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Friday, 8 February 2013

NANA MIZUKI LIVE GRACE 2013 -Opus II- 1月19日

Wohooo~ Here I am with my report for the first night of LIVE GRACE 2013 -Opus II- stylishly a few weeks late once again (though admittedly I think I am usually even more late so some progress has happened, no?). My end of semester came up right after the live so I have been slaving away with no free time until now. orz Gomen. But here it is finally, for 1st night anyway... Report for 2nd night should follow soon after!

(For report on second night of LIVE GRACE 2013 -Opus II- go [here])

<<WARNING! Very long entry, since I always try to relive my personal experience as accurately as possible. Bear with me! :3>>



First night of Live Grace -Opus II- hajimarimasu ~!




Goods
I have to say that this was probably my most pleasant queuing experience so far. I went to the presale again, and for once I was prepared for the "extreme" weather conditions - I was wearing two or three layers in all parts of my body (even two hats!) to counter the cold, haha. Two of my very good friends also came with me and a certain gentleman was keeping me company on Line too, so for once I wasn't lonely either. :3 While I was waiting in the queue I was ambushed by a lot of lovely people from Twitter as well~ and some old friends after a very long while! After exchanging greetings though, they had to go to line up too. It was fun to keep passing them when the line zigzagged. xD That all totally got me pumped up and I wasn't even bothered that the queuing took a lot longer than I had expected. I did feel a bit bad for dragging my friends along though... orz Thank you for coming and sticking with me till the end. Much appreciated. <3 And without further ado, here is my catch! Nana tried very hard to steal all my money, but I managed to resist to some extent luckily. :3 Somehow I was fortunate enough to get a whole set of Nanaca too thanks to the help of some people, so thank yoouu~ /o/


Cha-chang!


Inside Saitama Super Arena
On Saturday I was really stoked when I came to my seat, as it was in a very good place. I was on the 3rd C block and on the very first row of the block, so I had a good view and I wasn't very far from the stage in the middle. The main stage setup looked really nice with an interesting huge chandelier in the middle that reminded me of Beauty and the Beast somehow. I was pretty sure the chandelier would rise up revealing Nana in the process when the concert starts. I found myself paying attention to the music played before the concert, just like I had in LIVE CASTLE, and realized they were playing a song that I knew once again. Funnily enough, I knew the song was by an artist my mom has a habit of listening to while relaxing and I knew that the first time I had heard the song myself was when we lived in the States and I was 10 years old and we were driving in a car. But I could not remember the artist's name, nor the song's. How frustrating! Lastly, once I had gotten myself ready for the concert at my seat and turned around to stand in front of my seat to wait for the start, Mishi-P suddenly walks past right in front of me. Σ(・oノ)ノ I think my eyes nearly popped out of my head, haha. Didn't really expect to see someone like him a couple of feet away from my face. xD


The Concert
The orchestra members started walking to the stage and tuning their instruments. After a while someone from the audience shouted that Nana is not there yet and then, almost instantly, the message "奈々さん、準備OKです!" (= Nana is ready!) appeared on the screens on both sides of the stage. xD

Then for the moment everyone was waiting for, lights off and cue in opening movie! The orchestra starts playing Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker ballet (I went to see this ballet a long time ago, when I was living in the States I believe. So many links to that time in my life in this concert. xD) and the movie is basically a Nana-fied version of the actual story of the Nutcracker battling the evil Mouse King. Nana is sitting cozily on a sofa, reading a book with Tchaikovsky written on the cover, with a tray of tea and cheese on the sofa table. She starts getting sleepy and lies down on the arm of the sofa to sleep. At this point, the toys in the toy box come to life and the Mouse King with his minions come forth to go steal Nana's cheese. A lone Nutcracker comes to stop them, and by using a cocktail stick from one of the pieces of cheese, starts conducting the mice. Little violins appear for the mice and it becomes a proper toy orchestra. Nana wakes up, is surprised and is magically transformed to be the same size as the toys. After this, Nana wakes up for real and the little toy orchestra is gone. However, the cocktail stick is lying beside the cheese. Then at the end, we see the Nutcracker winking from the toy box. After that....


SETLIST
01. Zankou no Gaia
02. SCARLET KNIGHT
MC1
03. Juliet
04. Replay Machine -Custom-
05. Risouron
MC2
06. Lovely Fruit
07. Hoshikuzu Symphony
-Insert video DISCOTHEQUE-
08. Avalon no Oukan
MC3
09. Gozen 0-ji no Baby Doll
MC4
10. Futari no Memory
MC5
11. Darling Plastic
MC6
12. TRANSMIGRATION
13. BRAVE PHOENIX
MC7
14. Pray
15. Kiseki no Melodia
16. Koi no Yokushiryoku
MC8
17. BRIGHT STREAM
MC9
18. Innocent Starter
MC10
19. Orchestral Fantasia
MC11
20. Yakusoku

A few quite surprising choices in the set list, which I am really happy about. Seemed like Nana had the confidence to let a bit more loose than she did during the first Live Grace in 2011. (^-^) And on another note, a big thanks to @DarkSoul4242 for helping me out with remembering all the MCs. Some of them might be slightly misplaced though, since my brain doesn't want to remember the order properly anymore.... if so I am sorry. orz Now onwards to the detailed account!


Outfit # 1 - Belle/Princess
Gorgeous but wahh, abunai yo Nana-sama~ (>_<)


01. Zankou no Gaia
Yeeeeeeesssssss! Somehow it never crossed my mind that Zankou no Gaia was a given for tonight, but the moment it started I knew it was meant to be. The chandelier indeed started rising from the stage when the song began and Nana appeared from underneath it, but not quite as I had expected - she was actually elevated in the air on one of those small pedestals that looked even smaller than it was due to Nana's big dress. Not to mention it kept wobbling whenever Nana moved, giving me a scare. (>_<) But it was amazing!! Also, Nana's dress and hairstyle really reminded me of Beauty and the Beast's (second time tonight already, wuut xD) Belle.


02. SCARLET KNIGHT
Somehow I hadn't given much thought to SCARLET KNIGHT either (then again, my mind was pretty much completely occupied with thoughts of Risouron and STAR ROAD before the live), but again it was a pretty obvious choice for tonight. Like always, I experienced massive shivers when the bells sounded. This song will never cease being special for me. The orchestral adaptation made SCARLET KNIGHT all the more impressive and epic and I was head over heels yet again and it just made me shiver from anticipation of what else would be coming tonight.


MC1 
Welcome to LIVE GRACE 2013 -Opus II-! Nana introduces the orchestra and gives Fujino-san the chance to say a few words. The first thing Fujino-san says is his Nana FC member number, hahaha. I love this man!  He goes on to say how he watched LIVE GRACE 2011 -Orchestra- when it got released on BD/DVD, since during the concert he had his back turned to Nana and the audience and couldn't see anything that was happening. Fujino-san was really surprised at the synchronized penlight movements of the audience saying it was like we were paid extras in a movie... except we were doing this AND paying for it ourselves!  He made a joke about our synchronization being similar to North Korea. Whoops... definitely no footage from tonight then. xD; Then he went onto complimenting Nana on how hard a worker she is and how this amazing woman doesn't even need the help of a teleprompter in remembering the lyrics of her songs, nor do ANY of her staff use the sheets even though the songs are hard. This is the amazing woman we are all fans of!  Also this coming from such an experienced man of music really leaves an impact on you - you can tell he means every word, that they are all from the heart. Even Nana feels it as something special and watching her be so embarrassed at being complimented was very cute haha. Then...


03. Juliet
Oh my goodness!! I nearly couldn't believe my ears. (*-*) I was really flooded with happiness and giggly excitement when this song started. Nana looked like she was in a similar state of mind too as I was. I cannot even even describe how awesome it was to get to shout "L-O-V-E lovely Nana-chan" etc, it was so fun. xD This song is so amazing with Nana singing it now that she's matured and her voice is much stronger, not to mention the orchestra was a perfect fit for this song. Ahhh~ sasuga princess Nana mode. I will smile for you any day~


04. Replay Machine -custom-
During the long and very epic orchestral intro to this song, I could not grasp at all what song this might be. When Nana started singing and it hit me, oh my god the shivers running down my spine. Just a few seconds into the song and I already knew that no other orchestral adaptation could beat this one for me. Not to mention how amazing it was to hear this with the current Nana's singing capabilities. I seriously had constant goosebumps from start to finish of this song. It was crazy. I cannot stress how amazing it was, words simply cannot describe. Please be there tomorrow night as well, my life depends on it!


05. Risouron
The moment I have been waiting for over a year now, finally came. I was quite sure she had been saving Risouron for an orchestral live, but still I didn't dare think it was certain that it would come tonight. But it did! I cannot express the amount of happy I felt. The moment I heard the oh so familiar intro begin, tears started flowing down my face. There was nothing I could do to stop them, haha. (^-^;) Listening to Nana sing this really took me to another world where time had stopped and it was just me and Nana. My soul felt strangely fulfilled. After the song ended, I was left craving for more... lucky that it is pretty likely that she will sing Risouron on the second day as well! But again, I dare not hope.. 


MC2
Nana asks us how we liked such an old song (Juliet), all the way back from Magic Attraction and everyone cheered wildly, of course. She has trouble saying how long it has been since that album and is stuttering like crazy hahaha. She then goes on to talk a bit about Kouhaku Uta Gassen and FNS. She talked about the people she met in both and how many called her Kondou-san (like someone in FNS had been all like "Ahhh, Kondou-san ja nai kaaa?" this cracked me up so bad haha) and saying Kondou-san would be having a live and Nana is there just shouting "Don't call me Kondou!!" hahahah. Bless her. xD Nana goes on to say how her birthday is on Monday and then it is time for Nana's birthday surprise! The orchestra starts playing Happy Birthday and we sing for Nana, yay! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NANA-SAMA! \o/ Concert staff brings out a cake for Nana on stage with seven candles on top and Nana herself says how she is eternally 17 years old hahahaha. xD 

Afterward Nana disappeared for a quick change of clothes.



Outfit #1 - Revamped
Nana returns as a "lovely fruit"~ /o/


06. Lovely Fruit
When the subtle intro for this began, it took my brain a while to believe that it really could be Lovely Fruit. I had joked about it with my friends, that maybe she would sing this, but I didn't really think it would happen. I was overjoyed though once the fact registered in my consciousness. Lovely Fruit worked splendidly well as an orchestral piece and a small Lovely Diner set even appeared on the stage! So awesome. To my great pleasure Nana made us always say the "itadakimasu Lovely Fruit" for her. It totally got me fired up, haha.


07. Hoshikuzu Symphony
This song left the smallest impression on me from ROCKBOUND NEIGHBORS, but that definitely isn't the case anymore. This song was truly marvelous in orchestral mode and the way Nana sang it live just added to the playful happy feel of the song so much. Blew me away completely. Not to mention this song has more meaning to me now in any case~ So... I finally fell in love with this song tonight for sure. Nana always knows how to reel me in sooner or later... xD


Now the orchestra started playing a little medley of Star Wars and Star Trek, haha wut. xD Took me a while to believe my ears. Awesome stuff! After they finish their little trip to space (which went really well with the previous song since it was -stardust- symphony after all :3) it is time for...


-Insert video DISCOTHEQUE-
The video takes us to a high school classroom where a class is trying to decide who would be prom king and queen. The class is full of tough and cool people..... in the middle of which we see geeky Nana looking well, very geeky in big glasses and geeky clothes (sorry no better way to explain this xD). At the end of the discussion geek Nana bursts out that she wants to be prom queen. D'aww.  The other students tell her it is impossible but the teacher says in a very charismatic voice that no dream is impossible, if you believe.... and writes CHURUPAYA on the whiteboard hahaha. Then of course, an orchestral backed DISCOTHEQUE begins and the whole audience is into the song like it had been Nana performing it live instead of just a video. During the song we see Nana transform from shy geek into a beautiful prom queen and them having a fun time at the prom with her whole class (and Ono D is there too! haha). After the video ends....



Outfit #2 - White tux
This...... *dies*


08. Avalon no Oukan
The glorious intro to Avalon no Ouki begins and Nana shows up in a horse carriage from the right side (looking from the audience) of the stage in her white tuxedo glory! This song was so majestic that wow. The song, the orchestral adaptation, Nana's outfit and her carriage just all blended into one amazing and perfect whole. Too bad I couldn't see her very well from where I was standing since she was going around on the other side of the arena. :3 It did not dampen my spirits at all though, no sir!


MC3
Nana asks if we recognize the horse of the carriage as it is Nana Cap from LIVE ACADEMY! She mentions what she did for LIVE CASTLE and says that she can't go all out like that all the time. :3 Then she calls up the Cherry Boys one by one and Tom-kun, Itaruvichi, Kado-D, Cho-san, Ryoutan and Aniki show up. Mawatte!-calls sound (since let's face it, this outfit is something else completely~) and Nana twirls around and during mou ikkai she beckons Tom-kun to join her. Poor Tom-kun had a hard time moving away from behind his piano due to the cable mess he was encompassed in. xD


09. Gozen 0-ji no Baby Doll
Whoa! Another surprise. Somehow I didn't think I would ever be hearing this live, especially not in something as amazing as the acoustic corner! So awesome. Thank you for all these interesting song choices tonight Nana-san! :3 She really has been keeping this song in reserve for a long time. This song was definitely a great move for an acoustic version, so calming for my soul~


MC4
Cherry Boys' challenges for the new year. Most just want to be better musicians. Ryoutan wants to climb Mount Fuji and Nana said she wants to too so they all should climb together!! xD Itaruvichi isn't pleased since he's already climbed once and doesn't really wanna go again. Violinist talks about getting to play on center stage. During Aniki's resolution Nana tells us about his amazing cooking skills and how he made a delicious full-course Italian meal for them. Cook for me too Anikiiii~ /o/ w


10. Futari no Memory
A surprise, again!!! Oh my goodness, with this acoustic version my love for this song has intensified a hundredfold! It sounded ridiculously amazing, I shit you not. (>_<) I was totally not prepared for it. Nana really should give a proper warning when she pulls out something of this caliber, I could've used it before Replay Machine -custom- too.. I am filled with great sadness though, since I have a gut feeling that this song will be replaced tomorrow.... noooo Futary no Memory, come back to meeee. Let me experience you one more time!!


MC5
Memory blackout lol, New Year challenge talk might have continued here. But anyways, Nana says next song will be from her new album ROCKBOUND NEIGHBORS.


11. Darling Plastic
When Darling Plastic started I was enveloped with a strange feeling. I felt like there was something wrong with the way my brain was processing the sound inputs it received and it was going on overdrive trying to fix it. Then finally I had to admit to myself that the problem was not me, but in fact the Cherry Boys and Nana were off sync. Instantly my heart started bleeding for Nana and I hoped they would be able to correct themselves soon, and fortunately they managed after the first verse. Yokatta! Don't worry Nana, this happens to everyone! In a way I do enjoy slip ups like this, they are a good reminder of how Nana is someone who is trying and working really hard and it just make me respect her all the more.


MC6
Nana asks what we thought of the insert video before acoustic corner and explains how the thought came from Glee (she does the voice of a character in the Japanese dub) and turns out there are other seiyuu from the series present at the concert of whom Ono-D was actually in the insert video too! The spotlight goes to them and they wave to everyone and we wave back. Even Ono-D is there and an Ono-D call starts! Wooey! Orchestra is still not ready when Nana asks so she continues talking and tells us how the choir has 77 people. I am not surprised. xD When the orchestra finally finishes getting ready, Nana gets back on her carriage and says it is time for a song of which she had wondered "What would this song sound like with an orchestra? Let's try it!" and thus begins...


12. TRANSMIGRATION
Whoa, I feel blessed! Didn't think I would get to hear this song again so soon (last time was in LIVE CASTLE -Queen's Night-). :3 I shouldn't really be surprised anymore when everything sounds so epic in orchestral mode, as obviously did TRANSMIGRATION as well. I really love the calls for this song live, it is so much fun + it was made all the more epic tonight of course. I was already getting ridiculously excited about the fact that tomorrow night Nana would probably be going very close to me during this song. Must prepare myself mentally!


Another insert by orchestra at this point while Nana is changing clothes. This time it was Holst's Jupiter -the Bringer of Jollity- which is one of the movements from a seven-movement (coincidence I wonder? lol) orchestral suite called The Planets. Really beautiful played mina-san! :3



Outfit #3 - See through-ish gorgeousness 
So prettyyy~ (*-*)


13. BRAVE PHOENIX
Oh my god! BRAVE PHOENIX!! Another song I didn't think I would be hearing any time soon after experiencing it in LIVE CASTLE -Queen's Night-, thank you Nana-sama. m(_ _)m I really love this song (it's my pick me up song that gives me strength) and the orchestral version was simply breathtakingly beautiful. I might've cried again if I hadn't used up my reserves during Risouron. Yes, we will try Nana-sama~


MC7
Now that everyone including the Cherry Boys was on stage Nana went on to talk about the total number of people on the stage right now. The Nana choir, the orchestra, then the Cherry Boys and Nana herself.. Total people around 193, whoa! So many. xD Then Nana tells us it is time for a magnificent song of burning emotion~


14. Pray
Woooaahhh, the epicness. This song is normally already so very powerful and the orchestra just emphasized the effect to no end. I think pumped up by the orchestra Nana put more power into this tonight than usual too (is that even possible? xD). I am not sure how I am supposed to handle all of this amazingness in one packet, this night has been something else.... :3


15. Kiseki no Melodia
It took me a while to register what song this was, I guess due to the aftershocks of Pray going through my brain haha. Once it sunk in that it was Kiseki no Melodia, I was a goner again. xD I had been dying to hear this live orchestral version or not, as I really love the interesting structure of the song and Nana did indeed sing it very beautifully. Magnificent.


16. Koi no Yokushiryoku -type EXCITER-
Another big surprise! It took me a while to wonder how they came up with the idea to have Koi no Yokushiryoku in an orchestral live, but then I had to facepalm really hard - this song has an amazing violin melody (which I have been wanting to learn too for a long time) so it really does make a lot of sense. The orchestral version of this was really beautiful and it was really enjoyable watching Nana trying to be very graceful but not being able to help breaking into the dance from time to time. (*-*)


MC8
It is time for the words that no one wants to hear, but Nana has to say them like always. The next song will be the last... (T^T) the night has gone by so quickly.. Nana says the next song is a very important song.


17. BRIGHT STREAM
Hell yes!! I was really hoping to hear this tonight. I was very sure it would be breathtaking with an orchestra and I was not disappointed at all. This song melts my heart every time. Even more so now with all of those violinists (and everyone else from the orchestra too of course, but especially the violinists) and Nana pouring her whole soul into this "last" song~


-Encore-
NAA-NA! NAA-NA~



Outfit #4 - Encore
No picture as all released pictures are essentially from 2nd night. orz However, Nana was wearing the shirt with no specific instrument and the same skirt as on the second night.




MC9
Nana comes back on stage with the whole orchestra, wee~ /o/ She thanks us for calling her back and says it is time for another important song, one that she has really been wanting to sing orchestral and she is happy to finally get the chance. The song that gave her many wonderful encounters with many wonderful people... What could it be~?


18. Innocent Starter
Of course~ what else could it have been? :3 Really really truly beautiful. And when I thought that the heartfelt performance of this in LIVE CASTLE -King's Night- could not be topped.... well no, still hasn't been topped. Both this and that are truly amazing in their own right. Throughout the whole song I kind of felt bad though that I was here experiencing this special moment and a certain Frenchie was not.... (T^T) gomeeennnnn.


MC10
Nana tells us how she has kept the set list for this LIVE GRACE completely different from the previous one with no overlapping songs, except that now it was time for the one and only song tonight that she would be singing that she had also sang last time too.


19. Orchestral Fantasia
I was wondering and hoping this would come tonight, but by now I was sort of thinking it was in vain and was expecting ETERNAL BLAZE instead. Wohoooo~! Judging by the flames during this song, it was pretty clear that there would be no ETERNAL BLAZE at all tonight and this made me feel pretty excited and special. I mean, it's a pretty rare chance to experience a Nana concert without that legendary song. :3 Anyways! Getting to hear the orchestral version of Orchestral Fantasia was simply amazing. Having heard it on the LIVE GRACE -Orchestra- bluray before definitely didn't take away any of the impact tonight. Actually, there was a point during the song when I think I forgot to breathe haha then I wondered why I was starting to feel faint and resumed breathing.... well done me. xD


-Encore 2-
Mou ikkai, mou ikkai!


MC11
Nana shows up on stage and summons the two violinists, Monsieur and Kado-D, on stage as this last song would be just with them.  Nana reveals a random piece of information - these two are the same age and have attended the same violin contests when they were younger. Everyone is having a hard time believing it. xD Nana then tells us that she will be singing a very special song and thus begins..


20. Yakusoku
As much as I was hoping this would have been STAR ROAD, I have to admit that this was the more special  and better choice. I cannot describe the feelings I was feeling when listening to this tonight. Simply beautiful and full of honest emotion, like the friendship of these two women was laid even barer than was apparent when listening to this song from the album. I really really hope with all my heart that SAYURI was somewhere in the audience listening to this. (>_<)


After Concert
And thus ends the first night of LIVE GRACE 2013 -Opus II-. While following the crowd outside, I caught a glimpse of the Nana outfits on show inside Saitama Super Arena (like her outfit for Kouhaku Uta Gassen). It never ceases to amaze me how tiny she really is. :3 When I got out, I rushed home in the packed trains (though not as bad as what they were after LIVE UNION  at Chiba, phew) in order to work on my presentation haha. Though I ended up just going to sleep.. fail. orz

Anyways, thank god there was still another night to look forward to~ I will do my best to write about it faster... :3 Look forward to it!

7 comments:

  1. Great report, felt like i was there, but i wasn't. do'h! That bit about the conductors fanclub number was especially hilarious.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, I am really happy to hear it had that effect! (^-^) It's what I am always trying to aim for with my personal accounts of lives - to get people who were there relive it, and give a chance to experience it through me for the people who weren't there~

      Haha and yeah! He was so funny when he did that. Luckily he said that on the second night too so you will see it in the BD/DVD release!

      Delete
  2. I've been waiting for a report. lol
    I certainly had a great time as well. Tickets down in the arena is something different. Leave me wanting for more!
    Maybe next time we can meet up and say hi. =D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for making you wait. (>_<) lol I'll really try to be faster with the 2nd night...
      Yeah for sure! I've been in the arena for the past 3 concerts now, will feel strange if next time I am not anymore.
      Yes, that would be lovely! (^-^) Will you be attending summer tour?

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    2. I don't think I will be since I don't have a job now. I wish I could though... Hopefully I'll get a job soon~ So in the future, definitely!
      For some reason, I don't think I'll get closer to Nana anymore than Union Chiba. lol Even though I was in the arena, Nana was still pretty far away, not that I'm complaining since I enjoyed it so much that I actually jumped along a few times the second night!

      Delete
    3. Awww, I hope you get a job soon!! I'll still be in Japan for at least 1 and a half years, probably longer if I can so should have more chances later for sure! (^-^)b
      Well you never know! Maybe you will get even luckier later~ But yeah, regardless of being that close or not the concert still does absorb you completely. :3

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    4. May luck be with me! (For getting a job soon, that is... First thing is to save up!)
      Hope you get to stay as long as you want! XD

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