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Thursday, 16 June 2011

NANA MIZUKI LIVE JOURNEY 2011, Station 5 Niigata, departs!

So, I think I've stalled this enough.... I just wanted to build up the suspense and savor my experience on my own before writing about it. Also I must warn you, this will more than likely be a very long entry (BECAUSE LOL IT TOOK ME OVER THREE DAYS TO WRITE) - so go make some popcorn now and then enjoy! I have to say I would never have dared hope to see Nana so soon, but dad got me and him (x'D) a ticket to Nana's concert in Niigata for my birthday! I was so ecstatic I could've exploded. Anyway enough of my explosions, time for.....

STATION 5: NIIGATA!

Welcome on board!! A fantastic journey!!


Goods
Arrived there in the morning before 11am on the Shinkansen. Dropped bags at hotel and hurried to the concert venue, since concert goods were to be sold starting at 12:30! The venue seemed surprisingly ordinary - no Nana posters or anything anywhere. It had me suspicious for a while, but then I spotted a man dressed as Fate Testarossa (three more Fate men appeared later O_o) and knew instantly it was indeed the right place. Then around the corner, in front of the building, a nice view was waiting for us - at least 200 people waiting in line. We hurried to the end of the line. Luckily they started selling merchandise like 45 mins early and the line moved rather fast. At one point one of the staff members keeping an eye on the line came to talk to me. He was interested in where I had come from and why I wanted to see Nana and I managed to have a decent conversation about that in Japanese with him - success success!
The whole time we were in line I was quite fidgety about whether or not there would be anything left for me to buy with all those people there, but looks like Nana's team is mega prepared - nothing was even close to running out when we got in (and everything could still be purchased in the evening). Dad didn't even let me buy anything myself, he said that everything I wanted from there was part of my birthday present. HOLY SHIZZLES! I was being very modest at first but then he kept insisting I get more, since we had come from the other side of the world for this and mom would slap him silly if he refused to let me get what I wanted.  I could've cried right there from being so overjoyed. I really have amazing parents. And ha, dad even got a shirt for himself too. xD
They also had a table with ALL of Nana's releases. ALL OF THEM. That was a really nice idea I thought, since some of the earlier releases are bound to be very hard to find from stores. I just wanted to buy every single CD and DVD I was missing, but decided to be reasonable in the end and just got 3 albums and 2 DVDs.

THE HAUL (minus one poster):
Will put this picture on FB as well with tags on what is what.

So after shopping, we took the stuff not essential for the concert itself back to the hotel and went to eat. In honor of Nana I of course had to eat curry and I have to say that it was probably the tastiest curry I have ever eaten. I have fallen in love with Japan curry, I can see why Nana likes it so much!

After refueling myself with curry, it was time for.....

The concert!!!!!!!
My seat was on the second floor, 5th row on the right half. Very good view of the stage, especially since in Japan I am not short - hallelujah! Also due to the venue being so small, I think I was like 20 meters from the stage - definitely not bad for my first Nana concert! Also, as was to be expected, 90% of the people there were men. Japanese men. In their thirties or forties. The girl in front of me looked like she had been dragged there by her boyfriend haha. Anyways, I was really about to go insane waiting for Nana to come on stage - I had already noticed my hands trembling when I was eating the curry so I can only imagine how worked up I was now. I nearly passed out from excitement when the opening video came on of a little boy bringing a letter to Nana, who was residing in a cottage in the middle of the forest (really should've done that scene in Finland lol the natural habitat of cottages in forests... x'D). Nana read the letter and decided to leave on a journey.....

And theeeeeeeeeeeeeeen......

SETLIST:
01. SCARLET KNIGHT
02. ETERNAL BLAZE
03. 十字架のスプレッド (Juujika no Spread)
MC1
04. 恋の抑止力-type EXCITER- (Koi no Yokushiryoku-type EXCITER-)
05. HIGH-STEPPER
06. Polaris
Cherry Boys Showcase
07. ストロボシネマ (Strobe Cinema)
08. Love Trippin'
09. DISCOTHEQUE
MC2
10. STORIES
11. アルビレオ(Albireo)
Team Yoda Showcase
12. Astrogation
MC3
13. Supersonic Girl
Towel Lesson
14. Level Hi!
Nana in Forest -video
15. 囚われのBabel (Toraware no Babel)
16. 残光のガイア (Zankou no Gaia)
MC4
17. Bring it on!
18. Trickster
19. UNBREAKABLE
MC5
20. Pray
Encore:
21. New Sensation
Shassu!
22. POWER GATE
23. POP MASTER
Souvenir Throwing

Now for the detailed account...

01. SCARLET KNIGHT

I can't even begin to describe how I felt when the SCARLET KNIGHT opening bell sounded and the curtain arose to reveal Nana on the stage. That moment was beyond magical and I wasn't sure if I was actually there or just dreaming. Apparently dad was sneakily looking at me at this point and awaiting my reaction to seeing Nana and he told me later that the change in my face was tremendous and it was obvious how happy I was and that I was instantly absorbed into another world - Nana's world.
Now to the song itself! Holy hell, a Nana concert (or any other concert for that matter) could not have a more powerful opening than this. Nana was just so majestic in her blue dress and hearing her strong voice in person really blew me away and shook me all the way to my core from the moment she first opened her mouth. SCARLET KNIGHT sounded very amazing live, Nana really brought the power across in her singing and also in her demeanor. I'd have sold my soul to her right here, if I had not done so a long time ago already...

02. ETERNAL BLAZE
I was pretty bummed that I did not have an orange penlight to change to for this, but hell I have no idea where to buy stuff like that in Japan so I had to make do with my blue LIVE JOURNEY one. Next time I will be more prepared! Also, quite an interesting choice bringing out ETERNAL BLAZE so early, but it worked. Definitely the best possible follow up to SCARLET KNIGHT. It was so amazing to get to shout "Eternal blaze!" on Nana's cue in the middle of the song. Hearing this live made me melt into a puddle of goo.

03. 十字架のスプレッド
I thought there was surprisingly much jumping during this song considering it's serious tone, but what the hell, I was there jumping ecstatically with the rest of them! Really beautiful song, I really love this one, and definitely very beautiful live as well. Nana was obviously pouring herself into the song and the emotion just radiated to the audience. 

MC1
Konbanwa!!! Nana spoke about the 4 hour bus journey to Niigata that morning and what happened during it. Sadly my Japanese was not good enough to make out the details. :( And holy hell, they shone the spotlights on the audience during the MC (during all of them actually) and I felt slightly embarrassed since I really stood out like a sore thumb in the crowd... there was no one else who looked so obviously foreign and then there was my blonde hair on top of that. I hope my hair didn't blind Nana or something... gomenasai. ; ; I think Nana glanced my way at the start of the MC thanks to my hair being quite the attention grabber - I hope I made her curious about me or something. xD Anyways.... Live Journey, Station 5 Niigata, departs!

04. 恋の抑止力-type EXCITER-
Nana sang the first lines of the song and disappeared for the duration of the instrumental for.... Outfit change! Oh. My. God. I loved it. I am not sure how to describe it - it was a dance outfit so shorts were involved and a black top that was longer on the back than in the front. Really hawt. And aahhh, I am so happy Nana pulled out -type EXCITER- from the song rotation in this concert (not that I'd have minded Take a Shot or Gimmick Game either). It was really amazing to see the dance I know so well in person and I really wish I had had my binoculars with me so I could've gotten a close up of my favorite move. ;) She seemed more comfortable with this song + dance than she did in LIVE GAMES, go Nana! Also, I have to say it gave me huge gratification to get to sing the lines "Daisuki da yo" and "Itsumo gomen" for Nana. Aahhh. <3

05. HIGH-STEPPER
And OH. MY. GOD. HIGH-STEPPER and the HIGH-STEPPER dance.... The dance!! It was very sensual (ooh aah~) and I got this feeling of cabaret as in the movie Chicago and also of Nana being quite dominatrix-ish, and I really just wanted her to put a collar and leash on me and pull me around. :'D I really loved the part where she went around to all her dancers one at a time like they were her bishes, haha. I know what I'll be watching non-stop when the concert Bluray comes out....*major nosebleed* This choreograph has definitely sky-rocketed to the top half of my Nana choreograph top 10. I will want to see it again though before I amend the list - a certain amount of drooling must be conducted before changes are made.

(At this point, after HIGH-STEPPER, I got teary eyed because everything was so wonderful and amazing and REAL.. and I was just so happy. :3)

06. Polaris
Again an interesting choice, this time due to the song + outfit combo. It worked well though. I think Nana can make anything work, no matter what. :D Was very nice hearing this live, since I've always thought the song was lovely (okay so perhaps finding a Nana song that I don't think is lovely is impossible, but still...). Really a pleasure to listen to and ogle at Nana in her outfit now that she wasn't doing a heavy dance routine and was easy to... well, ogle at.

Cherry Boys Showcase
New song from the Cherry Boys, called Oretachi no Journey I think. Not as memorable as the one they sang about their princess in LIVE ACADEMY , I cannot even remember how this new song went anymore (me being high on Nana might have had something to do with that too of course). It was a nice song though in any case!

07. ストロボシネマ
Ahhhhh Strobe Cinema! I love this song so much, it's so cute and makes me think of old movies. Outfit change again this time to pink mini-dress with polka dots. Definitely went perfectly with the image the song puts in my head. And *squeal* the little dance to this is soooooo cute. I loved it! I really want to see this again, waahhhh. Kawaii!

08. Love Trippin'
This one definitely continued on the cuteness. There were these parts in the dance routine where Nana slaps herself on the ass (okay on the side of her thigh, BUT ALMOST!!)..... And now I must confess I am not sure if that was during this or Strobe Cinema - I'm pretty sure it was this. THE CONTINUOUS CUTENESS IS CONFUSING MY ALREADY MUSHY BRAIN! Anyway, it was in one or the other. I must investigate this slapping in great detail when the Bluray comes out, ehum. *cough*

09. DISCOTHEQUE
CHURU CHURU CHURU PAYA PA!!! Ahh, the fulfillment I got from getting to sing those parts for Nana - even if I at one point got a glimpse of the mental image of me and Amy doing those hand movements... Is it wrong to think of that in the presence of Nana? I hope not. :3 I wouldn't mind doing them to her... I mean what. ANYWAY, amazing seeing DISCOTHEQUE live, everyone was going nuts - me included! Such fun!!

MC2
MAWATTE CALLS!! Yay! Nana said fine she'll do it once and turned around, after which we all shouted all the more.... and she agreed to do it a second time if everyone else turned first. SO WE DID. :D And then it was time for a special announcement.... THIS IS NANA'S 77th LIVE!!! *squeal* How I managed to be part of that I have no idea - sooooo lucky! I thought the 4th Station was going to be the 77th, but this definitely works for me, haha. :D Nana thanked everyone for their support and wished for our support till she reaches her 777th live!!!! Hell yes!! I will be there Nana, for you!! <3

(Also on a side note, I think Fire (sax) was staring at me during this MC. xD)

10. STORIES
Yay, acoustic version! This was a very important song in this tour I believe. This song depicts Nana's life's journey quite well imo. Really beautiful. Goes well with the despair in Japan due to the disaster as well, giving hope. Or that's my opinion again. But really great song. Thank you for this Nana!

(small MC in between here, Nana talked with Itaruvic about his mandolin, think he said it was from the US. Nana picked a string on it and then flee'd lol. xD Next Nana went to talk to Ryutan about his silent bass, but didn't even pick a string on it even though Ryutan offered. Poor Nana, worrying she'll break things.)

11. アルビレオ
I'm aware I've said this often about other songs but... I seriously love this song. Really beautiful song! Worked really well live and acoustic, but the album version is pretty acoustic too so, not that much of a shocker that it'd be acoustic live as well. :P But yes anyway, this made my ears melt.

Team Yoda Showcase
Team Yoda as train attendants (Mika, Shizuka, Anna and Yumeko)! Man I really love the overly high-pitched cutesy voice Nana uses in the introductions. It's really too cute. *explodes* Martin (drummer) took part in this also and they all seemed to have a lot of fun. :D Finally Nana joined in herself - in a train conductor outfit!! Yay! Also (I think it was here and not in the next MC, my sense of time died a long time ago lol), Nana was acting all train conductor-ish right before the next song started by indicating that people should go on a journey with her and started pointing at random people in the audience of which, I am pleased to inform, I was the last one! And that's where I totally melted. <3

12. Astrogation
HAHA OH MY GOD! ASTROGATION! I wasn't expecting this! Nana hadn't sung it in any of the earlier concerts on this tour. This must be a sign, a sign of even Nana herself appreciating we used this song for a good purpose in our last uni assignment. xD Hearing this live now felt like it was meant to be. Like there was some deep magical connection between me and Nana.... yeah don't say anything - let me dream. :P This song was really good live, as was to be expected!

MC3
Nana talked about her new single that's coming out start of August and will be featured as the ED of Blood-C! The song is called 純潔パラドックス (Junketsu Paradox) and Nana went on to explain how junketsu means pure-hearted and was in the process of saying "like me" when someone shouted about the ero-lines in Nana's hand and Nana was all like "Who said that??", after which she admitted the lines seem to have grown longer... x'D No wonder when you have stuff like the HIGH-STEPPER dance Nana-chan! <3 Anyways, I expect great things from this new song - the title itself is already epic enough. :) 

(On a side note I have to say Kenny was definitely staring at me during this. Ahahaha.. xD)

13. Supersonic Girl
Have you heard [this song]? Well I can tell you, it didn't sound anything like that now. xD Like wow. The power! You can really tell Nana's come a long way with her skills since she made this song. She sung it now in a very powerful way that just sounded unbelievably amazing. She should release a remastered version of her old songs, would be interesting to hear! Really awesome this, I can't wait to own it on Bluray. Was fun to sing the "supersonic"s in the chorus for Nana!

Towel Lesson
Hisayo-sensei came on stage to instruct the towel moves to Level Hi!. It is surprisingly hard to handle the towel in a decent way, but I got the hang of it soon enough. xD During the lesson people started getting confused when Hisayo-sensei stopped saying left and right and just did the moves - many people were doing it in opposite directions.

14. Level Hi!
Yay towel song! This was much fun. :D Too bad there was not much time to ogle at Nana, since had to focus on waving the towel the right way though it was really awesome being properly part of the song. Really fun towel choreograph for this song. Everything was so yay yay happy! Me too. xD Before the song Nana said girls should shake their hips in one part of the dance routine so I decided to step up to the plate and did the shakes! Oooh yeahhh~!

Nana in Forest -video
Well that pretty much sums it up - Nana in a forest. She definitely should have shot this in Finland too (though if she had I would die, since in that case I would've missed the fact that Nana was in Finland)! I found it fun how she was going around in the wilderness with high heels. Silly Nana, hardly the equipment for hiking, that. :D Then a feather fell from the ceiling, marking the beginning of...

15. 囚われのBabel
Hell yes! Epic start to an epic song! Nana had changed outfits again for this, now to a white mini-dress and nun/bride-ish headpiece. I was really happy about hearing this live, I was obsessed with this song a few weeks back. xD Think many of the guys like this song - since they went quite wild when it came on. Can't blame them. Really amazing!

16. 残光のガイア
 YEEeeeeeeeeeeeSSSSS! I am SO HAPPY that Zankou no Gaia was part of the set list in this concert, as it was one of the songs that was rotated with other ones. This definitely was one of the songs I really really really fervently wished to hear live due to it's epicness, and I was not disappointed. Also, nothing could give me such great pleasure than singing "Yeeeeeeeessssssss" for Nana. Really fitting considering my favorite response to questions in the past month or so. <3

MC4
Not a lot I picked up from this one, apart from Nana checking how the audience was doing and Kenny staring at me again. xD Then it was time to raise the roof with...

17. Bring it on!
Nana brought out a megaphone for the wo-o-wo-o bits and this song was definitely powerful as I had expected. Nana was kicking ass, for sure! 

18. Trickster
Woop! Really nice finally hearing the live version of this (though I admit I wouldn't have minded her singing Musterion instead of this, since that rocks big time live)! Nana kicked ass again, this really sounded great. Gave me the same feeling of "wow" as the very nicely done music video for this. Good job!

19. UNBREAKABLE
Woooo! UNBREAKABLE! Nana made a little mistake here I think (or then my hearing sucks), and accidentally started from the second verse. I didn't mind, since she now sang twice my favorite line from the song, "don't waste your life". She fixed it really fast though, and very smoothly - Nana definitely is a pro. Very amazing live! .... Like every other song so far too. xD

MC5
MC mainly to announce it was time for the last song. Nooooo. :(

20. Pray
A very good song to finish on in my opinion - touching and very powerful at the same time. Cannot really have a better start and finish to a concert than what was heard today. Nana sang this song in a very touching way too that just radiated how she was sorry that it was the last song. Everyone was hanging to her every word, trying to savor them to the fullest.

Encore Call
Man, Nana kept us shouting for a long time before she came back (which is really understandable - she must've been exhausted). It was really nice shouting "Naaana!" without any honorifics, since it gave you the feeling that you and Nana had something special, especially since Nana herself is fine with it. Finally when my voice was going quite hoarse, the Cherry Boys came back on stage and theeeeen...

21. New Sensation
I was sort of hoping here that Nana would pop out of the emergency exit that was really close to where I was, but nope she appeared on stage. :( Oh wellz, can't have everything happen during my first Nana experience! Encore outfit was T-shirt A (the one with all concert venues listed) and green mini shorts. Mmmm~. Anyways, New Sensation was a good encore song like always. Always works well for getting the audience in a happy mood, especially when Nana's all happy herself on stage.

Shassu!
Time for the Shassu! call. Wish I had had a white bandanna to put on my head to show my support for the smile-gang, but there was no time to acquire one before the concert. :( Next time!!

22. POWER GATE
Nana disappeared into the crowd on the 1st floor. I couldn't see her half the time for the fact that she partly went beneath the edge of the 2nd floor. :( I was only aware of her whereabouts thanks to keeping an eye on where the people on the 1st floor were looking at. I was still hoping for her to appear from the 2nd floor emergency exit even though I knew it wasn't gonna happen. xD Anyways, was fun taking part in the legendary "woo woo-o power gaaaateeee" chant at the end of the song. :D

23. POP MASTER
Yay, POP MASTER! Definitely a fitting song to end the experience on. This song awakened quite contradicting emotions in me (and probably in everyone else too), as the song has the power to make you really happy but at the same time I was feeling melancholy for the fact that it was the last song of the evening. In any case, the energy during this song was amazing and it was awesome shouting YES POP MASTER at the top of my lungs. Also, like I've always been saying ever since its release - POP MASTER is unbelievable live.

Souvenir Throwing
Time for throwing a local souvenir with Nana's autograph! The one for Niigata was a weird looking little bird. Too bad Nana was throwing them just with her hand, so there was no hope of one coming all the way up to where I was. AND NOW, SOMETHING SHOCKING HAPPENED. NANA FELL FROM STAGE. YES, ACTUALLY FELL!! HOLY HELL DID SHE NEARLY GIVE ME A HEART ATTACK. She was standing on the edge of the stage and when she threw the 3rd souvenir the force of her throw brought one of her feet forward OVER the edge making all of Nana follow suit soon afterward. This all happened really suddenly - like one moment Nana was there and the next she had disappeared from sight. Really scared the hell out of me, especially since that could have ended so badly. So badly, that I don't even want to imagine how badly it could've ended as it still gives me the shivers. But SOMEHOW, Nana managed to land on her feet. It was like a surprise hop off the stage as she calls it. Nana was standing there in front of the stage looking baffled like "What the hell just happened?" and then some of her staff helped her back up on the stage. She assured everyone that she was fine, just surprised, but who knows with Nana - I mean, the stage was quite high and knowing Nana she wouldn't let her pain show and ruin everyone's good mood. Well all in all, she handled that like a champ, I mean, I am still amazed at how she managed to land on her feet from that. Such a pro. She wrote about it herself in her [Niigata blog entry], if you don't believe me. :O

And then after throwing all the souvenirs, Nana was gone. :(

But man, what an experience. I was left in quite an euphoric state afterward, I was in a proper Nana daze - so damn amazing. I have to say it instantly left me craving for more. Definitely a grand way to mark the end of my university and all the stress and hardships I've had to endure this spring and even a better way to mark the beginning of my new aspirations! Nana, you will see me again! I promise you this. Also on a side note, I am surprised I didn't jump off my row by accident in the concert the way I was jumping around like an insane madman. O_o I must admit though that there were a few times when that was close.... Also, I must get fitter for the next Nana concert I go to - I did manage to wave my stick around on full-power and jump throughout the concert but it was a bit too draining for my liking. :')
My dad was completely amazed by the whole experience as well, he had never imagined it to be such a phenomenon. Pff, I did tell him. xD He was all asking me when she was touring again and how long this tour was going on haha, guess he wants to go again. Can't blame him - who wouldn't? :D

I doubt I can ever have such an amazing birthday present as this again. Easily one of the best days of my life. Thank you Nana, and thank you dad. <3 Japan - I will invade you properly soon!

      4 comments:

      1. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees! Lol the hand thing THE HAND THING. :'D *watches the vid again* Siiiigh xD ;3
        So awesomeeee...sooooo .. Jealous...!!!! :D Sounds like it was amazing and you had a great time !

        ReplyDelete
      2. Quite the long but interesting read!
        Enjoyed every letter of it! :D

        I'm pretty sure your face was eternally blazin' with the type of excitement that can only be achieved through a babel type confusion.
        I'm sure you have plenty more small but interesting stories that show how much of a high stepper and scarlet knight you are. Also, I'm pretty sure you were love trippin' at the pure unbreakable new sensation that you were feeling because your prayers had been answered by a pop master! I say bring it on because you're a supersonic girl and sometimes a trickster, as you practice astrogation! :P

        Glad you had a good time! :)
        Maybe next time you'll get to see Nana at Animelo and maybe you'll get to see lots more of Japan! :D

        ReplyDelete
      3. @SunaoWolfie: GASP! I still need to see those videos you took! :D Hahahahaha.
        Yes! A dream come true. We shall go together in the future! <3


        @newtype510: I'm glad you enjoyed it! ^^
        Haha and I definitely had a very good time reading your comment. True every word!! Very well done! :) All hail the pop master who answered my prayers! <3
        I definitely hope so! I can't wait to go again and to see Nana again!!!! :)

        ReplyDelete
      4. I'm still stunned about it being the 77th concert... and how Fire was staring at you during this announcement... *drools drips of deep envy* :P

        Lol @ Astrogation, imagine if Carlo had never called it 'Atrogaming' to begin with... it might never have become ASTROGATION :O! THANK YOU CARLO! AND NANA FOR SINGING IT LIVE FOR ROOSA! :D

        Definitely an experience of a lifetime by the sounds of it, so happy for you! I've said it many a time and I've got no shame in saying it again: you really deserved the break, you brilliant person you :P Congratulations <3 :)


        Additional: I CAN POST HERE NOW FOR SOME REASON, YAY! :[)

        ReplyDelete