LIVE REPORT : HKT48 hold their First One-Man Concert in Saitama Super Arena
On the 5th of April HKT48 held the “AKB48 group spring concert in Saitama Super Arena – Omoide wa Zenbu Koko ni Oite Ike! – HKT48 solo concert“.
Their performance at the SSA comes just one year and 16 days after the release of their debut CD in March last year. This is a record among Japanese artists.
The day was designated as a “Spring athletics meet” and all members performed in short-shorts as part of their gym uniforms. Rino Sashihara was the only member, however to perform in “Bloomer” shorts. “I was just really into the atmosphere. Everyone was asking me to wear bloomers…. I was quite embarrassed” Sashihara said with an embarrassed grin.
Attendees numbered 18,000, and from the beginning the event had the same excitement and atmosphere as an athletics meet, with participants rolling gym balls and doing group gymnastics on stage.
As the MC opened the event, new team structures were also unveiled. Kanon Kimoto (SKE48 Team E), whom, it was announced at an April selection festival, would concurrently participate as a member of KIV within HKT48, also appeared before of fans.
“There is still a long way to go, but I want to help HKT48 as much as I can” Motomo enthusiastically explained.
In addition, they covered classic songs in their “HKT48 The Best Five” set, which was a revival of the cover set they performed at their March 21 grand finale to their tour of Kyushu in Fukuoka city.
The youngest duo “Namokiku” comprised of Nako Yabuki and Miku Tanaka enthusiastically sang the Speed hit “Body and Soul”, which was released before they were born.
Sashihara invited guitarist Marty Friedman to perform Ann Lewis’s “Ahh Mujou”, Motomo and Aiko Ota performed Yuki Saito’s “Sotsugyou (Graduation)” from and finally all members of the band passionately sang Onyanko Club’s “Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide”. In the middle of the performance Tanaka and Yabuki gave a first performance of “Namaiki Lips”, a song penned especially for the event. While they were nervous, on-stage they gave an energetic, bustling performance.
In a member selection ceremony, at the end of the main performances of the day, Marika Tani, who is transferring to AKB48 and Chiyori Nakanishi who is transferring to SKE48, appeared onstage. They performed the song “Ima Kimi wo Omou” with all members of the band. All were crying through the performance as they were sad to see them leave.
“I’m incredibly happy” said Nakasnishi, her voice trembling. Tani, overcome with emotion, said “Thank you” and sat down, smiling and waving in support.
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