Hirano Aya brought her four-stop Riot Tour to a close the weekend before last, with performances in Osaka and her hometown of Yokohama.
The Yokohama concert was the highlight of the tour. Aya was at her best, and brought the house down with a tearful salute to her parents and her fans. This performance will be the basis of a DVD, which will probably come out early next year.
The weekend got off to a rocky start. Aya had a cold for her concert in Osaka, and the concert itself was marred by a group of anti-Aya rabble hurling insults from the balcony. Aya made no mention of the affair in her blog, but just commented on the large crowd of 1800 fans.
Here are some pics from the Osaka concert, two of the concert itself; and two of Aya, one showing the limited edition T-shirt that was on sale, and one of an exhausted Aya after the show:
In Yokohama, Aya spoke at length. She mentioned the time in the fall 0f 2006 when she collapsed during a Death Note recording session and was taken to hospital. She said that when she thinks of all the support she got at the time, she is so grateful she feels like crying. She said that now that the live tour she had dreamed of for so long had become a reality, she expected to cry from happiness, but was surprised that she was taking it all so stoically.
"I've changed a lot in the past two years. Not just outside, but inside, too. But ever since I started working, when I was ten, I have had confidence, and that hasn't changed."
Here are some pics from Yokohama: Aya and her band, Aya ready to go (looking a bit tired and apprehensive, to me), and a couple of shots from the concert:
"This is the first time I have had enough confidence to speak to my parents from the stage. I'm glad to finally have a chance to pay them back in some way."
"I really can't pay all you fans back, no matter how hard I try. I have had failures, and I apologize to you deeply (bowing to the fans, she began to weep). I really love being able to be here with all of you. There is so much I want to say...."
A poster on 2channel said that she conveyed a lot of love in her statement, saying directly to fans that she would work hard never to betray their expectations. She gave the impression that she was afraid of ever alienating her fans.
Here are two more shots from Yokohama. For the second, Aya said the fasteners on her dress came apart, proving that she has gained weight:
Another poster said that the Shibuya concert was good, but Yokohama was more exciting. There was a bit of trouble in Osaka, but everyone in Yokohama was determined to support her, and you could feel the mood throughout the audience. And Aya herself really seemed in her element on stage, in a way she didn't in Shibuya.
As promised, she cried during her talk. When she had trouble speaking, cries of "Aaya" rang out from the crowd. The encores were the weakest part of the show, but the chorus of "Aaya" from the audience afterward were amazing, he/she said.
Yokohama set list:
Bouken Desho Desho?
Namida Namida Namida
Ashita no Prism
Lost my music
Maybe I can't good-bye
forgot me nots
Hoshi no Kakera
Yorokobi no Uta