FES☆TIVE packed all the excitement of an autumn matsuri (Japanese-style festival) into Kawasaki Club Citta on October 10, 2016 for their 5th one-man live and to celebrate the 22nd birthday of their eldest member Yuna Sakamoto. With a laser light show, CO2 cannons, and LED wristbands that changed color to the songs, it was another big step for one of Japan’s rising idol groups.
Following a short video of the members sharing stories about Yuna, the lights dimmed, leaving behind the glow of LEDs as “START OF FESTIVAL” signaled the beginning of the performance. Towers of CO2 shot upward as FES☆TIVE made their way to the stage one by one, the wristbands changing color for each member. Beating their imaginary drums to “Don Doko Matsu-rhythm -Moriagare Taiko-chan-“, FES☆TIVE heated up Club Citta right away as the fans drummed right along with them. Sending pulses racing as they swayed to the summery “Natsuiro Torido Ribbon”, the members got fists pumping through the air for the breakdown which gave way to a sea of kechas for Hinari Aoba during her solo.
Introducing themselves and shouting out a few “wasshoi!” calls, FES☆TIVE took out their penlights for “Ryuusei Carnival”, moving them through the air like shooting stars on a clear night and mimicking comedian Ken Shimura’s Baka Tono-sama character by tapping them against their chests. Aggressive electronic rhythms mixed with traditional Japanese melodies thumped from the loudspeakers, CO2 blasts syncing with the sharp movements of the members. Swinging their fists and kicking up their legs, the intensity continued to build, leading into a dance break capped off by an acrobatic back handspring by Mitsuki Suzuki.
As the members jumped and kicked through “Susume Jipang”, the excitement boiled over into “SUMMER☆JUMPING” with hundreds of towels swinging to the girly EDM under an umbrella of laser beams. Right in the middle of the song, the members began singing “Happy Birthday” to Yuna, with a cake, bouquet, and message book being presented to her by the fans. Leader Reia Shiozaki reminded the fans that it was Yuna’s birthday on October 8th and commented that as the oldest of the group at 22, she was like everyone’s older sister. Yuna countered by sharing that she didn’t feel that grown up since everyone her age had more sophisticated tastes in fashion.
Continuing on with the tightly wound slap bass and thundering percussion of “Manatsu no Yonetsu” the performance briefly took on an tense mood before reverting back to that of merrymaking with “Matsuri da sun☆sun”, the fans shouting loudly and jumping along. Chopping their arms and shouting out traditional Japanese festival chants, FES☆TIVE floored the accelerator with “Koi Koyou”. A jazzy high-hat beat ushered in “Tenshi to Akuma no Kataomoi Parade”, the members dancing like flappers from the 1920’s and kicking up their feet in chorus line-like fashion. Reia playfully lifted the chin of Honami Yokoi (known as an ago-kui).
Pulling out their folding paper fans, FES☆TIVE stoked the flames with the koto/piano jazz dueling known as “Oedo Bakuretsu Hanabi-hime”. Reia read a letter she had written, thanking Yuna for being vital in keeping the group together and moving forward, a task she struggled with due to being the youngest of the group. The emotions continued to spill out as Yuna shared her disappointment that her birthday was combined with FES☆TIVE’s 5th one-man live and vowed to work hard so that next year’s event would be in a much larger venue. The overwhelming outpouring of feelings was contagious as Yuna, Hinari, and Kotone Suzuki were among the members wiping tears from their eyes during “Tokyo Dream Parade”, contrary to it’s cheerful tone.
The sounds of fireworks exploding thrust open the floodgates of the enthusiasm as a near-deafening MIX and barrage of calls accompanied “Shidare Yanagi”, one of FES☆TIVE’s most popular songs. Rocking through “Omatsuri Hero” with their fingers pointed high above their heads, the fans and the members were united in their movements.
The main performance sprinted to completion with “Homura no Shizuku”, the members waving “bye-bye” as koto and shamisen melodies swirled together. Reia thanked the fans for their support and lead the members off the stage with a “Yuna-chan” encore call beginning shortly after.
Returning with all of the members wearing the shirts made for Yuna’s birthday, FES☆TIVE lit up the audience right away with “FESTIBLUESKY”, the voices of the fans calling out loudly as their wristbands glowed red, turning it into “FESTIREDSKY”. Lasers mixed with the glitter of the mirror ball as the members bounced through the final song of the evening “Magical Parade”, Honami knocking Mikki into a reverse bridge before chasing after Yuna and planting a big kiss on her cheek. Streamers burst out from the ceiling to end the song. Yuna thanked the fans and promised that they would do it again next year.
After taking a picture with their fans to commemorate the occasion, FES☆TIVE thanked the fans for coming out to see them once again before leaving the stage. Almost immediately, a video recapping the days events began playing on the screen, an impressive feat considering it included footage from the performance that had just concluded.
With their catalog of energetic songs packed full of references to Japanese culture and recent increase in international activities, FES☆TIVE has been steadily becoming one of the rising idol groups to keep an eye on. We look forward to see how they continue to “wasshoi the world”!
00 START OF FESTIVAL
01 Don Doko Matsu-rhythm -Moriagare Taiko-chan-
02 Natsuiro Torido Ribbon
03 Ryuusei Carnival
05 Susume Jipang
07 Manatsu no Yonetsu
08 Matsuri da sun☆sun
09 Koi Koyou
10 Tenshi to Akuma no Kataomoi Parade
11 Oedo Bakuretsu Hanabi-hime
12 Tokyo Dream Parade
13 Shidare Yanagi
14 Omatsuri Hero
15 Homura no Shizuku
E2 Magical Parade
FES☆TIVE Official site: http://festive.rizepro.net/
FES☆TIVE Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/FESTIVE_RIZE
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