Cheeky Parade Final One-Man Live Before Mariya Suzuki & Marin Yamamoto Depart for LA!
Cheeky Parade, the self-proclaimed “Greatest Nine9′”, lived up to their reputation as they rocked Shinagawa Stellar Ball on May 8, 2016! It was the group’s last one-man live with their current lineup before Marin Yamamoto and Mariya Suzuki were set to depart for Los Angeles to study abroad for 2 years.
Titled “Cheeky MONSTER VOL.2〜It’s a Small World〜”, from beginning to end, it was packed with the energy and excitement that Cheeky Parade has been known for since their formation in 2012. Mariya welcomed the fans to Shinagawa Stellar Ball and ran through the pre-live announcements, accented by several playful taunts, asking them if they were really listening to her and really ready for the live to start. “SINFONIA 〜Apocalypse of Monster〜” gave way to a mixed up medley of Cheeky Parade’s previous hits as the members took the stage accompanied by lasers and flashing lights.
Cheeky Parade lit up the fans immediately with the song that promises of a brighter tomorrow, “WE ARE THE GREATEST NINE9’”, the lights at the back of the stage casting 9 larger than life shadows on the walls of the venue. Keeping the strong start going, Mariya thanked the audience for coming to see them and got the call and response started for “BUNBUN NINE9’”. The “Cheeky Power” levels jumped to what might have been a record high as the fans called out loudly and bounced along to the music.
Seran Mizorogi urged the fans to call for her as the live roared on with “Tactics”, followed by a ferocious performance of their new song, the futuristic electronic rocker “Lost + Found”. Glistening with sweat already, Cheeky Parade paused to greet the audience and were welcomed with deafening cheers. Leader Yuna Sekine commented that Shinagawa Stellar Ball was the first place that Cheeky Parade had their first one-man live and held a lot of treasured memories for the members. Seran announced that they had brought all the new songs from their upcoming second album “Cheeky Parade II” (release date: June 1) with them and asked the fans to look forward to the rest of them, joking that she would punch anyone who still hadn’t seen the MV for “WE ARE THE GREATEST NINE9’”.
Next was the Tokyo debut of “Happy Fancy Music”, a new song that wraps trap-style beats around several delicate solo interludes. Rino Shimazaki shook the fans out of their trance and began sparring with Momoka Kodakari as the electronic beeps of “C.P.U !?” rang out through the speakers. Mariya unleashed a shout and Cheeky Parade sprinted around the stage as the fans responded by calling out and jumping up and down. Rino, Yuna, Marin, and Mariya ran out to the platforms on the sides of the stage, waving to the fans and hugging each other.
Swaying in the darkness as lasers fired from the stage, Yuriya Suzuki pleaded with the fans to make it a day to be remembered as the music switched over to “Mugendai Shojo ∀”. The fans responded by dancing along tirelessly and calling out to her and the other members on stage, urged on by Mariya during the long instrumental break in the middle of the song. The mood cooled slightly with their cosmic 6th single “SKY GATE”, Marin, Yuriya, and Hina Nagai belting out their vocals as part of the main singing unit. Mariya moved to the front of the stage and pointed at several fans, causing them to jump as she sang her closing lines.
Hina seemed to be feeling silly as she talked about Cheeky Parade’s new outfits as if she was telling a ghost story, Momoka and Asami screaming and making creepy noises for effect. Marin stepped in and whacked Momo on the head to end the foolishness, despite protests that they were just having fun. Yuna changed the topic by announcing that they would be showing off the cute side of Cheeky Parade with the next song, “SUPER STAR” a bubbly tune with girly choreography and flirtatious lyrics. Hina instructed the fans to make shakas (“aloha pose”) with their hands as the slid into the hula-like choreography of “Shekena!” as the members of Cheeky Parade bumped hips and shook their hands to the shifting tempos. Bending at the waist and assuming rock poses, they transitioned right into “Hungry”, Momoka reminding the fans to get their towels ready. A slight breeze blew through Shinagawa Stellar Ball as towels were waved excitedly.
The medley continued without stopping, Mariya and Momoka joining hands and taking center stage to start Cheeky Parade’s epic “CANDY POP GALAXY BOMB!!”. Marin added a touch of humor to the song as she ran around the stage hitting the other members on the head with a squeaky hammer until Yuriya succeeded in defeating her. Rino/Seran and Asami/Momoka pretended to be flirty couples on the side stages before joining the others to bring the song to its end.
Just as they had during their 4th anniversary live, “M.O.N.ST@R” followed immediately after, a single spotlight shining down on Marin as she pointed her finger to the heavens, igniting the crowd once again. The music cut out midway through the song, allowing for an extended singalong as the fans joined their voices with Cheeky Parade, uniting the venue in their commitment in reaching for their dreams.
Grabbing their feathered fans, Cheeky Parade kept going with “Colorful Starlight”, Asami calling for the fans to dance along with them. Seran and Mariya ran backstage only to return to selfie sticks (Mariya part 1, Mariya part 2, Seran) and baskets full of signed balls, which were tossed into the audience. Mariya announced that “Together” would be the last song while trying to get some of the fans in the audience to fall for her “acchi muite hoi” (“look that way” a common follow up to janken, sometimes accompanied by a pie in the face, particularly on variety shows) before turning her attention to Asami. Having kept a smile on her face for most of the live, Mariya began to blink back tears, her voice quivering slightly even as Yuriya put an arm around her shoulders. Thanking the audience, Cheeky Parade jogged off the stage and the encore call began.
Cheeky Parade returning for the encore and Yuna mused how quickly the time had flown by. The main part was probably only an hour long but, the stage talk had been kept to a minimum and with so many high energy songs packed together, allowing for a performance with no dead moments. Mariya whined how lonely she would be after leaving for Los Angeles but felt that it was a fun live. Marin had high hopes for how much Cheeky Parade will have grown by the time she returned. Yuriya admitted to crying since rehearsal, the others teasing her for crying too much. She asked for the fans to believe in them and introduced the first song of the encore “faith”. Opening with Hina’s powerful vocals, the members took turns showing off the results of their hard work. Overcome with emotion, Yuriya’s voice quivered a little during her solo.
Yuna joked that such a song was bound to make people cry. Rino announced details of the farewell event for Mariya and Marin on June 5th at Shibuya Club Quattro. Marin teased Asami for crying before asking the fans if they still had enough energy for the last song, checking to make sure that none of them were crying either. Mariya threatened to kick everyone out of the venue for making fun of her crying but, as soon as “Cheeky dreamer” began, her tough exterior faded. Momoka hugged Mariya from behind and held her hand for support and Asami put her arm around her as the fans shouted and jumped with the last of their remaining strength. After taking a picture with the audience behind them (Seran, Momoka), Yuriya lead the fans in a final “Cheeky Power” and “yossha ikuzo!” before they took their final bows and left the stage. Within just a few months since their 4th anniversary live, Cheeky Parade had managed to grow even more as a group. Even though 2 years is a long time, especially in the idol world, how much stronger “The Greatest Nine9′” will become when Marin Yamamoto and Mariya Suzuki return from Los Angeles is beyond our wildest imagination.
Photos by Kenji Harada
01 WE ARE THE GREATEST NINE9’
02 BUNBUN NINE9’
04 Lost + Found
05 Happy Fancy Music
06 C.P.U !?
07 Mugendai Shojo ∀
08 SKY GATE
09 SUPER STAR
12 CANDY POP GALAXY BOMB!!
14 Colorful Starlight
E2 Cheeky dreamer
Cheeky Parade Official site (English): http://www.cheekyparade.jp/cheeky_en/
Cheeky Parade Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/CP_official_CP
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