Bucket List Lives, 2015

I always wanted to go to some bucket list lives, so I did.

I’m the kind of person who think about and come up with answers to common questions like “what’s your favorite color” or “what’s your favorite movie” ahead of time so I have them in my back pocket. I used to do frequent updates of my top 10 anime girls but these days I leave the ranking to people who have the privilege of something better to do. I can barely finish my music backlog, I can’t watch all the anime I wanted to watch, and don’t even get me started on video games. There’s no time for this nonsense. Blogging happens only because the mind is a strange thing and sometimes words just appear out of nowhere. In terms of this priority game I play, it’s as much compulsion, attention deficiency, and just a desire for the stuff that drives what I do.

This is why I have such things as bucket list lives. Ultimately, and at the end of the day, Reason is the final arbiter. That and the size of my bank account. That said I don’t have actual bucket lists, just things I’d like to do at least once before I lose the opportunity to do so. Not enumerated or ordered, but I think if I can consistently think about them (enough to plan a Japan trip around them), that must mean they’re up there. These are the stuff I thought about for the longest time and am still thinking about.

It’s hard to top a reason like “Okui Masami is my first and probably last ‘favorite anison singer’ even if my last.fm probably won’t indicate this in a true sense.” That, and I’ve never actually been to one of her solo lives. I think in the last 10 years I’ve cut down on how much I fanboy over her music, partly because of JAM Project, but also I’ve lost touch on the community that makes up her fanbase, domestic and overseas. The feeling of standing in a crowd waiting to enter that Shibuya live house was interesting that many of the people in that crowd are probably not so different than I am, minus the fact that most of them have attended many of her birthday lives. The fact that we went old school at the live and nobody’s posted a set list that I can easily find (Ok, not so hard: here, here, and here) reflected our priorities. I mean there were tons of old t-shirts and towels being worn at the live. I have definitely attended something very unique and special, something on the other side of the hill, so to speak.

I’ll save the details for this live later. Maybe ask me in person. I’m too “into it” to talk about how I was basically dead during the encore. Enjoy some tweets instead.

It was slightly less old-sad at I’ve 15th Anniversary. The show was awesome, and it could only have been better if we were in a club. Except I don’t think I can last for four hours like that–that set list is miles long. Throughout the show I thought, “man only if Acen got this for their Hardcore Synergy.” It’s like, if you are into Japanese subcultures, you know, there are all these other niches beyond the white-washed faces of moe anime girls. And even among those Nishimata-lookalikes you have this vibrant (or used to be) scene of BGM (bishoujo game music) or whatever people like Bamboo produces. Then you can rave with it. What’s up with that? Why can’t anime cons recognize it?

I digress. Clearly I’ve’s [obligatory] heydays are behind them. They’re an interesting bunch in that ultimately they behave like an indie music label from Hokkaido. They’re facing challenges unique to that–which is why they’re brewing idol acts and bringing up some cool newcomers at I’ve 15th that most people don’t know much about. Or at least I don’t. And I can’t even really find out because I couldn’t buy a pamphlet before it sold out.

The one semi-active I’ve EN forum posted a bunch of links if you care to pursue, but key ones are on I’ve Sound Explorer. Some tweets here. Photos from aforementioned pamphlet here (plus a full report).

While personally KOTOKO warranted the entry fee, it’s more bucket-list-worthy to see Eiko in person and check out the rest of I’ve lineup. But hearing Ayane perform those iconic Kanon pieces was what hit me as a transcendental moment in that I realized this was something quite special. I don’t know, tweeting about it would have ruined the moment? LOL. Hearing the likes of Mako and Shiho blew my mind in a different way, like, am I still in college kind of way. Industrial strength nostalgia plus a new live interface to go with it. They didn’t have KBs back then.

Out of the newer folks, personally I thought Yuzuno was the curious find. She reminds me of an I’ve version of Pile, LOL, with more stage presence. The idol-like duo of pixy lab was also a lot of fun. Marriage blue was out of nowhere but packed a lot of energy. IKU brought down the house, which Mami followed later on.

But man I think most of us were there just for those Utatsuki Kaori and KOTOKO duets. It was incredible. Kind of like the dance KOTOKO does for Supporation Core. You know it yet at this “low trance assembly” it felt both right at home and out of place at the same time.

At the same time maybe it’s best that I don’t know how old KOTOKO is. We’re both getting on with that.

PS. Suzuki Konomi was one of the two special/surprise guests at Makkun’s birthday live. Read her blog post on it. The other one…is a certain somebody from Judy & Mary.

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