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Morning Musume tickets vs AKB tickets
After yesterday’s insanely awesome concert, we decided (or at least I did, Chad wasn’t too keen lol) to go for another concert today! Had a somewhat free day in our itinerary, so why not? :]
Headed down in the morning to Harajuku again to look for tickets at Gorakudoh. When we got there the lady was pasting over the prices. The more last minute you purchase the tickets, the cheaper they become. Good news for us.
We took a long time deliberating on the tickets. Chad was fussing over the AKB front row tickets. Apparently we got front row, but it was behind the stage or something like that. He was considering getting better tickets if it turns out the seats we had were complete crap, but the concert was awesome, and worth watching again. The tickets aren’t exactly cheap. So if he bought Morning Musume tickets today, he won’t be able to get AKB ones later in the week.
In the end he decided not to go for another concert. I was hell bent on going for another one, since the whole point of my trip was for the concerts. Fan boy ++
Solo tickets are easier to get than pairs, so I had more options now. Our seats yesterday, although close, was way too much to the left side, and we couldn’t see what was going on the far side of the stage. I had to make sure I was centered this time. Went for a 5th row, middle column ticket for ¥23000. That’s S$440!
They don’t reveal the seat number when you buy the tickets, only after do you get to find out where you are seated. So it kind of felt like buying lottery. Lol. I got seat number 30, smack right in the middle! YES!
Yebisu Garden Palace
Headed to Yebisu Garden Palace shortly after. Main attraction here were the high end, palace looking places. It felt a bit like Ngee Ann City at Orchard, except with very strong winds, beautiful flowers and nice places to sit, chill and people watch. There was a small high end department store here. Other than that, we didn’t find anything else of interest to us. That’s about it for this place. It looks better at night I think. We’ll most probably come back again when Wilson joins us on Monday.
Starbucks here was fun. Menu was completely different from the ones in Singapore. No Javachip! Ordered this Carmel blended frappachino thing instead. When you order something, everyone behind the counter echos your order in a song like manner. Interesting.
We people watched for a sometime at the square, discussing about actually living in Japan. It’s difficult for a foreigner to actually work in japan, compared to Singapore, where foreigners seem to be given all sorts of advantages. Headed back to Shinjuku around 4pm, while Chad covered more ground over at Akihabara.
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Extreme Morning Musume concert content from this point on.
You’ve been warned! :D
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Morning Musume ~Pika Pika~ Round 2!
In case you didn’t know, they run 2 concerts a day, one at 2pm and one at 6pm. It’s amazing how they can maintain the same high energy performance for the entire Saturday, and again for Sunday. 4 concerts over every weekend for 3 months. Respect.
After seeing them twice, at close range, some things just stand out in my mind as unexpected, or changed my impression of some of them. There’s just so many little things you notice in a concert that you don’t see in DVDs. Their interactions with each other, their reaction to the fans, the things they do when off center or not singing~
My previous post I covered the concert and set list. This post will be focused on the girls themselves. Some observations you may or may not like. No offense to any particular hardcore fans of anyone.
First of all, compared to when I saw them last year, and Koharu out of the picture, they as an idol group seem to have matured. They are a lot more refined now, and behave more like professional artists than girl-next-door idols. I agree with some of the comments on forums that they are a lot more accurate in the way they perform. And that’s for the better, seeing them actually delivering the songs and dance moves with grace, flair and style, rather than sloppily but having a cute smile.
During the concert only Reina, Gaki-san, Mitsui and Jun Jun responds to our waving and crazy jumping. The other 4 never took the moment to notice the people waving, smile, and wave back. Only during their MCs, towards the end when they were supposed to wave, did they wave. The first 4 however, would sneak in smiles and waves during their performances. Not so much during the A-side singles, but during B-side and album songs, where the dance routines allowed them free reign. Reina in particular likes to sneak in tiny waves during MCs when other members are talking. Jun Jun as well.
Reina, Sayumi and Jun Jun mouth the words when they’re not singing. Even though it’s not their line, they’ll still sing along while dancing. The others don’t do it. AiChan and Reina looked the most ‘stress’ since they’re in the lead most of the time. They have to keep track of when it’s their turn to sing, unlike Mitsui, who was having an absolute a ball of a time waving and smiling to everyone since she doesn’t have as many lines.
I agree with Chad that some of the members seem to have this look of ‘concern’ that there were so many old men in the crowds jumping all over the place for them. Sayumi and Jun Jun seemed especially disturbed about this fact. The rest of the members either didn’t show it, or just blocked them out.
Aichan mostly ignored any waves and jumping front row people. Most of the time she was singing leads and dancing with utmost grace. The only time I ever saw her react to fans was during her MC, when she heard one of the female fans yelled “daisuki!” (i love you) and she replied with thanks. Another reason could be that she’s the leader now, and maybe feels compelled to be more mature and leader like? She says it multiple times on interviews that although she’s the leader of the group, she feels nothing like a leader.
Out of all of them, she behaves the most professionally, as though she’s been performing all her life. I mean, well, she has almost 9 years of experience behind her. It showed during ‘Ano ni Modoritai’, when they were dancing with the umbrellas, it accidentally opened behind her halfway though one of the moves. But she didn’t flinch one bit, and gracefully closed it during the next dance step.
During the second concert there was some mishap going on with her hairband as well. She had 2 on, one of it especially low, and the more she danced the more it dropped in front, to the point where it was flattening her fringe. I was waiting for her to push it back up, maybe during one of the moves when her back was facing us. But she didn’t, and still followed through with the choreography. Lucky it didn’t drop. She removed it in the next song during Resonant Blue. Professional no?
Gaki-san was the expression queen. From the start she had this sultry happy smirk, something like an ‘I know something you don’t’ kind of look. But towards the middle she opened up into this very genuine smile, waving back at us and just having fun. During ‘Ame no Furanai Hoshi dewa Aisenai Darou’ she was on the top stage, behind these huge speakers. She would catch fans on the extreme sides of the stage waving at her, and she would peek back out to wave back most enthusiastically with both hands. How nice!
She absolutely oozed with rock attitude during the encore song. No one else had more attitude. During the MCs, she comes across as more leader-like than Ai-Chan, always speaking first and sometimes closing out other members.
The thing I remember about Reina was how impeccable she looked throughout the concert. She, does, not, sweat, ever. They all look great during the opening song, but over the course of the concert everyone else would have their makeup run, or fade, or their hair wet and all over the place. But Reina looked exactly the same throughout the entire 2 hours. Amazing.
She’s also the best at getting the crowd riled up. During all the songs where we sang along, she’ll be the one cheering us on, pointing the mic at us and just egging us to follow along. I don’t remember anyone else doing that. She was an absolute riot during the encore ‘How do you like Japan’. Running all over the place getting us jumping like no tomorrow. It felt like she was in a class of her own among everyone on stage.
Sayumi had the greatest impression on me. She stood out the most on stage because of her height, and was just absolutely gorgeous with her huge glittery eyes and slightly rosy cheeks. For some reason she wasn’t as energetic during the songs. She always seem to have this slightly stressed, staring into the distance look when performing. She took over most of Koharu’s lines, so maybe she was a bit nervous. She did mention her difficulties in her new lines during rehearsals on her blog.
She was definitely more at ease during MCs than singing. I mean, she looked like she could talk by herself for hours. Dance wise she seemed a bit clumsy compared to AiChan’s graceful moves. In my books, definitely the No.1 most kawaii Morning Musume member, ever. xD
Kamei sweats the most. Like, seriously. She was literally dripping from her chin during the second MC. So much so that if you were in the front row you could get hit by her sweat if she swings her hair. lol. For some reason she tends to look down a lot during MC segments when the other members are speaking. No idea why. Thinking about what to say maybe?
The one thing I can’t forget was how calm she looked. She had this very calm, carefree feeling about her during the concert. There wasn’t a hint of stress coming from her. She just looked as though she was just there, having a good time enjoying the concert from start to finish. In their DVD magazines, all the other members describe her as the most laid back character, being super carefree and taking things as they come. I agree. lol.
Dance wise, while AiChan was the most graceful, Eri was the most explosive. I can’t forget the moment when Eri looked in our direction during ‘How do you like Japan’, saw us jumping like insane monkeys, she cracked a ‘Haha I see you!’ kind of smile, and started jumping even harder with us! Totally awesome! While other members just punch the air, she jumps with us 200%. No wonder Jun Jun said in an interview some time back, while Eri sleeps a lot, she’s the most powerful on stage.
I didn’t pay much attention to Mitsui, but every time I saw her she always had this honest smile going on. And she was always reacting to the crowd, smiling and waving all over the place.
She gives me the feeling of being a genuine, all round nice girl idol. No particular character traits like the other members.
Jun Jun Impressions
With Koharu gone, she’s the tallest among the members. You can tell by her dance and expressions that she’s still sort of new in Morning Musume. She didn’t have a lot of expression, even during the 8th gen song. It felt like she was just following the choreography. Didn’t feel like she was making a connection.
She was however, pretty creeped out by this crazy JunJun fan in the front row that kept jumping, smiling and making hand signs at her. During the MC segments, when she was standing right in front of him, she would deliberately avoid looking down at his direction, and look far away. lol.
Lin Lin Impressions
Not a big fan of Lin Lin. She has this fixed smile going on all the time, and like JunJun, it felt like she was just following the choreography. The only thing i remember thinking during her 8th gen song was that she does fill out a T-shirt nicely. xD
That’s all folks
That about sums it up for my double concert experience. If you ask me now if it was worth spending all that money for the 2 concerts, I would say I regret not going to ALL 5 of their concerts.
Morning Musume concerts are one of a kind. Compared to all the other artist concerts I’ve been to, theirs are incredibly well designed and packaged, to give you the best experience possible. It’s like a well designed roller coaster ride. High energy opening at the start, slower towards the middle, climaxing at the medley, slow towards the end, explosive encore, and a perfect middle energy ending.
You haven’t had a real concert experience until you’ve been to an idol concert. Being in the audience with the hardcore wotas is an experience all by itself. The concert won’t be the same if everyone was just sitting down watching. Even the girls themselves mentioned, when comparing American fans to Japanese fans; the American fans just scream and sort of do whatever they want by themselves, while the Japanese fans do everything (chants and cheers) in unison and in order.
I have high hopes for the AKB concert next week. :D
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