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  • A Dream Concert from 15 Years of Total Devotion: A MUSIC THEATER 2017 Live Report

    MUSIC THEATER 2017 was held on the 27th and 28th of May 2017 at the Saitama Super Arena. Artistes from the Sony Music Group performed for two straight days to a crowd of 24,000 fans! Check out LisAni! Web’s special two-day report, brought to you exclusively by WOW Japan, Akibatan, and Jurnal Otaku Indonesia — enjoy!

    An unbelievable line-up from start to finish – with a few surprises thrown in!

    MUSIC THEATER 2017 was conceptualized by the Sony Music Group as a collaboration between music and animation. One of the special highlights of the event was that all the songs performed were either theme songs or insert songs of popular anime, and that the anime were shown onscreen while the artistes sang onstage. The history of the anime that each production team worked on was savored and experienced at the same time as the music.

    For both days, the concert went on a roaring start with LiSA’s “Rising Hope”. At the end of the first song, she kept the momentum going with a shout out, “Let’s go!” — and promptly let her powerful voice soar. Standing atop a pink raised platform in center of the stage, LiSA’s performance was full-on non-stop action.

    LiSA got the audience singing along to the chorus, and as befitting her role as the opening salvo for this event, she kept the crowd going by shouting out, “Are you guys ready to have fun today?!”. She then raised her mike to the sky from the center of the stage during her next song “crossing field” — a glittering figure and a peerless performer!

    Lisa sang “crossing field” as a medley with “oath sign” on the 27th, and “Rally Go Round” on the 28th, and really pumped up the crowd with her latest single “Catch the Moment”. She grabbed the audience’s attention perfectly and had her own flair for performance — her 4-track set list felt like a mini version of her own “LiVE” concerts, rocking the entire venue and stealing everyone’s hearts.

    Ripples of excitement were still running through the crowd when the second performer took to the stage — the one and only Sora Amamiya! Her solo appearance came as a complete surprise, and she promptly launched into her debut single “Skyreach”. Wearing a majestic expression as she sang before her stand mike, the crowd responded by waving their right hands in a serene manner, simply losing themselves in the music.

    Up next was GARNiDELiA, and they too hit the stage with their debut single “ambiguous”. Vocalist MARiA’s voice was crisp and powerful, and the audience felt how much she is enjoying herself onstage. They sang “BLAZING” on the 27th, and “grilletto” on the 28th — with song lyrics that were so on point they basically shot you in the heart. With MARiA’s powerful voice never wavering, toku launched into a sizzling synth performance. Accompanied by two talented dancers, the energy never flagged as they concluded their set with “Yakusoku – promise code-“.

    The atmosphere of the venue suddenly changed with the appearance of ELISA. With her song “REALISM”, her operatic voice hit an unbelievable register. Bordering on an acapella performance, her mesmerizing voice just maked you want to listen. Her next song, “EONIAN”, started out as a lullaby and ended in a soaring crescendo — like a choir of goddesses singing about divinity.

    Speaking of divine singing voices, up next was Ayahi Takagaki, whose stunning vibrato and flawless falsetto voice maked “Kimi ga Iru Basho” a beautiful song. Singing songs from Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX — “Next Destination” on the 27th and “Rebirth-day” on the 28th, the intense electronic sound showcased her vocal range to a tee.

    After an interlude featuring “A Scum’s Wish” was shown onscreen, SAYURI took to the stage. As she sang the ending theme “Heikousen” (Parallel Lines), a music video was played behind her. Emotions stirred as the audience was drawn into her world, which continued as she launched into “Mikazuki”. There was a certain stillness in the way SAYURI smiled, and the audience felt that stillness in her songs. Her lyrics symbolized a place of hope that was truly felt by the fans.

    Her performance was immediately followed by Sangatsu no Phantasia, who sang “Hajimari no Sokudo” (Starting Speed). The vocals, while fresh, had a tendency to waver — which is the perfect way to represent the feelings of youth. As the opening sequence of Kizunaiba played in the background, BOOM BOOM SATELLITES’ “LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME” was shown onscreen, and in that way they too were able to take part in the concert (which we found really stylish and trendy). This was followed by their second song “Fairy Tale”, which wrapped the audience in a state of melancholy.

    After the performance, an image of “Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE: 0096” was shown as Sawano Hiroyuki [nZk] came up onstage. With the dulcet tones of the piano echoing through the venue, vocalist Tielle appeared at centerstage from a hidden riser. Soaring into the track “Into the Sky”, they showed off their vocal abilities and brought the audience to another world. [nZk] played “& Z” on the 27th, and “aLIEs” on the 28th — where Mizuki appeared on behalf of Tielle. Mizuki’s singing voice sounds lighter than that of Tielle, and has its own unique style of collaborating with [nZk]. For the final song “gravityWall”, Gemie joined Tielle onstage, where the techno-style music served as a progression for their dueling voices — bringing everything in perfect harmony.

    Haruka Tomatsu took to the stage next like a breath of fresh air. Coming onstage from a hidden riser, she appeared at once and launched into a powerful redition of her popular track “courage”. She also sang “motto☆Hade ni ne!” (Louder☆!) on the 27th and “Girls, Be Ambitious” on the 28th, which was accompanied by some cute choreography that never gets old. Her last shout of “Shall we?” caused the audience to explode with excitement, as she sang the opening chords of “Q&A Recital”. With a smile like the sun, she enjoyed running to and fro onstage, and her girlish charm made her look like a comic book heroine.

    Next up was FLOW! FLOW vocalist KOHSHI shouted out to the crowd, “Let’s do this, MUSIC THEATER!”, and promptly threw himself at the opening lyrics of “DAYS”. The audience went crazy at this point. As the song played on, vocalist KEIGO kept pushing everyone by screaming out, “Everyone get going!”. FLOW sang “COLORS” on the 27th and switched it up with “WORLD END” on the 28th, upping the voltage in the entire concert arena.

    As they started “GO!!!”, the entire arena figuratively exploded, with everyone literally not getting a breather between calls from the band and responses from the crowd. KEIGO kept pumping up the crowd, “Everybody right here right now, let’s unite as one!”, as they began their last song “Kaze no Uta”. With the sound echoing through everybody’s bodies, the passion of the fans just can’t be stopped! As FLOW reached the end of their performance, they thrust their fists in the air and finished off with a huge jump. “Let’s play a live again!” shouts KEIGO as they left the stage on a high.

    The bridge between artistes, the power of animation

    Photo by Junichiro Nomi, Takehiko Matsumoto, Hanna Eto

    After the intermission, the second half was spearheaded by SID. They sang their songs from the Black Butler series “Monokuro no Kisu ” (Monochrome Kiss) and “Garasu no Hitomi” (Glass Eyes), raising their fans’ passion to a fever pitch, before launching into “Uso” (Lies) on centerstage. Some members of the audience can be heard joining in the songs, and it brought a sense of unity to the fans.

    Speeding up the momentum was Mashiro Ayano, who jumped up onstage and started singing “NEWLOOK” with a bright and regal voice. She connected a lot with the audience, pointing to them at their seats. This track was followed by her debut song “ideal white”, which made her sound ethereal, and had the audience chanting for her.

    Once again, the atmosphere slowed down as Aimer took her turn onstage. Smoke enveloped the stage and a piano suddenly appeared, as Aimer started singing “Brave Shine” with her emotions on display. The slow cadence of the music made the audience feel the song more intensely. Singing the “Mobile Suit Gundam UC” theme titled “RE:Iam” on the 27th, and “StarRingChild” on the 28th (with a slower tempo piano arrangement), the audience was mesmerized. Aimer’s voice is like a single point of light penetrating the cosmos.

    The mood changed once again as the concert continued with CHiCO with HoneyWorks. Playing the midtempo “Sekai wa Ai ni Ochiteiru” (The Word Falls in Love) on the 27th — with CHiCO singing it with a smooth voice; and “Ai no Scenario” (Love Scenario) on the 28th — where CHiCO really hit her stride, the set ended with the fun, towel-spinning “Kyou Mo Sakura Mau Akatsuki Ni” (Today Also, Sakura Dance at Dawn). With a singing voice like CHiCO’s that combined freshness and powerfulness, supported by the HoneyWorks’ members’ infectious rhythm, this set was a really fun and playful time.

    Which brings us to the second unannounced act of the evening: EGOIST! They sang “The Everlasting Guilty Crown” on the 27th, and “KABANERI OF THE IRON FORTRESS” on the 28th, accompanied by images from “Guilty Crown” and “KABANERI OF THE IRON FORTRESS” onscreen — there was an immense presence that cannot be described.

    The gentle strains of “Overfly” can be heard by the crowd, and before them appeared Luna Haruna. Her beautiful voice made the audience feel emotional and nostalgic — which makes this a song to be truly treasured. The track transitioned into the clap intro for “Stella Breeze”, and Luna’s voice changed into something cute and sweet. Just before the song hit its second coda, the tempo suddenly changed again and now it felt exciting and electrifying. We hope everyone in the audience felt it like we did. “Ripple Effect” came in last with dancers joining Luna onstage, and the vibe of the song, and the lovely choreography perfectly matched the rain sound effect.

    “Ripple Effect” smoothly transitioned into opening theme of High School Fleet, “High Free Spirits”, with TrySail coming onstage. With the high intensity of Natsukawa’s voice, the cool solidity of Amamiya’s voice, and the adorable cuteness of Asakura’s voice, they combined to form a solid pillar of music. They performed “cobalt” on the 27th, and “whiz” on the 28th, as well as their latest single “adrenaline!!”. Especially with the third song, all three members smiled and put their personality on display. Their free-spirited dance numbers also appealed to the fans; their cheerful, rustling dance moves were a hit with the entire audience.

    Here came another surprise! Two pairs of stars — ClariS x GARNiDELiA, came onstage to perform “clever”! ClariS stood on the center stage in the middle of the arena, while GARNiDELiA was up on the main stage. Everybody jumped to their feet in excitement! ClariS’ dual choreography was stunningly complicated, but their paired voices were simply angelic. MARiA’s singing was also exquisite, and their fantastic combination made a truly memorable song.

    ClariS remained onstage after the song, and went on to sing their latest single “Hitorigoto” (Soliloquy). Reminiscent of ska music, the pair matched he song with their lovely song and dance number. With a twirl and a smile, they launched into “connect” — the anisong anthem of the 2010’s. Cheers erupted from the entire audience, of course! Once again, the song was accompanied by some intricate choreography, and with a final turn the pair joined fingers at the end of the song.

    After the performance came an intriguing interlude, which blossomed into the introduction to “Magia” as Kalafina took to the stage! They showed off their stellar form with the OP/ED to “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” — a unique power that did not waver, matched with beautiful harmonies and highly technical chorus work. They performed “to the beginning” on Saturday, and “heavenly blue” on Sunday — with Hikaru raising her fist on the first chorus, followed by KEIKO on the second chorus, bringing the crowd to their feet. The fever pitch continued with Wakana’s falsetto during “alleluia”, which became the starting point for the “The Garden of Sinners” series. With their most powerful track still to come, “One Light” showed off all their glorious voices, which can be felt to the very spaces of the heart.

    Words from the soul from the Man who started it all

    With that performance, the entire announced line-up was finished. However, in the next moment, an image from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED appeared on the main screen! As the first OP for the anime TV series “INVOKE” started playing, out comes T.M.Revolution on center stage! His power can be felt throughout the entire arena, and with a shout of “Let’s go!”, a fire was lit in everybody’s hearts! As an anisong fan, no other performer can capture as many hearts — he even took ours!

    As T.M.Revolution started singing “ignited”, followed by “Meteor” on the 27th and “vestige” on the 28th, he put every ounce of power in his body into the songs. With all three tracks as OP/ED or image songs from Gundam SEED, Takanori Nishikawa thanked everyone in the audience during his emcee break, and said he hopes that everyone continues to love anisong and anisong artistes.

    He continued to speak with the audience, who he considered people who loved anime music, “When I debuted in 1996, back then, even if you made great song with all your heart, because it was an anime song there was no way it would be a hit on TV. But that’s not true! If you made something with all your heart, nobody can judge it — isn’t it right?!”, he said to the crowd. “Please continue believing in this. With your continued support, many more artistes and songs can be born! And so, even if you have never heard of this song, please remember the feelings we poured into making it!”, he states — as he starts on the opening bars of “HEART OF SWORD”.

    Nishikawa picked one of his most famous songs as a suitable finale, and looking back at his history as an artiste, we can feel his sincerity. As he received the audience call with open arms, you can really see how big his smiles were. With a final call of “This is really the best!”, the entire place made one final jump. It’s an awesome feeling that words and songs have brought to us all. And with that, “MUSIC THEATER 2017” came to an exciting close.

    Since its start in 2002, the Sony Music Group has been nurturing anime music, and in 15 years it has grown into one of the hottest musical genres. To further develop the scene, they also support artistes who love anime music with all their hearts. With Takanori Nishikawa as our representative, it’s now our turn to bring even more music to the scene. As long as we continue to support the scene, and love anime music, this genre will never die.

    Originally Published in Japanese on LisAni! Web: www.lisani.jp/0000053351/
    Photography by Junichiro Nomi, Takehiko Matsumoto, Hanna Eto
    Text by Kenji Sunaga, Naomichi Tanaka (Crenter)
    English Translation by WOW Japan
    Thai Translation by Akibatan
    Bahasa Indonesia Translation by Jurnal Otaku Indonesia

    MUSIC THEATER 2017
    2017.05.27~28 @ Saitama Super Arena

    【2017.05.27 SET LIST】

    M1. Rising Hope / LiSA (OP) The Irregular at Magic High School
    M2. crossing field / LiSA (OP) Sword Art Online
    M3. oath sign / LiSA (OP) Fate / Zero
    M4. Catch the Moment / LiSA (Theme Song) Sword Art Online the Movie – Ordinal Scale –
    M5. Skyreach / Sora Amamiya (OP) Akame ga Kill!
    M6. ambiguous / GARNiDELiA (OP) Kill la Kill
    M7. BLAZING / GARNiDELiA (OP) Gundam G Reconguista
    M8. Yakusoku -promise code- / GARNiDELiA (ED) Qualidea Code
    M9. REALISM / ELISA (ED) Valvrave the Liberator
    M10. EONIAN/ ELISA (Theme Song) –Expelled from Paradise-
    M11. Kimi ga Iru Basho (The Place Where You Are) / Ayahi Takagaki (ED) Occult Academy
    M12. Next Destination / Ayahi Takagaki (ED) Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX
    M13. Heikousen (Parallel Lines) / SAYURI (ED) A Scum’s Wish
    M14. Mikazuki / SAYURI (ED) Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace
    M15. Hajimari no Sokudo (Starting Speed) / Sangatsu no Phantasia (ED) Kizunaiver
    M16. Fairy Tale / Sangatsu no Phantasia (ED) Interviews with Monster Girls
    M17. Into the Sky / SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] (OP) Mobile Suite Gundam Unicorn RE:0096
    M18. & Z / SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] (OP) Aldnoah Zero
    M19. gravityWall / SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] (OP) Re:CREATORS
    M20. courage / Haruka Tomatsu (OP) Sword Art Online II
    M21. motto☆Hade ni ne! (Louder☆!) / Haruka Tomatsu (OP) Kannagi
    M22. Q&A Recital! / Haruka Tomatsu (OP) My Little Monster
    M23. DAYS / FLOW (OP) Eureka Seven
    M24. COLORS / FLOW (OP) CODE GEASS Lelouch of the Rebellion
    M25. GO!!! / FLOW (OP) NARUTO
    M26. Kaze on Uta (Song of the Wind) / FLOW (OP) Tales of Zestiria
    M27. Monokuro no Kisu (Monochrome Kiss)/ SID (OP) Black Butler
    M28. Garasu no Hitomi (Glass Eyes) / SID (Theme Song) Black Butler Book of the Atlantic
    M29. Uso (Lies) / SID (ED) FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST
    M30. NEWLOOK / Mashiro Ayano (ED) Re:CREATORS
    M31. ideal white / Mashiro Ayano (OP)Fate / stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]
    M32. Brave Shine / Aimer (OP)Fate / stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]
    M33 .RE:I AM / Aimer (Theme Song) Mobile Suit Gundam UC EP6「The Universe and The Earth」
    M34. Sekai wa Ai ni Ochiteiru (The World Falls in Love) / CHiCO with HoneyWorks (OP) Aoharu Ride
    M35. Kyou Mo Sakura Mau Akatsuki Ni (Today Also, Sakura Dance at Dawn) / CHiCO with HoneyWorks (OP) Gintama~Yorinuke! Ginatama-san~
    M36. The Everlasting Guilty Crown / EGOIST (OP) Guilty Crown
    M37. Overfly / Luna Haruna (ED) Sword Art Online
    M38. Stella Breeze / Luna Haruna (OP) Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ♭
    M39. Ripple Effect / Luna Haruna (ED) High School Fleet
    M40. High Free Spirits / TrySail (OP) High School Fleet
    M41. Cobalt / TrySail (OP)Classroom☆Crisis
    M42. adrenaline!!! / TrySail (ED) Eromanga-sensei
    M43. clever / ClariS×GARNiDELiA (ED) Qualidea Code
    M44. Hitorigoto (Soliloquy) / ClariS (OP) Eromanga-sensei
    M45. Connect / ClariS (OP) Puella Magi Madoka Magica
    M46. Magia / Kalafina (ED) Puella Magi Madoka Magica
    M47. to the beginning / Kalafina (OP)Fate / Zero
    M48. Alleluia / Kalafina (Theme Song) The Garden of Sinners the Movie: Future Gospel
    M49. One Light / Kalafina (ED) The Heroic Legend of Arslan
    M50. INVOKE / T.M.Revolution (OP) Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
    M51. ignited / T.M.Revolution (OP) Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY
    M52. Meteor / T.M.Revolution (Insert Song) Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
    M53. HEART OF SWORD ~Yoake Mae~ / T.M.Revolution (ED) Rurouni Kenshin

    【2017.05.28 SET LIST】

    M1. Rising Hope / LiSA (OP) The Irregular at Magic High School
    M2. crossing field / LiSA (OP) Sword Art Online
    M3. Rally Go Round / LiSA (OP) Nisekoi
    M4. Catch the Moment / LiSA (Theme Song) Sword Art Online the Movie – Ordinal Scale –
    M5. Skyreach / Sora Amamiya (OP) Akame ga Kill!
    M6. ambiguous / GARNiDELiA (OP) Kill la Kill
    M7. grilletto / GARNiDELiA (OP) The Irregular at Magic High School
    M8. Yakusoku -promise code- / GARNiDELiA (ED) Qualidea Code
    M9. REALISM / ELISA (ED) Valvrave the Liberator
    M10. EONIAN/ ELISA (Theme Song) –Expelled from Paradise-
    M11. Kimi ga Iru Basho (The Place Where You Are) / Ayahi Takagaki (ED) Occult Academy
    M12. Rebirth-day / Ayahi Takagaki (ED) Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX
    M13. Heikousen (Parallel Lines) / SAYURI (ED) A Scum’s Wish
    M14. Mikazuki / SAYURI (ED) Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace
    M15. Hajimari no Sokudo (Starting Speed) / Sangatsu no Phantasia (ED) Kizunaiver
    M16. Fairy Tale / Sangatsu no Phantasia (ED) Interviews with Monster Girls
    M17. Into the Sky / SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] (OP) Mobile Suite Gundam Unicorn RE:0096
    M18. aLIEz / SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] (OP) Aldnoah Zero
    M19. gravityWall / SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] (OP) Re:CREATORS
    M20. courage / Haruka Tomatsu (OP) Sword Art OnlineⅡ
    M21. Girls, Be Ambitious. / Haruka Tomatsu (ED) Sound of the Sky
    M22. Q&A Recital! / Haruka Tomatsu (OP) My Little Monster
    M23. DAYS / FLOW (OP) Eureka Seven
    M24. WORLD END / FLOW (OP) CODE GEASS Lelouch of the Rebellion R2
    M25. GO!!! / FLOW (OP) NARUTO –
    M26. Kaze no Uta (Song of the Wind) / FLOW (OP) Tales of Zestiria
    M27. Monokuro no Kisu (Monochrome Kiss)/ SID (OP) Black Butler
    M28. Garasu no Hitomi (Glass Eyes) / SID (Theme Song) Black Butler Book of the Atlantic
    M29. Uso (Lies) / SID (ED) FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST
    M30. NEWLOOK / Mashiro Ayano (ED) Re:CREATORS
    M31. ideal white / Mashiro Ayano (OP)Fate / stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]
    M32. Brave Shine / Aimer (OP)Fate / stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]
    M33. StarRingChild / Aimer (Theme Song) Mobile Suit Gundam UC EP7「Beyond the Rainbow」
    M34. Ai no Scenario (Love Scenario) / CHiCO with HoneyWorks (OP) Magic Kaito 1412
    M35. Kyou Mo Sakura Mau Akatsuki Ni (Today Also, Sakura Dance at Dawn) / CHiCO with HoneyWorks (OP) Gintama~Yorinuke! Ginatama-san~
    M36. KABANERI OF THE IRON FORTRESS / EGOIST (OP) KABANERI OF THE IRON FORTRESS /
    M37. Overfly / Luna Haruna (ED) Sword Art Online
    M38. Stella Breeze / Luna Haruna (OP) Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ♭
    M39. Ripple Effect / Luna Haruna (ED) High School Fleet
    M40. High Free Spirits / TrySail (OP) High School Fleet
    M41. whiz / TrySail (ED) Koyomimonogatari
    M42. adrenaline!!! / TrySail (ED) Eromanga-Sensei
    M43. clever / ClariS×GARNiDELiA (ED) Qualidea Code
    M44. Hitorigoto (Soliloquy) / ClariS (OP) Eromanga-sensei
    M45. Connect / ClariS (OP) Puella Magi Madoka Magica
    M46. Magia / Kalafina (ED) Puella Magi Madoka Magica
    M47. heavenly blue / Kalafina (OP) Aldnoah Zero
    M48. Alleluia / Kalafina (Theme Song) The Garden of Sinners the Movie: Future Gospel
    M49. One Light / Kalafina (ED) The Heroic Legend of Arslan
    M50. INVOKE / T.M.Revolution (OP) Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
    M51. ignited / T.M.Revolution (OP) Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY
    M52. vestige / T.M.Revolution (Insert Song) Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY
    M53. HEART OF SWORD ~Yoake Mae~ / T.M.Revolution (ED) Rurouni Kenshin

    Official MUSIC THEATER 2017 Website
    smemusictheater.jp


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