Wonderland 2007. Fukuoka 12th August

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newrynyuk
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Wonderland 2007. Fukuoka 12th August

Post by newrynyuk » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:17 pm

Getting to the venue was simple enough. A short subway ride from Tenjin in the town centre to Tojinmachi Station, then a 10 minute stroll along the canals and through the Hawks Town mall brings you to the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome. The second stop on DCT’s Wonderland 2007 tour.

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Although tickets were sold internationally first the first time, no concessions or allowances being made for non-Japanese visitors. As requested in my confirmation email, I turned up at the box office window at Gate 5 and showed my passport and credit card and I got my ticket. However it’s all in Japanese and the ticket booth staff spoke no English. My Nihongo was limited to put it mildly, so it was a bit of a struggle to establish where I was supposed to go. Luckily, I’m fluent in the international language of pointing and miming, and the other ground staff points me in the direction of Gate 11 as my point of entry. But first, a visit to the souvenir stalls is a must.

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The queues for DWL 2007 goods was long but moved at a swift pace. I snapped up a program, t-shirt and sweatband. If you are going to one of the Wonderlands, you might like to know that the souvenir towel scarves were all sold out on Saturday (due to the ridiculously hot weather, it never went below 30°C during the 10 days I was in Japan, hitting 40.8°C at one point) and glow sticks are a must-buy.

So I find Gate 11, make my way in and find my way to section 11, seat 69, 24 rows behind the where home plate would have been had the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks baseball team been playing today. It’s an impressive set-up.

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The main stage is very wide, taking up most of the outfield, with a mini stage set about 30m in the middle of the audience (like Wonderland 2003) And a further stage at the back (like in the Diamond 15 tour) about 30 feet away from me. Above the stage hangs about a dozen globes arranged in a random fashion, a jumbotron screen and behind that, a giant projection wall. Shortly before 4pm, an announcement is made to turn off all cell phones and cameras and anyone using one will be ejected. Damn...

At 4:10pm, the lights dim and the familiar ‘Theme from Wonderland’ blasts out. A black curtain covers the central mini stage. From here, the musicians and performers emerge one by one, walking along the runway to the main stage. And as the gong strikes at the end of the Wonderland theme, the black curtain drops and Miwa rises into the sky (like during ‘Suki’ in Wonderland 95), she sings the slow intro to ‘Ureshii! Tanoshii! Daisuki!’ (again like Wonderland 95), make the traditional “Dreams Come True in Wonderland” announcement, the band strike up and we are away. The excitement is palpable, I can’t believe that after waiting so long to go to a DCT Wonderland show, I’m finally here.

The next three hours fly by in a joyous blur. You will have seen the set list elsewhere on this forum, so I’ll just run through my personal memories. The most obvious of which is Miwa in positively fine form, any thoughts that she no longer have the sheer infectious energy and enthusiasm of previous Wonderlands is quickly dispelled.

I counted 8 costume changes during the show, including one mid-song during ‘Jet!!!’, the most notable being the yellow Bruce Lee/Uma Thurman Kill Bill tracksuit at the start of ‘Ola! Vitoria!’.

‘Osaka Lover’ becomes ‘Fukuoka Lover’ for the occasion. With revised lyrics on the jumbotron screen and images of Fukuoka on the projection wall. The locals obviously love it.

Miwa’s party trick for this Wonderland, following the roller skating and flamenco dancing of previous years, is the military tattoo drum break in the middle of ‘Proud Of You’. Playing not just her own drums but also those on her left and right her as well. It’s massively impressive, goodness knows how long it took to practice.

On the basis that everyday is somebody’s birthday, an acappella version of ‘Happy Happy Birthday’ is rousing performed in the middle stage. The audience manages to keep up with the handclaps.

For the interval, Masa evidently does five minutes of stand up, followed by MC Mercellous D Nealy and backing singers Love and Gatz, lead the crowd in a run through of the audience participation part of the ‘Love Love Love/Nando Demo’ medley. Miwa and Masa reappear on the stage at the back of the arena close to me to perform it. The singing from the audience is surprisingly muted. This from a nation of karaoke singers...

Miwa and Masa return to the main stage via blow-up runways that circle the edge of the arena (which they test out by gamely jumping up and down on). The stage at the back is used twice more, including for the ‘Kessen wa Kinyoubi’ final encore.

I also vaguely recall ‘Asa Ga Mata Kuru’ is performed acoustically?

As Miwa and Masa emerge for the start of the encores, they thank everyone for coming along, then turn their backs to reveal something written of the back of their jackets which causes the audience to roar with laughter.

The farewells are indeed tearful, I think I heard a promise of a Wonderland 2011, and at 7:20pm it’s all over. It was a truly fantastic experience and definitely worth the wait, money and effort to get here.

Other than the absence of a few of my favourites like ‘Ahaha’, ‘Romance’ and ‘Suki’, the only gripe I had - and I have to say it’s a major one - was that many of the numbers performed were shortened by one verse. I estimate that less than half a dozen of the 31 songs were played in full. I do appreciate they wanted to fit as many songs into the three hours as possible, but even so. Still, I throughly enjoyed it nonetheless. Would I be up for it again in 2011? Absolutely.

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Post by Jei » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:13 pm

Fantastic! Thanks so much for the review :)
(Supremely eager with excitement now ^^)

Out of curiosity, did you see what they did with the Family Area/Zone?
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Post by nakoruru » Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:14 am

Thanks for the wonderful review! I can only hope the DVD will come out as soon as possible. *sigh*

Speaking of the medleys, I thought they had solved the problem on The Love Rocks tour playing the verse/chorus/bridge - err, I suck at the whole music theory thing but my point was the fact they played "half" the songs - in the Sayonara/Egao no Yukue/Meganeboshi no Sora medley. Am I the only one that LOVED that medley??? I'm a bit sad to hear some songs were again reduced to a line or so.

But anyway, my big question is: did you see anything from the stage? Can you guess how far you were from the main stage?

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Post by newrynyuk » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:38 pm

Out of curiosity, did you see what they did with the Family Area/Zone?
Family Area? I didn't see one anywhere I'm afraid.
did you see anything from the stage? Can you guess how far you were from the main stage?
You can see from the photo how far I was, about 100 metres or so from the main stage, but saw everything just fine. The mini stage at the back was only about 20 metres from me. You can just see the corner of it on the left of the picture.

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Post by sdankoehler » Sat Aug 25, 2007 4:25 am

Wow! This looks like it's going to be great. I wonder if anyone in Tokyo will speak english. Maybe all of us going to Tokyo should find a way to meet before the show. I assume at least one of us speaks Japanese to some degree. My Japanese is quite limited, but I can survive polite situations.

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Post by tachikaze » Sun Aug 26, 2007 6:38 pm

Thanks for the nice review! Wonder if they'll let me just use my camera as a telescope? ? ? :)

Chances are still ~25% that my company will send me to Tokyo next month.

English skills in Tokyo won't be any better than Fukuoka. I do recommend learning how to sound out the 48 katakana syllables (make some flashcards!) at least, since English words are usually transcribed into that syllabary. . . . so if you might be able to figure out that the katakana "GE-TO 11" on your ticket means "Gate 11".

I really want to go, but I don't want to go for just one week. Still might, we'll see.

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Post by sdankoehler » Mon Sep 03, 2007 2:26 pm

Another thing? How soon before the concert did you receive details on where and how to pick up the tickets? I've receieved a confirmation e-mail that says details will come in a future e-mail, but nothing else. With just over 2 weeks left I'm hoping I hear something soon. Has anyone going to Tokyo heard anything?

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Post by Spaceman » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:51 pm

Not yet. Although I believe that it was less than a week before the concert before newrynyuk got his details, going by his previous posts.

newrynyuk
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Post by newrynyuk » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:38 am

How soon before the concert did you receive details on where and how to pick up the tickets?
Get it touch with Ticket Pia or whoever now!

I hadn't heard anything before I flew out to Japan 3 days before the concert. I had to email them and they finally replied the day after. They apologised and gave details of where I needed to go and what I needed to bring (passport and credit card I bought the tickets with). They included a link to this page:-

http://www.pia.co.jp/dct07-e/dct_willcall_fukuoka.htm

Have a poke around that site and you might be able to find Tokyo details somewhere

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Post by Spaceman » Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:12 pm

Well there's a
http://www.pia.co.jp/dct07-e/dct_willcall_sapporo.htm a
http://www.pia.co.jp/dct07-e/dct_willcall_fukuoka.htm and a
http://www.pia.co.jp/dct07-e/dct_willcall_nagoya.htm but no
http://www.pia.co.jp/dct07-e/dct_willcall_kyocera.htm at this moment in time.

Newrynyuk, looking at the maps on the above pages the souvenir stalls seem to outside the main venue area.
Did you have to show your ticket to get to them or are they open to anyone?
Thanks.

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Post by sdankoehler » Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:02 pm

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but looking at Tokyo's forcast over the next 2 weeks is a bit scary. A strong chance of thunderstorms. There's not a sunny day between now and the day of the concert. I wonder if they will still play in the rain.

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Post by sdankoehler » Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:24 am

Another update. I received an e-mail form the ticket office stating they were "still in negotiations with the venue" regarding where the will-call location for Tokyo will be.

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Post by nakoruru » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:13 am

sdankoehler wrote:Another update. I received an e-mail form the ticket office stating they were "still in negotiations with the venue" regarding where the will-call location for Tokyo will be.
Say what??? Oh my... I hope it only means that they don't have a webpage up for the Tokyo concert or something.

About the weather, it has to do with a typhoon. It is close to the coast of Hokkaido now, it won't go thru Japan though but it is spreading a scary amount of clouds towards Japan's main islands. They are not going to cancel the concert due to the weather. Wonderland 2003's DVD has a few shots from concerts that were rainy.

Alas, not a word has been said about a DVD. I think chances are high the Tokyo concert will be the one for the DVD - it is probably going to be the best anyway with fireworks and everything you can't do in a closed venue. There can't be a Wonderland without a DVD, right? RIGHT??? :?

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Post by sdankoehler » Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:03 pm

Here is a direct quote from the e-mail.

"Thank you for your inquiry.
We are still in negotiation with the venue about the place to locate Will Call window. We will inform you the details on pick up as soon as possible.
We appreciate your understanding. Thank you for your patience."

Also, does anyone perhaps need another ticket? All my Japanese friends have at least to this point bailed out on me, and I have 2 tickets.

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Post by Kudou » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:29 pm

Oh man, you're actually able to give away another ticket? I live in California right near you too so I'd kill to be able to go with you. Only problem is I would need to hope I could get a passport within the next 2 weeks seeing as how I don't have one :( But I really wish I could go! If you still got that ticket I might try and do something. I was planning to go to Japan in early October but if it's for my most favorite band in the world I would do anything to try and get there faster!
Let me know. Arigatou :)

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