Bandjanaimon! Unleash Monster of a Live at Zepp Diver City Tokyo!
Bandjanaimon!, a group that calls themselves the “mixed media of the idol world”, blending together the high energy of idols and the power of a live band, stepped up to their biggest challenge to date and passed with flying colors as they packed Zepp Diver City full of Mon-stas (nickname for their fans) for their live concert “Bandjanaimon! One-Man Live Vol. 4 ‘Tsunagaru! Kanaderu Rhythm! 〜Kimi no Egao de Sekai ga Yabai-hen〜” on July 4, 2015.
Known for their high energy, the Mon-stas sprang to life as soon as the overture began playing, accompanied by a video that was projected on a white curtain, which fell away to reveal a 2-level stage in the style of a European mansion, complete with marble pillars and balconies. Tossing stuffed animals into the audience, Misako Suzuhime got behind her drum set, Miyu Mochizuki strapped on her bass, and Yuzu Amanatsu wielded her keytar as the 6 members of Bandjanaimon! got the sweat flowing with their classic “O-Hime-sama Gokko”.
The air conditioners switched on full blast to offset the heat rising up from the floor. The 90’s dance music sounds of “RAVE RAVE RAVE” had the Mon-stas jumping as the members of Bandjanaimon! waved feathered fans back and forth like go-go dancers at the legendary Juliana’s nightclub during Japan’s opulent “bubble era”. Despite it’s name, “Inuit Rock” transitioned from dreamy shoegaze to Asian-flavored heavy rock, anchored by Misako’s drumming while Momoko Takeuchi (aka Chanmomo◎) urged the Mon-stas to get even more excited.
Moving into “Banmon! no Theme”, the members staged a small-scale battle royale with Chanmomo◎ emerging victorious, encouraged by the loud “Ban Ban Ban Bandjanaimon!” chants of the Mon-stas. As usual, the opening greeting and self-introductions were accompanied by fans pointing their penlights and lifting each other up in support for their favorite members. Chanmomo◎ challenged the Mon-stas to join them and “beat up” Gundam (referring to the live-sized Gundam statue outside Diver City)! Yuzu Amanatsu ran around flipping up the skirts of the other members during “Motto Ai shi Aimasho”.
Miyu Mochizuki whipped her twintails and thumped away at her bass during “Yuki Furu Yoru ni Kiss Shite”, putting it down briefly to join the others as they did some wota-gei with the Mon-stas. Misako Suzuhime’s drum set was pushed to the front of the stage and she launched into a drum solo. Ringo Koishio organized a wave accompanied by a “Zepp Diver Japan” chant. Nanase Gumi started off the new wave electro pop tune “Ai no Sekai” and lead the Mon-stas in waving their hands from side to side.
Misako took a moment to air out some of the past incidents which happened during the tour. She blocked Shiorin’s face during the Osaka performance of “RAVE RAVE RAVE” after getting teased for having a flat chest. She wondered out loud if it was okay to be a leader even with a flat chest (it seems that she does not know that “flat is justice”) and apologized to Shiorin. Thinking it was over, Misako was caught off guard when Miyuchi brought up an incident during their Nagoya live, which escalated to the rest of the members doing a “yatta” dance around their flat leader.
Appropriately enough, the following song was “YATTA (Happa-tai)” which had everyone hopping back and forth to the funky disco beat. The fast paced rock song “Kimi no Egao de Sekai ga Yabai” kept building momentum, culminating in one very enthusiastic Mon-sta rising above all others with a clear raincoat stuffed with red cyalumes and launching into a frantic OAD (Over action dolphin) for the sake of his beloved Shiorin. Unbelievably, things got even hotter as Shiorin lead the Mon-stas in a “Taka Toko Tan” chant to begin “Taka Toko Tan -Forever-“, Misako standing on her drum stool and beating on her drums as she sang.
“Hayai Kyoku” had the members strapping pedometers to their body in a competition to see who would sing the “best part” of the following song “Koi no Jumon wa Suki Tokimeki to Kiss”. The members began shaking and jumping wildly as the tempo kept speeding up in an attempt to emerge victorious. Shiorin boasted an unrealistically high 5,000+ (because she never reset hers) and was immediately disqualified. Chanmomo◎ was the big loser with only 118. Miyuchi (241) and Yuzupon (258) came close but in the end it was Misako (267) beating Gumi-tyan (266) by the thinnest of margins, entitling her to deliver the swoon-inducing “kiss” line at the end of the Rage Against the Machine-inspired disco funk mashup. Yuzupon was handed a microphone a her headset had stopped working.
Moving to the balcony, Bandjanaimon! performed “Hira Hira”, a rare heartfelt slow song, extending their fingertips out towards the Mon-stas who responded by shining their penlights in the direction of which ever members was singing. Arms waved back and forth as the voices of Bandjanaimon! and the Mon-stas sang together during the conclusion of the sparkly synthesizer melody and steady drumming of “Back in you”.
The Mon-stas burst into a MIX as the opening piano chords of “Chocolat Love” rang out through Zepp Diver City, calling out the names of the members as they sang their solo lines and chanted back “Ore mo!” in response to the “Daisuki” line. As the song wound down, Bandjanaimon! hugged each other and sat on Misako’s drum riser while taking in the glittering scenery before them.
A video which showed the members learning to play instruments was broadcasted on the screen as amplifiers and a second drum set were moved into position. Nanase Gumi took her place behind a keyboard with Chanmomo◎ and Yuzupon slinging guitars over their shoulders. Misako climbed behind her drums, followed by Shiorin taking a seat behind the second set. Not only did Bandjanaimon! briefly return to their roots when Saori Kaneko Misako made their debut as a twin drum unit back in 2012 but, contrary to their name, they were actually a band, if only for one song! Lyrics and photos of the group appeared on the screen as they played “UP↑ Prime”, impressively keeping up with Misako and Miyuchi (who normally play drums and bass), galloping through the uptempo pop-punk tune, even though Chanmomo◎’s wide sleeves kept threatening to mute her strings.
Putting down their instruments, the main performance came to an end as 6-colored streamers burst forth from the rafters and rained down on the Mon-stas as Bandjanaimon! ended on the frantic “Pahi Pahi”. Another video documenting the various lives Bandjanaimon! had on their way to Zepp Diver City began playing as they left the stage.
A tiny Mon-sta started the encore call but, it grew louder and louder as the masses were not ready to go home just yet, beckoning their idols to show themselves once more. Coming back out in the heather grey sweatsuit and chiffon outfits from 2014, Bandjanaimon! started the encore with “Prism☆Rhythm”, causing the Mon-stas to break into some intense synchronized wota-gei which continued during “Tsunagaru! Kanaderu! MUSIC”
As soon as Bandjanaimon! left the stage, the Mon-stas began chanting and clapping again. Returning in T-shirts with illustrations of themselves done by Ai☆Madonna, Bandjanaimon! launched into a second performance of “Kimi no Egao de Sekai ga Yabai” as a wall of Mon-stas rose up in elation. After taking the customary shuugou shashin (photo taken to commemorate an event), members and fans joined hands and bowed 4 times in celebration of the successful completion of their 4th one-man live with the 6-member formation. Misako struggled to read an announcement, tripping over her words as she attempted to deliver the good news. First, they would be appearing at Idol Sonic, one of the side stages at Summer Sonic on August 15th. Second, they would be releasing their 5th single on November 25th, which would include solo songs for each member and the lead track would be produced with the help of Mon-stas. Once again, Bandjanaimon! did a “yatta” dance before settling down and releasing their beloved Mon-stas out into the night.
From beginning to end, Bandjanaimon! lived up to their reputation as the “mixed media of the idol world”, mashing different genres and tropes of pop culture together while maintaining a whiplash-inducing pace. While their album “Re:start” symbolizes their new beginnings as a 6-member unit, it will be fascinating to see what heights they will reach from this point on.
01 O-Hime-sama Gokko
02 RAVE RAVE RAVE
03 Inuit Disco
04 Banmon! no Theme
05 Motto Ai shi Aimasho
06 Yuki Furu Yoru ni Kiss Shite
07 Ai no Sekai
08 YATTA (Happa-tai)
09 Kimi no Egao de Sekai ga Yabai
10 Taka Toko Tan -Forever-
11 Hayai Kyoku
12 Koi no Jumon wa Suki Tokimeki to Kiss
13 Hira Hira
14 Back in you
15 Chocolat Love
16 UP↑ Prime
17 Pahi Pahi
E2 Tsunagaru! Kanaderu! MUSIC
DE Kimi no Egao de Sekai ga Yabai
Bandjanaimon! Official site: https://banmon.jp/
Bandjanaimon! Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/bandjanaimon
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