~THANK YOU! DEAR MY FRIENDS~! UPUPGIRLS (KARI) vs ANGERME Zepp Diver City Live Report
The wishes of Ayaka Wada and Akari Saho as well as many fans of ANGERME and UPUPGIRLS (KARI) came true as the two groups got together at Zepp DiverCity on September 12, 2017 for NTT docomo presents ANGERME VS UPUPGIRLS (KARI) ~THANK YOU! DEAR MY FRIENDS~! It was a reunion of many former Hello Pro Eggs as well as a showdown between 2 groups renowned for their high energy live performances.
As the fans of both groups made their way into Zepp Diver City, “Minna no Tamago” the debut single by Shugo Chara Egg!, the unit that Ayaka and Akari had been founding members of, could be heard playing. UPUPGIRLS (2) opened the show around 6:50pm, receiving a warm reception as they performed “Ni no Ashi Dancing”. Aya Kajishima declared that they were aiming to someday also perform a 2-man live with ANGERME.
Right at 7:00pm ANGERME and UPUPGIRLS (KARI) marched onto the stage, taking their positions at opposite ends as the intro of “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku” pumped from the speakers. The spotlights and music shifted to “UPPER ROCK”, bouncing back and forth like a DJ switching between turntables as the two groups engaged in a fierce dance battle. Lasers sliced the air as the performance was off to a hot start. Ayaka Wada proudly exclaimed that the concert had begun, Akari Saho adding that the rehearsals had been so much fun that she almost didn’t want the real event to happen. Manami Arai teased that if the evening was a success, there could be a sequel in the works. Wondering how to decide who would go first, Momona Kasahara faced off against Minami Sengoku in janken, a matchup of the youngest and eldest members from the respective groups. Momona won easily, holding her scissors high above Minami’s paper before running off to high-five the members of ANGERME. Minami crumpled to the ground while Minami scolded her for being a “grandmother”. ANGERME elected to start off the evening.
A jolt of electricity raced though Zepp DiverCity as ANGERME kicked off their set with “Taiki Bansei”, ducking in and out of their compact formations as the crowd exploded with excitement. Roaring into “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai”, ANGERME cranked up the intensity, pumping their fists and unleashing a powerful vocal attack. Ayaka Wada called out to the audience, asking fans of both ANGERME and UPUPGIRLS (KARI) if they were psyched up, receiving loud cheers in response. Accelerating into “Nana Korobi Ya Oki” and enchanting the audience with “Kakugo Shite!”, the inescapable spell that ANGERME cast continued to work its magic. Akari Takeuchi shouted out that the final stretch had arrived as ANGERME punched and chopped away at “Watashi, Choito Kawaii Urabanchō”. Completing the 1-2 punch combo of S/mileage (the former name of ANGERME) tunes with the hyperactive Eurobeat sounds and para para choreography of “Uchōten LOVE”, ANGERME closed the door on their set with a bang.
As soon as ANGERME left the stage, the overture for UPUPGIRLS (KARI) began to play, the 7 members marching out, met by a surge of energy as the fans raised their voices and penlights in anticipation. Jumping in right away with “Chopper☆Chopper”, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) had the floor shaking as the fans bouncing along trying to match the energy on stage. Pumping their fists and strumming their air guitars, the group turned up the volume to 11 with “Kira Kira Mirai”. The energy kept climbing as UPUPGIRLS (KARI) launched into “Jumper”, the air conditioning in the venue blasting cold air in an attempt to counteract the heat rising from the floor area. Continuing into “Onegai Miwaku no Target”, the cover of the Melon Kinenbi classic, it seemed as if both factions were united as they danced along to the uptempo rock anthem. Konatsu Furukawa called out her opening line “Are you crazy?” as UPUPGIRLS (KARI) brought the heat of summer with “Upper Ray”, Akari Saho aggressively shouting out “poi poi poi poi” throughout the song. The fans rocked back and forth and jumped in a wave motion that wrapped around the room. Swinging their fists furiously, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) rang the bell on the final round with “Uppercut!” to end their set with a knockout punch.
ANGERME returned to the stage, several of the members playfully copying Akari’s shouts during “Upper Ray”. Konatsu wondered who had won the battle of the 2 groups, with Saki Mori stepping forward immediately when it was suggested that the issue be settled via arm wrestling. In the end, it came down to another janken showdown, Saki going up against Rina Katsuta. Despite her accolades in arm wrestling, Saki’s muscles were of no help as she was defeated by Rina, the members of ANGERME shouting “poi poi poi” in celebration, joined by the fans in the audience.
Moving into the collaboration part of the evening, the 17 members of both groups spanning the width of the stage with (KARI) sunglasses pulled over their eyes. Ayaka and Akari traded off the opening lines, imploring fans of both groups to raise their voices and dance along with them. With the music kicking in, Konatsu and Akari Takeuchi set off the extraterrestrial dance party as laser beams shot through the air. Moving right into “Upper Disco”, Konatsu used her magic skills to make a flower bouquet appear before it was tossed into the crowd for a lucky fan.
Splitting into smaller units, the rural factions of UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Ayano Sato (Kanagawa), Minami Sengoku (Miyagi), Saki Mori (Kanagawa), Azusa Sekine (Nagano), Manami Arai (Gunma) and ANGERME Ayaka Wada (Gunma), Rikako Sasaki (Miyagi), Moe Kamikokuryo (Kumamoto), and Ayano Kawamura (Kochi), paid tribute to the capital with “Respect Tokyo”. All of the members returned to the stage as they battled through the twists and turns of “Donden Gaeshi”, the spotlights alternating between them as they waved their fists fiercely. Sato and Sengoku were joined by Akari Saho, Konatsu Furukawa, Kana Nakanishi, Katsuta, Mizuki Murota, and Momona Kasahara as they strutted their way through “Gashinshotan”. Turning back the clock to the major label debut of S/mileage with “Yumemiru Fifteen”, Ayaka Wada, Akari Saho, Manami Arai, and Musubu Funaki retold the sad tale of a young girl’s fleeting summer love. Akari Takeuchi’s attempts to be more girly were thwarted as she was pushed out of the way by Moe Kamikokuryo for the flirtatious end “chu” of “Bare Bare I LOVE YOU”.
All members of both groups reunited on stage as they delighted the fans with “Suki-chan”, S/mileage’s 3rd indies single to close out the collaboration stage on a nostalgic note. The encore calls began as soon as the stage cleared, voices mixing together calling out “ANGERME” and “Upga” for an enthusiastic yet chaotic combination.
Ayaka and Akari returned a few moments later, thanking the fans for their encore calls even though it was a little haphazard. They recalled how much fun the rehearsals were to the point of not wanting the day of the live to approach, Akari expressing her desire to have another event like it in the near future. Ayaka shared how she had made the request to the staff members of UPUPGIRLS (KARI) at their Nippon Budokan live in November of 2016 and showing off the matching earrings she had received from Akari on her birthday years ago with the promise that they would wear them on stage together. Performing the Aya Matsuura song “Egao ni Namida ~THANK YOU! DEAR MY FRIENDS~” together as a duet, Ayaka and Akari were cheered on by the glow of yellow and red penlights, their voices harmonizing as they stood under a spotlight at center stage.
Sharing their thoughts on the evening, Mizuki Morota shared how she felt a connection with Konatsu, prompting comments about how they both “danced strangely”. Rikako Sasaki expressed her love for “Bare Bare I LOVE YOU”, with Akari Takeuchi attempting to get “revenge” on her failed “chu”, only to end up embarrassed. Similarly, Azusa Sekine’s attempt to sound as cool as Ayaka during “Kakugo Shite!” also fell flat. Ending the evening with Morning Musume.’s “Aozora ga Itsumademo Tsuduku You na Mirai de Are!, the two groups closed the door on what hopefully will be the first of many exciting collaboration concerts to follow.
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) return to Odaiba on September 15th for “Kore ga Watashitachi no Ikiru Michi〜Way of Our Life〜”, their final concert as a 7-member group at Zepp Tokyo and the graduation of Minami Sengoku and Ayano Sato. ANGERME begin Live Tour 2017 Aki Black & White on September 10th and will be starring in the stage play Yumemiru Television from September 5th through 15th.
ANGERME & UPUPGIRLS (KARI)
00 Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku UPPER ROCK Mashup Medley
01 Taiki Bansei
02 Desugita Kui wa Utarenai
03 Nana Korobi Ya Oki
04 Kakugo Shite!
05 Watashi, Choito Kawaii Urabanchō
06 Uchōten LOVE
02 Kira Kira Mirai
04 Onegai Miwaku no Target
05 Upper Ray
01 Party People Alien – UPUPGIRLS (KARI)
02 Upper Disco – UPUPGIRLS (KARI)
03 Respect Tokyo – UPUPGIRLS (KARI)
04 Donden Gaeshi – ANGERME
05 Gashinshotan – ANGERME
06 Yumemiru Fifteen – S/mileage
07 Bare Bare I LOVE YOU – UPUPGIRLS (KARI)
08 Suki-chan – S/mileage
E1 Egao ni Namida ~THANK YOU! DEAR MY FRIENDS~ – Aya Matsuura cover
E2 Aozora ga Itsumademo Tsuduku You na Mirai de Are! – Morning Musume. cover
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) “Kore ga Watashitachi no Ikiru Michi〜Way of Our Life〜”
September 15, 2017 (Friday)
Open – 6:00pm Start – 6:30pm
ANGERME Official site: http://www.helloproject.com/angerme/
ANGERME Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/angerme_upfront
ANGERME Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/angerme.upfront
ANGERME YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/smileagechannel/
ANGERME Official Google+: https://plus.google.com/+angerme
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
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