Gyoza, Ginger, Glowsticks, and Godzilla? Gyu-No Fes in Utsunomiya Photo Report
A total of over 22,000 from far and wide converged on Tochigi for “Gyu-No Fes in Utsunomiya” on October 30, 2016. The biggest event yet organized by extreme entertainer/farmer/idol event promoter Gyuzo to increase awareness of his home prefecture.
Gyu-No Fes in Utsunomiya was part of the VERY GOOD LOCAL Tochigi project and a celebration of the 10th anniversary for Orion Square, which is in the center of the city with the support of Link Tochigi Brex (basketball), HC Nikko Ice Bucks (ice hockey), Tochigi SC (soccer), Utsunomiya Blitzen (cycling), and Nasu Blazen (cycling supplies).
With 6 venues spread throughout downtown Utsunomiya, covering all of them was not an option but thanks to the camerawork of photographers Ken’ichi Inagaki, hideki yamada, ringotaro, and mametaro, there are quite a few pictures available. However, most of the content will focus on the main stage at Orion Square, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Bright and early at 10:00am, Gyuzo and Tochigi-born hip-hop duo P.O.P took to the stage at Orion Square to greet the audience. P.O.P made their appeal for their performance at Space Lab Π later that day, promising that they would again be giving out free beers. Gyuzo announced that photos/video would be allowed depending on the performers and that moshing and diving would be prohibited, several voices perking up when they noticed that he did not mention lifting.
lyrical school – Orion Square
Having performed at Hakuoh University and “lyrical Otome Gang” at HEAVEN’S ROCK UTSUNOMIYA on October 29th, lyrical school’s weekend was pretty full by the time they hit the stage at Orion Square to kick off the festivities. On top of that, they also rocked Space Lab Π before returning to Tokyo for Akasaka Halloween that evening. Warming up the audience with a trio of their new songs “RUN and RUN”, “Summer Foundation”, “Magic Hour”, and their summer classic “FRESH!!!”, lyrical school definitely made it worth getting up early that day!
Maneki Kecha – Orion Square
Maneki Kecha, a group that incites excitement wherever they go, were up second, wasting no time in setting the crowd off with “Joudan Ja nai ne” and the seasonally appropriate “Monster to Kecha”. Tochigi native Mayuka Fujisaki shared that her favorite place was one where no one else is and Rin Miyauchi laughed that there were probably more people at the stage than her hometown of Ashikaga.
BILLIE IDLE – Orion Square
Fresh off their free concert at Yoyogi Park and release of their 3rd album “bi bi bi bi bi” (release date: October 26), BILLIE IDLE was firing on all cylinders, packing in 6 songs in the limited time that had. With fan favorites “Be My Boy” and “Kanata ni” as well as some of their newly released harder songs like “Youki na Beachside” and “Hajimari Emotion”, it was a well-balanced mix that had the “idle fellas” (fans) jumping with excitement. First Summer Uika did her best to get everyone involved, running over to the women and children’s area in front of the stage, receiving a warm response.
Faint⋆Star – Orion Square
Dazzling in their brightly colored outfits, Faint⋆Star provided a quick change in direction as they entranced the audience with an assortment of their cool electro-pop stylings.
Maison book girl – Orion Square
Megumi Coshoji’s wish of appearing on the main stage was realized as she and the rest of Maison book girl got hands clapping with “bath room” at Orion Square. It was just a small sampling of what was to come during their November 6th one-man live Solitude HOTEL 2F at Shibuya WWW X.
callme – Orion Square
callme brought a quick shift in the mood as they twirled their way through “Sing along” and got the audience clapping to “step by step”. Swaying, popping and locking to the slick electropop of “In my dream” and “Hello new world”, callme made a strong case for people to catch their longer set on the Texas Steak Stage at Live House Kent later in the afternoon.
Stereo Tokyo – Orion Square
Even as one of the most anticipated groups of the day, Stereo Tokyo exceeded expectations as they his the stage to the Dengeki Network theme song, swinging their fists. Having spent an entire Halloween event in Godzilla suits the week earlier, thankfully the members were dressed normally but, flashes of that day came back as one of the “party people” (fans) emerged as the “King of Monsters”. Pool noodles and balloons screaming through the midday air were just one of the many wild acts that beckoned Ayaka Shiina and Yurina Kawamura into the audience. As you can see in the video below, it was madness as usual.
Comedian and Cambodian marathon runner Neko Hiroshi delivered laughs and several autographed pairs of paper underpants to several lucky audience members.
Oyama Daisu-Kids – Orion Square
Watarasebashi 43 – Orion Square
Just as with the April event at Shin-Kiba Studio Coast, there was a performance of “Watarasebashi” featuring Tochigi-born idols and yurukyara.
And there was a new video full of well wishes for the event, featuring Tochigi-born idols Hitomi Honda (AKB48 Team 8), Rena Ogawa (Kobushi Factory), Chisaki Morito (Country Girls), and Asami Watanabe (Cheeky Parade), as well as Kishidan to name a few.
Nao Fukushi (SKE48 Team E) was awarded the title of Future Ambassador for Tochigi prefecture, inheriting the position previously held by Gyuzo. Fukushi mentioned how she felt that her work was cut out for her as Tochigi had been ranked 46th out of 47 prefectures.
While Kaori Matsumura (Saitama) and Shiori Aoki (Shizuoka) talked up their home prefectures, it was surmised that the former future ambassador Gyuzo might have had something with Tochigi’s drastic fall in the rankings. As a punishment, he was given a mighty whack with a bat from Matsumura, the sound echoing through the shopping arcade for all to hear.
SKE48 – Orion Square
Having traveled all the way from Sakae, Nagoya for the event, Nao Fukushi, Kaori Matsumura, and Shiori Aoki weren’t going to let down any SKE48 fans by leaving without a song! With the yurukyara as their backup dancers, the trio performed “Sansei Kawaii”.
Prism Bell – Orion Square
Yurumerumo! – Orion Square
It was a warm and wild homecoming for Kechon as she and Yurumerumo! got the crowd riled up right away with a 4-song set full of classics like “manual of Tokyo girl Gendaishi” and “Be Zero” as well as new songs “Hamidashi Paradise” and “SUN SUN SUN”. It was the end of a week which began with their incredible sold out Ebisu LIQUIDROOM live. Closing out the day right after BiS at Live House Kent later that evening, Yurumerumo! was one of, if not the only group to get an encore.
BiS – Orion Square
As a known “kenkyuuin” (BiS fan), Gyuzo appeared on the stage in a black pullover with “IDOL” in white print to introduce the recently rebooted “anti-idol” group. The reborn Brand-new idol Society teased the audience by performing only songs from their album “Brand-new Idol Society2”. They left their classics for their “final dance” of the day at Live House Kent that evening.
BELLRING Girls Heart – Orion Square
The notorious BELLRING Girls Heart unleashed their fury on Orion Square, the crowd surging forward to match their fury as soon as the familiar opening riff of “c.a.n.d.y.” rang out from the speakers. Even as bodies crashed into each other right in front of them, Kanra, Mizuho, Reina, Kai, and Ayano kept turning up the intensity, tossing their shoes and socks off as they paraded around the stage. It was truly a performance that shows why “Beruha” is considered one of the most powerful groups in Tokyo. Hopefully when they return from their impending hiatus following the graduations of Mizuho and Ayano, BELLRING Girls Heart will be able to recapture the beautiful chaos that they are known for.
GANG PARADE – Orion Square
Regardless of their name or how many members were in their lineup, as one of the solid performers of Gyu-No Fes events past, including Hakuoh University and “lyrical Otome Gang” at HEAVEN’S ROCK UTSUNOMIYA the day before, GANG PARADE was given the honors of being the last performer on the main stage. Starting off with their lighter more recent tunes like “QUEEN OF POP” and “Happy Lucky Kirakira Lucky”, they also showed their more aggressive side with “Pretty pretty good” and “Plastic 2 mercy”, whipping the crowd into a jumping, chanting frenzy to close out the day.
Risa Satosaki – Orion Square
Just as Gyuzo was about to deliver his closing address, Risa Satosaki rushed out on to the stage, demanding that she be allowed to perform as she had been scheduled to go on during the “additional time”. Echoing the events that transpired during Gyu-no Fes x Nakano Style Idol Festival 2015 almost a year prior, and because it was the day before Halloween, a fan was standing in front of the stage with a bright yellow raincoat and a clock which showed how much time was left. Starting off with “Shy Girl Wars”, Risa ran into the audience and pulled some of the members of Kids onstage to dance with her. For her second song “Datte ne”, she announced she would be performing at Zepp Tokyo in 2017 before pulling the timekeeper as well as DJ Omochi (formerly of Risa’s group Shojo Kakka no International) to dance on stage with her. Having exhausted the number of songs she could do without her guitar, Risa called out to Gyuzo to end the event. Before leaving the stage, she declared that she would perform at Nippon Budokan before Nama Ham & Yaki Udon.
With a bright yellow Gyuzo Farm flag wrapped around his shoulders, Gyuzo thanked everyone for coming out to support Gyu-No Fes, reminding them that even though performances at Orion Square were finished for the day, there were still a lot of other stages going on.
Space Lab Π
Koutei Camera Girl
Here are some photos from the other venues.
Here are more pictures from Orion Square.
Highlights from Gyu-No Fes in Utsunomiya will be airing on Tochigi Television on November 30th (12:00-12:30am) with a repeat on December 1st (12:30-1:00am).
Photos by Ken’ichi Inagaki, hideki yamada, ringotaro, mametaro
Gyu-No Fes Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/gyuno_fes
Gyu-No Fes Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gyuzofarmfes
Gyu-No Fes in Utsunomiya Official site: http://gyunoufes.com/utsunomiya/
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