It’s been about a month since I’ve last updated my blog. The past month, we’ve been staying in to save money, except for going to a few local events in and around our city. I finally went to see my school’s baseball team play a game and even joined in the ouendan (cheering), and also went to the gakko-sai (school culture festival) at my husband’s school. I also went to another concert which was in my city. Since it was at a small venue, we got to meet the band members and talk with them for a bit.
With FLiP at the FLiP 2nd Album「XX emotion」リリースツアー 〜喜怒愛ROCK〜 Live
CDs autographed by FLiP and HaKU
Aside from that, I’ve also been crafting a bit. I picked up some crafting materials for making misanga (ミサンガ), or “good luck bracelet” which originated from Portugal. Basically, they are what we call “friendship bracelets” in the US. I haven’t made these since I was at summer camp as an elementary student. My students sometimes sell them at their gakko-sai so I wanted to try my hand at making some too. I also picked up a starter’s kit for felting, which I haven’t tried yet.
My first ミサンガ bracelet. It says “JAPAN” on it.
My second ミサンガ, in very American colors.
Does anyone have some tips they care to share about felting? I’ve been wanting to try it for ages but I’m a little nervous to start any project.
It was a good day in Shibuya last Saturday. I went to go see つしまみれ (TsuShiMaMiRe) again perform at Rock the DROP ! ～VISUAL ARTS STYLE～ at 渋谷duo MUSIC EXCHANGE. There were a couple of other bands who performed that night, including this amazing 80′s new wave inspired rock band called レコライド (RECORIDE). Their performance was so great! We talked to them after the show with a mix of English and Japanese, bought some goods, and got the CD signed.
TsuShiMaMiRe was amazingly fun to watch, as expected. :) It’s always fun to see them perform live. We talked with one of their fans who happens to be one of their biggest fans ever. We recognized his face from the concert in Osaka. He told us about some of the upcoming shows in Tokyo this summer, so we’ll see if we can squeeze in one more LIVE. Mari (vocals+guitar) threw her pick into the audience at the end of the show, and we luckily were able to catch it. We got that signed as well. The pick is super-cute and is custom designed! Love it!
A must-buy at any concert in Japan: マフラータオル (scarf towel)
Several weeks ago, I found out that Lady Gaga would begin The Born This Way Ball tour and that she would be touring in Asia and Australia first. There was only one date posted for Japan: a Thursday afternoon in Tokyo (at the Saitama Super Arena). I figured it would be impossible to go since it would be in the middle of the work week. As expected, the concert sold out instantly.
In line for official goods
Two more dates were announced: Saturday and Sunday, May 12-13, but the tickets would go on pre-sale first via lottery. So I entered the lottery, thinking I wouldn’t hit but it didn’t cost me anything to enter, so why not? I was allowed four types of ticket requests, so I worked my way up from the cheapest tickets (9,000 yen or roughly $100 US). Actually, I would’ve preferred the cheapest tickets because these were designated seats in the stadium area. She would be tiny, but visible at least from most angles. I ended up winning on my fourth choice: 14,000 yen tickets in the Arena Standing area. I was much closer than I expected to be, but still in the back. It was my first time to also attend a large-scale concert in the standing area. I didn’t realize my height would be such a disadvantage!! I couldn’t even see the TV screens for the most part, but luckily my husband is surprisingly strong and he was able to lift me up occasionally during my favorite songs so I could catch a glimpse of Lady Gaga, the stage, or the screens. I nearly cried the first time I finally got to see something.
Act I – Escaping
To put it simply, because words could never do it justice: The Born This Way Ball was AMAZING. And I definitely am going to try and go again when I’m back in the US, but I have to wait until the tour dates are announced. It probably won’t be until 2013 because she’s touring through Asia, Austria, and Europe first.
It’s been the spring of live concerts for me. I never really went to concerts in the US — mostly because concerts I wanted to go to were on weekdays when I had school or work, and also because I didn’t really have the money. Another thing that put me off though was that it always seemed really difficult to get tickets. In Japan, it’s a little bit easier because instead of having to go to the ticket office, you can just go to the convenience store, punch a code into a machine, and if you’re lucky the transaction will go through.
I went to two concerts during the spring break: SCANDAL vs. BUDOKAN on 3/28 in Tokyo, and TsuShiMaMiRe SHOCKING ONE MAN TOUR at on 3/31 in Osaka. I wasn’t too worried about getting tickets for TsuShiMaMiRe because they’re more like an indie band, but SCANDAL is really popular right now, and it was at the Nippon Budokan! The tickets went on sale on a Saturday at exactly 10:00 AM, so we went down to our local 7-11 and mingled for a few minutes until the time slot opened up. It was a little sluggish at first and I thought maybe we wouldn’t be able to get tickets, but we did, and in a good location too. We found out later on a fan-site blog that the tickets sold out within the hour.
With Mizue (Drums) of TsuMiMaMiRe at SHOCKING ONE MAN TOUR 2012 at Fandango, Osaka
Anyway, I’m on a bit of a LIVE-streak now and I really want to see a few more concerts before I leave Japan. Some artists are very high in-demand, so sometimes tickets don’t go on sale to the general public (or they do at an even later date, after tickets are already sold to die-hard fans). Lady Gaga is one of these artists. She has three shows for the BORN THIS WAY BALL 2012 at the Saitama Super Arena this May, so I entered the lottery-system for the Saturday evening show. I thought, What are my chances? It’s LADY GAGA, and it’s a LOTTERY system. I am probably not going to get a chance to buy tickets. But, lucky me, I did! And I got good seats too — standing area on the ground. I’m not quite up there being smashed against the catwalk, but I’m not up in the stands either where binoculars would be needed to make out the speck that is Gaga. I’m really excited!