Kra, Spring Tour Final at Hibiya Outdoor Stadium

live report - 03.06.2010 06:00

Kra ushers in the season of Spring with a vibrant live at Hibiya Yaon.

Under the open sky of the unique venue, fans waited eagerly for Kra to appear. The gathering was befitting of April 3rd, finally Spring, with colourful examples of cosplay, sailor style school uniforms, maids, lolita dresses, and all sorts of street fashion lining the rows. Meanwhile, the outdoor stage was dressed with massive pink taffeta streamers flowing in the wind. Decked out in grey costumes reminiscent of school uniforms, the band made their entrance, and each had their own little flair, right down to vocalist Keiyu’s pink sleeves to compliment the staging.

Kicking off their tour final, the band impressed from the get-go with the a capella version of Tatoe. Blowing away the slightly chilly weather, the crowd exploded with jumping to the fun tune. They then proved to be in full bloom like the cherry blossoms, spreading their arms wide to Ame no kokuhaku. In accordance to the title, the backscreen was an array of raindrops on water whilst Keiyu vigorously led the crowd in actions to fit the music. The melodic introduction of Mutakuto mutakuto was followed by a passionate scream to rile up the crowd. An unmistakeably Japanese sound, the melody washed over the stands, very fitting amidst the natural feel of the venue. Meanwhile, the guitar solo was met with fervent admiration as a sea of hands opened up to meet Mai.

“Are you still with me?” Keiyu cried. “Let’s go! Let’s step it up!”

Sekai de ichiban tayorinai koi no uta broke out with a chant of “Hai! Hai! Hai! Hai! Hai! Hai!” and guitarist Mai could be seen bouncing about energetically to the exciting melody. <<< (Rewind) fanned the growing heat, featuring flashing green lighting and psychedelic swirls on the backscreen. Hundreds of hands moved in synchrony with the drumbeats and Keiyu’s spoken lines washed over the crowd. He then challenged them, asking whether they were up to date with the actions. bird gave them the chance to prove just how competent they were as dancing skeletons based on the members led the actions from the backscreen. While Mai could be seen dancing all over the place, bassist Yuhra’s slamming bass solo seemed to drag him into the beat of the music. Up on his podium, drummer Yasuno was having a great time, grooving away.

During the following MC, Keiyu teased the crowd, responding to their shouts and bolstering their energy for the coming wave of songs. Meanwhile, Yasuno’s sticks twirled away in the background. The light atmosphere turned sultry as Ai no flavour was played. Rose petals littered the backscreen, unexpectedly complimenting the brassy piece. The jazz piano interlude of machi no akari was well-matched to the previous song. Keiyu moved skilfully to the music and the crowd clapped in time to Yasuno’s cymbal crashes. With a “Thank you!” the number ended, inciting a round of applause.

As the first few raindrops began to fall, Keiyu’s voice soared throughout Uta, slipping into passionate, guttural tones. judge saw Mai lose his jacket, jumping about to the music. Meanwhile, the first wave of headbanging broke out among the crowd. After Yasuno lead in onigi no uta by clapping his sticks high above his head, the headbanging caught on in response to the heavy guitar lines. Kanji crawled ominously across the backscreen, fitting the dark Asian undertone of the music. Then, following a brief interlude, Keiyu introduced the next song, Renka. Pink lighting and a funky intro set the mood for the song as the crowd listened appreciatively. The pink banners billowed in the wind, almost dancing to the music themselves. With a lovely a capella finish, the song came to an end.

During the previous number, rain had started to come down for real, just in time for Keiyu’s MC to begin with teasing the crowd about covering their faces instead of watching him. Not about to lose to the rain, he got the crowd laughing and relaxed, primed and ready to enjoy circus regardless of the weather. Clapping away, the crowd threw themselves into the number. Misesu saw them jumping away, completely oblivious to the rain as they outdid themselves, warming up and having fun all at once. Soon, the atmosphere really began to boil with LOST NUMBER. Screaming “Let’s go wild!” Keiyu broke out his death voice and the audience complied, going all out for the heavy number. At one point, the audience took up the baton, conducting like professionals. Fist punching accompanied by cries loud enough to travel the distance even outdoors signaled the start of En. Mai made his first appearance on the stage centre as Keiyu visited the stage's left portion of the crowd. Meanwhile, hundreds of hands raised in unison to the melody. Having triumphed over the dwindling rain, the crowd was further energized during Renjou philosophy, clapping cheerfully, and waving vigorously to the chorus along with Keiyu. After another outbreak of heavy headbanging, the piece ended with a short but sweet bass solo.

Utilizing vocal effects, artman brought in a slightly electronic sound, which only further encouraged the crowd. Hands flew all around, moving to the music. Keiyu called out during the song, encouraging the whole crowd to soar to greater heights and allowing everyone to feel connected. Even the stone benches seemed to bounce under the jumping feet of the unified audience. Raising their voices, they could be heard clearly, a feat celebrated by further headbanging during the final rap. Flashing yellow lights brightened the mood with Cab.D. As the crowd moshed with hands flying, Keiyu sexed it up. During Mai’s solo, he held his arms out to the guitarist, handing over the audience’s attention. The final song of the set began with a clapped rhythm and name-call that cycled through the members, complimented by little solos from all the instruments. Show time finished the show with a bang as both Mai and Yuhra walked through the audience, right up into the C section, slapping hands as they went. At some point, Mai’s shirt seemed to go astray. Onstage, Yasuno played it up, his sticks twirling away. “Having fun? Even if you catch a cold, still having fun?” Keiyu cried amidst the chaos. The crowd sang heartily, responding enthusiastically to Keiyu’s request to go nuts until the very end.

After the members exited, with Yasuno the last to go after a teasing toss of his sticks that went nowhere near the crowd, the band’s new mascot wandered across the screen, encouraging the encore call. Returning in good time so as not to leave the fans waiting too long in the cold, the band quickly worked to revive everyone’s energy, Yasuno himself practically bouncing with life. However, before the music could resume, there was a small announcement - Kra have decided upon a name for their new mascot. “Kohsuke” was cheerfully greeted by the fans.

“Thinking about how nice it would be here in Summer under the open sky, I’d like to perform this next song. Amanogawa touhikou.”

Thinking of Summer rather than the chilly evening, the crowd listened quietly. The following song, monochrome, featured a dramatic introduction and the backscreen was lit with an image of the moon behind peacefully falling feathers. Then, Shounen to sora brought ont a warm drumbeat and bright staging. At last, the crowd took to jumping once more along with Keiyu. Accompanied by a march beat, the vocalist sang with the microphone pulled away to bring about a far-off sound, slightly eerie, but cool. The bright and cheerful melody of World primed the audience for Keiyu's request that fans bring two more friends to the next concert, suggesting that everyone take the day off work or school so they can make it. Yuhra seemed to think that five friends were more appropriate.

“At that, we could play Budokan next year,” Keiyu joked.

The fun atmosphere was escalated by ACID Märchen which the crowd greeted enthusiastically. Vocalist, bassist and guitarist could all be seen bouncing about excitedly to the upbeat music whilst the cameramen took to the stage in tour shirts to join the fun and take some close-up shots of the band. At last, Extra Kingdom brought the night to a close, with balloons flying across the backscreen, a guitar solo to satisfy the fans, and Keiyu’s voice ringing out in an almost a capella finish.

Asking the crowd to keep their plans open for this season next year, the band encouraged everyone to hold hands for a unified bow, everyone saying “Thank you” as one. Last to leave the stage, Keiyu once more thanked the crowd, his gratitude heard even without the aid of the microphone. However, it wasn’t over yet. A credits screen began to roll, announcing the band’s plans for the year including a live DVD, another tour, a new single, and also a new album, not to mention fanclub events. The location of the national tour final at C.C. Lemon Hall drew excited gasps from the crowd.

Satisfied that they would have plenty more opportunities to experience Kra throughout 2010, the audience slowly filtered out of the venue, chatting about the future and reminiscing about the evening. Oblivious to the rain, it was a fitting welcome of the Spring season for both Kra and their fans.

Set List

01. Tatoe (a capella version)
02. Ame no kokuhaku
03. Mutakuto mutakuto
04. Sekai de ichiban tayorinai koi no uta
05. <<< (rewind)
06. bird
07. Ai no flavour
08. Machi no akari
09. Uta
10. judge
11. Onigi no uta
12. Renka
13. circus
14. Misesu
16. En
17. Renjou philosophy
18. artman
19. Cab.D
20. Show time

21. Amanogawa touhikou
22. monochrome
23. Shounen to sora
24. World
25. ACID Märchen
26. Extra Kingdom
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