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  • Hekiru Fanclub event in Okinawa

    Shiina Hekiru Fanclub event in Okinawa
    Shiina Hekiru (̾ؤ)
    • event report by Ivevei Upatkoon, 1998.09.20
    Before the concert, there was the fanclub event. I arrived in Okinawa before noon and we made our way to the Convention Gekiba where the event and concert would be held. There were three sets of arrivals: Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon. The afternoon arrival was late!! Talk about cutting it close... The event was scheduled for 3-5, and the entrance/handshake session started at 2pm. Those guys got there at 2:45...

    I was waiting on them because they were bringing the new T-shirts. Changed _really_ quickly, put on the happi and hachimaki and went in and shook Hekiru's hand.

    Well, the world didn't end. It was kinda... normal, really. I mean, she had shook like 800 hands before mine and she was set to do another 156... (957 people altogether). Kinda loses meaning when you're being shoved forward at breakneck speed by the staff. She was wearing a white blouse over a dark one, and a long white skirt. Also, she was caked in make-up. <-- This was the worst part.

    But my friend said, "The car is doing fine" (meaning the van with Hekiru's pictures airbrushed on the back and sides) and she said, "Oh! Ah!" in recognition. I was next and I got a kinda funny look, like she wasn't sure what to say or think. I think she was too focused on the rest of our group behind me, the 3 guys wearing masks.

    The event started quite promptly. As promised, they were playing all the "Heki-chan no kyou mo ee zo" clips from the previous concerts. I only caught the last few because I got in towards the end. Then the actual event started. We had a Q&A session with Hekiru playing reporter. Bingo with Hekiru songs (character songs included! Ouch! Plus they even had "Yume Made Hashirou", a CD single that isn't even sold but was actually distributed at gasoline stands several years ago). Karaoke contest with 3 groups with the band playing live. Practice for the moves for "Kimete Misete yo Get Back!"

    In between they played an edited video tape of the staff discussion, where the staff were making some not-so-discreet criticisms of the calls and stuff that the audience tends to do. Like, "You know that during 'Kizuite'? That's just a little weird." or "That move during 'Dakishimete'... I think it's not quite right."

    About high time we got some feedback on what calls are "approved" or not. Until now, we almost never get feedback from anyone concerning what calls are appropriate, and what calls and moves Hekiru doesn't like. Actually, if you can see her expression, sometimes you can tell she finds some really irritating, but it's hard to communicate that to everyone.

    Then the cult quiz with some completely unknowable questions such "Hekiru's producer Tairaku is blood type AB. Yes or no?" and "Hekiru had breakfast at the hotel this morning. Yes or no?" The prizes for the contests were signed telephone cards from really old concert tours. After that, we had group photos taken with Hekiru and the band. We lined up by bus (there were 24 buses altogether! And 8 hotels!) and got shuttled very efficiently through the system. The high point was when Hekiru came up to our group and she was smiling this wonderful smile. ^__^ I was third row, a little to the right of Hekiru.

    After that was the concert. Boy, they sure started late. We got in at around 5:45 and milled around while they set up the cameras. I was in the 4th row (actually 6th but they shut out the first 2 rows) towards the left side. Couldn't see a damn thing for most of the concert because these two guys in the rows in front were prefectly aligned to block my view completely. Bleh.

    The concert started a little before 6:30. I think this was a pretty good concert as far was they go. Hekiru was pretty into it, and the crowd got worked up after a while too. Personally, I found the seats way too cramped, plus the fact that my view was blocked... Wasn't in that good a mood at the beginning so maybe that was why I didn't stand up. But as the concert went on, and I saw that Hekiru was enjoying herself quite a bit, I also loosened up and got into the flow. Towards the end I just lost it. As usual. ^^;;

    I was really happy to hear her sing "Super Girls Funky No.1" in the style she was singing it at the beginning of the tour. For a while around the latter half of the tour, she was drifting back into the old arrangement, not the really cool blues style of the new arrangement. I guess her cold is fine now.

    Speaking of colds, mine is back. -_- Lack of sleep and too much screaming and singing during the concert resulted in a really really weird hoarse voice. Hope it gets better before Friday.

    At the end, during "Infinity", people were still clapping to the beat. -_- But at least many people were singing together, and no one started applauding prematurely in those few seconds that Hekiru falls silent before the last verse. You'd think that fans would know better than to start clapping before the song ends, but that just kept happening all the way throughout the tour, and I think Hekiru was really pissed off about that, although she never said anything.

    The end credits didn't quite roll after the end of "Infinity", and I think everyone was quite confused before it started. I like that song a lot. I think a good number of Hekiru fans now own tapes or CDs containing "Book of Days". ^^;;

    The encore call was normal. (The song list always includes the encore section so it isn't really much of a special event.) Then Hekiru appeared, wearing the normal camo pattern tight shirt with orange blouse over. The last few times she had changed to a black shirt and green blouse. Yoshi came out on the snake board.

    I think everyone was really into it for the 3 encore songs. It was really fun. "Kaze ga Fuku Oka - BETA version" is great! ^__^ BETA is _the_ ultimate Hekiru fan of fans and he has his own style of calls and jumps. Usually I go with the flow but this time I did it the BETA way since I was really getting into it, and it really _is_ more fun! You jump at a different timing from everyone else so you really stand out. ^_^;; Plus it's not as tiring. Have to be in a certain weird mood for it though. ^^;;

    After that I lost it and was near collapse by the end of Go Wake Up!! (A case of the mind being willing but the body simply not doing what you wanted it to any more.) Then the "Want You!!" And this time when "Dakishimete" played, Hekiru stayed on stage! It was very surprising, and a little confusing because we couldn't figure out what was up. They played "Dakishimete" past the first verse for the first time too. And Hekiru just sat there with her elbows propped on her knees and watched us with this strange expression. Just smiling a bit. It would have been understandable if she had looked really moved or something, but she just seemed to be watching a show. Some of us speculated later that perhaps she had been willing to do a double encore. But no-one took up the call so she just left? Dunno...

    Then we filed out of the concert hall. This time there were a lot of "Moe moe!" "Heki Heki!" calls!

    We had to be on the buses within half an hour of the concert ending so we couldn't linger at all. After that, we checked into our respective hotels. I went out for nomikai with my friends around midnight. It was a pain getting everything organized since we were scattered in different hotels across Naha. Got back at 4, slept till 8, ate dinner, did touristy stuff all day, headed for the beach during sunset. Came back, tried to organize another dinner, managed to do it by 10pm, ate then went for karaoke until 2am. If anything, we got more worked up doing the karaoke than the actual concert. I'm surprised the staff didn't warn us off, or that the floor held when all 12 of us jumped. I was so tired I actually fell asleep half way through the ruckus, when they started doing Kouda Mariko songs. :P We ended on "Dakishimete" and "Graduater", then went back. Slept 5 hours. Went to the beach at noon, got burnt on the face and really tanned on the arms, came back in time to catch the bus to the airport at 4pm. All in all, a really full three days. Looking forward to Nakano 9/25 and 9/26.

    If only the paint wasn't coming off the painting on my happi. ;_; Everything would be perfect.

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