UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Begin Again: KA-Re:START Tour Report
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) opened a new chapter in their journey as they kicked off their KA-Re:START tour at Shibuya Club Quattro on November 5, 2017. Following the graduations of Minami Sengoku and Ayano Sato at Zepp Tokyo on September 15th, it was the start line of the group’s first tour as a 5-member unit.
UPUPGIRLS (PRO-WRESTLING) warmed up the fans with “UPPER KICK, followed by UPUPGIRLS (2) with “Ni no Ashi Dancing”. The packed venue shook as the fans cheered on the protégés of UPUPGIRLS (KARI), their voices growing louder as Aya Kajishima played her nose recorder solo.
Panda Boy, longtime composer for the group, took to the stage, initiating the countdown with a bass heavy groove which combined Underworld’s “Born Slippy” with cuts from the group’s many songs. A remixed overture rang out from the speakers and the audience erupted, waking their penlights and chanting along as UPUPGIRLS (KARI) burst onto the stage, laser beams reflecting off of their metallic outfits.
The percussive melody and pulsating bass of their upcoming single “Be a Girl” filled Shibuya Club Quattro as UPUPGIRLS (KARI) moved around the stage with precise movements. The mood shifted into overdrive as the performance continued with the aggressive “Ichiban Girls!”, the air stirred up by the swinging of fists. Stopping to greet the fans, the members were bursting with excitement for their first solo live since Zepp Tokyo almost 2 months earlier. Konatsu Furukawa made several silly expressions, mistaking her family name with the word “full power” which was the theme of the day. Jumping back into the mix, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) clawed the air and stomped across the stage as they roared through “Bijo no Yajū”, cooling off the mood momentarily with “Future&Past” and “Seishun no Namida”.
With the temperature rising within the venue, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) removed their jackets and Panda Boy returned to his place behind the DJ console to begin the 13-song non-stop medley. Rocket jumping and tutting away to “Respect Tokyo”, the energy jumped up several notches with “Zenryoku! Pump Up!!”, the floor shaking as the fans jumped along to the music tirelessly. The tempo slowed slightly with “Run Run Run” and remixes of “End of the Season” and “Summer Beam”, allowing for a brief respite from the relentless progression of the set list. Akari Saho joined Panda Boy behind the console, triggering samples from the group’s discography to which the others hustled to keep up with, leading into “Upper Disco”.
Splitting into 2 teams separated by age, Konatsu Furukawa and Saki Mori faced off against Azusa Sekine, Akari Saho, and Manami Arai in a rap battle. The competition was fierce as the members took turns jabbing each other with sharp-tongued rhymes but eventually resorted in everyone focusing their attacks on Konatsu. Declaring the younger trio as the victors, all 5 of the members closed out the corner with a group cypher set to an old school beat. From there, the medley took on a more conventional tone as UPUPGIRLS (KARI) raced through “Jumper!”, “Chopper☆Chopper”, and “Yūdachi! Through the Rainbow”. Covered in a 5-colored rainbow of lights, the members steered the performance towards the cuter end of their catalogue with “Seven☆Peace” and “Niji Iro Mosaic” before ending with “Way of Our Life”.
Panda Boy left the stage as the fans cheered and applauded, the members of UPUPGIRLS (KARI) taking a much deserved break to drink some water. The performance revved back up with “Jōjō Dokonjō” the other new song from the group’s 23rd single, an uptempo mix of festive traditional Japanese instrumentation and hard-hitting rock music. The fans went wild to the flirtatious “Bare Bare I LOVE YOU”, jumping and calling out as the members blew kisses to them. Konatsu’s antics continued as she had to be pushed away from Akari after hugging her too closely during the song.
Blasting their way through the Melon Kinen-bi classic “Onegai Miwaku no Target”, the performance drew closer to its climax with “Upper Ray”. Saki Mori scooped up Konatsu Furukawa and swung her around as the fans jumped in waves and rocked back and forth. Swinging their fists and joined by several fans wearing boxing gloves, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) continued their bout into the final rounds with “Uppercut!” Much to the disappointment of the audience, Akari announced that the next song would be the last of the evening. Shibuya Club Quattro was united as the members and fans sang “Kimi toiu Kasetsu” while raising and lowering their hands in synchronized motions.
The fans began the encore calls began as soon as UPUPGIRLS (KARI) left the stage, continuing until they returned several minutes later. Giving their thanks, the members vowed that they would continue to work hard to repay their loyalty and bowing deeply. Konatsu shared that it felt like they had no time to prepare for the live after being a 7-member group since their very beginning.
The first song of the encore “Start Line” was overflowing with emotion as the members wiped tears from their eyes while singing Ayano Sato’s solo song. Manami admitted that they had so many doubts leading up to the day but boldly declared that because they have the “(kari)” in their name they would continue to aim higher and take on all challenges. Crossing the finish line symbolically with the final song of the day “FOREVER YOUNG”, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) thanked the fans once more and gathered them together in a huddle to end.
Taking on all challenges that came their way in the past 7 years as a 7-member group, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) showed renewed resolve as they began their first tour as a 5-member unit. While they can never return to how things once were, their future looks bright as they continue to move forward as only they can.
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) will release their 23rd single “Jōjō Dokonjō/Be a Girl” on November 28, 2017 and in addition to in-store events, will be commemorating its release with KARI The LIVE Straight Up!! at The DOORS on December 8, 2017. UPUPGIRLS (2) begin their first series of solo lives with UPUPGIRLS (2) AKIBA DE Tandoku!! at Akiba Cultures Theater on November 26, 2017. UPUPGIRLS (PRO-WRESTLING) make their pro wrestling debut at Korakuen Hall on January 4, 2018.
01 Be a Girl
02 Ichiban Girls! 2017
03 Bijo no Yajū
05 Seinshun no Namida
06 DJ Zone
– Respect Tokyo
– Zenryoku! Pump Up!!
– Run Run Run
– End of The Season
– Summer Beam!
– Upper Disco
– Rap Battle
– Yūdachi! Through the Rainbow
– Niji Iro Mosaic
– Way of Our Life
07 Jōjō Dokonjō
08 Bare Bare I LOVE YOU
09 Onegai Miwaku no Target
10 Upper Ray
12 Kimi toiu Kasetsu
E1 Start Line
E2 FOREVER YOUNG
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Official site: http://www.upupgirlskakkokari.com/
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/uugirlsofficial
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/upupgirlsofficial/
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/upupgirlsofficial
The Hottest Six Up-and-coming Actresses to Anticipate on Screen
Once Again: Idol Hip-Hop Renaissance Blasts Off at “ILLNINAL vol.2” Release Party!