PASSPO☆ Touches Down at New Airport During 6th Anniversary Autumn Tour Finale
PASSPO☆ finally announced the details of their re-debut single “Mr. Wednesday” (release date: February 24) after the emotional arrival of the evening flight of their 6th anniversary autumn tour “PASSPO☆ Flight Tour ROCK Shuunen Tour Arigato-Bin Shinagawa” finale at Stellar Ball on November 28.
Petit PASSPO☆ again prepared the passengers for departure, this time diving right into “Zenryoku Swimmer” and finishing up with the entertaining and slightly acrobatic “Go Fight! Fly High!”.
Evening Flight – Departure: 6:30pm (JST)
A retro-styled introduction video complete with a vintage convertible accompanied “Immigration Control” as the passengers eagerly awaited the appearance of PASSPO☆. The flight kicked off with the energetic yet less aggressive than usual (there was no mosh pit) “Himawari”.
Next up to bat was “No.1 Boy”, the members sending signals, pitching, and swinging for the fences with Anna Tamai (aka Anya) calling out a home run at the end. Greeting the passengers as the flight stabilized, Mio Masui (aka Miomio) blamed a slight vocal incident on some people in first class (front of the stage) smiling at her too much. Looking for a way to promote their specially designed 6th anniversary towels, captain Ai Negishi (aka Aipon) offered it up as a convenient way to save up all the sweat from the live and treasure it forever. Despite a quip from Anya about the smell that would result from attempting to keep a sweaty towel for eternity, Naomi Anzai (aka Naomin) encouraged everyone to make their towels super sweaty, a sort of unusual way to get them more excited. In order to make that happen, PASSPO☆ turned up the heat with “HONEY DISH”, Natsumi Iwamura (aka Nachu) and Yukimi Fujimoto (aka Yukkii) tossing Miomio into the air like fresh popcorn and everyone cooking up fluffy imaginary pancakes. The evening performance of “Cosmic You” finished without the return of Awa Odori like it did during the afternoon flight.
PASSPO☆ then began the inflight programming with a Count Down TV-styled movie hosted by animated versions of Ground Crew bandmaster Penne To Arrabbiata, graduated members Makoto Okunaka, Kaho Sakuma, and the currently inactive (indefinite hiatus) Sako Makita hosting. Time circuits in the style of the Back to the Future” De Lorean counted up the years as the crew navigated through a 13-song medley of their history. The passengers raised their voices to PASSPO☆’s debut song “Let it go!!”, raising the volume with “Go On A Highway, and waving their towels to “LALALOVE TRAIN”. Things began to get more spontaneous and loose as Miomio broke into an impromptu “Pee-Wee Herman dance” before Anya was caught red-handed engaging in her usual stage antics. The towels were back in force during “Hello” before the 2011 section came to an end with “Kiss = Suki”. Moving into 2012, there were the festive latin rhythms of “Kimi Iro no Samba” and punk pop of “Dear My Friends”, lead vocalist Shiori Mori’s voice cutting through the wall of distorted guitars, as Nachi and Miomio flashed Anya. After “With XXXX”, Miomio ushered in 2013 with “Onegai”, transitioning into the sentimental “Growing Up”. The pick slides and aggressive beats of “「I」” had the passengers waving their penlights wildly, the medley peaking with loud cheers when Makoto Okunaka’s graduation song “TRACKS” appeared on the horizon, the first time it had been performed since January 1, 2015. As video clips from PASSPO☆’s 6 year history flashed by on the screen at the back of the stage, there was an air of anticipation as to who would sing Okunaka’s lines. Ai Negishi stepped forward to fill that role, tears streaming from her eyes as she sang.
Taking a short break, PASSPO☆ mentioned that the medley set list was voted on by the passengers and expressed their delight at the “legendary ‘Mushu'” (Kaho Sakuma’s nickname) taking part in their 6th anniversary tour finale, even it was only via a recording. The final leg of the flight began with fan-favorite “Pretty Lie”, its customary call and response ringing out through Shinagawa Stellar Ball. The cute streak was short lived as right after disengaging from the heart formation of “Kucha LOVE”, PASSPO☆ entered the darkness with “WING” and “WANTED!!”, fists pumping and hands clawing though the air to the fast-paced metal. Even though Nachu has long been seen as the least reliable member of PASSPO☆ despite being the oldest, orange cyalumes shined brightly for her during her solo lines in “Wish On A Star”, proving that sometimes great talents mature late? The clock ticked closer to arrival as PASSPO☆ swept through “Jaa Ne”, announcing that the next song would be the last one. Before that happened, Shiori Mori (aka Morishi) shared how she had gotten extremely angry with her older brother for asking her if PASSPO☆ was still active on an occasion that they were eating together at home. Recalling her annoyance, Morishi exclaimed, “I want to become famous!” to enthusiastic applause. Having vented and proclaiming a new goal for her and PASSPO☆, Morishi used that extra fire to begin final approach with “Mudai”, the passengers banging their heads and guiding the flight in for a landing with their penlights.
The encore began with the engines still running hot as PASSPO☆ went right into the wild “STEP & GO”, Anya and Nachu tackling each other on the stage. Captain Ai Negishi exclaimed, “It’s like ‘STEP & GO’ got escalated!” after spotting the mischief that transpired behind her during the song. Following the “attention point” format for this tour, the details of their major label re-debut were listed off. The new single, titled “Mr. Wednesday” would be released on February 24, 2016 on Nippon Crown Records and supported by an Osaka/Nagoya/Tokyo tour where all the flights would be on Wednesdays. Benefits of the new label included: 1. full-length MVs, 2. the return of dance videos to their YouTube channel, 3. the possibility of unit/solo songs (aside from Hachakke-tai and Shang-Shang), and 4. more PASSPO☆ songs at karaoke (Nippon Crown is a subsidiary of Daiichi Kosho, who manufactures karaoke machines).
The encore continued with “Material Girl”, Miomio pretending to faint and Yukki reviving her. After a few brief moments offstage, PASSPO☆ returned for a rare double encore, Negishi reflecting what a rough year it was with the graduation of Makoto Okunaka on New Year’s Day and the indefinite hiatus of Sako Makita beginning on June 1st. During the final, final song of the evening, “YOU”, passengers throughout the venue cracked white and blue cyalumes, giving the appearance of the night sky, giving the members a glimpse of the future dreams not yet realized, like performing at Hibiya Park’s outdoor amphitheater. Moved by the gesture, they asked the passengers to join hands and bow with them to bring the emotional day to an end. A video highlighting PASSPO☆’s road to that day, going all the way back to their debut live played on the screen as the passengers disembarked.
2015 was a difficult year for PASSPO☆ as they had their numbers reduced from 9 to 7, casting some doubt on their future however witnessing the growth that they had experienced by moving through the setbacks is cause for optimism in 2016.
02 No.1 Boy
03 HONEY DISH
04 Cosmic You
05 Request Time Travel Medley
– Let it go!! (“TAKE☆OFF” 2010)
– Go On A Highway (“TAKE☆OFF” 2010)
– LALALOVE TRAIN (“TAKE☆OFF” 2010)
– Vivi Natsu (“CHECK-IN” 2011)
– Hello (“CHECK-IN” 2011)
– Kiss = Suki (“CHECK-IN” 2011)
– Kimi Iro no Samba (“One World” 2012)
– Dear My Friends (“One World” 2012)
– With XXXX (“One World” 2012)
– Onegai (“JEJEJEJET” 2013)
– Growing Up (“JEJEJEJET” 2013)
– 「I」(“JEJEJEJET” 2013)
- TRACKS (“TRACKS” 2014)
06 Pretty Lie
07 Kucha LOVE
10 Wish On A Star
11 Jaa Ne
E1 STEP & GO
E2 Material Girl
Photos by Nathan Gey
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