Wow! A Day Full of Music!
January 23, 2002
(Please be patient. This page has a lot of pictures. If you have a slow modem, you might want to go get a drink while this loads.)

January 23rd. My plans for tonight: Tetsuro Morita concert.

But first... 
We had met one of my internet friends, Tsuyoshi-san, on the 17th at Tan-san and Hatto-san's concert. He said something that day about something going on at West Vox, a live house in Machida, before Morita-san's concert.

We'd planned to meet at Machida Station at 11:00am, but I screwed up and got on the wrong train... so we actually ended up meeting at around noon. From there we walked with Tsuyoshi-san to West Vox to meet... Jun Imai-san, the keyboard player from Yoshiki Fukuyama-san's band!

We were meeting at the station, talking to Tsuyoshi on the phone along the way. We got on the wrong train and ended up being late, so we had to call him again to tell him so. The phone exchange went on for awhile. We arrived at the station, and still saw no Tsuyoshi-san. We called him again, and just as he was answering, I saw someone with a cell phone to their ear a bit in the distance. He hurried up to us hanging up as he went, and we finally met up and headed to West Vox.

I also met my internet friend, Tsukasa-san, and a few of their friends. With Imai-san was  Taeko-san, lead singer from Push-Push, another band that Imai-san is in.

They were surprised when I started talking to them in Osaka-ben.

We sat down and they gave Mom a menu. They asked her what she'd like to eat and mom replied with her usual; "Umm... doremooshisoudesu." (Umm...It all looks delicious.)
I rolled my eyes and said that it was no use asking my Mom since she was Yuujufudan. (Indecisive.) They were very surprised and impressed that I knew the word. 

We all talked for a while about various things: Japan, America, music, Fukuyama-san and such. Then Imai-san went on stage to perform. I knew a bit about him from reading his tour diary and Fukuyama-san's tour diary on their websites. I had also heard a couple fan recordings of Fukuyama-san's band perform. However, this was the first time I'd really heard him. I didn't know the songs he did, but I really liked listening to him! I had ordered lunch, but it sat mostly untouched during the performance because my attention was focused on the music. He's quite good! I can see why Fukuyama-san chose him to join in his band!

After the performance, Tsuyoshi-san and Tsukasa-san got out their guitars and the guys (including Imai-san) started talking music. Since I'm still at the extreme beginner stage when it comes to guitar, I just listened. It was very interesting. ^-^

I talked with the waitress in the back, and found out that she was a bit of a singer herself. She handed me a CD of some of her singing, but the CD didn't want to work, so that was a bit of a disappointment. I wanted to hear her singing... 

The whole thing was quite fun! Thank you, Imai-san for a wonderful performance!

From there, six of us, that were all going to Morita-san's concert that night, took the densha (train) to Sagami-ohno station where Tsuyoshi-san and Tsukasa-san set up for a "street live". Despite the winter wind that was hitting us pretty hard, it was a very enjoyable performance.

I had read a lot about them performing on the internet. It was good to see them perform in person. I somehow seem to meet up with a lot of very talented people. ^-^

Around the halfway point, there was alot of commotion  a little ways away from us. Something having to do with the war. (Bleh.)
It drowned out some of our music which bothered us a bit. 
We ended up closing the street live early because of it.

One of the girls brought us some munch-ables. I don't remember what they were, but they were sort of crepe-ish.

They performed for a couple hours, doing several songs from Macross 7, Humming Bird, and Fukuyama-san's solo career. They also did a few songs by Morita-san, including a new one by him called "No more fighting". They also performed a few original songs that I hope they record some day.

 After they finished, we headed back to the densha, then caught the  chikatetsu (subway) to Tama Plaza.

It was dusk when we got to Tama Plaza and started walking up the hill to the Colorado. We could see a couple people heading down the hill, and as they got closer, one of them began to look very familiar like... Fukuyama-san?

A few seconds later, I was sure. It was Yoshiki Fukuyama! What a surprise! 

Here we were walking up the hill when suddenly, the woman in front of me busted out with; "AHHHHH!! WHY!!?!?!" 
She pushed into me, which pushed into Mom, which caused a whole domino effect, knocked everyone over and almost unto the ground.

Mi-has.(Fan Girls) Very scary people.

Anyway, without a doubt, we saw Fukuyama. He helped us up and we talked a bit, then he went on his merry way. 

When I planned this trip, I did my research. I knew when SWAMPS, Morita-san, Far East Native, and a few others would be performing... but Fukuyama-san didn't have anything scheduled for the time when we'd be in Japan, because he was taking a break from concerts to do some recording. That made meeting him here this night all the more of a surprise!

We exchanged greetings and I found out he was going to be at Morita-san's concert. Then he continued down the hill and we went to the Colorado.

Tama Plaza Colorado is your basic coffee shop selling beverages and light foods, Japanese style of course. It was long and narrow. Along one wall were three divided areas with two tables each. Along the opposite wall was the kitchen and a long counter. At the end of the room, there were three or four more tables. When the tables at the end of the room are removed, that area becomes the "stage".

Standing next to the counter in the picture, left, is Deasu-san. It turns out that his birthday was the same day. The puppets in his hand were presents from a friend. Everyone got a kick out of them. Several people were playing with them including Morita-san and Fukuyama-san. ^-^

The place was pretty small, but it had a nice feel. I only wish that I could have gotten my food sooner... I was one of the first to order at our table, but I didn't get any food even when everyone else was eating around me...

Eleanor liked to speak Japanese with everyone and Fukuyama-san was no exception. When I took this picture, they happened to be talking about how she doesn't like flash camera's... when her mom caught her with the flash camera. 

Tsuyoshi-san's the one on the right.

Morita-san's concert was divided into "1st stage" and "2nd stage" with a break in between. Fukuyama-san was joining Morita-san for the 2nd stage, but the 1st stage was Morita-san solo.

After the first couple of songs he stopped to talk. He said to us, "My name is Tetsuro. Singer. I am singer." Of course, I already knew that. That's why I was there!  He knew we knew it too. ^-^

What I didn't know, and was surprised to find out, was that he knew our home city, Tacoma! He'd visited Tacoma about 15 years ago as part of a youth home-stay program.

He did 6 songs during the 1st stage, My favorite of them was "kaze no hitomi" (eye of the wind). After he sang it, he asked me what image came to mind when I heard it. All I could think to say was "cowboy" at which point Fukuyama-san, in the back of the room, made an indescribable but very male sound. (heehee) I tried to explain, semi-successfully, that it reminded me of a cowboy's journey. Maybe if I'd said that it brought to mind the same feeling of open range and mountains that I get while listening to John Denver, it would have made more sense.

I let Mom do most of the talking to Morita during the concert. I was busy waiting for my food. Besides, Mom needed a moment of two like this anyway. She talks best when the pressure is on.

During the break between, Morita-san passed out pieces of paper for everyone to write comments and requests on. Then he and Fukuyama-san sat and discussed what songs they would do during the second stage.

I requested that they play FENs "Hara Kara no Uta," but they didn't play it. They played some songs that mom liked though.

Since the two-man concert was a last minute decision, there wasn't really any rehearsal. During the break, they decided on the songs, some of which they had performed together before, and discussed how they were going to do them.

Then they plugged the second mic and guitar into an amplifier and began... 

For the second stage, Fukuyama-san joined Morita-san at the end of the room. Fukuyama-san played a guitar borrowed from Morita-san and sang harmony through most of the songs. They went well together. There were 11 songs in the set.

My favorite of the songs they did was a medley called "No more '39". It was made up of Queen's " '39" (one of my favorite Queen songs) and Morita-san's "No more fighting". Fukuyama-san sang the first verse of " '39", Morita-san sang "No more fighting", then they resumed " '39".

I'm not a fan of Queen. But even I was singing along with them while they sang 39. Though it was interesting when they went into No More Fighting from it...

There was a joke in the title of the medley: Fukuyama-san turned 40 last September (a month after I did) and is no longer 39. No more 39. (heehee) I can appreciate it. I was raised on BBC comedies. Japanese and British humor appear to be very similar. ^-^

In honor of Deasu-san's birthday, Fukuyama-san sang Humming Bird's "Happy Birthday". Morita-san sang the second verse.

For the encore, they sang Queen's "Love of my life". I have the Wild Vox version (Fukuyama-san with Masato Ushijima-san) on CD. I like it, but I liked the live version with Morita-san even more! It was really cool! 

More Queen... I ended up singing with this one too. 
I think they broke me. 

After they finished performance, everyone hung around and talked a bit. At the last minute, I thought to ask Fukuyama-san for his autograph, but I got rushed out by the others before I could get Morita-san's. We were in a hurry to catch the last train back to Asagaya.

Fukuyama signed Mom's binder. Right over a sticker of the earth that said 'World Peace.'

For the first time, I had actually seen Fukuyama-san perform live. "Awesome" may sound like a cliché, but there's no better way to describe it. His voice sounds as good in person as on the CDs... and his guitar playing... definitely awesome!  Wow! Can that man bend the strings! If he's that good just improvising, I'd love to see him when he's had a chance to rehearse!

Mi-has. Very scary people. Mom's included.

Three fantastic concerts in one day! Wow! I slept well that night... what a day! Thank you, everyone! I couldn't have had much more fun!

I met several of the people I knew from the internet this day. A number of them have web sites of their own. Of course, they are all in Japanese.

hagakingu hoshi

DT Network


Yuki Nagamoto-san
Shonan Music Land

Tetsuro Morita-san
Tetsuro Morita Official HP

Yoshiki Fukuyama-san
Fukuyama Yoshiki Official Website

Jun Imai-san
Imai Jun Official Website

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