Miyavi @ The Circus, Helsinki 2014/03/16 (VIP.. sort of)

Well - it has been a tiny little bit of while since I last pressed the button "write an entry".. I've got no excuse, except all the studying during summer in order to past the resits of kanji-exams and all other things that have been keeping me busy for most of the year. End of discussion! Let's move on to the rant I promised to write 6 months ago.. (holy hell, has it been that long? I'd better start to keep up, so there won't be this much of backtracking in the future..You wouldn't believe how long even this post has been in my scraps-folder.)

For the first time in my life, I traveled back and forth between Vaasa and Helsinki because of concerts. And don't get me wrong; I love concerts, but this time the timing couldn't be worse, yet perfect. First of all, Miyavi's concert in Finland was scheduled to be on the same week as An Cafe's concert. Second, on that week I was scheduled to have a kanji-exam! But fortunately neither of the concert dates were on the same date as my school days or the day of exam - but instead the exam was between those dates. Because of this, I was spending money on train tickets.. as if the concerts themselves didn't cost enough already.

You all know the story and anxiety of waiting by your computer and the time hitting 9 o'clock and abusing F5-key on your keyboard, in order to get the desired concert tickets (don't rely on phone booking anymore.. you should all know by now, that doing it yourself online is much faster), we've everyone been there by now. Let us say though, that when the VIP tickets are sold on the same site as the regular ones, do not expect anything marvelous from the VIP tickets. I've learned it now.And here on out starts the rant you've been waiting for so long.

In the morning of the concert, we went to the door of the venue at 6 a.m. with Rousuke; my sis also came to line up with us just to kill time (she didn't even have a ticket, yet she waited till the doors opened with us!) and talk to us as well. It was a sunny morning and after a while we were greeted by couple of fans with regular tickets and, oh boy, the wonder in their eyes, when they heard we were VIP ticket holders and yet we came to the line that early. Then the lining continued with cold winds and sun hiding behind buildings, letting us to freeze our asses.

Hours flew by and by every second we were more glad, that we came at the line when we came, because in the end of the day, the VIP line was almost as long as the regular one. So, again, VIP tickets were overrated.

And as you might have already guessed, yes, I made another sheet for Miyavi. We collected some greetings from the line and here's the finished product:
We also guided people to the right lines and picked most of the garbage, because the official organizers were nowhere to be seen during the whole day and we wanted to keep at least j-rockers' reputation a little bit more positive, when it comes to littering.

Only around 1-2 hours before the doors were supposed to open for VIP customers, the VIP ticket and fan club membership holders showed up, so we had to let them go before us in the line. This is the reason I still go in line as early as possible, nevertheless I had all the memberships and everything else beneficial, because it might piss a little bit off those, who have been there from the very early hours. I want to feel like I've earned the spot in line, not just because I've paid more. Then again, that might be just me. These fan club members were sweet, though! Too bad, that I can't remember their names 8c

About an hour (or more) late the doors finally opened for us and I can't describe the disappointment, when we received the bracelet to indicate that we were VIP customers; it was blank orange, paper bracelet. So far every god dang VIP ticket I've bought comes with a laminate and a key chain. Again, this might sound like a small thing, but things like these will annoy you, if the rest of the purchased product doesn't sum up. This is what happened with Miyavi's meet & greet session, which was held after the concert itself.

The concert was enjoyable and Miyavi still had some energy in him, even though he admitted, that he didn't get to rest at all between Finland's and the last country's events; right after the meet & greet in there, he pretty much hopped on the plain and flew to Finland. Rousuke said, that we didn't sleep either, which Miyavi respond to with: "Oh, then shall we all get a sleep?" But of course not he didn't stop the live there. :'3 I still felt really bad for him due to the tight schedule he had.
   The tracklist was mostly candy to oldskool fans, and I really mean it. There was 1 or 2 songs that I've actually never had heard before! I know, I'm such a lazy ass fan and don't deserve to be in this fan base 8C
I've got nothing else to say about the concert itself, really. I enjoyed it and it was refreshing to hear Miyavi live again! Here's the setlist:

Hell No/Chase It
Please, please, please.
Kimi ni Negai wo
Guard You
Cry Like This/No One Knows My Name

Subarashikikana, Kono Sekai -WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD-
Ahead Of The Light

Then it was the time for the meet & greet...

First of all, I made a mistake by leaving the sheet I painted to the cloakroom and I had to get it before we could go to the meet & greet. So, I went there and had to say bunch of times that I need my stuff back. A couple of times later I finally got my things and while I was there, I saw that some concert posters were handed out for free for everyone already leaving the venue. With my things, I got back to the VIP line with Rousuke and started to get ready to meet one of our idols. The last instructions were "no talking, no hugging, no touching and any gifts will be left to a gift box". I'll let that to sink in for a moment.

Let me sum up here, what were the promises they made, when we purchased these tickets: early access to the venue, meet & greet and a picture with the artist. Only a week before the day of event, the ticket seller announced, that the photo will be taken in groups of 10 people.

So, what ended up happening, was that we left our sheet in the gift box, grinned at a camera with bunch of unfamiliar faces, a poster (the very same poster which was given up for free to the regular ticket buyers as well in the hall) and a card were given to us and right after we were pretty much kicked out of the room. Some of us looked at each other with the look "what the fuck just hapened?" on their faces.
I would say that even Miyavi had a wtf-face because we were all 'in a hurry' to get out of the room, which in reality was because of the organizers breathing in our necks with the look of "get out of here already!", AND he himself was the one offering handshakes and thanking people. Should we have been all silent at that moment, huh?
And lastly, the photos that were taken had to be hunted down from Facebook on a different page than the official artist page. I also counted the amount of VIP ticket holders via these pictures. In Finland alone, there was 175 VIPs...
(borrowed the photo from Rousuke's blog, because I was too lazy to search it up again)
After that it was pretty much ranting to myself and going back to my sister's place. Needless to say, regular ticket buyers got much more out of their money than VIPs. Miyavi slapped his fans literally - in the face.

Here are the physical memories (I forgot to put the ugly bracelet to the photo, sorry):

Yup, that's about it. Sorry, that I made you wait for so long and yet it turned out this short.. My apologizes!
Next up is going to be a entry about girugamesh's live at Nosturi from this summer! Stay tuned~


An Cafe @ Tavastia, Helsinki 2014/3/11 (VIP)

This blog is mostly known for its slow-ass writer.. This live was 2 months ago and NOW my mind tells me, it's about time to write something down? God, I hate myself so much sometimes..

SO. There was a concert I went to. This band was the turning point for me to get permanently interested in Japanese back in the day and so, once again, the bond between them and us cafekkos had to be witnessed live at Tavastia. Of course I bought the ticket right away and some time later we received the craved and also feared e-mail from NeoTokyo: VIP upgrades we're going to be sold this time around too.

What I didn't, and still don't, like about NeoTokyo, is that they held information from consumers to the very last moments when the VIP tickets were supposed to go on sale; the dates were announced but the exact hours were unknown. The only statement they made was only in their Facebook-page on the sale date and it read "Today's tickets should go online at 13-15".. that's a pretty big time gap if you ask me. So, the only option was to rape the F5-button on our keyboards.

Then.. at 13:20 or so, I spotted the VIP tickets to the concert in Finland and holy shit did I act fast. I almost felt my veins popping out of my skin because I was so nervous and hadn't slept that night at all. But it paid off! I stared at the screen furiously, fingers crossed and hoping for the best. And BAM! The order had gone through and when I tried to move somewhere else on their site, it wouldn't load. So, once again NeoTokyo's site was overloaded with all the traffic by cafekkos, surprise surprise.

When it calmed a little and the site decided to co-operate and load again, I checked for the third time, that my order actually went through. After that it was about a week of waiting to receive the actual VIP e-mail and then print it out. Then.. it was time to wait - once more.
While waiting and the tour already started, some of us Finnish cafekkos saw the fan act in Poland via An Cafe's facebook. Of course we were inspired by this and also wanted to do something similar: during the live in Poland, the audience started to sing Kimi no machi when it was time for an encore. By no means this was original or anything and we were lazy to come up with anything else, but as the cafekko-side of me kicked in, I didn't care. So, the result was, we were going to sing a verse from YOU
More about that later~

So, a bunch of time passes and I arrived to Helsinki, stayed couple of nights at my sister's place in Espoo and the next morning was going to be THE day. It was about 10 am I took my spot in the line in front of Tavastia club. The weird thing is, there never really were security watching over the line up. Maybe they've finally learned that the rule of lining up starting at 3 pm is not working here in Finland if there's no line numbers handed over in the order people arrive at the venue. But enough about that.

At some point during the first hours the members of An Cafe themselves just walked by us and in to the club. Teruki and Yuuki were looking energized and said "hi! nyappy" to the first ones in line before going inside. Others kinda smiled with their eyes and went inside (yu-ki's hot without his wig btw!). Oh well, can't really blame them for the cold weather. What I'm glad about, is the fact that cafekkos behaved! It's no surprise though, the screaming little girls were us back in the day after all and I guess we've matured a little since then :'D Still faithful fans, though!

The time went by gathering regards and messages from all the cafekkos on a sheet that I had painted. Another cafekko gave away sheets of lyrics from the song we had planned to sing after encore. Rest of the time was shuddering in a cold wind and drinking whatever kept us warm.

The VIP line had 30 or so people and couple of my friends and I were the first ones. I was unbelievably happy, when the staff came out to call the VIPs in, and I saw my name as the first name on the list (that means I made the very first purchase XD). After simple checking, we were inside with our laminates and gifts to the members of An Cafe.

Behind the final door, inside the stage hall, we were given a poster and a face towel(? to me it looks more like a tiny microfiber cloth you sweep dust with xD). Then, in a neat row, we waited for a short while to meet our idols. And right before we knew it, they were before our eyes.

But this was not the first time I've met the members face-to-face (first time 2011 at kanonxkanon live, the second time 2012), so I wasn't THAT nervous, but still nervous. Does that make sence? lol

First, An Cafe thanked us for being there. Then, of course, they didn't want to keep it that short, so somehow they had came up with Moomin names for each of the members and by the loudness of clapping they wanted to know how popular each member was and is among the VIP cafekkos. Of course, the classic winners were Miku and Kanon.

After that the VIP cafekkos were allowed to ask questions. There were couple of non-questions too, like "I just want to thank you for being you. Your music has kept me going" etc. There was even a letter read out loud. Communicating was easy for all of us, because there was a Japanese-English-Japanese translator and so, those who didn't speak or know any Japanese were at ease. For me, though, it was good that she was there, so I could be sure I understood correctly anything the members were saying :3

This is the third picture with you, Kanon-sama,
and you don't even realize it XD
When people ran out of questions, it was time for pictures! Each VIP got to pick their favorite member and after personally giving the gifts to the members, they had their picture taken next to their favorite member and the rest of the band right behind them. I was among the first ones, so once again, I forgot to ask for a hug.. TuT

Anyways, I gave a Fazer's blue chocolate bar for each of the members in different kinds of wrapping paper. Then it was time for that god damn sheet I painted.. once again, they were surprised by the size of it (lol). After the picture I was given, by Kanon himself, the European press of Higakyaku Ziprock with all of their signatures on the cover.

With 30 VIP, it took a little time, but everyone had their photo taken separately! Every VIP got an individual picture! Some cried some laughed and most of them got hugs. (TuT envious.) The final picture they took was on stage and it was with their staff.

The translator is that woman on the right with the hoodie with golden text :3
The guy on the far left with the same kind of hoodie took the VIPs' pictures~
After all that, we were given the last thanks and An Cafe started to retreat to backstage to prepare for the show. It took a second or two for all the VIPs to realize that now we were free to take our spots in the audience... but we all realized it at the same time. WHOOSH and SLAM! We all slammed against the safety fence so hard, that some of the bolts didn't hold and came off. Teruki saw the situation and was all like "woah!" with a laughing face. Then he retreated as well, while the security tried to fix the damage we caused. I'm sorry for that ;__;

Almost right after that, the rest of the cafekkos started to pour in. Waiting didn't feel to take that long this time around, because it was warmer than outside and before we knew it, we were banging our feet to the floor and clapping, demanding the band we came here to listen to on the stage. I laughed at some point so hard, because some of their warming-up songs choises, that were playing in the background before the live, were hilarious. The one I couldn't keep myself laughing at was ABBA's Does Your Mother Know? Something tells me, that they realize that their audience is mostly young teens and the band members themselves are mostly in their 30's (Kanon turns to 30 this July btw) XD Funny thing is, I just sang that song a couple of days before the live.

The intro (this one is only used during lives.. it has never been on CD or anywhere else for that matter for sale) started and one by one, the band members made their appearance behind the smoke.

To all of us surprise, the set started with Smile Ichiban II Onna, which is mostly known to be the very last song during encore. The spirit was all high up in the air as the smiles were reaching up on cafekkos' faces. It seems, that An Cafe wants to finally move on and come up with something as or maybe even more appealing than this piece. It'll be hard, though!

The speeches between almost every three songs weren't that interesting really, since they re-used the Moomin-thing. Oh well, at least they tried to speak some Finnish, but mostly they communicated with English. I'm not disappointed, but the speeches never change. All the artists say the same things because of the limitations of the language barrier xD At the live it felt different, though. Maybe it had something to do with that hype every concert has in it (lol).
One thing is worth of mentioning, though: Miku apologized for not giving a show within a year as he had promised the last time they had a show in Finland. We were happy that you eventually did give us a show, though! So don't sweat it XD

The old-skool fans were treated with old classics, like Wagamama koushinkyoku, Snow Scene, Tekesuta Kousen, Escapism and Maple Gunman (the first song I ever heard from them ;_;).

The show just kept going and going and it started to feel like that I was underpaying for the concert! There was always a song going and the list felt like it could have kept going for eternity. The hype and happiness never faded and the bond between An Cafe and their cafekkos was so clear, that everyone would have been able to see it by bare eyes.

Every cafekko was dancing along the songs with furi that Miku and Yu-ki demonstrated. It really felt like the band was giving their everything and moving, not just emotionally, but physically as well! I mean, whew! It got hot in there!

And oh my, when it was time for Natsu Koi Natsu GAME, I couldn't keep the dirty thoughts at bay at all! Of course they danced the choreography! I don't know if they realize this, or is it on purpose, that one move, that is part of the para para choreography, has actually the meaning of "fuck" in sign language. Or is it just me? Am I misinformed? You tell me:

More speeches etc occurred and the final stretch began for me in a form of Maple Gunman. I know the furi, lyrics, the song in its entirety in the back of my head!

After Cherry Saku Yuuki, it was time for An Cafe to retreat to backstage. Of course, there was an encore still to come, but only if we demanded with feet and clapping accompanied by shouting "Encore!" and "mou ikkai!"
The demands were answered to and the boys stood on stage, one more time. Miku was even wearing a t-shirt he got from one of the VIP cafekkos. She had written on it "I'm sexy and I know it" and even I thought it was hilarious! Though, he IS a sexy guy.

With a little bit of depressed voice, Miku had to say, that the next one was going to be the last song for that night. With melting hearts, cafekkos listened to MY HEART LEAPS FOR "C".
But it wasn't going to be over yet. Cafekkos had one more thing up in their sleeve. It was time for a twist.

Like I said, it wasn't original, but the audience started to sign the first verse of YOU.

Miku recognized the song right away and started to sing along without rest of the instruments. Somewhere people lost pace and started to giggle in the middle of it. I thought to myself that "NO! We WILL do this! COME ON!" and I started to sign with a louder voice, trying to be the driving force. And somehow we managed to sign the chorus without a fail. A couple of us in the front row started to demand one more song: BondS -Kizuna-
..by yelling repeatedly "BONDS BONDS BONDS!"

Miku asked if others were willing to perform the song and of course they were! It was the last show on the European tour, for god sakes! And so, with the last of their energy, they performed the song, sealing together the bond between us cafekkos and them.

Set list

Smile Ichiban II Onna
ROMAN ~Let's make precious love~

Wagamama koushinkyoku
Snow Scene
Ryuusei Rocket

Amazing Blue
Tekesuta Kousen Anti aging ver.

Kimi no machi
Bee Myself Bee Yourself
Natsu Koi Natsu GAME

Kakusei Heroism
Maple Gunman
Cherry Saku Yuuki

BondS -Kizuna-

You don't even know how good it feels to see that last one on the list...
A couple of lucky cafekkos got the set lists the boys had in front of their feet as a reminder what to play next, because the boys handed them away by themselves. We girls really want every tiny bit there is on the stage so we can have at least something that they have touched at least once, don't we? XD

But, the show was over, though it seemed to be never ending happiness.

The last thing boys wanted to do was the tiramisu-routine. And then.. An Cafe was gone. They brought light to the dark spring of Finland. With the bond we share, they brought Nyappy to our hearts.
There's a fan-made Finnish flag too ;3
I didn't buy anything, because all that VIP nonsense (was not nonsense at all, missy!! >8O) was expensive after all. And traveling doesn't come cheap either. Though, that tour shirt always teases me T_T

They did promise to come back... I hope the nyappy shines brightly in me until then!
I had to catch a train on the next morning so I could make it to the kanji test which was going to be on the same day.. You could tell it didn't go as smoothly as planned, but I will score next time!

But now..

..here's a picture of the physical memories~

Next up will be a RANT about MIYAVI's VIP meeting in Helsinki... so, until then: I'll see you next time! Have a good one.


Yukicon 18-19/1/2014, Espoon Kulttuurikeskus

Today I'd like to finally talk about Yukicon I went to this January and.. Oh my..

Let's start with the first day and the POSITIVE things. Rousuke and I went to my sister's place in Espoo on Friday (17th of January). There wasn't much time to stay awake, but we managed to play a few games and eat but right after that it was time to bed. In the morning we took our time to do the makeup and (somewhat) hairdo (Rousuke used wigs on both days, so she didn't have that much of a struggle with her hair xD). My sister had already left to work before we even woke up, so we had to manage our ways to the con by ourselves. Thank goodness we checked the bus we had to take in order to get there the day before, so there really wasn't any worries (I just checked it was the correct bus over and over again, though).

So, we made it there and it was quite early too, but since neither of us was interested in seeing the 'grand' opening, we arrived about an hour 'late'. But as we all know, you can come and go whenever you like, as always. Pointless point of me.

Yukicon's guest of honor was Laeppavika (a Finnish gaming group on YouTube), because the con was mostly game-themed. But to be honest with myself, I wasn't that interested in them. The shows I went to watch on Saturday were a concert with wind instruments, Final Fantasy Fight, and AMV competition. All these three were entertaining and fun to watch, but now we can get into the NEGATIVE things I've got to say about this convention.

The first thing we noticed, when we arrived at the convention, was a couple of organizers were on the floor wrestling with each other. To say the least, to me this seemed irresponsible of them and made me think "this convention seems to be held by children".

At the wind instrument concert on the other hand I couldn't believe my eyes or the bad manners of the audience: about half of the crowd had their smart phones in their hands and didn't pay attention to the music. From you I wish to ask: why do you line for a ticket to hear the music and then blow it for yourselves? The musicians were convicted to play music for you and you pay them back by not listening? To me, this is the same as going to movie theater and then sit there with smart phone suns. I'm not saying it's impossible to concentrate on two different things at the same time, but in this case, I doubt it.

Espoon kulttuurikeskus is so gaaaaaaaay XD
Final Fantasy Fight was awesome on the organizers' part, but some of the fighters weren't that entertaining and the mood was lowered almost by every single fight. It was quite sad to witness the lack of imagination. Hopefully FF Fight won't stop here though.

The final show I went to see was the AMV competition. And.. oh my, the horror we had to witness. Though, this is only my opinion, I think many of the people can agree, that the playback wasn't good for loud action AMVs. They almost made me insane and afraid that the speakers would blow up at any time. The winner videos were great and I'm glad they won. But just to let you know, there was waaaaaaaay too many Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) AMVs! By the half way through the entire show, I could hear so much sighing every time a title of a video showed it was going to be another SnK video.

After the first day, we headed back to my sister's place with Rousuke.

Her jewelry was so cute >u<
The next day we had our stall at the Art Alley, so we went there a little bit early in order to get the best spot. Yes; the stalls had no numbers and people could choose whichever stall they wanted to sell at. I'm surprised that the person responsible for art alley even was there on time, because we had to send her emails over and over before the actual event, because she hadn't sent the info early enough. What I'm saying is, that she didn't seem to care at all.

We spent the whole day at the art alley with Rousuke, TRYING to sell as much as possible. She was able to sell some of her jewelry, but the day still was poor. Customers had spent all their money already on Saturday. And wouldn't you know, I didn't sell even one hat (okay I sold one, but it was pre-ordered by a friend of a friend).

And I guess Rousuke's products took most of the attention anyways. Just look how pretty and cute they are! And next to them was my lousy creations in a tight pack:
dun dun duuuuuun
Like I said: nothing was bought from me. Fortunately, I put all the hats on sale in a local Facebook flea market and via that I sold most of my hats, but I've still got a couple left. I think I should stick with selling paintings, at least that went a lot better than this. *in tears*

After a long day with no sells, we headed back to Helsinki to catch our train back to Vaasa. Luckily, when we arrived to Helsinki, we had more than an hour to spend before the train would depart. So, we made a stop at a nearest McDonald's. Yeah, very original. But it lifted my spirit a little bit, because with Happy Meal I was able to get a Mario mushroom as a toy. It even makes the sound it makes in the video games, when it reveals itself from a brick! I still have it on my desk, that little cutie :3

A little bit depressed, we took our train and headed home.

I should also mention, that before the event even was around the corner, I got an honorable mention from Yukicon's art competition with this lousy piece of "art":

And the prize for all honorable mentions was a Yukicon's poster. Guess what; I never got mine. I posted my contact information with the artwork in the very first email and when they contacted with a congratulations, they asked my info again.. I sent them another email with the info but still I never got my so called prize. Oh well, after what we went through during this convention, I don't think I would want a Yukicon's poster at all.

So, all in all, this convention for me was a disaster. We'll see will I attend the next one.

Also, pardon me; this post is over 3 months late, but you'll probably understand very well why.
But you guys have a good one! See ya next time~