miyavi at Anime Matsuri 2009

live report - 05.11.2009 07:51

miyavi's first US performance since leaving PS COMPANY.

On a humid Saturday night in Texas, fans from near and far gathered at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Convention Center to see and hear miyavi play live for Anime Matsuri 2009. The eager fans waited patiently for what seemed like forever before the doors to the concert hall finally opened. Inside, colored lights were already bathing the stage, and it was apparent that the space would be filled to the brim. After one final delay in the form of the final battles of a video game competition, the lights went down and the show began.

Despite the long line and the equally long delay in getting started, the fans retained their full love and energy for the charismatic vocalist, only letting go once the concert was in progress.The fans screamed and jumped excitedly as miyavi took the stage with Ippiki ookami ron. The energy, both on stage and in the crowd, was amazing as miyavi walked the stage from end to end, giving each side ample attention. He followed with Coin Lockers Baby, which kept the audience moving, reaching their hands out to him. Moving right along, the next song was Ossan ossan ore nanbo, which led in to miyavi’s first MC of the night. The crowd roared as miyavi introduced himself and talked about being in Texas. Although the Texans in the audience might have disagreed, miyavi declared that while it was cold that night, it was "HOT" in the room!

After the MC, the audience got moving again with BOOM-HAH-BOOM-HAH-HAH. miyavi started the crowd off with some hand and arm choreography, which was enthusiastically imitated by most attendees. It was almost impossible to stay still in the constantly moving, dancing crowd, and miyavi’s positive spirit was contagious. His band members were also energetic and seemed happy to be there, making the show even better. 21st Century Tokyo Blues was next, and it quickly became one of the highlights of the concert. This started off with miyavi doing a cool, robotic dance that made the audience members scream even louder. It was an impressive introduction to the catchy song, which also featured hand movements that the fans faithfully copied from miyavi. With his dancing, posing, facial expressions and his enthusiastic communication with the audience, miyavi had more personality than several people combined. He flirtatiously posed at the edge of the stage and twisted his face in ways that only he could.

Another MC came after this. miyavi talked about leaving PSC, noting that he wanted to be able to talk to his fans about it. He also mentioned being a dad and his marriage to melody.; and fittingly, the MC led in to a piano version of Kimi ni negai o. Featuring soft music and vocals, the song moved many audience members to tears. During the quietest of moments, gentle crying could be heard throughout the room. This emotional performance flowed in to another piano version, this time of Coo quack cluck - ku ku ru-. Many people continued crying through this song, but never lost their energy. miyavi then performed Hi no hikari sae todokanai kono basho de and did another MC. He was very friendly with the crowd and continued talking about his new company, his child and his marriage. He performed Aho Matsuri next, along with more hand movements that accompanied the song. Becoming a sea of activity, the crowd danced along.

Before Shouri no V-ROCK!!, he asked if everyone liked visual kei. The audience erupted in more screams and he asked everyone who brought a towel to wave it in the air since this is a common practice at visual kei shows. The energy was higher than ever as miyavi and the fans head banged, danced and jumped around. Towels were waved in the air for the duration of the song. Are you ready to ROCK? came next and everyone continued moving. miyavi worked the entire stage from end to end, visiting with his fans at the edge of the stage as everyone sang, “Are you ready to rock?!” Following this song, miyavi and his band members left the stage. The crowd screamed for an encore, and after a couple minutes, miyavi returned to the stage. He introduced his band members and mentioned that it was his bassist’s birthday, so he, along with the audience, sang "Happy Birthday" for him as a staff member brought out a cake. It was a fun moment that made everyone smile.

The music started up again for Subarashiki kana, kono sekai -WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD-, which was followed by another MC and Sakihokoru hana no you ni -Neo Visualizm-. While the crowd had not been overly rambunctious throughout the performance, this song is one that had some areas of the audience surging forward and sideways as everyone danced and threw their hands in the air, singing along to the song. Even at the end of the concert, the energy was palpable, and it was impossible that anyone could have had a bad experience there. Everyone again left the stage for a second time - only to return for a second encore. miyavi sported one of his new T-shirts and posed flirtatiously in it, encouraging the audience members to buy one. He also asked everyone to please take a few steps back so that the people at the front had room to breathe. He performed As Ur -kimi wa kimi no mama de- and Girls, be ambitious. In particular, many fans seemed pleasantly surprised by Girls, be ambitious, as it was his first solo song. The song was recognized by its opening notes, and the audience screamed immediately upon hearing them. As miyavi sang, so did the audience, putting their all in to the final moments of the concert. As the song came to an end, guitar picks and other items were thrown to the audience, and miyavi thanked everyone for supporting him before exiting the stage.

Several years ago, miyavi was set to perform at another Texas convention, but was unable to come. While this disappointed a lot of people, it would be safe to say that this performance more than made up for it, and it would not have been the same miyavi all those years ago as it was on that night - thought it certainly would have been just as entertaining. Not once did the audience members' enthusiasm and energy fade. Whether swaying to the tender renditions of Coo quack cluck and Kimi ni negai o or following along with miyavi’s movements to BOOM-HAH-BOOM-HAH-HAH, the crowd remained passionate and dedicated for the entire performance. Likewise, miyavi’s energy and personality made the show enjoyable not only for the music, but for the unique, friendly person that he has shown himself to be as he performed songs that spanned his entire solo career.

Set List:

1. Ippiki ookami ron
2. Coin Lockers Baby
3. Ossan ossan ore nanbo
5. 21st Century Tokyo Blues
6. Kimi ni negai o
7. Coo quack cluck - ku ku ru-
8. Hi no hikari sae todokanai kono basho de
9. Aho Matsuri
10. Shouri no V-ROCK!!
11. Are you ready to ROCK?

Encore 1
12.Subarashiki kana, kono sekai -WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD-
13. Sakihokoru hana no you ni -Neo Visualizm-

Encore 2
14. As Ur -kimi wa kimi no mama de-
15. Girls, be ambitious
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MIYAVI 04/10

The Woodlands, TX - United States of America
The Marriott Woodlands Waterway Hotel and Convention Center
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miyavi at Anime Matsuri 2009

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