With all the KAT-TUN concerts over, I finally took my time to sit down and write about the two that I went to.
This year I went to Nagoya and Osaka for the 10ks tour (that’s pronounced “tanks” by the way, and is a pun on “thanks”). I was really hoping to go to all 5 concerts for this tour, but as luck had it, the Tokyo concerts landed on the dates where I was in South Africa. So sadly I had to give up on those.
I hit for both Nagoya and Osaka venues, and I am always happier when I get to go with my own tickets. But sadly this time, my seats weren’t as amazing as 9uarter (3rd from front row in arena, seriously that memory will never leave me!!)
KAT-TUN’s 10ks was a lot of mixed feelings for me, I was so happy to greet their 10 year anniversary with them, especially since they had to cancel their 5 year one. But at the same time, with Junno leaving, everything had a bit of a bittersweet taste to it. I believe in KAT-TUN and even though this recharge period may be what they need, I still don’t think it was the best choice regarding the timing. But that won’t stop me from supporting them.
Onwards to the Con report!
Nagoya April 3rd 2016
Naygoya isn’t that far from where I live, within an hour by shinkansen I was able to get there. Now as usual, KAT-TUN goods lines can get a bit insane, I warned my friends to expect to be in the line for at least 3 hours, and lo and behold, 3 hours later we were through the queue, with all our goods. I’m not going to go into a big long list of what I bought and why, but I can say that I adore the cup!!
So after dashing out the line, quickly meeting with a friend to say hi, and running off to get food (we had less than 40 mintues to get to our seats). We were safely in just in time for the show to start.
For Nagoya I was on the first floor, about halfway up the stands to the right of the stage a little. Had a great view and was close enough for me to see them without thinking they were ants (had that experience before in Kyocera with Kanjani8).
Now if there is one word to define KAT-TUN concerts, it is epic! Each group in Johnnys that I have seen has their own style, their own branding so to say when it comes to performances, and KAT-TUN has epic nailed down.
As the lights went out, and the VTR started playing, the whole of Nagoya dome lit up with red lights as everyone turned on their pistol penlights.
Nagoya Set List:
2. Real Face
4. THE D-MOTION
5. ONE DROP
8. 春夏秋冬 (Shun Ka Shuu Tou)
9. DON’T U EVER STOP
11. In Fact
12. NEVER AGAIN
13. 僕らの街で (Bokura no Machi de)
14. KISS KISS KISS
15. Will Be All Right
16. ハルカナ約束 (Harukana Yakusoku)
20. White X’mas
-Nakamaru Beat Box-
21. Love yourself ～君が嫌いな君が好き～（Kame Solo）
22. CHANGE UR WORLD（Ueda Solo）
23. STAR RIDER（Nakamaru Solo）
25. 不滅のスクラム (Fumetsu no Scrum)
26. RUN FOR YOU
29. Dead or Alive
30. BOUNCE GIRL
34. PRECIOUS ONE
35. GREATEST JOURNEY
36. 喜びの歌 (Yorokobi no Uta)
37. Keep the faith
39. 君のユメ ぼくのユメ (Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume)
40. BRAND NEW STAGE
The VTR starts and shows us flying through the past logos of the KAT-TUN concerts, mixed in with clips from previous music videos, as well as performances, and snippets of songs that took them to the top. When it slowly lands on the 9uarter logo, it slowly moves through it towards the 10ks logo.
KAT-TUN starts with a bang, they usually do, and we swing right into GOLD. And it was a perfect start. The set was that of a pirate ship, and GOLD has been one of their most well-loved songs from pre-debut. The audience were ecstatic, this marked the return of Pirate KAT-TUN an image that I have always thought suited them very well. Also I am super excited to finally be seeing one of their pirate performances, I am in love with Queen of Pirates after all. Nakamaru is playing around with a telescope on stage and the others are dancing around on their moving platforms that are lifting them up and down on the stage.
Ueda stated that he was actually surprised that the audience still remembered GOLD, it is an old song.
They moved on through the concert, performing mostly their popular songs and songs that made it onto the fan selection. Their first VTR was a remix of the opening of the music video Don’t U Ever Stop showing the crystal ball and the shattering etc before launching into the song.
This year they performed without juniors or back dancers. This was only KAT-TUN and their fans, and you could see that they put their all into it. Their first few songs were good, and they carried on through the beat of everything perfectly, bringing the audience up with their fast tempo songs and calming us down with their ballads and slower songs. Whoever plans these set lists does it perfectly.
They made a big point in the concert to be all over the place, on different levels with the pirate ship, to be on carts going through the audience. The most interesting parts to me was the fact that the pirate ship on stage could move around and that parts of it had screens on it, so certain songs had background effects on those screens behind their dancing. It reminded me a bit of the Come Here concerts.
The dancing this year was great, and it was really nice to see Ueda actually dancing a lot of the songs properly for a change. I’ve spotted him in the past only really dancing enthusiastically to songs that he loves (which became a great clue to what types of songs he enjoys) and also seeing their center person shuffle was comforting. No matter what they say, KAT-TUN has no leader, they work together and each member leads them in a different aspect.
During PERFECT, you could tell that they weren’t used to their new parts in the song yet. Kame made a couple of mistakes in the lyrics and nearly forgot to sing at one point.
Their first MC, sad to say, was a little bit awkward. They started talking about how singing and dancing as 3 people to a 6 person song was difficult, they joked around a little about how they would suddenly have to be singing the part right after theirs, and then have to be in a different position on the stage. Ueda declared “It’s all his fault” which I am assuming is referring to Junno… but I’m not gonna touch that topic. Did have a bit of a giggle though.
They thanked the audience for getting their recent album to number one, and bowed. Ueda stated that they had to bow with everything they got, and Kame folded himself in half. He then showed us how he could see through the arch of his legs, proceeding to try and imitate Kaminarimon (this is what it looks like), his legs were the gate, and his head was the lantern.
Nakamaru talked about how they wanted to add more of their newer songs, but also wanted to include the Fan Selection songs. In the end they decided to prioritize the fan selection songs over the new B-side tracks. So to many fans, and my own, disappointment, we got none of the new B-sides in the concert. I was really looking forward to Feathers and Jet.
KAT-TUN talked about GOLD and how they were using it as their opening song. They talked about how it was old and Kame mentioned that they originally sang that song when he was in highschool and they all had brightly coloured hair. A moment passes as everyone slowly looks at Ueda, who has bright blonde hair. They joke around a bit how Ueda could actually be a natural blonde and that it is the opposite of his aura, which is black.
Nakamaru brings up the telescope in GOLD and how he originally did it in a concert before (Queen of Pirates I think) and that he is only going to do it for Nagoya because it was tedious to work with.
Then then moved on to talk about their memories of Nagoya, Ueda immediately brought up Tame Tabi because they were able to win the trip to Australia. They talked a little about the food in Nagoya and about what they ate. Nakamaru talked about eating backstage, and Kame joked that he ate someone backstage (yes that is a sex joke). Kame then mentioned that his parents were at the concert, and then apologised for being such a son.
The then moved on to talk about the goods, especially the penlight. They then moved on to talking about the Uchiwa’s and how Nakamaru’s was the same again! Kame tried to play it off that they don’t choose the photo that is used, but Nakamaru declared that he does, it goes “*click, click, click* ok we are done taking pictures, use that one and done”. Kame and Ueda couldn’t believe it and called him the worst.
Nakamaru suddenly proclaimed “right, what’s the next song?” where Kame and Ueda suddenly got all worked up, since it was so unprofessional to state that in the middle of the concert, they declared that that was something you do in a rehearsal, not a concert. They apologised to the audience. Nakamaru said that he really forgot, so Kame took the mic away from his mouth and mouthed “yakusoku” to Nakamaru (could actually read his lips there, so that wasn’t a secret to me ahaha)
The VTR flashes onto the screen to show Takamaru (that’s Nakamaru’s infomercial persona) being thrown into the hull of a boat, as if he was a prisoner. He’s been a bit beat up and is talking about how rough the pirates are that captured him. But he has a plan for escape! He whips out his phone, ready to call for help, only to see that it has run out of battery. He is shocked, has no idea what to do, but then it comes to him!
Soon he is presenting the charger and explaining why it is the next best purchase. He shows that charging is important and can save your life in dire times. Then he shows that it comes with two cables, one for both android and iphone.
But that’s not all, the next moment it shows Nakamaru being shot in the chest, but rather than falling down dead, he pulls out the charger’s box. It can save your life too!!
Remember the charging time is important! And you can get it now at the goods shop now for just 2600 yen!
With the information now expressed, Nakamaru then plugs in his phone to charge, which turns to bright lights.
This then leads into the next set of songs.
They get through the songs really smoothly with a lot of movement around the dome. White Christmas then played when they were on the center stage. As usual they had white confetti blowing out around them to make it appear like it was snowing. Then Kame and Ueda left the stage and Nakamaru hung around a little.
Just like with the 9uarter concerts, the screens started showing subtitles of what he was thinking. He would joke around about how it was strange to sing a Christmas song in April as well as just dancing around on the stage like a ballerina. Then he realised, his “heart’s voice slipped out”. He thanks us all for coming the concert and then begins his beatbox segment. Again, just like at the 9uarter concert, he his beatboxing had subtitles such as “bu, ka, bu, bu, ka, shuu”.
After doing a bit and getting everyone to praise him (because remember, he is a man that enjoys being praised) he then makes it as if a mosquito is flying around him, when it lands on it, he slaps it dead and looks at his hand, and proclaims “KA!” (which is mosquito in Japanese). On the VTR it showed a large picture of a mosquito. Then as he went through the beatboxing, you could see the buddah (bu), mosquito (ka), humidifier (shuu) as well as Nakamaru sticking his fingers up his nose (pe pe). He rotated through these in a hilarious way while he beat boxed until he finally brought the whole audience to fits of laugher and finished his routine.
As soon as he was done, you could see Kame peeking out at him from the backstage door. Hes dressed in his vampire outfit and is carrying the white coat for Nakamaru’s clinic. The audience went wild with the excitement of seeing Nakamaru’s clinic again. It’s now been 6 years since it started (first appearance was No More Pain), and 4 years since we last saw it (Chain). Kame starts it all off by showing that he still has his fangs and that they grew back even after Nakamaru operated on them. He asks Nakamaru to take care of it again, and asks him to go gentle on him.
As Nakamaru starts drilling on Kame’s teeth, Kame starts yelling, breathing deeply, and as soon as Nakamaru stops drilling, he is acting like he is about to transform into Bem. After a moment, he says hes ok, and that Nakamaru should continue.
Nakamaru starts drilling again, and Kame screams. This time when Nakamaru stops, he does an impersonation of Yamaneko.
Nakamaru then asks Kame to raise his hand when he feels pain, then starts drilling again. Kame screams again out of pain and then leaps onto Nakamaru, biting his neck. Nakamaru then laughed and left the stage, leaving Kame to start the next song.
Kame then started singing Love Yourself as a solo song, after he was into the song a little bit, he whipped out his own uchiwa, while wearing Sunako’s glasses from Yamada Nadeshiko, and started singing the chorus of the song to himself (Love Yourself, get it?). After he finished his snippet of the song, he declared that he was now ok to look at himself, even without the glasses. So he takes them off, and then dramatically turns to look at himself. He then yells “mabushiiiiiii” (bright) and then falls to the floor uttering that it is super embarrassing to be doing this.
Next, the stage goes dark and a spotlight appears on the left side of the stage. The next moment Ueda rides out on a motor tricycle (yes, that’s right, a TRICYCLE! He mentioned a long time ago that he wanted one, and here he is, riding around Nagoya dome on one!!) So he comes around the stage, and stops near the left-hand side stage. He pulls out a shot gun, takes aim an fires at the side-stage. Fireworks shoot up into the air where he shot, and the chorus for Change Ur World starts. At this part I am freaking out because I love this song and they haven’t performed it since Chain!! And even better, Ueda is using it as his solo! If there was ever a moment where I thought Ueda and I had similar music interests, this was definitely one of them. So as he sings Change Ur World, Ueda drives around to the centre front stage, stops his bike and gets on the stage. He dances around a little while singing. Then at the end of the song, he pulls out a grenade, pulls it up to his lips, smirks and then throws it to the edge of the stage, setting off an “explosion” with more fireworks and his stage area going completely dark.
Then everyone’s attention is brought to the front stage as Star Rider starts playing, another one of my favourite songs! Nakamaru performs it as his solo and starts it out as a dance performance with the use of lasers. The lasers move together in coordination with Nakamaru’s dancing and then surrounds him creating a “shadow” appearance with it moving with him on the stage. As he dances around, and Star Rider slowly starts to come to an end, Nakamaru seizes the laser in his hand and uses it to cut through the screens on stage, and then stab it into the ground. He has a laser shining up to the ceiling that he then plays with and dances with as it moves around, splits and comes back to one single beam. Once Nakarmau has finished playing with the laser, we launch into Going, Fumetsu no Scrum and Run For You.
Once these songs are done, KAT-TUN leaves the stage and a VTR starts playing. The VTR talks about an urban legend that everyone knows, and some terrible being that everyone had come to fear. The imagery was very old-style Japan with Ukio-e style graphics. And right at the end of the VTR, a picture of a Tengu flashes with a scream echoing out.
Then KAT-TUN comes out on stage with their TEN-G costumes on and start with singing TEN-G where they mess around and act mischievous (as usual in this song). After TEN-G finishes, they all start chatting and messing around in their TEN-G personas. But something is up with Ueda as he is rolling around on the floor and clutching at his throat. He tries to talk into the mike, but everything he says comes out super high pitched. Everyone is shocked and like “what’s wrong what’s wrong?” but then Ueda clears his throat a bit and the staff put his mic back to normal.
They then talked a little about how the TEN-G number has reduced. They joked around and started commenting on how they read on Wikipedia that one TEN-G brother was going to debut in the States and they joked around a little like this. Then they started saying that they were going to do a raffle today and give out some signed posters. Now everyone is really excited, we haven’t had something like this since Chain I believe, so it’s nice to get this again. They also said that they were going to give out 10! Which is rather a lot. So they brought out the poster and Ueda started holding it like you would hold the photo of a lost one in a funeral in Japan. He promptly got scolded for this. Then Kame started messing around with the poster and Nakamaru and Kame looked like they were about to fight, they faced each other and got into position. Instead of breaking them apart, Ueda then went in and announced the start of their fight like a referee. “In the red corner… In the blue corner…” that kind of style. But right as they were about to start, Nakamaru declared it had to stop because it wasn’t good.
They then proceeded to call out the numbers and had to start asking the people to shout more and the rest to be quiet ect because they found it hard to pinpoint where the winner was. There were quite a few people called in my section, but sadly, I have yet to win a poster.
After announcing all the winners of the posters, they then moved on to recording the alarm for the alarm clock they were selling with the KAT-TUN goods. This time they had a preorder system for the alarm clocks rather than selling them straight like NEWS had done before. With this preorder, they were going to record a unique message for each venue/concert, so that you could get a unique alarm clock from each concert. I decided to not get the Nagoya one, because I live in Osaka and rather wanted to Osaka one. I felt like I was taking a bit of a gamble on it though, since I didn’t know what I was going to get and was hoping that it would be something I really liked.
Each of the alarm clock recordings are as follows (please note they may be off since I’m mostly doing this from memory)
Nakamaru: Wahhh!! Wahh! Morning, Wake up, wake up! Hurry, hurry! Its Nakamaru Yuichi!
(Nakamaru did his twice because the first time it was too short)
Ueda: Hey, wake up… I said wake up! WAKE UP YOU IDIOT!!
Kame: Hey, you should wake up, I’m leaving soon. Its time to shower… I’m gonna go ahead… I’m gonna go~
(note, in Japanese “to go” can also mean “to cum” so this was actually a sex joke from Kame…)
After Kame’s alarm clock recording, Nakamaru told Kame that this was probably the moment kids in the audience will remember, and then ask their parents to not bring them to a KAT-TUN concert anymore. They also talked a little about why they understood that Kame wanted to go last, even though he seemed to know what he was going to say from the start.
They started to talk about what they were going to record for their group recording. They chatted a bit and some people in the audience yelled some suggestions at them. It seems like a girl from the arena yelled out her name, to which Kame replied “we can’t use people’s names” But then someone else yelled out “hyphen” they seemed to like that and decided to use it.
Group: To all the hyphens who came to KAT-TUN’s 10ks at Nagoya Dome, good morning! Also, wake up!!
They took a few practice tries before they recorded it though so that they could get it together in time.
After taking care of all the recordings, they then wandered down the stage a little to take off their TEN-G costumes and start the next section of the concert. After Nakamaru took off his mask, Kame made sure to fix his fringe. Ueda and Kame moved back to the centre stage, but Nakamaru stayed a little longer with the stylist for them to finish fixing his outfit etc.
After getting ready and into position, they launched into RAY, a great favourite from the audience. The trucks came around to pick KAT-TUN up and during Bounce Girl and 4U, they made their way around the dome and off stage. As 4U was playing, and KAT-TUN had left the stage, the lyrics for the second half of the song started to appear on the screen, signalling to the audience to sing it. It was amazing to hear the whole dome super into singing the song and joining in together. After the lyrics were over, KAT-TUN had photos of them from every year, from birth, scrolling on the main screen, we could see how each of them grew over the years and they included shots from previous shop photos and adorable moments over the years from them. It was really moving to see and hearing the audience all react to different photos was amazing to hear. This really made me realise that we are all hear for the boys, and that it doesn’t matter that we are from different walks of life, or who we like or what we do, we are all here to support KAT-TUN and in turn, be supported by them.
KAT-TUN then came back on the main stage to perform Tragedy and Unlock. The performance was really wild and cool. It was really amazing, but the part that really got amazing was when the lights all went out. Maybe my eyes were really good, but I could see they were raising something onto the stage from below, and very quickly noticed it was a piano. I suddenly said it out loud and the girls around me heard me, sparking a wave of “oh my goodness, a piano?! Why a piano?? IS UEDA GONNA PLAY??” around me. When the lights came up, Ueda went and sat down by the piano. I was super excited because I love it when he plays.
He started with the opening of Precious One and soon Nakamaru joined in with the beatbox and Kame sang. I can happily say that the audience was really moved by this, and I spotted I wasn’t the only one tearing up/crying at this. It had been so long since we had Ueda at the piano, and for Precious One too!! This really was a moving message to the audience from KAT-TUN. About halfway through the song, they all started singing together in harmony until the end.
They then came to the front of the stage, and Nakamaru thanked everyone for coming to the concert today, even after everything that happened and that he is looking forward to and hoping we are also looking forward to the next time we can meet.
And with that, KAT-TUN left the stage. At first it seemed like the fans were unsure what to do. Usually people would start doing the encore call, but the audience seemed rather divided on this, as if they were too scared to start calling in case they didn’t come back. A few people around the dome though did, and although it was quiet, a few sections kept calling. But also, KAT-TUN is a bit of a weird fandom, we are one of the very few groups that don’t have a call. We don’t call KAT-TUN before the concert starts, and we always seem patient enough to wait for them. I’m not sure when it started happening, but I had noticed this since the Countdown Concert.
KAT-TUN then came back for the encore, jumping around on the large floats singing Greatest Journey. No matter how many times or see or listen to this song, I just can’t help but think it’s a silly song. They seemed really happy to perform this one live, since it is a rather bouncy song, but they very quickly gave up doing the dance moves for it. Probably because it was inconvenient to move around and do them at the same time.
They then followed up with Yorokobi no Uta and Keep the Faith, two songs I adore and really matched the energy from what they set up. And right after that, Peaceful Days, a HUGE fan favourite. Everyone loves to sing along to this one. KAT-TUN for this one made their way back to the main stage, and kept getting the audience to sing out the letters, saying that they really love to hear this.
Then the music came to an end, they put on long white coats and walked towards the centre stage. The music and atmosphere dropped very suddenly for this, all the high energy vanished instantly as the opening to Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume started. This seems to be a rather meaningful song for everyone, since so many people (including me) were crying from this song. They simply stood there and sang, the stage sometimes raising them up. But it was simple and really conveyed the song well.
In a way, it is so depressing to hit the 10th anniversary and have this song hold all the feelings of KAT-TUN and the hyphens. Its not a depressing song, but rather a promise. Like, even though things aren’t going to be how they used to be, they will always continue forwards. Regardless of what others say, I am convinced that this song is about Junno, and discreetly a promise to themselves. I believe they will come back and that they will work with all their might to come back. Even if they need some time to recover first.
After the song finished, KAT-TUN did their final greetings and speeches. (note again, I am doing these from memory, and they may be slightly off)
Ueda: Thank you everyone for joining us at this concert today. I am really grateful that I got to greet everyone on our 10th anniversary. I think there are people that have joined us on this ship at various times through these 10 years, but these people that we have all gathered have become our courage and we have received a lot of encouragement from you. From May 1st, KAT-TUN will enter a charging period and I ask my fans to support Kamenashi-kun, and to support Nakamaru-kun as well during this time. I believe that us fighting together like this is the first step to getting us to move this ship once again. I don’t know when it will be yet, but I hope that when it comes again, I can say “Let’s set sail!” and you will all say it with me.
Kame: Thank you everyone. I want to thank everyone for coming today, and for seeing us up on this stage during our 10 year anniversary. Right now, I feel really happy and am sharing that happiness with all of you. As we steadily head towards our 11th year, we have decided to spend this year together with the hyphens are we right now, not only the ones that are here right now, but all of them. We have all progressed together little by little, with open minds, through a variety of different things. I have spent a terrible amount of time thinking about all this, and I am happy right now, therefore the decision towards our destination was made. Even if we will be separated for an amount of time after these 10 years, we will always believe in this ship called KAT-TUN that we will work hard on to keep drawing more people towards with smiles, I want to watch such a nice scenery together. Although we are heading into a charging period, I don’t think that it is quite a time to rest. Instead I will be happy reaching towards the future. Thank you again.
Nakamaru: Thank you very much. I am kinda worried that they might cut the TEN-G corner (laughs) well, that’s a lie, we won’t cut it. I noticed than when looking through the best album DVD, that some of us hadn’t come to firmly face the withdrawal of the members. But of course, people are going to decrease, but I was there, with my fighting spirit as I was becoming desperate because we changed each time the members did. But this doesn’t exactly mean that the story is a bad one, but rather as we enter the charging period, we see it as an important time. The fans all might think in various ways, but in the end, I believe that we are all thinking “KAT-TUN is a good group, right?” I think, like Ueda-kun had said, I want to cheer for each member’s individual activities, because each one is in need of your support. Thank you.
KAT-TUN then thanked everyone again. They were standing on the higher part of the main stage, and the screen behind them was flaring up behind them in each member’s colour, but only around them. As the colours expanded, it lifted to show an opening in the back screen which each member then exited through.
Then the credits started to roll on the screen with the background images showing KAT-TUN working hard in their rehearsals and sometimes messing around.
As the credits came to an end, it was like the audience didn’t know what to do. No one was sure if they should be calling for another encore or if it was even ok to. It was a big bundle of complicated feelings in my opinion. Like everyone was sad about it, but also so uncertain. No one wanted to pressure KAT-TUN or strain them more than they had been recently.
Then KAT-TUN came back with their newest song BRAND NEW STAGE which hasn’t been released on CD yet. They were all wearing their concert t-shirts and had some amazing customization done on it. I think this may have been the first time many of us had heard the song, it was definitely my first time. So it was a real nice surprise to get a new song at the concert. At the end, then asked the audience to applaud for the different staff members that had helped make the concert possible.
Then finally we got the “WE ARE” – “KAT-TUN” from them. They shot out the streamers at this moment and after a lot of thank yous and bowing, KAT-TUN left the stage. On the screen it showed a picture of all three of them with the words “Are you ready?” which even now has me very curious. That implies that there is something coming right? But with the recharge period, it doesn’t mean it’s coming soon… right?
Overall the concert was super moving, I cried a lot, and it really showed us that KAT-TUN is still KAT-TUN if the members and the fans still believe it. Even if we have lost members, even if everyone is slowly walking their own paths, I still believe that they will be there for us.
Thank you for making it all the way through this long post, I shall now be working on the Osaka con report. Let’s hope its not as long as this one!
Till next time x