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Party People Aliens Invade Zepp Diver City! UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Zepp Tour Finale Report

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Party People Aliens Invade Zepp Diver City! UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Zepp Tour Finale Report

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.


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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.

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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”.


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Author
Kai Okudara
Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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