Jin Akanishi's JAPONICANA Tour in Los Angeles

live report - 04.09.2012 20:01

On the first stop of his North American tour, Jin proves that he doesn't need much to put on a great show.

It was a warm Friday night in Los Angeles as fans of Jin flocked to Club Nokia for the first show of the JAPONICANA Tour. Anticipation was high, and giddy fans of all ages – from elementary school kids to middle-aged ladies – chattered with each other as they waited for the show to start.

At 8 p.m. the opening act, Joseph Vincent, stepped onto the stage carrying nothing but an acoustic guitar. Although the audience was here for Jin, they indulged the young artist and cheered him on through his playful, lively set. After he was finished, there was another short wait before the man of the hour appeared.

Screams filled the air as Jin started the show with his newest single, Sun Burns Down. The energetic track set the tone for the concert. He transitioned into Tell Me Where with some sexy dance moves, which segued naturally into Set Love Free.

During Body Talk, a sweet slow ballad, Jin took off his sunglasses, finally allowing everyone to see his face. As he serenaded the room, dancers on the stage played out the tale of romance, adding to the soft atmosphere.

Jin kicked things back into high tempo with Like You, a seductive R&B jam. It got the crowd moving again, and by the time Pin Dom began, everyone was dancing. The venue became one giant party while Jin teased and challenged his fans to rock out harder. Once the song finished, the curtains closed abruptly and a 15-minute intermission was announced. Some used the opportunity to buy a drink or run to the restroom, but the minute the lights dimmed again everyone was back in place, unwilling to miss a moment of the show.

Jin’s female dancers led the way for That’s What She Said with a sexy, bondage inspired dance. In the middle of the action, Jin sauntered on stage with a drink in his hand. Amid shrieks of delight from the fans, he allowed the dancers to wrap him up with red scarves before smirking and slipping away. Aphrodisiac brought the fedora Jin is so rarely seen without as his dancers attired him for the dance. He quickly lost the hat, however, throwing it into the crowd and making one lucky fan extremely happy. During Test Drive, while everyone was dancing hard and waving hands in the air, one of Jin’s fans decided to reciprocate his love by throwing what looked like lacy underwear on to the stage.

The next song was Yellow Gold, and it was accompanied by beautiful lighting that made the entire stage glow. The live remixed version of the song was definitely the anthem of the night. The audience faced the stage as one, faces shining with adoration. Next came the playful Oowah, which had also been remixed. When the song ended, Jin left the stage and a DJ took over, treating the crowd to a short rap session. He asked the fans if they would like to hear Jin rap, and everyone screamed happily in reply, bringing Jin back out.

Jin seemed ready to start rapping but couldn’t seem to find a place to start. Then he finally admitted, “I can’t rap!” The DJ asked him to “rock” instead, and Jin treated the audience to California Rock. Yelling for everyone to “get your drinks up!” Jin kept the party atmosphere going before suddenly blurting out, “That’s the last song, I’m sorry! I love you guys so much!”

It seemed like he wanted to say more, but the curtains dropped before he could. None of the fans believed the show was over, however, and staunchly stayed in place. They were rewarded as Jin returned to sing Seasons, the only song of the night with Japanese lyrics. The heartfelt song ended the night on a perfect note, and as the curtains closed for the last time, Jin said again, “I love you all. Sayonara.”

In comparison with the other shows Jin has done in L.A., this one was the most stripped down. There weren’t any fancy props or a large dance crew – it was just Jin, plain and simple with few distractions. While it would have been nice to see a grand spectacle – or at least get a few MCs from him! – the minimalism of the show left no doubt that Jin could, and did, let his music speak for him. And fans can’t wait to hear more.

Set list:

01. Sun Burns Down
02. Tell Me Where
03. Set Love Free
04. Body Talk
05. Like You
06. Pin Dom
07. That’s What She Said
08. Aphrodisiac
09. Test Drive
10. Tellow Gold
11. Oowah
12. Club Mix
13. California Rock

En 01. Seasons
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Akanishi Jin 03/09

Akanishi Jin
Los Angeles, CA - United States of America
Club Nokia
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