The Abridged Anime Expo May’n/Megumi Nakajima Concert Report

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:

Set List »

  1. Welcome To My FanClub’s Night! (Sheryl On Stage) – May’n
  2. Northern Cross – May’n
  3. Universal Bunny – May’n
  4. May’n Space – May’n
  5. Kimi Shinitamou Koto Nakare – May’n
  6. Diamond Crevasse – May’n
  7. Infinity – May’n
  8. Iteza Gogo Kuji Don’t be late – May’n
  9. What ’bout my star?@Formo – May’n and Megumi Nakajima
  10. Anata no Oto – Megumi Nakajima
  11. Ninjiin Loves you yeah! – Megumi Nakajima
  12. Watashi no Kare wa Pilot – Megumi Nakajima
  13. Sunshine Girl – Megumi Nakajima
  14. Soudayo – Megumi Nakajima
  15. Jellyfish no Kokuhaku – Megumi Nakajima
  16. Seikan Hikou – Megumi Nakajima,Yoko Kanno appears halfway through
  17. Aimo – Megumi Nakajima
  18. Voices – Megumi Nakajima, Yoko Kanno on piano + bird noises
  19. Ao no Ether – Megumi Nakajima, Yoko Kanno
  20. Ai Oboete Imasuka – Megumi Nakajima, Yoko Kanno + bird noises prior to the start, May’n joins in
  21. Diamond Crevasse – May’n and Megumi Nakajima, Yoko Kanno leaves after this
  22. Lion – May’n and Megumi Nakajima
  23. 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!

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Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

13 thoughts on “The Abridged Anime Expo May’n/Megumi Nakajima Concert Report

  • July 9, 2010 at 8:58 am
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    Yoko Kanno’s performance sounds really incredible.

    Reply
  • July 9, 2010 at 10:40 am
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    So you were there, too eh? I always like May’N songs but after seeing her live performance on NHK’s Anisong special on the net, I was sold. Megumi is all right. I’ve never finished the soap opera that’s Macross F so I have very little feeling for their characters.

    Reply
  • July 9, 2010 at 11:32 am
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    Thanks for the stats on the number of songs – I didn’t know it was 23. That’s a good amount =)

    I didn’t really notice if their voices started to break or not, probably because I have no musical pitch =P (no matter how hard I try, I can never tell when I’m singing off key either).

    Reply
  • July 9, 2010 at 7:59 pm
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    @Yi
    Yup, it was really memorable. I’ve really liked Kanno’s music for a long time now and being able to see Kanno play the piano and make those noises for the very first time was totally worth it!

    @Ray
    I only saw about 7 episodes of Macross Frontier, but I thought that was enough to get a handle on their characters’ personalities, how they thought, and what kind of aura they exuded. The songs that May’n and Megumi performed were in line with their character’s personalities, with May’n being more dominant and sexy while Megumi was lighter, bouncier, and more innocent. Always interesting how much you can get out of a show from listening to its music!

    @Yumeka
    Yeah, I was scribbling ferociously as I sat through the concert and was pretty amazed once I saw the sheer volume of songs both covered.

    The bad thing about being able to recognize when one’s pitch is off is that I never do karaoke because I’d be irate at myself for singing off time =p

    Reply
  • July 9, 2010 at 10:52 pm
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    I’m just happy Megumi has gigs, considering how transparent she has been to me lately.

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  • July 10, 2010 at 10:54 am
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    @Fabrice
    Maybe she’ll come back during the next AFA and then I can start complaining :p

    @Shin
    Has she been that out of the radar? I guess it really depends on what you watch and whether her characters really appeal to you since she did do Kampfer and the twins in Kobato, but I didn’t watch any of those shows either. Still, it was a great event and with luck, she’ll show up at Animelo. That would be pretty awesome.

    Reply
  • July 10, 2010 at 7:25 pm
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    I really wished Yoko Kanno would have stayed for more songs. That bird-noise instrument was pretty neat.

    For the most part, I enjoyed May’n’s performance over Megumi Nakajima’s. During one of Nakajima’s slow songs, I started falling asleep. >_>

    Reply
  • July 11, 2010 at 3:24 am
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    Ah! I’m really so jealous You got to see Yoko Kanno in person… >.< And now I really regret not staying for May'n concert last year at the local Anime Festival.

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  • July 11, 2010 at 10:47 am
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    @Reltair
    My guess as to why Kanno didn’t hang around for longer is because there aren’t that many songs that required her playing instruments nor did she need to sing that much. One of these days, I’d love to see a Kanno-only concert :p

    And yeah, May’n is all about grabbing people’s attention with her dominating stage presence. Nakajima’s stuff is solid enough that I can’t figure out how you’d get sleepy.

    @Jen
    I came out of it impressed that May’n does know how to present herself well and deliver that solid performance, and she benefits most from that kind of concert setting.

    Reply
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