Wonderland 2015, Sapporo, New Year's Eve

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newrynyuk
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Wonderland 2015, Sapporo, New Year's Eve

Post by newrynyuk » Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:01 pm

The Sapporo Dome is primarily the home of the Nippon Ham Fighters baseball team. An ultra-modern multi-functioned domed arena, it was supposed to be a 10 minute walk from Fukuzumi subway station (at the end of the Toho Line in the south east of the city) to the Sapporo Dome. More like half an hour when it entails a slog through the ice and snow with 50,000 like-minded folk heading the same way.

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The queues for the souvenir stalls were several dozen deep and there was no way I’d get anything before the concert started, so I had to head on in.

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The queues of people waiting to take their picture in front of the Wonderland 2015 billboard was quite a scrum too.

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Upon entrance to the aircraft hangar-like arena, you are given a show guide. It contains outlines the concept of the show as well as well as an illustrated guide to the dance moves for the audience participation bit of the show. You were also given, rather incongruously, a large tube of Dreams Come True toothpaste

You have to overcome vertigo to reach my seat right at the back of the arena, roughly in line with second base, but the view was still great.

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The set-up is an outer ring of three curved stages that move and join together. Each of these has a gangway that leads to the main circular stage in the middle, above which is a revolving jumbotron screen, which in turn is topped by a Dorikuma, the three-earred bear that is the DCT symbol. And finally above this is a white circular screen upon which projections are made.

Just after 9pm the arena goes dark and the familiar Theme of the Wonderland blares out as the excitement and anticipation builds. The video screen shows an animation depicting the medieval fairy-tale concept of the show. As the Wonderland theme ends, the Dorikuma collapses to reveal Miwa and Masa inside and cheers erupt. They open with Winter Song, the Japanese ballad version, then suddenly Miwa takes off and flies around the area! Swooping through the audience with tinsel falling from the ceiling as the song changes tempo into the English disco version of Winter Song. We are well and truly up and running.

You will have already read Spaceman’s excellent review of the Tokyo shows. What I saw in the Sapporo Dome was broadly similar. Here are a few memorables I can recall:-

Masa also taking off and descending onto the main stage during Snow Dance.

Miwa cycling around the out ring stages and singing Ring! Ring! Ring! Just like in Wonderland 1995. Only here it ends with Miwa and the bike flying, like in E.T.

Miwa sharing the spotlight with Rinko, singing Sayonara as a power duel.

The a capella ending to Kohaku no Tsuki.

One of the dancers explaining the VERY complicated dance moves which the audience participate in for Haretara ii ne. I struggle, but many in my section of the crowd have clearly been practising.

Splitting the audience in half to do a two-part harmony singalong to Asa ga mata kuru.

For Mirai Yosouzu II, Miwa appears in a majestic red gown, then proceeds to take off again to reveal the gown is about 50 foot long! Big enough to cover the entire inner ring of fans.

A lively rendition of Osaka Lover, which isn’t changed to Sapporo Lover as I thought it might.

Ureshii! Tanoshii! Daisuki! and Nando Demo basically being mass singalongs by the audience. Luckily Ureshii! Tanoshii! Daisuki! is one of the few songs I can sing off by heart.


They reappear for the encore at about 5 to midnight. Miwa and Masa chat to fill, I wish I could understand what they said, it brought much laughter. We all countdown to midnight and it’s Happy New Year. Miwa and Masa mark the start of 2016 by performing a traditional kagami wari ceremony. Breaking open a barrel of sake with mallets and spreading some amongst the crowds. They sing Happy Birthday, altered to Happy New Year for the occasion, before closing the show with Again.

It was all over at a quarter past midnight. Getting out of the Sapporo Dome took an age because the stadium was being emptied one section at a time. When I finally did make it outside, I found the merchandising stalls were thankfully still open. I finally snapped up a tour book and t-shirt.

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The journey back took forever due to the massively overcrowded the subway. And did I mention the heavy snow? Finally made it back to my hotel just after 2am.

CONCLUSION
It was the last night of the Wonderland 2015 tour and Miwa was always going to get a great reception from the sell-out hometown crowd. But I have to say she did sound distinctly croaky at times and struggled to hit a few of the high notes once or twice (completely backing out of attempting them in Asa ga mata kuru and Kessen wa kin'youbi). Perhaps age is finally catching up with the seemingly ageless Miwa and the tour was taking its toll. Nonetheless, this was still a great show and a fabulous way to see in 2016.

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Jei
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Re: Wonderland 2015, Sapporo, New Year's Eve

Post by Jei » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:22 pm

Thanks newrynyuk for the great review! :)
Always wondered how much different the Sapporo one would be, due to both New Years and Miwa being back home...
Upon entrance to the aircraft hangar-like arena, you are given a show guide. It contains outlines the concept of the show as well as well as an illustrated guide to the dance moves for the audience participation bit of the show. You were also given, rather incongruously, a large tube of Dreams Come True toothpaste
Interesting cover...similar to the DWL magazine we got in NYC in 2011. ^^
I'll bite...did you try the toothpaste? :)
They reappear for the encore at about 5 to midnight. Miwa and Masa chat to fill, I wish I could understand what they said, it brought much laughter. We all countdown to midnight and it’s Happy New Year. Miwa and Masa mark the start of 2016 by performing a traditional kagami wari ceremony. Breaking open a barrel of sake with mallets and spreading some amongst the crowds. They sing Happy Birthday, altered to Happy New Year for the occasion, before closing the show with Again.
Very cool...imagine getting some a DWL mug/cap with sake as a take away... :)

I saw that some of the crowd went to Nishikawa's After Party at bar reboot...wonder how long it took them to get there, based on your description ;)
-Jay
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nogizaka
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Re: Wonderland 2015, Sapporo, New Year's Eve

Post by nogizaka » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:31 pm

Jei said:

"I saw that some of the crowd went to Nishikawa's After Party at bar reboot...wonder how long it took them to get there, based on your description"

It's a bit of a trip... We didn't try it after DWL 2011, and that show was on a Summer afternoon. Probably a blast, though.

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Spaceman
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Re: Wonderland 2015, Sapporo, New Year's Eve

Post by Spaceman » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:21 pm

nogizaka wrote:One of the dancers explaining the VERY complicated dance moves which the audience participate in for Haretara ii ne. I struggle, but many in my section of the crowd have clearly been practicing.
Yeah started of quite easy but then suddenly they went mad with it, Why can't they just keep it simple :D
Loved your review, you looked further away from the stage and lower down than I was or did I zoom it in a bit, can't remember now, but glad to hear you made it back to the hotel without too much trouble.

But hold on one second here, is your toothpaste bigger than mine :lol:
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Jei wrote:I'll bite...did you try the toothpaste? :)
Nope, not yet :D
Your welcome to try it and let us know what you think, just need to cover the postage cost :wink:

newrynyuk
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Re: Wonderland 2015, Sapporo, New Year's Eve

Post by newrynyuk » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:34 pm

Good lord! It would appear I did indeed get a much bigger tube of toothpaste than you, Spaceman!

Finally gotten around to trying it out, very fresh and minty! :D

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