Jei's Report: Wonderland 2003 Shiga

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Jei
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Jei's Report: Wonderland 2003 Shiga

Post by Jei » Sun Aug 03, 2003 6:46 pm

Jei's Own Personal Live Report on Wonderland 2003 Shiga
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(Many thanks to the DCTgarden site for the pics used in this report)

I had the good fortune to be able to attend the DCT Wonderland 2003 shows on July 19th and 20th in Shiga Prefecture in Japan. 'Show' isn't really appropriate...it was more like a festival! The 'doors' opened at 11:30am and extravaganza was over around 8:30pm. This report is collection of info and memories from the two show days I was there and should be taken as such unless otherwise stated...


Surroundings
It took place at Kibougaoka Bunka Koen (Kibougaoka Cultural Park)
http://www.shiga-bunshin.or.jp/kibougaoka/
In Shiga Prefecture...in (or near) the city of Yasu (about 30 minutes by train East-North-East of Kyoto).

The Wonderland 2003 area of the park was a large flat grassy plain inside of a valley that was surrounded on all sides by lush green mountains, as well as a small lake and brook/river...an absolutely beautiful setting!


Actual Wonderland grounds
Getting to the park involved a trek up into the mountains. The majority of people seemed to come by chartered bus or special buses that were being run from the JR Yasu Train Station...the parking lot closest to the entrance was chock full of them. I came by taxi...you didn't need to say 'Kibougaoka Bunka Koen' to the taxi driver...'Consaato' was enough. :)

The entrance to the park was transformed into a welcoming DWL semi-oval metal lattice work of art.
(It doesn't show in the picture, but that's actually all one piece...like someone took a metal oval and bent its sides upwards)
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Once inside the grounds (about 4-5 US football fields long (1200-1500 feet)) Wonderland 2003 is split in half...The Amusement Garden area and the Live Garden area....

Amusement Garden area
All but the diehard DCT fans who wanted to secure their 'seats' in the Live Garden Area took advantage of the sights, sounds, smells, and wares of the Amusement Garden area...

The main Amusement Garden area contained:

* LIVE RADIO SHOW!! with MASATO NAKAMURA
(More on that later...)

* the main FM802 booth

* the DCTStore [http://www.dctstore.net/]
(which was absolutely packed every single hour (from 11am to 6pm) until DCT actually came on...)

* DCT Wonderland Message Board next to the Radio show where fans could write messages to the band. It seems that I wasn't the only person from across the waves...saw a message from a Taiwan fan on the board...
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* Official Partner Subaru's station presented some of their latest cars for the fans to check out (which they did in large numbers)...rather sweet looking cars, BTW...

* Official Partner J-Com Broadband had an information booth which occasionally gave away freebies and prizes, in addition to letting fans sign up with J-Com. Right next to their booth was a Cartoon Network van with a giant Mutley popped out of the top ^_^

* There was a kite booth where fans could buy small, easy to operate kites to fly (there were excellent winds at the end of the Amusement Garden area for such flying). The operators of this booth also flew a gigantic kite themsleves...a massive piece of work that took four men to control and could be seen even all the way at the other end where the stage was...

See that thing in the sky...that's the big-ass kite ^^
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* a giant inflatable Gachapin where kids could enter bounce all around (and yell at the top of their lungs ^^)
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(The main area was near the brook/stream...The intense heat during the early afternoon hours of the 20th pushed fans to take advantage of this stream to cool themselves off)

Other Amusement Garden Areas
* Numerous (and numerous) booths selling all types of foods & drinks. One of the Official Partners had their booths (I remember 'Match' drink booths & 'Curry stations') close to the main Amusement Garden area. Many other vendors had their booths close to the Wonderland entrance...both areas were usually packed...
(You name it...it was sold there)

* Two very large inflatable semi-oval ballonish coverings that provided shade over many fans who were quick enough to sit at the tables & chairs underneath it

* Large white tents to provide shade for those fans who couldn't get into the inflatable shade area

* Long chain of blue-green-purple porta-potties ^^

(The Amusement Garden area also had plenty of open spaces to lay out, have picnics, run around, etc...a very lovely green field to work with)

LIVE RADIO SHOW!! with MASATO NAKAMURA (FM802) 1:30pm

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A very casual, enthusiastic & funny Masa worked with a FM802 (funky802.com) DJ to present a live radio show for the Wonderland fans...fans who absolutely packed the area around the radio platform. The show (about an hour long) in addition to playing some the DCT fans' top 10 songs also contained:

* Masa talking about his favorite/influencial albums & musicians: The Carpenters, Marvin Gaye (What's going On), Ryu Sakamoto (You know...Sukiyaki). During this, pictures of these albums were shown on the big screen behind them

* Showing of pictures from Masa past..from his kids days (one with him as a boy scout), up through his high school days in bands (playing bass! and wearing Jigen style hats)
Each time the boy scouts were mentioned, Masa scaned the crowd for fellow scouts...only a few each day ^^

* Answering questions from local fans (many of which were in the crowd and got recognized personally by Masa)

* Masa pumping up the crowd during the playing of the top 10 DCT songs

A very amusing hour...Even with my limited Japanese....^^

DCT Records Showcase
Basically...all the bands signed under the DCT Records label got to perform!
(You can find much better pics of them on their respective sites)

AM60
http://www.am60.com/
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Four piece band out of New York City (3 Americans, 1 French)
(Cool bunch of guys, BTW..and this was their first time playing in front of such large audiences...Excellent sets both days!)

Naomi Yoshimura
http://www.dctgarden.com/NAOMI/
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Fresh new singer with a great voice whose first single was released in early July. Originally started out as a DCT concert backup singer. Check out her newly released track, Hana. (There's a video for it on her site...)
Very cute! ^_-

SAL
http://www.dctgarden.com/SAL/
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The three piece band who opened for DCT last year returns! Yuki on vocals, D-The 369 on rap/vocals, Yohei on turntables. Their new song, Where is freedom?, is the bomb!

In between the showcase performers, two groups performed:

* A traditional group of older folk with drums & fans (don't remember the official name for it)
[Performed Between AM60 & Naomi Yoshimura]

* Younger group doing what looked like a mini (but still powerful) version of Taiko drums
[Performed Between Naomi Yoshimura & SAL]


DCT Live (6pm)

The Younger Taiko group returned to the center platform at the end of the runaway to perform and get the crowd worked up. As soon as they finished, 'the Theme of the Wonderland' began...and you could feel the crowd's excitement rise!

From behind a hill to the right of the stage marched numerous people holding DWL2003 banners (on poles) and flags (and dressed in special DWL shirts)...There were two groups...one leading the way for Miwa....the other for Masa.

(Side Note: The people with the banners and flags are all locals! Fans who actually came to the show! They were brought backstage and taught what to do about an hour or so before the show. Very impressive and trusting I think...to let people who you just met be part of such a very important opening...)

Both Miwa & Masa are being carried on metal bar platforms and dressed in semi-'ancient' Japan clothing style. The two groups choose different paths as they make their way through the crowd, greeting all the fans as they go by. Masa makes it to the runway first and pumps up the crowd nearby. Miwa gets to the runway and does her traditional..."Dreams Come True in Wonderland" opening :)....and them massive flames shoot up from various parts of the stage, including two giant flames at the edges of the stage.

(Side Note: During the Sunday show, I was sitting on a hill about 150-200 feet away from one of those giant flames...I felt the considerable heat when it was set off...rather shocked those of us on the hill @_@)

The Band

Masa & Miwa (DCT) ^o^
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David T. Walker (Guitar)
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Nir Z (Drums)
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Adam Rogers (Guitar)
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Urashima Rinko (Backing Vocal)
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Otani Koh (Keyboards)
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yaSya (Electone)
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Song List (from July 20th)
(Sets are where one song flows right into another, instead of completing the full song. However, during the beauty & harmony set, all three songs were completed)

* A theme of the Wonderland
* Love Goes On...

* Set
- ahaha
- Hisashiburi no I Miss You
- Ureshi Hazukashi Asagaeri
- Nante Koi shita n darou
- Yorokobi no uta

* Tanpopo no Teibou
* Haretara ii ne
* a little waltz
* Jikan Ryokou

* Set
- Love Love Love
- Meganegoshi no Sora
- Kanon (w/ Naomi Yoshimura)

* Aishiteru Aishiteta
* Suki
* Dou Yatte Wasureyou? (w/ Yuki & D-The 369 from SAL)

beauty & harmony set
* Namida no Mangekyo
* Shougai no Koibito (50% sure this was the song)
* Kokuhaku (75% sure this was the song)

* Set
- Don't You Say...
- Song ??? (Sorry folks...simply can't remember now...)
- Sweet Revenge
- It's So Delicious
- Kessen wa Kinyoubi
- 24/7 (w/ Yohei from SAL)

* Asa ga mata kuru
* Mirai Yosouzu
* Mirai Yosouzu II
* Ureshii! Tanoshii! Daisuki!

Encore 1: Hoshizora ga Utsuru Umi
Encore 2: Sankyu
Encore 3: Ano Natsu no Hanabi

Special Moments

* Masa breaking out the big drum for a little waltz

* Naomi Yoshimura sings the duet part on Kanon

* Miwa performs a red-hot flamingo style dance in the middle of Aishiteru Aishiteta while flames are shooting up from many different places on the stage

* SAL's Yuki & D-The 369 join DCT on stage for 'Dou Yatte Wasureyou?'...Yuki does backing vocal and D-The 369 gets his rap on..

* Between Dou Yatte Wasureyou? and the beauty & harmony set, the band peformed their hot solos. The stand outs were yaSya who turned his Electone into a mad serious guitar ^^....and Rin who blew the crowd away with her 'Super Vocal Power' ^_^
Note: David T wasn't part of the solo set...because right after that...

* Miwa & David T come out from the back (costume change), walk down the runway, onto the raiseable platform for a three song b&h duet (the rest of the band does join in later on...)

* During 'Kessen wa Kinyoubi', Miwa & Rin go out to the raiseable platform and perform the 'duo vocal blitz' that happens near the end of the song...crowd goes wild! (Yeah..me too ^^).

* On '24/7' Miwa & Masa perform on the platform, while Yohei from SAL joins them onstage and adds some turntable magic to the song

* 'Mirai Yosouzu II' features gorgeous use the stage flames (as well as the two monster flames) and spotlights about the sky...

* The acapella beginning of 'Hoshizora ga Utsuru Umi' is performed by Miwa, Masa & Rin (in the past Niha would have been the third member of this part...)

* Miwa & Masa move out to the center platform during 'Sankyu' (chock full of white lighting & spotlights) and stay there for the Fireworks!...which are followed by the appropriate 'Ano Natsu no Hanabi'

* At the end, the band comes out to the center platform and bows...then they all head back...Miwa & Masa are left on the center platform. They walk back slowly down the runway, waves as they go, and walk onto the stage for the final goodbye. The big video screen slowly comes down, displaying the DWL 2003 logo and soft musicbox style music begins to play...

* Some guy comes out and starts telling which parts of the crowd may leave in what order....(Wish the dude could have waited a few minutes to let the musicbox feeling sink in...but whatcha gonna do, eh? ^^)

Ending Thoughts

* What's there to say about the actual music that hasn't already been said at previous concerts. Miwa & Masa are fantastic as always. The band performed their collective asses off. Miwa took a few of the songs in different vocal directions...adjusting the highs and lows for a different feeling. My only wish is that they bring back the horns next time. yaSya did a good job on the Electone simulating them, but nothing can beat a real set of hot horns....

* The stage set was actually smaller than the previous two Wonderlands...not circular, but more like a normal stage, with a runway out into the middle of the crowd connected to a raiseable platform at the end of it. (Don't want to forget the giant video screen above the stage!) No dancers or special props and such this time...but those flames were kicking (not to mention the fireworks!)

* Great idea for the Family Zone area of the Live Garden! Instead of plastic green gates sectioning off each specific area of the crowd, a large area to the left of the regular 'seating' area was sectioned off for the families to use. Plenty of space (and shade) to let the kids run around...have picnic...just have a good bonding time with the family!

* It was *SO* nice to be at DCT concert with fellow fans (30,000-40,000 of them each day, from what I heard) who were just as enthusiastic about the band as I was...just love that energy! Seeing the band in Vegas last year was great, but the crowd kinda sucked...so this was a millionfold improvement...

* Something in my head tells me that they performed "It's All About Love" on the Saturday...I don't remember for sure, but something's been nagging me about it...that's why I listed the 20th (Sunday) set...

* There were a number of costume changes on everyone's part (especially Miwa's), but fashion ain't my bag, so I'm refraining from describing it so I don't mess up anyone's perceptions with my lack of fashionable vision ^^

* One point of irritation: I was not permitted to bring in a camera to take a few shots (understandable, but...)...while just about everyone had camera phones and were taking pictures like wildfire...:(

* I took a taxi back to the train station from the concert...and apparantely I wasn't the only one...ever wait in line for an hour and a half just for a taxi? The second night wasn't nearly as bad (only 15 minutes), but it started pouring rain...and I didn't have my umbrella... @_@

* It's a very overwhelming experience, especially if you actually are there the entire 9 hours...even more so if the day before you spent 13 hours on the plane getting there ^o^

* Many, many thanks to T, Y, & M for helping me get to the gig ^_^

* I have more to say on the whole experience, but I'll wait until after the tour is actually over...you'll see why when I post my additional report ^_-
-Jay
DCTJoy.Com - The Joy that is Dreams Come True
http://www.dctjoy.com/

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zberry
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Post by zberry » Wed Aug 06, 2003 10:13 am

Great report! Awesome set list. I can't imagine anyone could go away from that show unsatisfied!
Can you tell us if Miwa was able to make a good connection with the audience?
I've only seen the one Fillmore show of DCT's, but when watching their 1999 Wonderland DVD, I was blown away by how well Miwa works the big crowds.
There are very, very few performers who can pull it off in those big settings and make a real connection with the audience. For most people, whatever stage presence or charisma they have gets swallowed up by the venue.
Everything about that 1999 Wonderland concert, from the stage design to the various effects, was designed to bring Miwa closer to the audience. From the first notes, it was like she was reaching out to the crowd to establish that connection. And in every single crowd shot, you can tell that she has that big crowd right in the palm of her hand. The best example is when she gets in the car and rides around singing during Osaka Atlas. Brilliant!
Was it similar for this show, or did they pretty much stay on the stage?
Thanks again for the report and set list. Hope there were video cameras for a DVD

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Jei
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Post by Jei » Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:42 pm

zberry wrote:Great report! Awesome set list. I can't imagine anyone could go away from that show unsatisfied!
They didn't even seem too mad when it started raining at the end of the concert on that Sunday :)
Can you tell us if Miwa was able to make a good connection with the audience?
Oh yes...Crowd absolutely freaked out whenever she came near them...and she spend a good deal of time out in the middle of the crowd on that raiseable platform. Even the people in the family area freaked out when she addressed them. Masa worked very well with the crowd too. :)
Was it similar for this show, or did they pretty much stay on the stage?
The stage was connected to a runway which was connected to a platform that could be raised up into the air (located in the middle of the crowd). There's bound to be some great pictures (in almost every direction) of Miwa-n-company on that platform completely surrounded by cheering fans. :)
Thanks again for the report and set list. Hope there were video cameras for a DVD
There will be a DVD....can't have a Wonderland without a DVD ^^
I'd be surprised if the show they use for the DVD was either of the Shiga ones since it was the beginning of the tour...but maybe they'll be some from it in the DVD extras...
-Jay
DCTJoy.Com - The Joy that is Dreams Come True
http://www.dctjoy.com/

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Jen
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Post by Jen » Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:02 am

EXCELLENT REPORT!! :D

I got goose bumps reading it....hehe. I wish I were there Jei!
Peace!

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sdankoehler
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Post by sdankoehler » Fri Aug 15, 2003 5:05 pm

Well, I'm starting to save $ now...If they're still around in 07 for a wonderland I'll be there if I have to swim!

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Jei
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Post by Jei » Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:14 am

Now that the concerts are over, they came out with their official set list
(which is *slightly* different from what I saw...)

* Opening: A theme of the Wonderland

* Love Goes On...

* [AHAHA Medley]
- ahaha
- Hisashiburi no I Miss You
- Ureshi Hazukashi Asagaeri
- Nante Koi shita n darou
- Yorokobi no uta

* [DANDELION Medley]
- Tanpopo no Teibou
- Haretara ii ne
- a little waltz
- Jikan Ryokou

* [CHOTTO LATIN Medley]
- Love Love Love
- Meganegoshi no Sora
- Kanon
- Aishiteru Aishiteta
- Suki
- Dou Yatte Wasureyou?

* [beauty & harmony]
- Namida no Mangekyo
- Shougai no Koibito
- Kokuhaku

* [DANCE Medley]
- Don't You Say...
- Arashi ga kuru
- Sweet Revenge
- It's So Delicious
- Kessen wa Kinyoubi
- 24/7 (w/ Yohei from SAL)

* Asa ga mata kuru

* Mirai Yosouzu & Mirai Yosouzu II

* Ureshii! Tanoshii! Daisuki!

Encore 1: Sankyu
Encore 2: Ano Natsu no Hanabi

Notes

* The one song I couldn't remember was 'Arashi ga kuru'

* Yeah...I actually got the beauty & harmony songs right :)

* They only list two Encores officially, while we got three in Shiga (Hoshizora ga Utsuru Umi came first)

Still a great list nonetheless...look forward to it on the DVD you'll buy :)

Also, here's a picture of the very end, after Miwa & Masa have walked off, the video screen has come down, the DWL 2003 logo appears and piano-box style music begins to play...

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-Jay
DCTJoy.Com - The Joy that is Dreams Come True
http://www.dctjoy.com/

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Post by Keith » Mon Dec 08, 2003 8:38 pm

Excellent report Jei. Made my hairs stand on edge imagining being there. Maybe one day I will get to see them live. :D

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sdankoehler
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2003 DVD

Post by sdankoehler » Wed Dec 24, 2003 8:10 am

Hey, am I reading this wrong or did they only release the new Wonderland DVD in Region 2? If so, us Americans are out of luck! I don't see why they'd do that. They released 99 in all regions.

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Jei
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Re: 2003 DVD

Post by Jei » Wed Dec 24, 2003 9:55 am

sdankoehler wrote:Hey, am I reading this wrong or did they only release the new Wonderland DVD in Region 2? If so, us Americans are out of luck! I don't see why they'd do that. They released 99 in all regions.
You're not reading it wrong...Region 2 only....
http://forums.dctjoy.com/viewtopic.php?t=172

And we Americans aren't out of luck...just gotta circumvent the regional coding :)

Like getting a codefree (or code changable) DVD player (that's how I'm watching mine...):
http://www.dvdcity.com/

Or you might be able to configure your computers DVD player to play multiple regions, but that can be more difficult...
-Jay
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http://www.dctjoy.com/

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James
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Post by James » Thu Dec 25, 2003 12:53 pm

I find it strange - yet strangely lucky - that we (in the UK) have the same region number as Japan.

-James

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