Gingadan/DRESS_No. Release Event

On Saturday July 1st, I went to DRESS_No. and Gingadan’s joint release event at Tamaplaza Terrace in Kanagawa. It was my first time in a while seeing DRESS_No. (but definitely not first time in a while for Gingadan since I’d seen them almost every weekend for the past month).

I arrived at the stage area at the mall at around 10am when the mall opened. There were a few fans standing around but when the staff arrived they told us not to stand in front of the stage because they had to put up tents. They put two tents up with seating underneath, since it was due to rain that day. Some people really wanted the tent to be closer to the stage because there was quite a gap, but the staff were really good and wanted it that way because if the tent was too close to the stage, people wouldn’t be able to watch from the second floor. Luckily once the tents were up we were allowed to claim a seat, which is always important when you arrive early for these kinds of events because it means you can finally put down your stuff and leave and not have to hang around until the event starts. I used the opportunity to go and get food, and came back in time for the event.

Gingadan

Gingadan were the first act to perform. Their part of the event went basically the same as each of their release events have gone so far, but since this is my first time writing a report, I’ll write a quick report.

Before the event began properly, they came out for a rehearsal to test the stage and the mikes and ensure everything was okay. For this rehearsal they sang You Go Your Way  which they generally use because each one of them has a big singing part they can test. Then after a quick break, they took to the stage again for the actual event. Their first song was Connected to U. After singing the song, they did an introduction time where each member introduced themselves. They commented on how the song they had just sung had a video on Youtube that everyone should check out.

Next, they sang You Go Your Way. This is a fun song with hand/penlight moves for everyone to do and out of the three songs it’s also the one with the most even spread of lines for the boys.

There was an old woman who was watching the show and she spent the entire time dancing. Like not just a little sway,  she was full on going for it. We could all see her out of the corner of our eyes and it was making us laugh so much. The staff doing the sound could also see her and also couldn’t stop laughing. And on stage, even the boys reacted to it. Rui especially is terrible at hiding his feelings on his face and he kept breaking into smiles and trying to stop himself from laughing (and often failing). Once they finished the song, a member started talking about all the children who had been dancing to the song, and Rui just could not contain himself and burst into laughter.

After singing, they had another talk time. They talked a lot more the second time round (I don’t know how fast these boys read their letters but I’d like to think me telling Yu they should do more talking in my letter influenced this). I could see they were forcing it a little because they’re not used to doing talks yet, but talking about how there were lots of children there led them to talk a little about their own childhood. Taisei revealed how when he was a kid he couldn’t make the “peace” sign with his fingers. He would do it with his thumb and index finger so it looked more like an “L”. Everyone was surprised by this because he’s such a camera whore now.

They then talked about their last song, Hello Again, as an introduction before singing it. Rui always likes to give a list of times you might need to listen to the songs (harsh times, exhausted times etc.) but he always seems to think he has a whole bunch of times and then can only think of one or two. Then he looks embarrassed and all the other members look embarrassed on his behalf but NEVER ACTUALLY TRY TO HELP HIM OUT because he got himself into the situation.

Usually for their third song, Hello Again, they allow us to take photos of them performing. Apparently no one told Rui that they weren’t allowing it today, and he got halfway through his announcement when a staff member told him that the rules were different today and he had to awkwardly backtrack and tell everyone we couldn’t do it. I felt a little bad for him because it wasn’t his fault that no one told him, and he was in front of not only fans but also people who didn’t know the group.

Somehow they managed to kick half of their water bottles off stage during one of the shows. They rolled down the gap between the stage and the backdrop, and two of them rolled underneath the stage where the staff couldn’t get hold of them again. Some poor staff member had to go and hunt down new bottles for them before the group-shot time.

The Gingadan bonus was a group shot this time. I was actually quite happy about this because although I do have a favourite member, I really love every one of them and so it was nice to be able to get a picture with them all at once. It meant there wasn’t really much talk time with them but I’ve had plenty at the other events so I was fine to sacrifice that for something a little different. I got one picture at each show with two different poses.

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Picture one. I chose a simple peace pose (look how good Taisei is at it now).
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Picture two. Blowing kisses. Rui needs a little more practice.

DRESS_No.

After Gingadan finished, they went off stage and there was a small break before DRESS_No. came on to do their own rehearsal, before starting their part of the event. It had felt like a while since I saw Kazuma (even though it wasn’t really that long) and to see him on stage and from so close felt really amazing. I couldn’t stop watching him.

The songs they sang for their live were Namida (the last time I heard this song was at Shall We Dress? and not only is it a ballad, it’s the song they sang right before Yutaka announced he was leaving the group, so it had a lot of feeling), So High, So Bright (this is my favourite DRESS_No song), REJECTION and one other song I’d never heard before and don’t know the title for. Their live performance was, as always, spot on and flawless. These guys are very good singers, dancers, and performers in general and it was really nice to be able to see them display this talent in front of people who didn’t necessarily know who they were.

They did very brief introductions before doing a little MC time. They were all talking except Takumi who seemed to be super distracted and eventually Kazuma noticed that he hadn’t spoken and ordered him to speak, to which Takumi told him he was too distracted by all the little kids watching. This was apparently their first time doing this kind of open event and so none of them were really used to the situation, but Takumi in particular was so entranced by all the kids. He kept pulling faces and waving at them all. Also when they went off stage at the end there were some kids quite close to where they walked

After the live, came their bonus which was a handshake with each member if you bought their CD. I must say that after the first time round I was shaking so much and so dazed by everything that had just happened that I sat for a while considering whether I wanted to put myself through it again, but of course I knew that I was going to regardless. I bought one CD at each show, which got me two handshakes with each member.

I was really nervous before handshaking with them because I could see that people were talking to them for quite a long time, and having never met any of the members aside from Kazuma, I was very unsure what to expect. They all seem like such “cool” people from their pictures and stuff, and I do better with the cute flaily types. But I didn’t have to worry at all, because despite how they may look, every single one of them is about as cute and flaily as you can get. As I went twice (once after each live) I’ll combine them both in this report.

Takumi was first, and as soon as he saw me his eyes lit up like an excited puppy’s. He asked me where I was from and then he started asking me to say words (“hello”, “thank you” etc.) in English so he could try and repeat them with the correct pronunciation. He actually did pretty well so I told him so. He also asked me if I could speak Japanese and so I told him I could speak a little but that it was hard because I was nervous. He told me not to worry and that it was fine to relax. By the second time round he had somehow found out I lived in Nagoya (I guess he had overheard me telling another member the first time) and was really excited because he is from Nagoya too (I hadn’t known that). He also mentioned that Kazuma was also from Nagoya (that I did know). He kept calling me “名古屋出身” which is how you would usually refer to where you originate from, so he then corrected himself, but I told him since I had been living there 6 years already it felt like I was 名古屋出身 anyway.

Yappi was the second in line. If you’d asked me to choose a second favourite member (now that Yutaka is gone, since I automatically put him second before as I knew him the most after Kazuma) I would have chosen Yappi purely for the shallow reason that he is beautiful. I’m happy to say he looks just as beautiful in person and close up without all the filters he uses in his photos. Honestly, I even think he looks better, because real life makes him look less beautiful and more handsome. As soon as I was facing him he started bombarding me with questions. “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “Where do you live?” I answered all his questions and he was really happy that I had come from Nagoya to see them. The second time I went round, he tried to remember my name and he got it almost right (close enough that I was happy) but I corrected him and he apologised. He then said to me “I want you to teach me English.” I figured why not start now and I asked him to please introduce himself in English. He said “I’m Yappi.” Well, I guess it’s a start.

Next was Kazuma. I love this guy so so much and having already met him before, I was a little more relaxed with him to begin with. He called me by my name again which is always nice. I told him the live had been fun, and I told him that I had written him a letter and handed it to the staff. I apologised that their might be mistakes in my Japanese in it, and he said not to worry and that it was fine if there was mistakes. He told me thank you for coming, and told me to continue to support him, and I said that I would. There was then this awkward moment because we had basically finished and the girl in front was still talking to Shogo so I couldn’t move on. I couldn’t think of anything else to say to him so I was glad when she finally moved on and I could move too. By the next time round I had thought of more possibilities of what to say to him. Once he had thanked me again I asked him how it was living in Tokyo. He grimaced and told me it was really tough, and then he suddenly remembered that I lived in Nagoya and he gripped my hands so tightly and thanked me for coming. When I told him I had come from Nagoya by bus he was even more happy. He told me that because he was also from Nagoya (he just moved to Tokyo in May) he had spent a lot of time himself travelling between Tokyo and Nagoya and so he knew it was tough. I mentioned I saw he had been taking the Shinkansen recently, but he said he would often take the bus too. I felt a lot more satisfied with my talk with him the second time round because we actually talked until I had to move on.

Finally was Shogo. I’ll admit that I spent a little less time with him than I did with the others simply because he was last and there was no pressure to keep the conversation going to wait for someone in front. Shogo is more of the “cool” type but as soon as I went to him he said thank you, and then paused for a moment. I wondered what was going through his head and then he suddenly said in English “I am crazy boy!” I laughed and told him that was good because I’m a crazy girl too. When I came the second time he was surprised and said “this is your second time right?!” He told me he had seen me watching from the front and he seemed surprised by that too. I honestly feel like he thought I had just wandered there to watch that day and hadn’t known them before. I told him the event had been fun and he told me to come and see them again, which I definitely will if they ever actually have another event I can go to (their timing is always so bad).

With that, it was over. This event really made me want to go to another DRESS_No. Live. Unfortunately I can’t go to any of the ones they have announced right now, so I hope something comes up in the future.

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