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So today has finally come, New Years Eve, the day of Idoling!!!'s two 9th Live concert and a Countdown Live concert! Had met up early at 8am with my friend kei from Malaysia to be early at the concert hall as the sale of the goods would start at 10am and there were bound to be already people standing in line. We arrived there at 8h40 and we were right. Already about 150 people were lining up inside. But after a while they moved the end of queue outside in front of the building, which was a lot colder...
So we started lining up and then a japanese guy came to us and asked who our favorite members were, he then left and returned with some trading cards of our favorite members (for kei this was Umeko #11 and me he gave Yazawa #7). He obviously had a lot of doubles which is likely why he gave them to us, a very friendly guy who we would meet again later that day. Another friend of us had also arrived and started queuing a little behind us. So the line started moving at 10am and it would still be until 10:30am before we got to buy our goods. While queuing we saw Uematsu walking around a few times (he's one of the assistant directors of the show) and Kadosawa looking at the people lining up from a balcony (he's the main producer and brain behind Idoling!!!).
This was the first time I got to actually use my fan club card! As there were special fanclub-only goods for sale. The FC-only goods that I got were 3 large posters (of Yazawa #7, Endo #3 and Gotou #25, normally my number 2 is Sakai #14 but I didn't like the picture on her poster),a Yazawa #7 T-Shirt, an Umeko #11 T-Shirt (for kei). Had to get an Okawa #20 T-Shirt for someone else, but that was already sold out ;p. Then regular goods: Sakai #14 muffler, Okawa #20 T-Shirt and muffler for a friend, an LED pen light, two albums (Daiji na Mono and Petit-Petit which I still needed and was unable to find in 2 big Book-Off's). There was a small lottery with the CDs and DVDs, where you had to pick a colored ball from a box and I got a nice clear file of Sunrise (the 3rd album). The grand prize was one of 10 'lucky' New Year bags from Pony Canyon.
And so we were all settled and joined up outside at the clock in front of the concert hall to wait for others to arrive and to enter for the first concert at 14h. We were really the only foreigners there and were probably noticed a lot by the other Japanese fans. For the first concert me and kei had seats together (which I had bought through the fanclub shop) and we were in row 15 just right of the middle. We had quite a good view and the concert started only 5 minutes late. I only remember bits and pieces of the set list but I do remember they started with their latest single "eve". Even though it was mentioned earlier that nor Masuno nor any of the announcers would be at the concert, Morimoto was eventually there to do some MC. Like a few lives ago, the live band had some copper instruments again. I was a great concert seeing all 20 girls in real life this time! The atmosphere was great with the whole crowd doing the wota stuff (waving with light sticks and shouting names in unison). One of the things that I do remember is one of parts that were different from the second 9th Live, which was a dance routine with Ruka, Okawa and Asahi(?), which was of course perfect for Ruka as she's super at this stuff (being only 13 years old).
After the first concert we waited again outside at the same spot (it was very cold and windy sometimes). There we saw that guy again we met earlier, and kei started talking with him (kei's Japanese conversation is a LOT better than mine...I can only understand 20-30% and talk very slow,need to look for words too much). Anyway, kei had his trading cards with him (I had also bought some,but I didn't bring them to the concert), and he gave us a larger picture of our favorite members (these were likely the new set that were sold at the concert). Too bad, I couldn't give him some for it as I didn't bring mine. And his generosity didn't stop there, he asked our names and favorite member and wrote it down on a paper, and would try to get these members to know that we were there. How he was going to do that, I don't know, but I am extremely grateful by his gesture and effort!
And then we entered for the second 9th Live. While going inside, I passed Kadosawa and he looked at me but kept a cool face (no reaction at all of me being a foreigner), but he definitely saw me! I was in row 18 (same seat,which I got in reseller shop as I had not planned to go to 2nd 9th live) and kei in row 4 (which I got him through fanclub shop). The second 9th Live came, which was 90% the same as the first one, but with a different sub-unit and without the dance routine. Also different interactions with Morimoto. Oh, and a little word about the great intro video to the 9th Live (same for both concerts), it had the different generations put in different eras of Japan and dress them accordingly. The 1st gen was put in the samurai period: with Endou as a geisha, Tonooka as a samurai, and Yazawa as a fool xD (a bit like her white/black face in the Manaza Beach dvd where members had to scare others), the 2nd gen was put in the 19th century, the 3rd gen in the 1960s and the 4th gen in a super modern world.
At last the Countdown Live came, which had only the 11 older members in it (as the younger are not allowed to work after a certain hour) and it had quite some differences compared to the larger 9th Live. It was also a lot shorter. It started off with a kind of comedy theatre with some singing as well. It was great! Even Uematsu made a short appearance at the end. Then the actual concert started. There were a lot of songs that weren't in the 9th Live that were sung in the Countdown Live. And the CDL also had an acoustic version of Meniwa Aoba Yamahototogisu Hatsukoi, played by the members themselves! Amimi on piano, Endou on flute, Tachibana on accordeon, Rurika on conga, Fonchi on a kind of xylophone and others on smaller instruments, and Yazawa had the cymbals (which was to be expected of her xD), they were backed by the live band as well. It was awesome! It's always great to see the members doing the music themselves, like in the 6th or 7th live. They also tried to teach the audience some hand moves to do during S.O.W.Sense of Wonder, but they did it very quickly (as it was approaching midnight) so it was hard to remember. The Countdown Live ended with the song "friend" (which is the B-side of the first single). Even though it was only 1h20 minutes, it was a very entertaining concert! Can't wait to rewatch it all when it comes out on tv or dvd.