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Mini Report: Peace & Smiles at Nippon Budoukan

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Home > Pick up+ > Mini Report: Peace & Smiles at Nippon Budoukan

Mini Report: Peace & Smiles at Nippon Budoukan

PSC x MJP / MIYAVI / GazettE, the / A9 / Kra / Kagrra, / SCREW / SuG

Happy New Year! Today, January 3rd, 2009, was the Peace & Smile Carnival event at Tokyo's Nippon Budoukan, a huge festival of the artists of PS Company held in honour of PSC's 10th anniversary. Every artist associated with PS Company took the stage today: from opening acts SuG and SCREW to major players Kagrra,, Kra, alicenine., theGazettE and 雅-miyavi-. Each act put on a fantastic performance, making it obvious that each is a shining jewel in the PSC crown.

Kudanshita Station, where you can find Nippon Budoukan.

The main gates of the venue today, before the doors opened.

Below is an exclusive, day-of mini report from the epic event that finished merely hours ago. Keep reading for a special glimpse into the course of the night, which will hopefully tide you over until our long, detailed report is posted within the next couple of days. Enjoy, and check back for the real deal soon!

Thirteen thousand fans gathered outside the famous Nippon Budoukan today, most of whom arrived at least three hours early to stand in a phenomenally long line waiting to buy merchandise from each of the seven artists that would later perform inside. musicJAPANplus spent this time preparing another Fashion Check column that will be posted in our articles+, so please also watch out for that!

The merchandise line began just outside the station exit...

... and stretched all the way to Budoukan's front doors.

People could hardly seem to wait to be let inside, but at least one of the PSC artists snuck back outside onto the second floor balcony for a few minutes before opening time. MIYAVI, posing for photos sitting on the edge of the balcony right over the main entrance where thousands of people stood waiting, twisted and turned for the cameraman shooting him, occasionally turning to throw playful looks over his shoulder to the fans below, who screamed when they noticed him.

Fans hastily whipped out phones and cameras to snap MIYAVI's photo.

The hustle to get in the doors.

The doors finally opened at 3:00, and the show began at 4:00; people slowly filed in starting at three on the dot, but by five minutes to four there were throngs of latecomers running to the main doors to hastily flash their tickets and receive flier packets before dashing inside to try and find their seats before the concert began.

Not a moment late, the lights inside fell dark and an introductory video began to play on video screens that hung over the stage in the middle of the venue. For today's show, the stage was set up in the middle of the center ‘arena' section, and the seats on all sides of the octagonal hall were filled by eager fans who screamed with glee the instant the overhead lights faded out. Opening act SuG took the stage first, and performed two songs to a packed audience in which every single person, no matter how good their ticket, clapped, cheered and danced around. When they finished their two songs, SuG left the stage, and overhead the music video of their latest release “Umbilical” played on the video screens while the stage was prepared for the next artist.

SCREW came next, eliciting massive screams and deep growls from all over Nippon Budoukan, throwing the entire venue into bright purple light as soon as they set foot on the stage. SCREW also played two songs then waved in appreciation of the deafening screams and cheers their performance earned before vacating the stage. Their music video “Gather Roses” played while the stage was prepared for what was next to come.

Though the audience expected Kagrra, to appear next, it was MIYAVI and Keiyuu (of Kra) who came to the stage in traditional hakama, acting as the evening's MCs to wish everyone a happy new year and direct the concert's program. After about ten minutes of their chatting, both with each other and with the fanatic audience, the two left the stage and Kagrra, came out. They performed six songs, including their new single “Uzu” as well as the recent “Shigatsu Tsuitachi” and old-time favourite “Urei”. Isshi held a folding fan in his hand, with which he danced as he sang, and the whole band wore what looked like the top layers of traditional kimono over more casual, comfortable clothes. Guitarist Shin wowed the audience with his skill playing the traditional Japanese koto, and at least 80% of the fans all around the venue produced folding fans to mimic Isshi's movements as he danced to Kagrra,'s beautiful, distinctly Japanese and faintly traditional rock. After they left the stage, the music video for “Uzu” played overhead. A short interview with Isshi followed, conducted back stage.

Kra took the stage next, and played five fantastic songs that included their most recent single “Amaoto wa Chopin no Shirabe” and the fan favourite “Buriki no Hata” in which Keiyuu encouraged the fans to sing the song's bridge a cappella several times while all four members watched and listened with huge smiles on their faces. Keiyuu himself played the piano twice: for the very first song that was simply called “Keiyuu piano solo”, and during “Amaoto wa Chopin no Shirabe”. Mai and Yuura pleased the fans who sat behind the stage by constantly running around the walkways that lined the round stage, playing their guitars as they walked around and greeted the eager fans behind them. When they finished their set, the music video for their new song “Marry”, which will be on their upcoming album “Life~today is a good day to die~”. Keiyuu and Yasuno gave a few minutes' interview on the video screens in the remaining time before the next act would perform.

Screams rang out across Budoukan simply when alicenine.'s logo flashed across the overhead screens, and fans jumped to their feet to scream and shout with happiness as the band took the stage to play the five songs that made up their set. Fans produced miniature flashlights that danced like fireflies all around the venue while the band performed “Velvet”, and the lights shined to match the following song, “RAINBOWS”. The fans sent up crazy saku arm gestures and screamed their hearts out when the last note of “Blue planet” was played, and the music video for “the beautiful name” played overhead after the band had left the stage. Shou and Tora sat for a short interview while the stage was situated, then the lights again fell dark to prepare the audience for the next artist.

The air was filled with howls, screams, shrieks and growls when theGazettE's logo lit up on the screens overhead, and soon all five members strode onto the stage dressed in traditional blue hakama. They played five songs that elicited a lot of violent head banging, yelling and wild thrashing, all performed in perfect unison by 99% of the audience, and their set ended with Reita tossing his bass up into the air as Ruki shouted out, “Thank you Budoukan!!” Another brief interview followed, and then the lights darkened again as the audience waited for the final performer to take the stage.

MIYAVI's performance began with a video that ran overhead, showing footage from his world tour that included messages promoting peace, love, happiness and music. The audience was so focused on the video and its messages, which were written in both English and Japanese, that they almost didn't notice the man himself taking the stage in the dark until he began to play and sing the first song, ““Aishiteru” Kara Hajimeyou”. He was joined on stage by his beat boxer, two dancers, a drummer and new DJ to play five songs that included “Aho Matsuri”, during which members of Kra, alicenine., Kagrra and SuG ran onto the stage while MIYAVI danced around in a happi coat with a pink folding fan adorned with extravagant feathers.

“It's time for the PSC All Stars!” Miyavi declared after his last song, and Keiyuu of Kra joined him on stage as an MC once again, and called each band back to the stage one by one to introduce them to the audience. He asked a spokesperson from each band for their thoughts on the day's show, and made a point to overact both the roles of interviewer and spokesperson when he asked himself as a member of Kra. MIYAVI accidentally revealed (ahead of the official announcement) that a DVD of the performance was going to be made; he then revealed a large drum of Japanese sake around which a member of each band gathered with a mallet to pound the top in unison and officially usher in the year 2009. Everyone clapped together at the same instant the mallets hit the sake drum, then all thirty men on stage stood and joined hands and instructed the audience to do so as well regardless of whether the next person was a friend or stranger. With everyone holding hands, MIYAVI counted off and everyone jumped up into the air together, bringing the show to a definite close on a high, happy note.

In the full length, official musicJAPANplus live report for the Peace & Smile Carnival 2009, which will be posted soon, set lists, photographs and all the juicy details will be included. We hope that you enjoyed this little sneak preview of tonight's show and what will be posted here later. Please check back often and watch the news+ and special features+ to be notified exactly when the report has been posted. In the meantime, why not check out our special MJP x PSC special collaboration columns? You can read long interviews and Q&As from all your favourite PSC artists and more, but best of all it's ready right now! Just click over to read more!

Enjoy your weekend, and watch out for our full length report! Happy new year!!!!