Final Feast! Buono! Fill Hearts at Yokohama Arena for Last Concert!
Buono! celebrated their 10th anniversary with an extravagant 3-hour performance Buono! Live 2017 〜Pienezza〜 at Yokohama Arena on May 22, 2017!
Despite being scheduled on a Monday evening, the concert was sold out with 15,000 fans in attendance as well as those live viewing on 30 movie theaters across Japan, 1 in Hong Kong, 1 in Taiwan, and countless others watching on Nico Nama for the final concert of the legendary trio of Airi Suzuki, Momoko Tsugunaga, and Miyabi Natsuyaki. Momoko would be graduating from Country Girls and Hello! Project on June 30th and ℃-ute would be disbanding at Saitama Super Arena on June 12th. A giant circular stage took up the middle of the arena floor with four walkways stretching out like a cross. Shortly after 6:00pm the concert began with a video of the members welcoming the viewers into a quaint little café. Streamers fluttered down on the audience as Buono! rose up from the middle of the stage to start things off with “Ren’ai♥Rider”. The energy in the arena was overwhelming as the fans called out and waved their penlights in perfect sync. Running out to the substages on the edge of the arena, Buono! lead the fans in a series of “P-A-T-I” call and responses during “Bravo☆Bravo”. The blistering start continued with “Janakya Mottainai”, lasers slicing through the air and Dolce (Buono!’s backing band) guitarists Kei Higuchi and Mariko Fujii moving to the center of the stage to trade off solos.
A short video featuring the members of Buono! competing in a quiz game which also relied on their ability to remember the lyrics to all of the group’s songs. Airi won the first round, earning herself a plate of penne pasta for her rendition of “Buckets no Mizu” but was scolded by Momoko for commenting “oishii” instead of “buono”. Despite the microphone breaking in half during the second round as Miyabi and Momochi fought over it after Airi made a mistake in the lyrics for “co・no・mi・chi”, Miyabi emerged victorious and was rewarded with a plate of beef stew. The final round was even more chaotic, the microphone landing on the margherita pizza as the members scrambled to grab it. Miyabi picked it up and sang “1/3 no Junjō na Kanjō” to finish up the game.
Next was the special guest segment of the evening, PINK CRES. taking the stage first with stylish performances of “fun fun fun” and “Kirei・Kawai・Mirai” from their first album “crescendo” (release date: June 28) as the arena glowed pink. They announced that the album was available for early release at Yokohama Arena just for that night and that PINK CRES. would be holding their first live on July 23rd at Shinjuku ReNY. Country Girls followed, Momoko leading the members across the walkway as she sang the opening lines of “Peanut Butter Jelly Love”. Momoko and the others playfully teased Chisaki Morito for turning red during “Rhythm ga Yonderuzo”. Leading the fans in a series of increasingly complex clapping patterns, Mai Ozeki (Airi Suzuki), Risa Yamaki (Miyabi Natsuyaki), and Musubu Funaki (Momoko Tsugunaga) imitating the members of Buono! when it came to their turns. ℃-ute closed out the segment with ferocious performances of “The Curtain Rises” and “Kiss me Aishiteru” which were accompanied by the deafening calls of the fans. With Airi as the center of attention, Saki Nakajima commented that it felt like she was far away and shining extra brightly despite standing next to her on stage. Maimi Yajima added that it felt like a planetarium with lights surrounding them on all sides.
A video where Momoko, Miyabi, and Airi reminisced about past activities followed, starting with their Pizza-La commercials from 2008, past performances of “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” where the members would pretend to fall asleep mid-song, and “Nakimushi Shōnen” where Buono! actually played instruments. 2 drumbeats rang out through the arena and the members reappeared, rising out of the stage and playing the intro to “Nakimushi Shōnen” as the crowd roared in excitement. Leaving behind their instruments, Buono! made their way down the walkways pumping their fists and waving to the audience. Returning to the center stage, Buono! threw the throttle wide open, blasting their way through “JUICY HE@RT” as lasers flashed from the stage. The stifling rock block raced to a close with “Rottara Rottara”, the voices of the fans growing louder and louder as they sang along and called out to the members.
Finally stopping to greet the audience at Buono!, Momoko explained that “pienezza” is Italian for “fullness” and proclaimed that they would do their best to make everyone satisfied. Miyabi hoped that everyone would enjoy all the songs they had prepared and that they would sweat along with her. Airi shouted out to the different areas of the arena, promising that she would make eye contact with everyone who was cheering for her. Momoko fished for comments when mentioning that she thought they had gotten better at “Nakimushi Shōnen”. Miyabi shared how the old videos made her feel nostalgic, making the segue into the 5-song medley which featured several of Buono!’s early songs. Kicking off with “Café Buono!” and “Early Bird”, they took a trip through their Shugo Chara! period with “Kokoro no Tamago” and “Minna Daisuki”, accelerating across the finish line with a turbocharged rendition of “We are Buono!〜Buono! no Theme〜”. Stripping off their leather jackets, Buono! continued to raise the temperatures as they marched down the walkways pumping their fists amid the vast ocean of waving penlights and calls of the fans during “Rock no Kami-sama”. Airi thanked the fans for listening to their medley before shifting their attention to introducing the members of Dolce, Buono’s backing band. Hearts fluttered as Airi delivered a series of sweet confessions peaking with “Without you, I can’t breathe!” (あなたがいないと息ができない) during a jazzed-up rendition of “Natsu Dakara!”. The performance simmered on with the lush electric piano and woody acoustic guitars of “Ura Hara”. The middle of the stage raised up and rotated slowly for “Blue-Sky-Blue”, the members singing powerfully and eventually sinking out of sight as the song played out. A video featuring Dolce’s bandmaster and keyboardist eji played on the screens with her reading heartfelt letters to Momoko, Miyabi, and Airi, thanking them for all the years they had spent together.
Returning to the stage in white and denim outfits, Buono! were joined by Dolce on the main stage for a short acoustic set which included “Shōshitsuten -Vanishing Point-“, “OVER THE RAINBOW”, and “I NEED YOU”, their voices harmonizing gently and soaring into the night sky. Running out to the various sub-stages, Momoko, Miyabi, and Airi marveled at how many lights in their colors were glowing and how many fans were shouting their names before returning to the main stage to continue the second half of the performance with “Ice Mermaid”. Airi’s voice rang out as she sang the opening lines to “Hatsukoi Cider”, the fans roaring to life at full volume as she, Momoko, and Miyabi rocked through their legendary anthem. Grabbing their towels, Buono! launched into “Warp!”, Momo playfully teasing that she would cry if the fans weren’t loud enough during the call and responses. Running along the walkways, Buono! shouted to the fans to get louder, returning to the center stage and changing quickly into sparkly black and silver outfits. Dancing among the flames erupting from the stage, the members heated up the mood again with “Independent Girl〜Dokuritsu Joshi de Aru Tame ni〜”. Marching back out along the walkways, Buono! kept the pressure on with “Kataomoi.” and “DEEP MIND”, their hands high overhead as lasers swept through the arena all around them. The lasers were joined by more pyrotechnics and blasts of CO2 as the synths screamed and guitars buzzed along to the aggressive attack of “MY BOY”. A thick mist hung on the stage as the opening chords of “Goal” chimed out from the speakers, the members of Buono! harmonizing together as the middle of the stage lifted them up once more. Disappearing into the stage, a “Buono! Dolce!” encore began almost immediately.
Several minutes later, a spotlight shined down on eji who began playing an extended piano intro to “Last Forever” with Momoko, Miyabi, and Airi appearing at the far end of the walkway in red tartan bottoms and the special T-shirts made for the concert, the house lights brightening so they could better see all the faces of the fans as they sang. As the trio made their way across the arena floor, Airi was overcome with emotion, her voice faltering slightly, Miyabi holding out her hand to guide her along. Thanking the fans again, the members took turns sharing their feelings. With tears still streaming down her cheeks, Airi expressed her gratitude for everyone making Buono!’s last concert a success, breaking into a smile when she shared that her father was watching via live viewing. The arena glowed red as Miya asked them if they had fun. She commented that she had been surprised when first joining Buono! since they were different than most idol groups at the time and had learned a lot over the past 10 years, finally thanking the fans again for coming. Momoko added that since the group was originally formed for the anime Shugo Chara, she felt it was perfect for her voice but was caught off guard when most of the songs were rock style. While she felt that the fans had gotten pretty full, she declared that “there is still room for dessert!”, leading into the following song of the encore. Jumping into “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!”, Buono! ran down the various walkways singing to the fans who were still enthusiastically waving their penlights and singing along, growing louder when it came to the “Kiss me baby!” call and response. Reuniting at the middle of the main stage, they pretended to sleep as voiceovers expressed their thanks for each other and regrets that it would soon all be over. Just as Miyabi was about to thank Momoko, the alarm clock rang and more streamers exploded out over the arena floor as the song played out. Much to the disappointment of the 15,000 fans, Momoko announced that the next song would be their last, their precious debut song “Honto no Jibun”. Balloons floated down from the ceiling while Buono! hugged each other in the middle of stage and sang with tears in their eyes. Joining hands with Dolce, Buono! took their bows and thanked the fans once more, taking time to wave to as many fans as possible before leaving the stage for the last time and a video of Momoko, Miyabi, and Airi bidding the viewer farewell played on the screen followed by the end credits, the fans still shouting along to the ending theme “Rock no Kamisama”.
Buono! was a group ahead of its time when they were formed back in 2007. It might be easy to take their contributions for granted when considering how many idol rock groups there are active in Japan as of 2017. While there must be thousands of fans all over the world saddened by the end of the group, it was a performance packed full that few others will come close to matching when it comes to their last live. Mille grazie e arrivederla!
May 22, 2007 – May 22, 2017
03 Janakya Mottainai
04 fun fun fun (PINK CRES.)
05 Kirei・Kawai・Mirai (PINK CRES.)
06 Peanut Butter Jelly Love (Country Girls)
07 Rhythm ga Yonderuzo (Country Girls)
08 The Curtain Rises (℃-ute)
09 Kiss me Aishiteru (℃-ute)
10 Nakimushi Shōnen
11 JUICY HE@RT
12 Rottara Rottara
– Café Buono!
– Early Bird
– Kokoro no Tamago
– Minna Daisuki
– We are Buono!〜Buono! no Theme〜
14 Rock no Kami-sama
15 Natsu Dakara!
16 Ura Hara
18 Shōshitsuten -Vanishing Point-
19 OVER THE RAINBOW
20 I NEED YOU
21 Ice Mermaid
22 Hatsukoi Cider (Album version)
24 Independent Girl〜Dokuritsu Joshi de Aru Tame ni〜
26 DEEP MIND
27 MY BOY
E1 Last Forever
E2 Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!
E3 Honto no Jibun
Dolce Band Members
Guitar: Mariko Fujii
Guitar: Kei Higuchi
Drums: Mai Imamura
Bass: Naomi Iwasaki
Buono! Official Blog: http://ameblo.jp/viva-buono
Buono! YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/buonochannel
PINK CRES. Official site: http://www.pinkcres.com/
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