Iwao Junko "Freedom" concert in Osaka
The first stop of Iwao Junko's "Freedom" concert tour began here in Osaka.
It took place in the second floor auditorium of the New Osaka Mail Parque Hall (so named because of the large post office located within). It was a simple affair with the band and a single mike stand at the center. We were sitting on the extreme right hand side of the stage. Luckily, I had my binoculars so everything was still visible.
Junko wore a simple white jacket over an orange blouse. She performed songs from her albums "Kimochi", "Entrance", and "Hajimemashite", as well as a few songs from anime (CC Sakura, Rurouni Kenshi etc) which she sang as herself. It was pure Junko. No fancy lighting or video. You just sat back and enjoyed it..
Junko was rather tense and emotional at the beginning as it was the first night of her first ever concert "tour". It has been her dream to give one. She was nearly in tears.
The concert was pretty much songs only at first. Then, Junko began chatting a lot between the songs. She got news that night that she was given a new role, the heroine of Devilman Lady. An additional concert was announced for Kobe. She was also planning to give a joke concert, "Kimuchi" ^_^;; Towards the end, there was less talk again.
The atmosphere was fairly subdued until "Shutter Chance no Renzoku" came on. Then, everyone started getting up and clapping. And for the rest of the concert, most everyone was up on their feet.
At one point, the drummer's drumstick flew out of his hand and landed on stage. Before Junko could hand it back to him, he had already gotten a replacement. So, instead, Junko used the stick to lead the audience during a couple of the songs. She later gave the stick to the nice boy sitting in the front row.
I found out afterward that the drummer was Junko's husband, Yamamoto Harukichi. Didn't notice him much at all. He can be seen somewhere in Aya Mail 3, I'm told.
Overall, the concert was as cozy as any event with over a thousand people could be. Junko joked with the audience, who had fun with her frequent drinks of water. She waved to everyone from one corner to the other. And, her encore rendition of "Te no Hira no Uchuu" was quite engaging.
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