A Summer Festival Reviewed a Few Seasons Late…

Today I’ll be looking at the Natsumatsuri Hibiyayaon concert.  It’s a favorite of mine, so I don’t have all that many bad things to say about it.

Click the pictures for the review, or you can read it all below!

MC

Today’s concert is actually done outside!  This is AKB’s first major outdoor concert, and the idea of a summer festival is present with the lanterns decorated by AKB48 members.  Also, this is AKB’s first actual concert using all three Teams.  Shibuya AX doesn’t count in my opinion.

To start off the show, Nacchinon comes on stage to talk about… whatever they’re talking about, and then they count down for the (live) overture!

Overture

This is the second time the vocalist of ‘Overture’ comes on stage for us.  The first being in AX08.  That time, I don’t think he had ever listened to the overture since he recorded it.  Luckily this time he was better: probably because he heard the overture only eight months ago.  Very little progress was made, despite his wearing of a rainbow purse and a towel over his head.  He even ended his own lyrics with “Are.”  I mean, at least finish the sentence if you decide to start it.  Oh well… On to the short skirts!

Dear My Teacher

Team A does their instructor-pleasing shuffle on stage non-nonchalantly and the concert begins!

My favorite parts of the song are the opening lines with Mai and Rina and then we they come back closer to the start of the chorus.

As you can see, it’s already raining!  I wonder if that’s the reason why there hasn’t been another large-scale concert outside…

What!?  Why are they moving?  Oh wait, does this mean what I think it means: they’re going to sing the second verse!?  Yes.  Yes, it does!

If you listen super closely, during and after the above three’s trio line, you can hear the Team K fans chant “1 + 2 = N-Nacchi.”  I love it.  Best chant ever.

Since so many girls have graduated and/or been added, the second verse has a few new additions like Mariko, Amina, and Fujie.

I definitely forgot that Acchan had lines in this song.  I need to watch A1 again, I think.

As you can see, it’s already raining!  I wonder if that’s the reason why there hasn’t been another large-scale concert outside…

Saishuu Beru ga Naru

Next up is Team K’s fourth Stage’s title song, which happens to be a new favorite in the time period of the concert.  Team K fist pumps out on stage, but with the now damp floor, it seems to be slippery as evidence of Sayaka tripping during the transition.

Natsuki’s back with an awesome hair-do!  Yay!

Please note the water on the camera lens.

I love when they get to perform all the verses of a song.  It gives the whole Team their original parts, and usually is the half of the song that my favorite member sings in.

I love how they had that whole ‘Amai Kokansetsu’ single and one of the reasons for it was the part of the stage that Ohori would often be in during songs due to her popularity.  They said that she was often in the back corner, all the while showing video of ‘Saishuu Beru ga Naru.’  What the viewer doesn’t see is that she mirrors Natsuki during the majority of the song and Natsuki is in the other corner, and that the duo get to be front and center in the first chorus and part of the bridge.

Shounichi

Team B’s most popular song gets presented for the first time here.  I used to dislike how they didn’t get to do their prayer, but in reality, that’s really not part of the song, but it’s more like it’s the intro to B3 and is just associated with the song because it’s similar in concept and immediately before the song when it was performed in the theater.

Just a little earlier that month Sasshi had been promoted, and only a little over a week before this concert, Ayarin was fired.  This kind of shows how Sasshi was given Team B front girl status immediately after she was given a full position.

Look!  A camera!

Aitakatta

Now the entire AKB gets to be on stage at the same time!  Who would have ever thought?

Natsuki gets the first real close-up.  That makes me happy inside.

Team K took off the removable raggedy parts of their costumes like in K4… if you care.

Moeno also was promoted a little while before the concert.  Since they probably only have sixteen ‘Shounichi’ costumes, she’s stuck with the ‘Boku no Sakura’ uniform that the RS wear here.  Also interesting to note: Inoue Naru has yet to graduate.

The current RS join in during the last chorus.  I find it funny that the first time I saw this concert, I had no clue who any of them were, yet now all I can think is about how I love a ton of them!

Nagisa no CHERRY

One of the perfect summer songs actually got a spot here.  I love when they perform seasonal songs in the right season.  Here, Mayuyu takes Acchan’s spot as she’s performed it the most recently.

Harugon, Haachan, and Rabutan get stuck with the back-dancing.  Nakagawa actually seems to out-dance her fellow Haruka despite her side position.

Namida no Shounen

Another fitting A2 song.  We even get a multi-Team cast!

CinDy takes Orii Ayumi’s lines as she does in B2.  It’s nice to see her with her old Team’s members.  She looks less old compared to them than she does with Team B!

Each time I watch this performance I always wonder about how Mai’s hair stays so styled dispite the humidity and rain that’s currently pouring.  I know that I should wonder this about all of the girls, but it’s only Mai’s hair that makes me wonder this.

Nage KISSU de Uchi Otose

Acchan’s unit for the night is her cowboy-costumed one from A3.  It seems like this is the wota fall-back favorite next to ‘Nagisa no CHERRY’ when it comes to Acchan.

Fujie has taken over Masuyama Kayano’s position… this is a very fitting selection.  It just sucks that I like both of them, so I never know which I’d prefer to see in this song at AX.

I love these costumes.  They’re so colorful.  And sparkly.

Gomen ne Jewel

I’ve always felt that these costumes looked a lot like ‘Nage KISSU de Uchi Otose’ and so having them right next to each other in a concert’s set list helps me confirm that they really do look similar and it may very well be on purpose.

The RS’s outfits look even more ‘Nage KISSU’-like…

I’ve heard many people complain about how they don’t like how Asuka and Yuka don’t get solos during the dance break.  While yes, that isn’t very great for them, we must remember that the other half of the unit at the time was the two most popular members of Team K and that Mocchi and Masuda got the same amount of solo lines (albeit in worse positions), so they had to loose something, which ended up being contrasting colors on their costumes and they share a dance part.  Good for them, regardless.

The stage seems to be getting even slicker.  Suzuki definitely took a tumble here.  Speaking of which, Nakanishi Yuka, Hatayama Arisa, Suzuki Nae, Oya Shizuka, Nakatsuka Tomomi, and Arima Yuka (I think) back dance here.  I might be wrong on the last two.

Glass no I LOVE YOU

I like how this song’s opening positions always tend to be sort of interesting.  Going back to the A2 roots, two girls appear on stage and the other two appear on speakers on the outside of the stage.  Very original and cute.

Why does Akimoto do this to me?  Rie, Moeno, and Sasshi are grouped so often.  I seem to always find them together.  It’s almost lucky that they will all be in different Teams soon.  But then I wonder if during a shuffle performance they’ll just take each other’s units.  Oh, and Myao’s here, too.  She gets to lead.

Junai no CRESCENDO

This is especially fitting in this concert.  I’m pretty sure the lyrics might mention rain.  And it’s raining.  Awesome.

I love how the setting matches their costumes so much.  I’m serious, this all works so well that I think it’s perfectly epic.  The blue, the pink, the rhinestones.  Sexy.

No3b looks like an actual music group here.

And again, suburb lighting.  Lovely.

Ame
no Doubutsuen

Ruining the mood like it always does comes the original song about rain.  And a zoo.

I love how dispite how unpopular Kana might be now, she still gets her part whenever Team K performs this song.  Oh, and that’s the lineless camel by Naruse in the background there.

Such coincidence.  Wonderful.

Ah!  The French revolutionaries are coming!  Quick, animals, go back to your cages!

Kagami no Naka no Jean de Arc

The choice to show this unit song so close to the time that its leader left AKB is a curious one.  They most likely had time to choose a different one or just cut it out since Ayarin had stopped regularly performing about three weeks previous to the concert, yet they decided to keep it in the set list.  Was it a diss at the original performer, or was it simply a push of it’s new one?  Maybe one day we’ll get to see Ayarin on stage with her flag.

I love Rumi’s spot in this song.  Everything about it.  She gets the same amount of lines as the center in the first verse (Ayarin/Sasshi get one solo in the second) and has the best outfit.  And she’s a perfect fit here, too.

CinDy gets to rev the audience up.

Despite the flag only really being used at the start and end of the performance, it’s so intense whenever the lead grabs it.

Blue Rose

‘Blue Rose’ half-shuffled version.  Here, Kashiwagi takes Yuka’s spot since she performed in ‘Gomen ne Jewel’ and Mika takes Ohori’s position because she’s about to have a unit song.  I love how they pushed Mikachi all of the time.

I think they chose the ‘Temodemo no Namida’ duo to substitute in just because they wanted to add in their unit, but they already filled the set list.  ‘Temodemo’ would look so amazing here, though.  I’m going to take a moment to imagine it… and yeah, it would be great.

Fog much?  I’m pretty sure that even Memolist mentioned there being a ton.  I guess that they don’t have very much practice with using it outside, let alone with rain there to contain it on stage.

Oshibe to Meshibe to Yoru no Chouchou

One of the more famous versions of this song is here.

It used to be that there were often costume changes for ‘Oshibe to Meshibe,’ but they kind of slowed down after this time.  Off-hand I remember that there were variations like teacher/student, office ladies, gangsters, Middle Eastern-wear, and a lingerie version.  On the second to last night of K4, they performed a version wearing the ‘Kinjirareta Futari’ costumes and an ‘Original Mix’ of the instrumental featuring a melody that sounded similar to a music box and like ‘Kinjirareta.’

I wonder how it feels for them to perform with bare feet.  I’ve heard that since everyone was slippery, Nacchan came up with a great idea to save them: pouring some sort of cola soft drink on the ground, placing a towel over it, and then stepping on it.  This made their shoes a bit stickier so they could hold on to the ground a bit better.  With these two rolling around on the wet, now sticky surface, I wonder if it was a bit uncomfortable.

Romance, Irane!

After an MC (shown on the second disc), comes
AKB’s most recent original single that was distributed traditionally.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love this song.  The costumes, the lyrics, the choreography, the epic-ness…

They get to do two verses again, and so we get to see Natsuki singing in the very middle of the stage.  Aren’t we lucky?

So gosh-darned cool.

RUN RUN RUN

Usually, ‘RUN RUN RUN”s opening consists of the girls taking off their vests and running to put them on the sides of the stage before proceeding to sing.  Here, the girls who just performed get to dance about for a moment before going back.

The Team performing this song and ‘Romance’ are modified Himawari-gumi Teams.  ‘Romance, Irane!’ had H2 Team 1, minus Sae and Yuka and adding Fujie and Chikano, and ‘RUN RUN RUN’ has H1 Team 2, minus Kayano, Yukarin, and Deguchi and adding Rina, Sae, and Yuka.

It’s always interesting how they use new costumes.  Since K4 was the newest Stage at the time.  They were pimping-out the ‘Shamu Neko’ uniforms.  These girls get to wear them here, and in an important performance of Baby! Baby! Baby!, the participating girls (Team A, I think) got to wear them.  It’s a shame that I’m not really all to fond of them.

By the way, for consistency, both verses were sung here.  It seems like every Team (A, K, B, 1, and 2)gets to perform one song by themselves with two verses.

Wasshoi B!

Ah!  ‘Wasshoi B!’ and some of my favorite costumes!  Yay.

This is one of the only nearly-full-member ‘Wasshoi B!”s I’ve seen.  I think that the 3D show that featured some B3 Team songs may have had the full Team, but I’m not sure.  At least Naru is here, though!

I found Natsuki’s lantern!  I had never seen it before, but I just caught a glimpse of something that looked like an ‘N,’ and sure enough: it was!  I had always figured that that’s what Natsuki would have done with hers, but I never had proof.  Now I do.  Of course, I technically have no clue if it’s actually hers or someone else’s, but ‘N’ is kind of her thing, so it would have to be Natsuki’s or Mikipomu’s, as she’s a Natsuki fan.

I remember the first ‘Wasshoi B!’ I saw in that 3D show.  I couldn’t figure out why a couple of the girls didn’t have microphones for a moment and then were given some a little while later.  I think I kind of studied this for half an hour before seeing that they had given them up to lift another girl.  I was so impressed by myself for noticing it!

I love Team B.  The original, the new recruits, and the New Team B.

Gokimen Naname na Mermaid

I love this song.  Why on earth did it not get into AX09?  What is wrong with the world?  The rest of B3 got in!

In B3, the first verse and chorus is done by only half of Team B, as they left during ‘Hissatsu Teleport.’  Here, they give the other half of the girls choreography and present it as though everyone is usually on stage.  Also, they’ve added a few RS for no apparent reason.

Except, they do have at least three very good performers up there: Chiichan, Sara, and Chunchun!

Korogaru ishi ni Nare

Team K pops out for their anthem wearing the red Kouhaku fringe costumes.

Yay for Natsuki!

As you can see, some how my favorite lost her amazing costume from the last time she performed in it.  She used to have the best out of the three: the shorts.  Now, she’s stuck with the conservative one.  I’m guessing Sae is wearing hers, as Sae’s was white, and they put all of Team K in red for this.

Melos no Michi

Okay, the video of the very start of the song, the battle of Sae versus Nonti, is terrible.  You can’t see a thing.  I don’t know if they thought it’d be cool or what, but it just looks bad.

See, if Natsuki had her costume, she could look as awesome (even better, probably) than Sae.

The only reason I really like this song is because of N’s placement.  Her group has very, very similar voices, and you can hear hers pretty well.   It’s also nice that it’s one of the first two groups, which have the longer lines in the first verse.

At some point, some Kenkyuusei come in the back with the blue Stage-version ‘Skirt, Hirari’ costumes on.  I’ve never understood why there are so many versions of these costumes.  I’ve only seen the blue variations here in one (small) video and one picture.  They’re just not very attractive.

And they definitely don’t match.  They could have put the RS in the white Kouhaku outfits or something instead.  Those would match Team K and the Research Students’ costumes from the Team B Research Students’ costumes.

Only Today

This is another one of my favorite songs.  It’s so catchy and cute with a nice poppy instrumental.  And the girls get to wear the ‘Ato 1cm’ outfits!  I love these so much.  Almost as much as the ‘Romance, Irane!’ costumes.  The large amount of girls in Team A makes me wonder how many costumes they have per set for Himawari-gumi.  Since there are so many girls that have weird sizes, they must have more than sixteen and closer to twenty.

I found the lantern again!  I didn’t even have to try this time!

Normal-sized hair accessories on normal-sized girls…

And Takamina-sized hair accessories on Takamina-sized girls.

Skirt, Hirari

When I first read about this performance, I was super-excited because it was Team A-only, and I heard that it put the “SukaHira Seven” in their rightful places.

Too bad this is actually an encore version of the audio, as it has the single version with added Team A voices so you hear a lot of whoever is singing, but also everyone else simultaneously.

Who is that behind Amina?  Creepy.

Only a portion of the girls are actually wearing skirts.  And those skirts can’t flutter.  The irony.

Team A sang two songs without RS in the back?  It’s almost like they’re favored.  I guess they’re shuffling Teams for a good reason.

Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008

For the last song of the night, they sing their first single.  Team A is in front for the first half.

Then Team K pops up to form a line dancing with a forward-backward motion.

And then they go into ‘Nounai Paradise’-mode and add in some of that choreography.

Team B’s turn means they bring in the thumbs up and jumping motions of ‘B! B! B! Wasshoi!’ from ‘Wasshoi B!’

Team A has no characteristics, so they just act as though they are all good buddies and rock side-to-side and then pose and wave ‘Aitakatta’-like.

Pretty…

And this is the cover of the DVD and the PB to go along with it for this concert.

(Kenkyuusei Dance)

Yay!  I love this one.  It’s short, meaningless, but a transition, and I count it as a song.  I want a studio version!

The RS get to wear Team A, K, and B t-shirts.  I wonder how many got onto the Team that their t-shirt said.  And oh look, Chiichan!

Takajo Aki gets to introduce the encore.  One would think that it would be Oya’s job since she was the un-official Kenkyuusei leader, but I guess not.

Virgin Love (Research Students ver.)

I always think that ‘Virgin Love’ is just an okay song, but since I love just about every single performance I see of it, I think I actually really do enjoy it.

Who is this?  I have no clue.  Please fill me in.

Takajo is all over in this performance.  They were pushing her before she even joined Team A.

Yuka gets to perform with SKE48 tonight, too!  She’s busy.

By the end of the song, Team A starts coming out and the ‘Virgin Love”s start sounding better.

Baby! Baby! Baby! (Team A ver.)

For whatever reason, Team A gets to sing an extra single.  Again, they’re just that special.

All three Teams performed ‘Baby! Baby! Baby!’ as part of their Stages (A4R, K4, and B3) for a little while when it was first released, so I guess they didn’t have to stage a new version or anything.  I just wish they would have just used the selected members or something.  Maybe without Ayarin.I usually really like short over-alls, but the ones that Hiichan and Acchan are wearing aren’t very attractive.  I feel sorry for them.

And I totally love seeing Fujie and Rina on the same stage.  Yes, I’m aware that Fujie is not in this screen capture.

Also, more talk of the costumes: I usually don’t like encore costumes like these from AKB, but I really like them here.  I think that it’s because the tops are light and seem more effortless and since it’s outside, it seems more fun-friendly instead of how I always expect to be awed by concert hall performances.

The lighting during the bridge alternates side-to-side.  I’m not sure if I like it.

Kojiharu definitely just shot someone.

PARTY ga Hajimaru yo (SKE48 ver.)

SKE48 performs ‘PARTY.’  It’s of course super-interesting since I’m not that big of a fan of the song, and I can’t tell the difference between a bunch of them at this point.  They hadn’t gotten their makeovers yet.

But there’s my Rikako!

Boku no Taiyou

For the third all-AKB song of the night, we have a single that hadn’t been performed in a real concert yet, and one of their better selling due to a one-of-a-kind photo included with each CD.  Here, a double-Team Himawari-gumi performance is given with Team B in the back.

Yay!  My girls are together!

Seriously, I’m loving this hair.  If only she dyed it back…

Team A and Team B get to wear denim shorts/skirts/pants/overalls, while Team K gets to wear white bottoms, similar to the RS.

Natsuki!  You are my sun!

Ohori’s recently-published memoir mentions that her grandmother passed away shortly before this performance.  Meetan had never had much support from her parents but her grandmother was a big part of her life.  In the book, Megumi says that this is one of the songs that she really sang her heart out in remembrance of her.

AKB48

AKB48’s fight song!

Team K starts in the front row, so that means it’s an instant N attack!

And it’s still raining…

The RS jump on stage at some point.  Now, where is SKE?

BINGO!

Takamina announces this one as usual.  I don’t know if anyone other than her and Ohe have ever done so.

It’s another modified Himawari-gumi performance with the less popular girls and RS in the back.  Natsuki’s in front and she gets her usual lines.  It’s wonderful.

The audience get their little strands of metallic tape.  Soon they’ll be flashier than the AKB members!

Natsuki!

Guess who’s pretty much dead center for bows?  Yup, that’s right.  No need to ask where she for this one.

And that’s Natsumatsuri Hibiyayaon in just under five hours.  I made sure to be really quick with this one for whatever reason.  Next stop: Budokan!

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