UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Rock Zepp Tokyo 2-Hours Nonstop at High Spurt RAVE FESTIVAL!
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) closed out their High Spurt RAVE FESTIVAL series of nonstop 2-hour lives for the year at Zepp Tokyo on December 6, 2015 with 2 adrenaline-packed performances that few would even dream of trying to match!
The audience clad in the 7 colors of their favorite members (or black/white of the group’s collaboration items with Reversal) were tireless as they kept up with UPUPGIRLS (KARI) for the entire time! As the countdown announced the minutes ticking down to ignition, voices raised up, growing in volume and intensity with each notification, peaking as the overture blasted over the speakers. Ayano Sato ran out to the island stage in the middle of the floor, shouting for the audience to get more excited and urged them to put their hands up, following a prompt on the screen. Saki Mori and Azusa Sekine made their entrance next and kicked things up a few more notches. Akari Saho, Konatsu Furukawa, Manami Arai, and Minami Sengoku ran onto the stage as the live began with “Zenryoku! Pump Up!! -ULTRA Mix-” and blue lasers and raised fists sliced through the air.
This was followed by “Shout!!!!!!!”, one of their newer songs, a hard-edged EDM tune with hip-shaking choreography and a singalong similar to something one would hear at a football (soccer) match. With flashing lights in their hands and the forest of waving penlights in the audience, it looked like something out of Ultra Japan. Citing the potential dangers of a 2-hour nonstop live concert, a voiceover lead UPUPGIRLS (KARI) and their “family” through a set of warm-up exercises before they launched into a cover of Melon Kinenbi’s “Onegai Miwaku no Target”. As the members ran back and forth between the stages, the fans near the island stage exchanged places with each other so they could cheer on their favorites.
Things settled down slightly with “Yuudachi! Through the Rainbow” and “Sutorera!〜Straight up!〜” before accelerating into high gear. Konatsu Furukawa gave Azusa Sekine a piggyback ride and UPUPGIRLS (KARI) swung for the fences during “Kira Kira Mirai” before transitioning into the similarly aggressive “Ichiban Girls!”. The beats hit like a pounding heartbeat as the members tapped their fingers together coyly and played peekaboo during “Bare Bare I LOVE YOU”, which had fans swooning when Sekine blew kisses into the audience.
The High Spurt RAVE Mix portion of the event took UPUPGIRLS (KARI) through their more EDM-influenced songs, opening with the carefree “ENJOY!! ENJO(Y)!!”. Giant inflatable balls were batted around the floor area as Sekine wandered around the stages with her selfie stick. During the afternoon show, a fan handed Ayano Sato the newly released photobook by Manami Arai and during the evening show it was Saki Mori. Both of them jokingly skimmed through it while feigning shock at the grownup appearance of their youngest member before handing it back. Mori rode around the stage on the UPUPGIRLS (KARI) x Miyata x Natalie racing bicycle. During the evening show Konatsu Furukawa set up a towel on the island stage and attempted to have a picnic with Sato, who struggled to escape.
A mirror ball was lowered as the High Spurt RAVE Mix switched between “UPPER ROCK -ScreeeeeeaMix-” and one of their newer songs “Seishun no Namida”, the tempo speeding up steadily before dispersing as the track shifted to the slower “Itadaki wo Mezase!” and “Runway”. With Christmas just weeks away, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) rolled out “Santa Claus”, which transitioned almost seamlessly into the CAPSULE-esque “Starry Night (SEKITOVA & Shu Okuyama Remix)”.
The stage went dark and the familiar shamisen twang of “Zenryoku! Pump Up!!” mixed in with gradually intensifying beats as UPUPGIRLS (KARI) ran off stage momentarily to put on capes. Seconds later Sekine and Furukawa reappeared, staging a dance battle on the island stage which included simultaneous cartwheels. Next to reappear were Akari Saho, Saki Mori, and Ayano Sato, followed by Minami Sengoku and Manami Arai, who humorously failed at pirouettes, despite Furukawa’s instructions. Just like the second half of their Hibiya live, it was revealed that their outfits glowed under black lights.
Shifting to the foot-stomping beats of “Bijo no Yajuu”, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) clawed and lunged under the cover of darkness as lasers blasted through the air. Ominous bells tolled, signaling the start of “Survival Girls”, strobe lights flashed as they lifted their knees and pumped their fists rapidly. Punching through “(KARI) wa Kaesuze☆be your soul”, they returned to the ab-destroying hook of “Survival Girls” as the clock ticked closer and closer to the 2-hour mark.
The lights came back on Mori, Sekine, and Sengoku jogged out to the island stage to begin “Marble Hero”, which quickly shifted to the highly anticipated appearance of “Chopper☆Chopper”. Taking their places in the middle of the floor, Saho banged her head furiously, followed by Furukawa popping her chest out repeatedly and intensely before Manami Arai stepped in to sing her lines as the audience chanted her name. Building on their “No Music, No Idol!” call and response, the members threw out different words like “Zepp Tokyo” and “Hai-Su-Pa” as the music switched back to “Marble Hero” and they momentarily struck a sentai pose.
The excitement rose even further as Konatsu Furukawa’s voice asked the fans “Are you crazy?” to begin their recent uptempo summer tune “Appaare”. The answer was apparent as they shouted loudly, jumped up and down, and threw up their hands as UPUPGIRLS (KARI) skanked on the stages. As Saki Mori did her ending kneel, the intro for “Uppercut” rang out but this was no ordinary performance as the mix flipped between it, “Jumper”, and “Survival Girls”. Minami Sengoku rested her head in Azusa Sekine’s lap during the “break time” part of “Uppercut”, a sharp contrast to the increasing madness that was to follow. The tempo began to speed up as they spun and punched before switching abruptly to “Survival Girls”. This repeated several times and the performance began to look as if it was being played at double speed with gravity being the only factor restricting their speed as they jumped. Returning to normal speed, the main performance closed out with “Appaare”, Mori moving to the island stage for her ending move. Bowing deeply, the members thanked the audience and reminded them to stay hydrated before jogging offstage as the encore call began.
The encore began with the “Nenmatsu Upga no Reverse Mix2015”, which was a 15-minute nonstop medley of the entire setlist that they had just performed in reverse order. Returning to the stage one last time, the encore came to an end with another wild performance of “Apaare”.
Final dates of their 47-prefecture tour, a fan club tour attached to the Okinawa date of the tour (March 12-14, 2016), a summer Zepp Tour in Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo, and the long-awaited release of a new single on April 5, 2016 were announced. Building on the success of their 19th single “Beautiful Dreamer/Zenryoku! Pump UP!! – ULTRA Mix – /Itadaki wo Mezase!” (release date: November 4, 2014) which was their first release to break into the Oricon weekly top 10 (#7), they have decided to aim for an even higher goal: #3 on the Oricon weekly chart! Details of what songs would be on the single were not divulged but, it was hinted that they would be selected from their recent ones as well as ones which have yet to be revealed!
During the afternoon show, Azusa Sekine talked about their goal of performing at the Nippon Budokan before becoming emotional about it not being sold out. Sekine mentioned that the recently graduated Kanon Fukuda (ANGERME) wrote that the “Idol Warring States Period” (Idol Sengoku Jidai) was over but that she didn’t want it to end. As Sekine became choked up to the point where she couldn’t continue, referring to UPUPGIRLS (KARI) as a losing team (makegumi), Manami Arai stepped in and rescued her by thanking the fans for their support. The audience immediately burst into an “Upga” chant. To end the afternoon show, Manami Arai asked the fans to join hands along with them and raise them and asked them to help UPUPGIRLS (KARI) get to the Budokan.
During the evening show, Akari Saho talked about how even though they work hard to make their bodies unbreakable, their hearts were still fragile. Having grown to the point where UPUPGIRLS (KARI) could perform at Zepp Tokyo, she was still worried about the prospects of a tour of 4 similar-sized venues. However, she expressed her belief that with such a group of fans, that they could make it happen. The audience stretched their hands forward as UPUPGIRLS (KARI) formed a circle, uniting their wills in the group’s goal to perform at the Budokan.
As one of the most powerful performers in Japan, if not the world, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) is always aiming for the next level and working hard to reach it. High Spurt RAVE FESTIVAL was just one display of their “military strength” as the “Idol Warring States Period” continues. As long as they keep fighting, victory will be sure to come.
Set List (Afternoon and Evening)
00 overture (Kari)
01 Zenryoku! Pump Up!! -ULTRA Mix-
– UPUP Exercise
03 Onegai Miwaku no Target (Melon Kinenbi cover)
04 Yuudachi! Through the Rainbow
05 Sutorera!〜Straight up!〜
06 Kira Kira Mirai
07 Ichiban Girls!
08 Bare Bare I LOVE YOU
09 High Spurt RAVE Mix
– ENJOY!! ENJO(Y)!!
– UPPER ROCK -ScreeeeeeaMix-
– Seishun no Namida
– UPPER ROCK
– Itadaki wo Mezase!
– Santa Claus
– Starry Night (SEKITOVA & Shu Okuyama Remix)
10 Zenryoku! Pump Up!! WILD PARTY Mix (Dance Battle)
– Bijo no Yajuu
– Survival Girls
– (KARI) wa Kaesuze☆be your soul
– Marble Hero
E1 Nenmatsu Upga no Reverse Mix2015
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UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Official site: http://www.upupgirlskakkokari.com/
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/uugirlsofficial
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