCT were good friends with him. He came out and they sang a song together (can't remember what song… sorry). I hadn't known about him before but apparently he became an instant celebrity awhile ago when his story was reported on national TV and people were all wondering about him… hmmm… want to know more about this guy…
The concert finished with the new single "Nando Demo" which was the theme song of winter drama "Kyumei Byodo 24 hr" about the event (if) an earthquake hits Tokyo and the emergency rooms' hardship and all the people doing their best in the horrible situation. I had watched the drama and definitely think the song fits the drama well. But when I heard it live in the concert hall instead of a CD or from TV… it's just completely different. I guess that's why people pay so much money to go see live music. Man, now I'm hooked!!!!
Finally, all good things had to come to an end, and the concert came to a close… We flocked out of the cultural hall and walked to the parking lot with the songs echoing in our head (or because the mini merchandise shops were playing the CD…??) Yamanaka-san and I went to Juri for some late supper and talked about the concert…while waiting for food, we e-mailed people and telling that we just went to see DCT concert. Afterall, I had to send somebody the pictures I took with the concert trailer! :)