This is late, and I am terrible at concert reports.
On April 16th, 2017, I went to Paris, France in order to attend ℃-ute’s final European live, held at La Cigale theater. This was also my first Idol concert, which some might consider crazy, given how long I have been a fan of Idol music and Idols.
I actually stayed in Paris for a week, where I did my fair share of exploring and eating the local cuisine (I did not, however, attempt the escargot; I have my limits), and met many wonderful people during my short stay. I think that France is a charming country, and despite the lack of traffic laws on motorbikes or mopeds whizzing past when the green man is on for crossing, I really enjoyed my stay and think that people should go to France, at least once. Hopefully, I will go again soon, mostly because I want to meet my friends who reside there.
Anyway, I won’t talk about the boring stuff; I will go right to the concert, and how that went. Let’s go!
A lot of time spent before the concert itself, was actually made up of queuing, and waiting. Because me and my friends, whom I was staying with in an AirBnB, did not get to the venue super early, we arrived a little bit later than other fans. I knew people who had been lining up since 4am, and whilst I admire such dedication, I am not prepared to lose sleep for that! We actually got in line by 2pm; there was still plenty of time left before the concert began.
For most of our time in line, I was actually pretty active. I can’t seem to stop moving, so for the most part, I was running up and down the queue, talking to friends and meeting people I had only ever talked to online. I even managed to film a few people, ask some quick questions, so that I had some content for my youtube channel. Everyone was super sweet, and really excited. It was so nice to finally hang out with other Idol fans!
During my time running up and down the line, I was called out to by a few people, mostly those who already knew me, or those who recognised me from my videos and / or blog. It was the weirdest thing, let me tell you, because I have never been recognised in-person for something like my youtube videos or writing. It is also a wonderful thing, but when it happened, I cried, and I am still a little overwhelmed by it. That said, being able to create content on Idols has allowed me to meet so many people, and I was able to make some new friends in line! Honestly, I think that being in the line, was probably the best part of the concert. It’s amazing to meet so many other like-minded people who share the same interests.
At around 5pm, the doors eventually opened, and we were allowed into the venue! I think the most annoying thing about it was, despite there being premium ticket holders, the Regular ticket holders managed to get in first. It was weird, but, I think the whole event was not the most organised at the time. Still, actually getting into the venue was exciting for me, and before we went to find a place in the hall, myself and my friend, Ash, lined up to buy some goods. Honestly speaking, the goods stand was pitiful; one style of t-shirt, and one style of a microfiber towel, and though neither were particularly attractive, both Ash and myself settled on the shirts. I wore mine for the duration of the concert, because why not?
Goods purchased and cash a little more depleted, it was time to make our way into the venue’s hall. Me and Ash decided on the balcony seats, because the pit was already getting pretty crowded. Due to my small to average height, I didn’t want to risk not seeing anything, and because the balcony area was still a little bare, Ash and I had an easier time finding a good viewing area. Actually, the view we secured for ourselves was great! A dead center view of both the stage and the fans below. Also, we were seated near one of the people we stood in line with, a man named Alex; he was really kind, allowing us to borrow a Kingblade so that we could show support to our beloved members. Ash was waving blue for Nakajima Saki, and when it was my turn, I waved green for Okai Chisato.
The venue quickly filled up, and soon the glow sticks were high in the air, screams of ‘KYUUUUTO!!!’ filling the hall. Of course, there were a few quiet fans, too; I noticed one beside me, and one in front. I may have burst their eardrums a few times, and at one point I did apologise, but there were even more loud people than just me. Still, I wonder if I annoyed them? Aha.
Well, regardless of how loud or quiet we were, everyone was excited, cheering loudly at anyone who walked onto the stage; at one point, the excitement was so high, we all cheered for a stagehand who came out to place bottles of water.
Then, finally, the concert was beginning, and ℃-ute came onto the stage!
Maasara Blue Jeans opened the concert, and everyone went absolutely wild for it. All I could hear was fan cries mixed with singing, and from the moment the song started, me and Ash were jumping up and down in our seats, singing along and crying out. I was furiously waving a glowstick I had been handed in line – a white one – and joined in with all the chants of ‘OI! OI! OI!’, enjoying myself completely as ℃-ute sang and waved to the fans from the stage. Next time, I kept thinking to myself, I will bring a smaller bag and join the crowd in the pit. I wanted to experience that.
When the girls started singing some old favourites, including Sakura Chirari and Ooki na Ai de Motanaishite, the crowd went absolutely ballistic. People loved it, and joined in.
There were twenty-five songs in total, but when the old favourites came out, like Skaura Chirari and Ooki na Ai de Motanaishite, the fans went absolutely ballistic. Mugen Climax and Kanashiki Heaven were big hits, too, with the fans screaming and cheering even louder than before. It was such an exhilarating experience, and I am honestly surprised I did not lose my voice by the end of it.
One of the things I noticed, both in line and in the venue, is just how many Hagiwara Mai fans there are in France! It was amazing to see so many yellow glowsticks, shirts and microfiber towels in the audience. I know that Hagiwara is not exactly everyone’s favourite in the Western fandom, but in France (and, a fair few Japanese fans who attended), she really is adored, and it was great to see that level of support for her.
Of course, all of the members of ℃-ute were amazing, and all of them had their fair share of love throughout the performance. They are actually really wonderful singers live, I’ve found, even better than in a studio recording. I was amazed by the power of their vocals, with Maimi and Chisato standing out to me the most. In Kanashiki Heaven, especially, Chisato was a powerhouse; she blew me away, and everyone who was listening was going nuts for both her and Airi. It was definitely one of my favourite performances from the set list, because it was so good!
I think that the members themselves are great on stage. Throughout their performance, they waved and smiled to all the fans, and gave us all a memorable experience. The MC’s also allowed us to hear ℃-ute try their hand at french. Maimi was especially great, and Airi’s was damn impressive. I was just surprised that they could speak it so well, and it made the fans in France really happy to hear it. I couldn’t understand any of it, of course, but I was delighted by their attempts all the same.
When it came to the final set for the concert, ℃-ute finished with an encore; Dance de Bakoon! and JUMP. They came out wearing the concert shirts and skirts that looked like humbugs, piano keys, or Beetle Juice’s suit. They looked very cute, refined and sweet, and before singing, they read out a note to the fans, thanking everyone for their support. Then, they started singing, and everyone went mad yet again for Dance de Bakoon! It was a nostalgia trip for me, and I was crying out so hard! But when they started JUMP, which I was not expecting, I began crying. It is one of my favourite songs from the group, so to hear them sing it live was an emotional moment for me. I felt so happy! I had finally heard my favourite ℃-ute song live!
Once their encore was over, the members of ℃-ute left the stage, but as they were doing so and the lights came down, all of the fans began to sing Gamusha LIFE, as a tribute to the group. It was a plan from the beginning, with sheets being handed out in line for people to sing along to, so that we could express our gratitude to ℃-ute at the end. We were all unsure what would happen if we sang it, but we wanted to show the group that we loved them through this song.
Then, ℃-ute came back onto the stage, and they sang Gamusha LIFE for us as a double encore! It was a beautiful performance, and all of the fans joined in as ℃-ute sang. Throughout, I could see some of the members crying, mostly Chisato, and once the song ended, ℃-ute thanked everyone in Japanese, smiled brightly, and waved to us all as they left the stage one last time.
And it ended. Everyone in the theater left happy and excited, but also sad. We all experienced something incredible. The members of ℃-ute, from their singing, dancing and poise, were beautiful, and they gave us an amazing experience that we will never forget. Outside, I was able to meet up with people and ask about their own experience, before meeting up with my friends and going for food.
This was such a fulfilling concert, and I am so glad that it was my first real Idol experience. Hopefully, I will be able to do it again, and soon!