Jei's DCT Las Vegas Show Report (Part 2 of 2)
(Part 1 can be found here)
Before the concert
I arrived at the House of Blues about an hour and a half before the doors opened and there was already a line of about 75 waiting to get in...I ended up being the first 'gaijin' in line. ^^ It was well closing to 125 before they actually started letting us in...and that's not including the tour group of 40-50 people who showed up right when we were going in. But before that they whipped out the wands and started scanning and patting down people for cameras & other recording devices. Quite a few people had to check their cameras into the box office. But a few made it in...which produced some amusement that I'll leave for later....
House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay Casino & Resort. Two levels. Main standing-room only floor surrounded on three sides by bars, bars and more bars. The balcony was about 15-20 feet off of the floor and rumored to be the best seats in the house...not that those of us who could actually touch the stage were complaining. The stage itself is about 6 feet off of the floor. Before the concert and between the opening act and DCT, waitresses came around on both levels to get everyone as nicely drunk.
The main floor was about 80-85% full and the balcony area about 70%. The majority of the floor crowd looked to be college age or slightly older. The balcony was about half-n-half (college/older). I could count the number of non Japanese on the floor with both hands (and roughly the same for the balcony). Made me wonder if I was the only 'gaijin' on the floor who hadn't been dragged to the show by their girlfriend. ^^ Crowd makeup: 70% ladies, 30% guys. The folks I was around seem very surprised that someone would actually fly across the country to see a Japanese band, especially when I wasn't even Japanese.
Camera note: The few people who did manage to sneak in cameras whipped them out to take pictures as soon as the first song started. BIG MISTAKE. By the end of the second song, the House of Blues staff had swooped down upon them. I didn't see any of them after that...(dunno if they kicked them out, but they certainly didn't return to the area). Miwa even gave a disapproving finger wave to the most blatant offender. ^^
Let me start off with a bit of whimsy. Midway through the concert, someone throws a small stuffed SpiderMan doll up on stage between songs. It catches Miwa's attention immediately. She picks it up, shows it to Masa....pauses a couple seconds and deposits the web slinger into the front of her top. The reaction from the crowd (especially the guys) was priceless. ^_^ I thought she was actually going to sing a song with Spidey in tow, but she removed him and placed him next to flowers she'd received earlier. ^^
It's true...she's even more energetic and powerful in person than can be accurately displayed on video. I've heard her hit power notes many times before...the ones during the concert sent wonderful shivers up my spine (Especially on 'Ai suru kokoro'). No vocal cracks, no weakness...effortless strength that you'd find with the likes of Aretha & Ella. You can tell she's having a lot of fun up on stage and you're glad to be there to join in the experience. It's was very interesting to see the effect she was having on the younger girls in the audience...gaining new fans with every note. ^^ Oh...major thumbs to her hips shakin' skills too...
The man is hilarious! After Miwa spoke to the crowd in Japanese, he 'translated' in English in a style that reminded me of a bad United Nations translator skit from Saturday Night Live. He definitely seems to have a great time playing with the crowd.
I'd hoped to watch him do some freestyling on the bass and he didn't disappoint. The man put some mad-funk-english onto a number of songs, including the best versions of 'flowers' and '24/7' I've ever heard. (DCT...PLEASE consider putting out a full live album....hurts so good ^_^)
Ticket Side Note: Masa said that they were very surprised (and from his face, relieved) that so many people came to see them in Vegas, since before they left Japan, there had only been 34 tickets sold. @_@
The band's performance: Wonderful! I'd been aching to see them for a very long time and they didn't disappoint in the least. A nice, intimate setting and they gave a lot of themselves. But, I've come to the realization that I would have enjoyed it more with a more die-hard crowd. At least during the most of the mgo songs, it became obvious that I was the only one in the first few rows who was actually singing along. Don't get me wrong, the crowd was into most of it, but only really became energized when some of the older songs like "Asa ga mata kuru" & "Love Love Love" were performed. The best bands play off the crowd and vice versa...I'm wondering how much better it would have been if I had gone to the LA or Seattle shows with the more die hard crowds. Have some fellow hard cores to sing and dance along with. ^^ But, overall, I had a fantastic time...even got to hear them perform my fave DCT song, "Sankyu". ^_^
After the show, the sights of Vegas didn't seem nearly as bright as when I first arrived.
(Also limped for a while too...all that standing ^^)
Must go to a Wonderland concert or die trying ^_^
The Opening Act
Shawn Eiferman! Consisted of Shawn on Acoustic Guitar & Vocals and Bo on congas, bongos and every other percussion instrument known to man (except drums). A very entertaining traditional rock-n-roll find and certainly got the crowd fired up more than I ever expected. Shawn has a strong voice and excellent string skills. Bo is a madman! He was operating up to 10 instruments during each song (including the symbols which he ferociously played with his hands).
I highly recommend everyone check this duo out (http://www.shawneiferman.com/). Bo even got into the act when everyone was cheering DCT to come back for an encore. He came out and fired us up more with DCT chants. When they did come back out, he got on one knee and kissed Miwa's hand (Bastard..^o^).
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