( This is huge. Just like Ohno. )
We headed into the Dome around 5pm and got in our seats and sat for an hour since we knew we'd be standing for the 3 hours of the concert. The stage was over home plate and we were sitting on the first base side. If we were watching baseball, it would have been a pretty good seat. We were in the first level of stands, but nearly at the back. Actually, the same seats as when I went to Koda Kumi in Tokyo Dome but closer to the stage. We had a good view of the right stage where they had a carnival tent in the set. There was a little hot air ballon on the top of the set that said "Arashi". I thought it would do something... but it was just for show. We actually could see right into backstage when the curtain was lifted near the end, but only saw crew running around. There was a screen on our side, and we could see the one at the back of the Dome, but not the one on the left. They weren't great
seats, it would have been nice to be closer, but when they ran onto our side of the stage and road the floats around the Dome we could at least see their faces clearly. :D
I appologize, I took my camera (which they didn't take.. they had a desk set up at the door where you could hand it over voluntarily... as if anyone would) but didn't take any pictures. I knew from my Koda experience that my camera takes shit pictures with no flash and in a concert the flash doesn't do anything anyway. I was a bit scared to even try to take some video because I've heard that Japanese fans are nazi about that kind of stuff. But I took a little bit! :D This was our view of the stage from my shitty camera phone:
On the screens they had the album Dream Alive logo and played trailers for Kakushi Toride, Hanadan and Yatterman. They also did a teaser for 24Jikan Terebi which was cute. They asked each member "Who is the most likely to cry this time?"
Sho: That'll be Aiba-kun.
Nino: I think Aiba.
Jun: Aiba. (So blunt. XD)
Ohno: It'll be Aiba-kun, won't it?
Aiba: (AD: So everyone said it would be you...) Again? Ahh...
Then they all said something about the theme "Oath", Aiba made a pun which I didn't get but everyone else did. It was a laugh.
At 6pm people were still straggling in but the crowd started chanting "Arashi! Arashi!". The Japanese are nothing if not prompt. Soon the lights went off... and the music started up... it was an instrumental with a fast beat and then BAM some pyrotechnics and Aiba on stage!
Move your body
Life goes on
Step and Go
Love so sweet
CARNIVAL NIGHT part 2
Take me faraway
Hip Pop Boogie
We can make it!
a Day in Our Life
Green (made specially for this tour)
theme of Dream-A-Live (Member Introductions)
Hadashi no Mirai
Kotoba Yori Taisetsu na Mono
Do my best
五里霧中 (Gori Muchuu)
Kansha Kangeki Ame Arashi
They all did a little solo dance before coming together in the middle of the main stage to open with Move Your Body. The screen on our side focused on Aiba and... I forgot who else, while the others were on the far screen so we couldn't see. They were wearing some hot black and silver costumes and sigh... what a good start. It started off with such high energy and pyrotechnics! I loved how we could see the swing of Aiba's ass from where we were sitting. XD Latin hips is right. They sang the first four songs and then did their "Hellos". Jun went first, "Hisashiburi! Iya... Hajimemashite
~" "Long time no see! No... Nice to meet you~" because it was the first time playing at Nagoya Dome. Nino did his signature Irashaimaseee
and Sho pumped up the crowd with several rounds of "Arashi" chanting.
After Sho ran backstage, the Juniors in hideous clown outfits came out and jumped around and the infamous female dancers had ribbons entertained the crowd until the curtain of the tent open and you could see this giant fucking merry-go-round horse. I knew it was going to be a carnival theme after hearing Theme of Dream "A"live but I was hoping it would be closer to Janet's Velvet Rope tour. Jun was riding the horse, Aiba on a box (a present?) that had screens embedded in the side which gave close ups, Sho on a heart with balloons inside it floating around, Ohno was on thing that looked like bubble tea or an ice cream float that spewed out bubbles. I don't remember the order in the middle, but Nino brought up the rear on a giant sunflower. All I can say about these costumes is: mutant clowns. The hideous mermaid thing from Time must have been recycled for these... I can't even describe how awful they were. Luckily, they were the worst. They stopped at the back of the Dome and the horse and flower elevated when they were singing but can't remember which song. They rode the floats around all around the dome and by the fourth song they'd made it back to the main stage and then finished off with Carnival Night. I took pride in knowing that I didn't need the letters on the screen to spell "Carnival" and pronounce the letters properly... damn the teacher in me. XD It was fun though, singing along with everyone.
The first solo was Ohno's. HOT doesn't even begin to describe it. He kept to the middle of the main stage and had some VTR footage behind him but I didn't even watch that. For the first third of the song, it was just him on the stage singing. He wasn't really dancing much at first but when he did..... omg those hips. The rolling... liquid is the best word to describe it. It wasn't as intense as I've seen other concert footage but he did some fun choreo with chairs and only had 2 back-up dancers but they were only there for about half the song. As if I didn't love it before... No blazer this time, but a gold sleeveless top and black pants. Classicly good looking.
Sho's solo was next and started with a short skit with some of the dancers way far left with a ghetto blaster. Then he came out in a rather... hmmmm costume. Nothing super heinous but nothing that exciting either. An ugly vest and a shirt tied around his waist was the worst of it. He made his way down the main stage to the end of the catwalk where he did most of the choreo with dancers. I think they fucked up at one part because the formation wasn't even but I didn't really notice. It was a good solo... but I read he was working with some dude on the choreo but it doesn't even stick with me now. Good perf but not really memorable?
Next costume change was classy blue (shiny) suits with dark shirts. They had little feather broaches (can't forget the feathers!) but I didn't even notice them until I caught it in the edge of the screen near the end of Sirius. They brought out a table and Matsujun and one of the girls did a bit of skit. He gave her a present but then one of the others grabbed him away? Or went off-stage with the girl? I can't remember now. Oh well. The boys did some pair dancing with the girls which was fucking hot
. Arashi in suits are my favourite kind of Arashi but then you have them being manly and leading
? I'm sold. When they sang Sirius they turned on the blue lights and moved to part of the stage on hydraulics that moved them to all different levels. The girls were dancing around them in white, doing some kind of ballet routine which was really quite pretty. I would have thought it would be nice and appropriate to have the constellation on the screens but you can't have everything. And here's the 7 seconds of (shitty) video I managed to take:
That blurry pixelated thing is Ohno... and you can kind of hear him singing?
Aiba's solo was just too cute! We saw girls wearing the same costume outside before the show and I remember thinking "WTF are they wearing?" but there were lots of people wearing outrages and matching things with their friends in their favourite members colour. Pinkish plaid shorts and matching hoodie with a white t-shirt. Something was on the back of the hoodie but I couldn't read it. He danced down at the end of the catwalk with background dancers (no stupid hands this time) and the crowd was doing his furi
(um.. hand dance?) with him after the second chorus.
The next costumes were my favourite. Shiny pants. VERY SHINY. They were almost blinding because the lights were reflecting off them into my eyes. They all jumped onto their little trucks and the crew pushed them into the middle of the floor, all in a line across the middle of the dome for Kitto Daijoubu. I loved it! They were pushed to the middle and jumped onto the end of the catwalk for the MC.
I wish I had worked harder on studying Japanese because I think I missed a lot. :( They talked about baseball and couldn't figure out where home base was. Aiba talked about some team he was on called "Colours" (gayest name ever) and how even though the season was over, he kept it going? Nino mentioned being pitcher (for the Johnny's team, I guess). It was a bit of crock because Ohno hardly said anything during the MC. Aiba was a little chatterbox, as usual. They walked back to the main stage and Ohno and Nino disappeared. They talked about Jun's movie and asked who's seen it and a large chorus of people said yes! Then he asked something else and something else and everyone said yes... but I was lost. They asked who's seen Himitsu... Then they mentioned Freestyle and they prepared a special video. The lights go out and you see the gallery and some work and then Ohmiya SK pop out in front of the Ohmiya heads. I had a really hard time understanding it because they put on an accent (kind of like a gaijin? Haha). Yuji was taking the piss out of the guy who made the heads because it looks nothing like him. Nipple pinching (which looked real and like it hurt XD). Then they come out on stage and sing a song about Mikoshi (portable shrines)...? I don't even know. It was just pure ridiculousness. At one point in the skit Ohno is trying so hard not to laugh... Which made it even funnier. XD The other three came back out and talked about the character and showed a cute little animation with the caterpiller that turns into 5 butterflies. Aw. Kawaii.
After the video, the next song started and I could see faces on the screens but no bodies on the stage. Then this giant balloon comes out over
the stage with the five of them suspended off of it, singing Sakura Sake. They were wearing orange costumes, just kind of regular clothes but orange. Aiba and Jun were flipping around and looking down at the crowd, Nino and Ohno were fucking around and Sho looked like he was hanging on for dear life. XD They floated across the Dome to the back stage and started singing Fight Song and Nino fucked up XD It was like he forgot to start singing as he was getting lowered. They sang fight song and riled up the crowd, doing flips and mucking around. I think the most I saw from Sho was kicking his legs a bit. I'm surprised he didn't drop his mic. When Nino got down he looked up and said, "Sho, you haven't done anything!!" and Sho just made a face back. Haha. On the back stage they sang Wish and a Day in Our Life. They jumped on the trucks and made their way back to the main stage while a giant blown up caterpiller was raised up and hung under the balloon.
Nino's solo... fkjadkfjadfladf. MAJOR HOT POINTS. Black and red costume, not too much sparkle. Pretty intricate choreo, I'd say. It's just such a hot song anyway but then when he sucks on his finger and drags it down his neck...
PRICELESS. I can't really say much about his solo... It's probably the one I want to see again the most. JUST TOO HOT.
Jun came out next for his solo, and he started on the back stage. He wore a white suit with a waistcoat but no shirt. No sparkles! Maybe he had enough of them last time. He had both boys and girls dancing around him in white, it was very classy. They moved to the movable stage and stretched a white sheet over the audience, and the dancers had sheets too. They covered him up near the end and he popped out shirtless (uh.. that's supposed to be "naked", I guess) and finished off the song. I was expecting more after seeing the Hanadan island scene clips and pictures but at least he didn't look like a starving African child this year.
Ohno came out onto our side of the stage carrying a bag and gave a speech about it... something about the environment, do your part, blah blah, blah. The next song was called Green and they made it specially for this tour to go along with the bag. They are trying to be more "adult" I've heard (although how much more childish can you get with a carnival theme?) and they're being good idols and sending out a good message. It was a really sweet song. I actually understood some of the lyrics but I can't remember them now. :/ As they sang, they had VTR footage of greenery behind them. They all had kind of strange flashy costumes... Aiba looked like Captain America with red, white and blue. Maybe it was supposed to be a Union Jack... I don't know.
They sang Once Again and danced together on the main stage, it was a really good! And that was the song that Ohno said he wanted to dance together to. It was really well done. They sequeyed into the theme and did member introductions: Aiba did some back flips, Ohno made some really creepy faces, Nino did a "card trick". Then Jun introduced the juniors and dancers and I want to say he was speaking English but I couldn't tell. The first half of the show was actually quiet for a concert. I mean, I could still hear myself as I sang along but after the MC they turned it up a notch. For Hadashi no Mirai they jumped on the trucks and were positioned all throughout the crowd. I failed trying to do the furi
... There were some Aiba and Sho fangirls next to us and they totally owned me. I didn't study hard enough. Haha. They made it back to the mainstage for Kotoba Yori Taisetsu na Mono and then did their farewells before singing Your Song. To be honest, I didn't really like the song that much before I heard it live. I didn't even get around to translating the lyrics. But... to hear the entire room of nearly 50,000 people singing together... it was pretty amazing. I wonder what they felt like on stage, hearing that.
They go off, and the girls next to us start screaming "Arashi! Arashi! Arashi!" for the encore. It was miles better than Koda Kumi but the entire Dome couldn't get in sync. I want to know what that
sounds like. They came out in the t-shirt and paint-splattered jeans for the encore and did Do My Best and Kansha Kangeki Ame Arashi. For the second Encore, they came out in classed out pastel suits in their colours. Jun gave some shpiel about not singing A-RA-SHI and everyone went "Eehhhhh?" He looked a bit sheepish but introduced One Love and they sang that standing on the main stage. It's a really pretty song. Very mature. I am a bit sad they didn't do A-RA-SHI and it isn't often that you see a group still
performing their debut song. If they were trying to go for the more "adult" image, I could see them not wanting to do it. But it's classic! But then again, maybe after 9 years, they secretly hate it. XD
Third encore, they ditched the suit jackets and came out to sing Pikanchi Double. That is probably my favourite song so I was happy that they ended with that. :D We had Sho and Ohno on our side of the stage and as Sho ran past Ohno he totally tried to cop a feel. In a huge way and we totally caught it. YES. That was the best way to end the show. The fangirls around us tried calling for another encore but I knew that was the end (hahaha... I sneaked a peak at a set list before hand...) so we booked it out of there. Luckily our aisle was right near the door so we were one of the first ones out. We hit a convenience store and rehydrated and waited for the crowds to disapate from the subway before heading to Yvonne's.
It was such a good show and they did a really good job but... I can't help but feel a little bit
disappointed. Whether it was the audience being only so-so (better than Koda by MILES but nothing like the Time Con DVD audience) or that we were tired and grouchy, I don't know. Even the guys... they were energetic but I don't know. There were lots of families and kids and probably newbies. The lady right behind us had an uchiwa but looked positively board through the whole thing. Apparently, you don't cheer for ballads? You politely applaud. At the very end and after each encore, the crowd waved back and clapped politely but that's about it. What?? So I totally cheered, all by myself. In a crowd of nearly 50,000. And I would like to think that they heard me.
Great show and so happy that I got a chance to see them and be in the same room as them and all that mushy stuff but... I would love
to go to Tokyo Dome. I've heard that those are the best shows and if the Time DVD is anything to go by, I'm sure it's true. Maaaybe I'll try again next year because you know
they are going to do something big for their 10th anniversary but I don't know who I would go with. Maybe I'll go alone. X3 If I even get tickets. Maybe this show is only kind of meh because they want to do something extreme next year? Who knows.