Idol is Not Dead! Former BiS Members Reunite for Brand-new Idle Society!
On December 12, 2015, the 6 members of the disbanded legendary anti-idol group BiS shared the stage in front of a sold out audience at La Foret Museum Harajuku for “BILLE IDLE® Presents ‘Brand-new Idle Society’”! It was a chance for former “Kenkyuuin” (BiS name for their fans) to see what the members had gotten themselves into since they took their final bow at Yokohama Arena on July 8, 2014. With BILLIE IDLE®, Maison book girl, Tentenko, LUI FRONTiC Akabane JAPAN, and POP taking the stage, it was kind of a class reunion of a group that left an indelible mark on the idol scene.
Unfortunately, we are still waiting on authorization from Maison book girl so this report is being published without their part of the live included for now. We deeply apologize for this. We hope that we will be able to publish this report in its entirety in the near future.
Former BiS member Rio Michibayashi served as the MC for the event, receiving cheers and applause when she appeared on the stage. In addition to introducing the performers, she also did some short interviews after their performances to tie everything together neatly.
Tentenko appeared on the dimly-lit stage, her hair braided and wearing austere clothes which Pour Lui and Michibayashi later likened to something that refugee children fleeing a war-torn country would wear. As the first performer, Tentenko instilled a tense atmosphere over the audience when she started singing an acapella cover of “Virgin Blues” by Akiyuki Nosaka who passed away just days earlier (December 9, 2015) while swinging her right arm steadily as if she were marching. Tentenko continued with a second song by Nosaka, “Kuro no Funauta”. Her voice hung in the still air as she continued to swing her fist, the starkness of the performance expressing her feelings about his death.
After brightening up the mood with her original song “Ki no Shita” with its more cheerful sounds, Tentenko introduced herself and talked about currently being concerned with DJ activities, noise music, and singing in the styles she presented in the first 3 songs. With Tentenko having collaborated with famous noise band Hijou Kaidan as a member of BiS (BiS Kaidan)and making her major debut with Toshiji Mikawa (Hijou Kaidan) in 2016, her history with noise will be sure to continue. She left the stage after unleasing a barrage of varied sounds via ”Motor Humming”, ”Rhythm Ondo” and ”Boshi Jusei” from her album “Tentenko sings Halmens”. Despite standing alone on the large stage, Tentenko left an overwhelming impression on the audience to start the show.
words by ykmk
Despite completing a 100km marathon through the mountains just hours performing a blistering 2-hour live and a week of release events, Saki Kamiya was still going strong as POP hit the stage.
Ao Shigusawa took on an uncharacteristically bold tone as she called Saki from the back of the stage, boldly asking, “weren’t you the member of BiS who had the least presence?” before they began their set. What followed was a resounding rebuke of Saki’s past as the floor shook and the temperature rose while bodies began to crash into each other.
Setting things off with “Plastic 2 mercy”, the audience jumped and roared out the MIX to the infectious electronic melody. With their new colorful stage outfits, cyalumes corresponding to the 5 members we held out as they took turns singing. Maaya Inukai was surrounded by yellow lights as she sang her solo lines in the middle of the song before the eye of the storm passed and the music rocketed back into overdrive. The pace picked up with “pretty pretty good”, Saki playing up to the fans with cute and silly expressions on her face as she “ebizori’d” along with the others on the stage.
Next was “Alarm”, a fast paced electronic rock song that had fans throwing their hands in the air to the beats and doing a wave. Yua Yumeno seemed to glow pink as the fans reached out to her with their cyalumes. Waving and smiling brightly, POP had a special delivery in the form of “Letter” as the audience clapped along steadily. Even though the lyrics are about saying farewell, for many it was a chance to welcome back Saki after she had returned from her 4-month disciplinary hiatus from the group.
Saki glanced over her shoulder as the others stood with their backs turned to begin “Daydream”. Tiny Miki Yamamachi pumped her fist and threw out heart kechas while belting out the lyrics. During the bouncy “who am I?”, Saki leaned out over the front of the stage with a big grin on her face, holding out her microphone as the audience sung along. Saving the wildest and craziest song for last, POP ended their set with “Happy Lucky Kirakira Lucky”, seeming to move around on the stage at double speed, save for Yua and Ao’s solo parts.
As POP stood on the stage glistening, Michibayashi exclaimed, “You’re so sweaty!”, but added, “It’s kind of a really positive feeling”, prompting the members to chime in, “Because we’re the ‘King of Positive’!”, referring to the moniker they began using after Tokyo Idol Festival 2015. With Saki’s closely cropped hair, Michibayashi marveled at her popularity with the females, likening her to a Takarazuka star.
words by Okkun
LUI FRONTiC Akabane JAPAN
Pour Lui walked onto the stage accompanied by her band members, guitarists Tempest Takeuchi and bassist Ohara just begun. She wore a white one-piece dress and looked exactly the same as she was in BiS. As announced beforehand, they performed an acoustic set, the gentle notes filling the hall as the audience listened and watched intently.
She made a joke that her songs cooled the excitement after POP so that BILLIE IDLE® would have an awkward atmosphere. Despite that, the audience seemed to hang onto her every word, comforted by Pour Lui’s familiar voice.
Lui made the audience laugh every time she spoke, revealing that she was so nervous that she thought that she would vomit. Because of the time that had passed, she admitted to having forgotten the crazy days of being in BiS as she took a seat. The following song, “Hanare Banare” had lyrics explaining her feelings to meet “somebody” again. Perhaps those “somebodies” could be the ex-BiS members that she was reunited with.
The set finished with “walk this way”. LUI FRONTiC Akabane JAPAN actually cooled off the audience considerably, but it meant that the audience had been deeply concentrating on her performance. The post-performance talk that Pour Lui and Rio Michibayashi brought several more laughs but was definitely about things “not safe for work” so it has not been included.
words by ykmk
The final performer and host of the event, BILLE IDLE® kicked off their performance with “be my boy”, a song usually saved for last but they seemed determined to not give any ground to the others, especially on their “home field”, as La Foret Museum Harajuku has been the main venue for their one-man lives in Tokyo in 2015.
Momo Momose had bleached her hair bright blonde and First Summer Uika’s dip-dyed hair had been put up in twintails that cascaded down her back. The audience responded immediately as they sang along and threw their hands in the air. After the punchy foot-stomping rock of “Darlin’ ni wa Naranai”, BILLE IDLE® leapt forward a few decades with the 1980’s synthpop of “be-bop tu-tu”.
As 4 microphone stands were brought onto the stage, the members of BILLE IDLE® greeted the audience and thanked them for coming. Yuuhi Yasui was even more hyper than usual, her words seeming to fly out of her mouth faster than she could think of them. Yuuhi lead a call and response as Nozomi Hirano smiled and waved to the fans and guests while doing a little dance off on the other side of the stage. With orange lights setting the mood of an early morning sunrise after a sleepless night, the members raised their fists for the wistful ballad “Toki no Tabibito”. Moving into the fast lane with the greasy guitar picking of “Konnin Tokode wa Tomaranai”, Yuuhi made several unsuccessful attempts to propose marriage to Nozomi and was humorously rejected every time.
Having recovered emotionally, Yuuhi took her spot at the corner of the stage to launch “Furare Kibun de Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Momo icily delivering the verses and Uika blasting out the choruses. Revving their engines, it was all green lights for BILLE IDLE® as they roared through “Heisei Rock Star”, fans pumping their fists and raising their voices to the short psychobilly tune. Uika flipped her twintails over her shoulders and crossed her arms to stare out into the audience as she traded off vocals with Yuuhi for “anarchy in the music scene”, as always breaking into a smile and flashing a variety of expressions when joining in for the carefree dance parts. Taking a quick bow and thanking the audience, BILLE IDLE® left the stage but almost immediately an encore clap began.
Returning, BILLE IDLE® announced that they had a special guest in the form of several stuffed “Tomajin”, the unfortunate punching bag character from the MV for “Kanata ni…”. Facing the back of the stage, Yuuhi voiced the giant Tomajin as Momo moved his arms. Taking turns beating up “Tomajin” as they sang the song, Uika raised her leg high and went in for an axe heel kick. The glow of orange cyalumes filled the room as Yuuhi was surrounded by kechas while singing her solo lines.
With all of the performances finished, BILLE IDLE® was joined by Tentenko, Rio Michibayashi and the members of Maison book girl, Lui Frontic Akabane Japan, and POP. Tentenko upgraded her “refugee” look with a BILLE IDLE® jacket that was way to big for her. A screen was lowered and the former manager of BiS Junnosuke Watanabe appeared to announce that BILLIE IDLE®, Maison book girl, Tentenko, Lui Frontic Akabane Japan, and POP would be holding several more lives together in 2016 for the ANARCHY TOUR, which would go to Nagoya, Osaka, Fukoka, and Sendai before wrapping up at Hibiya Yaon in Tokyo on April 29th.
Although some may have been hoping that the 6 former members of BiS would perform a few of their classic songs as soon as “BILLE IDLE® Presents ‘Brand-new Idle Society’” was announced at BILLE IDLE®’s previous live on October 10th, in retrospect it was not particularly disappointing that it did not happen. All of the members have moved on to new groups and projects and when they were members of BiS, they had constantly challenged and redefined the concept of idols in just 4 short years. If anything, maybe it’s up to BiSH or any of the other idols who were there to pay their respects by continuing the legacy of BiS?
Photos by Mime Soga
BILLIE IDLE® Official site: http://www.billieidle.com/
Lui FRONTiC Akabane JAPAN Official site: https://www.lfajapan.com/
Maison book girl Official site: http://www.maisonbookgirl.com/
POP Official site: http://www.pop2m.com/
Tentenko Official site: http://tentenko.jimdo.com/
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