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“We Will Definitely Be Back!” LADYBABY Promises to Power Up Even More During 1st Japan One-Man Live at Shinjuku BLAZE

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“We Will Definitely Be Back!” LADYBABY Promises to Power Up Even More During 1st Japan One-Man Live at Shinjuku BLAZE

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LADYBABY, the group that seemed to appear out of nowhere in 2015 with their viral mega-hit “Nippon Manju”, rocked their homeland during “LADYBABY 1st Japan Oneman Live 2016 〜Sekai no Rule wo Kaechaou〜” at Shinjuku BLAZE on April 15, 2016. It was an incredible milestone for a group that had only been together for less than a year to sell out a venue that large, but at the same time, the victory was bittersweet as they also announced that they would be going on an indefinite hiatus.

Opening with a video tracing their whirlwind journey, the fans threw kechas towards the screen in sync with the traditional Japanese overture. Rie Kaneko and Rei Kuromiya took the stage first, tears streaming from their eyes as they bowed to the audience, overcome with emotion. Ladybeard appeared last, pounding his chest, eyes focused intently. Kicking off the live with “Nippon Manju”, adrenaline seemed to take over as Rei and Rie shook off the butterflies and proceeded to rock the audience as they had many times before. The stage went dark and a gong was brought onto the stage as an extended guitar solo ushered in “Renge Chance!”, the fans waving their Chinese-style soup spoons (蓮華, renge) in the air. Ladybeard collapsed face up on the stage while Rie and Rei grabbed mallets and bashed the gong to end the song.

After introducing themselves to the sold out audience in Shinjuku BLAZE and those watching around the world on Nico Nama, LADYBABY unleashed “LoveInnocenceAcidKawaii”, a thick Indian-flavored song where Rie and Rei were pulled around on the stage as if they were puppets controlled by Ladybeard. The tables turned during the next song “Bea-chan Robot”, as they rained a flurry of fists upon Ladybeard’s broad back and made him do Street Fighter moves while holding their microphones like Wii controllers. Midway through, a group of ninjas invaded the stage, Ladybeard fighting them off while a “Bea-chan” chant rang out from the fans. Despite an extended battle with “the final boss”, Ladybeard managed to take him out with a spinning kick. Peace restored, Rei and Rie returned to the stage, commenting how strong Ladybeard was before they jumped back into the song.


A short video which flashed back to the 2015 recording of their first single (with Shizu Mizuno and Maru-sama) and first photo shoot set to the instrumental music of “ULTRA☆LUCKY” played on the screen, several fans singing along. Returning to the stage with their feathered fans in hand, LADYBABY stoked the flames burning in the hearts of their fans with “C’est si Bon Kibun”. Taking advantage of the Chaos Band, up next was a rock rearrangement of “ULTRA☆LUCKY” that had fists waving furiously in the air. Since there are LADYBABY towels, perhaps this will become their “towel song” in the future? All hands were thrust towards Ladybeard as he sang his solo lines.

Hajimetal’s ethereal synth washed over the audience to begin “SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS”, Rie and Rei singing with all their strength before Ladybeard’s gruff vocals came in, accompanied by funky wah-drenched guitars. Unfortunately, the song foreshadowed disappointing news for the fans as a tearful Rie announced that LADYBABY would be entering a period of recharging (充電期間, juuden kikan) following their unprecedented wave of success in the wake of “Nippon Manju”. She asked the fans if they would wait for them to return as they swore that they would return after leveling up their “destructive power”. Rei thanked everyone for making the live possible and their success, echoing Rie’s promise that they would return. Ladybeard thanked everyone for supporting them before taking time to thank LADYBABY’s manager Mr. Shimoda especially, causing a “Shimoda” chant to break out before Rei pulled him on stage.

With Rie and Rei fighting through tears, Rie again reassured the fans that they would be working hard to come back stronger before announcing the last song, “Age Age Money ~Ochingin Daisakusen~”. Bundles of fake money were tossed in the air as the audience, ROLLY appeared on stage for the guitar solo, and Ladybaby kicked one of the cymbals to end the set.


A “LADYBABY” encore call accompanied by the glow of pink cyalumes continued for several minutes until the Chaos Band returned. Wearing their Kanae Higashi-designed outfits from “C’est si Bon Kibun”, LADYBABY jumped right into the encore as the fans took out their spoons again for a second helping of “Renge Chance!”. It turned out to be an extra-large serving as Rei and Rie lead the fans in an extended sing-along before bringing the song to its headbanging, gong-bashing conclusion. After a commemorative photo, Rei patted her skirt and commented that with the outfits they were wearing, it had to be “that song”. Ladybeard scolded her since they didn’t have their feathered fans but, just at that moment, their manager Mr. Shimoda showed up dressed as a ninja to deliver them. The plastic ribs of Ladybeard’s fan flapped as he waved along with Rei and Rie, which is probably why it was for the best that they tossed them into the crowd at the end of the song.

After introducing the band, which included guest ROLLY (in a completely different outfit), LADYBABY’s first Japan one-man live came to an end with the song that started it all, “Nippon Manju”. The audience surged forward, gathering up all their strength as they jumped and danced along for what would be the last time in a while that they would see LADYBABY. Rei was caught up in the moment as she was pulled into the crowd before making her way back to the stage for the big finish.

While it is disappointing to many that LADYBABY would be going on hiatus, with the release of their best album slated for “Summer 2016”, the wait might not be as long as feared. Given the sudden and overwhelming outpouring of support for them since “Nippon Manju” appeared on YouTube in July 2015, which lead to them performing in the United States (New York, Los Angeles), the United Kingdom (London), and Germany (Cologne), it’s not surprising that a break would be in order. When comparing them to other Japanese artists that have performed overseas, LADYBABY has probably had to deal with the steepest learning curve, especially with all 3 members also having solo careers. We look forward to seeing what they will be capable of when they reunite to change the world once again.


Set List

01 Nippon Manju
02 Renge Chance!
03 LoveInnocenceAcidKawaii
04 Bea-chan Robot
05 C’est si Bon Kibun
06 ULTRA☆LUCKY
07 SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS
08 Age Age Money ~Ochingin Daisakusen~

E1 Renge Chance!
E2 C’est si Bon Kibun
E3 Nippon Manju


Band

Hajimetal (keyboards/bandmaster)
Hiroki Arai (guitar)
Takahiko Akiyama (drums)
wu-chy (bass)
ROLLY (guest guitar)


Related links

LADYBABY Official site: http://www.clearstone.co.jp/ladybaby/

LADYBABY Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/ladybaby2015

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Author
Kai Okudara
Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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