AN CAFE Live Tour 2010 - King of Harajuku Dance Rock -Ikinari Nyappy Legend

live report - 28.01.2010 11:01

It was an emotional celebration of An Cafe as they take their swansong with a first appearance at Budokan.

The final performance of An Cafe before they took their hiatus was always going to be an emotional affair, but to hold it on their first occasion of playing the famous Nippon Budokan struck a note. After six years, the Budokan appearance was a show of how far this group had come, from playing to a few hundred people in tiny Tokyo live houses to a grand stage that has seen The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and The Smashing Pumpkins.

The staging for the event was quite magical and grand, and as the throngs entered they were treated to an endless spinning graphic of '(≧∀≦)' upon a disco ball and wearing a crown. The nature of the occasion was not lost on any of the fans, all of whom waited with a mix of apprehension and excitement.

As the lights went down, a single spotlight began flitting around the stage. To booming and grand classical opening music, a crown descended from the sky and two by two, the members appeared on the stage. First came teruki and yu-ki, who shook hands before taking up their instruments, while kanon and takuya gave a more casual greeting to each other. As an occasion that shared both An Cafe's first Budokan appearance and their final live before hiatus, the atmosphere was rather strange; it was at once celebratory and nostalgic. The set list gave off the same feel, and some great An Cafe classics took on extra resonance and sadness in such a venue. The show was not short of visual marvels either, beginning with fire and lasers in Kakusei Heroism. It didn't take them long to dig into their past with some death-growling from miku, and kanon's deep bass lines gave a violent and raw impression of old-school An Cafe in Touhikairo.

"Nyappy!" miku shouted at the audience by way of greeting them. The journey of An Cafe over six years with their fans to Budokan had been long, and in response to fears that the band would be leaving them forever, miku changed the concert into a 'wedding ceremony' between the band and fans. "After six years, to stand on this stage, we are very thankful to you," he said. It was a perfect time to lead into Candyholic, which was greeted by an understandably loud scream. This arrangement was interesting though; the already aggressive sound had been made somewhat more sinister by the neatly improvised guitar interludes from takuya. Even more screams followed as miku produced a tambourine and arms began moving animatedly to Tekesuta Kousen. Both the crowd and miku were in fine death-vocal form that night as the various growls throughout proved. The crowd even managed to shout the lyrics to Cherry Saku Yuuki, quite a feat when hurling oneself violently over a chair to the beat of the song. takuya best echoed the feelings of the night: "Budokan is amazing!" he yelled. "It's a really amazing feeling, to stand on this stage."

Everyone was having a lot of fun, so much that one could almost forget the seriousness of the event. In a couple of stunning ballads though, the musical talent and sincere feelings of An Cafe towards their Cafekko came through strongly. Best Apart shone with a positive, hopeful feeling. As miku sang to yu-ki's soft piano introduction, the sunset glow of the lighting gave the song warmth and was absolutely charming. Prior to the next song, miku gave a speech, fighting back tears as he spoke with touching eloquence of his fears. He spoke of his thanks to the Cafekko who had stood by them since the beginning and the happiness he had felt being with them, but sometimes he felt no confidence and wanted to stop being a musician. This song was a letter to himself during those lonely times and for all else who have felt loneliness. The piece alone was a truly gorgeous song, with an orchestra of strings accompanying miku's earnest vocals that reached each fans' heart with heartfelt emotion. It was a song that held Budokan under something of a spell until miku's departure from the stage.

The audience had precious little time to recover their composure as kanon burst on stage, a veritable ball of energy for Etcetera The Budokan. "Welcome to the Live House Budokan!" he screamed. "Let's get our spirits up, is that OK?" What followed was an odd medley of songs, including Nyappy in the World and Ippatsu Gyakuten Renai Game, while yu-ki proved himself to be a para-para king with a demonstration that left many in the audience trailing. It was a free for all of colour and sound as the four remaining members charged about the stage, and it culminated in a sing-along of the nonsensical line 'tiramisu nyappy poppo.' "Everyone sing along!" shouted kanon, "Dads and reporters too!" Lock on the New Sekai followed and simply propelled the party atmosphere skyward. Behind the stage, a giant 'NYAPPY' face flashed endlessly in lights while takuya and kanon ran about the stage ramps. yu-ki even tried a death-defying leap when miku invited him to sing Nyappy in the World 4 with him; he sprang from his keyboard to the lower stage. Despite a missed landing, yu-ki picked himself up as if nothing had happened and launched into the craziness of Nyappy in the World 4. The lyrics came on the video screens in giant colourful letters, and as the room was filled with disco ball stars, the audience eagerly sang along. They proved they really were the Kings of Harajuku Dance Rock.

"How does the scene look, teruki?" miku asked as an MC gave all a welcome break. teruki replied, "It's a super view! But I have seen this before!"

The audience was a little confused, as was miku, seeing as it was An Cafe's first Budokan appearance. "Well many artists play Budokan and they release DVDs, so I can see the scene from the drumkit from that," teruki said explained. It also transpired that he and kanon had visited Budokan as fans at popular anime idol Nakagawa Shouko's concert. "But we were at the very back on the second floor, so we couldn't see well." kanon, in reply to this, commented that while they had not seen much at the Nakagawa Shouko concert, he could see more from the stage than he thought. "I can see everyone!" he announced "I can see cosplayers!"

The audience cheered kanon's words, and their spirits were raised even further as miku announced the next song to be Duck no Magical Adventure. Seeming a song only in name, a rather strange performance proceeded as cartoon ducks waddled over the screens, the crowd head banged and miku didn't so much sing as talked to the crowd, rallying them and asking them questions like, "Which do you like, Mickey or Minnie?" or "Southern All Stars or Judy and Mary?" The latter even gave yu-ki the chance to show off some impressions of both artists, and he duly did so, throwing a bit of Porno Graffiti into the mix too.

Despite being known for their colourful pop songs, the head banging refused to end as the Donald Duck antics became 3P. There was even a touch of a heavy metal with some good growling, and a feel of old-school visual kei to the guitar and bass lines of Bushido to Iu wa Shinukoto to Mitsuketari. The volley of screams that followed were unrelenting, until yu-ki's soft piano silenced them. "That we could spend the last six years with you, we are very happy," said miku. "You are treasures to us. Until now and from today, for you who we love, My Heart Leaps for C." Suddenly, Budokan was ablaze with lights that allowed the smiling face of each audience member to be seen. It was a delightful finale song, and as miku sang 'My heart leaps for you' soft, pink petals in the shape of hearts floated out across the whole of the arena floor, and with them came An Cafe's warm feelings of love for their Cafekko.

After many chants of "one more time!" the band returned. "I am very happy to have met you, that is the thing I am most thankful for," miku said to a respectfully silent Budokan. "We are forever yours and we are sending to you our final message. We saw your letters and messages, and are trying very hard as a band. Together, with your strength, we will do our best." As his speech came to an end, the vast hall filled with stars and takuya's sweet guitar melody. All eyes were on the screens though, reading the song as if it were a personal message to each of audience member individually. It was a feeling that was pushing some girls to tears, and as Kizuna -bonds- began, the room was suddenly filled with orange towels, raising aloft a message reading 'We love An Cafe' to the group. miku spent most of his time with his fans on either side of the long runway, communicating with them personally.

The emotion of the moment was caught in the long conclusion to the song, as if the band and fans never wanted to leave that moment. It was, however, time to finish. Despite the passionate pleas of a number of fans, who were audibly crying and shouting "no!" miku announced with regret that the next song would be their very last: Smile Ichiban Ii Onna. It is such a happy song, usually full of celebration that made the crowd go wild. That night, it took on a certain poignancy. miku barely sang, leaving the audience to sing in his wake. He properly handed the mic over to them to sing the final 'Kimi wa boku no taiyou sa.' Amidst the silver streamers and elation you could feel the heart of every fan, and even the band, breaking. miku relentlessly screamed "Thank you!" over and over as the song came to a close before he collapsed with the words "We are Harajuku Dance Rockers!"

They gave their final goodbyes with some parting words. "This is a live where we just didn't have enough time," teruki said. The fans faces showed their agreement. takuya seemed equally mournful. "Thank you...I will have super lonely feelings, but I will see you soon." kanon gave his thanks for the six years of support: "They have been a lot of fun," he told the fans.

Finally, it was miku's turn. "I have received many feelings from everybody, and that I could meet you, that I could live this kind of enjoyable life with you, I have been able to see such a wonderful world. Each live has been a 'date' and now we are married. A date is always fun, but in a marriage we may have troubles, but we are never apart and will never let go. We are waiting to see you when we return. Finally, let's join hands and jump. 3,2,1 TIRAMISU!"

Together the thousands in Budokan jumped one last time with their band.
As the band waved and threw picks, a CD version of Ichiban Smile Ii Onna played in the background as the band composed themselves to say their last goodbyes. The crowd took over, singing loudly to send the band on their way. The feelings of joy, happiness and pain were clear on each of the five's faces. It was a strange new place for long time followers of An Cafe, but an announcement at the end gave some hope: Next Live Summer Dive in 20XX.


Set list

1. Kakusei Heroism~THE HERO WITHOUT A NAME~
2. TouhiKairo
MC
3. Candyholic
4. Tekestuta Kousen
5. Cherry Saku Yu-ki!!
MC
6. Escapism
7. Best Apart
8. alone
MC
9. Et cetera the Budokan
10. LOCK ON the NEW Sekai
11. NYAPPY in the world 4 ~Hannyaka-Kyo no Theme~
12. Duck no Magical Adventure
13. 3P
14. AROMA
15. Bushido to Iu wa Shinukoto to Mitsuketari
16. MY HEART LEAPS FOR "C"

EN
17.YOU
18. BondS~Kizuna~
19. Smile Ichiban Ii Onna
related artists
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An Cafe 04/01

An Cafe  
Tokyo - Japan
Nippon Budokan
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