Anisong Matsuri at Anime Expo 2016 Features Concerts by Sphere, JAM Project, and T.M. Revolution

Anison Matsuri Anime Expo
A couple weeks ago, we announced that the J-pop artist MICHI would be at Anime Expo. Based on the YouTube videos featuring her vocals, I concluded that she was competent, but not the kind of singer that would draw crowds to Anime Expo.

All of that changed when Anime Expo announced that they’d be hosting the Anisong World Matsuri in conjunction with the convention. And boy did they get some big names to commit into showing up.

The collection of singers feels a lot like a who’s who of Anison. You’ve got acts like JAM Project who’ve seemingly been around forever. New fans know them for their One Punch Man opening theme, but these guys go all the way back to 2000 when they debuted with “Kaze ni Nare” for Éx-Driver. Their better-known body of work includes Scrapped Princess’s, Gravion, and Mazinkaiser opening themes.

But that’s not all. There’s Sphere, whose singers might as well be the K-ON girls (with the addition of Haruka Tomatsu and Ayahi Takagaki thrown in for good measure), FLOW, whose work on Code Geass is pretty damned legendary, and T.M. Revolution whose work really needs no introduction since he’s collaborated with Nana Mizuki on Valvrave’s opening theme but whose work on stuff like Gundam SEED’s “Invoke” is far better known (and far better sounding). There’s more artists that you can peek at above, but that’s a pretty formidable lineup to say the least.

Unlike many of the other conventions, this one’s practically in my backyard. If you check on Daisuki’s website, tickets are still not yet available for purchase. But for an event of this caliber, I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out. So watch this space for updates and hope you’ll look forward to my concert reports like the ones I do pretty much every year!

Momoiro Clover Z American Concert Tour Includes New York, Los Angeles, and Hawaii

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Momoiro Clover Z, the wonderful gaggle of idol pop stars that includes Kanako Momota, Shiori Tamai, Ayaka Sasaki, Momoka Ariyasu, and Reni Takagi, have announced that they will tour North America this year. The tour, dubbed the Crossing America Ultra Live, will consist of 4 performances total and will take place in New York, Los Angeles, and Hawaii. This announcement came at the tail end of their Japanese concert tour that’s quickly coming to a close.

This concert tour won’t mark Momoiro Clover Z’s first appearance in North America. Last year, they performed in concert at Anime Expo alongside Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons who represented the glam rock band KISS. The two made for an oddball performance as they sang “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina”, a collaboration worth of a 2015 MTV Video Music Award.

But anime fans will want to seek them out for their theme song performances, many of which are pretty memorable. “Mugen no Ai” from Bodacious Space Pirates proved to be pretty popular and it was hard to find people who didn’t like the deliciously obnoxious blend of traditional Japanese fare mixed with high-speed shoujo rap in “Nippon Egao Hyakkei” from Joshiraku. In addition to those songs, they’ll also perform a version of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal: Season III opening theme.

Eir Aoi Performs Solo Concert in New York

Aldnoah Zero ED Theme Eir Aoi
Eir Aoi, the artist behind such hits as MEMORIA from Fate/Zero and more recently, Lapis Lazuli from The Heroic Legend of Arslan will be performing her first solo concert in New York at New York City’s Gramercy Theater on May 25. Tickets for the event can be obtained through Livenation though Crunchyroll Premium subscribers are eligible for special access including a talk session with Eir Aoi and a post-concert “meet & greet”.

Eir Aoi’s musical portfolio should be readily recognizable among anime fans. In addition to the titles mentioned above, she’s also worked on anime like Kill la Kill and Sword Art Online. Her career as a singer has also gone over well; her latest album, D’Azur, debuted at #3 on Oricon’s weekly album chart for the week of June 22-28. I’m not a big fan of hers since I don’t think she controls her volume very well, but I’m probably in the minority on that front.

This won’t necessarily be her first concert in the US. In 2014, Eir Aoi came to Anime Expo for a special Kill la Kill event, one that was pretty well-received by those in attendance.

Babymetal Performs on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

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Babymetal might be one of those things that I’m not really destined to get. I’m not a hardcore fan of Japanese idol pop and definitely not someone who tunes into metal music (longtime readers should know my genre interests quite well by this point). Nevertheless, this fusion of idol pop and metal is one of the few things to really catch on with international audiences and to that end, they got a chance to debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this evening, performing their song “Gimme Chocolate” for American audiences on TV for the very first time. Their full performance can be seen below:

Their performance was amusing and lively even if it wasn’t enough for me to buy into what the trio of Suzuka Nakamoto (“Su-metal”), Yui Mizuno (“Yuimetal”), and Moa Kikuchi (“Moametal”) offered. The music was just a bit too repetitive for my tastes and didn’t really have enough dynamism for me to really get engaged. Some things just aren’t for me and Babymetal is one of those things. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying their works though. After the end of the performance, Stephen Colbert noted that their latest album, Metal Resistance is out if you’re looking to listen to them some more. Fans of their work will be pleased to find that this album has garnered largely positive reviews from the music press.

Perfume 6th Tour 2016: COSMIC EXPLORER Comes to the USA

Perfume J-pop
Perfume, the J-pop idol trio of Ayano Ōmoto (nicknamed “Nocchi”), Yuka Kashino (who goes by “Kashiyuka”), and Ayaka Nishiwaki (better known as “A~chan”) will be embarking upon their 6th concert tour that will take them to various venues in Japan and 4 venues in the United States to celebrate the release of their latest single, Cosmic Explorer.

North American fans of Perfume will have to wait until summer for them to reach US shores. They’re currently slated to be in Los Angeles on August 26, fly to San Francisco for a concert on August 28, head over to Chicago on August 31, and finally perform for two days on September 3-4 in New York City, New York.

Much of Perfume’s material falls into the category of idol technopop and anime fans might know them best for their work on the Doraemon anime movie titled Doraemon: Nobita no Himitsu Dōgu Museum. In terms of television shows, they’ve performed the theme song to Sushi Police, titled “I Don’t Understand You” which was done in collaborating with the LA-based band OK Go. But seeing that most Western anime fans don’t really have ties to the Doraemon franchise or watching anime shorts like Sushi Police, it’s probably not something that’s really high on people’s radar. And if you’re like me at all, they don’t make for a really compelling reason to go catch them live, so I’ll skip out on this one.

Vocaloid IA visits the East Coast in Concert on October 11

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All of the East Coast Vocaloid fans who weren’t able to see IA perform live in concert this past summer at Anime Expo can catch her in concert this October in New York City. The concert, billed as the IA SPECIAL 3D LIVE SHOWCASE will take place on October 11 at the Gramercy Theater located on 127 East 23rd St in New York City.

Given the arrangements by the organizers, viewers can be treated to many of IA’s Kagerou Project songs and see some pretty neat visual effects afforded by the 3D holographic projector.

For those interested, tickets are available for $35 if bought in advance, $45 if purchased the day of, and $75 for special VIP seats. Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.

On top of that, there will be a pre-show event at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in New York City located on 1073 Ave of Americas. The event will start at 6pm and ends at 7pm, giving all concertgoers time to get to the Gramercy Theater in time for the 8pm showing.

If you’d like to know what sort of songs you can expect out of the IA concert, check out the concert clips below, all taken from her performance at the Nokia Theater at Anime Expo 2015. More information about the event can be found on the IA website on 1st Place’s website, the company organizing this event.

Anime Band Flow Makes In Concert at AnimeNEXT

flow Anime Band
Aside from JAM Project, FLOW is probably the only other male J-pop band that’s done so many songs for so many different anime. And for fans looking to catch them in a live concert, you’ll be able to find them hanging around Somerset, New Jersey between June 12 through the 14 at the AnimeNEXT convention held at the Garden State Exhibit Center.

FLOW, the group made up of members including vocalist Keigo Hayashi, guitarist and vocalist Koushi Asakawa, guitarist Takeshi Asakawa, drummer Hiroshi Iwasaki, and bassist Yasutarou Gotou have all been around since 2000 and they’ve done some pretty notable anime works over the years, starting with “Go!!”, the 4th opening theme for Naruto, but really struck it big with “Days” from Eureka Seven and the famous “Colors”, the opening theme for Code Geass which has their signature “Jibun wo” lyric.

Their current activities right now consist of the single “Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye”, which was used in Samurai Flamenco, and “7 -seven-“, which saw them collaborate with Granrodeo to perform the ending theme to the The Seven Deadly Sins anime. Other than that, they’ve been touring around anime conventions around the world to promote their music and meet their fans which, judging from the songs of theirs that came up during the Animusic Tourney, shows that they have quite the large fanbase.

More information about the concert and other going-ons at AnimeNEXT can be found on the website. Those who have looked back upon anime like Eureka Seven, Code Geass, and Naruto should derive much enjoyment from their performance.

SCANDAL Band Concert at Anime Central

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The Anime Central anime convention has announced that the all-girl J-pop band SCANDAL will be performing in concert. Right now, the schedule is such that SCANDAL will be performing at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, Illinois on Friday May 15, right in time for the celebration.

As far as longevity goes, SCANDAL certainly has a good amount of that. A group made up of bandmates Haruna Ono on vocals, Mami Sasazaki as the lead guitarist, Tomomi Ogawa as the bassist, and Rina Suzuki on drums/keyboard, SCANDAL has been around since 2006, forming when they met at the Caless school which teaches dance and vocals. Their anime works have gotten a good amount of recognition, including the theme songs “Shōjo S” and “Harukaze” for Bleach and “Shunkan Sentimental” for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. You can also find their works on the Star Driver anime with the ending theme song “Pride”. That said, I can’t really claim to have paid much attention to their works, but from my understanding, they’ve been able to build up their fanbase.

Either way, their concert at Anime Central marks their only stop in the USA on the SCANDAL World Tour (which comes with the title of “Hello World!”). Before that, they have had a performance at the California convention AM2 and been a part of the Japan Nite US Tour which came to 7 US cities. If you’re looking to catch them in concert, just go and head on over to register for an Anime Central ticket. And that’s it! You’ll also have the opportunity to get premium seats with a better vantage point as well, but none of that information has been posted yet. If you’re looking to see them perform on other concert venues, you’ll find that they will arrive in Mexico, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan.

L’Arc~en~Ciel Live in US Theaters March 22

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Since L’Arc~en~Ciel started their music careers back in 1991 in Osaka, Japan, they’ve rocked on to stardom with numerous anime opening themes. Their discography includes hits such as the opening theme to DNA², “Blurry Eyes,” but they’re better known for songs like “Ready Steady Go,” which served as the opening theme to the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime series.

The band is made up of hyde on vocals, the guitarist ken, tetsuya, who plays the bass, and yukihiro on drums. In addition to performing the above-mentioned opening themes, they’ve also performed live at many overseas venues. Their first performance in North America was at the anime convention, Otakon, in 2004. They also did a New York show at Madison Square Garden on March 25th, 2012.

With this anime history in tow and their impact on worldwide audiences, it’s fitting that L’Arc~en~Ciel reach out to as many of its fans as possible. So on March 22, 2014, L’Arc~en~Ciel will be broadcasting its concert around the world, where fans can watch the event at select locations in movie theaters of certain cities. Below, you can find a list of cities that will be hosting the event:

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City/Theater/Time:
1. Los Angeles, CA – Century City 15 – 3:00 (PST)
2. Orange, CA – Orange 30 – 3:00 (PST)
3. San Diego, CA – Mission Valley 20 – 3:00 (PST)
4. San Francisco, CA – Bay Street 16 – 3:00 (PST)
5. Seattle, WA – Pacific Place 11 – 3:00 (PST)
6. Chicago, IL – River East 21 – 5:00 (CST)
7. Houston, TX – Willowbrook 24 – 5:00 (CST)
8. Baltimore, MD – Columbia Mall 14 – 6:00 (EST)
9. Boston, MA – Burlington 10 – 6:00 (EST)
10. New York, NY – Empire 25 – 6:00 (EST)

Tickets are being sold for $20 and if you live within easy reach of these theaters, you can go ahead and buy them on Fandango. As a note, everyone who attends will receive original post cards. If you’re one of the first 50 people to attend, you will get limited edition glow sticks. You can find more information about the concert by going to the main L’Arc~en~Ciel concert broadcast website.

Rock Band FLOW to Perform at Anime Fest in Dallas

FLOW BandFLOW, a 5-man J-rock band have been around since 1998. This group, made up of the two brothers KEIGO and KOHSHI on vocals, guitarist TAKE, bassist GOT’S, and the drummer IWASAKI, has done many works for anime such as the opening themes to shows like Naruto, Eureka Seven: Psalm of Planets, Code Geass, and Samurai Flamenco. If these are anime songs that have really rocked your world, you will want to check out the performance that FLOW will be putting on at Anime Fest, an anime convention in Dallas, TX. So if any of you are going to be in Dallas between August 15th – 18th in 2014, that’s a concert you can look forward to.

For those of you who might not recognize their name up front or might not be familiar with their works, here is a sampling of what they’ve done previously. They’re probably got their way into the anime fan’s consciousness back when they released the song “Go!!!” which was used as the opening theme to the Naruto anime. Take a look:

From there, they went to do a couple songs for the Eureka Seven franchise. “Days” was one of those songs that got really popular when the anime was airing and FLOW went on to do another opening theme titled “Bravelue” for Eureka Seven AO. Here’s their work “Days”:

But out of all the songs they’ve written for anime, perhaps none of them is more iconic than Code Geass’s “Colors”. There’s something about that iconic JIBUNN WOOO opening lyric that really resonates with people and made the whole Code Geass experience that much more memorable. Definitely a song that most people are likely to be familiar with. After all, that energy is really infectious and one that stands tall in terms of what people are likely to remember from the show:

So with all the songs they’ve done, past and present, their concert appearance at Anime Fest should prove to be an entertaining one.

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