Akishibu project began a new chapter of their story as they raised the curtains on their Jū-nin Jū-shoku Live House Tour at Shinjuku BLAZE on April 2, 2017.
The husky voice of Hinako Kera (aka Hinahi) excited the audience as she ran through the announcements from backstage, assuring them that the performance would begin shortly. A video showing the members of Akishibu project getting their makeup applied played on a screen at the back of the stage as the fans roared to life with all sorts of penlights waving and hands clapping, calling out the names of their favorites as they appeared on screen. With a shout from leader Yue Miyatani (aka Yuechi), Akishibu project stomped and glided through “Akishibu Way”, the humidity in the air intensifying as they jabbed their fists and kicked up their heels to “Midarekami Fighting Girl”, the fans hitting back with a flurry of “Kera” calls for Hinahi. Yuuna Arakawa (aka Yuunarin) called out to the fans to get more excited, receiving the answer in the form of a raucous MIX as Akishibu project steered the performance towards a more girly direction with “Candid love”. The pulse-quickening theme persisted as they swayed and skipped through “Gachikoi Revolution”, new member Mahiro Hoshino (aka Honi) encouraging the fans to keep up.
With the temperature inside Shinjuku BLAZE continuing to rise, Akishibu project fanned their hands as they breezed through “Summer☆Summer”, Miiro Taguchi (aka Mii-chan) stepping forward and being surrounded by pink penlights as she took her solo. The opening riff of “Answer” pumped from the speakers, accompanied by the chants of the audience as the performance shifted gears, Saori Funaki (aka Saorin) pumping her fist and shouting for them to get even louder as Akishibu project revved past the redline. Backing off on the accelerator with the mid-tempo electropop of “Rival” and breaking up the moist air with the swinging towels of “Restart”, the performance may have slowed in tempo but there was no respite from the rising humidity levels, especially when the members threw the towels they had been using into the crowd for a few lucky fans. The performance changed direction again, heading towards the seashore with the glassy guitars of “Manatsu no Serenade” and sparkling synth melodies of “Dream in a sea”, Yuunarin calling out to the fans to jump along with them as the 10-song nonstop performance concluded, 1 song shy of their previous record of 11.
Greeting the audience, Yuechi declared that the live had finally started, her newly colored hair a visual cue as to just one of the ways how Akishibu project had evolved again. New members Ruka Okonogi (aka Ruuru), Yurina Kato (aka Yuringo), Mizuki Tsushiro (aka Mizuki), and Mahiro Hoshino (aka Honi) were warmly welcomed even if their voices when introducing themselves were difficult to hear, possibly due to nervousness at seeing so many people in front of them.
Hinahi, shared that the next song would be the last of the night but countered with good news that Akishibu project would be returning to Akasaka BLITZ, the location of their sold-out 4th one man live (March 22, 2016) and first ever performance, for the finale of the tour on June 11th, reminding fans that tickets would include the video of their 5th one-man live at Zepp Tokyo (August 22, 2016) for a limited time. Reaching their hands high overhead, the members received kechas as the familiar acoustic guitar intro for “New World” began playing, the fans raising their voices and calling out while dancing along. With a simple and quick thanks from Yuechi, Akishibu project left the stage with an encore call starting up brief moments later and resounding for several minutes straight.
Akishibu project ran back out for the encore in their limited edition black T-shirts with their photos printed on the fronts, swinging their legs and skipping through “Eternal Blue ~Kimi to Boku to Sora to Umi~”. Leaving the stage temporarily, the members returned with signed plastic balls which they tossed to several lucky fans. Saorin reminded the fans of Akishibu project’s upcoming 2-man lives on May 18th and 19th before she and the others took a photo with the audience to commemorate the start of their tour. Swinging their hands and rocking away to “Fighting Stars”, Akishibu project swam along on the continuing waves of energy being returned to them by the fans. Hinahi shouted out that the next song would be last, the fans bouncing along as the evening drew to a close with “Kagayaki License”.
True to the promise of leader Yue Miyatani, the addition of new members to Akishibu project following the graduations of Emiri Otani and Ami Iseki in 2016, the group had once again evolved as shown by their strong performance at Shinjuku BLAZE. As they continue their path back to Askasaka BLITZ for the tour finale, there should be many more chances for them to grow even more.
Photos by Nathan Gey
01 Akishibu Way
02 Midarekami Fighting Girl
03 Candid love
04 Gachikoi Revolution
09 Manatsu no Serenade
10 Dream in a sea
11 New World
E1 Eternal Blue ~Kimi to Boku to Sora to Umi~
E2 Fighting Stars
E3 Kagayaki License
Akishibu project Official site : http://akishibup.net/
Akishibu project Official blog: http://lineblog.me/akishibuproject/
Akishibu project Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/AkishibuProject
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