YUI 5th Tour “Cruising ~How Crazy Your Love~” Budokan Report by cyclo

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—Prologue—
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HELLO everyone!!

It’s been too long!! I miss talking to everyone here and I miss this goddamn website so much!!!

The past two months have been absolutely crazy for me. Right after I initiated the Christmas Collab (which thankfully, gotchi, nana, and kiki managed to see through till the end, sorry and and thanks a lot guys!! It looks great and I’m downloading it now), I got a job offer from Mirai Inc. in Tokyo; for those of you who are familiar with culture japan and Danny Choo, yup I’m undergoing training with him as a multimedia designer now ^^;

So since then it was a crazy rush to get ready for Japan. I managed to get on a flight 2 weeks before I started work, and toured Hokkaido and Tokyo from Dec 30 to Jan 16. (I’ll try to share my experiences once I have more time to write, but for now Budoukan is more important). After which I spent all my free time settling in to my new tiny apartment 10 minutes from Shibuya!! I also managed to get tickets to Budoukan, and very fortunately managed to catch YUI live for the second time (thanks a million Hirotana-san and your friend for helping me get the tickets)

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—Before the Concert—
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I had arranged to meet up with Jun (JunLovesYUI), but because it was a Thursday and I didn’t think it would be a good idea to ask for a day off on my third day of work, I only managed to get to Budoukan at 530pm. It was a long walk from the station I got off at and I had to ask for directions, but once I got somewhat closer to Budoukan, it was obvious where it was even though I couldn’t see it yet; everyone was heading in that direction.


Outside Kitanomaru Koen, the park that Budoukan is in.


Kitanomaru Koen


There was a lighthouse looking light at the park, I felt that it went well with the night’s theme xD

As I walked among them, it was comforting to know that there were just so many ardent fans in Tokyo. Ever since I got to Japan, I unfortunately haven’t heard a single YUI song playing anywhere, and haven’t even seen any posters, pictures or ads of YUI on the streets. But now I was surrounded by people carrying 5th Tour Tote bags, wearing the red muffler or the sailor parka.

It was late so I didn’t have time to get the tour goods first, the queue was way too long. Jun assured me that I could get them after the concert so we decided to head into the hall.


Budoukan is the odd shaped building to the left, the bright lights with the sea of people are the booths for tour goods.


The tour goods booths


Entering Budoukan!

It wasn’t as big as I thought it would be, and my seat – third floor on the far left of the stage – left much to be hoped for. But then again, I was really lucky to be here at all; the number of foreigners at lives like this are tiny.

Jun’s seat was even further back, he came over to chat while we waited for the concert to start. It was pretty awkward sitting there alone so I’m thankful for having a familiar person to talk to. We decided to try to make some friends so we spoke to the guy sitting next to me. Turns out that he was only 17 (I thought he was older than me at first), and he’s been a fan every since he was in middle school, his first album was I Loved Yesterday. He was alone too, his friends couldn’t get tickets. He asked me what I liked about YUI, and we both agreed that we liked everything about YUI!

Just as we were getting fired up about YUI (I was sharing my experiences with YUI-Lovers back in Hong Kong and showing him our YL 4th Collab, he was really impressed), it was time for the concert to start.

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—Concert—
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(this part would be really wordy and have no pictures, really sorry!)

Opening

The lights dimmed and e.u.band, followed by YUI, quickly walk out in succession to the cheers of the crowd. Her hair was let down, and long. Chris started with a familiar beat and everyone clapped along as YUI readied her guitar, everyone knew what song it would be and I eagerly waited to hear YUI’s voice live again; HELLO.

It felt nostalgic, I immediately recalled my first concert experience at Asia World Expo in Hong Kong with so many other YUI-Lovers. While it was amazing to be there, at Budoukan, watching YUI live in the country she belongs, I guess it felt a little lonely too; I very much prefer watching lives with friends!

Cruising

I don’t remember the set order perfectly, but YUI immediately took us through a string of new songs, no Reason, Nobody Knows, Separation, It’s My Life, U-niform, with I’ll be somewhere in between.

She introduced the band (the guy next to me didn’t know the band members and was surprised I did lol), and described Arisa as imouto-teki-sonzai, meaning that she was a sister-like existence to her, and Backy as an onii-chan-teki-sonzai, like a brother to her. Teki-sonzai ( something-like existence) would become a recurring joke throughout the rest of the concert, including once when an emcee stumbled and said okyaku-tama (which is supposed to be okyaku-sama, meaning guests), and YUI teased the emcee who asked her what the fans meant to her by saying that the guests had an okyaku-tama-teki-sonzai xD

New Year’s Resolution, Acoustic Corner

Other recurring jokes included Hayane-hayao (to sleep early and wake up early). YUI asked everyone to close their eyes and listen to the waves and seagulls (very relaxing), and then told us to make a New Year’s resolution. Then suddenly she said Ohayo! and everyone replied xD Then she asked us what our resolutions were Some guy shouted “YUI to kekkon” (to marry YUI), and someone else shouted “hayane-hayao” and everyone laughed. I think YUI said something like its a good resolution or that its good for health or something.

After which she asked the band members to share their New Year’s resolution, Backy wanted to go climb some drift ice or something xD Kuro couldnt think of anything for awhile then YUI immediately skipped to Chris, who said he wanted to buy a car, a small one lol. Kuro was like ehh that’s fast!! (I can’t remember if he eventually got a chance to share his resolution lol)

She paused the Q&A for Winter Hot Music, which was lovely. It actually did snow this morning when I woke up (too damn cold though >_<)

After that she asked Sakura and Arisa but I couldnt really catch it, it was something about sleeping at proper times instead of sleeping for 24hrs straight xD Couldn’t catch much because I was busy preparing my camera for…

CHE.R.RY Jazz version!!!

I noticed that YUI’s voice has changed a lot since I last heard her. She’s beginning to sing in a more, “little girl’s voice” kind of style, putting more emphasis on her falsetto rather than her usually more rock style of straining her voice. (If you know Makino Yui, yea she reminded me a lot of her while doing CHE.R.RY Jazz).

So yes, I have a video of it, sound is pretty good, I’ll paste the link when I’m done uploading.

Followed by Goodnight, and then to Mother. BUT IT WAS GUITAR VERSION!!! D:
to Mother guitar ver. sounded so, so amazing. I actually loved it a lot more than the original piano. I guess YUI is still better on the guitar ^^;

I think that was the end of Acoustic Corner, there was some emcee segment, and then we did Lock On! The flags were really fun xD I waved them around a lot too throughout the rest of the concert. We were given the flags for free at the door.

2nd Half

After that was some of the older hits, like LIFE, Rolling Star, and even No Way! Then we did es.car xD I fumbled a bit at first with the dance, but was fine by the second half of the first chorus. almost everyone was doing the dance too even though there was no “practice” beforehand and YUI and the band wasn’t doing the dance at all.

After that, she asked us what our wishes were, everyone yelled lots of random stuff, and then she said “For me, I wish for peace in Japan, and that it will quickly recover”. Immediately you could see the contrast between YUI’s thoughts and the average folk who were yelling mundane, self-centered wishes. I began to tear as she delivered a moving rendition of Green a.live.

From that point on things got pretty emotional for me, the next song was Get Back Home and that got me a little homesick, followed by the last song (before encore) Your Heaven, a song that I’ve always wanted to hear live and also because it was the “last song”.

Encore Segment

Encore, encore, encore, everyone shouted. YUI finally came out again in a new outfit, this time with her hair tied up and much shorter sleeves.

Encore segment kicked off with Sea, which really surprised me, because I’m a B-side fan and B-sides are rare during lives. Then YUI asked us to think about the person that we like, and everyone shouted YUI xD She said she would accept all our love. And while thinking of the people that we liked, we listened to Cooking, followed by Laugh Away, which is my favourite YUI song of all time. Everyone raised their hands at the right time in Laugh Away xD

Then suddenly there were giant balls bouncing around the first floor (too bad there were none up on the third floor ;_; looked so fun). It was Happy Birthday to You You, and almost everyone could dance it too!! Three dances in one concert!! In fact, because YUI didn’t have to play the guitar in this song, and she saw everyone dancing, she joined in too hahaha

After all that fun with the big balloons and dance, everything fell silent and YUI thanked everyone over and over. The next song would be the last: YOU.

She missed a line right after “chigau hito wo aishita” (I loved the wrong person), I hope it wasn’t because that line struck her hard, she did look like she was about to cry at that point.

After the song ended, they bowed, and the band left the stage.

Encore 2: It’s Happy Line

YUI stayed on, and asked if she could sing one more song. Of course she could, and we were treated to It’s Happy Line. I can’t really describe my feelings at that point very well, but it was a mix of homesickness, loneliness, achieving my dreams yet still missing something, nostalgia, and somehow a feeling like I’ve grown up together with YUI, because she sounded really different from the studio version of It’s Happy Line, a lot more mature, a lot more seasoned, like it was the proof of her many years of hard work and the obstacles she’s overcome to get to where she is today. I was moved to tears again, and when her voice finally faded to silence and the orchestra version of It’s Happy Line faded in, usually marking the end of every concert, I felt really empty as I watched her walk off the stage.

It wasn’t the end yet.

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—Tokyo—
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She walked back once more to the mic and asked to play one last song. A song that meant a lot to her. TOKYO.

The familiar chords rang slowly and calmly throughout silent concert hall, and as she started on the first line of the song, her voice cracked, and every single word was filled with so much emotion, her eyes swelled, mine too. “The room that I’ve gotten used to staying in,”…

“today is the day I leave it”, she tried her best to hold back her tears and sing on, but her voice was getting softer and softer.

“gambatte! gambatte!” the fans shouted.

“in this new journey, I still have my doubts.” I’m listening to this song, live, in a whole new light now. I could fully understand and sympathise with every word in this song, now that I’ve left home for Tokyo myself.

“On the bus to the train station, I mailed my friends, I tried calling them, but the feeling was just not the same,” tears roll down her cheeks and her eyes are completely red. I began to really, really miss my friends and family. In this unfamiliar place, on this journey full of doubt, alone. I begin to tear as well.

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—Epilogue—
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“I wonder if life is cycle of losing something in exchange for getting something else.”

Somehow, knowing that she’s been through these emotions too made me feel stronger. I thought to myself at that point, that I want to be stronger like her, I want to be able to inspire others someday.

It’s always been my dream to live and work in Japan, and now that I finally have the chance to do so, I’ve learnt that achieving your dreams usually come at a price. I’m sure I will meet many people along this new journey, but I guess some things can never be replaced, like home ^^;

As I listened to her finish the rest of the song, I realised how difficult it must have been for her at 17 to just drop everything and jump into a professional music career in such a distant city, and yet still do such an amazing job, while continuing to give encouragement to others when she was facing hardships herself. I guess that’s why I began to admire and respect YUI in the first place.

And I wasn’t the only one, I could hear many people around me sniffing throughout the song. I believe that must have been one of the most moving renditions of TOKYO ever, as she was crying throughout the entire song.

I savored every last bit of that song, and my heart sank when she took her final bow. This would mark the end of my “holiday” in Japan, and the start of my new everyday life.

My journey is just beginning and still full of doubt, but I’m sure that I will get by with her music.

“??????????
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By recalling your songs, I can get by even the most bitter of nights.
To have lived through this same moment is something I will never forget

I’m glad I came.

— Your Heaven, YUI

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– cyclo

Slice of Japan
Here’s my official blog now where I share my everyday life in Japan. Right now it’s not very updated but it will be in the coming days :) Please like it on facebook if you like what I write :)

http://sliceofjapan.net

P.S. Memorabilia

2 Metallic iPhone cases for aron and long sleeve tee for Rhackus! (need to figure out how to ship them >_

P.P.S. I found a super detailed account of last night here: http://summer-pallet.jugem.jp/?eid=1669 and part 2 here: http://summer-pallet.jugem.jp/?eid=1668#sequel If someone has the time to translate. It includes all the dialogue between YUI and band too!

You’re welcome to visit the forum