October 18th, 2012 — Shibuya Loop annex

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October 18th, 2012
Shibuya Loop annex

Written by: Kikino (+ gotchi’s few excerpts)
Edited by: gotchi
Arriving to Loop annex was easier than previous nights, but again all this wouldn’t had been possible if it wasn’t thanks to Gotchi’s orientation skills and her iPhone…

2012.10.18 Shibuya Loop annex 3 2012.10.18 Shibuya Loop annex 2

loop-annex-diagram

Even though we arrived early, people was already lining up. Once again frustrated by this, waited at the stairs at the end of the hallway. There was a bar inside and then, the “concert hall” was in the next room. Once inside, my frustration raised even more when I realized all the seats next the stage were already taken. The place was really small, maybe even smaller than gee-ge’s. I went to the very first row hoping to find an empty spot and I went back cursing. xD

After that, Vivien (Gotchi’s friend) suggested we could just stand around the corner, next to the the sound table. There was a wall separating the two areas so we could lean against it and rest a little. The idea was perfect! We were really tight, but really close to the improvised stage as well and we stood up from the rest of the people sitting there. Gotchi used google translator to ask the only guy in front of us to move a little forward so we could leave our backpacks in the floor. God bless technology.
The real stage was located to the left, you could see a small platform, now occupied by guests in their chairs, and a curtain behind. The place designated to the performers was now a little corner defined by a carpet. (It was even smaller than what you see in my crappy diagram that’s not accurate/to scale)

I noticed YUI’s “manager” asking people to move, making a passage from the middle point of the curtain to the stage. YUI finally appears from the curtains walking the purple line on the diagram. Her hair was straight again (Sad) She was wearing the same hair style the first night at gee-ge’s (hair tied back in a low ponytail). A long purple sweater and black stockings with big letters patterned on them. She was wearing short black boots, pretty cool.
There was a lot of leg to see.. even from my standing position… I bet the guy sitting in front of her saw more than he deserved…
Did I mention the pimples on her forehead? Yes, she has that problem xD

First song was “Melody’s Carpet”. Then, she sang her newest song, Seesaw.  “The whistle song” had whistles at the beginning too. I think she only whistled twice the first time, at the middle and the end.

After this, YUI calls her keyboardist Mura Jun, to join her. She said that she called Mura Jun that same day, asking if he could join her in her presentation, to what he agreed, but they had very little time to practice. They played “Takaramono” and then a cover Fishmans – Ikareta Baby. MuraJun and YUI played for 30 seconds to find the chords and that was all the rehearsal they needed. These guys are good!

gotchi: When they were testing the right chords/keys, I was so impressed how fast MuraJun was, and even ad-libbing the piano keys/chords to match Yui’s chords . It was really just a few moments and then they were ready. MuraJun has a very playful personality and it made the performance feel like a small light-hearted music session.

After the second or third song I took out my jacket so everyone could see I was wearing a YUI T-shirt.
Next song was “1,2,3”.
This live was so much more intimate than the others. It felt like everybody present were YUI’s accomplices of this, her small secret escapade.
YUI looked right at Gotchi and me for a couple of times. I will never forget her eyes on me.

gotchi: I realized this was probably the most intimate sessions we were going to see YUI perform. Unlike Gee-ge and FEVER, I really appreciated how the adjusted the performance space to the ground level and then by simply adding a carpet, it made such a difference in atmosphere. YUI was also more talkative in this live and interactive with the audience through dialogue. When she glanced over to where we stood, she looked right at us …and all this time I had a smile on just from how happy I was to be there. I do prefer her performing simply with the guitar and MuraJun accompanying her simply cos it’s pure YUI and intimate. I also love the band too as it makes everything a lot more dynamic too.

Then, she played “Ai no Uta”.
She changed the position of the music stand in each song, and she was very cute trying to figure out how to turn the little LED light on and off  xD (the light was attached to the music stand and waas flickering a lot till she adjusted it).
The last song was “Kaeritai Basho” once again. I really like how YUI always makes a song for everyone to participate. Every official tour had one. The secret tour was no exception.
She started “Lu lala lulu” “Lelele lo le”, “Gegege go ge” and then only girls, only guys, and everybody xD It was long!

gotchi: The participation was fun! It’s quite hilarious cos there was such a stark difference in number of males vs females in the audience. She was really enjoying it as the audience members were.

This time, finally, I was completely enjoying this moment. I had already talked to YUI, gave her our presents, got a signature and a picture from her. The only thing left to do was to enjoy this moment to the fullest. There was nothing else in the world to worry about.

I felt so happy.

After it was over I watched YUI leaving the stage. For some reason I thought YUI would leave secretly this time, so I captured her whole being for one last time as she left behind the curtains.

Fortunately, I was so wrong.

After YUI’s performance, Hibikozo appeared. I already knew his face from pictures of other reports we had. I knew they had performed together in the past. But I didn’t know much about this “Utaizarashi” event. YUI and Hibikozo feature a new artist every time. This time it was this other random guitarist.

It impresses me how much does YUI love music and how much she has grown, to the point that she is now helping others to follow the path of music, just like when she opened the shows for Bianconero when she was starting.

Before starting his performance, he talked about Flower Flower for an instant.
I really couldn’t care less about Hibikozo or the other guest, so I just kept looking back to see if YUI appeared from the curtain to leave. I didn’t want to talk to her at that point, only to see her one last time.
But Hibikozo’s performance was pretty good… So good I never noticed YUI was in the back of the venue until she screamed “Heeeee~?!” when Hibikozo announced his last song.

gotchi: Hibi Kozo sings with heart. I really enjoyed his performance, you could really tell how much he loves performing and singing. I was impressed and you could really feel his soul when he performed. Really this type of quality is something Yui has too and it’s interesting that they both have associated themselves in lives together It’s great!

When Hibikozo finished, Gotchi and I went to the bar area to rest a little. We had gone to Ghibli’s museum that day and then to Goemon Pasta, so we really hadn’t stopped for a second.

gotchi: I actually went to the bathroom for a moment, and I saw this door half opened on the way to the washroom…that’s how I found out it was the backstage area XD. I saw Yui and her manager really briefly and continued on. I regrouped back in the bar area with everyone. Another performer was singing at the moment, and I left my other friend in the performance area while was at the bar still giddy from YUI’s earlier performance.

Out in the bar area we stumbled upon Rika-san (1) who was talking to Jun.
She was like “Ooh!” “ooh!”
We talked of how I know Japanese, how I work in Delta Airlines so I can travel for free and I also told her if she ever needed to travel she could tell me so I can offer her a good deal xD
She said she had traveled with Delta for their inaugural flight from Narita to Los Angeles.
I remember YUI was there also, talking to other guys, right next to us… I really wanted Rika to ask YUI to join our convo, but that didn’t happen u_u

Gotchi: I spoke about how I learned some Japanese via music and because I work with visiting Japanese school groups back at home in Vancouver. I also mentioned about a fellow Japanese-Canadian who scouts and invites Japanese indie artists to perform on a tour across Canada (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal). I listed some artists like, Zazen Boys, Andymori, etc. and we both talked about our favorite Japanese bands. I don’t really know how I communicated but we both laughed about how we both understand what each of us are saying but we couldn’t speak in each other’s languages.  Rika had also responded on how she would like to visit Vancouver again as she had been there back when she was in high school. I told her I’d be happy to take her around town. Even though, I was already excited from seeing YUI perform, chatting with a local musician like this was such a fun bonding moment. This really added an extra speck of happiness to my night as it kind of was another way of validating my whole experience of being there, present and in that moment.

I talked of how I almost get Yoshiki’s drum stick when X-Japan went to perform in Chile. (lol)
At some point I noticed Rika-san was wearing brackets… That’s new for a Japanese person, isn’t it??
She also asked who were our favorite Japanese artists.
…I wish I had this type of conversation with YUI instead…
I remembered I had another copy of my Chilean music CD so I decided to give it to Rikapon. I went inside to take it from my backpack, but it wasn’t there. I felt so mad at myself!
At some point I feel somebody poking my back.. It was YUI!!! I was holding the door and she wanted to close it. so I say “ah ah” and I help her to close it… I worked with YUI on a common task… Awesome.
Now I realize that MAYBE she felt upset because we were not paying attention to her guest’s performance… damn!
But yeah, YUI touched me, tehee! xD

Rika-san brings up the twitter talk and Gotchi says she is now following her. Then I tell Rika-san that I’ve been following her for a long time and that I sent her a message. Then I tell her my username and she says she didn’t know it was mine because I wrote in Japanese. I think it’s Jun who then asks if Rika-san replied and she says “uh no I haven’t…” But I say it’s ok. With that settled, she followed me back the next day and replied… and now I can’t react like a total fanboy whenever Sony messes up anymore, because she’s following really few people and will probably read everything I write there xD

I don’t remember if it was this night or the first night when Jun confessed we are actually undercover YUI fans, but after a while, Rikapon mentions that we should go back, because YUI always plays at the end of the show with the other singers.

gotchi: Jun actually ended introducing Kikino and I as the “President/Vice-President” of YUI-Lover fan group….haha I was kind of embarrassed cos I do not really consider myself that.

There was not even half of the people there was when YUI performed, so we could seat next to Vivien in the third or so row to finally rest for a second!

The Unknown Guest finished his song and we stood up next to the sound table wall again. Hibikozo appears from the curtains asking for an encore. Apparently YUI was not ready yet. People started to gather fast. When they finally appeared YUI took Hibikozo’s guitar and they started singing a cover of Kiyoshiro Imawano – Day Dream Believer.
I notice YUI’s “manager” is behind me trying to pass, so I get out of his way standing really close to the stage. When the guys passes I return to my place and he sitted right in front of me. I wonder if he was worried I would jump and attack YUI unexpectedly xD?
I didn’t know the song so I couldn’t join the crowd, but that was the least of my worries. I just wanted to see YUI smiling and playing her guitar forever.

Thanks to Hibikozo, we have a little picture of that precious moment.

2012-10-18-shibuya-loop-annex

After looking at the picture I can’t remember if YUI was wearing her hair completely tied back or she had those tresses of hair in front at the beginning of the show… just a detail xD

gotchi: We literally just rushed back in and this encore was awesome! It was fun, and everyone was having a blast (performers and audience). Hibi Kozo led the song and then YUI led the next verse into the chorus. This was was originally by the Monkees in English…It was interesting hearing it in Japanese and I think it sounds better in Japanese (in terms of lyrical meaning and sounds of the Japanese words). everyone was clapping along it was great =)

The song ended and they left behind the curtains again.
I was prepared to leave, but Jun friends, Gotchi and Vivien decided they would have some drinks, so we went back to the bar again. At some point Gotchi goes to the bathroom and she realized YUI was somewhere there backstage.
Jun comes out from the live house and tells me “You need to say goodbye now”
We go in and YUI was there (2), talking to other fans. I approach her without any worries and I hold her hands.
“Hontou ni, hontou ni, arigatou gozaimasu!” (Really, really thank you very much!)
“Mata kondo flower flower no raibu ga attara… chansu ga attara, kanarazu ikimasu!”
(If there is another flower flower live… if I had the chance. I will come no matter what.)
I think it should’ve been “areba” instead of “attara”, but I guess she understood anyway?
After that I don’t remember what Gotchi said.

gotchi: I honestly had no other words to say to YUI. I’ve already said the same things over and over…I didn’t really have anything prepared to say either I was just overwhelmed how happy I was to have experienced a live intimate performance, a handshake, and autograph/photo. I really just told her…

“Thank you, I had lots of fun. I am really happy”
YUI responded back in English “I am happy too”

I remember YUI said she was happy. First in Japanese and then in English.
She said “Happy!” rising her shoulders and smiling. The expression in her face was so honest.
The “manager” was also smiling
Now, I really regret I didn’t say anything else, but at that moment I felt no more words were necessary.

YUI???????
I reached YUI.

YUI then, went to talk to other fans, I stayed talking to other YUI fans Jun wanted to introduce me.

Hibikozo was behind us, jamming songs with other friends. After he finished he approached us asking “Where are you guys coming from?!” (His English was good!)
We talked a while, I told him in japanese I thought he was kakkoii xD
Then, since he noticed me struggling with my japanese asked me not to mix two languages so we moved to full English conversation xD

gotchi: This part was hilarious. I knew Hibi Kozo went to America to study music for a while so I knew he had some handle of the English language. When Kiki was speaking, Hibi Kozo was like “whoa, hey man! just speak in one language, English or Japanese … it’s all right!” Haha I later complimented his performance saying how he rocked it and how he had so much soul.

We were talking of how Gotchi, Jun and I met over the internet and he was like… “guys you shouldn’t trust everyone on the internet”  We told him we went there to see flower flower, he after a while decides its just stupid and starts saying YUI! instead. Then he says… “but..guys! you should talk to her!” and we were like…oookay.. He dragged us to where YUI was and he says ok what you wanna ask her? And the only thing I wanted to know was if she already read the letter I gave her two nights ago, and he said… “Dood it’s YUI do you think she will remember that..” And I said but it was just two night ago >.<
He talks to YUI and she said sometihng like “I already talked to them so.. :/“ or maybe “I can’t talk English” I didn’t really heard.
Hibikozo reacts screaming NO ENGLISH! And she escapes behind him… Even the way she walks is so cute!!!
Hibikozo totally ruined the monent! xD..

After that I say okay thank you for your advices (fuck you) and we shook hands.

YUI appeared again after a while, bringing some photocopied flyers she personally wrote. Thanking everybody for coming to these three consecutive lives. (3)

gotchi: I think she almost forgot to hand these out because it wasn’t until I saw a bunch of them being handed out after the 3rd/new young featured artist performed or before him. It was kind of rushed.

2012-10-18-flower-flower-flyer

This is as good as it gets…
YUI started making these flyers from that day for every live. 
But I got the first one FROM HER HANDS BABY YEAAH

YUI appeared yet again with the donations jar. The jar wasn’t that big, but it looked big in YUI’s hands. xD
We all gave some money, at that moment Gotchi asked her what music is she into lately, YUI took a good while to come up with an answer. She named a western band I can’t remember.

gotchi: Oh my goodness. As if, I wasn’t already overwhelmed enough by how amazing YUI is….when she came up to me and my friend asking for donations…I was so confused. I realized it probably for the venue or other artists. I was floored by how thoughtful she was and…seriously, wow…I know she’s not asking for charity donations but I was still surprised and this act of just thinking of possibly the trouble caused for the small venue staff or to another young artist that performed there. No music was sold at this venue so…the level of respect I have for YUI is just so high. After this, most people were leaving and Jun told me to ask her a question or speak with her…but I honestly couldn’t think of anything again…I had already thanked it…so hooray I had an “awkward” moment! -__- I think I asked a silly question like “what music are you listening to on your ipod now? she answered “…owl city” and…this was kind of dumb on my part because I didn’t know who Owl City was until I recognized one of their songs later on. So I probably gave her the most confused look ever haha (*sigh* facepalm myself)

YUI was all over the place asking for donations, then she left carrying three jars in her arms? That was the impression it gave me. And that was the last time we saw her.

We left soon after that.

====================================================================
Two days later, YUI wrote this in her secret blog

?????
Thanks a lot.
2012.10.20
http://ameblo.jp/flower-flower-hana/entry-11383927504.html

This is FLOWER FLOWER.

I’m from fukuoka, but lately I’m into Kansai dialect!

Leaving that talk behind, I had the best 3 days of consecutive lives.

To those who came to the three days, to those who casually came to watch, to those who went to 1 or two days only, thank you very much.

Truly, every time is a “once-in-a-lifetime encounter” isn’t it?

Investigating the words “Ichi go, Ichi e”, it looks like its a proverb originated in the tea ceremony.

“This time, when I’m meeting with you, It’s a one-time thing that will never happen again. That’s why we should treasure this instant. Let’s make of this hospitality the best we can.”
So we shall meet others considering we might not be able to meet them never again.

That seems to be the meaning of this.
When I was in primary school I wrote this proverb to practice penmanship without knowing its meaning. What profound thoughts are included in it… Just now I have realized.

Of this matter I have come to particularly feel and experience lately.

Please come to meet the people you can meet, wherever you can. (not sure)
These are profound words…

Returning to the topic. I started writing flyers the 18th at shibuya LOOP!

I wrote it as if it was a letter with bad writing, but I thought of doing it at my own pace, so if you look at it I’ll be happy ?

I feel excited of meeting great musicians every time, I receive motivation by it.

Please, I’ll be happy if we all keep continue having band duels together.

Well then, have a good day

FLOEWR FLOWER << lol

Ah also, to keyboardist Mura Jun who came in a hurry to participate, he might come again to play with me so please support him!

====================================================================

This has been the only reflection she has written in that blog.
I honestly think she wrote it in great part because of us.

Soon after that, YUI had to delete her blog.

Epilogue

I felt really depressed for about two weeks after all this happened. I really had the necessity to be beside her all the time.
A couple of days after coming back to office, having a casual conversation with a coworker, he told me:

“You know, most people die never realizing the dream of their lives, you should be grateful”

It finally hit me. I cried that day, not out of frustration as I did before, but of true happiness.

YUI wrote on a later flyer that she would restrain herself from greeting fans at the end of concerts, because too many people is gathering and it’s becoming troublesome for the owners of the venues. So maybe these three magical days will never be repeated again.

What is left for me is to only be grateful. Grateful to God for answering my prayer.
I remember I prayed so hard that day, about three years ago.
When I was in front of YUI I remembered it. All this happened so fast and easy. It was really a miracle.

Even though this dream is over. I want to believe, I really need to believe this is only the beginning.

I will follow YUI forever.

 

—————
After thoughts from gotchi:

What a way to start my 5 week trip to Japan eh? I’m just a lucky fool who was in the right place at the right time.

I think Kiki and I were just enamoured with how much that had happened to us. We were still digesting the experiences while wearing probably the biggest dumb smiles =). I was thankful to have shared such an experience with such another passionate die-hard fan…it wouldn’t have been the same without Kikino and Jun. In the past, I’ve expressed myself many times how thankful I am to this YUI-Lover community and I still am. It was thanks to this community where I learned more and became a fan of YUI’s. Ever since then, I’ve experienced things I never thought I would ever do…such as the idea of travelling often, enter an online video contest to do the “es.car” dance in front of 7000+ people in a foreign city, make those super awesome YUI-Lover Collaboration CDs, meet new people and friends in a foreign country…the list goes on…

When my friends and I had to leave Tokyo to our next destination, it was then time to say bye to Kikino. We had travelled Tokyo for a week together and we had so many great memories. I remember giving him a hug at the train station and saying goodbye…we were both teary eyed just cos of how happy we were as so much happened over that short period of time (or maybe it was just me XD). It was a little sad to say bye as it felt like the amazing encounters were coming to an end/close. Who would’ve thought that someone all the way from Canada and Chile would meet each other to meet our favorite person in the world ha!

Encounters-Let them happen and make them happen…who knows where they will lead you.

 

P.S. I should have a few more entries to write in the near future. My trip started with such excitement and I never would’ve guessed the surprises that laid ahead. at the end of my trip.

 

———————-

October 16th, 2012 – Shibuya gee-ge “Grateful Girls Vol 88″

October 17th, 2012 — Shindaita FEVER