Saturday, July 15, 2017

A9 × Lolita-23q 2MAN TOUR NINE TWO THREE @ Hipshot Japan, Kooriyama [24/06/2017] -SAGA'S BIRTHDAY-

12:26:00 AM 0 Comments
And here I am, on the flight about to reach KLIA to change flight back home once again, so short a time just about a week after my last trip, everything felt so rush this time, even though I had this planned about 6 months ago, I've promised myself to celebrate Saga's birthday with him every June 24th, I hope I will and I can always hold truth to my promise. Well, at least I've managed to do it this year, regardless how difficult it was to pull off when I first heard that it will be held in Kooriyama instead of Tokyo.

And so, there I was, June 24th, in Kooriyama. Saga's hometown is a very nice place, it is very relaxing, slow-pace, the town actually reminded me a lot like my own as I was growing up, with a lot of low buildings that's a little out of time, old but at the same time with a touch of solidity and friendliness. Actually my first impression of the place was, "wow, this feel exactly like my home (Ipoh) except it's cleaner, safer, nicer (weather wise) and with everything there written in Japanese instead of Malay language." Lol. I'm sorry I got a little sidetracked here, I just got a lot of good vibes from there, and I hope that one day I can just move to a nice little place like that and just be there, building a family, settling down... Um.

So after the previous night's crazy dash from Sendai to Kooriyama and back to Sendai again for instore then back to Kooriyama, 24th proved to be another busy day that I got to check out and arrive at the live venue early so I can wait for someone and show (and if he would like to take, pass) someone the drawing I've finally finished. Turned out being there early is totally unnecessary, because they all came out so late about 11pm (they all probably gotten so drunk the night before that they decided to start the day late) and Saga and Tora didn't show up the live venue until about 2pm (after Shou, how rare!).

Unexpectedly, they all stayed at that hotel just across the street from Hipshot Japan, where the live would be held. We didn't realized it at first, until the staff pushed their luggage with their live outfits back to the hotel, temporary leaving it there. And then around 11am... Plus? That I saw their van parked right over there slightly ahead of the hotel, watching it for a moment and then I caught them, Tora, Hiroto, Nao and Saga, walking out from the hotel and got into the van (having the live venue being just across the street you would think they would walk over, well no, I'm still very amused about that. Then again, they are all getting older and it's probably better to save the energy for the live later huh? *laugh*). The van drove away and then came back, surprise surprise, we only got Nao and Hiroto coming out of the van, Saga and Tora has left for somewhere (I strongly suspected it being either food that Saga like to go eat, or a saloon trip). We greeted them as they go in, at that moment I did hesitated a little should I show Nao and Hiroto the drawing I did or not (I really did thought of just showing Saga, since he has been expecting it from earlier that month). I did show them in the end, under my friend's prompt for me to do it. A little surprised but they both seems to like the drawing, Hiroto gave me a thumbs up. It was a little weird, I'm always feeling a little weird showing my drawing to other people somehow. *laughs* Except Saga. *laughs more*

Next to arrive is Shou. We thought Saga and Tora would arrive with him, but those two didn't. So Shou entered on his own. And again I showed him the drawing too (since I did showed Hiroto and Nao before, I figured I might as well). Shou didn't notice it at first, probably rushing a little and eager to get into live venue, but when he saw it he was like, big grin, he said something like it was good (I can't recall any of their reactions exactly, so sorry) before he gone inside the venue.

Since we figured out which side they will be coming in from, and the staff doesn't really stop us from greeting them on the way in, we hovered around and waited. The staff did stopped us however, when my friend wanted to pass the members her letters to them. Well, that builds up to my next surprise.

Finally, Tora and Saga arrived at the venue. Sometimes after 2pm, near 2.30pm I think. If I don't remember it wrongly, I think Saga was wearing his hat in the morning when he exited the hotel, he was wearing the same shirt he wore for in-store the day before. But when he got out from the van this time, there was no hat, he was wearing a pair of sunglasses however.

Tora got out the van first, and he was with the black parka and cap like his look from the day before. I briefly showed Tora the drawing (well he saw it anyway cause I was holding it in front of me), I think he did commented or if he did not, he gave me a nod of approval before moving on to go into the venue. And then Saga, our sweet, kind birthday boy! XD Upon seeing the drawing after he got out the car, that guy just casually wandered over to where I stood, stopping just a short distance in front of me and he looked at the drawing with such a grin. It was like he really like the drawing, I don't really know how he feels but, that smile was dazzling. He said something to me, probably praising the piece but I really couldn't remember (should I blame it on the smile this time? Nah, my memory was shot that day for some reasons, probably from the lack of sleep last 3 days plus my eyes was really feeling uncomfortable from the contact lens I have to wear so I can see during live). I remember after he stopped talking, we stood there for a few awkward seconds. I was lost for a moment because I didn't expect him to come up to me, in that manner not unlike a puppy upon seeing someone or something it likes (I mean it in a good way, his reaction was so adorable!). Belatedly, I finally open my mouth to speak, wanted to ask him would he like to take the drawing with him, but even my Japanese escaped me that moment, I repeatedly trying to remember how to ask him, and he waited so patiently for me to get the sentence out. I think I did get the correct sentence out, or at least he get the gist of what I wanted to ask *rolls around* then he just went on like "Sure!" and he held out his hand. I hurriedly put the drawing back into the bag *still in shock* and handed it to him. There is a lot of reasons why he could have not taken the gifts from me. There are 3 other fans waiting nearby in hope to pass him gifts directly too, and they watched the whole thing. And usually we won't allow to pass gifts to the members anyway, especially with the staff around, they would stop us. I think the staff was there watching, but Saga was the one saying be would take it so he couldn't stop us. Saga took the other fans' gifts as well (because he took mine? He will have to take the others now especially cause he took mine you know) and then he went into the venue.

Oh God, it's now a little more than 24 hours later, and I couldn't get that smile out of my head. Lol~ I still kind of finding it surreal, the fact that he still remembers me after 4 months. Granted I talked to him a week ago, but before that it was 4 months, and yet there he is acting so familiar with me like he sees me all the time.

I miss him already. :(

My drawings this time round! Left is for Saga's birthday and the right is the one I've promised him, and showed him. He seems to like them. And oh God, I LOVE them in frames!
After that, it was queuing for goods, I bought his shirt, the postcard and a Galaxy bracelet, purple color - because hey! Purple is My color before it is Saga's (LOL). And then we gone for food after putting our bags into lockers.

Saga-sized towel!

Going back to live house around 5pm, the fans had already started queuing.

My number for this live wasn't that good, it was 215. Granted it was way better than the one I got last year at 400plus. The entrance and everything was very efficient, one thing i don't quite like is how they gave out drinks right on entry, it means I either go on without one or I would have to hold my bottle throughout the live and it will be no fun. Lol. Ended up after 2 - 3 songs where I couldn't enjoy fully due to the bottle in my hand, I had to put it down on the side knowing I will never drink it again, because I won't be able to be sure if it is my bottle left sitting there after every one took theirs and went off.

The live started on time. Its either that or even a little early, soon as we all entered and settled down. Lolita23 was first to perform. I didn't have previous experience with the band, but so far from the songs I heard that night, they was pretty good and I really enjoy it. Their furi are pretty complicated though. They're probably a band I will check out later and if you have any confident in my music taste, go take a listen to them too. *nods*

A surprise for many fans but I kinda expected it anyway, (I've seen him done that during the last 2 2man live I've attended, LOL) Nao came out during Lolita's last song, 春夏秋冬. They played it in celebration of Saga's birthday. XD and I have to say they did quite a good job with it too.

Brief paused when the staffs arrange the instruments behind those black curtain on stage, it wasn't too long, just half an hour? And then we were greeted by a familiar tune; A9 would come out soon.

The first song after Cradle to Alpha, was Memento. The energy in the venue was awesome, which one won't suspect from the previous low energy level when Lolita was performing. Lol. Rainbow next, you know how crazy it is. I missed that song so much and really didn't expect to hear it again here, since you know, Saga did a very special setlist for his birthday live last year that include all the good but not so popular songs, well we should just learn to expect the unexpected from that guy huh? XD

There was gyaku dive during Red Carpet and because some fans won't do it, I soon find myself way closer to the stage than I thought I would get. I think I ended up at around the 5th row? It was about halfway closer than where I was before. I do really miss gyaku dive, had so much fun playing there. I wonder if any Japanese fans who attended that day's live is reading this, but if you are reading, and you happened to stand near Shimote side in front of Saga, I might have hit you or stepped on your foot, or in some ways maybe caused inconvenience to you, I'm so sorry. I hope it is nothing too serious.

Seriously, I think I kinda stepped on someone's foot there that night and I didn't get to apologize because the party was wild and everyone moved around so much! The girls at my side kept changing every few songs because of all the jumping and diving and rushing back and forth. Lol.

Haikara though... *laughs* It makes me wondered if Saga has gone back to the habit of bass licking these days or somehow I just keep catching him in the right mood to lick his bass out of nowhere? Totally didn't expect it but when I heard the first note of that song, the thought did cross my mind: "Oh God, is he going to lick his bass here again?" Seriously Saga, if you don't be more careful I'll start thinking you're doing it for me *shamelessly claiming glory* ;) But yeah, I guess he was just in a good mood, and when he's in that mood, he licks his bass. *laughs* Weird guy, I know.

Undead Party was fun, Scarlet was sexy, and I'm glad I can always get to hear that song on lives, it's still one of my favorite. And Daybreak was... Bright with lots of good energy. After Daybreak there come a bit of MC, during which the boys revealed that they've went to celebrate Saga's birthday the night before. Tora and Hiroto apparently gotten drunk and they both found themselves woke up naked in their own room later, hahahaha! Saga also revealed that Yuki came to greet him happy birthday the night before, but that guy has barely opened his door and told him that from the doorway, he didn't even step into Saga's room. *LOL* Sometimes after that, Yuki came out with a cake. Everyone sang birthday song. Saga was so awkward when the member suggested for him to take a photo, he always go on and think it would be his solo shot when member suggested him that, and the members have to ask him to turn around and take it with the fans. *LOL* He and Yuki also took another photo with the fans XD and those two hugged afterwards.

After that, they introduced another piece of goods, Saga tee! And the giant "Saga-size towel"! That gave Shou an idea, he was like, hey, why don't Saga change into the tee on stage? Well, now, I'll hold this towel up to cover you, Tora will hand you the t-shirt, you just change here. Shishou being Shishou, although he was a little unsure about the idea he did it in the end. Hiroto at the side playing some sensual melody, Shou and Nao held up the towel. As Saga was changing, Shou gave us some commentaries like "I got a good view," and "This is a member's specialty." interjecting the middle with the "Oooh!" and "Ahh" to add to the tension. I kinda think Saga blushed but I was a bit too far to see properly. XD In the middle of it, be it accidental or (but seeing it is Maou holding the towel, I have to say it is) intentional, the towel came down a bit showing Saga's beautiful white shoulders and neckline, the crowd cheered. Lol. That was it, no further incident and he managed to change into the t-shirt safely.

Next song, A9 did a cover of Glay's Kanojo no Modern. Saga looked so happy to be able to do a cover of a song he likes, his happiness  was shinning on his face. XD

They close the night with Kowloon, follow by Yami ni Chiru Sakura and then Heisei Juushichinen Shichigatsu Nanoka. Wonderful end to the night, at the same time too crazy, I'm not kidding, my neck still hurts. Lol.

Waited for the boys to come out afterwards, I saw everyone but Shou and Saga however, appears that those two went off first in a taxi that we didn't even realized while waiting there (we couldn't wait too near to the exit, doesn't want to be in the staffs' ways as they carry all the equipments into the cars). But I did saw a taxi gone off (and I didn't realized it, damn!) We managed to say goodnight to Tora, Hiroto and Nao though. XD And after which off I go, chasing the last Shinkansen back to Tokyo for next day's flight. It was really sad, I wished my stay in Kooriyama could've been longer, it was really such a nice place that I want to go around discover more 😳 Well perhaps next time.

As usually, thank you for reading. It has been 3 long entries *laughs* My next will be October now, patiently waiting for its arrival and bring me to Fukuoka~ Looking forward to it so much~

A9 Re:Born In-store Event @ Tower Records Sendai [23/06/2017]

12:16:00 AM 0 Comments

My handsome boys..
It was about a week before this trip to Japan that I found out that A9 is going to have an in-store event in Sendai on 23rd June. A pleasant surprise nonetheless, although that did kind of messed up my initial plan to go for an onsen trip that day. I canceled the trip eventually, having not enough time between finishing my A9 drawing, and the need to move around. Hopefully, there will be another chance for me to go for this onsen experience one day.

23rd June started a little earlier for me, I've wanted to make sure that I have everything packed and readied to move over to Kooriyama (since I am staying there for the night), and then come back to Sendai before event start. The journey form one place to another is just about 45 minutes by Shinkansen making it possible for me to pull that off, which I'm grateful for. I got back to Sendai by 5pm, by when I became an idiot thinking I'm late for the event (the event starts at 7pm and I misread my clock 1700 as 7pm there), I had a panic attack for a moment there when the staff told me the event start an hour later (which at first I thought I was an hour late for the event, you know, when you're panic and trying to understand a new language, *laughs*). Eventually we cleared up, I've got some time to calm down and chill with a glass of Black Sugar ice latte at Douter even (which is awesome by the way). Half an hour later I returned to Tower Records and found the place is being set up now and readied for the in-store event.

I really like how the staffs made their present boxes. So nice!

My number being 20 allow me to be at like 3rd row from the stage, which gave me quite a nice view. I picked the wrong side to stand however, not in front of Saga, but on the other side. My view of him was still good though (well I'm rather front) so I have no complaint.

The boys entered soon after all the fans came into the area, and they started by talking about their new song, Re:Born. Its Saga's song, and the member mentioned it being very elegant (I look forward to hearing it).

By the way, Nao and Shou were saying that the song should be pronounce as "ReBooorrrrnnnn!!!!!", it was so funny, the way they pronounce it. I wonder if they are really sticking to that pronounciation. If they do you'll definitely hear them saying it on their 13th Anniversary live, Shou said he wants to do that song on the anniversary.

They did already said their new concept is red, and Shou said Saga in red on the MV looks like some beautiful lady in red outfit from makeup CM (CM meaning advertisement). Tora said the feeling for Saga is like he's advertising for Tsubaki (apparently all of you looks like you're advertising for that shampoo there, *laughs*)

Hiroto said the PV looks like movie of some sort. Once again, Tora is the director, I wonder what is he going to do with it, looking forward to it. Ù©( ‘ω’ )و

Nao was so happy that he gets to sing Undead Party, he even have a clip of his own recording on his own phone, and he played the clip for us during the in-store. It is really funny, he named it "Undead Nao" even, and there's only one line in the recording: "Let's get the party started now!" So cute, so funny! This is really why I love Nao. Shou commented too, that he would never be so brave as Nao to play the raw voice clip to public like this. *laughs*

After which was questionnaire time~ So because the next day is Saga's birthday, they pick fans questions that's aiming for Saga, mainly. The first one was like "How is Saga's driving like?"

Surprising answer? Saga's car has already been sent for fixing *laughs* His new car, I think he just gotten the car like a week or 2 ago? How that guy drives, it makes me wonder. The members said Saga's driving is actually not bad, compliments from Nao and Hiroto. They said Saga actually do it seriously (which I can imagine, though how does he already send his car to fix? Hahahaha~). Tora said he never been drove around by Saga before, so Hiroto suggested that on the second half of their 2man tour, Saga should drive. Saga looks genuine surprise by that, and of course he would like that. ( ̄▽ ̄)

The next question is to ask the member to introduce food they like from konbini (convenient stores). Before Tora even start on his answer, Saga was like "肉まん (meat bun)?" Hahaha~ Tora has been eating a lot of meat bun during spring tour I think. Tora said he has changed his favorite, these days he has been eating the hamburger from 7/11.

Saga said his favorite is from 7/11 too, the Omurice Onigiri (see image, and it is very delicious). He said he can eat a lot of that, like, about 10 pieces(?) at once. LOL! The members are so surprise to hear that. He loves it so much hahaha! Then the members teased him saying now that this is known by the fans, who knows everyone might buy him omurice to tell him happy birthday tomorrow at Kooriyama. *laughs* Oh by the way, Saga said the omurice would taste good if you put it into a pan and heat it up too (the members' responded to that like "Hey, isn't that just like real omurice?") Hahahaha~

Shou likes the vegetable drinks, the members are like, "for real?" I think vegetable drinks are not for everyone (because of the smell and taste?) Hahahaha! Then they asked Shou which convenient store does he usually buys it from, because the one from 7/11 are not nice. Shou agreed, but he said the rest are really nice.

Nao's recommendation is cafe au lait (no surprise there Nao). And Hiroto said he doesn't go convenient stores often, but he like the oden from 7/11. It looks like 7/11 is a popular choice by everyone. Hahahaha! Well the food there are really good, and when you got a chance there, be sure to check it out. :)

When requested to talk about Lolita23, Saga was like, "among Lolita23, who do you like?" to Tora. Tora was like, I don't have a favorite. XD He said among the members there, only Ryosuke is very cheerful and bright. Shou likes Ryosuke too, saying he's smart and cheerful.

By the way, you saw the A9 x Lolita23 postcards yet? Shou was like, when he was editing the photos to be postcard, he really like that shot of Saga and Yuki. He said, Yuki there doesn't look like male's at all, but a girl. And the expression on Saga's face, it's filled with adoration. It's like a senior's adoration towards a junior, he added (you sure that's all that you're seeing, Shou? ( ̄▽ ̄))

The last question they answered that day was a question to Saga, "who you like to be if you get to reborn as someone else?" at first Saga was like, he probably wants to reborn as something not of this world (AB much?), but he was like if I reborn into someone in this world it will be Nao... How does it feel being Nao? (Nao: it is very fun!) Further consideration, Saga was like well, I would like to become Nao's daughter. He doesn't looks like he's too strict (Nao: I am strict.) *laughs* Next Tora directed the question to Nao, "So who would you like to be if you get to reborn?" Nao: "Hmm... I think I would like to reborn as myself." *laugh* I really admire Nao for that, the way he loves himself and always being so cheerful. XD

Handshake session next, due to the long talking session, they sped up the handshake. I barely have enough time to tell them all what I want to say to them. I did have time to tell Saga that I've finished his drawing, though I couldn't remember our exact words to one another. I just remember how beautiful he looks, and his eyes, and his sincere thanks to me for attending the event. I did dolphin handshake with Nao, twice. And he was laughing so happily, told me thank you in English (again. I now suspecting that Nao remembers me as a fan from oversea at least, not sure if he remembers me exactly or not, but yeah. XD). I also told the members I will see them the next day. XD

Most of us waited around to see them go off, and that's most of it. I headed back to Kooriyama after and pack to get ready for the next day, another busy day that is. Lol. Well I'm sure the entry is up, feel free to click on it and start reading. I'll be waiting for your feedback and comments if you have any. XD

Kim HyunJoong InnerCore @ Sendai Sun Plaza [22/06/2017]

12:02:00 AM 0 Comments
I'm finally back, back here to see HyunJoong. I was so happy when I got to see one of his tour stop is so near to the date I'm flying over to see Saga there, and he is in Sendai, it's so close to Kooriyama I was like, I must go for it, especially since I've already gotten the JR pass to go out of Tokyo at all. So here I was, on the 22nd June, at Sun Plaza Sendai to the the man I've been loving and supporting for 10 years. It feels nostalgic even to think about how long is it.

Poster outside venue.
On the day itself, I took time to arrived to the venue. Arriving around half an hour before the live starts, mainly because I know I won't be buying goods and I don't know anyone from Japan Henecia fandom, so I took time browsing gift shops and then chilling in Starbucks instead.

I've got my ticket at second floor simply because I really didn't see much nice ones going for sales from the ground floor. I mean, most people would like to keep their first floor tickets don't they? There aren't much reselling for Sendai from what I gathered.

My View.
Second floor, the view was good though, since it is elevated seats. We all got a good view of him on stage, and at the later part of the live he even came close to see us all.  ( ̄▽ ̄) HyunJoongie, as usual, kind and sweet and caring, always wants to give all his fans more than we deserves. Like seriously, I feel pampered here attending his live, it's like we are all his princess and he just want us to have a good time in the most comfortable way. XD

The live started with Your Story, my favorite of his Japanese solo. He looks so handsome there, standing tall on the center stage, singing with his best ability. The hall has turned into a sea of green as how I'm used to it on any SS501 member's lives, I've never been to a live where all 5 members standing on one stage, that's still the biggest regret of my life. Lol. But yeah, here we are not talking about regrets right?

After a brief MC, the second song is Always and Forever, my favorite among SS501's Japanese songs. Well, it's that and Mermaid. Even though there was just HyunJoong singing it, somehow I almost cried listening to it. It's one of the song I've never thought I'll get to listen to at a live, and because I love it so much, I've always wanted to listen to it live.

Seriously, it was pretty much an emotional live for me, cause there's so much uncertainties around HyunJoong's status, after everything that happened, and then followed by the uncertainties on my opportunity to ever see SS501 together as one ever again in my life *nods* This live made me emotional. And the setlist is definitely not helping. Thank God he has not sing Let Me Be The One or Green Peas on Sendai, else I would have greeted him with a tear streaked face after live there. *laughs*

Leader showed some dance moves on Please, the crowd cheered, and on that moment I found that I forgot most of the dance moves for that song which I've spent months learning several years back. I remember some key movements still though. Hahahaha. This is not about me though, it's about HyunJoong, and how awesome he looks dancing and singing. ( ̄▽ ̄) There was a note of emotion in the way he's singing that song though, I'm pretty sure. It was very a very beautiful performance.

There's a friendly way during his MC the closeness to the fans, this is really a guy who enjoys singing and just wants to share his every thoughts to his fans.

Break Down tuned up the live energy by several notches. He sang the Korean version which is way more familiar for me, thank God. But yeah, the fans response isn't one that I'm familiar with, not like it's too hard to learn (I mean, in compare to learning some complicated furi from bands I do not know XD). He showed some dance move here as well as in Unbreakable, I look forward to see the full fledged dancing live he said he wants to host one day.

It has been a while since I've attend any Kpop event and it kinda surprise when there's a short break where Joongie went back stage to change his clothes *laughs*

After the change there was a series of fun songs, started with Do You Like That, Beauty Beauty, follow by Lucky Guy. HyunJoong came down to the audience from stage as he sang Lucky Guy, walking among the crowd, you can't not admire how obedience Japanese fans are, they never run forward to him or reaching out to grab him or anything at all. They just cheer, happy, and when HyunJoong came near to them, they try to reach out and see if he would shake their hands. XD He showed us all plenty of cute smiles, so adorable.

It seems like he like Sendai, saying that the crowd are very enthusiastic. Noticing that there are guy fans he acknowledged them. One of them on the first row suddenly went like "I love you!" to him, to which he replied "I love you too." *laughs* He even blushed a little when he said that, and work that into a song. So so adorable.

More adorable is when he found a cute kid among the crowd, and then he ask him if he knows which group he belongs to (Joongie divided us into groups, for later, so we can response to him during a song). Then he move on teasing the kid, like asking if the kid would like to give him a kiss (before singing Kiss Kiss) (I know you're craving for one from the kids all the time, pssh Joongie). He then proceeded to tease him if he's too shy to give one. Hahahahaha! Oh and there was even one point where the kid has fell asleep and he was like "how could he be sleeping? Wake him up! I'll kick you! (in a joking way)" so adorable. then he just added like, "nah, he must be tired isn't he?" to his mom. So sweet, he's always there to consider other's feelings.

The next set of songs are Kiss Kiss (he showed some dance moves over there) Gentlemen, Distance. He made us do the dance to Kiss Kiss, throughout live on various MC he kept asking everyone to do it, and then teased us about it when we didn't do it that well (playful HJ ╰(*´︶`*)╯), and yeah, by everyone I mean even his bassist and the keyboardist. He was having so much fun up there teasing everyone. ( ̄▽ ̄)

Worth mentioning was the little clip where HJ explain to us why he named this tour "Inner Core". He said that (might not be 100% correct translation, since I've saw the clip a while back) there are some strength in this world that's not visible but it's stronger than any strength in this world, and that's how the core is. He is very grateful to us who didn't leave him during the tough time he faced, and he really wanted us to know that.

I'm Your Man was very touching, but Mermaid was really the one that had me almost crying. I've always love that song, Mermaid, I think its a very good song from SS501, and it is yet another song which I never thought I'll get to listen to at live, even if it is only the solo version by HyunJoongie.

I screamed when the music for One More Time started. Not sure why I reacted that way, but maybe it's one of the touching song. I am glad to note that was not the only one screaming. I think it was a special song? I don't think he done it on any other stops. It was just a short one, he just sang one part, like first verse and then chorus, which to me is good enough. He said it's not really his songs, but SeungJo's song *laughs* the way he laughter was just so adorable too. *rolls*

HyunJoong asked us if there are any songs we'd like to listen, he (jokingly) says that he'll prepare it for the next live. Fans requested Save Today, and Deja Vu. The band playing for HyunJoong said they can play Deja Vu that day. "It's not karaoke you know?" HyunJoong told us off jokingly, but at the same time he confirm with the band "Is it really OK?" he kept asking. He also told us we should thank the guy who requested it, at the end he really did it, he sang Deja Vu.

Deja Vu, my favorite song from SS501 of all time, of all time, like, I love other songs but Deja Vu is the one I really really love regardless what songs they release before or after that I still love that song, and HyunJoong sang it, surprisingly, he did not do the same song any other lives before (and hopefully) nor after... I'm not sure, I did not follow his setlist for every live, but I'm pretty sure Sendai is the only venue he did Deja Vu.

The crowd went wild on that song, it seems like I'm not the only one loving it (of course, Deja Vu is a great song). Even though only one person performing it, he pulled it off wonderfully. By the way, he did a rock version. XD

Stay Here follow, I love the song for its easy melody. It's one of the new song from his new album, 風車 <re:wind>.

By the way, I've not talk about his new single/ mini album did I? I love the lyrics of the songs inside this album, especially 風車's, the lyrics is so meaningful. If you have not look into it yet, please do so. There are even English translation out there.

今でも of course, is one of the beautiful song. I always feel that HyunJoong can sing these slow pop-rock songs very well, not to say that I don't like him doing the dance numbers, they are beautiful too, and he can dance very very well, but I think his voice can carry very well with softer melody, and his voice filled with so much emotions it could touch any souls it came across.

HyunJoong, such a sweet soul, it makes me wonder again and again that night, how do we deserve such amazingly sweet idiot, seeing that we have stood the whole night, he just went like "Don't you all feel tired standing the whole night? (Since you guys has been) standing since the start, you must be very tired isn't it? Why don't you sit down? While I'm talking you can sit, you know? Please sit, save your energy for later." (I kinda get this whole thing from the Japanese translator. Actually I understand most of his speech when it's translated to Japanese, which feels nice. XD )

He kind of make us sit through his next song Wake Me Up, another song from his latest album 風車 <re:wind>. And we all just settle to waving the light stick in time with the music and just enjoy his singing there. ( ̄▽ ̄)

A brief break later, he came back with Timing, most of us stood and (at least in my row, us few) dance to the tune again.

Hot Sun brought around another hot session, he also sang Heat, B.I.N.G.O. a lot of jumping and cheering along with the music this time.

During the last MC, he carefully thank us all for attending the live, the speech mostly went like, "If it is not for everyone here attending tonight's live in Sendai, it will not be held at all." He also said that our attendance has given him so much happiness. It was a very warm speech.

The closing song of the night was 風車 (Windmill). Very fitting after the heart warming speech, it was very beautiful. And the curtain closed, end of the live.

That's when everyone started shouting encore (the chant soon changed to "Kim Hyun Joong"), loud and unison. Encore in Japan was awesome as usual, no one wants to leave just like that, no one wants to just end the live that way. And of course, HyunJoong promised to come up to 2nd floor to see us before he goes definitely indicate that there will be an encore. And so we chant, "Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Hyun Joong..." and then...

Intro to Do You Like That starts, and there was scream from the left side of second floor. Looking over there we so the Alien Prince, accompanied by 2 guards and the camera men following behind. The screams grew louder but the fans stays by their seats. He took his time walking around to greet everyone at the 2nd floor, full of smiles and waving so friendly at all of us. And when the feeling is right, he didn't hesitate to show us some sexy dance move either. ( ̄▽ ̄) cutie.

It took him the whole song of Do You Like That to finish going around second floor, and then during Lucky Guy he went around at the first floor, before going back up the stage, and perform us Kiss Kiss next. The atmosphere was pretty high, thanks to the bouncing and dancing someone there. The last song closing the encore was Goodbye, what a fitting one, kudos to the one planning the setlist.

We had お見送り (something like... send off?) after the live. All the fans stood around the space forming 3 sides of a rectangle, and we waited for HyunJoong for about 15 minutes? 20minutes? I wasn't quite sure already. Finally I caught sight of him from inside the building, wearing the yellow long sleeves shirt he wore on rehearsal early that morning. He walked around, taking time to say bye to all of us, bright smiles on his face until the end. And he went back inside, apparently he's staying in the same hotel (duh, I've suspected it. They always stays at - or near - where the lives is held.)

Some of the below moments I couldn't place where they came in, mostly during breaks or MC, but it's so sweet/ memorable/ adorable that I have to put it in here.

During one of the short break, the fans sitting to my left told me that seeing how the staffs are talking to those on the first row, HyunJoong might come up to our floor at one point of time. I suspected it as well, and feeling excited about it.

During one of the song, there was a loud bang accompany with the fireworks, HyunJoong was so concern about it scaring us that he immediately asking us if we are OK after the song. XD

Speaking of bang, there was another (softer ones) when they shot out confettis, this happens during encore I think. The color in Sendai stop is pink. I didn't get one though, sad thing about being on 2nd floor.

More than a few times HyunJoong pulled pranks on the fans, saying surprising things and then he laughed himself. He was just so adorable.

There was a lot of moments in between we see HyunJoong jumping and dancing and shouting happily not unlike a little child, it was a really precious scene to see. I'm so glad to have witnessed that, to still see him well and playful on stage, even after all that he went through. For many moment when I was watching him, I was really thinking how glad and proud I am to be loving this man, to still be able to call myself a fan, to know that I'm still here for him. It has been 10 years, can you believe it? Can you believe loving someone for 10 years? It's just... So long, I don't even know I'm someone who can love one person for so long. *laughs*

Then again, some man are worthy of someone loving them for so long, probably even more.

Enough of my rambling, I hope you had fun reading the blog above, I know it is freaking long and windy and I'm sorry about that (though at the same time, not sorry). Let me know if you have any comment/ feedback! Next post would be about A9 again, and my experience being at their in-store talk event. ( ̄▽ ̄)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A9 Secret live @ Shinjuku Marz [10/06/2017] and 2-Shots Event @ Aoyama Edition [11/06/2017]

3:13:00 PM 0 Comments
Time passed slow, or they could actually slip by without you noticing. That is certainly something I've noticed from the last few months. The days dragging by as I wanted for June to come by, June, when I've planned 2 trips over to Japan just to see the boys, and then just as I noticed that June is approaching, and one of my trips has already became a part of my past live experience, just another entry from my mind into this space now.

9th June, I've spent millions of hours waiting for the day to arrive, the day that I will be returning to the land of sun to see my boys after 4 months. 4 long months, the wait was not easy for sure. I'm glad that I held on, I do really need to exert some control over my spending so I can get ready for a bigger plan of my life. Nonetheless, that 4 months still felt like and never ending torture that I could barely stand.

Finally back in Japan, even though it is already 梅雨 (rainy season) there, the sky has been good to me all 4 days when I was there.  There was no rain, just cloudy sky and some wind, I certainly don't mind the cooling weather seeing it was a good change from the heat back in Singapore. I am definitely not looking forward to my return there. ˇ▂ˇ

The first day was wonderful, met up with a new friend and several that I've not seen for months, and I get go share a room with Ai-chan! Haha, I'm really happy about that. And the fact that I got to enjoy food that I love, curry rice and pizza and Strawberry and Cream Fruppucino, I'm sure that definitely could made anyone a happy girl.

10th June is a live day, me and Aisu has both gotten our live ticket, the golden ticket from the boys' latest album Ideal. Sadly though our number wasn't very nice. But we did have fun. That morning we tried to rush to the venue to catch the boys going in, although didn't managed to catch Princess. We saw Tora and Hiroto though. Tora came by train I'm sure, since he walked in. And Hiroto drove his own car. We also saw Tora when he came out to have lunch at GoGoCurry beside live venue, and he told us he was looking for the conbini so we told him where is one (LOL). Then we went off without waiting for Shou to arrive, more or less because we our feet are hurting and because Aisu hasn't had food since the morning (it is fasting month), and me just had a very light one (I forgot to buy food back home the night before, idiot me) so yeah, energy ran a bit low there that we decided to just get out of there and rest. Went to Starbucks again, for someone who is avoiding that coffee chain in Singapore, I sure spent a lot of time in it when I am in Japan (laugh) I'm looking forward to their next drink too!

Tried to draw that afternoon, and I failed epicly. Having spent the night before playing late and the night before there just manage to catch several hours of sleep on the flight, automatically my body didn't want to cooperate when I indulge in some focus required activity like drawing. So yeah, my eyes kept dropping down, regardless that I was drinking coffee at that time, I caught myself in several snooze moment that I'm glad I didn't just fell on the drawing in front of me and ruin it in some way or another.

Poster outside venue.
Until Aisu came back it was around 4pm. By then we were rushing a little since I haven't even have lunch for the day (well I had coffee). Went for a quick bowl of beef rice bowl at the nearest Matsuya we could find and we rush back to the venue. Many fans are already there. We didn't manage to find a locker before hand either, so we used the one inside live venue - all the while trying to speed up so hoping that we could get a good spot. Not that it matters anyway, I think anyone who get from number 200 on don't get to have a very good view. The venue was really a little small that those who came in even after us could barely even get in...

Regardless, the live was fun. We started off with Adam (I'm glad to get to hear that song live for the first time, it was good. I'm sure it will be even better if I have space to maneuver a bit and headbang to my heart's content), they played some new songs in mix with old ones. By old I mean even the very old song that's call 明治, which I only ever heard once before back in 12 anniversary live. It was fun, appears that most of the fans know the song too and danced along. ヾ(*⌒ヮ⌒*)ゞ

Undead Party and Red Carpet are next, I would say it would be a very fun start of a live if only I have more space, getting crammed up at the back if the room wasn't allowing much room for us to enjoy the songs fully, and we couldn't do some furi we would like to do. But nonetheless, I like those songs in live, I hope that one day I get go listen to them in a live and fully have fun with it.

It was after Red Carpet that came this interesting part of MC. Where the boys talked about Tora's love milk and how if you drink it you will get a baby soon (LOL). And then the conversation made a turn into the recent trend in Japan's Twitter tagging about "I am having a date with my boyfriend right now, feel free to use" (I seriously don't get what's the actual point of this tag though, well...), so Shou was like, for this next song and next song only, you guys can take out your phone and take pictures of us tagging "(My) boyfriend(s) is doing live right now, feel free to use". Lol, and everyone broke out their phones and started snapping very soon.

Next song, 造花の代償, started with Saga holding a rose and he looked for a guy he could give (LOL) That smile on his face was so precious XD I really wish to see someone playing this song close up there, just to watch those slim fingers run up and down across those bass lines. It was a nice song, beautiful even. I just wish for my view to not get as blocked as it was by all the phone cameras trying to catch a snap of those boys on stage. I myself has given up trying to snap after 2 shots and realizing I am a little too far to get anything decent.
The only decent shot among my pile I guess...
And of course, I'm always better at just snapping the scene with my eyes so I can put them down in words anyway.

The next song following is Secret, right after some crazy talk between the boys hinting about them being in gay relationship (looks like Shou kept up with the fans shipping loop, plenty of happy shippers there that night I'm sure, LOL).

Shou also commented during the MC that he thinks their fans are very good at snapping pictures in venue, even the staff having trouble taking pictures of them during live that up to 70% of those are unusable most of the time. But the fans would always upload good quality picture of them. He said the only exception in the band is Saga who can always produce good pictures on stage. Saga went on and said that he was advised by the previous president who told him to not smile on stage so picture of him would looks good. Shou commented saying that he was told the opposite and smile a lot. And at last Nao was told that he didn't have to change anything and just be himself. (LOL) (⌒▽⌒)

Memento was nice, but yet again there wasn't much room to move around. -Dice- was the song where we all do the wall of death, and that was the time we really couldn't help ourselves rushing forward to play. We got to the front, and started jumping then. It was so fun, reminds me of Black Period. I found myself a spot before Saga again of course, and it didn't take him long to notice me from up there and giving me a quick nod (with teeth-ish grin) in greeting.

Thank you for recognizing me again, Princess. I would like to fly kisses at you but you won't look our ways again after we called you sexy though. (●′ω`●) Shy boy.

The live ended so early, I think they didn't book the place for too long. It last about an hour and there were announcement that we will get to have a high touch on the way out. Well that sure isn't too bad a compensation for the short live (and the fact that they did it to compensate the fans, even though they don't have to do it at all). By then Aisu could break fast and we went up to get our drink. Tora's LOVE MILK gone out fast, I'm pretty sure it is more due to the fact that it is nom-alcoholic than the fact the Tora said it would make those who drank it get pregnant soon that make it gone out so soon. LOL. So a little back story about this, during one of the MC in the live, the boys brought up Tora's LOVE MILK and Tora commented those who drank it would get pregnant soon. Silly guy.

Special drink menu for the night!

I picked Saga Ball, nice wordplay on his side changing HighBall into it. It was whiskey with ginger ale, and while the smell and taste of alcohol was a bit strong (I guess that's whiskey) it actually taste nice once you get used to it. And no it wasn't strong enough to make me drunk yet, LOL.

So the high touch happens on the second floor, after all the drinks gotten their drinks, the boys has also freshen up and mostly out of their stage costume. We didn't wait too long to go up, needing food soon and it has been a long day for us. So yeap, somewhere not too front but middle, we went up the stairs to greet the boys on the way out. Saga was first, follow by Hiroto, Shou, Nao and Tora. A thousand words flitted through my head that I wanted to tell Saga, I do have another chance go talk to him next day during 2shots, so a quick decision from me seeing how quick the high touch will be, I told him "Saga-san, Tadaima (it means 'I'm home' or 'I'm back' somewhere there, you probably get the message, maybe even familiar with this set phrase Japanese use to announce the fact that they are home)~" Saga started saying "Arigatou!" To every fan, caught what I said, replied with his own "Hai, Okaeri ('yes, welcome back', again you are probably familiar with the phrase)" in a sing-song voice that makes it so adorable. (Even when I said so, the way Saga said okaeri actually made me puzzle for a while because it wasn't the usual tone I always hear Okaeri in.)

Passed by Hiroto and Shou without remembering much, I was trying to gather back what Saga said to me before them. Though for Nao, I had been waiting for this chance to get close to him to dolphin him XD Since January really, LOL.  And it is not a dolphin handshake, rather it is a dolphin high touch (tell me if you want me to demonstrate, I'll show you personally someday. Lol!) Nao was so shock he was like "Oh~!" and he laughed repeating dolphin back to me. It was so cute for real and I can see our drummer was very happy.

I almost missed Tora at the end, had too much fun with Nao-sshi there. But I did catch him saying "arigatou" in the end. Lol.

There marked the end of the premium live, short but no less memorable, I'm glad I went into all the troubles getting the albums so to get those tickets. Below is the set list of the night.

1 Adam
2 明治
5 造花の代償
6 秘密
8 -Dice-
9 荊棘

Seeing the 2 shots sessions are brief and I actually don't have too much to cover, I'm including that here as well. Those with silver ticket included in their Ideal albums this time get to take 2-shots with the boys. Through arrangement I actually got to take 2 tickets to take 2 pictures with Saga. While to say 2-shots, I really love the casualness during FC trip more than this one, it was still nice though. I managed to tell Saga all that I wanted to tell him, even manage to trigger laughter that I was hoping to trigger when bought the Minions shirt and cap set. It felt like mission accomplished. XD

It was so funny that I was so careful with my Japanese with him (trying to keep to polite Japanese here cause it's what I should be learning) and all effort crumbled when he thrown me casual Japanese and I started replying him in the same manner. XD

The pictures... They are nice, he tried to smile for my photo cause I told him to, actually me and Aisu both told him to, both times XD Hence so when I did that last time with him, I was like "笑ってね!(Do smile OK?)" He went like "はい(yes)!" in that tone that told me he knows that I'll ask him to smile. Lol. The whole interaction with him was so casual it was actually nice and, I don't know... I hope that I can have more of it? To be chatting with him casually just feel so nice you know?

I've also told him that I couldn't finish the drawing for them this time, managed to show him the in-progress piece as well. Surprised that he was still actually impressed by that, even when half the page is still blank, and he told me that he will look forward to the finished product. I don't know, that exchange just feels nice. Like someone who can appreciate my art really looking forward to see the finished product of it.

Well now I really have to work hard to finish the piece I guess, so to keep the promise to get it done by his birthday.

I guess I am ending the entry here. As usual, thank you for reading my long long entry everytime guys. I'll have another entry here soon, though the next one is probably not about A9 but HyunJoong instead, after years, I'm finally going to see him again~ So excited~ Look forward to it, and if you have any feedback and comment, feel free to send them my way~