Yurumerumo! Celebrate Rock ‘n’ Roll History! Mone and Chibo Graduation Live Report

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Yurumerumo! Celebrate Rock ‘n’ Roll History! Mone and Chibo Graduation Live Report

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Yurumerumo! melted the minds and hearts of fans as they took the stage for the last time as 6 members at Shin-Kiba Studio Coast on July 10, 2016. It was a celebration of their “rock history” (a play on words of “roku”, Japanese for 6 and “rock”) as they performed all of the songs in their discography and bid farewell to graduating members Mone and Chibo.

Afternoon Performance – 1:30pm

Opening with “Yuru Toro (slo-mo!)”, the members of Yurumerumo! emerged from behind a curtain of fog and pulsating synths. Waving their fists and stepping lightly to “Yurumerumon”, waves of synthesizers burst forth from the speakers, a wall of Ano fans rose up to cheer her on as she sang her lines. Raising the temperature with the samba-like “Be Zero”, whistles mixed together with shouts before yielding to the jazzy hip-hop of “Kinyou Attitude” as the fans rocked from side to side and nodded their heads with their hands waving in the air.

Pausing to introduce themselves to all of their fans that assembled on that sweltering July afternoon, Yurumerumo! was greeted with waves of applause. Chiffon shouted that they were going to be performing all 47 of their songs followed up by Chibo asking sweetly if they would come along with them. Noting that the color-coordinated jumpsuits they were wearing were one of Yurumerumo!’s earliest outfits, Kechon exclaimed that hers had faded from purple to blue. Moving on with the dreamy “Okoshiteshimatta?”, accompanied by slivers of blue light reflecting off of the giant mirror ball suspended from the ceiling as the members of Yurumerumo! moved around the stage sleepily. As jarring as an alarm clock ringing too early in the morning, the next song was “Watashi to (x8)” (the Japanese title of the song is 私と私と私と私と私と私と私と私と) with it’s heart-thumping rhythms, jagged punk rock guitars, and flashing lights. The journey through their “Hako-Merumo” (their collaboration album with Hakoniwa no Shitsunaigaku) period conjured up a wall of etherial guitars during “Tora yo”.

With Yurumerumo! having changed into black and white dresses from a rare performance from a long time ago, Ano explained the furicopy for the next song “Hana no Doily”, which paid off as the entire floor area seemed to be full of fans marching and saluting along to the cheerful and cute music. The detour into ultra-idoly territory proceeded with the retro sounds of “DO FUFU” complete with Showa idol dance moves. This was immediately followed up by 10 minutes of the hypnotic “SWEET ESCAPE”, accompanied by green laser beams slashing through the air and descent into darkness as the members tore the white aprons off of each other, revealing the black dresses underneath. Taking out “bazookas”, the members shot autographed T-shirts into the crowd while they took turns changing their outfits.

Returning in their bright yellow and black outfits from their first album “Unforgettable Final Odyssey”, Younapi brandished her small drum and asked the fans if they had brought their cowbells, a necessary instrument as Yurumerumo! thumped their way feverishly through “Asada” and “Amen”. A raucous mix erupted from the audience as Yurumerumo! rushed around the stage to the glittery synth melodies of “Ikiro!!”, swinging their arms like the Morning Musume classic “Ren’ai Revolution 21”. A human wall of Mone fans rose up in front of her as she took her solo. Shouting out and rapping over the gritty bass line of “Majiwaranai CAts” and kicking through the cosmic sounds of “Ba-viewer”, the trip through Yurumerumo!’s first album swung to an end with “Pekepeke”.

The lights on stage dimmed and the the layered keyboards of “Nemutai CITY vs Dokusho Nikki” echoed through Shin-Kiba Studio Coast. Several of Chibo’s fans were lifted up and followed her as she walked across the stage during her solo. The digital world expanded with the chiptune 8-bit RPG melodies of “Meruhen” before ascending into the stratosphere courtesy of the buzzing organ harmonies and icy xylophone melodies of “NNN” as the stage was enveloped in a dense fog. Dispelling the haze with their paper fans fluttering during “OO (Love)”, the blood of the fans began to boil over as they clapped along and erected walls for Ano and Chiffon during “Sukiyaki”. Slashing their way across the stage to the razor sharp “Tabi no Shitaku”, Mone ran back stage momentarily to put on a veil before going out into the crowd to sing her solo, an explosion of metallic streamers creating an unforgettable memory for her and her fans. Finishing up the set with “Nigero!!”, Mone put her arm around Chibo as the fans did everything they could to show their support and love for them.

Returning in the black T-shirts which were only sold that day, Yurumerumo! got the encore started with “manual of Tokyo girl Gendaishi”, waving their hands like para-para dancers and raising their fists to the bouncy synth melodies and mechanical rhythms. The performance took on the atmosphere of a wild summer party during “Natsu on Blue” as the members ran out with inflatable pool toys and beach balls. Supported by the fans, the members took their raft, dolphin, killer whale, turtle, and whale shark for a few laps around the floor area. Not ready to leave just yet, they performed “Natsu on Blue” a second time, taking another voyage through the sea of fans aboard their inflatables. Marveling at all the new towels and shirts in the crowd, Younapi borrowed a photographer’s camera to take a picture from the stage. Chiffon informed the fans that the T-shirts were almost sold out. Thanking the fans and taking their bows, Yurumerumo!’s nostalgic 26-song trip through their early days came to a close.

Evening Performance – 6:00pm

In preparation for the final performances of Chibo and Mone, many of their fans were standing near the entrance to Shin-Kiba Studio Coast, handing out orange and pink penlights to everyone making their way into the venue for the evening show. Once again kicking things off with “Yuru Toro (slo-mo!)”, the unforgettable final odyssey of the 6-member lineup of Yurumerumo! set a course originating from 2015 and arriving at the present day.

Striking their fiercest fighting poses and holding hands as they sang, the members delivered a wave of hadoukens during the frenetic “Nan”, smashing their way through to the fast-paced “Kikoeru” as beams of light in their colors flashed wildly. The chaos continued to build like a box of Super Balls dropped into a room full of mousetraps with the rubbery “Fui Ute!!”. Chiffon announced that they had already performed 25 songs during the afternoon performance before shifting the topic towards dreams, segueing into “Yume Nante” with its shimmering lap steel melodies and steady acoustic guitar strumming. Moving from melancholy to cheerful in an instant with “Sono Hokano Mina-san” and its brass section harmonies, the members swayed side to side and high fived each other.

The stage went dark and the mechanical-sounding bass line of “Mottomo Utsukushii mono” rattled forth from the speakers, the members voices reverberating through the air. Ano grasped Mone’s hand and held it up as she sang her lines and hugged her as the fans lifted their penlights like rockets blasting off towards outer space. Emerging from the darkness amid the layers of feedback of “Ningen wa Sukoshi Fumajime”, the members danced in a circle, spinning and raising their hands towards the sky like flowers in search of sunlight. One after another, the members took their solos before collapsing dramatically on the stage, rising back up to add a thick wall of vocals to the maelstrom of guitars swirling beneath them. The “bazooka” made another appearance and 6 more autographed T-shirts were delivered in dramatic fashion to several lucky fans.

Having changed into their neon and metallic “YOU ARE THE WORLD” outfits, Chibo and Ano shared their favorite songs from their second album, Ano picking “id Idol” and Chibo answering “Korogare!!” as Chiffon tried to keep the talk going while waiting for the others to return. The second half of the concert was underway with “MOMOMOMOMOMO! Yoyoyoyoyoyo!” and its bubbling synths and sparkling piano melodies, boiling over into “Korogare!!” and “Nami ga nai Hi”. When Yurumerumo! claimed that they would be performing “all of their songs”, they even went so far as to bring back their cover of “Shiratama Disco” (白玉ディスコ) by their main lyricist Ai Kobayashi‘s band miami.

Switching gears with “KAWAII Hardcore Ginga” and “Yoi Yoi”, the fans responded by pogoing vigorously, which was simply the calm before the storm that was unleashed starting with “Hamidasumo!” as Chiffon dove off the stage and crowd surfed while singing her lines. The stage was engulfed in plumes of fog and red lights as “id Idol” swung back and forth between jackhammering hard rock and wispy strings. Once again collapsing upon the stage, Yurumerumo! rose with a mighty scream to unleash “Only You” as artificial flames joined the pillars of fog swirling around the stage. Chiffon returned to the crowd, joined by Ano and Mone. Meanwhile, Younapi took a seat near the top of a stepladder in the middle of the stage. It was an incredible ending but, the show wasn’t over yet!

After several minutes of encore calls, Yurumerumo! was back in their outfits from “1!2! Kung Fu!”. Younapi said the thing that everyone knew but still didn’t want to hear, “It’s the end of these 6 members”, leading in to “Antonio”, the final song that they had recorded together and released on June 22nd. With 1980’s synth sounds mixed together with harpsichords and orchestral strings from the Renaissance/Baroque period, it’s another odd combination that only Yurumerumo! could pull off. Next was “Refresh Your Jewellery Box”, Chibo pointing and Mone while she sang her lines and putting her arm around Ano as they sang the chorus along with Chiffon. Kicking and chopping their way through “1!2! Kung Fu!”, the love fest continued with the last song of the encore, “Watashi he”, Chiffon giving Mone a playful bump and hugging Chibo as a wall of orange-shirted fans rose up during her solo.

A double encore followed almost immediately, the members of Yurumerumo! returning in oversized T-shirts similar to the one that had sold out earlier but in their own colors. Chibo thanked the fans for supporting her for the past 3 years and making the day one that she would never forget, reminding them that she would be continuing on as a new member of Let’s PocoPoco. She expressed her gratitude to each of the members individually but forgot to mention Chiffon, causing a bit of a commotion as she rushed over to pat her on the shoulder. Tears streamed from Mone’s eyes as she explained that in the 3 years and 8 months since she joined the group as a founding member, there had been fun times as well as times so painful that she couldn’t remember what dream lead her to become an idol in the first place. However, even with such weird members in the group that would laugh at strange things, with the support of her fans, she still considered her time in Yurumerumo! as one of the treasures of her life.

Handwritten “diplomas” were handed out to Chibo and Mone in the style of a school graduation ceremony, each of the members reading their parts out loud. Joining their hands in a circle, they performed “Watashi no Hanashi, Korede Oshimai”, paper hearts fluttering down from the ceiling and several fans holding up placards thanking Mone and Chibo for the memories and congratulating them on their graduations. During “Sayonara Baka-chan”, Younapi thanked Mone and Chibo for being with them in Yurumerumo! Everyone in Shin-Kiba Studio Coast kecha’d Mone as Chiffon hugged her tightly and Younapi hugged Chibo as they stood in a row at the front of the stage singing their hearts out.

Thanking the fans and sharing their impressions about the event, the usually aloof Ano began crying, struggling to find the words to express her sadness. Chiffon also broke down as she expressed the pain she anticipated upon realizing that Chibo and Mone would not be there to greet her in the Yurumerumo! dressing room any more. Pulling herself together, she urged the fans to end things with a smile for the last song “Nigero!!”, which was accompanied by a mass of giant balloons. Joining hands, Yurumerumo! took their final bow as a 6 member group and left the stage.

Photos by Shingo Tamai

Set Lists

01 Yuru Toro (slo-mo!)
02 Yurumerumon
03 Be Zero
04 Kinyou Attitude
05 Okoshiteshimatta?
06 Watashi to (x8)
07 Tora yo
08 Hana no Doily
11 Asada
12 Amen
13 Ikiro!!
14 Majiwaranai CAts
15 Ba-viewer
16 Pekepeke
17 Nemutai CITY vs Dokusho Nikki
18 Meruhen
19 NNN
20 OO (Love)
21 Sukiyaki
22 Tabi no Shitaku
23 Nigero!!

E1 manual of Tokyo girl Gendaishi
E2 Natsu on Blue
E3 Natsu on Blue

01 Yuru Toro (slo-mo!)
02 Nan
03 Kikoeru
04 Fui Ute!!
05 Yume Nante
06 Sono Hokano Mina-san
07 Mottomo Utsukushii mono
08 Ningen wa Sukoshi Fumajime
09 MOMOMOMOMOMO! Yoyoyoyoyoyo!
10 Korogare!!
11 Nami ga nai Hi
12 Shiratama Disco
13 KAWAII Hardcore Ginga
14 Yoi Yoi
15 Hamidasumo!
16 id Idol
17 Only You

E1 Antonio
E2 Refresh Your Jewellery Box
E3 1!2! Kung Fu!
E4 Watashi he

W1 Watashi no Hanashi, Korede Oshimai
W2 Sayonara Baka-chan
W3 Nigero!!

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Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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