Apologies for the delay of this review. I was waiting for the approved pictures to arrive before posting this. I kind of skimmed over this a bit during recaps but here is a more in-depth account of the actual concert.
Scandal @ AM2 2011
July 3, 2011, Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California, USA
July 3rd 2011 (hereby known as Scandal Day) was packed with many events dedicated to the band and it was capped off with an evening concert that brought the first annual AM2 convention to a close. I, like a plethora of others specifically traveled to Anaheim to see them. After all, it’s rare to see a band of their caliber live outside of Asia anymore, especially in a small venue environment.
With that said, there were lots of Scandal fans nervously anticipating the concert. Many passport holders lined up 3 – 4 hours early just so they could absolutely guarantee themselves the opportunity to get themselves a good seat. I, being part of the press, didn’t really have to sit in line (since we were given priority access before the passport holders) but I did anyway because it’s all part of the entire concert going experience.
Bonding with fellow fans and just enjoying each other’s company is just as valuable as the concert experience itself I think. Anyway, the separation of press, passport holders and single day attendees started around 18:30. Press were escorted into the hall shortly after and were instructed to sit in the middle in the 2nd and 3rd rows. An ideal view except for one thing. The stage set up was similar to that of a fashion show with a long ramp separating the band from the front. So in essence the band was kind of far away. From what I saw those who were on the sides actually got a much better view I think.
But hey, I & my press friends got in first (bonus) but unlike the opening ceremonies we weren’t allowed to choose our seats. (denied) So there’s the good and bad of being part of the press. Once we were settled the law was laid down for the press. No pictures or video as we would be getting label approved content after. (which are the pictures you see in this article) You try to break the rules your ass is ejected. Simple enough and I’m sure the majority of us clearly understood the rules.
When that was all said and done the passport holders and everyone else behind them were allowed in. That only took about 30 – 45 minutes and slowly all the AM2 staff arrived having finished their convention duties. It was a full house and people were preparing their glow sticks in anticipation of the show. 20:00 hit, the lights went out and a short announcement introducing the band. Then shit hit the fan.
1. SCANDAL のテーマ (SCANDAL no Theme)
3. EVERYBODY SAY YEAH
4. 少女 S (Shoujo S)
5. 星の降る夜に (Hoshi no Furu Yoru ni)
7. LOVE SURVIVE
8. ハルカ (Haruka)
9. ひかれ (Hika re)
10. 瞬間センチメンタル (Shunkan Sentimental)
11. カゲロウ (Kagerou)
12. SCANDAL BABY
As you can see the set list consisted of a lot of their up tempo songs. Considering that the concert was only an hour long I guess they had to squeeze as much energy out of the crowd as they possibly could. That was totally fine with me as they played many of my favorite songs such as Everybody Say Yeah, Shoujo S and Scandal Baby plus their new single Love Survive.
If it went a little bit longer I would have loved to have heard Koi Mayou, Koshi Tan Tan and Sakura Goodbye. And really, since it was the last event of AM2 a full concert would have been nice. But beggars can’t be choosers and a hour of Scandal is better than none at all.
For what it was the concert was great. Not really up to par from what I’ve seen on their tour DVDs but still sufficient enough to make me happy. To see how cohesive they are live was great as they have had some criticism for being nothing but a manufactured pop group at times. That accusation is completely false and they showed they are accomplished musicians.
I think the most interesting thing I saw in the crowd was something I only thought was reserved for idol group concerts, the previously mentioned glow sticks. There were many happily waving them to each song. I didn’t see any wotagei, but it was just a little odd for a Rock concert. But then I realized what kind of crowd I was around and it all made sense. Although for those who may not be accustomed to it all, that may have seemed weird.
My only complaints about this concert were things that were probably out of the control of AM2. First, the stage set up I mentioned earlier, second is the that the volume on the mics was somewhat low and it was hard to hear anyone sing. I don’t know if that’s because the sound person was asleep at the wheel or if the acoustics in the hall caused sound to not travel properly in the room.
In the grand scheme of things those are only minor and this was very much worth the expense of coming all the way from Canada to see. If you have the opportunity to see Scandal either in Japan or anywhere they may roam I say go and do it.
Many thanks to AM2 and Epic Records for bringing Scandal to Anaheim.
The rest of the approved photos can be found here.