It had been 2 years since SCANDAL last visited Singapore, and for fans like myself, it’s been a LONG 2 years. Last Friday, Resort World Sentosa’s Hard Rock Colosseum played host to SCANDAL’s Hello World tour, SCANDAL’s first world tour and one of 3 Asian pit-stops outside of Japan. VIP tickets to the event were sold out mere hours after the ticket providers had begun selling them.
Lines had been forming up since the wee hours of the morning with some fans catching the first train to Sentosa to get to the venue as early as humanly possible. Fans from all over the world had descended on the island nation to catch a the girls perform live and were decked out in an assortment of t-shirts and memorabilia from concerts past. As the day progressed, the lines and enthusiasm amongst the fans grew, even the mid-day downpour did little to dampen the mood. Concert goods were snapped up within an hour of the booth’s opening, fans left their messages for the band on banners provided by both the concert staff and the first international fan club, SCANDAL HEAVEN.
An hour before the start of the concert, the doors were thrown open and fans literally ran up the stairs in anticipation of seeing the performance they had been waiting so anxiously for. As the clock crept towards the 8 o’clock mark, fans started chanting as they psyched themselves up for the highlight of the night.
Soon, the fog began to fill the stage, the lights turned on and SCANDAL emerged onstage, and began to take their places to the delight of the fans who as they roared into life. As the intro music faded, RINA, the band’s drummer lead them into the first song of the night, love in action. Concert goers began to sing along, and all of us knew we were in for a special night indeed. Almost immediately after the end of the song, SCANDAL dove into old favorites much to the surprise and delight of many seasoned concert-goers, サテイスファクション(Satisfaction), the song selected to promote Windows 8 when it was first launched, was first up, fans raised their hands and clapped along, quite literally bouncing along to the beat of the song, joining the band when the ‘Woah-Oh-Woah-Oh’ sections of the song came up. As usual, MAMI, the band’s lead guitarist, delivered on her guitar solo, much to the delight of fans. As the band transitioned to ‘DOLL’, their first major release, fans rocked the arena as they spun their towels in the air and clapped their hands at the appropriate times.
As the lights were turned back on, HARUNA, the band’s lead vocalist and leader, began the first MC segment, when she asked if the fans were enjoying themselves, and as the crowd roared in approval and the band dove right into 瞬間センチメンタル (Shunkan Sentimental), the ending theme to the anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. With as with every concert, this song began bringing out the playful side of the girls as they moved around the stage more and their smiles lit up an already bright stage.
Next, was the iconic and apparent crowd favorite, SCANDAL BABY , the song which was the lead off song in their first album, BEST★SCANDAL, as veteran concert-goers danced along to the song, with accordance to concert traditions, the girls began dancing with once another on stage while playing their instruments. As the song came to an end, and after HARUNA had thanked the audience, the crowd calmed down a little before the band began playing 下弦の月 (Waning Moon), the crowd was once again lifted, cheering along as the girls performed.
After the song, the spotlights were turned on again as HARUNA began introducing the her band mates, after which, she told the audience that they would be playing songs from HELLO WORLD the album that kicked off their tour. First up was, お願いナビゲーション(Navigation, Please), where the crowd sung along and filled in the traditional calls.
Next, MAMI took over the baton of lead vocals with the song 本を読む (Read a Book), where she once again like so many time before had forgotten some of the lyrics, not that it mattered to those in attendance, who cheered along.
After which, TOMOMI, the band’s bassist took the vocal baton with the song 缶ビール (Canned Beer), her smooth, cute vocals complemented the song’s rapid tempo.
RINA then stepped away from her usual place behind the drums to join the rest of the band in the front, on guitar no less to sing おやすみ (Goodnight), where her expressive vocals were not the only highlight of the song as she also performed a short guitar solo.
Up next came Departure a song that is in HARUNA’s words ‘a very precious song’ to the band, urging the audience to ‘listen with your hearts’. This is one of my favorite songs of the latest album, not only due to the lyrics but also due to the way the backing music included bell chimes, violins in addition to the usual, guitars, bass and drums. The vocals of TOMOMI and HARUNA, were delicate but powerful, bringing out a sense of poignancy.
The concert quickly changed gears, with the next song, 太陽と君が絵描く STORY(The Story drawn by the Sun and you), one of the most fun songs of the night, with the audience waving their lightsticks and King Blades along to the beat. The high spirits continued on with the next song, 夜月けの流星群(A Meteor Shower at Dawn), the theme song to the Pokemon movie, Pokémon XY: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction. Members passed the vocal baton to one another flawlessly during the song. Luckily enough, Resorts World Sentosa had released fireworks close to the end of the song, adding another level of wonder to the concert.
Your Song followed, and the crowd once again joined in at every chance, showing no sign of fatigue. The crowd’s participation was acknowledged by the girls who were happy to include the crowd as they ‘Woah’ed together, they even let the fans sing parts of the song themselves, and to the fans’ credit they did not disappoint, singing in unison.
The main segment of the concert came to an end with Image, the first song in the album. The members once again moved around on stage, ultimately converging in the middle of the stage to play their instruments. After the song came to an end, the girls took a bow and proceeded off stage. However, the crowd were hungry for more, chanting for an encore almost immediately after the girls had stepped off stage, this continued for a few minutes and as SCANDAL re-emerged onstage the crowd erupted in a show of appreciation and pure joy.
Perhaps a poking a bit of fun at the weather earlier in the day, HARUNA said “it was raining yesterday, so maybe you’ll like this!”, before the band played the first of their 2 encore songs, Rainy. the B-side song in the single, Departure.
Determined to end on a high, SCANDAL ended the concert with the song EVERYBODY SAY YEAH!, a song that was traditionally used to pump audiences up for a concert. The audience jumped and shouted along with every ‘YEAH!’. As the concert came to a close, SCANDAL once again introduced themselves and thanked the audience for yet another memorable night.
All in all, the concert of filled with high intensity songs, and the inclusion of so many old favorites just made the night that much better. I personally enjoyed the concert, jumping, dancing and singing along with my fellow fans. Here’s to hoping that SCANDAL will be visiting us again soon.