For those of you with a lot of time to spare, the full-length version of the concert report can be found at OSV. This report is for those who want a quick run-down of my thoughts of the event.
But before we get to that, I’m sure you guys will want a set list. Unlike the MELL Concert, I actually knew most of the songs; the only one that I didn’t know was May’n’s performance of “Kimi Shinitamou Koto Nakare” since I never watched Shangri-La. If there are any mistakes, I’ll blame that on my horrendous notetaking skills. Anyhow, the set list based on my notes is as follows:
- Welcome To My FanClub’s Night! (Sheryl On Stage) – May’n
- Northern Cross – May’n
- Universal Bunny – May’n
- May’n Space – May’n
- Kimi Shinitamou Koto Nakare – May’n
- Diamond Crevasse – May’n
- Infinity – May’n
- Iteza Gogo Kuji Don’t be late – May’n
- What ’bout my star?@Formo – May’n and Megumi Nakajima
- Anata no Oto – Megumi Nakajima
- Ninjiin Loves you yeah! – Megumi Nakajima
- Watashi no Kare wa Pilot – Megumi Nakajima
- Sunshine Girl – Megumi Nakajima
- Soudayo – Megumi Nakajima
- Jellyfish no Kokuhaku – Megumi Nakajima
- Seikan Hikou – Megumi Nakajima,Yoko Kanno appears halfway through
- Aimo – Megumi Nakajima
- Voices – Megumi Nakajima, Yoko Kanno on piano + bird noises
- Ao no Ether – Megumi Nakajima, Yoko Kanno
- Ai Oboete Imasuka – Megumi Nakajima, Yoko Kanno + bird noises prior to the start, May’n joins in
- Diamond Crevasse – May’n and Megumi Nakajima, Yoko Kanno leaves after this
- Lion – May’n and Megumi Nakajima
- Triangular – May’n and Megumi Nakajima
So the big takeaway from this concert was something that Taka had mentioned in my AX schedule post; namely, that May’n is an outstanding live performer. She did have a bit of a shaky start when a few phrases were out of tune, but once she got her rhythm going, she was completely unstoppable. The way she sang completely exuded passion, confidence, and energy, and in doing so, made her stage presence impossible to ignore. Though I’d criticized her before for her vocals, which feel somewhat lacking in emotion, by actually being there and seeing her movements and facial expressions as she sang went a long way towards bridging the gap.
Most of her songs are characterized by high doses of energy and passion, but she also did a great job bringing out that nostalgic, longing feelings in “Diamond Crevasse,” which demonstrates her ability to shift tones to match the song during the middle of a concert. To draw the crowd in, she also learned some English, and you can probably guess how thick her accent was. Still, I’ll give her points for trying, and the audience appreciated that quite a bit.
Megumi Nakajima brings out the softer, cuter side, which nails Ranka Lee’s personality to a T, and as a result, her songs were much bouncier. That said, she doesn’t have quite the experience, and therefore stamina, to hold out for very long. And since she was performing 15 songs, it was inevitable that her voice would break. I started hearing it around “Jellyfish no Kokuhaku,” but it really became noticeable when she sang “Ao no Ether,” and that stuck out enough to be a bit distracting at times, especially when I wanted to take in the poignancy that the song had to offer. Oh well. I’ll give her a break for hanging in there and seeing the concert through to the very end.
You’ve all heard by now that Yoko Kanno made an appearance, and that proved to be a really awesome surprise. During the course of the concert, she played the piano, put an instrument that mimicked bird noises up to the microphone and played with that for awhile, sang along with May’n and Megumi Nakajima, and tossed a “Kira!” here and there during “Seikan Hikou.” While seeing her was great, having her on the piano really made songs like “Ai Oboete Imasuka” even more heartfelt and engaging. Though I understand the necessity of having singers sing to some background instrumental track, having live instrumentals there to back up the vocals is even better.
Of the two concerts I attended, this one was the most enjoyable mostly because I was familiar with the music. With 23 songs in tow, the singers kept the pace going strong and kept the audience engrossed with the overall presentation. My respect for May’n’s singing has grown since her voice closely matches those of her recordings and Megumi Nakajima did well enough in spite of her relative inexperience. The word I’ll keep using to describe this is phenomenal, and so far, its magic still sticks with me.
I’m not the only one who wrote about this event, so if you’re looking to get some other perspectives, you can always check out Tim Sheehy’s thoughts on Japanator and Yoruko’s report over at C’est la Reve Qui Chante.
EDIT: Looks like the Anime Diet guys have posted their report too!