Party People Aliens Invade Zepp Diver City! UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Zepp Tour Finale Report
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) showed their out of this world fighting spirit as they stopped off at another checkpoint on the road to the Nippon Budokan in front of a sold-out audience at Zepp Diver City on July 3, 2016.
As with their concerts at Hibiya Yaon (July 5, 2015) and Zepp Tokyo (December 2, 2015), a countdown ticked away the minutes until liftoff, the voices of the fans growing louder with each notification as they bounced along in anticipation. Lit by only the glow of penlights as the overture rang out, the curtains opened dramatically as members of UPUPGIRLS (KARI) stepped out amid a flash of laser beams and the raising of a giant monochromatic mural, it was as if an alien ship had landed.
Attacking right away with the ferocious “Ichiban Girls”, the tone was set as the members pumped their fists in the air and the fans called out loudly. Sirens blared out as the live continued with “ENJOY!! ENJO(Y)!!”, the members and fans linking arms and jumping like a chorus line.
Manami Arai yelled out to the audience, asking them if they were excited. Saki Mori recalled how she cried on the first day of the tour but had only intentions to have fun for the finale. Ayano Sate shouted that she was super excited but also super nervous. Leader Minami Sengoku proclaimed that she would be 90% cool and 10% foolish, a reversal of her usual self. Azusa Sekine got a few hearts beating faster as she teased that everything in her beauty regimen for the day was “special” so that she could give the most special performance. Akari Saho performed a special karate kata in order to prepare herself for the live, drawing cheers from the crowd. Konatsu Furukawa was so excited that every other word out of her mouth was “final”.
Yuki Uozumi of LoVendoЯ appeared on the stage, strumming some power chords on her blue Ibanez as she and UPUPGIRLS (KARI) began a 4-song blast with “Shout!!!!!!!”. The venue erupted and everyone was united as they jumped and sang along with their hands waving in the air. With Yuki’s riffing and sharp leads weaving through the dense EDM, the air became stifling. The idoly “Sutorera!〜Straight up!〜” was turned up to 11 as the members swung their hands and shuffled around on the stage. Saki, Azusa, and Manami ran over to play air guitar near Yuki as her fingers danced along the fretboard. The collaboration corner concluded with “Beautiful Dreamer” and “Seishun no Namida”.
Excited about their first collaboration performance with Yuki, the members gushed about how they wanted to do it again, even volunteering to appear at the finale of LoVendoЯ’s “～POWEЯ！～” tour at Shinjuku ReNY on July 23rd. After Yuki left the stage to a loud round of applause, Ayano explained that she had been able to take some lessons from her and would be taking on the challenge of playing guitar herself for the next song “Kono Melody wo Kimi to”. Sitting at the middle of the stage, Ayano’s eyes were glued to her fretting hand as she strummed away at the chords, but as the song progressed, she managed to look up and flash a few smiles to the audience as the members and sang and danced around her. Receiving a standing ovation, Ayano declared that she wanted to learn more songs and would eventually want to try singing and playing at the same time.
A rare silence swept through the audience as the rocking “Kira Kira Mirai” was transformed into a breathtaking ballad via the contributions of guest pianist. With Azusa, Akari, and Ayano on lead vocals, the rest of the members provided backup vocal harmonies and danced gracefully behind them. Overcome by emotion, Azusa took a long pause to wipe the tears from her eyes before explaining how the feelings in the lyrics were even bigger than their goal of standing on the stage of the Budokan. Dashing around the stage and flashing peace signs, the members were wrapped up in columns of 7 different colored lights, creating a rainbow effect during “Seven☆Peace”.
A sinister bass line shook the speakers and red lights flashed like a war zone as the members returned after a quick costume change, emerging in long sleeveless dresses. A web of lasers sliced through the air, and the medley blasted off with a brain rattling remix of “(KARI) wa Kaesuze☆be your soul” as the members kicked and punched their way across the stage. “Zenryoku! Pump Up!! -ULTRA Mix-” bookended “UPPER ROCK -ScreeeeeeaMix-” and “Respect Tokyo (TANUKI Remix)”. Crisp trap beats shook the speakers as the the members krumped to a remix of “Bijo no Yajuu”, the black light revealing the florescent accents on their outfits. Switching between “Survival Girls” and a revival of “(KARI) wa Kaesuze☆be your soul”, the medley ticked to a close.
The lights dimmed momentarily before UPUPGIRLS (KARI) launched into “Bare Bare I LOVE YOU”, a refreshing yet abrupt shift to one of their cutest songs after the sensory overload of the medley. The performance roared on with “Jumper!” and “Chopper☆Chopper”, the members leading an extended call and response before a series of rapid shifts between the two songs with the tempo increasing to near superhuman speeds.
Towels waved furiously and Minami was paraded around the stage via a kibasen by Ayano, Akari, and Saki during “UPUP Typhoon”. Stopping only to strip off the skirt parts of their white outfits and put down their towels, a bell rang and the next round began with “Uppercut!”, the members jabbing and blocking. Running through the beloved Hello! Project classic “Onegai Miwaku no Target” (Melon Kinenbi cover), UPUPGIRLS (KARI) offered up some fan service and Ayano “air kabe-donned” Minami and Manami and Azusa rubbed noses before being broken up by Akari during “Appaare”. Despite Akari going off on a tangent where she expressed her feelings about the live during her intro to “Party People Alien”, the moment that everyone was waiting for finally arrived. Accompanied by 5 giant balloons (2 of the original 7 exploded before they even reached the audience) being batted around, the final song melted right into the encore.
Announcements included: a “Paripi Night” event to be held at the CUT UP STUDIO event space in Tower Records Shibuya on July 28th, “Upga Seifuku Seishun Collection” at AKIBA Cultures Theater on July 31st complete with a MV for “Bare Bare I LOVE YOU (Future ver.)” and a 360° VR mini-drama “Upga ga Boku ni Koi wo Shita” with the members in seifuku (school uniforms) and a seifuku live performance, and the announcement of UPUPGIRLS (KARI)’s new double A-side single to be released on October 11th with one of the songs written by Seiko Omori. President of Tower Records Ikuo Minewaki appeared with more announcements: the members would challenge each other at F.A.D Yokohama (September 8) and Kichijoji CLUB SEATA (September 16) to see who would have a solo part during the Budokan concert on November 11th. On top of that, a live where the members would have to perform on a stage that they built in a remote and yet undisclosed location on September 22nd was added to their growing list of challenges.
Closing out the evening with “Summer Beam!”, the members left the stage and walked through the aisles to sing along with the fans, Akari even making her way to the second floor balcony. The singalong continued on for several minutes, the members returning to the stage and swaying from side to side along with the audience to finish. The audience stretched their hands forward as UPUPGIRLS (KARI) formed a circle, joining their hearts in wishing for a successful Budokan concert.
Despite not selling out Zepp Tokyo on December 6, 2015, it seems that through taking on the challenge of a Zepp Tour, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) have once again become stronger. While the Nippon Budokan boasts a capacity greater than all of the music halls on their “The Seven PARTY LIVE Alien” tour combined, it is always too early to count UPUPGIRLS (KARI) out because they always exceed expectations.
00 overture (Kari)
01 Ichiban Girls!
02 ENJOY!! ENJO(Y)!!
04 Sutorera!〜Straight up!〜
05 Beautiful Dreamer
06 Seishun no Namida
07 Kono Melody wo Kimi to
08 Kira Kira Mirai (piano arrange ver.)
– (KARI) wa Kaesuze☆be your soul
– Zenryoku! Pump Up!! -ULTRA Mix-
– UPPER ROCK -ScreeeeeeaMix-
– Respect Tokyo (TANUKI Remix)
– Zenryoku! Pump Up!! -ULTRA Mix-
– Bijo no Yajuu
– Survival Girls
11 Bare Bare I LOVE YOU
13 UPUP Typhoon
15 Onegai Miwaku no Target
17 Party People Alien
E1 Party People Alien
E2 Summer Beam!
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Official site: http://www.upupgirlskakkokari.com/
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/uugirlsofficial
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfVA-R7NDd1QCuCtvWEusqQ
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