Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

L’Arc~en~Ciel 20th Anniversary – Day 1

This post is a couple of weeks overdue, mostly because I was trying to post a video about it. *sigh* I’ve been really busy, but as I’ve just gotten to Tokyo, I’m finally taking a day to relax and not think about work for the rest of 2011.

On December 3rd and 4th, I went to L’Arc~en~Ciel’s 20th Anniversary Tour Concert in Osaka, the last location of their five 2-day concerts. Finally, after several years, I got to see my favorite band perform. I had seen each member on stage individually, but never together, mainly because of their breaks and the times I wasn’t in Japan. I wasn’t a fan of theirs in 2004 when they performed in Baltimore; for their 15th anniversary I was in the U.S. and the most they did was a tour in Asia and a concert in Paris, and JUST finished up their tour and went on break months before I came to Japan in 2008.

I joined the LE-CIEL fan club in November 2010, but I barely missed the deadline to attend their New Year’s Live. Then, I prepared to attend their 20th anniversary live in Tokyo in May, but the exact same weekend I was due to attend a sports festival that didn’t even happen because of rain.

A tiny part of me was a bit cynical by the time they announced their tour for the second half of the year. I figured that, with my luck, something else would happen the weekend of December 3rd and 4th, and I wouldn’t have been able to go. But alas, everything was fine. I set out for Osaka on Saturday, happened to meet up with some friends on the way for lunch, and had trouble finding my capsule hotel in Namba, which made me really frustrated (I eventually found it).

My first day was in the arena area of the stadium, which I wasn’t too excited about because arena isn’t a very good location for seeing anything unless you’re near the front. I was near the back and could barely see the stage or even the jumbo screens. Nonetheless, I was excited as the lights went out, with the stadium being illuminated with everyone’s glowsticks, and then hearing hyde’s voice as he opened with an a cappella of “Niji.”. Normally I don’t expect any rock or pop singer’s voice to sound as good as it does in the recording studio, but hyde sounded flawless. Of course, unlike many fans who mostly just scream over him, I called out the others (ken, tetsuya, and yukihiro) as well, as I love all of the members individually. Yuki, the drummer, tends to be the least popular, so when I shouted, “YUKI!!!!!” it was amusing to hear other people follow my lead and call his name as well.

I knew by heart pretty much every song they played, with the exception of maybe one or two songs. Of course they played their popular songs like “READY STEADY GO,” “SEVENTH HEAVEN,” “HONEY,” and “MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM,” but I really loved that they also performed the songs that I don’t hear many fans talk about, like “fate” and “Kasou.”

To be totally honest, the part I least enjoyed was when they performed “XXX,” their second-to-latest single from October. While I was excited about the song from seeing the CD cover, when I saw the music video I was kind of disappointed in the horrible lack of diversity among the harem of foreign women (all white, except maybe one or two Asian girls somewhere in there), and I wasn’t crazy about the song itself either. But following that song, they played their newest single, “CHASE,” which is the theme for the movie “Wild 7.” That song is a lot more awesome, and it’s an added bonus that “Chase” happens to be my last name 😉

I left the stadium in a state of euphoria. Day 1 of the concert had exceeded my expectations. To add to the fun, I stopped by Burger King for dinner. 🙂

The capsule hotel was…something else. It was my first night in a capsule, so I took some pictures. It wasn’t the best sleep I’ve gotten away from home, but it was cheap and decent.

The head of the caspule, with the shade rolled down to cover the entrance. TV is available but isn't free to watch.

The nightstand has a clock with an alarm and a radio. There's also a light switch to turn off the light when you want to go to sleep.


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