“An Emotionally Charged Night in Maihama”
- Event: fhána (ファナ) where you are Tour 2019 -narrative-
- Date: Saturday, December 14, 2019
- Location: Maihama Amphitheatre, Chiba
Intro: Not a Bad Seat in the House
fhána had a huge turn-out for the third show in there “where you are Tour 2019” in Maihama on Saturday, December 14, 2019. It was the group’s first time performing in Maihama Amphitheatre, which holds a little over 2000 people. The venue itself was great for a concert, with wrap-around stadium seating but no one was actually that far away. Regardless of where fans’ seats were, they could likely see the faces of the musicians and really feel like they were part of the show. Even fhána themselves commented on how beautiful and comfortable Maihama Amphitheatre was! Add to that the walk to the venue from the station through Tokyo Disneyland’s Christmas illuminations, and you have an audience that is happy and ready for some fun before the show even begins.
fhána’s show was almost completely sold out. Most of the audience was male, with the majority being in their late 20s to early 30s. Throughout the crowd, though, there were younger and older people, and a handful of female fans as well. Many fans came dressed in fhána t-shirts and carrying bags from past tours. Once the amphitheatre doors opened, there was also a shop for merchandise from this particular show as well. Because the December 14th show was one of four, each with their own name, a lot of the merchandise was exclusive only to this show. That made all the t-shirts, pins, stickers, and tiny flags with the -narrative- logo once-in-a-lifetime goods for fans to pick up! Of course, many people changed into their new shirts before the show started to show their support for the night. There were also flower displays for the band in the lobby of the venue, along with present boxes for fans to leave small gifts or letters to their favourite members.
The -narrative- show’s logo was green, so inside the amphitheatre everything was cast in a green light while the fans waited for the show to begin. The energy in the room was actually quite laid-back and calm. No one was speaking too loudly, and no one was screaming or causing any chaos. fhána’s fans were polite and waited patiently for the show to begin.
let’s dive in!
Performance: A Roller Coaster of Emotions
The concert started off dramatically, with the first song “white light”. Suiting the name of the song, fhána entered the stage as it was filled with smoke and bright lights, and nothing more than their silhouette could be seen for the entire first number. The moment the band entered the stage, the entire audience stood up, and started to bob along. Things got even more upbeat with “星屑のインターリュード”, and that’s when the party really started. As the normal stage lights came on, the four main band members (Towana, Kevin Mitsunaga, Yuxuki Waga, and Jun’ichi Sato) were revealed along with the stand-up orchestra on a raised stage in the back consisting of three violins and a cello. That was also when the fans started to really wake up and get into the show, doing elaborate hand gestures along with the music. Everyone knew exactly what to do, showing that most of the audience were true fans of fhána!
As the music continued to escalate into more and more upbeat songs, especially “Unplugged”. While Towana clearly controlled the stage with her fantastic singing most of the night, it was Kevin who really stole the show during “Unplugged”. He and Towana had a bit of a rap battle, and Kevin led the audience in clapping and chanting with a lot of enthusiasm right from the edge of the stage! It was impossible not to catch some of his high energy and get excited, too. All along the way, the stage lights added to the drama and feeling. They changed from monochrome lighting for some songs, like “ユーレカ”, to strobe lights for “真っ白”, dramatic red lights for “Do you realize?” and more. One of the coolest parts of the show happened about halfway through before fhána began ‘Code “Genius”?’. At concerts in Japan, there are no photos or videos allowed of any kind, and definitely no posting to social media. But the band stopped their almost continuous playing (there were very few breaks between songs the entire night!) to surprise everyone by asking them to take out their mobile phones. Then, even more shockingly, Jun’ichi asked the fans to record ‘Code “Genius”?’ and post it on their Instagram stories! The fans were so excited by this special chance and everyone took advantage of the unheard-of phenomenon.
Emotions were already high when halfway through the show, fhána came to the title song for this tour—“where you are”. And just when it seemed like things couldn’t get any more emotional, they did! “where you are” was delivered in such a powerful way, especially with its beautiful orchestra break in the middle. Behind the stage was a huge screen, and it alternated between being lit up with only red or only white lights. This left the four orchestra members silhouetted against the screen as they played, which was an awesome effect for such a turning point song in the concert. From there, things finally started to slow down a little with “inst(願い事)” to let everyone get recharged and have a little break. Then things went straight back to upbeat and crazy with everyone having a great time!
As the main show came to a close, the excitement and fun reached a climax with “青空のラプソディ”. All the hall lights came on so that the crowd felt one with the band, and with Kevin at the front leading the fans in dancing, hand gestures, and clapping, everyone was swept away at that moment. The audience even had a chance to sing along with the chorus of the song! It was almost time for the show to finish, and fhána was not about to let their fans down at the end. They ended the show with one last emotionally charged number, “僕を見つけて”, and left the stage as the lights went down.
Outro: Just One Theme of Many.
Even as the last song was fading and the band members had left the stage, the cries for an encore began throughout the audience. Some fans even stood on their feet, leading the chanting that went on for over ten minutes. Despite a nearly two hour performance, fans were not willing to give up and leave just yet. Of course, fhána answered their call, returning to the stage all wearing tour t-shirts and ready for a few more songs! The three encore songs were all slower-paced than most of the rest of the show, but also a lot more emotional. They left the white hall lights on as well rather than using so many special lighting effects, making the encore feel more intimate and the band that much more accessible and closer. fhána also used the encore time to introduce each of the members of the band, including the standing orchestra, and give them a chance for individual applause from the fans.
fhána also had a surprise in store for the audience - a duet with only Towana’s incredible voice and Jun’ichi Satou’s beautiful piano. The rest of the band remained silent and still, letting the two sing a short but powerful piece as the audience could only watch and be amazed at the raw talent being showcased. It was easily one of the most powerful moments of the entire night! Finally, as the show drew to a close, fhána took extra time on the stage simply to thank the fans and bowed many times, and throw a few of the exclusive -narrative- flags into the audience for some lucky people to catch. It was great to see how genuinely appreciative of their fans of the members of fhána seemed to be, the smiles on their faces very real.
What made fhána “where you are Tour 2019” -narrative- so special is that it was a unique show that had never been done before, and will never be done again. fhána did four shows in their “where you are Tour 2019,” with the first two being in Osaka and Nagoya and the last two in Tokyo. Each night was a different theme with a different colour, feeling, and setlist. The show that fans saw on December 14th was unique, and not one that anyone else other than those in the room that night will ever have the chance to repeat again. Plus fans that were following the band on their tour and going to every show always got to see something different! It also made the show unpredictable, leaving fans always waiting to see what the next song was going to be. It was a once-in-a-lifetime show that fhána fans will not quickly forget.