On the 24th and 25th of October, A9
(formerly known as AliceNine), came to Singapore for two consecutive nights at The Singapore Airlines Theatre, LASALLE College of the Arts
. The band consists of guitarists Hiroto
, bassist Saga
, drummer Nao
, and Show
on vocals. A9 is regarded as one of the top Visual Kei bands in Japan, and has been gaining popularity and recognition all over the world. This time round, they brought their tour "A9 Asia Tour 2015 Re:birth – Tensyou – "
to the sunny island of Singapore, focusing on their latest album, "Ginga no woto” (Sounds of Galaxy)
which was officially released in August this year . Due to the overwhelming response from the fans, additional VIP tickets were made available after being sold-out in just minutes. These VIP tickets include an autographed album (Sound of Galaxy), 2 autographed versions of the posters, and an exclusive handshake session with the members! What more can you look forward to except being so up close with your favorite rock stars?
On day 1, "PRAY"
started the show and the members entered the stage all dressed in white, with the lights focusing on Saga and Nao. Show shouted, “HERE WE COME!
” before “Phoenix
” started with Tora’s guitar on the lead. By this time, fans were already on their feet and cheering for the members. With only the first two tracks, the members were already showering lots of affection to the crowd, asking them to jump. Once, they even came very close to the front of the stage thus setting the mood. Overall, reception for the new songs seemed very well as fans danced and swayed their light sticks along to the melody. It was uncommon to see Japanese rockers dancing, but Tora was flaunting his dance moves on the stage while smiling and pointing to the fans all the time which was a joy to watch. Nao hitting the drumsticks for the beat count before the chorus was such a highlight, which gave a very nice progression for the live rendition of “Phoenix”.
"Heart of Gold"
was next, and Hiroto came forward to show some love for the fans, then turned to play with Nao on the platform. The song has a very nice balance of the different components coming together, and the audience responded by echoing the words back and clapping along to the rhythm. The members duly came together at the front of the stage, and that was when Saga showed his face a little more as he was usually positioned at the back of the stage.
There was a lot of head-banging during “Doukeshi” (道化師)
and fans were all hyped up upon Hiroto’s solo. Hiroto was very adorable when he kicked his left leg while playing at the same time. Show growled in a deep voice and joined the fans in head-banging. He also formed the ‘L’ sign to his fans with his index finger and thumb, as part of the fan-service. Nao’s drumming was strong for “Judan” (銃弾)
, and the performance showcased his skills perfectly, with Tora head-banging to the beat. The members were also encouraging the fans to clap to the rhythm.
“Hi, nice to see you! How is it going? Are you ready? ARE YOU READY SINGAPORE? MAKE SOME NOISE!
” Show started the ball rolling and introduced “Hana” (華)
. His voice has warmed up by this moment for Day 1, and his vocals matched very well with his sexy moves on stage. He even did some air guitar moves close to the end of the song. Both members and their fans were jumping and head-banging, and Saga came forward during some parts of the song. Hiroto was smiling to one of his fans, showing a friendly side of him. During day 2, Hana (華) was replaced by “Velvet” (ヴェルヴェット)
. Nao swirled his drumsticks, and the intensity of the song instantly turned the crowd turned into a massive head-banging session. Saga subsequently gave a flying kiss to the fans after the song ended.
“Blue Planet” (ブループラネット)
came next, one of the tracks from their earlier album Alpha. Tora began the song with the familiar tune, very soothing alongside with Show’s singing. After which the mood was totally changed as the melody turned joyful and uplifting. During the song, Hiroto and Saga switched positions, and Hiroto tried to play Tora’s strings when they were playing facing each other. During this song on Day 2, Tora came close to Show and they shared the mic together, and Show gave Tora a pat on his back after it ended.
Nao started the bass drum, and fans followed by clapping along to kick start “Ryuseigun” (流星群)
. The crowd also took out their tour towels and swirl them in the air during this lively song. Saga’s bass was very engaging while harmonizing with Hiroto during parts of the song.
Next was “Shooting Star”
, a tune from their "Supernova"
album. Hiroto went to the platform and sat beside Nao while swaying to the music. This song showcased Show’s vocals beautifully as the build up of the emotions enriched the progression of the song. Show finished singing the last line in acapella accompanied by the fans’ singalong. “Scarlet”
took over the place of "Shooting Star" for the second day, with a lot of focus on the bass for this song. Hiroto used more distortions for his guitar playing as compared to day 1, sliding his fingers across the fingerboard and ended the song clutching his fist to his heart.
It was Hiroto’s turn to start off the next song, “Freesianosakubasho” (フリージアの咲く場所)
, mesmerizing the crowd with his intro guitar solo. It was a grand song, with every detail executed flawlessly. This song was given a lot of character by the members, and its live rendition illustrated how they have grown as a band.
The other members took a break while leaving Hiroto and Show on stage for the next song, “SHADOW PLAY”
. The simple arrangement was one of the climaxes for the day. Show even called out “Singapore” during the song. On Day 2, the song was replaced by “WHITE PRAYER”
. Hiroto even whispered the words into the mic while Show was singing, and the duo then sat down on the speaker together, sharing the mic, leaning onto each other time to time. One of the fans shouted “Daisuki!” and both of them break into smiles at the same time.
Members solo came after, with Hiroto and his sexy and soulful guitar playing, and it was slightly tweaked for day 2, with fancier playing and distortions which left the fans pleasantly surprised. Following was Tora who changed the mood of the music with his vibes. It felt like he had been doing this forever, very skillfully done and full of confidence. He even went up to the speakers, gesturing to the fans and maintained eye contact. After which, it advanced to their new track “Spiegel”
. Head-banging and punching fists to the air, Show came back and all of them had fun moving along to the melody, especially Tora.
“Yeah Singapore! Did you having fun? We are having a lot of fun too! Thank you!
” Show began the MC, and Nao finally had the chance to speak to the audience, “Hor Bo?" (How are you? in Hokkien dialect) I’m very good LAH! Buy my goods home!
". He continued on to try his best selling the items and pretended to take off his shirt. He added that he wears size ‘M’.
Next song was “RAINBOWS”
, and Show instructed the fans to raise their hands into the air. During the song Tora even kissed his guitar neck, and spit a mouthful of water into the air. Tora’s playing was fancier for day 2, with Hiroto using more of the distortions as well.
was next, and the song was pretty dynamic with some techno components incorporated in. Hiroto and Show shared the mic during parts of the song and this heightened the mood of the fans even further. This song was replaced by “Kowloon – Nine Heads Rodeo Show”(九龍)
for the second day, which was a song from their earlier album "Zekkeishou"
“Singapore you’re the best!
” Show shouted and began “Shunkashuutou” ( 春夏秋冬)
. Hiroto was teasing the fans by pointing at them and smiling. The audience responded by swaying their hands in the air. Show’s vocal was not captured very well during certain parts of the song, possibly due to technical issues. It was more happening during day 2 when Hiroto and Tora exchanged guitars and played one verse before switching back to end the song.
followed which was the last song before the encore. Tora clutched his fist and punched the air along with the melody. He also danced as if he was in his own world. Hiroto jumped down the stage during day 2 of this song, and fans went crazy. Saga gave flying kisses and they went into a short break after waving to the crowd.
The members did convey to the fans that they wished for more excitement during their performances, and so the fans threw undergarments onto the stage during encore. Saga came out to the stage and patiently placed them strategically on the mic stands. “Very happy!
” Saga said with a smile during day 2.
The encore started off with Saga’s and Nao’s solo, and Saga was every charming while he plucked the bass lines to Nao’s drum beats. “Ok, I love you!
” Nao said to the fans and ended their solo.
The rest of the members came back with wearing different set of clothes. Show shouted “Ho!
” and started the next song “Haikara Naru Rondo” (ハイカラなる輪舞曲)
. Saga’s bass was a highlight, and he kissed his bass after his short solo during the song. Hiroto was being cheeky by putting a bright hot pink bra on Tora’s head while he was playing, and Saga gave cold stares which were very entertaining. Hiroto then changed his target and ‘attacked’ Nao instead with the bras, and Nao shouted “Cannot take it!
“The beautiful name”
ended day 1, and each member enjoyed to the fullest with the fans during the last song. The band also showed their appreciation for the fans by thanking them, and threw picks to the audience. “We really enjoyed ourselves. Thank you so much Singapore, I love you Singapore!
was the ending song for day 2, and the members received the banners signed by the fans as a memento for their Singapore stop during this tour. Show even took one banner and wore it like a cape while singing.
After the lives, VIP ticket holders got to have a close encounter with the members during the handshaking session. The A9 members looked at each of them while earnestly saying their thanks. What a wonderful way to end the lives!
General observations: The first day of the concert was a warm up for the members, and second day’s setlist was more enjoyable. The performance was more fanciful during day 2 and Show was sounding better. The band also interacted more with the crowd and with each other. The head-banging was also more intense during day 2. The turnout however, was better for day 1. The lighting was a bit of a disappointment in day 1. Some of the members were not even having their spotlight on them during parts of the show. It seemed obvious that they did modifications and was much better during their second show.
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Shared by: kenryoku