Lantis Festival Las Vegas, Or the Offkai Is a Con

Anisong World Tour Lantis Festival Las Vegas is the full name. In 2014 Lantis celebrated their fifteenth anniversary as anison specialty music label with four multi-day festivals in Japan, covering from south to north. In 2015 Lantis plans a series of oversea events, and Las Vegas kicks it off. Next month they’ll do a show in HK, and then SG, Taipei and Seoul. During Saturday’s event they announced that Shanghai will be their newest stop.

I went to the Vegas show, of course, because I want to support the Lantis label–it is the anison label that ultimately purposed itself to be the anison label since its initial days. Other more established labels have anime/stuff sublabels for this stuff, but throughout the years Lantis has been the one that keeps its focus rather than just coast on the big success stories. Of course it also helps they carry some of the stuff I like, some that shows up at the Vegas show. At any rate, it feels like Lantis does actually produce stuff I like, so the support I give them has a much more direct relationship.

I don’t really want to spend too much time talking about the two actual shows, besides that this is probably my first “anisama” type experience, where you have these clutch and swing-from-the-hip musicians do collabs and covers besides their main songs. I mean Choucho x Sayaka’s ENTER ENTER Mission was awesome, sure, but Bamboo’s Koi no Mikuru Densetsu really killed it for me. Maybe it helps that I remember how the calls went (it’s super easy). Super Driver was great. Go Go Power Rangers was great. It’s a baseline setlist and delivers more or less what I expected, with each collab and cover super great surprises.

Of course, seeing Sayaka, Choucho and Yousei Teitoku for the first time was good too. (And Bamboo…kind of.) It dawned on me why Das Feenreich is on an anison label after seeing them at the VIP session. A bunch of nerds! But I guess that’s not so unusual for metalheads.

Speaking of which, Lantis Fest Vegas is brought to you by Otakon (Vegas), which helped them with all kinds of things, and in exchange they did some collab events. I thought the collab was done well from my point of view, because I managed to pony up for a membership to OV despite not caring at all for its programming other than Sushio. I got an autograph from him on Sunday and he looked pretty much plastered. You can probably count on him to live it up!

The VIP event, on that note, was cool. It was super stiff, but cool. I think in the end it was more like we were kind of chatting with each side kinda. I spent most of my time with Yousei Teikoku so I didn’t see much going on with Jam, although that one felt more like just people taking their turns fanboying or fangirling them. I think I spent enough time grilling them in 2014 so I wanted to interrogate the fairy metal band more.

There was some snacks, sushi, and soft drinks. Nothing great besides this baked brie thing. Photo session was provided by Otakon and it was great to just fool around with all the guests.

What made this Vegas trip great was not only the Lantis (and Otakon) stuff, but that we got to hang out with all the eventers and what not.

We miss you brah!

The two tricks and tips as eventer that I/we picked up last year are the “viewing” and the “Joysound.” It sounds like a Kawaiikochan comic but being in Vegas, it’s pretty easy to pick up a “party suite” and set up “viewing” and “Joysound.” This means you can karaoke for a cheap price with a lot of people, and be really freaking loud at really late at night. Or if you don’t sing, doing calls to Jam Project concerts or ML 2nd sounded good too. This particular hotel even provided Blu-ray players for each TV they had, making wiring things up super easy. In addition we were about to deploy “advanced ‘viewing’ techniques” such that we did a real-time watch Cinderella Girls episode 2 along with the CG live-viewing Niconama. The hardest part was waking up at 6am to setup when you went to bed at 3am the day before. And that episode was hella hype!

But yes, the “party suite” and the massive gathering of online people meant that we had a better karaoke setup than Otakon Vegas, showing better programming content (at least more relevant to our interests), and more interesting goods exchanged hands (I picked up my C87 loot!) and we even had a cooking event or two in the suite (it is has a fully featured kitchen). The room block that we had had enough spare/separate rooms that we were even doing board gaming (mahjong and Weiss) at one point. There were spare PS3/PS4s if people wanted to game. We even had cosplayers, and I was part of a shoot? So in that sense I thought we have not only beaten the “con != offkai” thing into the floorboards but broken through to the basement by doing the offkai better than the con.

Of course, we’re not entirely serious, in that Otakon Vegas is probably good at what it does. I’m just pointing out that OV doesn’t have much in terms of event we’re interested in. It doesn’t cater to any of us other than what makes up for all the Lantis Festival-related events. And maybe that’s good enough. It just makes the whole purchasing decision aspect of OV a little hard to take.

On that note, it was great partying all weekend and hanging out with net and non-net friends. It’s so bizarre that we had an offkai from the offkai because so many circles of friends overlapped. It was also kind of interesting that we scored the right types of hotel packages to facilitate all of our IT and transit needs. Having locals who can VIP it up for us at the casinos and being able to drive people around was really wonderful, too, and a key ingredient of a good time.

Putting it all down and thinking about it makes me very thankful of all the people that helped making it possible. And it was something everyone helped contribute to some degree, from just having the luck to win a VIP thing or doing a lot of heavy loading like logistics or hosting or driving. Thank you all, you know who you are.

On an even more personal note, this event really helped satisfy my feeling about seeing team West Coast at least once a year, because I just did that. Now I can focus on doing the JP Eventer thing for 2015.

PS. Special shoutout to Kurotsuki, who by not being there still was able to be a crucial piece of the puzzle by connecting so many of us together. You were missed and I hope 2015 will be more awarding than you can imagine!

PPS. I hope I can share the photos we took in Vegas sometime. It’s hilariously lel.

PPPS. Slightly regretting not dogeza’ing or otherwise begging Lantis to come back to USA this year with an idol group. Even Star Anis is fine. Prefer Stylips/u’s/Million Stars obviously.

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