Yesterday evening was one night that I'll never ever forget! I was able to cross an item off my bucket list so to speak. I finally got the chance to see my favourite singer-songwriter, Sheena Ringo in concert!! This is Ringo-chan's Arena Tour called "Ringo Expo '14 -Toshi Onna's Counterattack-" ** (林檎博'14 －年女の逆襲－), which my wife and I saw at the Saitama Super Arena (埼玉スーパーアリーナ). As you can see the seats were pretty far away, but that did nothing to take away from the pure joy and excitement of seeing a musician of such incredible talent live in person. I have to admit, though I was a bit envious of the folks who had floor seat tickets when Ringo-chan made her entrance up the center aisle, riding on a boat, and then again when she was paraded up and down the center aisle riding on a skateboard!
The show was nothing short of amazing and literally moved me nearly to tears on several occasions. She performed most of the songs off her album from earlier this year, "Reimports: Ports and Harbours Bureau" (逆輸入 ～港湾局～), as well as some from earlier releases and even a couple of songs from her days with her band, The Tokyo Incidents (東京事変)! It was a profound experience.
The musicians she's touring with are incredible talents, including the orchestra and conductor doing much of the accompaniment. Shockingly, the drummer even performed his part in the song, "Vortex Boy" (渦中の男) live, and since that song is essentially hardcore drum & bass, this is no simple endeavor! Of course Ringo-chan herself put on a guitar and rocked along with the band for a few tunes, which I was eagerly anticipating, and was so happy to experience for myself.
The lighting and stage effects were also fantastic and perfectly complimentary, meaning that they never became too overwhelming to the point that they overshadowed the performance. This included plenty of live video so that even those of us way in back could get a good look at the star of the show and enjoy her four costume changes. When not utilizing live video footage, the stage was alive with impeccably-produced graphics that literally transformed the stage giving impression of being at different venues. Amazing.
While leaving the stadium I said to my wife, "今死んでも満足だ。" "If I died right now I'd be satisfied." It's an extreme sentiment of course, but that's how fulfilled I felt after this concert. I'm still living in the afterglow even now.
Here's the Set List from last night!
- Between today and tomorrow
- BON VOYAGE
Some concert tour goods
**There's really no good translation for "Toshi Onna" so here's a basic definition: a woman who was born in the current year's sign of the Chinese zodiac (which of course would mean that Ringo-chan was born in the year of the horse). Also, please note that this is my own translation of the Concert Tour Name as I could not find an official translation anywhere.
Allow me to leave you with this video for "Vogue" (流行) from the album 3-Penny Gossip (三文ゴシップ) which was performed last night: