Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai - View Single Post - ayumi hamasaki ARENA TOUR 2018 ~POWER of MUSIC 20th Anniversary ~ [III]
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Old 8th April 2018, 04:32 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Spain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokyoxjapanxfan View Post
So here's my novel of a review. It skips around, so just a warning lol.

Take from it what you want. Some people won't like it, but hey, this is how I feel about it so, I'm not apologizing. Also, I reserve the right to change my mind at anytime lol.

Spoiler:

I'm going to preface this with a few things. First of all, my ideal setlist for most concerts would be about 80% up-tempo happy songs, 15% ballads, and like 5% rock. I was already going into this with a certain mind frame.

Second, since 2009 I have been to 50+ Ayu concerts. I have become quite critical and no longer just accept things for how they are. I've spent thousands of dollars on her and I'm allowed to express any issues I may have. I love her, and despite any issues I may have I'm going to continue to support her. My critiques are meant to be constructive, and not just complaining for the sake of it.


So.

This tour isn't advertised as a "best of" or a "replica" of something, it's advertised as being a new tour, celebrating her 20th anniversary and bringing back a previously well presented concept.

Let's talk about that concept. PoM was created out of a tragedy. It was a completely new idea that she had previously never done. And the emotion was very real. I attended the first PoM and though I was initially very annoyed about the concept change (I -loved- Love songs and really wanted to see the original concept for it), PoM ended up being an amazing moment that I'm so thankful for having been able to experience it.

So when she announced this current tour, I was excited for it. Unfortunately it failed in every way possible to compare to it. And yes, comparisons are completely fair game, it literally shares the same title.

Choosing to open this with forgiveness was a terrible idea imo. the first PoM did this so amazingly, and this was like...so empty. All the ad-libbing at the end of the song was mimed to the backup singers voices. Her movements were weird, and it didn't capture the magic at all. The opening notes were a struggle, and it was just kind of awkward.

The awkwardness continued for a lot of songs. Tons of falling to the ground, grabbing her hair, crying, arm flailing, dress clutching, and "conductor" like movements. Things she's been doing a lot of for there past several tours. Sometimes effective, but can feel very repetitive.

The re-arrangements were interesting, but not enough to really excite me. The majority of the songs performed were already performed at the original concert. I truly don't understand why she would sing so many of them again?

ever free was a welcomed addition, but the re-arrangement was made into rock, and the sensitivity of the original song failed to come through imo. And, again, falling to the ground, crying, etc. But again, this is a personal taste sort of thing. Some people might love this new sound. But don't expect the original song.

In terms of costumes, aside from Brilliante, Bold & delicious~Next Level, and the encore, I believe every outfit was white. Nothing spectacular or memorable. The best one was right before the encore imo. Her hair accessory was kind of reminiscent of a long version of the hairpiece in the Dearest video.

Her dancers wore the same outfits at the beginning as they did at the end. The same outfits used for the recent CDTV performance I believe. Or at least very similar... The frog costume was repeated for one of the acrobats.

Timmy and Miccie actually upstaged her, imo. They sang with a lot more gusto and technical accuracy. Not really an issue, but i found it worth noting. (Timmy's section for Brillante was great. He actually scared some children and they started crying and the mom had to bring them out haha. He was like a Disney villain. This section, and ayu's performance of HBYA were probably my favorite.

But because the tour was so loaded with melodramatic sad and angry songs, I found myself weary. B&D finally woke me up, but by then the tour was essentially over.

The audience, myself included, was most excited during the encore. SURREAL got everyone moving, and it felt the most magical. It was the Ayu that I, at least, was waiting to see. Alas it lasted for like 3 songs.

Before SURREAL Ayu sang a very brief section of Girlish acapella, i don't think it was planned. It was right after the audience sang Who... to her, and after we took a picture with her and the cake and everyone.

I had arena seats, A7 area. Good seats, it was probably the closest I've been for her tours.

The stage itself was not very interesting. There was a large screen in the back, and then the two normal small screens on both upper areas. There were two big hearts with A marks where the dancers entered and exited. No props or background changes aside from the digital ones.

It could have been where I was sitting, but it was hard to hear her voice over the music for some of the songs. Might have been the acoustics though.

All in all, this tour, imo, is not DVD worthy. Nothing new, nothing spectacular, nothing celebratory at all. Today was her anniversary so there was a little summary of her career video that her team made, and then that was really it aside from us singing to her.

I'll actually be surprised if they release this as a standalone concert as it is now... I could see it being combined with a CD release, but as its own thing? I mean, again, this is a taste thing. Maybe some people will love it. And in fact I hope people do. I really don't think she intended for this to be such a dividing tour lol.

But imo, an anniversary tour could have been easy to put together. She could have just sung a bunch of fan favorites, and then added in some hidden gems. Sure people would have still complained, but it'd at least have made sense being her anniversary and all...But this was a hodgepodge of songs imo... individually i love them all, but it was just underwhelming.

20 years in business, but we don't even get 20 songs xD

BTW, a picture of her staff's tour shirts started floating around. After the current dates, April 6th and 7th 2019, Saitama Super Arena, are written.

So, not sure exactly what those dates mean yet. I'll try to find the pic and post it, unless someone else beats me to it.

Anyway. If you've made it this far, sorry if I offended anyone. And for jumping all over the place. I wrote this as it came to me haha.

She's certainly working hard, but I just don't think this tour was ready to be performed yet. I'm curious as to why she's been so determined to tour as much as she has been.


Edit: here's the staff shirt





If I think of anything else I'll be sure to add it.
thanks for the review, it was certainly very interesting to read and well written, but those last dates on that t-shirt made me really scared of a possible retirement
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