Wednesday, April 20, 2016

# 2016 # A9

A9 Tour 2016 Truth in Light and Darkness - Day 1 @ StellarBall Shinagawa


"I don't want to go home."

That was exactly the feeling I've been having since I walked out of Stellar Ball that night on 16.04.2016, already missing the boys. Though, that silent wish of mine somewhat came true and it really makes me wanted to think twice before having anymore of these wishes anymore in the future - you know, strange things actually teach you good lessons sometimes - that really isn't the point here, and as usual I am rambling.

To call the first show of the Truth in Light And Darkness good, is an understatement, the live was beyond amazing, and if given a chance to do this again with all the same craziness and hassle at chasing for flight again, I would still do this, because the live was too good to miss.

My first solo trip to Tokyo this time - anything for the five amazing guys in the band seriously - the experience is so totally different than anything I've done before. Its true that I've been to lives on my own before, flying to and back with company usually though, and I usually able to find friends to go to the lives together, so having this being a solo trip is definitely new and exciting. I've been hyping over this for weeks before I fly - like I was really more excited about this trip than my trip to see Diawolf back in March, mainly because I know I'll be on my own. The feelings are like, I'm excited, I'm scared at the same time, I have lots to look forward to, yet I have my worries and insecurities - it weren't all rainbows and sparkles and I won't lie about it.

It all turns out great, even with me running around the wrong place on the first day - impromptu trips do not always work out you know - and then having my flight canceled due to the strong horrible wind on the day I supposed to return home - at the moment when I type this, I am in the middle of transiting flights home. I am at Incheon Airport actually, ironically, when I didn't plan a trip to the beautiful Seoul, it is like it wants me back here, even just for 3 hours. Well, since I have a bit of time - and a computer - here I am trying to put down these memories from one of the best live I've ever been to before it disappear.

Spring in Tokyo is beautiful, it is getting a little warm now, way warmer than back in March when Sakura was just blossoming. But the weather of course, would have nothing to compare to what is in Singapore so to me after spending two weeks in the heat, this is actually heaven. I spent my first day and second day exploring around and actually had lots of fun, had some impromptu stops - like dropping by Yoyogi Park, I've actually finished my letter to Show sitting there. Hahaha! But seriously I will put up a series of blogs featuring my journey around Tokyo because I am sure this blog will be getting too long by the time I finish the live event itself. You just need to note that it was a pleasantly warm day in Tokyo. I got to the venue rather early, seeing I've actually stayed in a guest house that is 10 - 15 minutes walk from Stellar Ball, though I didn't really go to the venue until it was 12+pm and there was a queue for goods already by the time me and my friend (who flew to Tokyo to see another live, she keeps missing A9, it's sad) reached there.

The Venue
Goods queue got very long, before goods I was given the chance to go in and pick up my ticket first - and dropping off my gifts (and my friends' gifts) to the boys. Funny moment, because one of my friend prepared gift for their manager, Gakki-san, and I have to pass things to him. He look genuinely surprise. XD So now, with my bag cleared off a load, I went back to the queue only to get another load back out. Ah... So beautiful those goods, there are still several things I would like to have and hopefully they are still available in May when I head over for the last live of the tour.

My ticket.
After the quick hype over the goods and stuffs back at my room - where I went back and dropped my things, I met up with this amazing Australia fans and we had a good time chatting about our boys. I got to know so much more~ and really feel my love for them grown yet another giant mile. XD Thank you for sharing your stories, Angel! Hours after quickly pass and we look at all the fans going in. Somehow, despite I've bought my ticket early and with me being an FC member, I wasn't allowed in early. I was put into pen B, that's the general sales ticket. Went to talk to the staffs after the show and wondering if something went wrong so I would know what to do in May, so apparently even as their FC member, if you're looking for the priority ticket, you still have to purchase via local sources, not Peatix. Eh... This system so need to be fix.

Though let's not dwell on these, like, the spot I've gotten myself wasn't half bad over there and I actually got to enjoy myself - just there was no close up view of A9 and I didn't even wear my contact, making it a bit hard to see them clearly, my short sightedness isn't that bad yet, thank God. I would've come better prepared if I had known that I will be at the back I mean. When I got into the venue there was a brief moment I was surprised? As I wasn't expecting the venue to be this small and I was about 10 odd rows back - near the end already though - chosen the space staring right in front of Saga/ Tora. It was apparently a good spot, near the back row where everyone are rather relax and there was plenty of room to breathe and move about.

My view.
The wait wasn't long after I went in, and the lights dimmed, and the boys came out...

Starting the show after a brief instrumental - that I didn't expect - was Silver. That new song that I want to listen to most out of this album. The live version was great, I was not disappointed. The band has their locations changed, it is exactly the arrangement in Prismatic MV, though this arrangement is only for a short while it shocked some fans as those who came for their favorite - namely Tora - has shifted space and went to the right.

It was a little weird at first, like not seeing the band in their usual arrangement and suddenly it seems like Saga has lots of spaces to himself, and he's much closer to the audience too. I spent most of my time during the first session staring at him, watching him playing his bass with his eyes closed, shaking that blonde hair back, and when he feels like it he would wandered over to Nao and disturb him a little. It was all so cute, I like to see this side of my Saga-sama. XD

Following Silver was Siva and Diva, and then the new version of Hana - which I didn't recognise at first, dump me - and then a new version of Rainbow. I would never thought they could arrange the song this way. The feeling of the new arrangement is kind of like... Disco-ish? You know the feeling you get when you listen to Silver? That's exactly the feeling you get listening to those two remixed version. Its strange, but very good. Show's voice shone through the lesser noisy music, I think he really should do more songs like this.

They also played Insomnia and Blossom, both of which I remember very clearly that Saga was playing guitar, and I think Hiroto played keyboard on Blossom? Correct me if I'm wrong. It was a surprise to me, I kind of expect our musical boy to play keyboard really, not like I am underestimating Hiroto's ability to play other instruments and what's not, I... Just wasn't expecting that. I mean, Hiroto has always been with his guitar, and this is just, different.

Huhuhu, I think when someone says he's going to play piano on his birthday, he really mean a really good performance of it. Because from what I'm hearing on live, he actually plays keyboard well. (So I have no knowledge whatsoever how hard is it to learn a keyboard, but for someone who has been playing guitar for 10 odd years as long as Hiroto has been, I doubt it is too tough. Yet I won't say it is easy though.)

I don't remember the exact order of the songs, I don't remember every songs played that night even, but I remember Silver, Hana (another version), Rainbow (another version), Insomnia and Blossom were played on the first part. Such beautiful part, where you can fill your ears with goodness and fill your eyes with images of Saga being sexy and playful and just enjoying his moments with his music.

Alright, I'm bias. I'm so bias now that I would just stand in front of that pretty man not bulging and trying to catch his every movement in my sight. XD I think he deserves more fans bias towards him.

Part one ended with the white curtains came closing the stage from our view, and the Sound of Galaxy was played then, with projection on the white curtain. Behind it, the workers started moving the instruments back in position - and they actually did it fast, good job! - when the curtain opens again and they broke into another song, A9 are back in their original position! Hahaha!

Don't ask me the arrangement of songs and events in part 2 because I could not remember it at all. I can remember which part I actually enjoyed a lot though. When they talk, it was very funny, I caught a part where Saga mentioned cheese out of nowhere and Show laughed asking him back if he has been eating too much pizza - I am not entirely sure about this, you know my Japanese, but cheese and pizza were definitely mentioned, and everyone including Show was laughing. It was a funny moment.

Then they went on talking about the pink streak in Nao's hair and Saga's hair. Basically a session when the boys just being themselves.

Speaking of hair though, did anyone notice that Hiroto's hair color is constantly getting brighter? At this rate I am sure he will be back as a blonde by the time I see them again at the tour last stop. Hahaha!

Darker and Darker were played in second part, love it. They also played several old familiar songs like Kowloon (hair flying! It was fun though. And yes Show, I smell the lovely smell of shampoo too, thanks for mentioning it), Follow Me (during a part Saga did his usual "crowd squinting". And for a moment there I thought he was looking at me, squinted, frowned, and then nodded at me. I'm sure he is doing it to the general area, but for my little fangirl heart's sake, let's say he actually squinted, frowned and nodded at me ok? Me this fan who went all the way to Tokyo to see him. XD Don't kill me!)

They played Hello World! Oh the heaven of Saga's voice, and Show plays guitar! I love that song so much since I heard it performed in Court of "9", so glad to hear that live. Haru, Sakura no Koro was cute, Tora's speech and smile before they started the song was sweet and cute at the same time, I am sure that melted plenty of Tora fans' hearts. XD

Dead School Screaming was fun, watching the bunch of Japanese girls playing over there, I do not dare to join them in the action but did the normal headbang on beat. Tsubasa... Oh Tsubasa... Now you have done it, marking it another special song for me. How during pre-chorus the girls in front of me just started dancing in circles and they involved me in it. I was actually lost at first but starting to really enjoy myself by the second time it comes around. It was really really fun. Hahahaha!

I guessed I got really really high after that.

They've also played Prismatic in the second part, it was one of the last songs they played.

Encore was loud after a brief moment where everyone took to rehydrate themselves and taken a breather. The boys came back out in their respective tees (oh Saga looks super good in that white long tee, you skinny pole, only you can wear that style of white and sri get away with looking good in it) and hoodies. Funny thing I noted, two guitarists and the vocal wore hoodies, and Saga in white shirt and Nao in his black? Just something random, so you really see a different when their stand that way, and you see hoodie, shirt, hoodie, shirt and hoodie. Lol! I wonder did they do it on purpose. There began the round of goods recommendation! Nao-san recommended us the premium soups, he said it is French boiled, so everyone should try it alright? And also, you know the premium soup set that came with the bowl? Apparently that bowl is high quality and they had did their best in finding a way to make it at the affordable price, everyone should support and buy more. XD Tora went blank momentary when Show ask him to introduce some goods, Show made him talk about the hoodie he was wearing and he mentioned something about the sleeves keep getting caught on guitar. You guys can always refer to @itsmisho_o and @alicerainbows to see what they've talked about, because seriously my Japanese isn't good enough to catch everything the boys said up on stage.

They performed the normal version of Rainbow, where everyone headbanged and we did all the motions, it's fun to know what to do at least for this one song - I guess I spammed live of this song one too many times. The live ended with Show promising us to see us again soon (yes Show, I'll see you soon enough, on 29 May... But can it be even sooner? I miss you guys already) and the last song for the night was Subete e, a beautiful closing to the amazing live at Stellar Ball Shinagawa.

I'll never forget this night I think, for all the amazingness and of all the first time experiences I've gained from it. My only hope is for the live on Tsutaya O-East would be as good or even better than this.

There was nothing much at the back, I went back to the place and spazz over my goods after grabbing their Light and Darkness album. I actually spazzed till I fell asleep hahahaha! Then having the next day being in deep depressing withdrawal syndrome that had me thinking that I do not want to go home and just stay for their instore event on 18th and the rest of the tour... If I have 10 thousand dollars in my bank account I probably can afford it. Wells...

So as I'm typing this, I'm on my way back to Singapore, one day later than I planned. Still I don't think there's any regret for this trip, I had so much fun by myself. Keep a lookout on this space to see the entries on the rest of my journey through Tokyo! *and that being said I have no idea when will I get to those. :-x

Well, see you soon, or I'll see you after my live in Tokyo again on 29th May!

More pictures below:
As usual, drawings for the boys. I managed to rush them all out.
Gifts and letters to the boys. Mine are just the drawings, the rest from my friends.

Bracelets (one of them is my friend's) and my artbook!
Goods! My bracelet came with Tora card!
The bag charms are so pretty! I want to get another~!
The muffler towel.
Alican! I've got Nao card and Tora keychain. XD
Second Alican comes with (my favorite) Saga card and a Saga keychain. I am so happy.
The point cards. So between me and my friend, we have 6 points now.
Also bought Light And Darkness album with poster. I love the jacket design a lot.
It comes with a mini poster inside. A shot of the contents here.
Final photo, close up of the mini poster. Yes it is very beautiful, you know you want it, go and get a copy at HMV. For anyone in Singapore who wants to get their hands on this, feel free to contact me as I am heading over to Tokyo again in May, and can possibly help you grab your copy back. :)


Thanks for reading!

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