MISIA concert review
Posted by redracer on November 11, 2007
This is a review of the final concert on MISIA’s recent “Hoshizora no Live IV” tour …
A colleague of mine was lucky enough to be in Japan at the time of this tour, and was able to get ticket to the last show in Nagasaki on the 15th September. Here is his (flowery) review of what sounds like a fabulous event 🙂
“Atop a mountain overlooking Nagasaki, Misia’s home town, the taxi deposited me near a patient queue of seated fans. If a six foot, blue eyed concert goer was noteworthy in Yokahama (a previous concert of hers I attended earlier this year), it was as if I’d just stepped from an alien space craft here. However, in a while I’d even managed to strike up a conversation on the merits of cricket and baseball, such was the good nature of everyone waiting to see the local lass made good.Staking my piece of the hillside, some lovely English speaking ladies offered me shelter under their umbrella while a gathering typhoon dumped a river of rain. This kept up until the girl herself appeared, when the rain dried up as if by magic, the stars broke out, the music began and that angel voice touched the clouds.Straight into ‘Tsutsumikomo Yuni”, and ‘Into the Light”. Without pause – what a way to get a crowd going. Misia’s obvious joy at singing at home infected her songs and lifted the rather wet through and bedraggled audience in an instant. Trying a few more ambitious steps, I was joined by one of the umbrella ladies, quite unheard of at Japanese pop concerts. Gathering two young ladies on the other side, there was soon a chorus line of about ten or twelve girls all in step with me. It then dawned that Misia was singing her one English song, “Never Gonna Cry”, so I gave voice too. The chorus line was now well able to look after itself, an I briefly serenaded a group of ladies behind me on the line, “So love, do stay with me”. Delighted giggles accompanied me as Misia gave me very credible vocal backup. A cheer went up, I mopped my brow, and took a bow with the chorus line to the local, good humoured cheers. Who said the Japanese were stiff ?
Misia was like a foal unbridled, in the open air, at home and with only her band. Her voice reached a gem-like height and her tiny figure pulsed with bliss. Each song was familiar but intensified with the atmosphere of this enthralling setting flanked by mountain top and sea.
Her asides to the audience (those that I had translated), seemed full of local jokes and brought delighted recognition. Gripes about the third time running it had rained in Nagasaki, to exaggerated cries of delight at the sighting of a star through the rain clouds, all brought friendly chuckles.
Misia, like the great Opera singer, Jessie Norman, never seems to worry about saving her voice for the next performance, but her exuberance and generosity was exceptional at Nagasaki. Three encores and a performance at a level of force that never faltered – to me it means I’ll seek her last concerts in future, particularly if they are at Nagasaki.
She asked visitors to make time to see the Atomic Bomb Museum, with no fake emotionalism, just a deeply felt belief that was something that was worthwhile. I did, and was moved deeply by the fate of innocent Japanese caught up in an unspeakable catastrophe brought upon them by the brutal excesses of their government.
I spoke to a charming young lady, who was a guide at the Museum. I suggested that all who died in the Pacific War were victims in the same way as the Nagasaki unfortunates, whatever their country. To my surprise, she agreed, “Yes, yes – this museum should be for all who suffered”. So impressive a person, I took her name, Risa Hiarakawa, to make the museum directors aware of such notable humanity.
But, that was after the concert. “We are the music” gave me another chance to exercise the chorus line and my vocals. The spirit spread and others joined in – the contagious spirit of Misia’s song now at intoxicating levels. Sea, stars, clouds and joyfulness all mixed in a heady cocktail.
No one wanted to go, not even it seemed, Misia. She came back not once, but three times to keep that dreamlike thread unbroken with her friends, each time with a song that held us rapt.
These concerts are like gems, and this a diamond set in a mountain, floating above the sea.”
If that all sounds wonderful, on December 5th you can buy the DVD of the same show, and probably get a better (and drier) view of the whole performance 🙂